Ivanhoe Electric Inc. [IE-TSX, NYSE American] executive chairman Robert Friedland and president and CEO Taylor Melvin provided an update on drilling operations, including visual confirmation of the presence of soluble copper mineralization at the Typhoon-identified Texaco Ridge exploration area, within the 100%-optioned Santa Cruz copper project, located west of Casa Grande, Arizona.
Friedland commented: “We continue to experience positive drilling results at Typhoon-identified Texaco Ridge. With our exploration drilling precisely focused on areas highlighted by Typhoon), we are excited about the potential at the Texaco Ridge exploration area and the development of the entire Santa Cruz copper project in Arizona.”
Melvin remarked: “The identification of soluble copper mineralization at a step-out exploration drill hole at Texaco Ridge, approximately 200 metres from the nearest drill hole, is an encouraging sign for the expansion potential of the Santa Cruz copper project. Our Typhoon technology led us to the Texaco Ridge exploration area, and the recent visual confirmation of additional oxide mineralization at Texaco Ridge is indicative of the upside potential of the area. Additionally, we continue to advance our successful infill drilling program at the Santa Cruz project in support of the initial assessment process.”
Exploration step-out drill hole SCC-122 at the Texaco Ridge exploration area intersects visible copper oxide, chalcocite and chalcopyrite mineralization starting at approximately 429-metres depth.
Ivanhoe Electric’s proprietary Typhoon 3-D induced polarization geophysical survey, completed in July 2022, continues to guide drilling activities at the Texaco Ridge exploration area.
Exploration drilling has confirmed the presence of previously unrecognized mineralization starting at a relatively shallow depth of approximately 429 metres downhole. Importantly, hole SCC-122 is located 200 metres west of the closest historic drill hole and over 600 metres from the nearest Ivanhoe Electric drill hole.
This drill hole crossed a zone of soluble copper mineralization, including atacamite (a leachable copper-chloride mineral which is approximately 60 per cent copper by weight) and chrysocolla (a leachable copper oxide mineral which is approximately 34 per cent copper by weight).
Additionally, a wide chalcocite (a leachable copper sulphide mineral which is approximately 80% copper by weight) enrichment blanket was identified from approximately 542 to 587 metres in depth that transitions into a thick (over 264 metres) intercept of primary-style mineralization containing chalcopyrite (a copper sulphide mineral which is approximately 35% copper by weight).
At Texaco Ridge, the presence of primary hypogene chalcopyrite mineralization and evidence of the same protracted supergene enrichment processes seen at Santa Cruz, are encouraging for the potential of a greater discovery of high-quality enriched copper mineralization.
Importantly, there are indications of potential soluble oxide mineralization occurring at relatively shallow depths. Exploration drilling will continue in the Texaco Ridge exploration area.
Santa Cruz deposit infill drilling assay results continue to demonstrate high-grade copper mineralization, exceeding the cut-off grade of 0.70 per cent copper applied in the Dec. 31, 2022, mineral resource estimate.
Drill hole SCC-058 intercepted 55 metres grading 3.10% copper, including 37 metres grading 4.15% copper. The intercepted high-grade copper mineralization included strong chalcocite in veins and disseminations. Importantly, the copper mineralization intercepted continues to correlate to the resource model. The attached table highlights additional intercepts received after the Decemebr 31, 2022, mineral resource estimate, which also shows continued correlation to the resource model.
Initial assessment is under way for the Santa Cruz copper project. The initial assessment will be based on the December 31, 2022, mineral resource estimate, as announced on February 14, 2023, with data derived from 147 drill holes.
Ivanhoe Electric’s technical team is currently refining various trade-off studies that include: underground mine access, primary development alternatives, mine methods, stope sizing, mobile equipment selection, dewatering options, tailings and waste options, process throughput, processing type, and ore handling options. Collectively, these trade-off studies will be used as the basis for the initial assessment.