Culpeo Minerals expands Chile copper portfolio with Lana Corina acquisition

Culpeo Minerals ASX CPO Lana Corina breccia Coquimbo Chile SCM Antares copper
Culpeo Minerals managing director Max Tuesley says the Lana Corina copper project is an “exciting opportunity” and the company will begin drilling “in the coming days”.

Culpeo Minerals (ASX: CPO) has expanded its portfolio in Chile after revealing it is acquiring the high-grade Lana Corina copper project, which is about 40km north of its existing Quelon asset.

Under the agreement, Culpeo can purchase up to 80% of Lana Corina from SCM Antares over four earn-in stages.

Culpeo will pay an initial US$100,000 (A$135,400) signing fee and the first earn-in stage requires Culpeo to pay a further US$150,000 (A$203,000) and complete US$1 million (A$1.35 million) worth of expenditure on the tenement over 12 months to secure 20%.

In the second stage, Culpeo will pay a further US$250,000 (A$338,500) and spend US$1 million (A$1.35 million) over 24 months on advancing the project. This will give Culpeo a 50% equity.

To secure 65% of the project, Culpeo will pay a further US$800,000 (A$1.08 million) in cash and US$750,000 (A$1.01 million) in shares. And to gain 80% of Lana Corina, Culpeo will hand over US$1.65 million (A$2.23 million) in cash and US$1 million (A$1.35 million) in shares.

Culpeo also executed a separate option to acquire an adjacent tenement for U$1.5 million (A$2.03 million) before April 2024.

Lana Corina covers 5.5 square kilometres across what Culpeo describes as a prolific copper belt in Chile’s Coquimbo region.

The project is 350km north of Santiago, only 2km from the village Soruco, and 50km from the Pacific Ocean.

Commenting on the company’s acquisition of Lana Corina, managing director Max Tuesley said it is an “exciting opportunity” to rapidly build a resource in the Coastal Cordillera of Chile.

“Lana Corina offers a de-risked copper exploration project at low altitude with excellent access infrastructure.”

“The project is drill ready and we look forward to commencing drilling in the coming days,” he added.

High-grade copper identified

Historic mining at Lana Corina produced about 1 million tonnes of ore grading between 1.5-2.5% copper.

Previous drilling at the asset returned notable intercepts of 70m at 1.23% copper from surface; 154m at 0.70% copper from surface; 178m at 0.72% copper and 284 parts per million molybdenum from 356m; and 207m at 0.41% copper and 124ppm molybdenum from 274m.

Across the project, high-grade copper is associated with three known breccia pipes, which outcrop at surface and to depths of more than 200m.

Lana Corina was originally discovered in the 1940s and it wasn’t until the 1970s that any detailed exploration across the landholding was undertaken, including mapping and shallow drilling.

A previous owner Compania Minera Santa Rita installed several underground shafts and mined the ore from some high-grade breccia deposits.

Another entity Compania Minera Centinela continued exploiting ore at the project until 1985 where it was processed at a nearby government-owned plant.

During this time, mining extended to 160m below surface, but the deeper potential of the mineralised system was recognised from both sampling and drilling.

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