Altiplano Minerals Ltd. (or Altiplano) is pleased to announce that the Company and its joint venture partner Comet Exploration Ltd. (Comet) have commenced work on the 500-metre-long underground development at the Comet joint venture's (CJV's) Farellon iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) project. As of Friday March 3rd, the underground exploration decline has progressed 100 metres towards its ultimate development of 500 metres. The decline intersected the Farellon vein structure at 95 m. The vein is about 1.9 m wide at the intersection and shows visible sulphides including chalcopyrite. The current plan will be to drive parallel to the vein structure and commence underground exploration drilling as the decline progresses the length of the vein structure. A Technical Report summarizing the geology and copper-gold potential for the Project has recently been prepared by APEX Geoscience Ltd. (APEX) of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has been filed on Sedar.
The Farellon copper-gold project is located near the town of La Serena, Chile. The project area is located in the coastal Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) belt, which runs for hundreds of kilometres and is host to several large IOCG and/or copper-gold deposits, namely Andacollo, Mantos Blancos, Candelaria and Mantos Verde. These projects and the Farellon project are within or spatially associated with the Atacama fault system, which likely was the main conduit for IOCG ore-forming fluids that transported and deposited metals along or in close proximity to the faults hosted in granitic and or volcanoclastic rocks.
At Farellon, three separate and discrete iron-oxide-copper-gold veins, named Farallon, Laura and Rosario, strike east-northeast, and have been traced in outcrop and underground workings for more than 2 kilometres. The veins range from 1 metre to 5 metres in width, averaging about 1 to 2 metres, are subvertical and well mineralized over much of their strike lengths. Historic underground mining has yielded grades on the order of 2.5% copper and 0.5 grams per tonne gold. There are currently no National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant resources on the property. However, based upon historic and recent underground mining conducted by the property owner along with extensive geological mapping and underground channel sampling by Comet personnel, the APEX Technical Report describes an exploration target at Farellon of 200,000 to 600,000 tonnes of vein material with a range of grades of 1% to 2.5% copper (Cu) and 0.1 to 0.5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au). The APEX report indicates that with the presence of three veins and the results of recent underground sampling that there is good potential to identify and define mineral resources with further exploration.
The CJV will be conducting exploration that will lead to future resource estimation with the collection of a number of core samples and one or more bulk samples for metallurgical work. Initially, the CJV will focus its work at the Farellon vein. At Farellon, a 500-metre exploration decline will be constructed approximately 50 metres below the existing workings, which is designed to drive through the high-grade iron-copper-gold vein to a point approximately 10 metres north of the vein. This 500-metre tunnel will be the main access, and will be used to facilitate underground crosscut sampling and drilling along the length of the high-grade iron-copper-gold vein. The CJV will drill approximately 150 core holes of between 10 metres and 30 metres in length to evaluate and establish initial resources as well as the collection of bulk samples where appropriate for metallurgical purposes. Drilling is anticipated to commence in early April. As results become available they will be released in upcoming additional news releases.
Once the Farellon project is under way, the CJV will commence similar exploration activities at the Maria Luisa project. Commencing in May, an exploration drive will be developed approximately 50 metres beneath existing workings and will be used to facilitate drilling the Maria Luisa high-grade iron-copper-gold vein system. Drilling will be conducted to evaluate and establish resources. Although there are currently no NI 43-101 compliant mineral resources at the Maria Luisa property, the APEX Technical Report describes the presence of at least two veins and an exploration target of 200,000 to 400,000 tonnes with a range of grades of 1.5% Cu and 2 g/t Au to 2.5% Cu and 5 g/t Au.
The technical content of this News Release has been reviewed and verified by John Williamson, B.Sc., P.Geol., of Altiplano Minerals Ltd., the company’s Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.