Firestone Ventures Inc
Thursday, October 18th, 2007
Firestone Ventures Inc. is pleased to announce that preliminary results from metallurgical testing confirm that Torlon mineralogy is relatively simple, consisting predominantly of smithsonite. Preliminary results also confirms that zinc-lead mineralization at Torlon Hill is largely free of deleterious minerals that can have a negative impact on processing of non-sulphide zinc ores. The Torlon Hill project is located 18 road kilometers northwest of the city of Huehuetenango, situated on the Pan-American Highway in western Guatemala.
“The testwork is in the very early stages but we are encouraged by these initial findings”, says Lori Walton, President of Firestone Ventures Inc. “The metallurgical testing at SGS Lakefield is on-going and we expect final results, including additional work on the mineralogy, in the coming months.”
Firestone has implemented a preliminary metallurgical testing program on a representative 200 kg sample of Torlon mineralization. The work is being carried out at the SGS-Lakefield facility located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada. Parallel with this testing, petrographic work has been commissioned. Consulting firm Watts, Griffis, McOuat Limited (“WGM”) is overseeing the metallurgical test work.
Preliminary mineralogical analysis indicates that smithsonite (ZnCO3) is the prevalent ore mineral, occurring as a replacement of limestone, and resulting in high grade mineralization locally exceeding 40% zinc. Other non-sulphide zinc minerals are relatively rare, but minor amounts of a hydrous zinc-carbonate (hydrozincite) and hydrated zinc-silicate (hemimorphite) are seen locally in the weathering zone. Accessory minerals include siderite and traces of goethite.
Traces of sphalerite (zinc sulphide) have been found in a sulphide (mostly galena-pyrite) zone at the base of the deposit. Throughout the deposit, silver-rich galena veinlets cross-cut the pervasive zinc-replacement mineralization.
Geological Setting and Deposit Potential
Torlon Hill is an intensely oxidized zinc-lead (plus silver) deposit hosted in Permian dolostone breccia and limestone. The carbonate unit has been tectonically thrust over a serpentinized basement sequence at the boundary between the North American Tectonic Plate and the Caribbean Plate. The “tectonic crush zone” is pervasively mineralized with thick zones returning in excess of 10% and locally up to 40% zinc.
High-grade zinc-lead-silver mineralization at Torlon Hill is contained within a shallowly southeast-dipping body that measures approximately 400 metres in length, 20 to 100 metres in width and up to 30 metres in thickness. The main body is composed of stacked or sheeted slices of brecciated, mineralized limestone, which lie above a well-defined serpentinite basement.
The mineralized body at Torlon Hill is still open to expansion, mainly to the west and to the south, where soil sampling by Firestone (see July 10, 2007 news release) outlined a contiguous zinc-lead soil anomaly extending a further 400 metres south of the drilled area.
The tectonic setting of Torlon Hill, near the suture between the North American tectonic plate and the Caribbean tectonic plate, is likely the causative factor for mineralization. WGM and John Cleary, Qualified Person for the Torlon Hill Project, also report that the area surrounding Torlon Hill has very high potential for hosting additional structurally controlled non-sulphide zinc deposits in addition to conventional Mississippi Valley-Type mineralization.