Newly-listed explorer Culpeo Minerals (ASX: CPO) has kicked off a maiden diamond drilling campaign at its flagship Las Petacas copper project in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
The 3,200-metre campaign is designed to test zones of known high-grade mineralisation over a 6 kilometre strike length, as well as high-priority anomalies identified by recent geophysical surveys.
It will also focus on the follow-up of historical drilling results with the aim of expanding and linking previously-defined mineralised zones.
These include: 6m at 1.26% copper from 20m; 6m at 2.34% copper from 140m; 26m at 1.24% copper and 0.17 grams per tonne gold from 178m; and 66m at 0.31% copper and 0.52g/t gold from 58m.
Visible copper mineralisation has already been identified during earthworks required to construct drill pads.
These identified zones will be drilled, assayed and analysed as part of the current campaign.
First drilling results
Culpeo managing director Max Tuesley said he is looking forward to seeing the results of first drilling at Las Petacas.
“We have mobilised our exploration team to site and look forward to testing several targets over the project’s 6km-long mineralised trend,” he said.
“Our team is already finding new zones of visible surface copper mineralisation, which is really exciting.”
The Las Petacas project is located in Chile’s low-altitude Atacama region, which is known to host significant mineral potential.
One of the area’s main copper deposits is the world-class Candelaria mine just 20km northeast of Las Petacas and owned by Canada’s Lundin Mining Corporation.
Copper mineralisation at Las Petacas is interpreted to be associated with the same regional structure as Candelaria and considered prospective for iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) mineralisation.
Late last year, Culpeo completed geophysical surveys which detected a significant ground array induced polarisation (GAIP) anomaly featuring a coincident high-amplitude chargeability and a relatively conductive zone, east of the Diego prospect.
A follow-up survey identified anomalous resistivity and chargeability zones across multiple features and indicated a moderate easterly dip to the source of the anomaly.
Mr Tuesley said these responses are usually associated with concentrations of sulphide minerals and correlate with recent surface rock chip sampling which returned grades of up to 4.82% copper.