ATEX Resources (TSXV:ATX) has initiated its Phase IV drilling program at the Valeriano Project in Chile’s Atacama Region. The first three holes of this phase aim to explore and define the Central and Western High-Grade trends within the project area.
Raymond Jannas, President, and CEO of ATEX, commented in a press release: “We are incredibly excited to be commencing our Phase IV drill program during what continues to be a transformative year for ATEX and the Valeriano Project. To date, we have completed the successful Phase III drill program, delivering multiple intersections of over a thousand metres of continuous mineralization above 0.4% copper, leading to the announcement of a significant 1.41 billion tonne1 Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate in September. Following on from this, we then announced the results of a PEA-level metallurgical program demonstrating exceptional metal recoveries for the project and exceeding the recovery assumptions contemplated in the resource. Phase IV drilling is poised to build on this success and continue to further demonstrate the quality of the Valeriano Project.”
The initial hole to be completed, a continuation of ATXD-24, was paused at the conclusion of Phase III due to inclement weather conditions. Drilling is expected to resume for an additional 400 meters, focusing on an unexplored elevation of the Central Trend. This hole was previously stopped while in a high-grade Early Porphyry (EP) zone.
The second hole, which is a daughter hole stemming from VAL-12, begins at a depth of 605 meters and aims westward. This hole is intended to explore the Western Trend’s limits as well as the mineralization in rock-milled breccia to the west of the EP contact, an area that has not been investigated before.
The third hole is set to start upon the arrival of a third drilling rig and will also be a daughter hole, originating from ATXD-17. Planned to commence at a depth of 850 meters, the hole will be drilled westward to test the upper areas of the Central Trend before continuing into the Western Trend.
The Valeriano Copper-Gold Project, which ATEX is exploring, lies within an emerging mineral belt informally known as the Link Belt. This belt connects the El Indio High-Sulphidation Belt to the south with the Maricunga Gold Porphyry Belt to the north and is host to several copper-gold porphyry deposits in varying stages of development. Some notable projects in this belt include Filo del Sol by Filo Mining, Josemaria by Lundin Mining, Los Helados by NGEX Minerals and JX Nippon, La Fortuna by Teck Resources and Newmont, and El Encierro by Antofagasta and Barrick Gold.
Highlights from the project are as follows:
- TWO RIGS CURRENTLY OPERATING – Rigs set up to utilize existing drill holes (Figure 1).
- ATXD-24 is being completed from where it was suspended at the end of Phase III having intersected 670 metres of 0.84% Copper Equivalent “CuEq” (0.60% Cu, 0.24 g/t Au & 101 ppm Mo) from 1,173 metres, including 312 metres of 1.00% CuEq (0.73% Cu, 0.30 g/t Au and 77 ppm Mo) from 1,530 metres (Company news release July 13, 2023) in the Central Trend and;
- A daughter hole, ATXD-12A, targeting the western trend, drilling out of historical hole VAL-12 which intersected 44.0 metres of 0.48 % CuEq (0.30% Cu, 0.16 g/t Au & 110 ppm Mo) from 1,012 metres (Table 1).
- THIRD RIG MOBILIZING – Initial hole to target southern extension of Western Trend with a daughter hole out of ATXD-17 (1,160 metres of 0.78% CuEq (0.53% Cu, 0.28 g/t Au and 70 ppm Mo) including 550 metres of 1.03% CuEq (0.69% Cu, 0.39 g/t Au and 70 ppm Mo) (Company news release June 13, 2022).
- PHASE IV TARGETING RECORD METERAGE SEASON AT VALERIANO – Full program considers 15,000 to 20,000 metres (Phase III – 12,513 metres) of diamond drilling with ability to expand the program subject to results.
- BUILDING OFF PHASE III SUCCESS – Phase IV objectives are to further define and extend the High-Grade Porphyry Trends intersected in Phase II and III while also exploring beyond the currently defined dimensions of the mineralized corridor measuring approximately 1.0 X 1.0 kilometers which remains open in all directions.
Table 1. Summary Results for Phase IV Follow Up
|Hole ID||Year Drilled||From||To||Interval||Cu
|CuEq % MRE2||CuEq % Met Recoveries3|
1CuEq reported in situ ) assuming 100% recovery for component metals see Company news June 13, 2022 for ATXD-17 & July 13 2023 for ATXD-24
2CuEq calculated using recoveries assumed in 2023 MRE (90% Cu, 70% Au, 80% Ag and 60% Mo) (US$3.15/lb Cu, US$1,800/oz Au, US$23/oz Ag and US$20/lb Mo) (See Company news Sept, 12 2023) using the following formula Copper Equivalent (CuEq) is calculated using the formula CuEq % = Cu % + (6481.488523 * Au g/t /10000) + (94.6503085864 * Ag g/t /10000) + (4.2328042328 * Mo g/t /10000)
3CuEq calculated using recoveries reported from metallurgical test work results reported in Company news Oct, 18 2023 (95% Cu, 94% Au, 89% Ag and 83% Mo) (US$3.15/lb Cu, US$1,800/oz Au, US$23/oz Ag and US$20/lb Mo) using the following formula (((Cu % * Cu US$/lb * 22.0462))+((Au Recovery / Cu Recovery * Au g/t)*(Au US$/oz / 31.1034768))+((Ag Recovery / Cu Recovery * Ag g/t)*(Ag US/oz / 31.1034768))+((Mo Recovery / Cu Recovery * Mo ppm / 10000) * Mo US$/lb / 22.0462))/(Cu US$/lb * 22.0462)