Atacama Copper drilling Cristina Project, Chihuahua Mexico

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Atacama Copper Corp. [TSXV-ACOP] reported the start of a 10,000-metre diamond drilling program at its wholly owned Cristina precious metals project in southwestern Chihuahua State, Mexico. The Cristina project consists of multiple outcropping quartz veins that are frequently greater than 10 metres in width and extend for a currently known strike length of up to 5 km. At least four parallel mineralized vein zones have been mapped and sampled to date; however, most of the resource estimate reported here is contained within the Guadalupe vein.

Tim Warman, CEO, commented, “The drilling program that started this week is aimed at better defining and expanding the known higher-grade zones within the Guadalupe and Los Ingleses vein systems. While the current resource is largely contained within a single modeled open pit shell on the Guadalupe vein, we believe that there is excellent potential to define a higher-grade underground resource at Cristina. Previous drilling has encountered thick higher-grade zones in every vein system tested to date, and this current round of drilling is aimed at better defining and expanding those zones.”

An interesting aspect of the Cristina deposit is the apparent vertical extent of the mineralization within the system. Mineralization in outcrop occurs at surface at elevations up to 2,000 metres above sea level (masl), while the deepest zone of mineralization intercepted by drilling is at an elevation of 900 masl, a vertical range of approximately 1,100 metres.

The Cristina deposit is an epithermal to mesothermal vein system where the mineralization is predominantly gold and silver, with lesser base metal values. At least four parallel vein zones trend east-west to northeast-southwest and are hosted in an andesitic volcanic sequence which forms part of the Lower Volcanic Sequence of the Sierra Madre Occidental range. The andesites are intercalated locally with dacitic intrusions and related lava flows and breccias, and the sequence is in turn cut by andesitic and hornblende-plagioclase porphyry following fault trends. In some areas the veins are covered by post-mineral rhyolite of the Upper Volcanic Sequence.

Cristina is similar to other active mines in the region including Fresnillo’s San Julian and La Cienega mines, as well as First Majestic’s Tayoltita/San Dimas mine.

The goal of targeting the higher-grade zones within the main Guadalupe Vein, as well as other high-grade veins in the area, is to both increase the size and the grade of the resource and demonstrate the underground resource potential at Cristina. The current mineral resource estimate comprises:

Indicated resources of 17.5 Mt at 0.51 g/t gold, 33.8 g/t silver, 0.47% zinc, 0.19% lead and 0.04% copper (1.33 g/t AuEq grade), for a contained 752,000 gold-equivalent ounces.

Inferred resources of 19.0 Mt at 0.51 g/t gold, 27.5 g/t silver, 0.50% zinc, 0.19% lead and 0.05% copper (1.27 g/t AuEq grade), for a contained 777,000 gold-equivalent ounces.

The program is expected to continue over the next several months. Results from the drilling program will be released periodically as they are received and analyzed.

Atacama Copper is carrying out a drilling campaign at its Cristina precious metals project in Chihuahua Mexico, with the goal of significantly expanding the existing mineral resource estimate. Drilling is also planned for the Yecora copper project in Sonora Mexico. In Chile, the Placeton/Caballo Muerto project hosts several untested porphyry copper targets situated between the large-scale Relincho and El Morro/La Fortuna copper-gold deposits of the Nueva Union joint venture between Teck and Newmont Mining.

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