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Variscan Mines (ASX:VAR) Embarks on ~2,000m Drilling Programme at San-Jose Novales Mine

Summary

  • Variscan Mines Limited (ASX:VAR) has commenced initial ~2,000m drilling programme at San Jose-Novales mine.
  • The Company intends to finalise the proposed drilling campaign in two phases of 1,000m, either side of the Christmas period.
  • An experienced Spanish drilling contractor has been appointed to conduct the drilling campaign.
  • The Company has also planned to carry out underground structural mapping at San Jose-Novales to better define the controls on mineralisation.

Australia-headquartered Variscan Mines Limited (ASX:VAR) has taken a great leap forward by embarking on an underground diamond drilling programme at the San Jose-Novales mine. The San Jose mine forms part of the Company’s Spain-based Novales-Udias project located in Cantabria.

To recall, Variscan received approval from the Government of Cantabria to carry out underground drilling at San Jose mine in September 2020. 

The commencement of drilling programme follows the recent receipt of encouraging results from 3D laser survey conducted at the San Jose mine. The 3D laser survey discovered in-situ, high-grade zinc mineralisation outside of surveyed mine workings and provided the Company with the accurate details required to start an underground drilling programme at the mine.

Let us quickly discuss the key details of the underground drilling programme initiated at the San Jose mine:

Drilling Plan

Variscan’s diamond drilling programme is testing high-grade targets discovered from historic drilling comprising potential extensions of mineralisation:

  • along strike to the south and north of existing elongated stopes; and
  • along the near-vertical mineralised structure planes, both below and above current stopes.

Variscan has discovered 26 accessible drilling bays, from which 126 diamond drillholes (6,095m) have been tentatively planned. These holes comprise several redundancy holes too. From this 6,095m of proposed drilling, the Company has decided to conduct 2,000m over the coming months, initially finalising the higher priority drillholes. 

Phases of Drilling Programme

Variscan intends to complete the planned 2,000m campaign in two phases of 1,000m, either side of the Christmas period. The first phase will include 21 drillholes (925m) from 5 drilling bays that offer ready access to “La Caseta”, one of the most prospective targets.

The “La Caseta” area is deemed to be a high-priority target owing to several in-situ high-grade intersections from historical drillholes that lie outside of existing stopes. The area comprises a known fault zone with an intersection of 21.6m @22.4% Zn, as demonstrated in the below map:

The Company has already identified further targets for follow-on drill campaigns of ~4,000m.

Drilling Contractor

Variscan Mines Cantabria, S.L., which is Variscan’s wholly owned Spanish subsidiary, has hired an experienced Spanish drilling contractor, Geonor Servicios Técnicos, S.L, to conduct the drilling programme. Located in northern Spain, Geonor holds substantial drilling experience, having worked with several international mining companies.

Variscan’s Next Steps

Initially, Variscan’s focus is to progress with its underground drilling programme at the San Jose Mine and reporting results at the earliest opportunity.

The Company has decided to kickstart the drilling programme with one diamond drilling rig, potentially increasing it to two depending on the operational constraints, to make sure that the programme is finalised as soon as possible. The Company expects to receive first assay results from the drilling campaign in January 2021.

Besides progressing with drilling campaign, Variscan also intends to conduct underground structural mapping at San Jose-Novales to better define the controls on mineralisation.

Variscan shares traded at $0.028 on 26 November 2020.

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