Alicanto Minerals Ltd (ASX:AQI) will start drilling this week at the high-grade Sala Silver Project with a specialised diamond rig capable of drilling at the surface and underground being mobilised to the site in Sweden.
A detailed review of historical data has concluded that Sala has strong exploration potential, having been exposed to virtually no modern techniques and mineralisation open in every direction.
Sala and Alicanto’s Greater Falun Copper-Gold Project are in the Bergslagen region, which hosts world-class base and precious metals projects such as the Garpenberg mine owned by Boliden and the Zinkgruvan mine owned by Lundin.
Alicanto managing director Peter George said: “Sala is an outstanding opportunity which would have been explored many years ago had the geology been better understood and had it not been held in part by companies which were focused on other projects and jurisdictions.
“The presence of extensive high-grade copper-gold mineralisation with by-products of silver, zinc and lead at Falun has been well-established through both mining and exploration.
“However, the full potential in the Greater Falun area has yet to be unlocked.
“To now have Sala in our suite of projects is a significant addition to our portfolio within the Bergslagen area.”
Bergslagen a Tier-1 jurisdiction
Bergslagen is widely viewed as a Tier-1 jurisdiction based on its large mineralised systems, highly developed infrastructure and pro-mining regime.
The historic Falun mine in Bergslagen has a long-established mining history dating back almost 1,000 years, producing 28 million tonnes of high-grade ore at 4% copper, 5% zinc, 4 g/t gold, 35 g/t silver and 2.1% lead.
George said Alicanto’s ongoing drilling program at Greater Falun was targeting multiple high priority target areas with known copper-gold and polymetallic skarn mineralisation.
Sala is around 100 kilometres from Greater Falun and 50 kilometres from Boliden’s operating Garpenberg Mine, once Europe’s largest silver producer.
Sala was opened temporarily in 1951 for a short time and upon closure, it was believed that the mineralisation ceased at the 320 metres level.
A small drill program undertaken in 2012 demonstrated that the Sala mineralisation continues to plunge to the north from the historic mine area and remains open and untested to the north and down-dip.
Mineralisation is hosted in dolomitic marble and occurs dominantly as silver-bearing galena and to a lesser extent as complex antimonides, sulphosalts and native silver.
The silver content of the galena was between 0.15% to 1%, the latter being one of the highest contents of silver in galena ever reported.
Key review findings
Key findings of Alicanto’s detailed review of historical data include:
- The Sala and Prince lodes are separate odes, the Prince being recently discovered.
- Sala and Prince lodes are not parallel as historically thought, but intersect each other;
- The historical Bronas Mine, which is around 300 metres north of Sala, is believed to be part of the same mineralised zone that hosts the Prince lode;
- Historical diamond drill holes into the Prince lode returned multiple mineralised drill hits including 15.9 metres at 157 g/t silver and 4.2% zinc as well as 37.2 metres at 50 g/t silver and 6.1% zinc;
- A detailed study of old mining maps of Sala has revealed multiple large open stopes up to 20 metres wide and 100 metres long were mined targeting high-grade silver-lead veins; and
- Re-interpretation of historic data suggests that one hole targeting the Prince lode has likely intersected the down-plunge extension of the Sala deposit at approximately 100-150 metres below old workings.
The company has signed an agreement with Tist Limestone to allow drilling from surface and underground operations.
Several new untested targets have been identified by Alicanto to the southwest of Sala as a result of structural folding of the same stratigraphic sequence as the Sala orebody and the Prince mineralisation.