Vancouver Based on encouraging results from recent drilling, Metallica Resources (MR-T) sees potential for a large porphyry copper-gold system at its Rio Figueroa project situated about 85 km southeast of Copiapo, Chile.
The company has identified six porphyry copper-gold targets on the 74-sq-km property to date, and tested three of these – Cerro Matta, Rodriguez and Cerro Isla – with 16 holes totaling 5,474 metres.
The best results were from Cerro Matta, where drilling intercepted 348 metres grading 0.3% copper and 0.3 gram gold per tonne starting at a depth of 52 metres. This intersection includes 70 metres of 0.59% copper and 0.31 gram gold from 80 to 150 metres down-hole.
A second drill-hole returned 30 metres averaging 0.36% copper and 0.17 gram gold within a 432-metre interval averaging 0.21% copper and 0.21 gram gold from 12 to 454 metres down-hole.
Metallica selected the Rio Figueroa property during a regional reconnaissance program after seeing geological similarities to its El Morro copper-gold project where Falconbridge (FL-T) has rights to earn a 70% interest. Falco (formerly Noranda) has outlined an inferred resource of 465 million tonnes averaging 0.61% copper and 0.5 gram gold, using a 0.4%-cutoff grade, at Morro.
Metallica secured rights to acquire 100% of Rio Figueroa from a Chilean company for cash payments of US$3.5 million staged over five years, and US$1.5 million of exploration expenditures over the first three years of the option. In addition to porphyry copper-gold targets, the property hosts epithermal gold targets. The best hole drilled to test an epithermal target returned 17 metres averaging 1.98 grams gold, including 8 metres of 3.7 grams. More geochemical and geological work is planned to determine if the gold targets warrant more work.
Encouraged by results to date, Metallica plans more drilling to test the continuity of mineralization at Cerra Matta, along with step-put drilling to test for potential extensions. The mineralized porphyry is exposed over an area of about 300-by-900 metres, and lies within a larger altered and mineralized zone open to the southwest.