This approval is a vital step in Artha continuing its exploration on the highly prospective properties which surround the currently operating Pirquitas silver-zinc mine, which has proven and probable reserves of 84 million ounces of silver as of December 2011. Exploration on Artha's properties was stalled in 2011 when the Company sought local community approval, which is the key step in obtaining the permits from the Provincial Government. Artha views this agreement as an important milestone in its plan to drill the initial high propriety targets generated from work completed in 2010 and 2011 at the Pirquitas properties. Further target generation will commence to assess new prospects as well as refine initial drill targets at the Noeila Breccia and Pirquitas NW zones (Map 1).
Artha has defined two priority-one targets by coincident multi-metal geochemistry and induced poloraization (IP) chargebility at the Pirquitas NW and Noeila Breccia prospects. Of particular note is a large circular feature at the Noelia Breccia target (Map 2) north-east of the Pirquitas mine. The feature is 1000m wide in an east-west direction and over 1200m long in a north-south direction. The geology at Noelia Breccia consists of sandstones and shales (Acoite Formation) arranged in strongly folded, 1m to 2m thick beds, with a N-S axes and high angle dips, unconformably overlaid by moraine deposits and debris flow breccias. Noelia Breccia is interpreted as a low sulphidation epithermal system, related to quartz veinlets and silicified structures, controlled by E-W and NW-SE faults and fractures, sub-parallel to the Pirquitas Mine structural system. The anomaly forms a halo of quartz-sericite and silicification in an area of approximately 1200 x 1000m in size; the sets of veinlets have lengths between 100 to 500m and widths from 1.0 to 5.0m. Mineralization consists of FeOx hosted in the moraine matrix and in fractures. The geochemical sampling shows an anomalous halo of Cu, Zn, Pb As, Sb, Hg. This anomaly has been interpreted as a distal or higher level expression of a Pirquitas-type Ag-Zn-Sn mineralized system which is hosted by the Ordovician Acoite Formation.
The Pirquitas NW target consists of a clastic and pelitic sequence of greenish-gray to yellowish-brown sandstone, limolite and slates from the Arenigian--Llanvirnian (Upper Ordovician) with sericite- clay alteration and weak disseminated pyrite. The main structural trending is N-S to NNE-SSW, with mainly high-angle faults, fractures and folds, originated during the Ocloyic tectonic phase (Ordovician). In addition, WNW-ESE / NE-SW shear fractures, some of them mineralized, have been observed in areas of structural convergence. A good correlation between mineral occurrences and the intensity of the fracturing and folding is evident at this prospect.
A prospective area (1.7km x 1.0km) has been identified 2.6km NW from the Pirquitas mine where a quartz-sericite core with breccias, veins and stockworks, E-W and NNE--SSW oriented and partially covered by Quaternary material, have been mapped. The mineralization consists of FeOx (hematite and limonite) in quartz veins, fractures and breccia matrix. The presence of sulphides as pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite has been observed in quartz stockworks, veins and some old exploration workings. Artha's geological interpretation suggests that geochemical anomalies in Pirquitas NW could be part of the same hydrothermal system responsible for mineralization at the Pirquitas Mine. Therefore, this target could represent a satellite ore body with superimposed Au-Ag mineralization.
Artha remains fully committed to exploring its property suite in Argentina and further updates on progress on the Organullo project will be released this week.
Charles Straw, B.Sc., is the qualified person under NI 43-101 responsible for the technical information in this news release.
Artha was founded by a team of mining industry professionals with a proven track record in project generation, exploration, mining and finance. The team's primary goal is to build Artha into a world class mining company, focused on the discovery, development and mining of economic minerals deposits globally.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
Map 1: Pirquitas Drill Targets
Map 2: IP chargeabilty anomalies at Pirquitas NW and Noelia Breccia Prospects.