With new discoveries of outcropping gold and silver deposits becoming increasingly rare, we believe that the future of exploration in Mexico rests on our ability to find blind ore bodies. As the phrase suggests, blind ore bodies are hidden from sight and can only be found using cutting-edge science to identify the subtle signatures that they leave at surface.
Prospero is exploring for epithermal gold-silver systems in the world class Altiplano mineral belt in the north and central parts of the country. When these type of deposits form, the hot fluids that deposit the silver, gold and other precious minerals produce profound changes in the rocks that host the deposits. These changes are lumped together by economic geologists as "hydrothermal alteration" and they can be very distinctive. The rocks can look bleached; they might become soft and crumbly or excessively hard; they might turn brown or yellow in colour because of iron staining for example. In fact, a whole branch of geological science has grown up around the description and recognition of the types of alteration that can occur with specific mineral deposit types.
Soft, bleached and clay-altered volcanic rocks, Prospero's Pachuca SE project.
The President of Prospero, Tawn Albinson, has made a career out of studying the alteration associated with epithermal gold/silver deposits in Mexico. He runs his own laboratory in Mexico City, dedicated to reconstructing the depth of formation of the deposits, and characterizing their alteration minerals. Tawn's depth of scientific knowledge, and his many years of field experience, have allowed Prospero to adopt and refine a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring for blind deposits, applying the techniques of multi-element geochemistry, clay mineralogy, fluid inclusion and silica petrography.
How does this help us? When we put the lab-based science together with good old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground prospecting, we can begin to identify where we are in the hydrothermal alteration system relative to a potential ore body at depth, and we can even estimate the possible depth to a productive mineralized zone.
A fluid inclusion in vein quartz.
Ultimately, although only drilling can show if the system is weakly or well mineralized at depth, but the bottom line is that the major Mexican metallogenic provinces are some of the best endowed in the world in terms of precious-metal rich epithermal deposits and we're confident we're exploring in the right region.
Want to know more? For more information on:
Epithermal precious metal deposits, click here.
Fluid inclusions, click here and here.
The many different types of vein quartz click here.