/EIN News/ March 23rd – 2009
Total Outstanding Shares: 66,895,333 NASDQ Pink Sheets: SLTA.PK
Total Restricted Shares: 50,833,333 Frankfurt Stock Exchange: SN7
Total Non-Restricted Shares: 16,065,000 Recent Price: US$0.07
Major gold exploration project at El Torno in Argentina with large-scale potential for both underground and open-pit mining.
Eureka copper-gold project in Argentina, joint ventured with TNR Gold Corp. with previous (non-43-101 compliant) resource estimates of 50-60 Mt at 1% Cu.
Two additional gold exploration projects in Mexico based on old mining properties.
An association with a minerals trading company with the intention of generating a rapid cash flow from projects in Albania and Morocco.
Soltera is a unique exploration company in the sense that it is following two distinct lines of action. The first is conventional, with exploration concentrated on carefully selected gold and base metal projects in Argentina and Mexico that were acquired during the last eighteen months, particularly the large-scale El Torno gold project in Argentina. The second, less conventional approach is to join with a minerals trading company to identify projects in any part of the world that can produce a rapid cash flow; such projects have been identified to date in Albania and North Africa.
El Torno, Argentina (gold, mining rights option on 7,863 hectares) is located in the Andean Cordillera near the international border with Bolivia. The property contains a very large gold-bearing quartz vein system that extends intermittently for at least 14 km north-south within sedimentary rocks and Soltera holds options over almost the full length.
Historically, El Torno was worked by the Incas and the Spanish over a long period and has more than 1,000 m of underground galleries. There is still a small-scale operation extracting gold from elluvial (surface weathering) deposits on the east side of the vein. In 1997 Puma Minerals carried out 2,100 m of drilling on a 1 km length and later in 1999 Peñoles undertook surface sampling, geological mapping and an IP geophysical survey in the same area. The combined results of this work showed:
El Torno is within a “gold province” that extends several hundred kilometers north-south through Argentina and Bolivia.
A strongly mineralized zone on the west side of the vein carries up to 37 gpt gold in the tested area, and has potential for several million ounces along the length of the vein.
Samples of stockwork zones some distance from the main vein gave up to 23 gpt and in one case 112 gpt gold. (non-43-101 compliant)
There are several IP geophysical anomalies that could indicate mineralization, but have not yet been drilled.
Soltera commenced their exploration in late 2007 with a geochemical stream sediment survey combined with structural mapping designed to target specific parts of the vein and the surrounding area for more detailed investigation. The combined results suggest that the gold potential may be considerably higher than previously thought.
The vein system was previously thought to be essentially in the form of a single steeply dipping, broken-up sheet of quartz that cut the surrounding rocks. In contrast, the structural mapping showed that the vein system is parallel to the layering of the sedimentary rocks and the whole sequence is folded into the shape of a broad anticline. This means that the known gold-rich zone in the western limb of the anticline could be repeated in the eastern limb, which has never been tested. In other words, the potential target for vein-hosted gold could be double that previously thought.
Former mining operation on El Torno
The geochemical surveys show strong and broad gold anomalies up to 800 meters from the vein that appear to result from vein suites and stockwork zones in black shales. These are concentrated in the 8 km long belt of lower unit rocks, as predicted by the structural survey. Furthermore, the strength of the anomalies suggests that gold mineralization in the stockwork zones could be far more widespread than previously thought and offers the possibility of open-pit potential on an even larger scale than the main vein.
Soltera will now use surface sampling, cleaning and sampling existing trenches and geophysical surveys to define drill targets. The initial broad target is an area of about 3 square kilometers where part of the eastern side of the vein system coincides with a major broad geochemical anomaly and where the title owner is currently extracting gold on a small scale from the country rocks. The test work will take about three months and drilling can commence shortly after that provided funding is available. Given success, this will lead to a feasibility study in early 2010.
Eureka, Argentina (copper-gold, mining rights option on 10,000 hectares) is located in northern Argentina near the Bolivian border and only 3 km from the El Torno project. The property contains ‘Red Bed’ type strata-bound copper mineralization within sedimentary sandstones, clays and conglomerates. The surface exposures are weathered and contain erratically distributed gold. Alluvial gold has been worked in the area since prior to the time of the Spanish arrival and there is an old mine with over 5 km of underground workings that exploited copper and gold on a small scale until 1987.
Copper Mineralization at Eureka
The deposit is similar in style to major copper deposits in the Bolivian part of the Tertiary Belt. A geological estimate in the late 1990’s (historic resources estimate which is not compliant with modern standards such as NI-43-101) was 50 to 60 million tons grading 1% copper. Only 70 m of the 450 m deep prospective Eureka formation has been explored to date, which leaves extensive upside potential.
TNR Gold Corp. (“TNR”), a Canadian mining company listed on the TSX with extensive experience in Argentina, has entered into an option agreement with Soltera to acquire a 75% interest in the property by spending a total of US$3,000,000 in exploration and option payments before April 20, 2010. TNR will undertake detailed geological mapping, geochemical and geophysical surveys, trenching, sampling the historic underground workings and drilling. Soltera is not required to incur any expenditure on the project at the present time.
Real de Cananea, Mexico (gold, mining claims option on 1,030 hectares) is located in Sonora State 26 km from the Cananea copper mine owned by Peñoles. It contains a gold-bearing fault zone up to 270 m wide and more than 400 m long within Cretaceous volcanic rocks that are intensely altered and carry gold.
There is a small old mine in the center of the property that was probably first worked by the Mayans and certainly by the Spaniards, with several shafts reaching 100 m below surface. The hard wallrock was mined with enormous effort and this, together with the fact that water had to be transported 8 km, indicates the importance of the mineralisation.
Gold is widespread on the property, with altered rocks showing up to 65 gpt. Soltera conducted a stream sediment survey over the area in 2008, which showed a particularly strong and broad anomaly covering approximately 2 square kilometers. This anomaly warrants further test work.
Soltera’s target is a large-scale open pit and the area is broad enough to accommodate well in excess of 1 million ounces. Geochemical, geological and geophysical surveys will be used to define drill targets. The option agreement over this property is currently being renegotiated.
Casita Colorada, Mexico (mining claims option on 150 hectares) is a large mineralized shear zone worked since the end of the 1800s for gold. Soltera has carried out geochemical sampling, but the results are still being assessed. The mineralized zone is at least 400 m long and 150 m wide and there is potential for a substantial gold deposit; however, the project is being held in reserve so that the company can concentrate on El Torno. The option agreement over this property is currently being renegotiated.
All the exploration projects are run personally by Soltera’s President, Dr. Fabio Montanari, who is living in Argentina and has a hands-on approach to the operations with frequent visits to Mexico. With the Eureka base metal project already farmed out, Soltera will focus its exploration efforts on gold, particularly the large-scale El Torno project.
The association with a minerals trading company is a new and important development for Soltera. The objective is to locate small-scale producing mines or deposits that can be brought into production quickly and, using the trading company’s experience and contacts, generate a rapid cash flow. Our work over the past three months has identified possible projects in two locations, Albania and North Africa, and the descriptions below illustrate our approach.
Soltera has signed an agreement with two Albanian companies, ENER-ALB sha.p.k. and ELITE MINE sh.a, to form a new joint venture company that will tender for the rights to mineral properties in Albania. Shares in the new company will be held in the ratio ENER-ALB 25%, ELITE MINE 25% and Soltera 50%. If a tender is successful, Soltera will be responsible for undertaking a bankable feasibility study at its own cost if required and for raising development funding.
Soltera is working on a proposal with the trading company to develop manganese deposits in North Africa. If all goes according to plan, Soltera will have up to 50% contributory interest in the project depending on available funding for Soltera.
The deposits consist of long strata-bound manganese lenses within sedimentary rocks, and were worked in the past, both under-ground and open pit, by the French who left in 1967. More recently, small-scale mining has been and is still being carried out by a small Italian company.
Our intention is to enter into an agreement with the mineral title owner with a view to funding re-opening of the mine, exporting manganese concentrates and building production up to a larger scale. Revenue generated from this project, if successful, will be used to fund exploration at El Torno and the other projects.
For more Information
Dr. Kevan Ashworth
+44 (0) 1483-767668