Kootenay Silver (CVE: KTN) has restarted its 30,000 metre drilling program on its main Promontorio silver project in Sonora, Mexico, calling for an "exciting" year ahead with a total of three core rigs now operating on site.
Drilling has restarted following a two-week seasonal break, before which a total of eight core holes were completed, all located in the northeast zone.
Samples from the step-out holes, which were looking for extensions to known mineralization, have been sent to labs for testing, with results to be reported once received.
Drilling now will look to expand the Dorotea area and southwest of the Pit zone, the company said.
The current 30,000 metre campaign is the largest drill program conducted on Promontorio so far, and is designed to "substantially increase" the overall size of the contained silver resource at the site, and to expedite the process to a production decision.
"We are very pleased to ramp up drilling again at Promontorio and to report the first 8 drill holes of our program have been completed and sent for assaying," said CEO James McDonald, in a statement Thursday.
"It promises to be a very exciting year ahead. Due to the accelerated nature of the program, shareholders can expect a steady stream of upcoming drill results coming from the Promontorio camp as our drill and resource expansion program reaches full capacity over the coming weeks and months."
In other news, the company said its exploration team has reported a "promising new area" of mineralization in outcrops on the main northeast to southwest trending structure, which hosts the northeast and Pit resources.
The new mineralization is considered important, Kootenay said, as it adds a potential 3 kilometres to the strike extent of mineralization in the Diatreme Breccia Corridor.
A PEA study is planned for the end of the drilling campaign, and will include an updated resource estimate with results from the latest drilling. The report will then form the basis for the pre-feasibility study at Promontorio.
The news today follows the unveiling of an updated resource estimate at Promontorio in August, which saw a near tripling of the resource size. In total, the updated measured and indicated mineral resource at Promontorio contains an estimated 61.679 million ounces of silver equivalent (AgEq), with another 14.469 million ounces of AgEq categorized as inferred.
The significant increase in resources was due to extensive additional drilling of over 37,900 metres. Kootenay said over 22,000 samples were used in the modeled wireframes compared to just over 3,000 for the previous model.
In September, the company completed a sensitivity analysis of varying metal prices at 18, 24 and 36-month trailing averages, and found that when even the most conservative metal prices observed during the 18 to 36 month period were applied, there was less than a 4 per cent variance in Promontorio’s measured and indicated resource.