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Sierra Madre Occidental Gold-Silver Belt
Currently Caza Gold is exploring in the prolific Sierra Madre Gold-Silver Belt with projects in the heart of the mineralized belt. The Santiago Project is located in the famous Batopilas Silver District and is within 28 km of Goldcorp's El Sauzal Mine. The Moris Projects are located adjacent to Hochschild's Moris Mine and approximately 20 km to the west of Gammon Gold's Ocampo Mine.
Caza's current portfolio of projects includes 2 projects in the Sierra Madre Mineral Belt:
||Santiago: Multiple high grade gold veins within a 200m wide fault zone traceable for at least 1000m - no previous drilling|
Moris Projects: Several bulk tonnage gold targets - minimal past drilling including:
Balleza-La Cienega Area: Gold-bearing veins, stockworks, & rhyolite-dacite dikes related to 7 Km long mineralized structure
Tecolote Area: Multiple Gold-bearing veins & silicified zones occupy mineralized structures traceable for 2.5Km
Moris Mine Area: Possible extensions of ore-bearing structures onto Caza ground
As would be expected in such a large volcanic belt, hydrothermal systems abound within the Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) so it is host to a multitude of gold-silver prospects. There are at least 10 gold deposits within the SMO that exceed 1 million oz gold. The Santiago and Moris Projects are situated in the center of the mineralized belt. Seven multi-million ounce gold-silver deposits occur with 100 km of the Caza Gold properties. All of these mineralized areas are closely related to volcanic centers or the intrusive bodies at the core of the volcanic caldera systems. The precious metal mineralization is hosted in veins, breccias, and as disseminated bodies in volcanic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks.
Sierra Madre Occidental Regional Geology:
The SMO is one of the largest volcanic belts in the world. As such, it is highly prospective for gold-dominant mineral deposits. The SMO is about 1200 kilometers long along its northwest axis, and varies in width from 200 to 300 kilometers. It contains two distinct Tertiary volcanic super-groups, a "Lower Volcanic Complex" (LVC) of andesite volcanic flows and tuffs and related granodiorite intrusions ranging from 65 to 35 million years in age, and an "Upper Volcanic Complex" (UVC) of rhyolite tuffs and ignimbrites and related dacite domes ranging in age from about 34 to 27 million years. Volcanoclastic sedimentary units are more common with the LVC andesites than the UVC rhyolites.
The LVC andesites generally lie proximal to large volcanic calderas, sit unconformably on top of highly deformed Precambrian, Paleozoic and Mesozoic metamorphic and plutonic rocks and are often floored by polymictic conglomerates of late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age.
The UVC rhyolites are more widespread than the LVC andesites and form huge blanket deposits sitting conformably on top of the andesite volcanic package with minor dacite volcanic tuffs marking the transition zone. The SMO forms a broad anticlinal uplift with gently dipping eastern flanks and more dissected and steeply dipping western flanks. The entire belt is cut by numerous coeval and younger transverse and longitudinal faults.
Epithermal Precious Metal Deposits:
Precious metal mineralization is related to the large hydrothermal cells developed in the large volcanic centers. The hot spring systems mobilized metals from the deeper igneous bodies or older sedimentary basement. The circulating hydrothermal waters interacted with the surrounding volcanic rocks and depending on the prevailing temperature caused alteration. Moderate to intense clay alteration and silicification are associated with the hydrothermal systems and the deposition of precious metals is closely associated with quartz-adularia veining. The majority of the SMO gold and silver deposits are low-sulfidation epithermal systems which can form extensive vein systems with strong metal zoning, with base metals (Cu, Pb, and Zn) and gold and silver deep in the veins. The intermediate levels of the veins have fewer base metals but still have good values of gold and silver. The upper levels of the veins are low in base metals and low in silver, but have good gold values along with elevated concentrations of arsenic, antimony, and mercury. The vertical zonation of the metals can be over a distance of 1000 meters. The horizontal zonation can be similar moving away from the primary "hot spring" structure. The low sulfidation epithermal deposits can host several million ounces of gold and several hundred million ounces of silver and often have high grade, "bonanza" ore zones.
Some of the epithermal systems are known as high sulfidation systems. These types of deposits are generally related to large porphyry systems which can host copper and/or gold. The epithermal portion of the mineralized bodies occur above the porphyry bodies generally in volcanic or sedimentary rocks, often in breccia bodies. These systems generally form very large alteration haloes covering tens to over a hundred square kilometers. The intense and pervasive alteration consists of clay, adularia, and silicification and can destroy original rock textures due to the highly acidic nature of the hydrothermal steam and heated waters.
High Sulfidation Precious Metal Deposits can be very large, occasionally in excess of 20 million ounces of gold and a billion ounces of silver. Ore grades are generally lower than the low sulfidation epithermal systems but the mineralized bodies can be very large.