McEwen Mining Inc. [MUX-TSX, NYSE] provided its third progress report on the advancement of its large 100%-owned Los Azules copper project located in the San Juan province, Argentina. Â TNR Gold Corp. [TNR-TSXV] holds a 0.4% net smelter returns royalty (including a 0.04% NSR held on behalf of a shareholder) on the Los Azules project.
The objectives of the company’s 59,000-metre drilling program at Los Azules are to upgrade the inferred mineral resources to indicated, conduct metallurgical, hydrological and geotechnical drilling to accelerate its study work and selectively test high-value exploration targets.
This program will almost double the historic database of 66,000 metres of drilling from 202 holes. So far in 2022, approximately 13,500 metres have been drilled in 29 holes and assays have been returned for 6,035 metres of drilling from 15 holes, which are designed to improve confidence and increase its indicated resource category.
Section B-B includes hole AZ22146, which produced an attractive intercept of 0.83% copper over 330.0 metres and included an interval of 103.4 metres grading 1.31% copper. This result correlates well with hole AZ22142 on section A-A that intersected 419.1 metres of 0.79% copper and includes 104.0 metres of 1.00% copper in the enriched supergene zone. This represents 200 metres of continuity of mineralization, consistent with the lithological and structural features that control the distribution of copper and gold at Los Azules.
Holes AZ22145 (181.0 m of 0.18% Cu) and AZ22148 (239.0 m of 0.26% Cu) located on the southwest flank of the deposit returned grades within the expected ranges for the flanks of the deposit. Results from both holes compare favourably with AZ0618 (228.4 m of 0.21% Cu) from an early drill program. It is notable that many of the holes ended in mineralization.
Hole AZ22144 was drilled in the area of inferred mineralization, as classified in the 2017 preliminary economic assessment (PEA), and returned 448.6 metres of 0.30% copper. The drill hole ended in visible copper mineralization 294 metres below the 30-year pit limit from the 2017 study, indicating potential at depth. The grade and extent of mineralization compares well with historic hole AZ1297 (911.0 m of 0.34% Cu) and to previously released hole AZ22143 (310.5 m of 0.20% Cu).
Assay results are now being returned for section C-C, completed 400 metres north of section B. Hole AZ22149 drilled within an area classified as indicated (2017 PEA) returned 298.0 metres of 0.55% copper and included 54.0 metres of 1.38% copper beginning at 376.0 metres downhole. Hole AZ22147, drilled along the far southwest flank of the deposit, returned low-grade mineralization in an area classified as inferred mineralization in the 2017 PEA.
Partial assay results have been returned for hole AZ22158, located 300 metres south of section A. It correlates well with the high-grade mineralization in hole AZ22142. Results to date for this hole are 176.0 metres grading 1.00% copper in the enriched mineralization zone and includes an interval of 44 metres grading 1.38% copper.
Los Azules is no longer remote as a result of the company’s work this year. It has constructed a lower-altitude road access that provides it with the opportunity for year-round work at the site. Having two roads into Los Azules represents an important development and safety feature for the project.