Tenke raises $8.25 million and starts drills at Vicuna

Vancouver — Tenke Mining (TNK-T) has inked a deal to sell 3 million common shares to a syndicate of underwriters for $8.25 million. The company has also started drilling its Vicuna copper-gold-silver project in Argentina.

The bought-deal private placement is priced at $2.75 per common share for a total proceeds of $8.25 million. Tenke has also given the underwriters, led by GMP Securities and including Dundee Securities and Pacific International Securities, an option to purchase an additional 1.0 million common shares at a price of $2.75. This could potentially raise the financing up to $11.0 million.

The net proceeds of the private placement will spent on the exploration of Tenke’s copper-gold projects in Argentina as well as for general working capital purposes.

Tenke has an extensive land package in Argentina that spans over 9,580 sq. km. This year the exploration programs will focus on the Batidero, Lirio-Josemaria and the Vicuna group of copper-gold projects in northwest San Juan province.

At the Vicuna copper-gold-silver project, Tenke has kicked off an initial 1,200-to-1,500-metre drill program. During this initial phase, four reverse circulation holes will be drilled to a depth of 250-to-420 metres at the Filo del Sol target.

Previous exploration at Vicuna in 2000 and 2001 focused on high sulphidation, epithermal gold targets. These targets, specifically epithermal clusters, explosive breccia centers (possible diatremes), and corresponding resistivity anomalies were identified through mapping, regional talus and rock chip geochemistry and geophysics.

Drilling of these targets resulted in several highly anomalous gold, silver and copper intercepts with mineralization open at depth. For example, hole VRC-04 cut 118 metres averaging 0.51% copper, 81grams silver and 0.38 grams gold per tonne, starting 162 metres down-hole. This intercept included a higher-grade section of 44 metres averaging 0.55% copper, 192 grams silver and 0.39 gram gold, starting from a down-hole depth of 202 metres. The last 10 metres of the hole averaged 0.92% copper, 5 grams silver and 0.67 gram gold.

Hole VRC-05 cut 168 metres averaging 0.86% copper, 33 grams silver and 0.23 gram gold, starting at a down-hole depth of 96 metres. This intercept included a 34 metre section that averaged 0.85% copper, 138 grams silver and 0.33 gram gold, starting 132 metres, down-hole.

Further work in the area in 2002 spurred Tenke to look more closely at the district-wide porphyry-epithermal transitions. Continued exploration identified several additional epithermal anomalies situated along the margins of porphyry intrusives. Tenke believes that the Vicuna project is part of a larger regional multi-porphyry system hosting several mineralized target areas.

In addition to Vicuna, Tenke will also commence drilling on the adjacent, newly discovered, Josemaria copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry target. The Vicuna and Josemaria projects form part of the extension of the Maricunga mineralized belt which originates in Chile.

The Josemaria porphyry system was discovered as the result of a large geophysical, sampling and trenching program on the Lirio and adjoining Batidero properties.

The work program expanded known geochemical anomalies and outlined a 3-by-2 km target zone. Additional magnetic and induced polarization geophysics as well as trenching helped to further define the target zone.

The Josemaria target is ovoid in shape and outlined by a talus copper-gold-molybdenum anomaly. Limited outcrops of a dioritic-tonalitic porphyry with potassic alteration are surrounded by a phyllic-argillic zone of alteration that grades into extensive zones of propylitic alteration.

Initial geophysical surveys, including CSAMT as well as magnetometry, have defined a magnetic core that measures 1,000-by-500 metres. This is enveloped by resistive, non-magnetic haloes. Tenke states that this magnetic zone corresponds with the porphyry and intense biotite and potassium feldspar alteration. Trenching has returned some encouraging values. Highlights include;

  • Trench 1 cut 109 metres averaging 0.36 grams gold and 0.23% copper. This included a 69-metre-section that assayed 0.41 grams gold and 58.2 metres averaging 0.34% copper.
  • Trench 2 cut 148.5 metres averaging 0.17 grams gold and 0.17% copper.
  • Trench 6 cut 66 metres averaging 0.39 grams gold and 0.33% copper plus isolated samples which returned values up to 0.6 grams gold and 0.9% copper.

The controlling factor of the copper and gold mineralization seems to be the intensity of potassic alteration as well as the intensity of quartz veinlets and stockwork arrays.

Tenke believes that the target represents an overprint of an epithermal system on top of a porphyry system. Several sections in trench 6 displayed hairline quartz veins containing varied amounts of chalcopyrite. In addition, several ‘paths’ of argillic and quartz-sericite alteration show correlation with the best gold samples.


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