Ascendant Resources Announces Updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Provides an Update to Geological Modeling to Support Future Growth Potential at Its Lagoa Salgada VMS Project in Portugal

Ascendant Resources Announces Updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Provides an Update to Geological Modeling to Support Future Growth Potential at Its Lagoa Salgada VMS Project in Portugal
  • NEW RESOURCE UPDATE BY MICON COMBINES CENTRAL AND SOUTH ZONES OF THE VENDA NOVA DEPOSIT INTO A LARGER SINGLE DEPOSIT BASED ON FURTHER 50M STEP OUT DRILL HOLE THAT INTERCEPTED STRONG MINERALIZATION
  • NOTABLE INTERCEPTS INCLUDE 36M @ 1.20% CUEQ AND 5.0M @ 2.68%CUEQ AT THE NORTH OF THE SOUTH ZONE BRIDGING THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ZONES
  • EVIDENCE OF LARGE VOLCANIC MASSIVE SYSTEM DEMONSTRATED BY CONTINUITY OF MINERALIZATION TRIGGERS DATA CONSOLIDATION TO UNVEIL ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL ZONES

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TORONTO, June 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Ascendant Resources Inc. (TSX: ASND) (OTCQX: ASDRF; FRA: 2D9) (“Ascendant” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce an updated Mineral Resources Estimate at the Venda Nova deposit at its Lagoa Salgada VMS project in Portugal, incorporating the results from a recently completed three-hole drill program. The new resource will be used for the current Preliminary Economic Assessment that is currently underway. The recent three-hole program continued the exploration success at the Venda Nova deposit and has been integrated into a new geological model resulting in a modest increase in inferred resources in the South Zone.

The new geological interpretation supports that Lagoa Salgada is a large VMS system, with strong continuity of mineralization and geophysical footprint suggesting significant potential for further growth of the resource. In parallel with the ongoing economic studies, further geological data integration aimed for definition of further targeting and resource expansion is underway.

Mark Brennan, CEO & Chairman of Ascendant stated, “While the resource update is modest in size given the small amount of drilling, the Venda Nova deposit at Lagoa Salgada continues to deliver impressive resource growth and indicates significant potential for future expansion. With our strong understanding of the relationship of geophysics and mineralogy, we continue to expect further resource expansion in the future that supports our view that Lagoa Salgada may be the next world class mine on the Iberian Pyrite Belt. The new resource and enhanced knowledge will be incorporated into our upcoming Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) which is expected by the end of July. The PEA will include both the North and South Zones and is expected to demonstrate the robust economic potential we see at Lagoa Salgada.”

The results of the recent three-hole drill program are outlined below:

2021 Drilling Results

Highlights(All composites are reported as true thickness):

  • LS_St_24 – 19.0m at 0.35% Cu, 0.46% Pb, 1.45% Zn, 0.05g/t Au, 11.34g/t Ag and (1.17% CuEq)
  • LS_St_24 – 2.0m at 2.59% Cu, 2.07% Pb, 4.31% Zn, 0.21g/t Au, 55.00g/t Ag and (5.53% CuEq)
  • LS_St_25 – 2.0m at 1.49% Cu, 0.09% Pb, 0.02% Zn, 0.30g/t Au, 40.50g/t Ag and (2.16% CuEq)
  • LS_St_26 – 36.0m at 0.31% Cu, 0.92% Pb, 1.10% Zn, 0.08g/t Au, 13.22g/t Ag and (1.20% CuEq)
  • LS_St_26 – 9.0m at 0.52% Cu, 2.02% Pb, 1.61% Zn, 0.11g/t Au, 18.61g/t Ag and (2.02% CuEq)
  • LS_St_26 – 9.0m at 0.46% Cu, 1.07% Pb, 1.72% Zn, 0.03g/t Au, 16.61g/t Ag and (1.60% CuEq)
  • LS_St_26 – 5.0m at 0.76% Cu, 1.21% Pb, 2.36% Zn, 0.10g/t Au, 60.6g/t Ag and (2.68% CuEq)

Program Details

The modest 1,171m drill program consisted of three drill holes completed in Q1 2021 that was part of the ongoing exploration program at the Venda Nova deposit at Lagoa Salgada targeting the expansion of the South Zone along its strike length, both to the SE and NW. Assays were recently received, and validated results show numerous mineralized intervals. Significant intercepts from the northern drill hole LS_St_26, confirmed the expansion of the South Sector towards the north resulting in the Central zone becoming part of the overall South Zone as opposed to a separate, isolated zone. Over time, the potential exists to connect the North and South Zones with further exploration work. The two other drill holes, LS_St_24 and LS_St_25, drilled each at 50 m step-out centers, in the southern end of the South Zone, intersected mineralization which confirmed the Company’s expectations for further extension of the resource to the Southeast.

The three drill holes successfully tested new mineralization expansion areas of the South Zone and have demonstrated that the stockwork/disseminated mineralization continues along strike in both north and south directions. Drilling success continues to validate the strong correlation of geophysical results and mineralization. Geophysical modeling has notably helped in the high drilling success, quantified as mineralization volume per drilled metre. Given the continued high degree of correlation, this is expected to continue going forward.

Table 1 below provides the assay results for the 3 drill holes (1,171 metres) in the South Zone of the Venda Nova deposit (see Figure 1 for location).

The drill holes were drilled at an angle of 60º to provide additional information of the true thickness and orientation of the ore zone. Several mineralized corridors and significant thickness of mineralization were intersected in drill hole LS_St_26 in the northern end of the South Resource, see Table 1.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b32edf0a-bee5-493f-9ebd-a3e92d31e789

Notes:
1 CuEq% = ((Cu Grade*66.14)+(Zn Grade*24.25)+(Pb Grade*20.94)+(Ag Grade*0.64)+(Au Grade*53.05))/66.14

Table 2: Drill Hole Information

ID Easting Northing Az (º) Dip (º) Elevation Depth (m)
LS_St_24 547446 4231150 240 -60 350 400.30
LS_St_25 547450 4231098 250 -60 350 330.00
LS_St_26 547339 4231362 250 -60 355 441.00

Update red title to read Venda Nova Lagoa Salgada Project, change sector to zone

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ceeae748-d0f5-4e2c-8f68-57d1bdc5f33f

New Mineral Resource Estimate
Based on the results of three new drill holes and updated geological modelling, the Company is pleased to report an updated Mineral Resource Estimate. This new estimate was prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) by Micon International and resulted in a modest increase in the inferred resources of the South Zone. The effective date of this Mineral Resource Estimate is June 10, 2021.

Three dimensional (“3D”) solid models of the stockwork mineralization reflecting a minimum grade of 1.1% CuEq were built in Leapfrog Geo 2021.1.1. The Leapfrog Edge estimation module was used to assign block grades for copper (%), zinc (%), lead (%), tin (%), silver (g/t), and gold (g/t) for Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources using the ordinary kriging interpolation methodology and capped 2-m hole assay composites. Up to four interpolation passes were applied using progressively increasing ellipsoid ranges to cover the range of 3D solid model sizes present. Block size is 10m across strike (x) by 10m along strike (y) by 10m vertically (z). Mineral Resource categorization was applied using geometric criteria, i.e., spacing between drill holes/assay composites and variogram ranges.

The new geological model now combines what was previously the South and Central Zones into one larger South Zone based upon the results of drill hole LS_St_26, which was drilled as a 50 m step-out to the east from drill hole LS_St_05. The latter drill hole (2018 program) reported lower metal tenors. The mineralization intensity and grade increase from hole LS St 26 proves that the known South Sector is open to the north carrying consistent mineralization along a north dipping plunge. Hole LS_St_26 metal tenors, mineralization styles and host rock nature allowed the refinement of the main fissure remobilized/ stockwork domain that now is merged to the previously isolated central zone. The newly modeled South Zone domain has a strike length of approximately 700m and a down plunge extent of nearly 1 km. It comprises Exhalative Sedimentary Volcaniclastic layers that can contain semi-massive sulphide mineralization, and an intermediate Volcanic package that hosts vein/stockwork mineralization partially associated with epigenetic remobilizations. Corridors of better continuity and metal tenor, notably the Central and Western sub-domains, have also been modeled, encompassing most of the mineralized structures. These subdomains are predominantly composed of Dacitic to Andesitic-Basaltic Volcanic rocks that are more affine with the occurrence of fissural remobilisation.

A summary of the new Mineral Resource Estimate for the South Zone is set out in Table 3 below. It should be noted that these resources are in addition to the current Mineral Resource Estimate for the North Zone of the Venda Nova deposit at Lagoa Salgada and are inclusive of the previously reported inferred resource of the Central Zone.

Table 3. Lagoa Salgada Project Venda Nova South Deposit Updated Resources as of June 10, 2021, at 1.10%CuEq.Cut-off Grade.

    Average Grade Contained Metal
Category Tonnes CuEq Cu Zn Pb Ag Au CuEq Cu Zn Pb Ag Au
  kt % % % % g/t g/t kt kt kt kt k oz k oz
Indicated 4,044 1.5 0.42 1.55 0.87 17.64 0.06 60.54 16.94 62.53 35.13 2,294 7
Inferred 10,827 1.35 0.31 0.79 0.43 14.56 0.76 145.65 33.12 86.03 46.67 5,068 266
  1. Mineral resources unlike mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.
  2. The mineral resources have been estimated in accordance with the CIM Best Practice Guidelines (2019) and the CIM Definition Standards (2014).
  3. Differences may occur in totals due to rounding.

While this increase in overall size of the new resource for the South Zone is modest compared to the prior resource, this new resource will be combined with the resources defined in North Zone and will be the basis of the resource to be used in the upcoming Preliminary Economic Assessment (see press release dated June 9 for more details). The combined resource is summarized in Table 4. Given the expanded resource a larger scale operation is envisioned than the prior PEA on the North Zone as a standalone operation.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d6c8e2a3-2552-4fd4-a943-d6fd380a90b9

Notes To Table
1. Mineral resources unlike mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues.
2. The mineral resources have been estimated in accordance with the CIM Best Practice Guidelines (2019) and the CIM Definition Standards (2014)
3. The resources for the South Zone are reported at a cut-off grade of 1.10 % CuEq; for the North zone, resources contained in the Gossan and Stringer domains are reported at a cut-off grade of 2.5 % ZnEq, and within the Massive Sulphide domain at 3.0 % ZnEq.4. Totals may not tally due to rounding
5. CuEq% = ((Zn Grade*25.35)+(Pb Grade*23.15)+(Cu Grade * 67.24)+(Au Grade*40.19)+(Ag Grade*0.62))/67.24
6. ZnEq% = ((Zn Grade*25.35)+(Pb Grade*23.15)+(Cu Grade * 67.24)+(Au Grade*40.19)+(Ag Grade*0.62)+(Sn Grade*191.75))/25.35
7. Metal Prices: Cu $6,724/t, Zn $2,535/t, Pb $2,315/t, Au $1,250/oz, Ag $19.40/oz, Sn $19,175/t
8. Densities: GO=3.12, MS=4.76, Str=2.88, Str/Fr=2.88 (north Zone) & 3.00 (South Zone)
9. MMlb: Million Pounds

Geological Potential Update

Current geological understanding suggests that the original spatial breakdown of the Venda Nova deposit at Lagoa Salgada into the North, Central and South deposits was arbitrary. This segmentation is due to the drilling pattern. Ascendant believes that mineralization continuity gaps are probably related to varying strike, dip, and plunge along the system. As per the QP interpretation in the previous technical report, with further systematic drilling, the known sectors are likely to coalesce into a continuous zinc-lead-copper VMS system, displaying local variation of mineralization styles and tenors: from secondary gossan to primary massive ending with peripheral primary/secondary stringer/fissure type mineralization. This interpretation is backed by continuity of the geophysical footprint.

Surface and Borehole 3D Models show that all three Venda Nova deposits lie on continuous, coincidental Resistivity (Low) and Chargeability (High) anomalies with an estimated geological strike length of 1.7 km. Anomalies extend in a SSE to NNW direction from the South deposit to beyond the North deposit and terminating against the Alpine fault (see Figure 2). Combined drilling and geophysical results indicate that the mineralization remains open beyond the current limits of drilling, along strike in both directions and down plunge/dip.

The known footprint of the large continuous system is constrained vertically by the depth of penetration of the IP/Res system, ~ 350 m. A deep penetrating Electro Magnetic (DEPM) survey will be planned to image the roots of the IP/Res anomalies and test the existence of high-grade massive sulphide lenses below the current threshold of the geophysical footprint (350 m below surface)

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cb8ac31b-d51e-4416-bf3e-4c943c6d1af8

Ascendant firmly believes that the large proven footprint of the Lagoa Salgada VMS system suggests high potential exploration upside in the property. Given the size of the system it is probable that exhalative system recognized in Lagoa Salgada is associated to fertile deep-rooted fractures that may be related to additional stacked or lateral mineralized lenses.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Core samples are retrieved from the core barrel by the drilling crew. Each core box is labeled with the drill hole number, the depth intervals, and an arrow indicating the downhole direction. Core samples retrieved from the barrel are immediately transferred to the core boxes and transported after to the logging facilities in batches. After the logging, core is cut in half and placed in labeled sample bags with the sample tags and transported to the sample preparation lab of ALS Lab, in Seville, Spain. Samples are dried, crushed to 70 % passing 2 mm, split and finally pulverized to 85% passing 75 μm. Pulp samples are then sent to their analytical Laboratory in Galway, Ireland, for analysis. The core samples are analyzed for gold (ppm) by fire assay (Au‐AA25), and for the other elements by Multi element analysis of base metal ores and mill products by optical emission spectrometry using the Varian Vista inductively coupled plasma spectrometer (ME-ICPORE).

ALS Laboratories has routine quality control procedures which ensure that every batch of samples includes three sample repeats, two commercial standards and blanks. ALS Laboratories is independent from Ascendant. Ascendant used standard QA/QC procedures, when inserting reference standards and blanks, for the drilling program. No significant QAQC failure issues were identified in the reported batches.

Review of Technical Information

The scientific and technical information in this press release has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Sergio Gelcich, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration for Ascendant Resources Ltd, who is a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101.

About Ascendant Resources Inc.

Ascendant is a Toronto-based mining company focused on the exploration and development of the highly prospective Lagoa Salgada VMS project located on the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal. Through focused exploration and aggressive development plans, the Company aims to unlock the inherent potential of the project, maximizing value creation for shareholders.

The Venda Nova deposit at Lagoa Salgada contains over 10.33 million tonnes of Measured and Indicated Resources @ 9.06% ZnEq and 2.50 million tonnes of Inferred Resources @ 5.93% ZnEq in the North Zone; and 4.42 million tones of Indicated Resources @ 1.50% CuEq and 10.83 million tonnes of Inferred resources @ 1.35 % CuEq in the South Zone. The deposit demonstrates typical mineralization characteristics of Iberian Pyrite Belt VMS deposits containing zinc, copper, lead, tin, silver and gold. Extensive exploration upside potential lies both near deposit and at prospective step-out targets across the large 10,700ha property concession. The project also demonstrates compelling economics with scalability for future resource growth in the results of the Preliminary Economic Assessment. Located just 80km from Lisbon, Lagoa Salgada is easily accessible by road and surrounded by exceptional Infrastructure. Ascendant holds a 21.25% interest in the Lagoa Salgada project through its 25% position in Redcorp – Empreendimentos Mineiros, Lda, (“Redcorp”) and has an earn-in opportunity to increase its interest in the project to 80%. Mineral & Financial Investments Limited owns the additional 75% of Redcorp. The remaining 15% of the project is held by Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, S.A., a Portuguese Government owned company supporting the strategic development of the country’s mining sector. The Company’s interest in the Lagoa Salgada project offers a low-cost entry to a potentially significant exploration and development opportunity, already demonstrating its mineable scale.

The Company’s common shares are principally listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “ASND”. For more information on Ascendant, please visit our website at www.ascendantresources.com.

Additional information relating to the Company, including the Preliminary Economic Assessment referenced in this news release, is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Neither the Toronto Stock Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For further information please contact:

Forward Looking Information
     
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” and “forward-looking information” (collectively, “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. All information contained in this news release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward-looking information. Often, but not always, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “budget”, “guidance”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “strategy”, “target”, “intends”, “objective”, “goal”, “understands”, “anticipates” and “believes” (and variations of these or similar words) and statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “should”, “might” “occur” or “be achieved” or “will be taken” (and variations of these or similar expressions). Forward-looking information is also identifiable in statements of currently occurring matters which may continue in the future, such as “providing the Company with”, “is currently”, “allows/allowing for”, “will advance” or “continues to” or other statements that may be stated in the present tense with future implications. All of the forward-looking information in this news release is qualified by this cautionary note.

Forward-looking information in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the exploration activities and the results of such activities at the Lagoa Salgada Project, the ability of the Company to advance the Lagoa Salgada Project to a Preliminary Economic Assessment, and the ability of the Company to fund the exploration with funds from operations. Forward-looking information is based on, among other things, opinions, assumptions, estimates and analyses that, while considered reasonable by Ascendant at the date the forward-looking information is provided, inherently are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may cause actual results and events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. The material factors or assumptions that Ascendant identified and were applied by Ascendant in drawing conclusions or making forecasts or projections set out in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, the success of the exploration activities at Lagoa Salgada Project, the Company advancing the project to a Preliminary Economic Assessment, the ability of the Company to fund the exploration program at Lagoa Salgada with funds from operations , and other events that may affect Ascendant’s ability to develop its project; and no significant and continuing adverse changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets.

 

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