VANCOUVER, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Focus Ventures Ltd. (TSXV: FCV.V) is pleased to announce exploration plans for the first part of 2012 and provide a progress report on its projects in Peru and Mexico.
Focus is developing a multi-commodity pipeline of quality mineral properties in Peru and Mexico including silver, gold, zinc and phosphates. News flow anticipated over the next few weeks includes drill results from its Minas Chanca Ag-Pb-Zn project, central Peru and surface exploration results from the Santa Cruz project in Mexico.
Santa Cruz Au-Ag-Cu Project, Mexico
The Santa Cruz claims cover 13,350 hectares over a system of high-grade epithermal silver veins and breccias that occur within a corridor some 9km long and 2km wide. The first phase exploration program announced on October 3, 2011 was completed in mid-December 2011. Work comprised the compilation of historic data, 1:5,000 scale geological mapping, trenching, rock sampling and a grid-based soil geochemical survey.
Seventeen trenches (1.58 km in total) were excavated and sampled to test for extensions of the known mineralized structures and identification of new structures within the trend, in particular in the Don Blas, San Pablo and El Padre areas. A total of 1,164 rock samples have been sent to the laboratory for analysis. An early highlight of the mapping was the delineation of the newly discovered El Padre vein for over 1 km on surface and the discovery of a parallel vein, El Padre Norte, 20m to the north that was also traceable for approximately 1km. Previous sampling at El Padre by Focus gave up to 775 g/t Ag + 0.2 g/t Au over 1.1m; 733 g/t Ag + 0.7 g/t Au over 1.8m, and 591 g/t Ag + 1.1 g/t Au over 2.3m (see FCV press release dated November 2 , 2011).
Some 2,062 soil grid geochemical samples comprising over 41 line kilometers were also collected and submitted for ultra-trace analysis. Another 5,300 rock and soil samples were analyzed by a portable spectrometer. Results will be integrated to provide a 3D map of the geochemical and alteration characteristics of the district and to help define drill targets.
Approximately 80% of the assays are still pending and a full update will be provided once all information has been received and interpreted.
Minas Chanca Ag-Pb-Zn Project, Peru
Minas Chanca is high-grade past-producing silver mine located in the Central Peru Polymetallic Belt. Focus optioned the project to Peruvian miner Compañia de Minas Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN) who are undertaking a detailed exploration program comprising underground and surface drilling within the area of the old mine. A total of 6,816m of diamond drilling has been completed to date in 56 holes; 5,752m drilled from surface (29 holes) and 1,064m drilled underground (27 holes). Three of these holes were reported previously (see FCV press release dated October 17, 2011).
Re-habilitation of 2km of underground tunnels and drives was completed over 3 levels of the mine, in addition to 381m of underground development over 2 levels. Other activities include the construction of an exploration camp on site and completion of a 17km access road from Minas Chanca to BVN's Mallay mine and plant. Project expenditures to date by Buenaventura approximate $2.3 million.
A full update including underground sampling and drill results will be provided in the coming weeks after receipt of a year-end project report currently being prepared by Buenaventura.
Machay Phosphate Project, Peru
The 100%-owned Machay Project was acquired by Focus in early 2011 by staking 27 concessions over the Aramachay Formation, a Jurassic-aged sedimentary unit that hosts phosphate mineralization. Recent staking of 4 additional claims has increased Focus' landholding to 18,000 hectares.
Detailed mapping of just one of the 31 claims has identified outcrops and float of phosphate-rich calcareous sandstone that shows widths of 15-20m, commonly containing visible pellets of francolite (a variety of the phosphorous mineral, Apatite). Although outcrop of the phosphatic unit is poor, sampling has given assays of up to 11.4 % P205. The phosphatic sandstone unit is shallowly dipping parallel to slope and could be amenable to low-cost strip mining. Exploration will focus on the identification of the phosphatic unit by detailed mapping, soil geochemistry and trenching.
The geology and style of phosphate mineralization at Machay is analogous to the Mantaro phosphate deposit near Sincos (Stonegate Agricom (TSX: ST), located approximately 30km to the southeast of Focus's claims. To date, Stonegate has outlined measured and indicated resources of 39.5Mt @ 10% P2O5 and inferred resources of 376.3Mt @ 9% P2O5.*
At Machay, minimal agricultural activity in the area is due to the high elevation (4,100m). Community relations are good and bode well for the future exploration and development of the phosphate resources. Considering that the claims cover an estimated 50 km+ strike of the Aramachay Formation, the Company is very encouraged with these early results.
Santa Rosa (Ag-Pb-Zn) Project, Peru
Santa Rosa is an advanced-stage project located close to Lima within the Central Peru Polymetallic Belt. Five drill holes were completed by Focus in the latter half of 2011, the first time the property has been drilled. The silver, zinc and lead mineralization is hosted within a sequence of Cretaceous quartzites and Tertiary-aged volcanics.
The initial drilling was very encouraging and mineralization was intersected in all holes. Intercepts include high grade, massive sulphide intervals e.g. DDH-11-03 which cut 10.8m of 169g/t Ag + 7.8% Zn + 8.3% Pb, and low grade disseminated/fracture-controlled mineralization, e.g. DDH-11-02 which cut 59m of 1.2% Zn from 63m - 122m downhole.
The high grade mineralization intersected underneath the area of the mine workings at Santa Rosa and Milagros-Sally does not outcrop at surface and requires detailed underground resource drilling. The project carries an active Category 11 permit for surface exploration and an existing environmental permit for underground production.
The mineralization is open to the south and west and many excellent targets require drilling. Focus is seeking a joint venture partner at Santa Rosa to continue evaluation and assess the potential for near term production.
Southern Peru Gold - Katenwill Claims
The 5,500 hectare Katenwill claims were staked by Focus in 2011 in the Province of Carabaya, Department of Puno in the Southern Peru Slate Belt, an emerging gold district that extends south into Bolivia.
The claims are contiguous with Lupaka Gold Corp's (TSX:LPK) Crucero discovery. Lupaka has defined an Indicated Resource of 814,638 oz gold grading 1.16 g/t and an Inferred Resource of 443,772 oz gold grading 1.02 g/t**. Gold mineralization at Crucero occurs as finely banded sulphide laminations composed of pyrite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, stibnite, chalcopyrite and gold hosted in a sequence of deformed slates and siltstones.
Work will commence on the claims in March/April as soon as the heavy seasonal rains have subsided. Mapping and surface rock chip sampling are planned.
New Projects and Strategy
The Company's business is the acquisition of advanced, drill-ready projects and has a very active project generation program. The Company business model utilizes a combined strategy of (i) self-funding drilling of selected projects or (ii) by joint-venturing others. This approach gives the Company exposure to drill discoveries on select properties that are potentially non-dilutive to shareholders. In contrast, properties that are at a more early stage and/or require greater funding for a longer period of time are joint-ventured to producers. Central to the strategy is the Company's established procedure in the combination and compilation of all available historic records and its own data that leads to new geological interpretations and definition of drill targets.
Further information on all projects can be found on the Company website www.focusventuresltd.com.
* "Technical Report on Mantaro Phosphate Deposit, Junin District, Peru, March 2, 2010" of Stonegate on www.sedar.com)
** Lupaka Gold Corp Company Website
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.
Sampling Quality Analysis and Quality Control
Core at Santa Rosa was first split in half using a diamond core splitter and then logged, and each box photographed prior to sampling. Half-core samples were bagged, security-sealed and transported by Focus personnel to ALS Chemex laboratories in Lima for analysis. Lead and zinc were determined by ICP with Atomic Absorption with volumetric finish. Silver was determined by multi-acid digestion and ICP-AES, with fire assay gravimetric finish. Quality control by Focus involves the insertion by Focus personnel of blind certified standards and blanks into the sample stream at regular intervals in order to independently assess analytical precision and accuracy of each batch of samples as they are received from the laboratory. Finally, representative sample pulps are forwarded to an ISO-compliant third party laboratory for additional quality control.
Rock samples from the Santa Cruz property, Mexico, were prepared by ALS Chemex's sample preparation facility in Zacatecas and analyzed by ALS Chemex in Vancouver for the same analytical package as Peru. ALS Chemex's quality control system complies with International Standards ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025:2005. Analytical accuracy and precision are monitored by the analysis of reagent blanks, reference material and replicate samples.
Samples for Phosphates were prepared and analyzed by CIMM Peru S.A in Lima by ICP OES Metaborate Fusion. CIMM is a ISO 9001 accredited lab whose quality control system complies with International Standards 2000 and ISO 17025:2005.
About Focus Ventures
Focus Ventures is acquiring advanced, drill-ready projects in Peru and Mexico. Backed by an experienced technical team of geologists and consultants, Focus's strategy is to identify and acquire former producing mines or untested gold and silver and base metal 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
David Cass, President
Shares Issued: 29.3-million
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Some of the statements in this news release contain forward-looking information that involves inherent risk and uncertainty affecting the business of Focus Ventures Ltd. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statement.
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