VANCOUVER, March 5 /CNW/ - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSX-V: FCV.V) is pleased to announce that it has optioned the Chucara gold-silver project in north-central Peru, within the La Libertad gold mining district some 45 km southeast of Barrick's Lagunas Norte Mine. This is the Company's second advanced stage, undrilled gold-silver exploration target.
The acquisition represents another key accomplishment in the Company's on-going search for high-potential, advanced stage gold projects across Peru. Focus is currently drilling its first project at Nueva California, located some 120 km south of the Chucara project within the same geological belt and host rocks.
Highlights of the Chucara project include:
- The presence of a robust, high-grade, Au-Ag intermediate sulphidation
epithermal system hosted by sedimentary rocks. High-grade gold and
silver is associated with an array of veins and mantos.
- The project area covers part of the old Chuvilca mine, which is
estimated to have produced roughly 176,000 short tons grading
4 oz/t Ag and 6% combined lead and zinc between 1974 and 1981 but was
never tested for gold or explored by drilling.
- Compilation by Focus of 1,211 surface and underground samples of both
vein and host rock from across the property (channel, panel and grab
samples) gave an average gold grade of 2.1 g/t, with values ranging
from trace to 38.8 g/t Au.
- Of these, the average of 269 samples taken from just veins and
mineralized structures (where descriptions were available) was
6.1 g/t Au and 330 g/t Ag, with over 50% of these samples grading
higher than 4.1 g/t Au and 219 g/t Ag, and 20% grading over
10.3 g/t Au and 587 g/t Ag.
- The presence of multiple drill targets on high-grade gold and silver
mineralization in veins, mantos and faults.
David Cass, President of Focus, said; "We are extremely pleased to secure the Chucara project, our second major acquisition in Peru after Nueva California. Chucara fits perfectly with the Company's strategy of acquiring high quality, drill-ready gold and silver properties. The property is remarkable in that the high grade sediment-hosted mineralization as a complex system of veins, structures and mantos appears to be consistent over at least 2 km, yet despite its very attractive location close to several operating gold mines within Peru's premier gold belt, the property has never been drilled."
The Chucara project lies within the La Libertad gold mining district, north-central Peru, some 45 km southeast of Barrick's Lagunas Norte Mine (12 Moz Au resource), and 18 km east of the Comarsa Au-Ag Mine (2 Moz Au). The 700 ha project area covers the majority of the historic Chuvilca Ag-Au (Pb-Zn) mine workings and the south-eastern extension of the mineralization, which forms a north-northwest trending corridor at least 2 kilometres in length.
The style of mineralization seen at Chucara is characteristic of a robust, high-grade, Au-Ag intermediate sulphidation epithermal system hosted by sedimentary rocks. High-grade gold and silver is associated with an array of veins, mantos and mineralized faults that occur within a northwest trending structural corridor dominated by conjugate vein sets developed between two regional structures, the Chuvilca and David faults.
Digitizing and compilation by Focus of historic mine plans, historical underground sample assays and soil sampling, trenching and rock chip geochemistry undertaken by the mine and other companies subsequent to the mine closure in 1982 has highlighted the continuation of the trend to the southeast, with many additional veins and structures showing consistently high grade gold and silver values distributed over a mineralized corridor approximately 2 kilometres long and 250m wide.
Compilation of a total of 1,211 surface and underground samples from across the property (channel, panel and grab samples) of both vein and host rock gave an average gold grade of 2.1 g/t, with gold values ranging from trace to 38.8 g/t Au. Similarly the average of 1060 samples analysed for silver was 103 g/t, with grades ranging from trace to 1,930 g/t Ag. A sub-set of 269 samples taken from only veins and mineralized structures (where descriptions were available) averaged 6.1 g/t Au and 330 g/t Ag, with over 50% of these samples grading higher than 4.1 g/t and 219 g/t Ag, and 20% grading over 10.3 g/t Au and 587 g/t Ag. Sampling by Focus included 17.1 g/t Au and 1,245 g/t Ag over 0.6m (Veta Maria).
Interestingly, the samples collected in the south-eastern most part of the corridor (Esperanza, Confianza, Chip-Chip areas) returned significantly higher silver grades than those reported from the historic workings located further northwest.
Multiple targets exist on the property and will be tested by drilling, subject to the granting of the usual permissions. The main targets are high-grade gold and silver mineralization in veins, mantos and faults that will be tested for multi-million ounce bulk mineable potential. Additional targets include structurally-controlled massive sulphide lenses, porphyry-related replacement bodies and disseminated Au-Cu mineralization.
Chucara is hosted by folded Cretaceous-aged shales and sandstones of the Chicama formation. Host rocks have been intruded by a series of Tertiary-aged felsic dykes and sills locally associated with the mineralized structures. It resides roughly in the same NNW - SSE corridor as the porphyry-skarn deposits at Magistral and Antamina.
The old Chuvilca mine is estimated to have produced roughly 176,000 short tons grading 4 oz/t Ag and 6% combined lead and zinc between 1974 and 1981. When the mine closed, the in situ resources were estimated from ore block and grade plans to be 465,000 tons grading 8.7 oz/t Ag, 3.7% Pb and 2.5% Zn, with the down dip and NNW extensions of the veins remaining open (the reader is cautioned that this resource was prepared before NI43-101 and as such it cannot be relied upon. Focus has not yet completed sufficient work to confirm the resource). These historic resource figures are based entirely on sampling of underground tunnels by the mine, the majority of which were from the San Juan, Consuzo, Maria and Wenses veins which are the most northerly. Approximately 80% of these historic resources occur on the Chucara property.
Although mine production was never assayed for gold, subsequent work has confirmed that highly anomalous gold is widespread across the property.
Under a Letter of Intent signed between Focus and the property owner, a private Peruvian company, Focus can acquire up to 90% of the Chucara property. To earn an initial 60%, Focus must make cash payments of (US) $1.5 million and pay $0.5 million in shares in Focus over a period of 3 years, including $80,000 cash and $20,000 in shares on signing of a definitive agreement with the owner. Focus can earn an additional 10% (for a total of 70% of the property) by paying $2.5 million by the 4th anniversary, and up to 80% of the property by paying a further $3.5 million by the fifth anniversary, after which a joint venture will be formed. Focus can increase its ownership to 85% by paying $5 million, and to 90% by paying the owners $2.5 per ounce of gold defined as Reserves (proven and probable) as defined by NI43-101 and JORC. The agreement is subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.
Maps and plans will be posted shortly on the Focus website www.focusventuresltd.com
The scientific and technical information in this release was prepared under the supervision of Mr. David Cass, Focus's President, who is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and a "Qualified Person" in accordance with NI 43-101.
About Focus Ventures
Focus Ventures is acquiring advanced, drill-ready projects in Peru. Backed by an experienced technical team of geologists and consultants, Focus's strategy is to identify and acquire former producing mines or un-tested gold properties that show potential to become new mines. For further information, please call 604-688-5288 or visit our web site www.focusventuresltd.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Ralph Rushton, Vice-President, Corporate Development
Contact: Erin Ostrom / Ralph Rushton
Shares Issued: 28.9-million
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE Focus Ventures Ltd.
For further information: For further information: Erin Ostrom/Ralph Rushton, Suite 830-355 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2G8, www.focusventuresltd.com, Tel: (604) 688-5288, Fax: (604) 682-1514