05:27:20 EDT Sat 30 Sep 2023
Enter Symbol
or Name

Heliostar Metals Ltd
Symbol HSTR
Shares Issued 147,773,612
Close 2023-05-23 C$ 0.475
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Heliostar drills 53.2 m of 11 g/t Au at Ana Paula

2023-05-23 07:30 ET - News Release

Mr. Charles Funk reports


Heliostar Metals Ltd. has provided its first drill results from the Ana Paula project in Mexico. These two holes are the first drilled into the property by Heliostar, with the continuing drill program targeting the high-grade panel at the core of Ana Paula that Heliostar believes has the potential to host a high-margin, underground gold mine development opportunity.


  • Hole AP-23-292: 101.1 metres at 8.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, including 53.2 metres at 11.0 g/t gold;
  • Hole AP-23-291: 118.5 metres at 5.4 g/t gold, including 44.5 metres at 11.0 g/t gold, including 4.0 metres at 48.5 g/t gold;
  • These first drill results confirm the company's drilling thesis, which it believes will lead to a larger and higher grade core within the Ana Paula deposit.

Heliostar chief executive officer Charles Funk commented: "We are thrilled with the first holes at Ana Paula. Drill results like this are rare anywhere in the world. Ana Paula's high-grade and consistently wide intervals of gold mineralization demonstrate the underground mine potential. Heliostar will continue the 16- to 24-hole program designed to increase the Ana Paula resource, with a focus on infill and expansion of the high-grade panel. Both holes exceeded expectations based on the current resource model. Hole AP-23-291 is particularly encouraging as it returned a 30-per-cent increase relative to the current resource model, at an five g/t cut-off grade. This builds confidence that infill drilling can increase ounces and potentially lift the overall grade of the deposit."

Ana Paula is an advanced gold project with an open-pit mine permit, a prefeasibility study1 and over $75-million (U.S.) in recent exploration and development expenditures. These results are the first in a rescoping of the asset with a view to underground mining. The rescoping program includes drilling, underground mine design, geometallurgical optimization studies and a resource update, all of which will be delivered in 2023. The company believes this program will deliver a technically simpler and materially improved net present value (NPV) for the project.

Drill details

The company's drill program centres on resource and reserve growth, a key priority of the effort to re-evaluate the project as a high-grade underground mine. The company expects the drilling data will improve resource estimation and allow the company to evaluate potential expansion of the high-grade panel. In addition, the drilling also generates the geotechnical data required for engineering evaluations and metallurgical test work for flow sheet optimization.

Presently, the high-grade panel is approximately 250 metres long by 100 metres high by 60 metres thick. It begins at surface and plunges 40 to 45 degrees to the west. Previous operators' drill holes across the panel returned intercepts including 63.4 metres at 15.3 g/t gold and 57.6 metres at 18.6 g/t gold. The panel is hosted primarily in a polymictic breccia unit, although it extends outward into the surrounding granodiorite and limestone. Gold mineralization is directly associated with the proportion of sulphide minerals in the rock. This provides a valuable visual key to the presence of gold mineralization.

There are two key opportunities to increase the resource, reserve and grade of the high-grade panel. Firstly, volume increase is possible both up- and down-dip of the current plunging mineralized panel. Secondly, the high-grade panel is inadequately defined by historic drilling. The high-grade panel contains areas of closer spaced drilling, less than 25 metres apart, and other gaps with greater than 40-metre spacing. In these greater than 40-metre gaps, despite consistent geology and mineralization in the nearby holes, the resource model has conservatively reduced the grade with increasing distance from data points. The two infill holes reported here, particularly hole AP-23-291, demonstrate this upside, with a significant increase in high grade (greater than over five g/t) than predicted by the resource model.

                           DRILL RESULTS

                     From         To       Int.         Au                                       
Hole ID                (m)        (m)        (m)      (g/t)   Comment                            
AP-23-291           40.45      159.0     118.55       5.44    Includes geotech sample. (1)    
including            90.0      134.5       44.5       11.0    Includes geotech sample. (1)    
and including       130.5      134.5        4.0       48.5                                       
AP-23-292           43.88      145.0     101.12       8.35    Includes geotech samples. (2)   
including            90.0      143.2       53.2       11.0    Includes geotech sample. (3)    

(1) Includes 0.5 metre of sample removed for geotechnical studies and assumed to have zero g/t.
(2) Includes 2.86 metres of samples removed for geotechnical studies and assumed to have zero g/t.
(3) Includes 0.5 metre of sample removed for geotechnical studies and assumed to have zero g/t.

Drill holes AP-23-291 and AP-23-292 (Heliostar has continued the historic drill hole naming conventions) targeted the east and west margins of the greater than 10 g/t gold core of the high-grade panel. The goal was to infill gaps in the drilling and expand areas of existing high grade. Holes have been oriented perpendicular to the strike of the polymictic breccia. These holes are designed to grow the resource and improve the resolution of the north and south boundaries of mineralization.

The drilling program utilized PQ-sized core to provide larger sample volumes for metallurgical testing.

Results from both drill holes show the grade, consistency and widths that typify Ana Paula. Hole AP-23-292 intersected 101.12 metres at 8.35 g/t gold including 53.2 metres at 11.0 g/t. Hole AP-23-291 intersected 118.55 metres at 5.4 g/t gold including 44.5 metres at 11.0 g/t. These holes improve the drill data resolution and should grow the resource, due to the grades and width of the gold encountered.

Gold mineralization is remarkably consistent within the high-grade panel. The 53.2-metre interval at 11.0 g/t gold in hole AP-23-292 contains only one sample out of 56 with less than two g/t gold. The 44.5-metre interval at 11.0 g/t gold in hole AP-23-291 contains only six samples out of 48 with less than two g/t gold.

As gold mineralization is widespread and disseminated in nature, estimating representative true dimensions from the drill results can be done in multiple directions. Vertically, the true height of the intercepts is estimated in the range of 60 to 80 per cent of the drill intervals and in a north-south direction the true width is in the range of 30 to 50 per cent of the drilled intervals. Holes were drilled from north to south, into the hillside to reduce the total drill metres required for each intercept.

Drill results impact

The potential impact of the drill results on future resource models can be demonstrated by comparing the current results with the existing model (as reported in the 2023 prefeasibility study (1). Drilling that outperforms (is higher grade or wider than) the model may be expected to improve the grade and size of future resource and reserve estimates. Using a five g/t cut-off grade provides a useful benchmark to the most financially impactful ounces in an underground mining scenario.

At a five g/t cut-off, hole AP-23-291 has a 30-per-cent increase when compared with an expected intercept calculated from the existing resource model. Using the same criteria, AP-23-292 has a 2-per-cent increase compared with the expected intercept from the resource model.

Drill progress

Drilling is continuing, with six holes completed to date. Hole AP-23-293 is approximately 20 metres west of hole AP-23-291 and has returned a similar length interval with strong sulphide mineralization. Holes AP-23-294, AP-23-295 and AP-23-296 were completed shallower and farther west than AP-23-293 and intercepted narrower zones of mineralization as expected at the top and above the high-grade panel. The drill rig has been moved and commenced testing the up-dip growth target with hole AP-23-297.

Quality assurance/quality control

Core samples were shipped to ALS Ltd. in Santiago Queretaro, Queretaro, for sample preparation and for analysis at the ALS Laboratories in North Vancouver. The ALS Queretaro and North Vancouver facilities are International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission 17025 certified. Gold was assayed by 30-gram fire assay with atomic absorption spectroscopy finish and overlimits were analyzed by 50-gram fire assay with gravimetric finish.

Control samples comprising certified reference samples and blank samples were systematically inserted into the sample stream and analyzed as part of the company's quality assurance/quality control protocol.

Statement of qualified person

Stewart Harris, PGeo, a qualified person, as such term is defined by National Instrument 43-101 -- Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, has reviewed the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release and has approved the disclosure herein. Historical information contained in this news release cannot be relied upon as Mr. Harris has not prepared nor verified such information.

About Heliostar Metals Ltd.

Heliostar is a junior mining company with a portfolio of high-grade gold projects in Mexico and Alaska.

The company is focused on developing the 100-per-cent-owned Ana Paula project in Guerrero, Mexico. In addition, Heliostar is working with the Mexican federal and local government to permit the San Antonio gold project in Baja Sur, Mexico. The company continues efforts to explore the Unga gold project in Alaska, United States of America.

The Ana Paula project deposit contains proven and probable mineral reserves of 1,081,000 ounces of gold at 2.38 grams per tonne gold and 2,547,000 ounces of silver at 5.61 g/t silver. Ana Paula hosts measured and indicated resources of 1,468,800 ounces of gold at 2.16 g/t gold and 3.6 million ounces of silver at 5.3 g/t silver. The asset is permitted for open-pit mining and contains significant existing infrastructure including a portal and a 412-metre-long decline.


An updated prefeasibility study titled "Ana Paula Project NI 43-101 Technical Report Preliminary Feasibility Study Update" was filed on SEDAR on April 6, 2023, with an effective date of Feb. 28, 2023, prepared for the company by Daniel H. Neff, PE, Art S. Ibrado, PhD, PE, Richard K. Zimmerman, RG, SME-RM, Craig Gibson, PhD, CPG, Andrew Kelly, PEng, Gordon Zurowski, PEng, Paul Daigle, PGeo, Gilberto Dominguez, PE, and James A. Cremeens, PE, PG.

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