Project Highlights

  • Significant land package (over 32,000 hectares) located within a highly prospective mineral belt in the state of Chihuahua; 26 km from the historic silver mining city of Parral;
  • Property has good road access, gentle topography, power and water sources nearby;
  • No known modern exploration or previous drilling conducted on the property until Northair in 2009;
  • The mineralized system at La Cigarra has been traced over approximately 6.5 kilometres and outcrops at surface as a silver soil anomaly with numerous historic surface workings along strike;
  • Results from 154 drill holes totaling over 25,000 metres clearly outline a continuously mineralized portion with a strike length of 3.6 kilometers encompassing the La Borracha, San Gregorio and Las Carolinas Zones; click the following link to view the comprehensive results of all the drill holes completed to date: La Cigarra Drill Results;
  • Initial resource estimate incorporates data from 143 of 154 drill holes competed within a potentially surface minable mineralized area comprised of the San Gregorio and Las Carolinas mineralized zones, which combined form a total strike length of 2.1 kilometres;
  • Property's initial NI 43-101 resource estimate hosts 50.4 million ounces of silver in the Measured & Indicated categories grading 76 g/t silver and 3.5 million ounces of silver in the Inferred category grading 61 g/t silver constrained by a Whittle pit shell at an economic cutoff grade of 30 g/t silver, and metallurgical recoveries of 84% silver; click the following link to view the Technical Report: NI 43-101 La Cigarra Technical Report;
  • Significant quantities of mineralized material existing along strike and down dip were excluded from the resource estimate in areas where drill-hole density was not sufficient to bring mineralization into the pit shell boundary;
  • Further drilling within and adjacent to the optimized pit, which has a current strip ratio estimated at 3.28:1, could potentially add significant silver ounces to the current resource estimate;
  • The purchase of surface rights and a twenty (20) year lease agreement signed with the Ejido Estanzuela allows Northair to conduct exploration activities on the Property as well as future construction, mining and processing.


The La Cigarra silver project is located in the state of Chihuahua along the eastern fringes of the Sierra Madre Occidental in north central Mexico; 26 kilometres from the historic silver mining city of Parral. The project is close to power and has good road access, topography and infrastructure. La Cigarra was identified as an acquisition target by exploration staff in 2008 as part of the Company's generative exploration program. To date reconnaissance, sampling and drilling completed by Northair confirm numerous silver occurrences currently traced over a 6.5 kilometre trend of mineralization. Situated within a robust 3.5 kilometre mineralized trend, the 2.1 kilometre long La Cigarra silver deposit contains a potentially economic open-pittable mineral resource. At a 30 g/t cut-off, the NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate comprises 50.4 million ounces of silver in the Measured & Indicated categories grading 76 g/t silver and 3.5 million ounces of silver in the Inferred category grading 61 g/t silver. The La Cigarra silver deposit also contains appreciable gold, lead and zinc values.

La Cigarra Resource Estimate

La Cigarra's maiden NI 43-101 resource estimate was completed by Arseneau Consulting Services (ACS) in conjunction with JDS Energy and Mining Inc. (JDS). Please click the following link to view the Technical Report: NI 43-101 La Cigarra Technical Report

The resource estimate was calculated based on results from 143 of 154 holes totaling 25,576 metres drilled along the open ended La Cigarra mineralized system which has a defined strike length of at least three (3) kilometres. The 143 holes included in the Property's initial resource estimate were positioned within a potentially surface minable area comprised of the San Gregorio and Las Carolinas mineralized zones, which combined form a total strike length of 2.1 kilometres. The resource estimate was constrained by a WhittleTM pit shell at an economic cutoff grade of 30 g/t of silver, and considers metallurgical recoveries of 84% silver. A summary of the mineral resource estimate contained in the resource shell calculated by ACS at a 30 g/t silver cut-off grade is listed below:

Category Tonnes* Ag (g/t) Au (g/t) Pb (%) Zn (%) Ag Oz Au Oz Pb Lbs Zn lbs
Measured 6,235,000 65 0.06 0.10 0.16 13,090,800 12,100 13,161,500 21,706,600
Indicated 14,520,700 80 0.06 0.10 0.14 37,402,800 28,100 32,924,700 45,983,100
M + I 20,755,700 76 0.06 0.10 0.15 50,494,000 40,100 46,086,200 67,689,700
Inferred 1,780,150 61 0.05 0.10 0.12 3,515,900 3,000 3,959,300 4,865,700
Note:* Mineral resources are reported in relation to a conceptual pit shell at a 30 g/t silver cut-off. Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. All figures are rounded to reflect the relative accuracy of the estimate. All composites have been capped where appropriate.

The mineral resources of the La Cigarra Project are sensitive to cut-off grade. To illustrate this, the block model quantities and grade estimates within the conceptual pit are presented in the following table at different cut-off grades.

CLASS Cut-off Tonnes (000) Ag (g/t) Ag (oz) Au (g/t) Pb (%) Zn (%)
Measured >100 Ag g/t 803 137 3,548,500 0.08 0.14 0.17
> 50 Ag g/t 3,571 85 9,741,200 0.07 0.11 0.18
> 40 Ag g/t 4,753 75 11,434,300 0.06 0.11 0.17
>30 Ag g/t 6,235 65 13,090,800 0.06 0.1 0.16
>20 Ag g/t 8,220 56 14,676,900 0.06 0.08 0.14
> 10 Ag g/t 11,689 43 16,301,200 0.05 0.07 0.12
Indicated >100 Ag g/t 3,578 156 17,968,000 0.08 0.15 0.19
> 50 Ag g/t 9,235 104 30,834,800 0.07 0.12 0.17
> 40 Ag g/t 11,273 93 33,763,100 0.06 0.11 0.16
>30 Ag g/t 14,521 80 37,402,800 0.06 0.1 0.14
>20 Ag g/t 19,539 66 41,381,600 0.06 0.09 0.13
> 10 Ag g/t 27,714 51 41,381,600 0.05 0.07 0.11
Inferred >100 Ag g/t 160 139 717,400 0.06 0.15 0.18
> 50 Ag g/t 936 82 2,467,000 0.06 0.12 0.15
> 40 Ag g/t 1,252 73 2,920,200 0.06 0.11 0.14
>30 Ag g/t 1,780 61 3,515,900 0.05 0.1 0.12
>20 Ag g/t 2,497 51 4,091,200 0.05 0.09 0.11
> 10 Ag g/t 3,386 41 4,689,300 0.05 0.08 0.09
Note: Figures presented in this table for cut-off values below 30 g/t silver should not be misconstrued with a Mineral Resource Statement. The figures are only presented to show the sensitivity of the block model estimates to the selection of cut-off grade.

The development of the comparative tables above has relied on the work of experts. The following factors should also be noted:
  • Mineral resources were estimated in conformance with the CIM Mineral Resources definitions referred to in National Instrument 43-101, Standard of Disclosure for Mineral Properties;
  • The resource estimate considered the results of 154 drill holes totaling (25,576 metres) and was calculated by using 143 of these holes;
  • Mineral resources were estimated by ordinary kriging in 10x10x10 metre blocks. Grades were capped to 500 g/t silver in the high grade portion of the mineralization:
  • Mineral resources were classified as Measured if at least three (3) drill holes were found within a 75 x 50 x 25 metre search radius. Blocks were classified as Indicated if two (2) drill holes were found within a 75x50x25 metre radius and block were classified as Inferred if at least three (3) drill holes were found within a 100x75x30 metre search radius;
  • The "reasonable prospects for economic extraction" requirement generally implies that the quantity and grade estimates meet certain economic thresholds and that the mineral resources are reported at an appropriate cut-off grade taking into account extraction scenarios and processing recoveries. In order to meet this requirement, ACS considers that major portions of La Cigarra mineralization are amenable for open pit extraction;
  • In order to determine the quantities of material offering "reasonable prospects for economic extraction" by an open pit, ACS, with the assistance of JDS, used Whittle(tm) pit optimization software and reasonable mining assumptions to evaluate the proportions of the block model (Measured, Indicated and Inferred blocks) that could be "reasonably expected" to be mined from an open pit;
  • The optimization parameters, found in the table below, were selected based on experience and benchmarking against similar projects. The reader is cautioned that the results from the pit optimization are used solely for the purpose of testing the "reasonable prospects for economic extraction" by an open pit and do not represent an attempt to estimate mineral reserves. There are no mineral reserves on the La Cigarra Project. The results are used as a guide to assist in the preparation of a mineral resource statement and to select an appropriate resource reporting cut-off grade.
Parameter Value Unit
Silver Price $ 29.20 US$ per ounce
Lead Price $ 1.00 US$ per pound
Zinc Price $ 0.95 US$ per pound
Mining Cost $ 2.00 US$ per tonne mined
Processing (Sulphide material) $ 15.00 US$ per tonne of sulphide feed
Processing (Oxide Material) $ 12.00 US$ per tonne of oxide feed
General and Administrative $ 1.00 US$ per tonne of feed
Overall Pit Slope 45 degrees
Silver Flotation Recovery 84 Percent
Lead Flotation Recovery 75 Percent
Zinc Flotation Recovery 60 Percent
Silver Leach Recovery 90 Percent
Lead Payable 95 Percent
Silver Payable in Lead Conc. 95 Percent
Zinc Payable 85 Percent
Silver Payable in Zinc Conc. 70 Percent
Silver Dore Payable 100 Percent

Resource Expansion Potential

Immediate exploration potential at La Cigarra exists within and adjacent to the current resource area (between sections 6+00S in Las Carolinas and 3+50N in San Gregorio) at a 30 g/t silver cut-off as presented in the table below. The potential silver quantity and grade is conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain that further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource. This exploration quantity and grade was determined based on a single drill hole within the 100m search ellipse.

Immediate Exploration Potential adjacent and within the San Gregorio/Las Carolinas Zones, La Cigarra Project
    Potential In-Situ Grade Potential Contained Metal
Category Tonnes(000) Ag (g/t) Au (g/t) Pb (%) Zn (%) Ag (oz)
Exploration Potential 3,000 to 4,500 65 to 75 ~0.06 0.09 to 0.1 0.13 to 0.14 6,000,000 to 10,000,000

The long section (shown below) covering the San Gregorio and Las Carolinas zones demonstrates the meaningful drill intersections that encountered mineralization below and adjacent to the optimized pit, which were not included in the calculation of the resource estimate.

Furthermore, considerable resource exploration potential exists along the open continuous six (6) kilometre long La Cigarra mineralized system. This potential is in part supported by soil sampling along trend of the system, comprising the La Borracha Zone to the north (where nine (9) drill holes have intercepted significant silver mineralization) and the Las Venadas Zone to the south (which has returned surface silver values of up to 233 g/t silver over 2.5 metres). The defined target zone at Las Venadas covers an area of approximately 230 metres by 90 metres.

In addition, numerous other target areas within the remaining 32,000 hectare land package could host significant mineralization as evidenced by a cluster of historic workings and mineralized grab samples obtained from preliminary prospecting.

Metallurgical Information

In October 2012, Northair announced positive results from its phase II metallurgical testing. Recoveries of silver ranged from 85% to 90%.

The samples for the test work were collected by the Company from the San Gregorio Zone and classified into sulphide and oxide material. The sulphide samples were selected from 13 core drill holes, while the oxide samples were collected from 4 core drill holes. A flotation and cyanide leaching flow sheet was developed in order to achieve the optimum recovery of silver and base metals.

For sulphide material, silver was primarily recovered in a lead flotation concentrate. Initial recoveries of up to 73% of the silver and 70% of the lead were achieved at a primary grind size of 75 microns from material containing 68 g/t silver and 0.15% lead. In a separate test, about 85% of the silver in the lead cleaner tailings was extracted in a 96-hour carbon-in-leach process after regrinding to 11 microns. Based on these results, there is potential to recover approximately 85% of the total silver from material in a combined flotation-leaching flow sheet. This will be investigated further in future metallurgical programs. Preliminary assessment of the lead concentrate containing 48% lead and 22,600 g/t silver indicates that it would be marketable to smelters.

For oxide material, the silver is more amenable to whole ore leaching than flotation. Approximately 90% of the silver was extracted from material containing 57 g/t silver in 48 hours of whole ore cyanidation at a grind size of 94 microns.

These results indicate that a combined flotation-leaching flow sheet would achieve maximum silver recovery and could apply to both the sulphide and oxide ores.

Preliminary testing also indicated the potential for producing a zinc concentrate from the lead flotation tailings. A zinc flotation test on the tailings recovered about 55% of the zinc and 6% of the silver in a concentrate grading 57% zinc and 1,764 g/t silver grade. The material sample contained 0.12% lead, 0.15% zinc and 44 g/t silver.

The Company is planning further testing to confirm the process flow sheet and metallurgical performance with samples to be collected representing material from both the San Gregorio and Las Carolinas zones.

The metallurgical program was carried out by G&T Metallurgical Services of Kamloops, B.C., through the consulting firm of JDS Energy & Mining Inc., under the supervision of Hoe Teh, P.Eng, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101


The La Cigarra mineralized system is hosted within sedimentary rocks and can be traced in outcrop for upwards of 6.5 kilometres on strike. The mineral system strikes northwest and dips moderately northeast and mirrors the strike and dip of the host sediments. Mineralization is spatially associated with narrow diorite to granodiorite sills. Silver and base metals occur in sulfides hosted within quartz-vein stockwork zones and silicified breccias containing disseminated sulphides. The recognition of disseminated style of mineralization strongly enhances the economic potential of the Project.

Work Planned

Northair is currently conducting a core drill program at La Cigarra. The program will total over 5,000 metres of drilling and is designed to expand the La Cigarra mineral resource by targeting down-dip and on strike projections of mineralization at the north end of the San Gregorio Zone and to the south of the Las Carolinas Zone. Positive results from drilling within and adjacent to the optimized pit could add significant amount of silver ounces to the current mineral resource estimate and lower the estimated 3.28:1 strip ratio. On trend and further to the south, the program will include 1,700 metres of exploration drilling to test significant soil and rock geochemical anomalies and historic mine workings identified at the Las Venadas and Las Chinas targets. These targets have never been drilled and are underlain by the same stratigraphy that hosts mineralization at the San Gregorio and the Las Carolinas zones, and could potentially extend the La Cigarra mineralized trend an additional two (2) kilometers.

Northair is also planning further metallurgical testing to confirm the process flow sheet and metallurgical performance with samples to be collected representing material from both the San Gregorio and Las Carolinas zones.

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