Mirasol Resources Ltd., a well-funded exploration company focused in Chile and Argentina, has provided an update on its Altazor and Gorbea projects — two high sulfidation epithermal (HSE) gold projects located in Chile.
At Altazor, Mirasol has received notice from Newcrest International Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Ltd., that it is closing the Option and Farm-in Agreement.
Yet, Newcrest will still perform exploration at Gorbea and is getting ready for a drill program, with a scheduled start in Q4 2021. As per the amendment declared on December 29th, 2020, for Gorbea, Newcrest should complete drilling measuring around at least 2,000 m before the end of 2021, and a further 6,000 m before the end of 2022.
Newcrest has made the decision to focus its exploration effort elsewhere in Chile, including at Gorbea. Newcrest has spent more than US$3M on the Altazor project and highly prospective drill ready targets have been identified, which now remain untested.
Tim Heenan, President, Mirasol Resources Ltd.
Tim Heenan continued, “Mirasol has commenced a detailed review of the Altazor exploration data and targets generated in order to assess its options to advance the project. We are continuing to engage with local stakeholders to be in position to drill the project during the upcoming field season either with a partner or as a self-funded project. Altazor has some of the most attractive drill targets in our portfolio.”
We are extremely pleased that Newcrest remains committed to Gorbea where they are to complete at least 2,000m of drilling this year, which will include an initial drill test of the promising El Dorado Au target.
Tim Heenan, President, Mirasol Resources Ltd.
“The El Dorado project is located just 6 km to the southeast of the Atlas target and only separated by recent post mineralization mafic volcanics. Geological mapping and geophysical CSAMT resistivity anomalies at El Dorado have defined new and attractive targets,” concluded Tim Heenan.
Altazor is a HSE gold project encompassing around 33,000 ha and is situated in a not-so-explored section of the Mio-Pliocene age mineral belt. Altazor has good infrastructure located just 20 km to the south of 345 kV power lines along the International Highway Route 23, a paved road that connects northern Chile and Argentina.
The project has been situated at altitudes ranging between 4,000 m and 5,200 m but features good “drive-up” access through an open valley and a network of gravel tracks that are easily passable.
The first reconnaissance sampling by Mirasol, completed in 2017 and before signing an Agreement with Newcrest, roughly covered 50% of the project area. A sum of 216 stream sediment, 933 rock chips and 395 soil samples was gathered and returned considerably anomalous Zn, Pb, Au, Cu, Ag and epithermal path finder elements, from sampling near mapped breccia bodies.
These findings revealed alteration patterns, geology and Au ppb-level anomalous assays in soil and rock chip samples equivalent to those reported from surface sampling at Gold Fields’ Au-Ag HSE Salares Norte development stage project (Reserves: 3.5 Moz Au and 39 Moz Ag), with a geological setting quite similar to Altazor in the Mio-Pliocene mineral belt of Chile.
In late 2018, Mirasol announced the results obtained from the 2017/18 exploration program concluded as per the Agreement. This included radiometric age dating, Corescan alteration analysis of soils, geological mapping, 1,035 line-km ground magnetic geophysical survey, a 2,030 sample, geochemical rock chip sampling over an area of 128 km2, low detection limit soil grid covering around 85.6 km2 and a 66.9 line-km Controlled Source Audio-Magnetotellurics (CSAMT) resistivity geophysical survey.
The study of the integrated data sets showed that Altazor is a district-scale, zoned alteration system maintained at a level that could hide HSE gold deposits below “barren” steam-heated cap rocks and post-mineral cover.
The program was successful in determining multiple convincing large-scale drill targets in three principal prospects featuring alteration, geophysical and geochemical properties similar to that of the predrill target signatures of the Salares Norte and Alturas Au HSE discoveries.
In mid-2018, Newcrest became the operator of the project and completed additional rock chip and alteration sampling as well as elaborate geologic mapping in the following field season. After this work was completed, four main gold targets were defined by Newcrest to be tested with a maiden drill program measuring around 2,000 m.
From the beginning of the year, Mirasol has assisted Newcrest in engaging with the local community and will head the engagement to secure help for the maiden drill program scheduled for the forthcoming season.