Solitario Exploration & Royalty Corp. (NYSE Amex: XPL; TSX: SLR) announced outstanding drilling results on its high-grade Bongará zinc joint venture project in Peru. Included in these results are underground drill holes V-240 that intersected 26.85 meters grading 13.45% zinc+lead (“Zn+Pb”) and V-244 that intersected 32.1 meters grading 11.4% Zn+Pb; and surface drill holes V-234 that intersected 5.9 meters grading 24.1% Zn+Pb and drill hole V-235 that intersected 7.2 meters grading 14.9% Zn+Pb. Significant silver values were also encountered in these holes.
The 2011 program was managed and entirely funded by Solitario's joint venture partner Votorantim Metais (“Votorantim”). The Bongará project hosts the high-grade Florida Canyon zinc deposit where zinc mineralization has been intersected over a four square kilometer area. The deposit is open to expansion in all directions. During the fourth quarter of 2011, Votorantim added two underground core rigs and another surface core rig bringing the total rig count to four.
Solitario has received assay results from 18 surface holes and 5 underground drill holes, with assays from many additional holes pending. Fourteen of the 18 holes intersected strong mineralized intervals. Surface drilling reported in this release is focused on the Karen-Milagros zone located in the northern part of the Florida Canyon mineralized system. All underground drilling is being conducted in the San Jorge zone situated in the southwestern part of Florida Canyon. All underground drill holes reported in this release were fan-drilled from underground drill station #4.Chris Herald, President and CEO of Solitario commented, "The Bongará project has advanced to a new and exciting stage with the onset of detailed underground drilling, augmenting the continuation of surface exploration. Drilling results continue to come in strong adding both new resources and increasing the confidence level of existing resources. Votorantim will be advancing the project through pre-feasibility by the end of 2012, including additional surface and underground drilling."