Power Minerals (ASX:PNN) reports the results from the maiden first-pass drilling program at the Santa Ines Copper-Gold Project in the Salta province of north-west Argentina.
The diversified minerals company completed a first-pass drilling program at the project in May 2022, comprising 5 diamond core holes for a total 651.4m. Drilling was designed to target structures and mineralisation below historical surface workings, and also a separate, un-explored shallow magnetic target.
Power reports the program delivered positive results, highlighted by a broad zone of near-surface copper mineralisation of; 26m at 0.60% copper from a downhole depth of 62m in drillhole PNSI22-00526.
Drilling identified a number of structural zones with elevated copper and gold, and copper and trace gold were intersected in all targeted zones. Elevated zinc was also reported in drillholes and surface samples. Surface oxide samples of up to 8.6% Cu and 0.7 g/t Au were also returned.
Addressing the results, Power Minerals Executive Director, Mena Habib said: “The results of our first phase of drilling at the Santa Ines Project have validated our exploration approach at the project and have confirmed the discovery potential for a significant copper-gold system within the project area. The copper-gold drilling results provide a clear direction to help assess future plans for the project, in parallel with our core focus to rapidly advance our Argentinian lithium assets.”
“The results of our first phase of drilling at the Santa Ines Project have validated our exploration approach at the project and have confirmed the discovery potential for a significant copper-gold system within the Project area”
The company notes based on the positive outcomes of the initial phase of drilling, the company plans to review its geological interpretation of the Santa Ines Project along with regional geophysical datasets to identify additional iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) exploration targets.
This may be followed-up with geophysical surveys (ground magnetic or aeromagnetic) to define exploration targets for a potential second phase of drilling.
A total of 651.4m were completed in 5 diamond core holes (inclined at -60 degrees perpendicular to the strike of mineralised zones) in Power’s maiden diamond drilling program at Santa Ines.
Summary assay results from the 5 holes included:
- 26m at 0.60% Cu from 62m including 2m at 1.36% Cu from 74m and also 2m at 0.69% Cu from 94m in hole PNSI22-005
- 2m at 1.26g/t Au with a wider zone of 4m at 0.95g/t Au from 64m and 3m at 0.28% Cu from 42m and a second zone of 9m at 0.35% Cu from 71m, in hole PNSI22-002
- 2m at 0.67% Cu and 0.11g/ Au from 84m and 4m at 0.54% Cu from 89m in hole PNSI22 001
- 10m at 0.25% Cu from 84m including 2m at 1.14% Cu from 92m and 2m at 0.26% Cu from 24m in hole PSNSI22-004
- 2m at 0.43% Cu and 0.38% Zn from 46m (within brecciated granodiorite zone) in hole PNSI22-003
Power reports these positive initial exploration results confirm the potential for the discovery of significant copper-gold mineralisation in the Santa Ines Project area.
The drilling results in conjunction with surface geological mapping and sampling has identified multiple zones of breccia and stockwork vein mineralisation within a 300m wide NE-SW trending structural corridor. The IOCG mineralisation style has similarities with nearby and regional operating mines and active projects.
Assay results from drilling returned elevated copper, gold, and zinc over significant widths, associated with strong potassic – iron oxide alteration of brecciated granodiorite host rocks.
It is spatially related to a suite of microdiorite mafic dykes, often occurring within and on the dyke margins. Drill core from the program was logged at Power’s warehouse in Salta and 360 core samples were sent to a certified laboratory in Mendoza, Argentina, for detailed geochemical analyses.
Assays and geochemical data show a positive correlation between copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and cobalt (Co) and gold (Au) associated with related quartz veining and silicification. Elevated zinc was also reported in both drillhole and surface samples. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) geochemistry and higher contents clearly defines the mafic dykes and verifies the geological logging.
Power notes the geological and analytical work is considered to be of high quality with all QA/QC samples within acceptable levels. Importantly, it says there is a strong correlation between mineralisation and magnetic susceptibility, reflecting the magnetite component and residual magnetic properties in hematite.
The positive geology and assay results, especially the strength, style, and width of mineralisation and iron oxide alteration, warrant follow-up exploration to identify controls on mineralisation and define additional copper-gold targets.
The IOCG style mineralisation at the Santa Ines Project has similarities with several large operating copper and gold mines in Argentina and Chile. IOCG style mineralisation is reported at the nearby Cerro Samenta Copper Project owned by Marifil Mines Ltd (TSX-V: MFM).
The Santa Ines Project consists of four mining leases (Mina) covering 61.4km-square in north-west Argentina, and represents a potential large-scale copper-gold porphyry or iron oxide-copper-gold target (IOCG). The project is strategically located in the same geological setting as BHP’s nearby, ‘world-class’ Escondida Copper-Gold Mine in Chile, 40km south-west of First Quantum’s Taca Escondido Cu-Au-Mo Project (pre-development) and 50km north west of Fortuna Silver’s Lindero Gold Mine.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au