Argentex Mining Corporation report on the positive progress made in advancing its flagship polymetallic Pinguino project and to provide a summary of its initial plans for the 2008-2009 exploration season.
During this field season, Argentex completed the largest diamond drilling program in the history of its Pinguino project, testing 15 different mineralized vein systems for a total of 20,782.9 meters (68,185 feet) of diamond drilling. Results to date are very encouraging, expanding the mineralized footprint at Marta Centro, Marto Este and Marta Norte and outlining significant new discoveries in other zones. Additional analytical results from this drill program are pending and will be announced as they are received and compiled.
“Our initial discovery of indium-enriched polymetallic mineralization at Pinguino has been followed by successful back-to-back drill programs that continue to build our database and our level of confidence as we advance towards our ultimate goal of production,” said Ken Hicks, President of Argentex Mining. “We look forward to using these drilling results as a base to establish an initial resource estimate within the following months. Meanwhile, we intend to continue to increase our knowledge of this highly promising deposit during the upcoming 2008-2009 field season.”
Metallurgical studies underway
Argentex has commenced preliminary mineralogical and metallurgical studies at Pinguino. Representative samples of a variety of ore types (including massive sulphide, disseminated sulphide and quartz-rich precious metal vein material) have been collected from new drill core. These samples will be analyzed at the University of La Plata in Buenos Aires. In addition, specific gravity calculations on a suite of approximately 265 mineralized samples as well as host rock types have been completed. Argentex intends to use this information in preparing a resource estimate that will comply with Canada’s National Instrument 43-101, Standards for Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
Planning for the 2008-2009 field season in Santa Cruz province is underway. Previous experience at Pinguino has shown that detailed mapping, geochemistry and geophysics can be extremely effective in discovering new mineralized veins in areas of thin overburden, like those encountered by Argentex at the heart of the mineralized “Tranquilo” corridor. Argentex believes that the Tranquilo structure is an important factor in the formation of mineralization at Pinguino.
With this in mind, the company is planning to focus initial exploration on Pinguino’s most heavily mineralized area, which covers approximately eight square kilometers (three square miles), to identify any indications of hidden mineralization. These areas would then be tested by trenching and drilling. Drill testing in the 2007-2008 season showed that even weak indications of surface mineralization can be representative of substantial mineralized veins at depth.
Silver-gold projects in Santa Cruz
A number of other drill-ready projects also exist within Argentex’s large portfolio of Patagonian properties, including epithermal gold-silver mineralization at Condor and Cerro Contreras. Both properties show characteristics of low-sulphidation mineralization typical of many deposits within the Deseado Massif of Santa Cruz province. Current plans for 2008-2009 include drill testing at the Condor property. Exploration plans for Cerro Contreras are still being formulated.
Argentex has a unique profile for a junior exploration company. The polymetallic nature of the mineralization at Pinguino provides the company with exposure to three distinct sectors of the commodity markets: base metals such as zinc and lead, precious metals such as silver and gold, and strategic metals, including indium. This diversity offers several potential avenues of growth for the company, though there can be no assurance that any of these metals can be economically extracted.
Indium is a high-value metal used in flat-panel (LCD, plasma) displays and in leading-edge thin-film solar cell technology. The price of indium has risen dramatically from $143 per kilogram at the beginning of 2001, as reported by Platts Metals, to its current range of $685-$700 per kilogram, as reported by the Northern Miner on August 25, 2008. This extraordinary growth rate is due in part to the rapid deployment of all types of photovoltaics, including thin-film photovoltaics (TFPV), one of the fastest-growing technologies in the alternative energy sector. The low cost, flexibility and manufacturing advantages associated with TFPV, compared to more established crystalline silicon solar cells, also play a factor in the price of indium.
While Argentex has found indium at Pinguino, there can be no assurance that it exists in quantities sufficient to make production economically feasible.
Argentex’s Pinguino property is located in Argentina’s Patagonia region, within the Deseado Massif of Santa Cruz province. The zinc-silver-indium-lead-gold-copper discovery at Pinguino in 2006 marked a major exploration milestone for the company. This was the first discovery of its kind in the region, unique in that it contains both silver-gold and indium-enriched base-metal mineralization. Since 2006, exploration of base-metal-rich targets has expanded to encompass more than 15 mineralized zones, including Marta Centro, Yvonne, Yvonne Sur, Yvonne Norte, Sonia, Kasia, Savary and Luna veins, within an area of approximately 8.0 square kilometers (3.0 square miles).
Pinguino is easily accessible, situated approximately 400 meters (1,312 feet) above sea level in low-relief topography. An existing system of all-weather roads provides year-round access to the property.
Argentex Mining Corporation is a junior mining exploration company with significant holdings in the Patagonia region of Argentina. It owns 100% of the mineral rights to the Pinguino property and 100% mineral rights to more than 30 other mineral properties with over 377,490 acres (152,766 hectares) in the Santa Cruz and Rio Negro provinces of Argentina. In addition, Argentex continues to look for new opportunities in Patagonia. Shares of Argentex common stock trade under the symbol AGXM on the OTCBB and on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ATX.