VANCOUVER, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX-V: FCV.V) is pleased to announce assay results from the first 10 holes of the Company's ongoing second-phase drill program on its Nueva California project. The property is located some 35km north of Barrick Gold's Pierina Mine, near the town of Huaraz, Peru. Highlights include:
- Hole DDH-NC-012 which cut 46m @ 2.0 g/t Au + 95 g/t Ag (3.6 g/t Au Eq*) from 52m downhole and a shallower intercept of 24.4m @ 2.6 g/t Au + 105 g/t Ag (4.3 g/t Au Eq*) from surface in the tailings - Hole DDH-NC-006 which cut 53.6m @ 1.6 g/t Au from surface - Hole DDH-NC-013 which cut 20m @ 1.6 g/t Au from surface - Hole DDH-NC-007 which cut 2.3m @ 17.8 g/t Au Eq* from 33.8m downhole. * Gold Equivalent grades were calculated based on 62 ounces of silver = 1 ounce of gold, with no grade capping or adjustment made for metallurgical recoveries.
Drillholes were collared on a 100m spaced grid to create a broad, deep geological profile from the lower to the upper levels of the mine, and the intercepts cited above occur over various levels of the mine. All holes were drilled at bearing of 060 degrees to the north-east and at 45 degrees inclination.
A key interpretation of the on-going drilling is that the hydrothermal system appears to be much more extensive in the lower part of the Nueva California mine around DDH-NC-012, which drilled a sequence of altered argillite, hydrothermal breccias and phyllic altered granodiorites to 371m. The hydrothermal system appears to extend to the west and south of the limits of the current underground workings, potentially expanding the scope of the drill program.
A drill hole location map, drillhole summaries, a selection of core photographs and a cross section/geological interpretation can be found on Focus's website at www.focusventuresltd.com.
Interpretation of Results
As the current drill program has progressed, Focus' understanding of the Nueva California system has evolved. The upper part of the system, where the existing mine is focused, is most likely not the core of the gold-mineralized hydrothermal system. Thick intervals of hydrothermal breccias, granodiorite and argillite were observed in holes DDH-NC-012 and DDH-NC-009, both drilled in the lowest levels of the mine around the tailings area. DDH-NC-012 encountered significant mineralization in brecciated argillites between 46m and 98m grading 2.0 g/t Au and 94.6 g/t Ag, with individual silver assays up to 610 g/t Ag. The precise relationship between alteration and gold mineralization remains unclear and is unpredictable at present.
Similar strong hydrothermal alteration and rock types were drilled in DDH-NC-09, however sampling did not return any significant mineralized intervals. The thick sequence of altered rocks drilled indicate that the hydrothermal system appears to be much larger and deeper in the lower part of the Nueva California mine than first thought, and it appears to extend west and south, characterized by strong chargeability and conductivity anomalies. This interpretation is supported by the visual characteristics of drill core cut in more recent holes but for which assays are not yet available. For example, DDH-NC-018, collared 100m south-east of DDH-NC-012, intersected a sequence of altered and silicified argillites and hydrothermal breccias with lesser intervals of granodiorite from 33m to 177m. The reader is cautioned that visual characteristics of drillcore are not a reliable indicator of gold mineralization, and until the Company has received and reviewed the assay results for this hole, the precise relationship between alteration and gold mineralization is unclear. The above interpretation may not be confirmed by the assay results.
Drilling is continuing to test for bulk tonnage mineralization, focused mainly in the lower elevations.
Summary of Drill Results
------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gold Hole # From To Length Gold Silver Equiv.* (m) (m) (m) (g/t) g/t (g/t) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- DDH-NC-005 60.6 63.3 2.7 3.67 43 4.36 DDH-NC-006 0.0 53.6 53.6 1.63 19 1.9 includes 35.1 51.3 16.2 2.88 29 3.35 DDH-NC-007 33.75 36.0 2.25 14.14 228 17.8 DDH-NC-008 No Significant Intercepts DDH-NC-009 0.0 15.7 15.7 0.98 42 1.67 Tailings 94.1 106.5 12.4 0.26 23 0.63 159.8 160.8 1.00 5.74 32 6.26 DDH-NC-010 No Significant Intercepts DDH-NC-011 No Significant Intercepts DDH-NC-012 0.0 24.4 24.4 2.62 105 4.30 Tailings 25.5 29.0 3.5 1.76 5.0 1.84 52.0 98.0 46.0 2.03 95 3.56 Includes 79.0 85.2 6.2 6.1 122 8.07 165.0 166.2 1.2 4.36 17 4.64 172.0 173.0 1.0 5.05 42 5.74 174.0 175.0 1.0 5.61 5 5.68 DDH-NC-13 0.0 20.0 20.0** 1.56 47 2.32 Includes 14.5 20.0 5.5 3.64 149 6.05 DDH-NC-14 No Significant Intercepts ------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Gold equivalent grade calculations based on silver to gold ratio of 62:1 with no grade capping or adjustment made for metallurgical recoveries. ** Interval averaged 81% core recovery
The distribution of mineralized intervals cut in holes DDH-NC-006, 007 and 013 shows a direct relationship with a series of north-south trending normal faults downthrowing to the west (see schematic cross section on Focus's website at www.focusventuresltd.com). These structures probably acted as feeders for the Au-Ag mineralization, and appear to juxtapose the deeper, more eroded parts of the system that were drilled at the higher elevations of the mine, with the shallower parts of the hydrothermal system preserved in the lowest elevation of the mine.
As the drilling is centered on a broad 100m grid, individual holes were not designed to target specific mineralized structures. Several holes - particularly those collared in the upper parts of the mine where the system is now believed to have been eroded - cut only unmineralized granodiorite e.g. DDH-NC-10, 11, 14. DDH-NC-008 was drilled underneath a mine working within a mineralized argillite unit, and the argillite breccia did not extend to depth and is interpreted as a roof pendant, with the hole cutting mainly phyllic altered granodiorite.
The deep regional fault originally thought to be the controlling structure on mineralization was not intersected in any of the deeper drillholes. Focus geologists now believe that the mine may actually sit within the main fault zone itself. This implies that most of the upper part of the fault and hanging wall are preserved to the west in the lower levels of the mine, characterized by the thick granodiorite, argillite and breccia sequences drilled in DDH-NC-012 and DDH-NC-09.
The upper parts of holes DDH-NC-09 and DDH-NC-012 were drilled through mine tailings before intersecting bedrock. Significant assays were received in both holes;
- Hole DDH-NC-012 which cut 24.4m* @ 2.62 g/t Au and 104.6 g/t Ag (4.3 g/t Au Eq.) - Hole DDH-NC-009 which cut 15.7m** @ 0.98 g/t Au and 42.5 g/t Ag (1.7 g/t Au Eq.) */** core recoveries were poor, 70% and 50% respectively
Underground and open pit mining operations commenced at Nueva California in 1983. Gold and silver are produced on site via a small heap leach circuit and recovery plant. Approximately 700,000 - 800,000 tonnes of tailings are estimated to be present on site.
Focus is carrying out a systematic drill program at Nueva California to assess the potential for bulk-tonnage gold-silver mineralization, and is the first company to drill test the property. The drillholes reported in this press release total 2,342m drilled. Drilling is ongoing and additional results will be released in due course.
Sampling Quality Analysis and Quality Control
The drill program, including logging and drill core sampling was supervised by Mark Slauenwhite P.Geo., Focus's Vice-President of Exploration. Core was first split in half using a diamond core splitter and then logged, and each box photographed prior to sampling. Half-core samples were bagged, security-sealed and transported by Focus personnel to ALS Chemex laboratories in Lima for analysis. Gold was assayed by Atomic Adsorption Spectrometry with fire assay gravimetric finish. Silver was determined by multi-acid digestion and ICP-AES, with fire assay gravimetric finish. ALS Chemex's quality control system complies with International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:2005. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples.
Quality control is further assured by Focus' own QA/QC program which involves the insertion by Focus personnel of blind certified standards and blanks into the sample stream at regular intervals in order to independently assess analytical precision and accuracy of each batch of samples as they are received from the laboratory. Finally, representative sample pulps are forwarded to an ISO-compliant third party laboratory for additional quality control.
The scientific and technical information in this release was prepared under the supervision of Mr. David Cass, Focus's President, who is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and a "Qualified Person" in accordance with NI 43-101.
About Focus Ventures
Focus Ventures is acquiring advanced, drill-ready projects in Peru. Backed by an experienced technical team of geologists and consultants, Focus's strategy is to identify and acquire former producing mines or un-tested gold properties that show potential to become new mines. The Nueva California Property is the Company's first acquisition. Further information, please call 604-688-5288 or visit our web site www.focusventuresltd.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD "David Cass" David Cass, President Contact: Erin Ostrom/Ralph Rushton Symbol: TSXV-FCV Shares Issued: 29.1-million Forward-Looking Statement -------------------------
Some of the statements in this news release contain forward-looking information that involves inherent risk and uncertainty affecting the business of Focus Ventures Ltd. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Focus Ventures Ltd.