Latin Resources defines copper-gold porphyry system at Ilo Este
Latin Resources (ASX: LRS) has defined a copper-gold porphyry system over at least 3 square kilometres with up to 8.4% copper rock chips and soils and associated drill targets at its Ilo Este project in southern Peru.
Ilo Este Copper Project comprises 5,300 hectares of the company’s more than 100,000 hectare, 100% owned concession holdings in the highly prospective coastal IOCG/Porphyry Copper belt of Southern Peru.
The anomalous copper was found over at least 3 km2.
The results provide further upside for a
joint venture partner for Ilo Este and adds to the scale of the
potential at the project.
The system was defined by surface (soil and rock chip) geochemistry, a ground magnetic survey and specialised geological and alteration mapping.
Ilo Este covers 5,300 hectares and is located 20 kilometres northeast of the port city of Ilo in the heart of Southern Peru’s prolific copper producing district where over 125 billion pounds of contained copper in published reserves and resources have been found within 100 kilometres of the tenements.
The district hosts Tier one Porphyry copper deposits including Cerro Verde (4 billion tonnes at 0.39% copper, 0.01% molybdenum), Toquepala (3.4Bt at 0.47% copper, 0.023% molybdenum) and Cuajone (2.4Bt at 0.48% copper, 0.017% molybdenum).
These have in turn produced 261,348, 136,135 and 171,545 tonnes of copper respectively in 2013, and together accounted for over 40% of Peru’s 2013 copper production.
In addition, the Quellaveco (947 million tonnes at 0.63% copper, 0.02% molybdenum), Tia Maria (639Mt at 0.39% copper, 0.19 grams per tonne gold), and Los Calatos (1.4Bt at 0.47% copper, 0.023% molybdenum) projects are under development.
These are all located within 130 kilometres of Ilo Este.
“We are extremely pleased to provide our shareholders with these excellent results at Ilo Este and we are confident this project will add significant value to the company going forward,” managing director Chris Gale said.
“By applying systematic exploration methodology, we have not only defined a significant exposed copper-gold porphyry system that extends well beyond historical drill testing, but we have also identified significant upside potential under cover to the east.
“Now that Ilo Norte is being drilled by our JV partners, Latin’s priority at Ilo Este is to focus on unlocking more value at by drilling the project as soon as possible.”
Latin had previously noted that it was discussing its Ilo projects with several potential joint venture partners.
Sampling at Ilo Este has recovered 81 rock chip samples ranging from 0.002% to 0.37% copper were collected along with 67 soil samples ranging from 0.001% to 0.31% copper.
Geological and alteration mapping by internationally recognised porphyry geologist Dr Warren Pratt has defined two roughly parallel, east-southeast trending intrusive belts, each over 1 kilometre in length, 0.5 kilometres in width, and both hosting typical copper-gold porphyry alteration and mineralisation, supported by significant soil and rock chip copper anomalies.
The southern of the two belts includes rock types more favourable for hosting higher grade copper mineralisation, representing a significant drill target.
Ground geophysics has identified a 800 metre by 200 metre magnetic high zone within the northern intrusive belt, modelled to be around 100 metres below surface, that could indicate a magnetite + intense potassic altered intrusive phase with potentially higher grade copper-gold mineralisation.
The northern belt was drilled by Rio Tinto in 2000 though this only tested parts of the belt to a relatively shallow depth of between 80 and 200 metres.
Copper and gold occur within potassic and sodic-calcic altered rocks that mostly coincide with quartz vein stockworks and the zone represents another significant drill target.
Mapping suggests both intrusive belts continue east under Recent cover, adding a further two drill targets.
Part of Ilo Este was drilled by Rio Tinto in 2000, when the average copper price was less than US$1/lb. Rio Tinto later abandoned the concessions, which were subsequently claimed by Latin’s 100% owned Peruvian subsidiary, Peruvian Latin Resources.
The mining giant had drilled 12 reverse circulation holes that appear to have been shallow and only partially tested a relatively limited part of the Northern Intrusive Belt.
Rio also constructed 14 kilometres of access road from the Pan-American Highway, which remain in good condition and provide access for future drilling with minimal investment.
The mineralised system is 6 kilometres from the Pan-American Highway, a railway line and an electrical substation, and from there 32 kilometres to the Port of Ilo.
Drill permitting is underway and expected to be complete in the current quarter.
With its Ilo Norte project being drilled by partner Compania Minera Zahena, Latin Resources’ exploration work at Ilo Este sets the stage for the company to attract a joint venture partner to assist with exploration and developing the project.
Its work to date has already defined a number of drilling targets with permitting underway and poised for completion in the current quarter.
Significantly, Ilo Este is within 130 kilometres of a Tier one Porphyry copper deposits as well as developing projects that hint at the prospectivity of the district.
First pass soil and rock chip sampling
commenced on a selection of the 10 targets generated last quarter with a
priority focus on Ilo Este which hosts the ex-Rio Tinto project “El Yaral” drilled in 2000 that shows evidence of a porphyry system with copper oxides at surface.
That Latin is discussing Ilo Projects with several potential JV partners provides share price catalysts ahead.
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