Marcio Fonseca wears two hats, ten years of investment banking with Macquarie Bank, but trained as an exploration/project/resource geologist. His company, Goldplay (V.GPLY) uses his investment banking know-how to finance what is clearly his real passion, the discovery of high-grade mineral deposits.
I spoke to him about Goldplay’s most recent news where it reported the results of four holes drilled at its San Marcial Project, Sinaloa, Mexico. The holes were drilled in a 300-meter section within a six-kilometre mineralized corridor. Goldplay has already reported a 43-101 compliant resource of 47 million silver ounces equivalent at the western end of the property. But now Fonseca and his team wanted to not only expand the resource down dip but along strike but also delineate new gold and silver discoveries approximately 1.5 km to the east to support the concept that the San Marcial has a geological setting for the discovery of high-grade mineral deposits.
“This is the first ever drilling program in the Nava area,” said Fonseca. “Until now we have only had surface samples but these were very positive.”
Goldplay drilled two sections three hundred meters apart. There had been previous artisanal activity in the area which provided a guide to Goldplay. Goldplay encountered the veins it was looking for, trenched the area, and hit a 24m interval grading 2.11 g/t gold.
“We were confident that there was a high concentration of metal,” Fonseca said. “The artisanal miners really only scratched the surface.”
Goldplay did more than scratch the surface. They trenched and reported the results. They found significant gold mineralization at two locations along the corridor. That suggested veins.
“We wanted to see if the veins go deep,” said Fonseca. “If they were consistent and if they were high grade.”
In the November 25 news release, Fonseca states, “We are pleased to report the mineralized intercepts, including high-grade silver, in the maiden drill program at San Marcial’s Nava Target. Goldplay’s 2019 field studies mark the first time in approximately ten years that any type of exploration has been carried out at the project. The encouraging results warrant further exploration, advancing the Company’s objective of resource expansion of San Marcial.”
Completely accurate but it misses the real excitement of the reported results.
“In hole 19-02 we’ve found a vein carrying a lot of silver,” Fonseca said on the phone. A lot being one kilogram per ton. Now, it is a short interval, less than 20 centimetres. But that makes sense as the hole was drilled at an angle to catch the other veins.
Interestingly, the veins at Nava are pretty much vertical. If a company wanted to drill a “marketing hole” it would be a fairly easy job to drill, more or less, straight down and try and track the vein. Great headlines but not a lot of information about the geological structure of what looks to be a rich deposit.
“These results make me more confident that there is an epithermal system there,” said Fonseca. “Hole 19-05 was drilled directly beneath artisanal workings. This was not an actual mine, but the artisanal miners were scratching the veins.”
“We think we are on the upper level,” said Fonseca, referring to indications of a low sulphidation epithermal system at Nava. “At the top, there is predominantly gold, then gold/silver, then silver, and a little evidence of the presence of zinc and lead, opening up the potential for expansion of mineralized zone down dip
The drilling itself was relatively shallow. At most 200 meters in length but, because of the angle, no more than 100 meters from surface.
Fonseca, said he would have loved to drill deeper and longer to see if the two systems Goldplay identified linked up at depth. However, paying attention to the costs and to the actual story is very important at this stage.
A series of productive veins, beginning near surface, with good to excellent grades very strongly suggests a chance for resource expansion along the mineralized corridor on new targets. The veins themselves, in both target zones, are relatively close together which means that a pit design need not be huge to get to the mineralized material.
There is still plenty of work to do and Goldplay raised 3 million dollars in an oversubscribed private placement of only common shares . However, Fonseca has managed to keep the number of Goldplay shares outstanding to around 80 million, bringing in new blue chip investors such as well-known resource funds
As the work progresses on the San Marcial Project there is every chance that Goldplay will add a second drill rig and continue not only surface drilling but initiate underground development in the resource area for an underground drilling program. This will substantially expand the existent high-grade silver, 43-101 compliant, resource not along strike through shallow drill holes but also down dip on continuity of high-grade intersections defined in the resource area ( > 1kg/t Ag).