Arena Minerals Inc. ("Arena" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that Teck Resources Chile Limitada ("Teck") has completed its initial 3,048 metre reverse circulation ("RC") drill program on the Paciencia North claim blocks (collectively "Paciencia North"). A total of 31 RC drill holes were completed covering Paciencia North with a spacing of approximately 1 to 2 kilometres.
All holes except one were drilled through the overlying pediment and at least 10 metres into bedrock. Paciencia North comprises part of the Company's Atacama copper property located in Antofagasta, Chile. Under the terms of the US$19.5 million dollar option agreement (please refer to the News Release dated October 23, 2015), Teck can earn a 60% interest in the Paciencia North property.
The drill program was successful in identifying three zones of anomalous alteration and geochemistry prospective for copper porphyry deposits. Towards the southern portion of Paciencia North a tourmaline breccia was identified and is very similar in characteristics to those found within the neighbouring Sierra Gorda copper porphyry deposit. Copper values up to 577 ppm and coincident molybdenum values of up to 55.8 ppm were intersected in drilling. In conjunction with surface mapping, drill holes PAC-014 and PAC-016 in this South Zone defined a 3 km corridor of interpreted high temperature tourmaline/magnetite/k-feldspar breccias and veining, in many respects analogous to the early high temperature breccias and alteration that occur at Sierra Gorda. The limited drilling to date into this zone returned anomalous copper, molybdenum and zinc over the 3 km corridor within lower temperature sericite-pyrite-tourmaline alteration. Further work is required in this zone to define the limits of these alteration zones and target mineralized sections of the breccia complex analogous to Sierra Gorda.
Towards the western portion of Paciencia North, volcanic sequences with interpreted sericite-chlorite-pyrite alteration and weak pyrite veining were discovered during reconnaissance drilling. Anomalous copper was intersected in two drill holes (PAC-015 & PAC-017) with anomalous values of 184 and 187 ppm copper. Further work is required to define the alteration zone and determine if there are mineralized sections with this interpreted alteration system which could represent the margins of a porphyry system. A third area was discovered to the north of Paciencia North where anomalous copper values ranging from 155 to 173 ppm were intersected over 10 to 42 metre intervals, within drill holes PAC-003, PAC-005, and PAC-008. The anomalous copper values are hosted within monzodiorite and diorite intrusives with chlorite-epidote alteration; more work is required here to determine if this alteration represents the outer propylitic alteration associated with a porphyry system.
Teck has also informed the Company that it plans to complete 3,000 metres of drilling in total with follow up drilling on Paciencia North and first pass drilling on the Solitario property. Drilling is expected to commence in the second quarter.
William Randall, President and CEO of Arena commented, "We are encouraged by the work Teck has completed and results achieved to date. Having discovered three prospective areas, with highly positive characteristics, is a huge first step with only half of the total property optioned by Teck covered by reconnaissance drilling. We are pleased that further drilling is planned on Paciencia North. In its evaluation of the entire property, Teck plans to proceed to a first phase of drilling at Solitario and will then proceed to follow up on the three prospective copper porphyry areas within the Paciencia North claim block."
The technical and scientific aspects of this news release have been reviewed and approved by Mr. Vernon Arseneau, P.Geo, who is a qualified person pursuant to NI 43-101. As the Vice President of Exploration of the Company, Mr. Arseneau is not considered independent.