TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/14/13 -- Antofagasta Gold Inc. ("Antofagasta" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: AN) has received drill results from its initial drill program at the Company's wholly-owned Capricornio Property ("Capricornio"), located approximately 80 kilometres northwest from the El Penon Gold Mine (Yamana Gold) and 20km west from Xstrata's producing Lomas Bayas Mine.
The Capricornio project is under option from Sociedad Quimica y Mineral de Chile, Chile's largest potash, lithium, iodine and nitrates producer. The Capricornio project is two wheel drive road accessible, 7 km from a power source and is located approximately 1,020 metres above sea level.
Initial drilling at Capricornio was designed to confirm historical near-surface gold results by SQM along 3 of over 6 exposed north-south epithermal gold-bearing quartz veins on surface. Highlights of the exploration campaign are as follows:
- Antofagasta has confirmed a cumulative of 20 linear kilometres of gold - bearing low sulphidation epithermal vein strike, with individual mineralized veins having strike lengths between 500 metres and 2.0 kilometres. - A ground magnetic survey completed to the north of the exposed vein system indicates another 3 to 6 kilometres of potential host vein structure strike below a shallow alluvial cover. - The initial 9 drill holes were designed to test near-surface mineralization and verify historical results, to a maximum depth of 150 metres from surface. - 8 out of 9 intercepts returned a weighted average grade of 4.54 gpt Au/equivalent over 4.13 metres with a drill intercept range between 2 and 17 metres. - The 9 drill holes were spread out covering over 400 metres of the cumulative 20 kilometres of known gold bearing vein strike; results from additional holes are pending. - The average gold equivalent per drill hole was 94% Au gold and 6% silver. - All high grade intersections lie within, or flanked, by larger low grade, 0.1 to over 1.0 grams Au per tonne halos in hydrothermal breccias between 17 and 44 metre core length.
Veins trending north-south or near-north-south are consistently shown to be gold bearing. The east-west veins appear to be later extensional structures and are not considered priority drill targets. The drilling conducted to date has confirmed a portion of the historical near-surface drill results and defines the most prospective sections for the next phase of drilling.
To view the map of the project, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/853177MAP.pdf.
The phase II drill program will target mineralization by a series of "fences" at 75 metre vertical intervals along the same section down to a minimum depth of at least 350 metres below surface. This will allow for effective exploration of the large system, testing for zoning and plunge direction at various locations in the overall target area.
Only trace amounts of base metal mineralization has been identified. Veins generally show low sulphide content with intense oxidation to a minimum depth of 150 metres from surface. Limited fluid inclusion studies conducted to date indicate an emplacement temperature below 300 degrees Celsius and low salinities, indicating the surface expression of the veins is towards the top the system. The veins are considered low- to mid-sulphidation veins.