NGEx Minerals Ltd. [NGEX-TSXV; NGXXF-OTC] reported initial assay results from the company’s 2022 drill campaign at the 64%-owned Los Helados copper-gold project located in Region III, Chile. Nippon Caserones Resources has a 36% interest in the project.
LHDH073 is the first hole of a continuing diamond drill program focused on defining and extending the high-grade core of the Los Helados deposit, as defined by the 0.7% copper equivalent (CuEq) grade shell within the current resource model. An additional two holes have been completed to date and three holes are under way. Assay results for these holes are pending. Drilling with three rigs will continue until the onset of winter weather, which is expected in late May or early June.
Highlights include drill hole LHDH073 that returned 876 metres at 0.74% CuEq (0.56% copper, 0.28 g/t gold, 2.1 g/t silver) from a depth of 124 metres, including 696 metres at 0.80% CuEq (0.60% copper, 0.31 g/t gold, 2.2 g/t silver) from a depth of 216 metres and 210 metres at 1.06% CuEq (0.76% copper, 0.45 g/t gold, 2.8 g/t silver) from a depth of 314 metres.
Commenting on the results, Wojtek Wodzicki, president and CEO, stated: “Hole 73 is the first step in a focused exploration program specifically targeting zones of higher-grade mineralization within the Los Helados deposit. Our renewed exploration effort is based on recently completed geological work, which focused on understanding the controls on high-grade mineralization in order identify opportunities to potentially add higher-grade material to the resource. Hole 73 successfully demonstrates the continuity of strong mineralization on the eastern side of the high-grade core and also provides new information regarding controls on the higher-grade mineralization that will guide future drilling. We are particularly encouraged by the 210-metre interval returning over 1% CuEq. Looking ahead, holes 74, 75, 76 and 79 test the southern, western and depth extensions of the high-grade core. Hole 78 tests a new geological and geophysical target at the northwest edge of the current resource. Additional planned holes will test an apparent northerly plunge to the high-grade core that was not tested by previous drilling.”
Hole LHDH073 was drilled toward the eastern boundary of the high-grade core, in an area where spacing between previously completed adjacent holes was between 170 and 270 metres. The intersection of the high-grade zone is represented by the 696-metre interval beginning at 216 metres. The hole entered the zone about 80 metres shallower than predicted and exited it very close to the modelled contact along the southeastern edge. The bottom 90 metres of the hole remained in good mineralization, slightly below the 0.7% CuEq cut-off, at 0.64% CuEq (0.56% copper, 0.11 g/t gold, 2.0 g/t silver).
The 2022 drilling program is focused on finding more zones of high-grade mineralization within the footprint of the Los Helados deposit. The planned drill program includes a mix of holes designed to test for extensions of the high-grade zone, and holes to test targets where geological and geophysical modelling suggests potential for satellite high-grade zones.
The data generated from the current drill program at Los Helados will form the basis for a revised geological model. The drill program will also provide samples for additional detailed metallurgical test work, which will allow for optimization of process flow sheets and a better understanding of variability within the orebody.
NGEx Minerals holds the large-scale Los Helados copper-gold deposit, located in Chile’s Region III, as well as the Valle Ancho projects located in Argentina. NGEx Minerals is the majority partner and operator for the Los Helados project.
Mineralized zones within the Los Helados deposit are bulk porphyry-style zones and drilled widths are interpreted to be very close to true widths.