Kootenay Silver (CVE:KTN.V) Thursday gave an update on ongoing development activities at its flagship Promontorio silver project in Sonora, Mexico.
SRK Consulting has been hired to calculate an independent NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource for Promontorio. The compilation of drill results and geologic modelling for the updated resource calculation is well underway, the company said, with completion expected by the end of June 2012.
The updated resource follows the recent completion of what the company called a "highly successful", two staged drill program on the Promontorio project that included 25,000 metres of diamond drilling and 10,000 metres of reverse circulation drilling.
A total of 35,000 metres of drilling has been conducted since the first resource calculation was reported in 2010.
The objective of the recent in-fill drill and resource definition program was to substantially increase the size of Promontorio's current contained silver resource.
G&T Metallurgical Services has also been contracted to conduct additional metallurgical work on Promontorio's mineralization and is working on three additional bulk samples, with final results expected in the next few weeks.
One sample is from the Southwest Zone, one from shallow in the Pit Resource and one from the Northeast Zone.
Additionally, acid base accounting of mineralized and wall rock is being conducted along with a gold deportment study to find out if the significant gold content of the deposit, which is not yet factored into any of the company's resource calculations, can be extracted economically.
The first metallurgical testing reported in 2009 was positive, the company said, showing 82 percent of the silver reporting to the lead concentrate and a further 7 percent to the zinc concentrate, with 85 percent of the lead recovered to the lead concentrate and 91 percent of the zinc to the zinc concentrate.
With regards to ongoing baseline and scoping studies, Hatch Engineering completed initial hydrologic studies designed to characterize the ground water resources on the project and develop a conceptual hydrogeologic model.
This information will form the basis for additional studies going forward for prefeasibility level evaluation of mine water supply, Kootenay said, including potential dewatering flow rates needed for potential open-pit and underground mining, and mine water supplies.
Saguaro Geosciences also designed a detailed geotechnical logging program, which will collect all the necessary data appropriate to future geotechnical analysis required for feasibility level work.
In other activities, preliminary environmental baseline studies, conducted by independent consulting engineer Patricia Aguayo Hurtado, cataloguing the flora and fauna of the area are now complete.
Kootenay Silver said that the recent confirmation by Kootenay's technical team that Promontorio silver mineralization is hosted in a large diatreme complex has "significant geologic implication", as these types of systems can typically be very large in size and result in the discovery of several deposits.
Examples in Mexico include the Pitarrilla silver-lead-zinc deposits in Durango and the Peñasquito silver-gold-lead-zinc mine in the northeast of the state of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico.
At present, silver mineralization remains open in both strike directions and down dip within Promontorio's Diatreme complex, between the Pit, Southwest Extension and Northeast Zones, the company said.
Kootenay has also identified a host of new prospective targets within the Diatreme complex that require further drill testing.
Accordingly, the company said plans are underway to conduct a large follow up drill program after the release of the NI 43-101 resource update.
Kootenay Silver is actively 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, Mexico.
In late April, the company released results from its recently completed drilling program at Promontorio, including 18 metres of 254 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent, within 89 metres of 84 g/t silver equivalent in hole DH-116-12 in the Northeast Zone.
Currently, 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.