Freehill Mining (ASX: FHS) reports extensive rock chip sampling and mapping at its El Dorado project in Chile has led to the discovery of three new mineralised targets.
High-grade iron, copper and gold were present in the rock chip samples.
El Dorado adjoins the company’s flagship Yerbas Buenas magnetite project.
While advancing development of the Yerbas Buenas project and its JORC magnetite resource of 67 million tonnes, Freehill is continuing with preliminary exploration work on the adjoining ground.
At El Dorado, a ground magnetic geophysics survey is underway and exploration activities have been planned to continue until the end of September.
The five-day mapping and sampling program was completed in July.
Assays include 9.93% and 4.02% copper, 22.1 grams per tonne and 13g/t gold, and 36% and 29% iron.
El Dorado covers 7.5sq km and consists of eight tenements. It adjoins the northern boundary of Yerbas Buenas.
Freehill chief executive officer Peter Hinner said the grades from the rock chip samples are “undoubtedly encouraging”.
“These assay results from this sampling program confirm that El Dorado is another richly endowed mineralised area that will potentially add to our magnetite resource at Yerbas Buenas,” he added.
El Dorado adds value to Chile portfolio
While magnetite remains the company’s primary focus, Mr Hinner said it is noteworthy that both of Freehill’s projects are along trend from several significant copper and gold discoveries.
While the Yerbas Buenas feasibility study will take priority, El Dorado will be another “major value catalyst” for Freehill, he said.
The work at El Dorado focused on artisanal mining areas in the southern portion of the project area. Early work in this area showed encouraging gold mineralisation.
El Dorado is located on the La Negra Formation at the southern end of magnetite mineralisation with several magnetite deposits — Tofo Norte, Domingo and Pleito Cristales — currently under development and each with a source greater than 1 billion tonnes.
Yerbas Buenas is in Region IV of Chile, located on the Pacific coast about 500km north of the capital, Santiago, and 50km from the cities of Coquimbo and La Serena.
The project area is 2km from the four-lane Pan American Highway.