Chile-focused explorer Freehill Mining (ASX: FSH) has uncovered signs of strong copper mineralisation in a previously unexplored area of its 100% owned Yerbas Buenas magnetite project.
The company today announced the completion of a geochemical study on the north eastern portion of the Chilean acreage, where two strong induced polarisation (IP) anomalies have been identified in previous Freehill exploration.
The study comprised 164 rock chip samples and 40 soil sediment samples that were analysed for copper, gold, cobalt, tellurium and iron.
According to the company, the collected samples confirmed the presence of “encouraging” copper mineralisation, returning grades of up to 0.9% copper as well as 0.17 grams per tonne of gold.
The sampling highlighted several anomalous areas for copper, gold and iron, which have now been incorporated into Freehill’s drilling strategy.
Freehill has planned a series of diamond drill holes to target the northern IP anomaly at depth (between 300-350m below surface) plus several of the northwest-southeast trending features highlighted by the sampling and mapping program.
Drilling of the southern target will comprise a vertical hole targeting the centre of the IP anomaly at a depth between 200-300m.
Freehill chief executive officer Peter Hinner said the geochemical study showed that Yerbas Buenas has “considerable unlocked value with the strong copper and gold mineralisation materialising in these northern tenements”.
“Our plan now is to use one of our drill rigs to better define what’s there and the sampling undertaken gives us a much higher degree of confidence as to the potential upside,” he said.
The drilling of the northern anomaly will be carried out as part of Freehill’s current magnetite drilling program, which is targeting a large magnetite structure known as YB6, contained on the company’s recently acquired southern tenement.
Last week, Freehill reported uncovering thick, “extremely high-grade” magnetite at the YB6 target including 104m at 38% iron from 34m and 91m at 47% iron from 37m.
Mr Hinner said the magnetite drilling program continues to progress “very well” with first assays expected to be reported as soon as possible.
“We are currently in the middle of one of the most active exploration programs undertaken at Yerbas Buenas which includes drilling, rock chip sampling, soil sediment sampling and further mapping.”
“Whilst the copper and gold is very promising, we are not losing sight of the fact that our key objective is to substantially grow the current magnetite mineral resource estimate and again reinforce its high-grade nature,” he said.