La Libertad-Santo Domingo Gold Mining District
The Cerro Quiroz Concession, which covers an area of 22.5km² was granted to Condor on the 5th April 2010. A concession swap announced in September 2010 reduced Condor's interest in Cerro Quiroz to 20%. B2Gold, who own the nearby La Libertad Gold Mine hold the majority interest and manage exploration. The Concession is located in the Libertad-Santo Domingo gold mining district, and represents the eastern extent of gold mineralisation discovered to date in this broadly east-west orientated epithermal gold system. There is a long history of gold mining in the district dating back over 150 years:
1. At Santo Domingo, only 4km to the west of the Cerro Quiroz, a cooperative of small-scale miners have produced an estimated 14,000 ounces of gold since 1980.
2. The larger La Libertad-Orosi Mine located 15km to the southwest of Cerro Quiroz has recorded production of 170,000 ounces of gold. Owners, TSX listed B2Gold Corporation commenced production in January 2010 at a new mill and plant which has planned production of up to 90,000 ounces of gold per annum to process over 500,000 ounces of currently defined gold reserves.
Despite the long history of gold mining in the district, gold was only discovered on the Cerro Quiroz Concession as recently as 2003 by Canadian explorer Chesapeake Gold Corporation who defined the north-south trending Cerro Quiroz epithermal vein, grading up to 17.8g/t gold over more than 1500m strike length, through a programme of rockchip sampling. The gold mineralised structure passes through at least two different lithologies; exposed in outcrop both as a 1m to 2m wide steeply dipping vein hosted by propylitic-altered andesite, and elsewhere as a 2m to 3m wide quartz stockwork hosted by felsic volcanic rocks. The mineralisation is open along strike in both directions and to depth. The north-south orientated strike of the mineralised structure at Cerro Quiroz is in contrast to the rest of the Libertad-Santo Domingo gold district where northeast-southwest to east-west trending epithermal vein swarms dominate. This suggests that Cerro Quiroz may represent the discovery of a different phase of gold mineralisation formed under a different tectonic regime to the better explored La Libertad and Santo Domingo Mines.
The Cerro Quiroz Concession is also prospective for a continuation of the east-west orientated veins of the nearby Santo Domingo vein swarm. Previous explorer Chesapeake Gold Corporation reported rock chip samples assaying up to 2.5g/t gold from an outcrop of an east-west striking vein located within 100m of the Cerro Quiroz Concession.
A compilation of existing geological mapping by government and previous explorers suggests that the main mining centres along the Libertad-Santo Domingo gold corridor are associated with volcanic centres, now represented by exposed felsic volcanic stocks, which are distributed every 6km to 8km along the corridor. The felsic stock that forms the prominent hill of Cerro Quiroz may represent one of these zones of concentrated gold mineralisation
The recent discovery of gold mineralisation along a previously unknown trend at Cerro Quiroz within such a large gold mineralised system indicates that the eastern end of the Libertad-Santo Domingo gold district is significantly under-explored. Condor’s management team are optimistic that the Cerro Quiroz vein is not an isolated structure and that the Concession has the potential for the discovery of significant gold reserves.