B.C. Exploration Company Eyeing Porphyry Copper Find in Peru
The Peruvian central Andes could be ground zero for a major porphyry deposit, says a Vancouver- based exploration company ready to start drilling in the area.
Lagasco Corp. (LCO.H-V) says recent assay results indicate extensive mineralization on the Anchaca property located in southern Peru. The property is within the Maricunga mineral belt, an area renowned for its gold and silver deposits, if not copper.
“Achaca is an exciting high grade copper-gold-silver prospect and brings with it an even more exciting association with Merwin Bernstein, one of the premier practising minefinders,” Lagasco CEO Leigh Freeman said in a recent press release.
“Anchaca is the first reported occurrence of epithermal veins and breccia pipes of high-grade Cu-Au-Ag which suggests a direct link to an underlying porphory style Cu-Mo-Au system within the Shila-Paula mining district, one of the most storied silver-producing regions of South America.”
Between 65 and 14 million years ago, the collision and friction between tectonic plates under the South American continent lifted and folded the sedimentary rock, thus creating the Andes mountain range that now forms the backbone of South America.
Geologists associate volcanic activity in the south-central Andesin northern Chile with the formation of gold-silver deposits in the Maricunga mineral belt, a chain of volcanoes extending some 150 kilometres in a north-south direction from Colombia to Chile.
The belt contains a number of significant gold deposits, including Lobo- Marte, Maricunga, La Coipa, Cerro Cassale, La Pepa and Volcan. The area is alsowell-established for silver mining. The Incas mined silver ore well before the arrival of the Spaniards, with some bonanza silver mines dating back to the 1540s.
The Shila and Paula mines near Achaca produce silver for Compania de Minas Buenaventura, Peru’s largest publicly traded precious metals company and fourth largest silver miner.
Achaca has been explored in a discontinuous fashion over the past 10 years by Buenaventura and its subsidiary, CEDIMIN S.A.C., along with Exploraciones Cori Condor S.A.C. (ECC), a majority of which is owned by geologist Merwin Bernstein. Lagasco has an option to acquire 100 percent of the rights to the property held by ECC.
Bernstein is a well-respected geologist credited with discovering and developing gold and copper deposits in the Chilean and Peruvian Andes. He was recognized in 2003 by the Society of Economic Geologists, who presented him with the Robert M. Dreyer Award for finding the El Indio deposit and discovering the Maricunga gold district.
Freeman, a 35-year mining industry veteran formerly with Placer Dome, created Lagasco withthe intention of doing further exploration he hopes will turn into a porphyry copper mine, building on the work done by Bernstein and others, about $1.2 million to date.
In a recent interview with Mining.com, Freeman discussed the potential for developing the Achaca property into a mine.Assay results indicate the existence of two mineralized zones on the property, Basilia and Condor. Trench samples from Basilia exposed mineralization consisting
of vein swarms and breccia zones. The zone is 200 metres wide and has a strike length greater than 450 metres. Samples from 9.9 metres showed 1.9% Cu, .8 gm/t Au, 41 gm/t Ag, and 77 ppm anomalous Mo. Samples from the Condorzone, which lies 700 metres south of Basilia, revealed 26% Cu at 19.2 metres, 2 gm/t Au, and 15 gm/t. Significant drill intercepts included 3.4 gm/t Au at 4 metres, 1.7 gm/t Au at 15 metres, and 9.6 gm/t at 3 metres.
Freeman said earlier exploration showing the existence of breccia pipes and veins may be “the tip of an iceberg” leading to a large porphyrycopper deposit deeper underground. “Every indication is that this area that’s famous for silver, that some number of those deposits potentially, and this looks like the best of them right now, have a chance of turning into big copper deposits at depth,” said Freeman.
Lagasco’s 3,000-metre drill program has a tight window. Twelve drill sites are planned at 50-100 metre intervals along the Basilia and Condor zones, with drilling expected to be completed by September.
Lagasco is in the process of raising $800,000 for the program and recently.
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