Torex is expecting to conclude a 25,000m drill programme at the ELG Underground in 2021 (excluding 9,000m of definition drilling and approximately 2,000m of drilling related to the El Limón pushback), with most of the programme focused on infill drilling (phase 1) and the remainder on step-out drilling (phase 2). The greater focus on infill drilling is aimed at upgrading inferred mineral resources to the measured and indicated categories, so that a greater level of mineral resources can be included in a new mine plan for the ELG Underground.
To date, the company has drilled and received assay results for 69 drill holes associated with the 2021 programme representing approximately 14,200m of drilling. Of the assay results received to date, approximately 5,800m (43 drill holes) have been drilled at ELD with an additional 8,400m (26 holes) drilled at Sub-Sill. Infill drilling at Sub-Sill has ramped up through the back half of the year. There are currently eight rigs actively drilling off the ELG Underground, including three rigs from surface and five rigs underground.
Drilling at ELD is focused on upgrading mineral resources, primarily within the southern portion of the deposit. Assay results received to date have been positive and increase the company's confidence in extending reserves within ELD.
At Sub-Sill, infill drilling is targeting to upgrade mineral resources in order to further extend reserves both vertically and laterally. Step-out drilling completed to date has been focused on a previously identified area of mineralisation below the El Limón Sur open pit, approximately 300m southwest of Sub-Sill. Further study is required to understand the geology and underlying potential of this area.
Exploration drilling at the ELG Underground is expected to remain a key focus for Torex as the company looks to test the lateral and vertical extents of both Sub-Sill and ELD. Completion of Portal #3 in mid-2022 is expected to support the company's efforts to test the vertical extent of both deposits and determine if Sub-Sill and ELD meet up at depth.
While the primary role of Portal #3 is to reduce haul distances and improve ventilation, development of the portal will allow for the construction of drill platforms to target deeper extensions of the deposits more efficiently than is currently achievable from current underground and surface-based drilling.
Jody Kuzenko, president and CEO said: "A key pillar of the Torex strategy moving forward includes a fresh focus on exploration and we are pleased with the results from the 2021 drill programme at the ELG Underground. Infill drilling conducted under the first phase of the 2021 programme reinforces our positive outlook on the ability to extend the mine life of the ELG Underground beyond current reserves and complement future production from Media Luna, which remains on track to begin in Q1 2024."
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