Pampa drills long copper interval at Piuquenes in Argentina

Piuquenes covers 18.8 sq. km in the San Juan Miocene porphyry belt, near the Chilean border. Crredit: Pampa Metals

Pampa Metals (CSE: PM) says the first drill hole at its Piuquenes project in Argentina cut more than 1% copper equivalent over nearly a third of a kilometre.

Diamond drill hole PIU-01 returned 0.5% copper, 0.7 gram gold per tonne and 3.1 grams silver for 1.1% copper equivalent over 304 metres from 198 metres depth, the company said on Monday.

The hole was designed to extend copper-gold mineralization to depth on the southwestern margin of the Piuquenes Central porphyry in San Juan province near the Chilean border, Pampa said in a release. Supergene copper enrichment was observed from 220-380 metres downhole, coincident and overlapping with primary mineralization from 350 metres.

“Excellent progress is being done on the second hole which has been designed to further test the depth and lateral extensions,” Pampa Metals president and CEO Joseph van den Elsen said. “Subsequent drill programs will also test the undrilled Piuquenes East porphyry target and other nearby targets.”

Shares in Pampa Metals rose more than 6% to C$0.24 apiece in Toronto on Monday, valuing the company at almost C$14 million.

Assays results from 502-867 metres, the end of the hole, are expected shortly, Pampa said. Strong primary mineralization associated with intense porphyry A type quartz stockwork veining is evident from 350-650 metres, it said. From 650 metres on, veining and mineralization becomes less intense.

In November, Pampa said it had entered into an option and joint venture agreement to acquire an 80% interest in the project. The following month the company reported 0.5% copper, 0.5 gram gold for 0.87% copper equivalent over 413.5 metres.

Piuquenes covers 18.8 sq. km in the San Juan Miocene porphyry belt, “the world’s hottest copper porphyry exploration belt,” the company says.

Other projects in the area include Los Azules held by McEwen Copper, a unit of McEwen Mining (NYSE: MUX; TSX: MUX), Fortescue Minerals’ (ASX: FMG) Rincoes de Araya, Aldebaran Resources’ (TSXV: ALDE) El Altar and Glencore’s (LSE: GLEN) El Pachón.