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Ascendant Resources Begins Drilling at the High-Grade Lagoa Salgada Polymetallic VMS Project in Portugal

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TORONTO, Sept. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ascendant Resources Inc. (TSX:ASND) (OTCQX:ASDRF, FRA: 2D9)) ("Ascendant" or the "Company") has started its exploration program at the high-grade Lagoa Salgada polymetallic volcanic massive sulphide Project ("Lagoa Salgada" or the "Project) located on the Iberian Pyrite Belt ("IPB") in Portugal.

Figure 1:
Plan view of the 2018 planned drill holes



Figure 2:
Overview of the Lagoa Salgada and Rio de Moinhos Sectors



The exploration program includes 22 diamond drill holes with a total of 7,750 metres divided over three primary areas: the Main Zone, the Stockwork Zone and the new Central Zone. The drill program is expected to rapidly expand the known deposits and is targeted to be completed by the end of the current year.

In addition to drilling, the exploration program includes downhole geophysics, relogging and assaying of historical drilling in the area and a complete structural reinterpretation of the property in the context of the overall regional geology. Given the structural controls seen at similar deposits within the IPB, the latter will aid in the development of the exploration program over the entire land package.

"We are thrilled to start our exploration program at Lagoa Salgada," stated Chris Buncic, President & CEO of Ascendant. "There is a strong sense of optimism by our team, as well as by leading industry experts engaged since our acquisition, that there is good potential to grow the project substantially, very quickly. We hope to join the ranks of a number of other well-established mining companies that have realized transformational growth on the Iberian Pyrite Belt."

He continued, "Despite already hosting a substantial Mineral Resource, this will be the most comprehensive program completed on the Project to date. We are very encouraged by the historical drilling success rate and large resource-to-drilling ratio this Project has achieved thus far. We look forward to providing the market with drilling results over the course of the next several months."

As outlined in the recent Technical Report, Lagoa Salgada currently has 5.84 million tonnes of Indicated Resources at 8.88% ZnEq and 2.01 million tonnes of Inferred Resources at 7.82% ZnEq in the LS-1 Deposit and 2.22 million tonnes at 4.8% ZnEq in the LS-1 Central Deposit. The Lagoa Salgada Project represents a potentially high-grade, polymetallic zinc-lead-copper exploration opportunity in a low risk, established and prolific jurisdiction. The Project covers 10,700 hectares with 17 gravimetric targets identified, with only the LS-1 and LS-1 Central areas having been significantly tested.

Targeted Drilling Campaign Details

The Company's planned drill program includes 22 diamond drill holes for an estimated total of 7,750 metres divided over three primary areas. 9 holes totalling approximately 3,000 metres, are planned for the Main Zone (LS-1 resource area) and will focus on rapidly expanding this high-grade massive sulphide target. 8 holes totalling approximately 3,400 metres are planned for the Stockwork Zone (LS-1 Central resource area) to further delineate the size of the known stockwork mineralization. A further 5 holes totalling approximately 1,350 metres will be drilled in the newly named Central Zone, located between the Main and Stockwork Zones, to explore for displaced extensions of both the Main and Stockwork Zones. See Figure 1 below for the planned drill hole locations. Ascendant anticipates that this focused drilling program has the potential to materially increase the size of the known Mineral Resources at the Project, highlighting its potential to be the next major, minable, discovery within the IPB. Drilling has already commenced, with two collar drill rigs mobilized at site and the first diamond drill hole underway.

As part of the drilling program, the Company plans to use the downhole geophysical survey results to help better define the dimensions of the mineralization to assist with future exploration plans, and to undertake further specific gravity surveys and initial metallurgical testing to support the rapid advancement of the project.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/71a5828a-cab4-449e-83b2-72d8dbe71415

Relogging & Assaying of Historical Drilling Rio de Moinhos Sector

In addition to drilling on the known sulphide targets in the Main and Stockwork Zones, the Company also plans to relog the historical drilling conducted on the Rio de Moinhos Sector in the eastern section of the property. This area hosts several significant anomalies based upon historical gravimetrical studies. Several of the historical drill holes were reported as having intersections of massive sulphide mineralization, however, planned holes on the border of the targets were never completed. As such, the Company believes this area warrants further review. Note, these targets represent just a fraction of the gravimetric anomalies to be followed up on the property.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8accfd81-a7b2-4cf1-be9d-360f1fa75879

Structural Reinterpretation

The Company also plans to undertake a significant geologic reinterpretation of Lagoa Salgada which will help guide future exploration at both known deposits and additional historic targets as well as potentially identity new targets. A gravimetric geophysical survey of the property will be carried out utilizing a tighter resolution than historically used. This methodology has proven to be the most successful within the Iberian Pyrite Belt and was used in the discovery of the Lagoa Salgada deposits.

The Company estimates the entire exploration program will cost approximately US$2.2 million

Mineral Resource Estimate for Lagoa Salagada

Tables 1 and 2 below show the current Mineral Resource Estimate for the Lagoa Salgada Project. The Mineral Resources are currently confined to the Main and Stockwork Zones only. As shown, the current Mineral Resource is already significant in both size and grade, highlighting the potential of this Project to rapidly advance towards being defined as a potential mineable deposit. Both the defined Main (LS-1) and Stockwork (LS-1 Central) deposits remain open in all directions, providing management with the confidence that a modest drill program has the potential to extend mineralization along strike and at depth and significantly increase resources.

Table 1: Mineral Resources for the LS-1 Deposit at a 3.5% ZnEq cut-off grade – Effective date January 5, 2018

 

Classification
Tonnage
(‘000 t)
Zn
(%)
Pb
(%)
Cu
(%)
Ag
(gpt)
Au
(gpt)
ZnEq
(%)
Indicated 5,840 2.79 2.96 0.32 53.54 0.78 8.88
Inferred 2,010 2.44 2.80 0.24 47.37 0.65 7.82

(1)  Block matrix is 10mx10mx10m
(2)  Grades are estimated by ordinary kriging interpolation
(3)  A cut-off grade of 3.5% ZnEq was used to report the Mineral Resource for the LS-1 Deposit
(4)  Zinc equivalent metal grade (ZnEq%) was calculated as follows: 
      ZnEq% = ((Zn Grade * 25.35) + (Pb Grade * 23.15) + (Cu Grade * 67.24) + (Au Grade * 40.19) + (Ag Grade * 0.62)) / 25.35
      Metal prices used: US$1.15/lb Zn, US$1.05/lb Pb, $3.05/lb Cu, US$19.40/oz Ag, and 1,250/oz Au 
      No recoveries were applied
(5)  Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability
(6)  Shown on a 100% basis. Ascendant holds a 25% interest in Redcorp, the operating subsidiary which holds an 85% interest in the Lagoa Salgada Project

                         

Table 2: Mineral Resources for the LS-1 Central Deposit at a 3.5% ZnEq cut-off grade – Effective date January 5, 2018

 

Classification
Tonnage
(‘000 t)
Zn
(%)
Pb
(%)
Cu
(%)
Ag
(gpt)
Au
(gpt)
ZnEq
(%)
Inferred 2,220 1.91 1.11 0.51 17.76 0.07 4.80

(1)  Block Matrix is 10mx10mx10m
(2)  Grades are estimated by inverse distance squared interpolation
(3)  A cut-off grade of 3.5% ZnEq was used to report the Mineral Resource for the LS-1 Central Deposit
(4)  Zinc equivalent metal grade (ZnEq%) was calculated as follows: 
      ZnEq% = ((Zn Grade * 25.35) + (Pb Grade * 23.15) + (Cu Grade * 67.24) + (Au Grade * 40.19) + (Ag Grade * 0.62)) / 25.35 
      Metal prices used: US$1.15/lb Zn, US$1.05/lb Pb, $3.05/lb Cu, US$19.40/oz Ag, and 1,250/oz Au 
      No recoveries were applied 
(5)  Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability
(6)  Shown on a 100% basis. Ascendant holds a 25% interest in Redcorp, the operating subsidiary which holds an 85% interest in the Lagoa Salgada Project

Qualified Persons

The scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Robert Campbell, P.Geo., Director to Ascendant, and by Paul Daigle, P.Geo., Senior Associate of AGP Mining Consultants Inc. Mr. Daigle is responsible for the Technical Report and Mineral Resource Estimate for the Lagoa Salgada Project and is independent of Ascendant. Both gentlemen are a "Qualified Person" as defined by NI 43-101.

About Ascendant Resources Inc.

Ascendant is a Toronto-based mining company focused on its 100%-owned producing El Mochito zinc, silver and lead mine in west-central Honduras, which has been in production since 1948. After acquiring the mine in December 2016, Ascendant implemented a rigorous optimization program aimed at restoring the historic potential of the El Mochito mine. In 2017, the Company successfully completed the operational turnaround it set out to achieve with sustained production at record levels and profitability restored. The Company now remains focused on cost reduction and further operational improvements to drive robust free cash flow in 2018 and beyond. Ascendant is also focused on expanding and upgrading known resources through extensive exploration work for near-term growth. With a significant land package of 11,000 hectares and an abundance of historical data there are several regional targets providing longer term exploration upside which could lead to further resource growth. The Company is also engaged in the evaluation of producing and development stage mineral resource opportunities, on an ongoing basis. The Company's common shares are principally listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ASND". For more information on Ascendant Resources, please visit our website at www.ascendantresources.com.

Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For further information please contact:

Katherine Pryde
Director, Communications & Investor Relations
Tel: 888-723-7413
info@ascendantresources.com

Cautionary Notes to US Investors

The information concerning the Company's mineral properties has been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI-43-101") adopted by the Canadian Securities Administrators. In accordance with NI-43-101, the terms "mineral reserves", "proven mineral reserve", "probable mineral reserve", "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are defined in the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (the "CIM") Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves adopted by the CIM Council on May 10, 2014. While the terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are recognized and required by NI 43-101, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC") does not recognize them. The reader is cautioned that, except for that portion of mineral resources classified as mineral reserves, mineral resources do not have demonstrated economic value. Inferred mineral resources have a high degree of uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be economically or legally mined. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of any inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Therefore, the reader is cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource exists, that it can be economically or legally mined, or that it will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Likewise, you are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a measured or indicated mineral resource will ever be upgraded into mineral reserves.

Readers should be aware that the Company's financial statements (and information derived therefrom) have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board and are subject to Canadian auditing and auditor independence standards. IFRS differs in some respects from United States generally accepted accounting principles and thus the Company's financial statements (and information derived therefrom) may not be comparable to those of United States companies.

Forward Looking Information
    
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward-looking information. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "budget", "guidance", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "strategy", "target", "intends", "objective", "goal", "understands", "anticipates" and "believes" (and variations of these or similar words) and statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" "occur" or "be achieved" or "will be taken" (and variations of these or similar expressions). Forward-looking information is also identifiable in statements of currently occurring matters which may continue in the future, such as "providing the Company with", "is currently", "allows/allowing for", "will advance" or "continues to" or other statements that may be stated in the present tense with future implications. All of the forward-looking information in this news release is qualified by this cautionary note.

Forward-looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the exploration activities and the results of such activities at the Lagoa Salgada Project and el Mochito Mine. Forward-looking information is based on, among other things, opinions, assumptions, estimates and analyses that, while considered reasonable by Ascendant at the date the forward-looking information is provided, inherently are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results and events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. The material factors or assumptions that Ascendant identified and were applied by Ascendant in drawing conclusions or making forecasts or projections set out in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, the success of the exploration activities at Lagoa Salgada Project and el Mochito Mine , and other events that may affect Ascendant's ability to develop its project; and no significant and continuing adverse changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets.

The risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information may include, but are not limited to, risks generally associated with the mining industry, such as economic factors (including future commodity prices, currency fluctuations, energy prices and general cost escalation), uncertainties related to the development and operation of Ascendant's projects, dependence on key personnel and employee and union relations, risks related to political or social unrest or change, rights and title claims, operational risks and hazards, including unanticipated environmental, industrial and geological events and developments and the inability to insure against all risks, failure of plant, equipment, processes, transportation and other infrastructure to operate as anticipated, compliance with government and environmental regulations, including permitting requirements and anti-bribery legislation, volatile financial markets that may affect Ascendant's ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, the failure to obtain required approvals or clearances from government authorities on a timely basis, uncertainties related to the geology, continuity, grade and estimates of mineral reserves and resources, and the potential for variations in grade and recovery rates, uncertain costs of reclamation activities, tax refunds, hedging transactions, as well as the risks discussed in Ascendant's most recent Annual Information Form on file with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com.

Should one or more risk, uncertainty, contingency, or other factor materialize, or should any factor or assumption prove incorrect, actual results could vary materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking information. Accordingly, the reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Ascendant does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information after the date of this news release or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable law. 

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