VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 28, 2020 — Silvercorp Metals Inc. (“Silvercorp” or the “Company”) is pleased to report that a drill program targeting gold (“Au”) mineralization is underway at the LMW, LME and TLP mines within the Ying Mining District, Henan Province, China.
Silvercorp has previously reported limited gold assay results in news releases dated January 4, 2011, January 10, 2011, January 26, 2012, February 13, 2012, August 20, 2012, January 31, 2013 and February 19, 2014 for the LMW, LME and TLP mines, but as the focus was on mining silver-lead-zinc veins the characterization of gold mineralization was poorly understood. As such, many gold-bearing intercept results from drilling over the years have never been released as they do not fit into any known silver-lead-zinc veins that are mined by the Company.
Recent tunneling programs have exposed gently-dipping quartz-ankerite-sulfide shear zones with high gold and copper values, such as LM22 and LM26 at the LMW mine and LM4E2 at the LME mine. The photos below show the exposed LM22 structure from the LMW mine of a massive quartz-ankerite-sulfide vein composed of 19% Cu and 20 g/t Au over 0.3 metres (“m”) within a silicification shear zone. This clearly shows that the gold-mineralized, sub-horizontal, quartz-ankerite-sulfide shear zones were cut and over-printed by the later stage sub-vertical silver-lead-zinc veins that Silvercorp has been mining.
Initial sample results from these tunnels and decline are listed in Table 1. LM22, from the decline at 805 m elevation, extends 30 m long with a 0.43 m sample width and an average grade of 13.95 g/t Au, 2.2% Cu and 26 g/t Ag. Vein LM26 also contains high copper and gold values.
Table 1: Au mineralized zones exposed by drift tunneling at the LMW and LME mines
With the discovery of the sub-horizontal nature of gold-related shear zones, the Company has re-examined its database for drill intercepts with gold grades in earlier drilling programs. Table 2 lists the assay results of the drill holes with gold values higher than 2.0 g/t that have not been released before. Most of these gold carrying intercepts were not mined as many tunnels advanced horizontally and did not hit these sub-horizontal shear zones.
The intercepts from Table 2 are relatively narrow, which is mostly due to selective sampling techniques as current exploration in the Ying Mining District is targeting narrow veins. Logging of the drill core shows much wider quartz-ankerite-epidote-k-feldspar-biotite-sulfide alteration, but only narrow samples were taken in most occasions.
From Table 2, sub-horizontal shear zone LM22 was intercepted by three sub-vertical drill holes ZKX0308, ZKX0310 and ZKX0309 near 840 m elevation. ZKX0308 has a sample width of 0.28 m grading 22.65 g/t Au and 19.8% Cu, ZKX0310 has a sample width of 0.50 m grading 75.7 g/t Au and 0.35% Cu, and ZKX0309 has a sample width of 0.28 m grading 63.5 g/t Au and 0.32% Cu. ZKX0309 also intercepted multiple sub-horizontal shear zones, including LM26 with a sample width of 0.61 m grading 4.7 g/t Au at 662 m elevation, and an unknown shear zone at 403 m elevation with a sample width of 0.91 m grading 2.55 g/t Au.
LM26 was also intercepted by drill hole ZKX0306 at 625 m elevation with a sample width of 0.57 m grading 22.35 g/t Au.
Highlights of selected drill hole interceptions with higher Au values:
- Hole ZKX10505 has a sample width 0.51m from 397.94 m to 398.45 m, grading 25.42 g/t Au and 15 g/t Ag from LMW;
- Hole ZKL5033 has a sample width of 0.55m grading 29.5 g/t Au from LME
- Hole ZK-Ⅲ-1124 has a sample width of 1.22 m grading 9.17 g/t Au, 314 g/t Ag and 2.12% Pb from TLP;
- Hole ZKT05S35 has a sample width of 2.0 m grading 3.92 g/t Au, 2765 g/t Ag, 4.95% Pb and 0.88% Cu from TLP;
- Hole ZKT2901 has a sample width of 2.54 m grading 3.6 g/t Au, 266 g/t Ag, 8.55% Pb and 3.52% Cu from TLP.
Table 2: Selected drill holes with higher Au values
Currently, the historical drill cores are being re-logged and sampled for the alteration zones not previously sampled and assayed. Meanwhile, the Company will focus its ongoing drilling program to target gold bearing zones intercepted by the above drill holes with a total of ten drill rigs at the LMW, TLP and LME mines (three underground rigs and two surface rigs for LMW, three underground rigs for TLP, and two underground rigs for LME) with the intention of continuous sampling of all alteration zones to test for the existence of broad gold mineralization zones.
Drill cores are NQ size. Drill core samples, limited by apparent mineralization contact or shear/alteration contact, were split into halves by saw cutting. The half cores are stored in the Company’s core shacks for future reference and checking, and the other half core samples are shipped in security-sealed bags to the Chengde Huakan 514 Geology and Minerals Test and Research Institute in Chengde, Hebei Province, China, 226 km northeast of Beijing, and the Zhengzhou Nonferrous Exploration Institute Lab in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. Both 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 with continuous chisel chipping. Sample length ranges from 0.2m to more than 1m, 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 200g 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 lab batch of 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 about 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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