Aura Silver Resources Inc. (TSX-V: AUU) ("Aura Silver" or the "Company") is pleased to announce results for its ongoing exploration activities at the Taviche Project in Mexico. The current drill program was initiated in late January 2011 and is on-going. The program was designed to test a number of structural targets to depth.
To date, the Company has concentrated on a km-scale structural corridor referred to as the Higo Blanco area (see Figure 1). Two distinct and genetically unrelated mineralized types have been intersected: a high-grade silver zone confined to silicified and brecciated limestone; and, an adjacent volcanic setting hosting broad quartz-marcasite-arsenopyrite stockwork zones carrying broad intercepts of weak but persistent gold mineralization. Two step-out holes (HBET-28 & -29) to the northwest of discovery hole HBET-03 found wide intervals of gold and silver mineralization. Hole HBET-29 contained 122.65 metres of 0.16 g/t gold and 23.1 g/t silver (or 30.9 g/t silver equivalent), including 57.45 metres of 41.1 g/t silver. Hole HBET-28, drilled due west from hole HBET-02 and 125 metres north-west of HBET-03, contains shorter intervals but with silver grades of up to 230.0 g/t with the best interval containing 5.8 meters of 89.8 g/t silver.
Gold grades are generally not as robust as in holes drilled southeast along the Mescal structure such as HBET-26 with 0.64 g/t gold over 22 meters at a depth of 118.6 metres and HBET-27 which was drilled underneath HBET-26 and returned 0.93 g/t gold over 23.15 metres at a depth of 246.6 metres. In addition, silver grades were lower than discovery hole HBET-03 which returned 269.7 g/t silver equivalent over 34.2 metres and hole HBET-16 which returned 303.9 g/t silver equivalent over 36.6 metres. However, this extension of the Mezcal zone, with both gold and silver environments identified but not completely defined, has been traced for over 2 kilometres with internal zones of >0.5 g/t Au and >250 g/t Ag. We anticipate that deeper drilling over this strike length will achieve higher grades of both gold and silver mineralization.
The following table presents selected assay data obtained from 2011 drilling to date at the Higo Blanco area.
(1) Intervals shown are down-hole intervals. True widths are not yet known in the initial phases of drilling.
(2) Silver and gold equivalents for the purposes of this drilling program have been calculated based upon a 50:1 silver / gold ratio. Metallurgical recoveries and net smelter returns are assumed to be 100 per cent for the silver and gold equivalent values. Base metal values are not included in the silver or gold equivalent figures.
(3) For hole HBET-28 assays for the intervals from 121.5 m to 133.0 m and 135.8 m to 137.95 m are pending.
(4) For hole HBET-29 assays for the interval 80.0 m to 88.0 m are pending.
Hole HBET-30 and -31 were drilled at an additional 200 meters to the northwest of Hole HBET-29 where both geophysics and geochemical sampling indicate the presence of the Mezcal structure. The structure was intersected in both holes and several vein breccias were identified deeper in Hole HBET-31 with gold values of up to 1.20 g/t.
Hole HBET-32 and -33 were designed to test geophysical anomalies to the southeast of HBET-03 and -16 but did not intersect significant mineralization.
HBET-34 was drilled northeast along L2400 to a depth of 440.2 metres and encountered a broad zone of quartz-sulfide stockwork and breccias from 269.8 to 336.9 metres (67.1 metres) with gold values up to 1.08g/t.
Until the completion of Hole HBET-34, deep drilling across the Mezcal gold-silver zone was unsuccessful in identifying continuity at depth. The results from HBET-34 suggest that the mineralized structure is southwest dipping and not vertical where observed on section L2400. This has very important implications for exploration going forward. The results from HBET-34 have prompted Aura Silver to drill another hole (HBET-35) to cross the strongly mineralized zone about 100 metres further down dip; the hole is currently in progress. If the southwest dip for the mineralized zone can be confirmed (additional drilling required), the mineralized zone will be re-named the "Higo Blanco" structure vs. "Mezcal" which is a well-defined northwest-trending, vertical structure that appears to be a pre-cursor to the mineralizing event.
These results and the recommendations of respected industry epithermal experts confirm the Company's plans to continue to drill both targets to deeper levels. As with any epithermal system, distance from the boiling point is key to intersecting high grades of both gold and silver. Drilling to date has identified significantly mineralized zones, both gold- and silver-rich, contained within broad envelopes of intensely altered rocks with exceptional geochemistry (As + Sb) continuing to depth along a zone of southwest-dipping 'felsite' dikes. Revisions to the structural model, based upon recent drilling, give the Company greater confidence to continue exploring what we believe is a world-class prospect.
One hole was directed to depth on the La Noria vein structure. Hole LNWT07-11 was drilled to a total depth of 545.35 metres and encountered a broad, sheared and clay altered zone in the volcanic rocks which correlates with the La Noria vein, a vein that can be traced for nearly 2 kilometres on the surface. This vein is about 2 kilometres to the east and parallel to veins currently being developed by Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (San Jose Mine). The sheared volcanics extended from 408.45 to 520.95 metres (112.5 metres) and were widely anomalous in gold with values up to 0.92 g/t. As less than 300 metres strike length of the vein has been drill tested further drilling is planned.
South of San Jose Mine
Mapping and sampling are ongoing along the Las Marias-Donaji structure and southward into the Portillo area where previous drilling has identified up to 2.12 g/t gold over 22.1 metres. These vein structures represent the southern extension of veins hosting the San Jose Mine. This program was somewhat delayed due to the need for further community discussion but, it is anticipated that results from this program will be announced in early June.
North of San Jose Mine
Over the past several months, Aura Silver has observed significant improvements in communications with communities hosting prospective areas within the West Taviche concession. This is believed to have resulted from a pro-mineral development policy by the newly elected governor of Oaxaca and the rapid advancement of Fortuna's San Jose Mine with a forecasted commission date of Q3, 2011. The projected northern extension of Fortuna's gold and silver resource extends into Aura Silver's West Taviche concession (see Figure 2). Permission to explore in this area has yet to be gained from the hosting community. However, with evolving improvements in community relations surrounding the San Jose Mine, Aura Silver anticipates gaining surface access and initiating exploration in this highly prospective area in the next few months.
Aura Silver's Ownership Interest in Taviche Increases
Aura Silver's current interest in the Taviche project is approximately 46.8% while joint venture partner Intrepid Mines Ltd. holds 23.2% and Pan American Silver Corp. retains a 30% interest. When factoring in projected costs for the on-going drill program and a final $250,000 option payment due to Pan American on or before September 1, 2011, Aura Silver anticipates being close to or above 50% ownership in the Taviche properties by early fall.
Aura Silver ultimately has the potential to earn-in to more than 70% of the Taviche project. "This higher ownership position is strategically important and provides our shareholders with much greater upside potential," says Aura Silver President and CEO Robert Boaz. Holding a majority stake in the Taviche project will make Aura Silver a much more attractive take-over prospect for larger mining companies looking for a viable precious metals project in Mexico.
Dr. James M. Franklin, P. Geo. is Aura Silver's qualified person (as defined by National Instrument 43-101) and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this press release.
Core samples have been analyzed by SGS Labs in Durango, Mexico for multi element geochemical analyses by ICP-OES (40 element), gold by fire assay and AAS finish (>0.005 g/t) and silver by AAS (>0.3 g/t). Silver values in excess of 300 g/t are re-run by fire assay. Every 10th sample, a blank is included while every 25th sample is a known standard.
About Aura Silver
Aura Silver is a TSX Venture listed company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of precious metal prospects in Canada (100% owned Greyhound project) and in Oaxaca, Mexico. Aura Silver has 81,653,590 common shares outstanding.
For further information regarding this press release contact: Robert Boaz, President and CEO at (905) 403-8010 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Aura Silver's web site is located at www.aurasilver.com.
This press release may contain forward looking statements that are made as of the date hereof and are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions which involve risks and uncertainties associated with our business including the uncertainty as to whether further exploration will result in the target(s) being delineated as a mineral resource, capital expenditures, operating costs, mineral resources, recovery rates, grades and prices, estimated goals, expansion and growth of the business and operations, the private placement financing activities of the Company, plans and references to the Company's future successes with its business and the economic environment in which the business operates. All such statements are made pursuant to the 'safe harbour' provisions of, and are intended to be forward-looking statements under, applicable Canadian securities legislation. Any statements contained herein that are statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements require us to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. We caution readers of this news release not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements as a number of factors could cause actual results or conditions to differ materially from current expectations. Please refer to the risks set forth in the Company's most recent annual MD&A and the Company's continuous disclosure documents that can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Aura Silver does not intend, and disclaims any obligation, except as required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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