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In other news from Colombia, Eco Oro Minerals TSX:EOM released its first set of assays since November 2011. The company has sunk 56 infill holes on its Angostura deposit since then, totalling nearly 23,000 metres. Some highlights from the batch released February 6 include:
- 7.39 g/t gold and 11.32 g/t silver over 6 metres
- 16.87 g/t gold and 0.6 g/t silver over 3 metres
- 14.15 g/t gold and 3 g/t silver over 2 metres
- 3.91 g/t gold and 0.58 g/t silver over 26 metres
- 3.64 g/t gold and 15.28 g/t silver over 10.5 metres
- 15.9 g/t gold and 173.53 g/t silver over 1.7 metres
- 26.53 g/t gold and 18.15 g/t silver over 2.6 metres
- 2.56 g/t gold and 12.59 g/t silver over 28.6 metres.
True thickness is estimated between 67% and 92%. The top-most intercept started at 4 metres while the deepest stopped at a down-hole depth of 486 metres.
The results, the company stated, “confirm higher gold grades in the infill areas than was encountered from the wider-spaced drilling previously completed.”
The assays follow last month’s announcement that boundaries for a new park in northeastern Colombia should have a limited effect on Angostura. The federal mining authority had considered declaring about 54% of Eco Oro’s property as a páramo (a protected ecosystem) and a regional park. On January 17 the company announced that the park boundaries had been set, leaving about 90% of Angostura’s 215 hectares in the clear. The company stated that its “initial assessment indicates that the officially declared boundaries do not impede development of the Angostura project.”
Falling outside the park is approximately 3 million gold-equivalent ounces, or 89% of Angostura’s indicated resource, and 2.3 million gold-equivalent ounces, or 96% of the inferred category. “Senior government officials have recognized that responsible mining and environmental protection can coexist for the common benefit of the Santander region,” said Eco Oro president/CEO Joao Carrelo at the time. The resource estimate dates back to February 2012. An update is scheduled for Q1 2013.
Angostura’s February 2012 PEA used a 5% discount to estimate a post-tax NPV of $334 million and a post-tax IRR of 14.8%. The capex came to $529 million for an underground mine with payback in 5.5 years and a lifespan of 10 years. The company had planned its pre-feasibility study for Q1 release, subject to declaration of the páramo and park boundaries.
Eco Oro shares opened February 6 at $1.30, three cents above their previous close, then hit a low of $1.26 before nudging back to $1.27.
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