During the 2022 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto, Chilean multinational Antofagasta plc announced the inaugural resource estimate on the Encierro project and a resource update on the Cachorro project.
Located in the Chilean High Andes, 100 km east of the city of Vallenar and 600 km north of Santiago, the Encierro project hosts a complex Miocene porphyry copper system displaying hypogene mineralization with distinct sulphide and alteration zoning.
Based on diamond drilling completed from 2016 to 2021, the company has identified a significant deposit containing 522 million tonnes of inferred resources at 0.65% copper, 0.22 g/t gold and 74 ppm molybdenum.
The Encierro project is held in a joint venture with Barrick Gold, with Antofagasta holding the majority share and acting as operator of the exploration program.
Based on results of further infill drilling, Antofagasta has also updated the resource base for its wholly owned Cachorro project. The deposit size has increased to 155 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 1.20% copper, from the 142 million tonnes at 1.21% copper reported as of Dec. 31, 2021.
The Cachorro project is located in the western Atacama Desert in northern Chile, 100 km northeast of the city of Antofagasta and 1,100 km north of Santiago. It lies between the company’s Antucoya and Centinela operations and may benefit from the use of their facilities. The deposit consists of manto-type sulphides, mostly chalcopyrite and bornite and some oxides.
According to the company, Cachorro remains open laterally and additional drilling will be carried out during the rest of this year.