Culpeo Minerals makes ASX debut, plans new drilling at Las Petacas copper project

Culpeo Minerals ASX CPO drilling Las Petacas copper project
Las Petacas is close to Lundin Mining’s world-class Candelaria copper mine in northern Chile’s Atacama region.

South America-focused copper explorer Culpeo Minerals (ASX: CPO) will hit the ASX boards for the first time today following a heavily-oversubscribed $6 million initial public offering in June.

The company issued 30 million shares at $0.20 each under the IPO, with funds to be directed towards advancing its assets along the underexplored and highly-prospective Coastal Cordillera copper belt of Chile, led by the flagship Las Petacas project.

It hired PAC Partners Securities as lead manager for the raising.

Culpeo m­­anaging director Max Tuesley said the commencement of public trading was a notable achievement which comes three years after the company was founded.

“Today is a significant milestone for [our] team which brings together a portfolio of three highly-prospective copper projects in Chile that are significant opportunities in their own right,” he said.

Historic exploration

Located in the Atacama fault system, the Las Petacas project has been subject to historic exploration by past owners with significant intercepts of 6m at 1.26% copper from 20m; 6m at 2.34% copper from 140m; 26m at 1.24% copper and 0.17g/t gold; and 66m at 0.31% copper and 0.52g/t gold.

Culpeo’s early-stage work at the project – in which it holds 58% equity with an option to earn up to 85% – has identified a 6km-long mineralised trend with numerous outcrops of high-grade copper mineralisation, providing multiple compelling exploration targets.

The company now plans to follow-up historic and recent results with a 6,000m diamond drilling program funded by $2.4 million (or 38%) of the IPO proceeds.

Targeting IOCGs

Drilling will target iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) discoveries at scale, similar to the nearby world-class Candelaria deposit which hosts a measured and indicated resource of 952 million tonnes at 0.65% copper and 0.15g/t gold and an inferred resource of 53Mt at 0.62% copper and 0.12g/t gold.

Candelaria is the biggest and most well-known IOCG deposit in the Atacama region and represents one of the largest copper reserves in Chile and worldwide.

Chile is currently the world’s largest copper producer and consistently ranks as one of the most preferred regions in which to develop and operate mining assets.

Funds from the IPO will also be used to explore Culpeo’s Quelon and San Sebastian copper projects to the south and north of Las Petacas, respectively.

Strong board and management

Culpeo has a strong board and management team with significant expertise in Chile’s mining industry which helps it gain access to quality assets in a non-competitive environment.

The company is led by a team of exploration and mining professionals with a track record of discovery and value creation.

They include Mr Tuesley, non-executive chairman and geologist Geoff McNamara, non-executive director and Tesoro Resources (ASX: TSO) managing director Zeffron Reeves, non-executive director and mining engineer Paul Schmiede, and country manager Sergio Uribe.

“We plan to leverage the experience and relationships we have developed over 10 years in-country to deliver low-cost and effective discovery and resource growth,” Mr Tuesley said.

    Join Small Caps News

    Get notified of the latest news, interviews and stock alerts.