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Escacena Copper-Zinc-Gold Project, Iberian Pyrite Belt, Spain

The Escacena Project (Figure 1) is within 5 km of the Aznalcollar Mine and on the same volcanic trend that hosts the Los Frailes and Las Cruces Mines.  The targets include a large untested gravity anomaly with up-dip copper and gold mineralization; strike extensions from an old mine tunnel with 30m @ 2 g/t gold; and a second gravity anomaly coincident with a thick zone of stock work with intervals of massive sulphide containing high copper values in wide-spaced drill holes (e.g. DDH PR5:  4.68m @ 2.94% Cu).  The property has had little exploration since the early 1980’s.

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[Figure 1] Escacena Project location

Located in the highly prospective Iberian Pyrite Belt

The Escacena project is located in the Lower Carboniferous, Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) in southern Spain (Figure 2).  The IPB is the most prolific volcanic-hosted massive sulphide district in the World with more than 80 known deposits, including 8 giant deposits with greater than 100 million tonnes of massive sulphide ore.  The Property is located is along strike and on the same volcanic and thrust trend that hosts the Aznalcóllar, Las Frailes and Las Cruces mines, and within 5km of Aznalcóllar.  Las Cruces mine is operated by First Quantum and Grupo Mexico-Minorbis consortium are working on restarting the Aznalcollar-Los Frailes mine following a successful bid in 2016.

Aznalcollar ~90Mt @ 0.51% Cu, 1.8% Zn, 0.85% Pb (operated to 1995)
Los Frailes ~70Mt @ 0.35% Cu, 3.87% Zn, 2.21% Pb (operated to 2001)
Las Cruces ~70Mt @ 2.92% Cu, 2.54% Zn, 1.49% Pb

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[Figure 2] Iberian Pyrite Belt – Escacena Project location

Attractive exploration targets

The Escacena project includes three high priority exploration targets (Figure 3).  These include an untested gravity anomaly at La Cañada; near surface gold mineralization associated with an old mine tunnel with 30m @ 2g/t Au; and additional area of stockwork and massive sulphide copper-zinc coincident with the La Romana gravity anomaly.  Gravity anomalies have been associated with several large massive sulphide discoveries in the IPB, including Las Cruces, Los Frailes and Neves Corvo.  The Escacena area has had little exploration for approximately 30 years and no modern geophysics.

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[Figure 3] Escacena Project exploration targets

The La Cañada target is characterized by a 1.5 x 0.5 km, 1 mGal gravity anomaly (Figure 4).   Historical drilling by Exxon and Boliden show intervals copper and gold along thrust-faults up-dip from the gravity anomaly.  The gravity anomaly, geology and adjacent drill hole information, indicate potential for massive sulphide beneath overthrust Devonian sedimentary rocks.  The historical drilling in the area was targeting gold mineralization beneath the La Cañadamine old mine tunnel and did not test the gravity anomaly.

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[Figure 4] La Cañada target

Gold target - Exploration data provided by the vendor shows potential for additional gold mineralisation along the thrust fault zone immediately south of the La Cañada gravity anomaly.  Historical continuous channel sampling in the wall of the La Cañada mine tunnel returned 30m @ 2 g/t gold, including 6m @ 4.13g/t Au and 6m @ 3.13g/t Au (Figure 5).  Drilling by Exxon and Boliden beneath the tunnel confirmed continuation of the gold mineralisation and copper in narrow intervals.  However, the potential for additional gold mineralisation to the East and West along the thrust is largely untested.

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[Figure 5] La Cañada mine tunnel

The La Romana target area includes a 1.2 mGal gravity anomaly apparent in previous Exxon exploration data.  The target area is mostly covered by post-mineral Tertiary sediments.  Base-of-cover scout drilling by Exxon confirmed the volcanic sequence beneath the cover coincident with the gravity anomaly and along-strike from the La Romana mine workings. Exxon drilled 9 wides-paced drill holes in the 1980’s within the Escacena property and confirmed the presence of copper stock work and intervals of massive sulphide associated with chloritic alteration.  Better results are shown in Figure 6.  Some of the Exxon drill holes were outside or did not reach the target.  The mineralisation extends approximately 1300m East-West, surfacing at La Romana copper workings (West) and extending to at least 300m depth (East).  Stock work mineralisation is apparent over at least 160 m thickness and is open to the East, West and down dip.  The results suggest additional potential for a large concealed massive sulphide deposit.  There has been no modern electrical geophysics. 

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 [Figure 6] La Romana massive sulphide target and drill core

Work plan

Detailed due diligence, compilation and digitizing of the historical exploration data has commenced.  Reprocessing of regional geophysical data has also commenced.  A full review of the available exploration information is planned over the coming 3-months to help design a comprehensive follow-up exploration program.  Ground work is expected to commence immediately following full granting of the mineral rights, estimated to take approximately6-months.  The initial program is expected to include electrical geophysics and closer spaced gravity surveying to help position drill holes at La Cañada and La Romana.  Electrical geophysics will also be used to help identify extensions of the massive sulphide or thicker sections of the deposit at La Romana.  Mapping and geochemistry will be used to explore for additional gold mineralization along strike from the La Cañada mine working.