Paul Harris | Mining Journal | 09 Mar 2017
Chilean Metals (CA:CMX) has started drilling at its Zulema copper-gold project near Copiapo in Chile, which it thinks has a similar geological footprint to the Candelaria mine owned by Lundin Mining (CN:LUN), Chilean Metals CEO Patrick Cruickshank told Mining Journal at the PDAC Convention in Toronto, Canada.
Drilling is hoping at Zulema is hoping for some of the success seen at the geologically similar Candelaria deposit
An initial 2,000m drilling programme over eight holes began in January and has com- pleted about 1,500m to date.
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The Candelaria mine, some 30km away, is the geological model for Zulema with a 1km2 area of intense garnet scapolite skarn breccia leading the company to believe that it may have the potential to host mineralization with over 1% Cu and 1g/t Au.
Drilling will also test a large induced polarization chargeability anomaly on its east- ern flank.
“It has all the earmarks of Candelaria and similar alteration. The rocks are looking good and the drilling is showing that the alteration is there, but we are just starting to get into it,” Cruickshank said.
Candelaria was the world’s second largest IOCG deposit with pre-mining reserves of 600 million tonnes grading 0.95% Cu, 0.22g/t Au and 3.1g/t Ag.
Results to date show high-grade IOCG mineralisation is present in the system and copper is present, although over narrow widths.
“We are getting copper in the system but we need to get some width on it,” said Cruickshank.
As part of the company’s preparation for drilling, it formed a technical advisory committee in October 2016, including IOCG experts Dr. Tony Belperio and Dr. Chris Hodgson, and lead by VP of exploration Gary Lohman.
“We have brought in a phenomenal technical team, the best group for IOCG in South America,” he said.
Cruickshank said with the copper price rising, the company is seeing increased investor interest, particularly from Europe and the U.S.
“It’s early days but investors are coming back in. The majors paused their projects so it is a good space for us to be in the majors have to get projects back on their books.”
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