Timmins Gold Corp. ("Timmins" or the "Company") announces the results of its summer 2007 drill, geophysical and surface exploration program at its 100% owned San Francisco Property located in northern Sonora, Mexico. An update on the results from the ongoing metallurgical testing program and the prefeasibility study are also provided.
The drill program returned positive results from a number of areas including step-out drilling to the Southeast, Southwest and Northwest of the current pit limits and infill drilling inside the current pit limits. In addition a mineralized trend ("West Mineral Trend") extending 3 kilometers in width and 10 kilometers in length along strike to the Northwest has been outlined by geochemical sampling. In addition, metallurgical testing has produced recoveries which are significantly higher than the historical recoveries.
Highlights of the drill program include 88.80 meters grading 1.29 g/t Au in the West Pit zone and the discovery of a new zone of near surface mineralization approximately 400 meters to the southeast of the current pit. The first hole to the southeast returned 19.90 meters grading 4.076 g/t Au from 5.0 to 24.90 meters (including an interval of 6.20 meters grading 12.087 g/t Au), and 3.80 meters (true width) grading 1.30 g/t Au from 51.25 to 53.80 meters. The second drill hole completed 40 meters NW of the first returned 1.20 meters (true width) grading 5.76 g/t Au and appears to have only pierced the top of the mineralized body. The Company is also encouraged by the results from the Polvorines zone, located southwest of the present pit limit, which intersected 8.10 meters (true width) grading 2.069 g/t Au (including a 1.0 meter interval grading 14.80 g/t Au).
In addition to the West Mineral Trend, the Company has identified a strong northwest trending geochemical anomaly approximately 1 kilometer north of the San Francisco pit. The anomaly is 450 meters wide and extends from Cerro Gauna along strike for 800 meters and remains open in both directions. Cerro Gauna is a 120 meter exposure of the granite and metamorphic sequence that hosts much of the resource remaining in the San Francisco pit. The Company considers this area to be very prospective for significantly expanding the known resource on the San Francisco property.
The Company is also very encouraged with the results from the metallurgical testing program consisting of bottle roll and column leach tests on the four principal lithologies (by relative tonnages) that host the gold mineralization at the San Francisco Mine Property. Recoveries of 83.2%, 93.9%, 50.7% and 78.5% were returned. These results are significantly higher than historical recoveries of 61% and appear to be largely attributable to crush size. The Company is confident lab results can be replicated at a commercial scale.
A prefeasibility study prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 is being completed on the San Francisco Mine Property. Micon International Limited of Toronto and Independent Mining Consultants, Inc. of Tucson are the principal consultants and independent Qualified Persons responsible for the Report. The Company expects the study will support the economics of re-commissioning operations with production anticipated by the fourth quarter of 2008. The San Francisco Mine is a past producing open pit, heap leach operation.
EXPLORATION AT NORTH AND NORTHWEST OF THE SAN FRANCISCO GOLD DEPOSIT
The 2007 program identified several new gold targets north and northwest of the San Francisco and La Chicharra pits. The occurrences are associated with quartz veins and veinlets hosted in a highly sheared, metamorphic sequence of schists, granites, gneisses and gabbros. Geochemical trends correlated with high resolution aeromagnetic data recently completed by the Mexican Geological Survey for Timmins Gold Corp. confirm the gold occurrences are associated with at least two principal northwest mineral trends identified as the West Mineral Trend and the East Mineral Trend.
West Mineral Trend: The West Mineral Trend includes the La Trinchera, La Perdida, La Escondida, El Gallito Ingles, La Perra and El Socorro gold occurrences. All of these showings either outcrop or are near surface. The West Mineral Trend exceeds 3 kilometers in width and 10 kilometers in length, and remains open along strike. The strike of the trend varies from N30°-50°W and dips to the NE.
The location of the San Francisco and La Chicharra gold deposits and several geochemical anomalies indicate the dominant northwest trending structures acted as conduits for the mineralizing fluids. The mineralizing fluids are believed to be post deposition and deformation as the mineral occurrences have been deposited in favourable lithologies and along foliation planes within the metamorphic sequence. Strong gold geochemical anomalies suggest the possibility that gold mineralization may exist at depth.
The La Pima silver occurrence located 30 kilometers northwest of the San Francisco pit lies along the projected strike extension of the West Mineral Trend. This showing is related to the emplacement of an intrusive body into limestone and a sequence of calcareous sandstone and siltstone. Replacement and skarn mineralization consisting of calcite and siderite veinlets and silver, lead and zinc veins occur regularly along a 2 kilometer strike length.
A large portion of the West Mineral Trend is masked by a thick blanket of soils that locally have been pierced by outcrops of the metamorphic sequence. The absence of bedrock exposure led to the decision to complete a comprehensive geochemical sampling program over much of the West Trend. In total 656 soil samples and 67 chip samples were collected over the 10 square kilometre grid. Geological mapping was also completed.
East Mineral Trend: The East Mineral Trend includes the Cerro Gauna, Area 1B, La Playa, La Mexicana and the Old Veta Tierra gold occurrences.
One of the most significant occurrences, Cerro Gauna, lies along the southwest extension of the trend. This sequence is exposed for a vertical distance of over 120 meters from the desert floor to top of the Cerro Gauna ridge. The granite and metamorphic sequence correlate with the mineralized units previously exploited and much of the remaining resource within the San Francisco pit area. A systematic rock geochemical sampling program is currently underway
The granite extends north, east and north-east of Cerro Gauna trending towards the Area 1B and El Socorro occurrences. Quartz veining with pyrite and tourmaline are all common in the granite. The north extension of the granite, inferred by aeromagnetic and geochemical signatures, is buried by a thick alluvial cover.
Systematic geochemical sampling programs were previously completed on the Area 1B Zone in the 1980's by Fresnillo and in the 1990's by Geomaque. Both programs confirmed the presence of a zone of highly anomalous gold values in a surface area measuring 800 meters by 450 meters that appears to be associated with exposures of granite on the north face of Cerro Gauna. A recently completed check sampling program confirms the results of the previous operators while detailed geological mapping and systematic geochemical sampling is being continued with the objective of locating appropriate drill sites.
Geophysics: Several geophysical programs have been completed on the San Francisco property by both previous operators and Timmins. The first aeromagnetic program was completed during the mid 1990's by Geomaque. The survey was flown with 300 meter high flight lines. While the survey clearly established that the San Francisco (SFGD) and La Chicharra Gold Deposits (LCHGD) were related to a well defined, regional, north-west trending magnetic field gradient change that extends along a 40 to 50 kilometer long corridor it appears to have failed in identifying many subtler anomalies. A review of the historical data by Timmins has determined that the 300 meter high flight lines were too high to identify many of these subtle anomalies and as a result IP-R and ground magnetic surveys had been often incorrectly located. The Company is confident the recently completed aeromagnetic and ground geophysical surveys will help identify similar mineralized zones along this regional trend.
During May and June 2007 the Company had a 1,227 line kilometer, high resolution, aeromagnetic and radiometric survey completed over the 40,000+ hectare San Francisco Property. The Company also acquired raw data for an additional 1,569 line kilometer survey previously completed. To provide better resolution than previous programs, flight lines were completed at elevations between 75 and 100 meters. The magnetic survey data clearly identified the significant gold occurrences associated with the regional structures and faulting that trend North 30°- 40° West, including the SFGD and LCHGD. In particular the gold deposits and occurrences appear to be associated with significant gradient changes from magnetic highs to magnetic lows. The radiometric survey data correlates well with the magnetic data. The Company intends on using this relationship to help guide future exploration on the entire property.
To further define targets and obtain a signature of the geophysical responses related to the SFGD, the Company contracted Zonge Engineering and Research (Zonge) to complete a Natural Source AMT (NSAMT) survey over the known zones of mineralization. In total 12 kilometers of NSAMT were completed. This information will be correlated with ground and aeromagnetic data, geochemical results and geological interpretation to help refine drill locations in the new targets areas. Synthesis, filtering and interpretation of the data is being completed by Zonge. The conclusions and recommendations are expected shortly.
RESULTS OF THE 2007 CORE DRILLING PROGRAM
In excess of 4,800 meters of diamond drilling was completed in 40 holes during 2007. This includes 1,240 meters in 11 holes for condemnation drilling.
West Pit: A total of 972.25 meters of core in 7 diamond drill holes were completed in the West Pit area. One of the principal objectives was to test the down dip extension and strike length of the high gold intersections encountered in hole TFD-27 completed during the 2006 drill program (i.e. 110.75 meters averaging 3.078 g/t gold). The 2007 West Pit drill program confirmed the continuity of the high gold grade as holes TFD-29, TFD-30, TFS-31, TFD-32 and TFD-33 all intersected lenses of granite and quartz breccias contained economic gold values. The most significant intersection returned 88.80 meters grading 1.29 g/t gold.
La Chicharra pit: A total of 1,369 meters of core was extracted from 9 additional diamond drill holes during the summer 2007 drill program. The results extended the strike length by 300 meters and confirmed the down dip extension of the La Chicharra gold deposit to at least 400 meters. Step out hole TFD-61 was drilled 380 meters north of the present pit limit. The results confirm the down dip extension of the ore body to at least 400 meters.
Crusher Area Drilling: A total of 1,700 meters of infill drilling in 19 holes has been completed in the crusher area. Of this total 341 meters in three holes were completed during the 2007 drill program. The program was designed to increase the drill hole density in the area so previous identified mineralized zones would meet the criteria required to be considered a mineral resource.
South San Francisco Pit: A total of 450 meters of core in 6 drill holes were drilled to test the down dip extent of economic values of gold mineralization. Granite and gabbro, two of the principal hosts of the gold bearing veins and veinlets are exposed across 400 meters along the south wall of the San Francisco pit.
Other Targets Drilled: Recent block model analysis on the San Francisco gold deposit identified at least 5 zones in which drill hole density was not sufficient to satisfy the confidence levels for a measured or indicated resource. Based on this review two zones were recognized as the most prospective for upgrade from inferred to a measured and/or indicated mineral resource category.
Southeastern pit: Two holes were completed south east of the present pit adjacent to the waste dumps. The holes were drilled to confirm the presence of gold mineralization intersected by previous operators. Hole TFD-60, drilled along section 20E returned 19.90 meters grading 4.076 g/t Au from 5.0 to 24.90 meters (including an interval of 6.20 meters grading 12.087 g/t Au), and 3.80 meters (true width) grading 1.30 g/t Au from 51.25 to 53.80 meters. Hole TFD-67 was drilled 40 meters NW of the TFD-60 along section 40W. The hole was drilled to test the down dip and strike extent of the same mineralized interval encountered in hole TFD-60. The hole ended in 1.20 meters (true width) grading 5.76 g/t Au and appears to have only pierced the top of the mineralized body.
Polvorines: A total of 220 meters of core in two holes, TFD-68 and TFD-69, were drilled southwest of the present pit limit. The holes were drilled to increase the drill hole density and mineral resource confidence level in an area previously hosting an inferred resource. Hole TFD-68 intersected a 8.10 meter (true width) interval grading 2.069 g/t Au including a 1.0 meter interval grading 14.80 g/t Au. Hole TFD-69 intersected several mineralized intervals from 1.0 to 1.5 meters wide, between 70 and 115 meters grading from 0.20 to 0.580 g/t Au.
Condemnation Drilling: An 11 hole, 1,327 meter condemnation drill program was completed in an area west of the present leach pads. A 500 meter by 500 meter area was identified as being suitable for locating future heap pads and/or operating facilities.
From January to September 2007 the Company completed a comprehensive metallurgical testing program. Micon International Limited of Toronto and International Plasma Labs (IPL) of Richmond, BC were contracted to complete bottle roll and column leach tests on the four principal lithologies that host the gold mineralization at the San Francisco Mine Property. By relative tonnage these lithologies include leucocratic granite, gneissic granite and leucogranite, gabbro and pegmatite. The recoveries for each were 83.2%, 93.9%, 50.7% and 78.5% respectively. The majority of the mineralization is found in the granite which had the highest recoveries. These results are significantly higher than historical recoveries and appear to be largely attributable to crush size. Testing has determined that crushing ore to ½ to ¼ inch is crucial in maximizing recoveries while a review of historical data indicates a crush size of ¾ inch or greater was common in previous operations. This may in part explain historical recoveries of approximately 61%. The Company is confident lab results can be replicated at a commercial scale provided appropriate controls are present.
A more comprehensive summary of the summer work program including maps, sections and analytical results will shortly be posted on the Company's website.
Pursuant to National Instrument 43-101, Darcy Krohman, P.Geo., C.A,. Senior Vice-President and CFO of Timmins Gold Corp. is the Qualified Person (QP) responsible for the disclosure in this news release. Field work has been conducted by Timmins Gold Corp. employees and contractors.
For further information, contact:
Bruce Bragagnolo, LLB.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Darcy Krohman, P.Geo., C.A.
Vice-President & CFO
Vancouver, BC, Canada
For Investor Relations, contact:
Vancouver, BC, Canada
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