As well as being highly prospective for magnetite, Freehill Mining (ASX: FHS) has now reaffirmed its recently acquired El Dorado project is prospective for copper and gold as well as iron.
The company has now received assays from channel sampling carried out at the project in August. Results revealed a peak copper of 2.51%. Another sample returned 2.25% copper. Gold was also present with a peak assay of 6.86 grams per tonne.
Freehill chief executive officer Peter Hinner said the results reaffirm the company’s view that El Dorado hosts “extensive copper mineralisation” – exposing the company to another major commodity with long-term positive supply and demand fundamentals.
The channel sampling and structural mapping program was completed in late August and followed on from previous rock chip surveys which returned up to 9.93% copper, 22.1g/t gold and 36% iron.
These latest results validate the three high-grade copper and gold zones firmed up during the rock chip survey campaign. Additionally, several potential iron structures were also noted with channel sampling revealing up to 18.75% iron.
A ground magnetics survey was also recently completed at El Dorado and generated several targets for future drilling. This data has been merged with surveys from the adjacent flagship Yerbas Buenas project.
Copper in exploratory hole at Yerbas Buenas
Meanwhile, re-assaying of an exploratory hole drilled at Yerbas Buenas has led to reinterpretation of the geological model.
The single 400m diamond hole was completed where a previous induced polarisation survey identified an anomaly within the northern portion of Yerbas Buenas.
Within the first 200m, core showed several intersections with intense alteration and “very encouraging” copper sulphide mineralisation.
More than 18 intervals possessed copper exceeding 1,000 parts per million, while several were above 2,000ppm (0.2%) and one returning 3,240ppm (0.324%).
Mr Hinner described the drill core results as “outstanding”.
To help Freehill better determine its copper exploration strategy, Mr Hinner said another IP survey was underway to define more copper targets.
“That said, the rock chip samples from August and now these channel sampling results are clearly showing us the El Dorado is well endowed with extensive copper mineralisation.”
“While we are very much focused on advancing the feasibility study for the magnetite at Yerbas Buenas, these results we have reported today on copper give us sufficient confidence to now develop a comprehensive exploration and development program for our copper across Yerbas Buenas and now Eld Dorado,” Mr Hinner added.
While Freehill’s magnetite development remains the company’s focus with a current 67Mt magnetite resource and potential offtake party on its doorstep, the region’s copper potential hasn’t been ignored.
El Dorado covers 750 hectares and adjoins the northern boundary of Yerbas Buenas. The projects are situated in Chile’s iron-copper-gold belt and are less than 10km from the historic La Higuera copper mining centre.