Pachuca Real Silver/Gold Project - Mexico
Solitario's 100%-owned Pachuca Real project encompasses approximately 19,000 hectares of mineral rights in and around the famed Pachuca silver-gold mining district. Historic production from the Pachuca district totals approximately 1.4 billion ounces of silver and over 7.0 million ounces of gold, making it one of the largest historic silver-gold districts in the world. Veins in the historic district were very continuous over long distances along strike and down dip, and generally averaged 1.0 to 5.0 meters in thickness. A map of the project area can be viewed here.
The Pachuca Norte land package encompasses parts of the old Pachuca district, but more importantly, covers the most prospective extensions of the district to the north, northwest, and east. Prior to Solitario’s acquisition of the mineral rights, the entire land package had been held by the Mexican government from 1947 to 1990, and then sold to a private Mexican company that controlled the claims until recently. During this 58-year period only a limited amount of exploration was conducted.
Shortly after Solitario acquired the majority of its land position in early 2006, it formed a joint venture with Newmont Mining from 2006-2008 and then Buenaventura from 2010-2011. Newmont identified 38 high-quality drill targets consisting of high-grade silver-gold veins that are distributed over a geographic area measuring 20 kilometers long and ten kilometers wide. Newmont drilled 19 holes totaling 7,873 meters. Buenaventura expanded upon Newmont’s work and drilled 38 holes totaling 13,489 meters. Hochschild has indicated that its initial 12-month work program will be focused upon testing a number of these already well-defined drill targets.
In March 2013, Solitario signed a binding Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Minera Hochschild México S.A. de C.V., a 100%-owned subsidiary of Hochschild Mining plc (LSE: HOCM.L / HOC LN) ("Hochschild"), on Solitario's Pachuca Norte (formerly called “Pachuca Real”) silver-gold project in central Mexico.
Terms of the Venture Agreement
Per the terms of the binding LOI, Hochschild can earn a 51% interest in the project by spending a total $10.0 million on exploration over a five-year period. The initial 12-month work program of $1.5 million is a firm commitment. The following table presents the entire five-year work commitment schedule:
Hochschild will have the right to earn an additional 19% (total 70%) by completing a positive feasibility study for the project. Both parties are currently working on drafting and signing a definitive agreement. Upon signing a definitive agreement, expected in approximately 30 days, Hochschild will become project manager, and will have the right to terminate the agreement at any time following its firm initial work commitment.
The 15 best drill hole intercepts from 10 separate prospect areas are presented in the table below.
About Hochschild Mining plc
Hochschild Mining plc is a leading precious metals company listed on the London Stock Exchange (HOC.L) with a primary focus on the exploration, mining, processing and sale of silver and gold. Hochschild has almost fifty years' experience in the mining of precious metal epithermal vein deposits and currently operates four underground epithermal vein mines, three located in southern Peru and one in southern Argentina. Hochschild also has numerous long-term projects throughout the Americas.