VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ranchero Gold Corp. (“Ranchero” or the “Company”) (TSX.V: RNCH) is pleased to provide a summary of its successful inaugural drill program at the Maíz Azul prospect which is part of its 100%-owned Santa Daniela gold project located in Sonora, Mexico. The Santa Daniela concessions represents one of the largest unexplored claim blocks (>22,200 hectares) located within the prolific Sierra Madre Occidental gold belt and is surrounded by six major gold mining operations.
Bill Pincus, Chief Executive Officer and Director stated: “The success of our first ever drill program at Maíz Azul has confirmed a significant gold discovery at the highly prospective Santa Daniela project. Our team is working tirelessly to prepare our Phase II drill program which will build upon the exploration success that we have had thus far.”
“Exploration efforts are already underway at the greater Santa Daniela project area where a number of new exploration targets are undergoing field visits. There are currently nine targets that are located in close proximity to existing deposits or past producing operations at the neighboring Mulatos Gold mine to the northwest. We look forward to advancing these exploration targets to drill ready prospects in the second half of 2022.”
Successful Phase I Drill Program at Santa Daniela
The Phase I drill program was designed to test two principal targets at Maíz Azul: La Colmena and La Cascada. Drilling has confirmed widespread gold mineralization at both targets and also provided confirmation that high grade mineralization exists within a lower grade halo.
- Ranchero completed its Phase I drill program with total diamond core drilling of 3,112 meters which exceeded the Company’s original planned drill program due to continued exploration success.
- All 16 completed drill holes intersected gold mineralization confirming widespread mineralization at Maíz Azul.
- Near surface drill results included: 1) 4.0 g/t gold over 31.5 meters (MA 22-10); 2) 1.2 g/t gold over 21.2 meters (MA 21-14); 3) 1.2 g/t gold over 15.6 meters (MA 22-25); and 4) 1.1 g/t gold over 21.0 meters (MA 21-11) (refer to press releases dated January 18, 2022, January 26, 2022, and February 23, 2022).
- Expansion of the combined mineralized footprint at La Colmena and La Cascada to 500 meters by 550 meters where mineralization remains open in all directions.
- The Company’s initial focus has been on the shallow, near surface mineralization where the majority of drilling has been limited to 100 to 150 meters from surface and mineralization remains completely open at depth.
During the course of the drill campaign, Ranchero geologists have expanded their understanding of the Maíz Azul prospect and how it relates to the nearby San Carlos deposit, part of the Mulatos gold mine, owned by Alamos Gold (Figure 1). A greater understanding of the volcanic stratigraphy has allowed Ranchero to identify both the most receptive host rocks and understand the complex post-mineralization faulting.
Figure 1: Maíz Azul in relation to the neighboring Mulatos Gold Mine
Enhanced Geological Mapping and Update to 3D Model Underway
Ranchero is currently updating and expanding the geologic map of the Maíz Azul area beyond its previous limits – principally eastward. Upon completion, Ranchero will incorporate the new map into its three-dimensional model providing a geologic context for understanding the location of gold mineralization. The goal is to define drill targets for its upcoming Phase II campaign.
Ranchero is also investigating the likelihood that out-cropping gold mineralization extends beneath the cover of volcanic rocks deposited after the gold-forming events. Ranchero believes this may greatly extend the potential footprint for gold mineralization at Maíz Azul.
Phase II Drill Program Planning Underway
Planning is well underway for the Company’s Phase II drill program at Maíz Azul. Drilling priorities are to: 1) expand the La Colmena zone eastward; 2) initial drill testing of the X-Structure target; 3) initiate drilling of new targets identified by the on-going modelling; and 4) commencement of resource definition drilling. Currently, Ranchero has budgeted for a minimum 4,000 meters of combined diamond core and reverse circulation drilling.
Expansion of the La Colmena zone will build upon the success of drill holes MA22-22 and MA22-23 (refer to the press release dated February 23, 2022) where Ranchero believes that the principal mineralized structure continues eastward well beyond the known mineralization.
The X-Structure target had been identified earlier but was not tested during the recently completed Phase I drill campaign. New targets, identified by lithologic and structural interpretation, particularly those not exposed on surface will also be tested. Finally, infill drilling at the La Colmena zone is warranted based on the successful results of the Phase I drill program.
Regional Exploration Program to Unlock District Scale Potential
Ranchero is also advancing its regional reconnaissance program on the entire Santa Daniela concession block in tandem with its drilling at the Maíz Azul prospect. Santa Daniela is one of the largest unexplored areas in the Sierra Madre Occidental gold belt and its potential for new discovery is excellent.
An Aster/Landsat satellite-based study conducted by Perry Remote Sensing LLC in 2020 identified the presence of hydrothermal alteration minerals (related to possible gold deposition) at 47 separate locations. Ranchero is currently working with GoldSpot Discoveries (“GoldSpot”) to update its reconnaissance efforts. New ultra-high-resolution imagery from the WaveView3 satellite has been acquired and is being processed to more precisely highlight areas of hydrothermal alteration. Aster satellite data is also being used to identified major faults that control gold deposition. These, together with regional geochemical data, will be integrated by GoldSpot with their proprietary machine-learning technology to refine target areas.
Ranchero has conducted field visits to a number of these areas and has currently identified nine high-priority targets that warrant further field studies including geophysics, alteration studies, detailed mapping, and systematic sampling. It anticipates that additional areas will be added to the priority list based on the work with GoldSpot and will also be reviewed in the field. The priority areas are shown on Figure 2 and are based on the presence of favorable lithology, hydrothermal alteration, geochemical anomalies and proximity to other known third-party prospects. Ranchero will continue its field investigations in parallel with the work conducted at Maíz Azul with the objective of identifying new drill targets by year-end.
Figure 2: Near mine reconnaissance targets
Scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by William Pincus, CPG, who is a "qualified person" as defined by NI 43-101.
About Ranchero Gold
Ranchero is a gold exploration and development company currently focused on its 100%-owned Santa Daniela project located in Sonora, Mexico. The Santa Daniela project consist of a large land package in excess of 22,200 hectares within Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental – a newly emerging gold belt. The Santa Daniela project is also near a number of major gold mining operations in the region. Maíz Azul is the Company’s most advanced prospect where exploration efforts are underway.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company:
Chief Executive Officer and Director
+1 303 589 3734
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