Rocks within the La Llanada region are predominantly Cretaceous age, shelf sediments, deep marine cherts and mafic marine volcanic rocks which have been intruded by Oligocene-Miocene age dioritic intrusions. Gold mineralization within the district is hosted for the most part in shallow-dipping quartz-carbonate-pyrrhotite-pyrite veins as coherent and relatively extensive structures in the dioritic intrusions and as veinlets and vein-stockworks in adjacent hornfelsed Cretaceous sediments.
The area is recognised for its high-grade gold veins (channel sampling by Royal Road has returned an average of 30 g/t gold across vein structures averaging 0.3m in width) and is the source region for the historic Barbacoas alluvial goldfield which has been in operation since the early 1600’s. Mechanised hard-rock mining commenced in the La Llanada district during the early 1900’s with development of the Las Palmeras and El Canada mines. These mines were managed and operated by North American companies until the start of the Second World War. Currently El Canada and Las Palmeras are operated by a local cooperative, ore is hand-picked. Total production at El Canada is estimated at approximately 2M Oz gold since the early 1900’s.
Prior to acquiring the La Llanada exploration titles from AngloGold-Ashanti, Royal Road conducted scout exploration drilling under an option agreement on the La Golondrina gold mine project. This was the first exploration scout drilling program ever to be completed at La Golondrina and in the immediate region which includes many other high‐grade, small‐scale gold mines. Drill holes targeted subhorizontal stacked quartz-carbonate veins and veinlet systems hosted in very strongly altered (biotite, amphibole, silica) tonalite and hornfelsed sediments with corresponding ground magnetic and induced polarization anomalies. Higher grade gold intersections (e.g. GOL‐16‐02; 47.8 grams per tonne gold over 0.25m), with elevated bismuth and copper were associated with quartz‐carbonate pyrrhotite veins up to 30cm wide and lower grade, broad intercepts (e.g. GOL‐16‐02; 24.9 meters at 1.0 grams per tonne, 14.3 meters at 1.0 grams per tonne and entire drill hole, 195.2 meters at 0.4 grams per tonne gold) were generally related with stacked subhorizontal zones of decimeter‐scale veins and shallow‐dipping interconnecting veinlets and stringer zones. Interestingly, even where the tonalite appeared devoid of veins or veinlets it was found to be anomalous in gold mineralization. The results indicate potential for a bulk tonnage intrusion-related gold deposit at and adjacent to the mine workings at La Golondrina. Royal Road is currently working on formalizing informal mine operations in the La Llanada district and is planning a regional ground magnetic and radiometric survey to complete coverage and understanding of the region comprising various known occurrences around the La Golondrina operation.