AusQuest Limited (ASX: AQD) has identified possible nearby porphyries in three of five targets in its Reverse Circulation drilling programme at its Pirata Copper Project in Southern Peru.
The programme, which was completed in late 2022, was drilled under a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with a wholly-owned subsidiary of South32 Limited.
The drilling programme, comprising 21 holes for a total of 6,971m, was designed to test five porphyry and/or manto copper targets located within a major east-west structural corridor which is considered to be a priority target zone within the Coastal Belt of Peru and Chile for major copper deposits.
AusQuest’s Managing Director, Graeme Drew, said that while the initial drilling had not intersected a mineralized porphyry, the company was very encouraged by the results, with future work to be discussed with South32 in the coming weeks.
Multi-element geochemistry and Terraspec mineralogy results from the drilling programme have been used to identify both vertical and lateral vectors to help locate buried porphyry copper systems associated with the alteration zones (lithocaps) mapped at surface.
Results from three of the five drilled targets (1, 2, and 4) indicate that the basal section of the lithocap has been intersected at each location with indications that mineralized porphyry systems are located in close proximity to, but off-set from, the current drill-holes.
Future work (including drilling) at the Pirata prospects is being discussed with South32 and will be considered under the SAA over the coming weeks.
“Exploring for porphyry copper deposits where outcrop is poor and the porphyry mineralization is overlain by intense alteration – as is found within the lithocap environment – can be difficult, but ultimately can be highly rewarding once the source of the alteration is found,” Mr Drew said.
“We remain very encouraged by the potential for large-scale porphyry copper discoveries in the general Cerro de Fierro – Pirata region and we look forward to continuing our exploration in this region through 2023,” he added.
For further information please visit: https://www.ausquest.com.au/