VANCOUVER, British Columbia – January 5, 2021 – Silvercorp Metals Inc. (“Silvercorp” or the “Company”) (TSX/NYSE American: SVM) is pleased to report assay results from its 2020 exploration program at the HPG mine, Ying Mining District, Henan Province, China. In total, 13,515 metres (“m”) from 150 diamond drill holes, including 129 underground holes and 21 surface holes, have been completed from July 1, 2019 to October 31, 2020. Assay results for 140 holes have been received, with 69 holes intercepting mineralization. Nine rigs have been drilling at the HPG mine since July 2020. In addition to infill drill holes targeting areas of known sub-vertical silver-lead-zinc-gold veins previously believed to be uneconomic, the program discovered vein structures with relatively high gold, low silver-lead-zinc grade mineralization, such as:
- Hole ZK0912 intercepted a new vein with a 1.03 m interval grading 4.82 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold (“Au”), 44 g/t silver (“Ag”) and low lead (“Pb”) and zinc (“Zn”).
- Hole ZK1733 intercepted vein H11E with a 0.98 m interval grading 3.64 g/t Au and low Ag, Pb and Zn.
- Hole ZK1920 intercepted vein H13 with a 3.88 m interval grading 3.18 g/t Au, 52 g/t Ag and low Pb and Zn.
- Hole ZK2723 intercepted vein H10_1 with a 1.05 m interval grading 6.41 g/t Au and low Ag, Pb and Zn.
The drill hole and tunnel results have shown that mineralization at the HPG mine developed in at least two phases, an earlier phase of gold-bearing structures and later stage silver-lead-zinc mineralization. In many cases, the silver-lead-zinc mineralization has overprinted the earlier gold-bearing structures, while there are still some gold-bearing structures that have not been overprinted and were overlooked before. Future exploration will investigate such structures with less obvious silver-lead-zinc mineralization overprinting.
Highlights of selected drill hole intercepts (please see Table 1 for details):
- Surface Hole ZK2537 intersected three zones:
- 2.01 m interval (vein H16_1) from 244.06 m, grading 3.01 g/t Au, 20 g/t Ag, 0.5% Pb and 1.14% Zn;
- 0.81 m interval (vein H15) from 319.52 m, grading 5.18 g/t Au, 16 g/t Ag, 0.28% Pb and 0.16% Zn; and
- 13.13 m interval (vein H40E, confirmed by an underground tunnel to have a true width of 4.38 m) from 372.70 m, grading 2.84 g/t Au, 259 g/t Ag, 12.22% Pb and 1.06% Zn, including 1.58 m from 374.44 m, grading 17.08 g/t Au, 301 g/t Ag, 18.66% Pb, and 0.62% Zn;
- Surface Hole ZK3812 intersected a 0.96 m interval (vein H17) from 182.14 m grading 4.71 g/t Au, 1,261 g/t Ag, 1.27% Pb, and 0.07% Zn;
- Surface Hole ZK4610 intersected a 0.85 m interval (vein H15) from 251.77 m, grading 1.13 g/t Au, 274 g/t Ag, 30.82% Pb, 0.02% Zn, including a 0.50 m interval from 251.77 m, grading 462 g/t Ag, 51.90% Pb, 0.02% Zn, 1.85 g/t Au and 1.20% Cu;
- Surface Hole ZK2342 intersected a 2.09 m interval (vein H16) from 291.69 m, grading 8.93 g/t Au, 24 g/t Ag, 0.54% Pb, and 1.15% Zn, including a 1.15 m interval from 291.69 m grading 15.7 g/t Au, 43 g/t Ag, 0.94% Pb, and 2.07% Zn;
- Surface Hole ZK1958 intersected three zones:
- 2.00 m interval (vein H14) from 32.06 m, grading 2.17 g/t Au, 59 g/t Ag, 3.52% Pb, and 3.16% Zn;
- 2.10 m interval (vein H16) from 40.08 m, grading 1.48 g/t Au, 68 g/t Ag, 8.93% Pb, and 2.84% Zn; and
- 1.26 m interval (vein H16_3) from 66.46 m, grading 0.83 g/t Au, 98 g/t Ag, 12.26% Pb, and 14.20% Zn.
Gently dipping vein structures similar to those found at the LMW and LME mines have also been discovered at the HPG mine. These veins consist of quartz and calcite veinlets with quartz-calcite-pyrite alteration and are generally dipping to the northwest at dips of around 10 degrees, with true thickness ranging between 0.5 m and 2 m. Drill hole ZK15N02 intersected a 10.05 m interval (true width unknown) grading 20 g/t Ag, 0.12% Pb, 0.17% Zn, and 1.62 g/t Au. Based on the contact with the hangingwall and footwall, the intercept appears to be a sub-horizontal vein structure with a relatively elevated gold grade.
In addition to drilling, a total of 8,684 m of exploration tunnels have been developed at the HPG mine during the period. These exploration tunnels (comprising drifting, cross-cutting and raising) were driven along and across major mineralized vein structures to upgrade the drill-defined mineral resources and test for new parallel and splay structures, and are summarized in the following table:
Highlights of selected mineralized zones exposed in the drift tunnels:
- Drift Tunnel PD3-H5-380-3MW exposed mineralization 40 m long and 0.57 m wide (true width) grading 0.20 g/t Au, 857 g/t Ag, 5.86% Pb, and 6.85% Zn within vein structure H5E;
- Drift Tunnel PD3-H5-340-8SYM exposed mineralization 45 m long and 0.75 m wide (true width) grading 2.60 g/t Au, 297 g/t Ag, 3.21% Pb, and 4.52% Zn within vein structure H5E;
- Drift Tunnel PD2-H15-570-10NYM exposed mineralization 243 m long and 1.32 m wide (true width) grading 0.57 g/t Au, 111 g/t Ag, 5.60% Pb, and 0.42% Zn within vein structure H15; and
- Drift Tunnel PD3-H15W-380-8SYM exposed mineralization 155 m long and 0.60 m wide (true width) grading 4.23 g/t Au, 97 g/t Ag, 3.37% Pb, and 1.86% Zn within vein structure H15W.
Drill cores are NQ size. Drill core samples, limited by apparent mineralization contacts or shear/alteration contacts, were split into halves by saw cutting. The half cores are stored in the Company’s core shacks for future reference and checks, and the other half core samples are shipped in securely sealed bags to the Chengde Huakan 514 Geology and Minerals Test and Research Institute in Chengde, Hebei Province, China, 226km northeast of Beijing, the Zhengzhou Nonferrous Exploration Institute Lab in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, and SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., Tianjin, China. All the three labs are ISO9000 certified analytical labs. For analysis, the sample is dried and crushed to minus 1mm and then split to a 200-300g subsample which is further pulverized to minus 200 mesh. Two subsamples are prepared from the pulverized sample. One is digested with aqua regia for gold analysis with atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), and the other is digested with two-acids for analysis of silver, lead, zinc and copper with AAS.
Channel samples are collected along sample lines perpendicular to the mineralized vein structure in exploration tunnels. Spacing between sampling lines is typically 5m along strike. Both the mineralized vein and the altered wall rocks are cut by continuous chisel chipping. Sample length ranges from 0.2 m to more than 1.0 m, depending on the width of the mineralized vein and the mineralization type. Channel samples are prepared and assayed with AAS at Silvercorp’s mine laboratory (Ying Lab) located at the mill complex in Luoning County, Henan Province, China. The Ying Lab is officially accredited by the Quality and Technology Monitoring Bureau of Henan Province and is qualified to provide analytical services. The channel samples are dried, crushed and pulverized. A 200 g sample of minus 160 mesh is prepared for assay. A duplicate sample of minus 1mm is made and kept in the laboratory archives. Gold is analysed by fire assay with AAS finish, and silver, lead, zinc and copper are assayed by two-acid digestion with AAS finish.
A routine quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedure is adopted to monitor the analytical quality at each lab. Certified reference materials (CRMs), pulp duplicates and blanks are inserted into each batch of lab samples. QA/QC data at the lab are attached to the assay certificates for each batch of samples.
The Company maintains its own comprehensive QA/QC program to ensure best practices in sample preparation and analysis of the exploration samples. Project geologists regularly insert CRM, field duplicates and blanks to each batch of 30 core samples to monitor the sample preparation and analysis procedures at the labs. The analytical quality of the labs is further evaluated with external checks by sending approximately 3-5% of the pulp samples to higher level labs to check for lab bias. Data from both the Company’s and the labs’ QA/QC programs are reviewed on a timely basis by project geologists.
Guoliang Ma, P. Geo., Manager of Exploration and Resource of the Company, is the Qualified Person for Silvercorp under NI 43-101 and has reviewed and given consent to the technical information contained in this news release.
Silvercorp is a profitable Canadian mining company producing silver, lead and zinc metals in concentrates from mines in China. The Company’s goal is to continuously create healthy returns to shareholders through efficient management, organic growth and the acquisition of profitable projects. Silvercorp balances profitability, social and environmental relationships, employees’ wellbeing, and sustainable development. For more information, please visit our website at www.silvercorp.ca.
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