AbraSilver farms out La Coipita project in Argentina to Teck

The La Coipita project encompasses over 70,000 hectares in the prolific world-class Miocene porphyry-epithermal belt. Credit: AbraSilver

AbraSilver Resource (TSXV: ABRA) announced Tuesday it has entered an option and joint venture agreement to explore and develop its La Coipita copper-gold project in San Juan, Argentina, with a subsidiary of Canadian miner Teck Resources.

La Coipita is a district-scale property consisting of over 70,000 hectares in the western portion of Calingasta department, adjacent to the Chilean border. The project is located approximately 16 km north of the Los Azules deposit developed by McEwen Mining and 90 km from Los Pelambres, 60% owned by Antofagasta in Chile.

Initial drilling at La Coipita in the summer of 2022 encountered a continuous copper-gold porphyry zone of 226 metres grading 0.43% copper equivalent. Drilling in 2023 focused on the Yaretas target, with one hole returning a broad interval of 694.3 metres grading 0.16% copper and 81 ppm molybdenum.

“We are delighted about the opportunity to secure a significant exploration agreement with Teck to advance the large-scale La Coipita project, which is located in a prolific copper porphyry district. This strategic collaboration will mark a significant milestone for the project, and greatly enhance the potential for a major copper discovery,” AbraSilver CEO John Miniotis said in a news release.

The option agreement stipulates that Teck will have the option to acquire an 80% interest in La Coipita by funding cumulative exploration expenditures of $20 million over a five-year period. Other financial commitments include staged cash payments to, and an equity placement in, AbraSilver totalling $3 million (including an initial payment of $500,000), and up to $6.3 million in optional cash payments to the underlying project vendors.

Following an initial transition period during which AbraSilver will support field operations, Teck will act as operator of La Coipita throughout the option period. Upon exercise of the option, the companies will form am 80/20 joint venture, and each party will fund its pro-rata share of future expenditures on the project.

La Coipita is one of several projects being advanced by AbraSilver throughout Argentina. Its main asset is the 100%-owned Diablillos silver-gold project in Salta province, which has a measured and indicated resource of 53.3 million tonnes grading 87 g/t silver and 0.79 g/t gold containing approximately 148 million oz. of silver and 1.4 million oz. of gold.