Variscan Mines intersects new high-grade zinc lens at San Jose
Phase 3 of drilling by Variscan Mines (ASX: VAR) at the historic San Jose zinc mine in Spain has defined a new lower lens of high-grade zinc mineralisation.
San Jose, part of the company’s Novales-Udias project in the Cantabrian region of northern Spain, is just 9km from the Reocin mine, which up until its closure in 2003 was one of the world’s largest zinc producers.
Reocin operated for about 100 years.
This latest drilling below the La Catedral has produced several high-grade hits.
These include 21.85 metres at 8.5% zinc and 0.38% lead, including a higher-grade interval of 18.05m at 10.22% zinc and 0.46% lead.
Expanded drilling in early 2024
Other intersections returned 23.35m at 7.09% zinc and 1.72% lead; 14.55m at 5.81% zinc and 0.9% lead; and 10.3m at 5.09% zinc and 0.19% lead.
Drilling will continue through to the end of the year.
Last week Variscan reported that a mine re-start study has been commissioned and is due to be delivered in the March quarter of 2024.
San Jose closed in 1999.
Meanwhile, the company expects to expand drilling in that same quarter and reports that applications for surface drilling permits are well advanced.
Potential to resume underground mining
Variscan says that its ongoing drilling program has continued to expand and in-fill zones of high-grade zinc within the Central zone of the San Jose mine.
The new, lower La Catedral lens further confirms the multi-layered nature of the deposit, the company adds.
These new assay results will be included in the upcoming mineral resource estimate.
Also, the discovery of the lower lens opens up the potential for future resumption of underground mining.
Historical drill hole data
Meanwhile, metallurgical test work is continuing alongside the underground drilling.
The drilling by Variscan is in addition to data from 335 historic drill holes at San Jose.
Managing director and chief executive officer Stewart Dickson says the drilling program will, at a minimum, continue until the end of the year.
“Using our own portable rig and staff, we are able to conduct this program efficiently, cost effectively and with a high degree of flexibility,” he added.
Spain has more than 2,700 operating mines.