COPPER – GOLD
(100% AQD – Selected Prospects Subject to South32 Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA))
Peru, South America.
Over the past ten years AusQuest has assembled a world-class exploration opportunity in Peru, South America – one of the world’s most prominent destinations for international copper exploration.
Peruvian projects under the SAA with South32 currently include Cerro de Fierro, Parcoy, and Los Otros. For more details of the SAA, please refer to the ASX announcement on February 20 2017 – “Strategic Exploration Alliance with South32” and the extension announced to the ASX on March 10 2020.
Detailed aeromagnetic data acquired by the Company in 2011 have been used to identify porphyry copper and IOCG prospects beneath the extensive volcanic, sand and sediment cover in southern Peru. A combination of geological mapping and sampling, together with ground-based geophysical surveys has been used to identify targets for drilling.
The Cerro de Fierro Copper Project is located approximately 140km south of the Mina Justa copper mine (~475Mt @ 0.68% Cu) in the Chala region of southern Peru. It was initially acquired to test a discrete magnetic target identified by the Company’s regional aeromagnetic survey. The prospect occurs within a large area of potassically altered volcanics – a common indicator of IOCG style mineralising systems.
Geological mapping and sampling have identified numerous targets both for IOCG and porphyry copper style mineralisation within the greater project area.
The newly named Pirata Prospect immediately east of Cerro de Fierro contains at least six possible porphyry copper and/or manto-style copper targets over a 20km distance within a major east-west structural corridor that parallels the Coastal Batholith contact, which is considered to be a highly prospective target zone within the Coastal Belt of Peru and Chile.
Drilling to date has been confined to the Cerro de Fierro prospect where extensive copper mineralisation has been found within andesitic volcanics both at shallow depths in the south (including 30m @ 0.5% Cu and 5.6g/t Ag from surface) and deeper in sections to the north (including 30m @ 0.43% Cu, 0.16g/t Au + 43m @ 0.43% Cu, 0.35g/t Au + 28m @ 0.42% Cu, 0.15g/t Au in CDFDD03), confirming a shallow dip for the mineralisation within the volcanics.
Strong indications of buried porphyry copper mineralisation were also identified in the more recent drilling completed in 2021 in the south of the prospect, where geochemical vectors highlighted priority target areas beneath the volcanics for further drilling.
Additional drilling programs have been planned for Cerro de Fierro and the adjoining Pirata prospects and will commence once drill permits have been received from the Peruvian Government. This is expected to occur around the middle of 2022.
Cerro de Fierro is the subject of an agreement with South32 to fund ongoing exploration including drilling. South32 can earn a 70% interest in the project by spending a total of US$4.0 million. AusQuest is the operator and manages all exploration work at the project.
The Parcoy Copper Project is located ~50km north of Cerro de Fierro, and is targeting manto-style copper mineralisation adjacent to structures that are known to host copper mineralisation ~6km to the south-east, at the Los Chapitos prospect (Camino Minerals). Interpretation of the Company’s airborne data suggests widespread potassic alteration similar to that found at Cerro de Fierro. Parcoy is subject to the Strategic Alliance Agreement with South32.
Reconnaissance mapping and rock chip sampling located numerous rock samples returning anomalous Cu (150ppm up to 3.2% Cu) and gold (50ppb to 1.6ppmAu) values within both the andesitic volcanics in the north and intrusive monzodiorite to the south which are separated by a regional fault thought to be the feeder structure for copper mineralisation.
Initial ‘Proof of Concept’ drilling completed in 2021 tested the northern and southern extremities of the prospect leaving some 5km of prospective strike untested by drilling. Results from this drilling confirmed the presence of manto copper mineralisation within the volcanics up to 500m from the inferred feeder structure, and identified strong correlations between copper and potassic alteration, and anomalous pathfinder elements (Mo, W, and Bi) within the footwall to the mineralisation.
Surface sampling results within the central zone between the areas drilled, indicate these relationships extend through the central zone, where numerous samples of volcanic rocks contain highly anomalous copper. A program of in-fill mapping and sampling within the central zone has commenced to prioritise targets and optimise drill sites ahead of further drilling at this prospect.
The Los Otros Porphyry Copper prospect is located located close to the Palaeocene Porphyry Copper Belt of southern Peru, which is the major copper producing region in the country. It lies within 35km of the Cuajone mine (~1.6Bt @ 0.6% Cu), and 40km from the Quellaveco deposit (~1.3Bt @ 0.57% Cu) currently being developed by Anglo American. Exploration work at Los Otros is being funded under the SAA.
Detailed geological mapping and sampling identified large areas of advanced argillic alteration (lithocap) containing numerous samples with anomalous levels of Mo, Bi, As, Sb, Pb, Au, Ag and occasional Cu, suggesting potential for buried porphyry copper mineralisation. The main porphyry copper target is associated with advanced argillic alteration (~1km²) that has a Palaeocene age date, similar to the age dates reported for the giant porphyry copper deposits that occur nearby
The Company has now received permits to allow Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling (3-5 holes for ~1,000-1,500m) designed to provide an initial test of the large porphyry copper targets to commence. A drill contract has been finalised with drilling operations to commence in December 2021.
Project Generation work is continuing in the south of Peru using the Company’s proprietary airborne data. New tenement acquisitions have consolidated the Company’s land position both in the Cerro de Fierro region and to the south near Ilo where previous drilling at the Company’s Puite-Ventura prospect suggested the presence of a nearby porphyry deposit.
The Company continues to be encouraged by progress being made at its Peruvian projects, and plans to continue evaluating its extensive portfolio of large porphyry copper and/or IOCG targets in the south of Peru.
The company is currently exploring within Australia & Peru and holds in excess of 5,000 km² of exploration title (granted tenements and tenement applications).
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