VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – November 29, 2016) – Almaden Minerals Ltd. ("Almaden" or "the Company") (TSX: AMM) (NYSE MKT: AAU) is pleased to announce further assay results from Almaden's ongoing exploration and development program at the Company's Tuligtic project, Mexico. Results reported today are from from drill holes TU-16-470 to 476 drilled on sections 10+500, 625 and 650 East. All holes intersected significant mineralisation and veining inside or immediately outside of the Amended PEA pit. The holes drilled to the north intersected the previously defined subvertical Ixtaca North vein zone as well as the new zones of veining. Highlights from these drillholes include the following intercepts:
The mineralisation reported today confirms the presence of additional important zones of veining immediately adjacent to the Ixtaca Zone and points to the exploration potential of the project in general. The Ixtaca Zone was discovered in 2010 beneath a large area of largely barren clay alteration which has been confirmed subsequently to represent the upper portions of a gold and silver bearing epithermal vein system. Since the discovery Almaden has focussed its efforts on the development of the Ixtaca Zone, however today's results clearly show the potential for additional mineralisation, not only proximal to the deposit, but more broadly project wide beneath the high level clay alteration.
Currently, geotechnical drilling relating to ongoing pre-feasibility work is nearing completion while exploration drilling is ongoing and further exploration results will be reported once received. Recently the Company released a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") on the Ixtaca deposit (see news release dated December 9th, 2015). Approximately 97% of the mineral resources incorporated into the updated PEA mine plan were in the Measured and Indicated categories.
J.D. Poliquin, chairman of Almaden stated, "Today's results once again show the presence of the high grade veins on the Tuligtic project. While we are now focussed on developing the Ixtaca deposit into a significant precious metals producer in Mexico, and are currently busy with engineering work and studies towards producing a PFS, we are also conducting exploration drilling to test for additional resource potential."
About the Ixtaca Deposit PFS Program
Development related activities are currently underway, including advanced engineering and environmental baseline studies to meet the requirements of a PFS and the submittal of an environmental permit application and risk assessment to the Mexican regulatory agency responsible for mine permitting. To date Almaden has completed or initiated the following studies:
- Hydrologic studies including the drilling of water test wells and installation of hydrologic equipment for baseline monitoring of existing subsurface water flow and quality on the project site (installation complete, monitoring ongoing);
- Baseline surface water quality and flow measurements (monitoring ongoing);
- Geochemical characterization of rock materials (complete);
- Condemnation drilling of areas where mine infrastructure is planned (complete);
- Geotechnical drilling to confirm foundation, footing and subsurface material quality (final holes based on updated mine plan are under way);
- Geomechanical drilling to confirm rock strength, hardness and pit slope parameters (complete);
- PFS level metallurgical test work (ongoing);
- Flora and fauna studies (complete);
- Installation of a weather station (complete).
The Company has selected independent engineers Moose Mountain Technical Services and Knight Piesold Ltd. to prepare a PFS study. MMTS is an association of Geologists, Engineers and Technicians providing experienced knowledge in Geology, Mine Engineering, and Metallurgical Services and Support to the mining industry for over 15 years. Through their network of associates they provide an integrated team of experts and QP's. Services range from early grassroots exploration and development, block model builds, resource and reserve estimates, advanced planning and studies for mine proposals (including operational support), process design and permitting process guidance and support. MMTS has experience working on coal, gold, silver, copper, molybdenum, and tungsten deposits throughout North and South America and around the world. A list of specific projects worked on by MMTS can be found at www.moosemmc.com.
KP is an international consulting firm and recognized leader in providing engineering and environmental services. KP's expertise has been applied to hundreds of surface and underground mining projects in all stages of development and a broad range of environmental settings. KP provides industry leading services in water and waste management, tailings disposal, heap leach pads, rock mechanics and environmental services, and has been recognized for innovative services that meet high standards of reliability, security and cost effectiveness.
About the Ixtaca Drilling Program and the Ixtaca Zone
The Ixtaca Zone is a blind discovery made by the Company in 2010 on claims staked by the Company. The deposit is an epithermal gold-silver deposit, mostly hosted by veins in carbonate units and crosscutting dykes ("basement rocks") with a minor component of disseminated mineralisation hosted in overlying volcanic rocks.
The Ixtaca deposit is located in a developed part of Mexico in Puebla State, the location of significant manufacturing investments including Volkswagen and Audi plants. The deposit is accessed by paved road and is roughly 20 kilometres from an industrial park with rail service where significant manufacturers such as Kimberly Clarke have facilities. Any potential mining operation at Ixtaca would be located in an area previously logged or cleared with negligible to no current land usage.
The Company has access to the entire project area and works closely with local officials and residents. The Company has employed roughly 70 people in its exploration program who live local to the Ixtaca deposit. For example, local employees have made up virtually all the drilling staff and have been trained on the job to operate the Company's wholly owned drills. The Company has implemented a comprehensive science based and objective community relations and education program for employees and all local stakeholders to transparently explain the exploration and development program underway as well as the potential impacts and benefits of any possible future mining operation at Ixtaca. The Company regards the local inhabitants to be major stakeholders in the Ixtaca deposit's future along with the Company's shareholders. Every effort is being made to create an open and clear dialogue with our stakeholders to ensure that any possible development scenarios that could evolve from the anticipated PFS are properly understood and communicated throughout the course of the Company's exploration and development program. To better explain the impacts of a mining operation at Ixtaca the Company has conducted numerous tours for local residents to third party operated mines in Mexico so that interested individuals can form their own opinions of mining based on first-hand experience. The Company invites all interested parties to visit www.almadenminerals.com to find out more about our community development, education and outreach programs.
Technical Details of the Ixtaca Drilling Program
The Main Ixtaca and Ixtaca North Zones of veining are interpreted to have a north-easterly trend. Holes to date suggest that the Main Ixtaca and Ixtaca North Zones are sub vertical with local variations. This interpretation suggests that true widths range from approximately 35% of intersected widths for a -70 degree hole to 94% of intersected widths for a -20 degree hole. The drilling completed to date has traced mineralisation over 1,000 meters along this northeast trend. The Chemalaco (Northeast Extension) Zone strikes roughly north-south (340 azimuth) and dips at 55 degrees to the west. This interpretation suggests that true widths range from approximately 82% of intersected widths for a -70 degree hole to 99% of intersected widths for a -40 degree hole. The orientation of the new vein zone intersected in the holes reported today is not well understood and true widths cannot be calculated at this time.
Mr. Norm Dircks, P.Geo., a qualified person ("QP") under the meaning of NI 43-101, is the QP and project manager of Almaden's Ixtaca program and reviewed the technical information in this news release. The analyses reported were carried out at ALS Chemex Laboratories of North Vancouver using industry standard analytical techniques. For gold, samples are first analysed by fire assay and atomic absorption spectroscopy ("AAS"). Samples that return values greater than 10 g/t gold using this technique are then re-analysed by fire assay but with a gravimetric finish. Silver is first analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma – Atomic Emission Spectroscopy ("ICP-AES"). Samples that return values greater than 100 g/t silver by ICP-AES are then re analysed by HF-HNO3-HCLO4 digestion with HCL leach and ICP-AES finish. Of these samples those that return silver values greater than 1,500 g/t are further analysed by fire assay with a gravimetric finish. Intervals that returned assays below detection were assigned zero values.
Blanks, field duplicates and certified standards were inserted into the sample stream as part of Almaden's quality assurance and control program which complies with National Instrument 43-101 requirements.
Almaden Minerals Ltd. is a well-financed company which owns 100% of the Tuligtic project in Puebla State, Mexico, subject to a 2.0% NSR royalty held by Almadex Minerals Limited. Tuligtic covers the Ixtaca Gold-Silver Deposit, which was discovered by Almaden in 2010.