VANCOUVER, Oct. 12 /CNW/ - Argentex Mining Corporation (TSX-V: ATX, OTCBB: AGXM) is pleased to announce that its 2009-2010 exploration and engineering program has commenced in Santa Cruz province, Argentina. This multi-property program is scheduled to include drill testing, trenching and a combination of geochemistry, airborne and ground geophysics. Drilling at Pinguino is expected to total 15,000 meters (49,212 feet), with the initial phase designed to test and expand near-surface oxidized silver and gold mineralization. In addition, metallurgical samples are being collected from oxide phases of three different vein types and the preliminary economic assessment (scoping study) of Pinguino has commenced.
"The excellent results of our first mineral resource estimate have spurred us to step up the intensity of exploration, not only at Pinguino but also on our other Santa Cruz properties, such as Condor, Cerro Contreras and CVS, which, like Pinguino, is also located along the Tranquilo trend," said Ken Hicks, President of Argentex. "As we advance Pinguino towards our ultimate goal of production, we also intend to carry out more extensive target-definition exploration work on our other significant properties in Santa Cruz. We expect our pipeline of developing properties to continue to generate and reveal new mineral potential in this very prospective mineral province."
To date, the majority of drilling at Pinguino has focused on primary silver-zinc-indium sulphide mineralization, which begins at a depth of approximately 40 meters (131.2 feet) below surface. A zone of oxidized silver-gold mineralization occurs between the surface and the primary sulphide mineralization. This shallow precious-metal mineralization remains largely untested by drilling.
The initial phase of this new Pinguino drill program is designed to expand and define the near-surface silver and gold mineralization. Extensive drilling is proposed for high-grade silver and gold zones, including Marta Norte, which returned 8.8 meters (28.8 feet) of 1,095 grams per tonne (g/t) silver in hole P032; Marta Noroeste, which intersected 6.7 meters (21.9 feet) of 11 g/t gold in hole P196; and Yvonne, which revealed 30.6 g/t gold over 1.0 meters (3.2 feet) in hole P048.
Phase 1 drilling on the Condor property is scheduled to include approximately 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) of core drilling. The host rocks (Chon Aike Jurassic rhyolitic volcanics) are largely covered by overburden but contain an exposed epithermal vein outcrop with visible gold, which has never been trenched or drilled.
This first-ever drilling program at Condor is designed to test the high-grade gold and silver potential of a typical Santa Cruz epithermal vein system. Condor is located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Pinguino.
Magnetics are the most commonly used geophysical method for gold, diamond, platinum group metals and base metal exploration. Detailed ground magnetometry at Pinguino has directly contributed to the detection of associated mineralization and the mapping of large and local-scale faults and shear zones. Vein sulphide mineralization at Pinguino is fault related. A detailed survey of the entire 10,000-hectare (24,710-acre) Pinguino property using tightly spaced flight lines is proposed. Wider-spaced reconnaissance surveys have been designed for Condor, Cerro Contreras, CVS, Nuevo Oro, La Leona and Diamante.
Argentex owns 100% mineral rights of its entire portfolio of properties, including Pinguino.
Mapping, Geochemistry, Trenching, IP Geophysics
Geochemistry has proved to be extremely effective in targeting blind sulphide veins at Pinguino. Numerous clusters of widely spaced geochemical anomalies from previous work remain to be followed up with detailed sampling. The location of these anomalies could potentially pinpoint areas of follow-up mapping, trenching, IP geophysics and drilling.
Detailed mapping is proposed for the Condor project in advance of the initial phase of drilling. Potential follow-up geochemistry, trenching and IP geophysics on Cerro Contreras, CVS, Nuevo Oro, La Leona and Diamante properties will be determined from results of the airborne survey.
Pinguino Metallurgical Testing and Scoping Study
The Pinguino property contains a large vein field with more than 47 individual veins mapped to date. There are three different mineralizing pulses, each with a distinct chemistry and mineralogy. As well, the top 30 to 40 meters (98 to 131 feet) of each vein that has been exposed to the surface weathering is deleted in base metal sulphides but locally enriched in gold and silver. The first metallurgical testing program will determine initial possible recoveries of metals from each different type of mineralization.
Examples of each of the three dominant vein types (base-metal and indium-rich, silver-rich, and higher-temperature gold-enriched) are being targeted. Both supergene oxide and sulphide phases of each zone will be collected for separate analysis. Additional scoping mineralogical assessment is proposed to guide the metallurgical recovery tests and assist in explaining the recovery results. JK drop tests or BWI test to assess hardness or grinding index will be determined initially to assist scoping crushing and mill estimates.
The scoping study on the Pinguino project was recommended by the independent engineers who completed the mineral resource estimate for Pinguino. It will provide a preliminary overview of the projected economics of the Pinguino project and involves the compilation of generally accepted industry standard economic parameters into a variety of mining, milling, metallurgical and infrastructure scenarios for assessment.
Argentex's Pinguino property is located in Argentina's Patagonia region, within the Deseado Massif of Santa Cruz province. The 2006 discovery of silver-indium-zinc-lead-gold mineralization at Pinguino marked a major exploration milestone for the company. This was the first discovery of its kind in the region, unique in that it contains both silver-gold and indium-enriched base-metal mineralization. This mineralization is contained in multiple zones that remain open-ended along strike and to depth. Since 2006, exploration of base-metal-rich targets has expanded beyond the initial discoveries at Marta Centro and Yvonne and now encompasses 15 drill-tested veins from more than 47 veins mapped on the property to date. Argentex has drilled a total of 269 holes at Pinguino for a total of 30,028 meters (98,517 feet).
Indium, a significant component of Argentex's polymetallic discovery at Pinguino, is used in flat-panel (LCD, plasma) displays, and in leading-edge thin-film solar cell technology.
Pinguino is easily accessible, situated approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet) above sea level in low-relief topography. An existing system of all-weather roads provides year-round access to the property.
The majority of mineralized zones at Pinguino lie along the strike of the northwest-trending Tranquilo trend, which is a dominant northwest trending regional fault structure cutting the approximately 24,710-acre (10,000-hectare) property.
Samples selected for analysis are sent to Acme Analytical Laboratories' sample preparation lab in Mendoza, Argentina. From there sample pulps are sent to Santiago, Chile for fire assay gold analysis and to Vancouver, Canada for Group 1DX multi-element MS-ICP analysis. Samples with over-limit zinc, lead, silver and/or copper are reanalyzed using an ore-grade high detection limit 7AR analysis, also conducted in Vancouver. Acme Analytical Laboratories is an accredited ISO 9000:2001 full-service commercial laboratory with its head office in Vancouver. Referee analyses will be carried out by Alex Stewart (assayers) Argentina S.A. in Mendoza, Argentina. Argentex, Acme and Alex Stewart all maintain comprehensive and independent Quality Control/Quality Assurance programs.
Argentex Mining Corporation is a Delaware corporation. It is a junior mining company in the exploration stage with significant holdings in the Patagonia region of Argentina. It holds an undivided 100% interest in the mineral rights to the Pinguino property. In total, the company owns 100% mineral rights to more than 35 properties with approximately 307,981 acres (124,636 hectares) of prospective land located in the Santa Cruz and Rio Negro provinces of Argentina. Shares of Argentex common stock trade under the symbol AGXM on the OTCBB and on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ATX.
Exploration on the Pinguino property is being conducted under the supervision of Mr. Kenneth Hicks, P.Geo., Argentex's President and a Qualified Person as defined by Canada's National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Hicks has read and approved the contents of this release and as part of company management, he is not considered independent of the issuer.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Words such as "expects", "intends", "plans", "may", "could", "should", "anticipates", "likely", "believes" and words of similar import also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements about the company's belief that "we will advance Pinguino towards our ultimate goal of production, that we will carry out more extensive target definition exploration work on our other significant properties in Santa Cruz and we expect our pipeline of developing properties to continue to generate and reveal new mineral potential. That we will complete metallurgical studies and a preliminary economic assessment (scoping study) on the Pinguino property" Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors beyond the Company's control. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, competition for qualified personnel and risks that are inherent in Argentex's operations including the risk that the Company may not find any minerals in commercially feasible quantity or raise funds sufficient to prosecute its exploration plans. These and other risks are described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE ARGENTEX MINING CORPORATION
For further information: For further information: Ken Hicks, President, Argentex Mining Corporation, 1-866-594-7687, firstname.lastname@example.org