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Arizona-based International Minerals (IMC) (TSX: IMZ) reported high-grade results from initial drilling on the new San Luis vein system at its advanced Río Blanco gold-silver project in southern Ecuador.
Results for 13 drill holes in 1,928m include estimated true widths of 1.2m grading 150.9g/t gold and 647g/t silver, 1.3m at 31.9g/t gold and 41g/t silver and 1.0m at 47.8g/t gold and 157g/t silver, the company said in a statement.
IMC management expects that this new discovery has potential to add "significant gold resources to those previously discovered in the Alejandra vein," the statement said. IMC aims to complete a feasibility study at Alejandra in January 2006.
The results from the San Luis drilling program combined with initial encouraging results in the Bolivar, Arco Iris and Lourdes areas indicate the upside potential of the overall Río Blanco gold-silver project, it said.
IMC continues drilling at San Luis to prepare an initial inferred mineral resource estimate although it cannot be included in the Alejandra feasibility study due to the speculative nature of inferred mineral estimates.
The Alejandra vein has a January 2005 measured and indicated resource of 2.0Mt averaging 8.9g/t gold and 68g/t silver containing roughly 592,000oz of gold and 4.5Moz of silver using a 3g/t gold cutoff grade.
IMC said it expected approval of its environmental impact statement (EIS), required to obtain production and construction permits, by mid-2006 with initial production anticipated in the third quarter of 2007 subject to financing.