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Atocha: a 100% owned high-grade silver/gold exploration project with reported drill intercepts that include 20.14g/t Au and 723g/t Ag (29.0g/t AuEq) over a true width of 0.8m in drill hole AT-21-02.


The Atocha project covers a significant part of the colonial era Santa Ana-Frias-Mariquita primary silver district where mining records date to at least 1585. Following the Spanish Conquest, more formal mining commenced, with extraction of gold and more importantly, silver, specifically around the town of Falan to the North of the project. During the time the Spanish operated the mines, silver grades were reported to be some of the highest in Latin America. The average smelter return for silver ore during those days was “4 marcos per quintal” (equal to approximately >17kg/ton Ag or over 500 oz/ton Ag). Subsequent exploration discovered further veins in the Santa Ana (today Falan) and Frias regions, adding 14 new mines to the district, all of them producing over one marco of silver per quintal (approximately 4.3kg Ag/ ton or over 138 oz/ton Ag).

Spanish mining was superseded by the British, commonly in the form of Cornish migrants who worked their way through Central and subsequently, Southern America. The British engineer Robert Stevenson worked briefly in the Falan area, leaving well-preserved old mine workings and reports indicating the relatively extensive underground mine development within and around the town of Falan, and also several kilometres to the South, in a second mining area operated by the British called El Cristo mine, together with other extensive mining infrastructure located at the headwaters of the Jimenez creek, near the northern boundary of the Atocha project. The last gold-silver rush started in the area in the 1930’s, with focus on existing or past producing mines. As a result, four mining districts (re)-started: Ibagué, Anzoategui, Santa Isabel and Líbano.


Gold-silver mineralisation is located within the Palestina (NW), Otú-Pericos (East) and the North-South trending Mulatos faults. Mineralisation at the Atocha project appears to be modified more by the late, Mesozoic, Cretaceous to Miocene age, brittle faulting, with mineralised veins usually hosted by northeast trending, sub-vertically to steeply east-dipping normal and reverse faults. The main mineralisation may retain the postulated early phase of orogenic-related mineralisation, but it should be emphasised that the area has a locally significant epithermal overprint.

Overall, veins in the district are hosted by sub-parallel, oblique-slip normal faults and extension fractures striking between 030° and 060° and dip moderately to steeply north-west. These fault orientations host some of the richest veins of the district, including La Ye, Veta Grande, NW Veins, Tavera-Guadua and the recently discovered El Erizo vein. Vein textures include crustiform banding, breccias, and cockade textures, suggesting that vein opening and filling was episodic, with several episodes of fault movement related to brecciation and mineralization. Veins in the district are hosted by folded, metamorphosed Palæozoic schists (basement) and are generally narrow, and locally anastomosing, with anomalous silver grades (<5 oz/t Ag) or small zones of high-grade ore (>15 oz/t Ag). It has been observed that for some veins (e.g., NW Vein, Veta Grande W, and elsewhere, e.g. around Santa Ana-Falan), significant mineralisation (taken as >50 oz/t Ag) was present near E-W trending aplite-diorite stocks.

The lineament pattern for the area covering the Atocha project, is based on satellite and photographic interpretation and limited prospecting and geological investigations. Postulated mineralised veins discovered during the prospecting are shown in red and coincide with a regional marked structure that seems to be controlling the Silver-Gold mineralization in the property, and we refer to it as the “Atocha Corridor”. Precise trends and strike extent are inferred due to the exploratory nature of past work, but much of the Atocha property remains unexplored.


La Ye vein zone has demonstrated the existence of a major structural deformation corridor with a wide associated multiple vein system. The primary vein system at La Ye is comprised of at least six major veins and several smaller associated parallel veins covering a strike length in excess of 500m, open in both directions. Mapping has been possible due to the existence of a vast number of exposures and outcrop occurrences and the first batch of rock chips collected in Q2-2021 at outcrops and suboutcrops averaged 182 g/t Ag (or 304.4g/t AgEq).

The previous operator Baroyeca Gold & Silver Inc. (TSX-V.BSG) (Baroyeca), drilled 13 diamond holes at the La Ye target for a total of approximately 1,700m as part of an ongoing drill program which has to date covered approximately 350m of strike length of the vein corridor. Drilling was intended to test only the shallowest part of the vein corridor with approximately 25 metre step outs to identify and delineate a high-grade silver and gold mineralized zone or shoot near surface at La Ye. This will be followed-up at depth in future delineation drilling campaigns.

The first holes drilled on Atocha targeted the La Ye vein system and successfully identified and delineated the first mineralized zone. In the initial 13 drill holes, the previous operator intersected highgrades on the La Ye vein including 2,233g/t AgEq over 0.80m, 1,137g/t AgEq over 0.50m and 981g/t AgEq over 0.40m and encountered more than 25 intercepts returning over 200g/t AgEq, with a weighted average grade of 570g/t AgEq (7.6 g/t AuEq) over an average intercept width of 0.50 metres. The drilling to date has tested 350m along strike to shallow depths in small step outs, demonstrating the continuity of the silver and gold mineralization and the consistency of high grades across a growing vein system. Over 30 cumulative km of sampled vein exposures has been identified to date on the Atocha licence.

The highest gold and silver grades obtained from previous operators include a series of rock chip samples taken in three exposures on the Veta Grande vein system and individual samples returned gold values as high as 14.65 g/t Au and 14.20 g/t Au, and highest silver values of 3,480, 2,300, 1,955 and 1,570 g/t Ag. Table 1 below provides examples of the better intercepts recorded.

Hole # From (m) To (m) Interval (*) Au ppm Ag ppm AgEq ppm
AT-21-01 84.00 84.50 0.50 13.11 153.8 1,137.05
84.50 85.10 0.60 4.519 364 702.93
87.35 87.90 0.55 1.163 24.1 111.33
87.90 88.40 0.50 2.605 17.4 212.78
AT-21-02 85.70 86.50 0.80 20.14 723 2,233.50
88.10 89.00 0.90 1.289 276.5 373.18
AT-21-03 38.50 39.00 0.50 0.127 306.5 316.03
62.50 63.00 0.50 1.305 11.8 109.68
65.80 66.30 0.50 3.736 271.1 551.30
AT-21-04 41.30 41.55 0.25 0.176 251 263.32
52.80 53.10 0.30 0.379 42.2 68.73
59.20 59.40 0.20 2.047 15.6 158.89
63.32 63.62 0.30 0.373 75.7 101.81
AT-21-05 67.10 67.50 0.40 1.112 107.2 190.60
85.40 85.95 0.55 2.529 371.4 561.08
85.95 86.30 0.35 0.183 53.8 67.53
86.30 86.70 0.40 0.273 56.8 77.28
86.70 87.10 0.40 4.146 461.5 772.45
87.10 87.50 0.40 1.411 240.1 345.93
AT-21-06 49.50 50.00 0.50 0.908 6.4 74.50
50.00 50.50 0.50 3.011 178.4 404.23
60.80 61.40 0.60 0.884 154.9 221.20
62.75 63.05 0.30 1.173 152.1 240.08
82.70 83.20 0.50 1.807 127.5 135.53
AT-21-07 47.50 47.70 0.20 0.984 310.6 384.40
51.70 52.20 0.50 2.084 244 400.30
64.10 64.50 0.40 0.63 53.9 101.15

Table 1. Au and Ag drill core assay results for Atocha. The silver equivalence calculation uses a ratio of 1:75 for gold and silver.

Diagram 4: La Ye West (long section) summary of drill results (AgEq).

Diagram 5: Plan view of Drilling at Atocha.