Kootenay Silver said Wednesday that Pinecrest Resources has started a phase I drilling program on Kootenay’s Espiritu gold-silver polymetallic project in Sonora, Mexico under a joint venture deal.

The drill program will comprise of 500 metres of core drilling to test two silver/gold polymetallic mineralized zones outlined during the first phase of exploration prospecting, mapping and soil sampling.

Operator Pinecrest can earn a 50 percent interest in the Espiritu project by spending $1.0 million on exploration over a four year period and by issuing up to 750,000 common shares to Kootenay over three years.

Kootenay said two drill holes will be completed on the Road Show zone to test a 500 by 500 metre target, characterized by the presence of silver, gold, lead, zinc and copper mineralization.

From 54 prospector samples collected during phase I exploration, silver values were as high as 1,230 grams per tonne (g/t), and gold values went as high as 4.5 g/t, associated with “highly anomalous” lead, zinc, mercury and manganese, the company said.

This style of mineralization is similar to many limestone-hosted replacement deposits of the Mesa Central district of Mexico that include the Naica and Santa Eulalia silver mines.

Two holes will also test the gold/silver veins and stockwork mineralization in the Molinos zone, which is located around two kilometres southeast of the Road Show zone.

From 31 prospector samples collected during the phase I exploration, silver values were as high as 1,380 g/t, with 0.97 g/t gold. The company said mineralization is associated with “highly anomalous” copper, lead, zinc and antimony with elevated molybdenum, tungsten and mercury.

A 500 by 1000 metre soil survey completed over the Molinos zone outlined a broad zone of gold, silver, lead, zinc mineralization, with gold values of 406 parts per billion (ppb), and silver values of 72 g/t noted in soils.

Kootenay said the Molinos zone is thought to represent the deeper zones of mineralization associated with carbonate-hosted replacement (CRD) deposits.

This level of mineralization suggests a continuum of mineralization between the Road Show into the Molinos zone, the miner added.

In addition to the reconnaissance drill program, trenching will be completed in other areas of mineralization aside from the Road Show and Molinos targets.

Trenching on the Old Mines/Pediment zone, located roughly two to three kilometres north of Road Show, will investigate areas of limestone breccia mineralization where prospecting has obtained silver values of 1,160 g/t and of 2.0 g/t gold.

Kootenay Silver is developing mineral projects in the Sierra Madre Region of Mexico and in British Columbia, Canada. The company’s flagship property is the former-producing Promontorio Silver mine in Sonora State.

Promontorio itself hosts an NI 43-101-compliant resource containing 8.9 million indicated ounces of silver plus 1.17 million ounces of inferred silver, 99.3 million indicated pounds of lead plus 13.4 million inferred pounds of lead, and 110.8 million indicated pounds of zinc plus 14.3 million inferred pounds of zinc.

Since the 2010 resource estimate, Kootenay said in February it has drilled 31,000 metres and has another 4,000 metres left to drill before publishing an updated estimate within the next few months.

Notable results from the latest program, which is the single largest and most expansive drill program conducted by Kootenay on the property to date, include hole KP-09-07, which intersected 6.7 metres grading 1,008.0 gpt silver equivalent.