West Indies discover high potential for Cuban copper-gold porphyry
ASX-listed Antilles Gold is further bolstered by the extent of gold mineralization and associated alteration seen in the six drill cores completed at its El Pilar copper-gold porphyry project in Cuba.
El Pilar is composed of a shallow and small but rich oxide deposit that is separated into an overlying gold domain and an underlying copper domain. The company says both areas overlie a copper-gold porphyry system that has not been tested below 120m.
While still awaiting assays from the diamond drill holes, the company is confident that the extent and character of the mineralization observed thus far is indicative of an underlying porphyry system.
Having drilled six diamond drill holes totaling 1797m along 300m strike, Antilles says the visual observations of copper-gold mineralization are very encouraging for the establishment of a copper-gold resource with minimal drilling. limited additional depth.
Additionally, the sulphide mineralized drill core shows the possibility that an underlying copper-gold porphyry is the source of the oxide mineralization. Continuous gold mineralization was observed from surface to approximately 40m downhole, with approximately 45m of underlying copper mineralization almost entirely composed of chalcocite and chalcopyrite minerals.
Management says grades previously reported to the ASX of gold between 3.12 grams per tonne and 4.78 g/t and copper between 0.92% and 1.41% warrant a planned drilling program of 15 000 m in the second quarter of next year, before a scoping study for an open pit mine.
Based on the size of the surface expression, the presence of primary sulphide copper-gold mineralization at depth and a previous aeromagnetic survey, the Company’s Exploration Manager, Dr Christian Grainger , is convinced that the El Pilar oxide deposit is the surficial expression of a copper-gold mineralization porphyry system.
Ground magnetometry and short-term induced polarization surveys over a 3 km by 2 km area, to cover the large surface geochemical and alteration footprint, are planned and the surveys will help determine the location of the holes. drilling for a 15,000m stage program next year on the large target porphyry.
The El Pilar copper-gold porphyry system is hosted in a volcanic island arc setting of Cretaceous age composed of volcanic rocks of mafic to intermediate composition that are cut by intrusive stocks of similarly aged granodiorite and diorite . The geologic setting is very similar to the many potential geologic environments of the volcanic island arc that are associated with porphyry-type mineralization.
Importantly, the El Pilar system exhibits both overlapping styles of hydrothermal alteration in addition to complex multi-veining events always seen in mineralized porphyry copper-gold systems.
The prospect of an underlying porphyry deposit is encouraging as the type of deposit is characterized by low grades but extremely high tonnage and yields over 70% of the world’s copper and about 20% of the world’s gold.
The Antilles seek to deposit a JORC resource for the overlying oxide deposit and bring the shallow mineralization into production by mid-2024. The ASX-listed explorer is in partnership with Cuban government mining company GeoMinera SA, having formed a joint venture with Minera La Victoria SA in 2020. GeoMinera is also the West Indies’ joint venture partner in the open pit mine of gold-silver La Demajagua on the Isle of Youth in southwestern Cuba, which is expected to start production early next year.
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