The Silfiac licence was selected to cover part of the Western Armorican Massif where high grade, zinc-lead-silver-germanium vein systems had previously been discovered and described by the BRGM. The licence covers 173 square kilometres over a set of north-north-west oriented shears which host the veins within metamorphosed sediments and an intrusive granodiorite complex.

These veins are considered attractive exploration targets by the Company as -

  • They display very close geologic and depositional event similarities to the Saint Salvy deposit, mined by Pennaroya between 1975 and 1990, and located in the Massif Central, France. This mine produced a total of 2.8Mt of ore at a grade of 11.7% zinc, 150 g/t germanium and 38 g/t silver, and
  • They lie within a short trucking radius (approx. 25 kilometres) of the zinc-rich Porte-aux-Moines VMS deposit, the focus of Variscan's recent exploration work and which the Company believes has good potential to become a mine.

The most important deposit defined to date is the high grade Plélauff zinc-lead-silver-germanium deposit believed to have been mined around the 8th Century. Plélauff was discovered by the BRGM in the late 1950s following the completion of regional exploration including stream sediment geochemistry, soil sampling, trenching and electrical geophysics. From 1961 to 1963 the BRGM completed substantial underground mine development on Plélauff, sinking a shaft and developing two main levels at 80 and 130 metres below the surface, strike driving the lode and systematically channel sampling and mapping the deposit.

In summary, this work -

  • Successfully defined continuous, high grade zinc-lead-silver-germanium (>10% zinc+lead) mineralisation averaging between 2.5 to 4 metres thick,
  • Defined the main lode over a strike length of 230 metres on the lower level and indicated that mineralisation is increasing in strike length at depth,
  • Intersected a further zone of mineralisation at the southern end of the 130m level which may link with the main zone of depth, and
  • Indicated that the base metal sulphides (galena and sphalerite) contained significant silver, germanium and cadmium, potentially important future byproducts.

Silfiac project

Long section of the Plélauff zinc-lead-silver-germanium deposit as defined in
underground development by the BRGM.


Variscan considers the exploration potential to expand the deposit to be excellent as no drilling was completed in or around Plélauff and it remains open at depth.

Elsewhere within the Plélauff shear, additional mineralised dilational jogs can be expected and thus the Company believes that the scope for the discovery of unexplored and blind ore shoots within the Plélauff structure is high.

In addition, no significant exploration is believed to have been conducted in the region since the 1960's. The five kilometre wide north-north-west striking structural corridor that hosts the Plélauff deposit is also believed to host other Plélauff type shears, providing good potential for further high grade zinc-lead-silver-germanium deposits within this very under-explored region. 



Plates - Underground crew on the 130m level and surface infrastructure of Main
shaft - Plélauff