Source: ATEX Resources

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).
    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;
  1. 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
In Situ
CuEq % MRE2 CuEq % Met Recoveries3
VAL-12 2012 1,012.0 1,056.0 44.0 0.30 0.16 0.47 110 0.48 0.45 0.44
ATXD-17 2022 802.0 1,962.0 1,160.0 0.53 0.28 1.10 70 0.78 0.75 0.77
Inc. 1,280.0 1,830.0 550.0 0.69 0.39 1.30 70 1.03 0.98 1.02
ATXD-24 2023 1,173.0 1,842.4 669.4 0.60 0.24 0.93 101 0.84 0.81 0.81
Inc. 1,530.0 1,842.4 312.4 0.70 0.30 1.11 77 1.00 0.94 0.96

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)



The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is not an insider or shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.
Figure 1: Valeriano Project – Plan View. Source: ATEX Resources

ATEX Resources Inc. (TSXV: ATX), has announced the successful completion of drill holes ATXD-22A and ATXD-23 in their ongoing Phase III exploration at the Valeriano Copper-Gold Project in Chile’s Atacama Region.

Raymond Jannas, President, and CEO of ATEX, commented in a press release: “Our Phase III drill program continues to successfully deliver on its objectives with hole ATXD-23 significantly extending the newly discovered Western Trend which remains open along strike to the northeast. We have now confirmed 750 metres of strike extent along the Western Trend between drill holes VAL-09 and ATXD-23, demonstrating continuity of the geology and mineralization within this new trend.”

The company remains committed to its Phase III campaign objectives, which include the extension of the mineralized corridor, primarily northeastwards, through meticulous step-out drilling. The campaign’s aim is to define the continuity and geometrical attributes of the porphyry trends and to identify new potential targets within this corridor.

Currently, two diamond drill holes, ATXD-24 and ATXD-22B, are in progress. The former, an inclined drill hole, is designed to intersect the Western Trend at a point 200 metres south along the strike from ATXD-11B, with a plan to reach the Central High-Grade Trend at a deeper level. The latter, a “daughter hole”, springs from ATXD-22 and is geared towards exploring the northern extension of the Central High-Grade Trend, stretching 200 metres beyond ATXD-11A.

ATXD-23, another crucial diamond drill hole, was set 200 metres north of ATXD-11B along the Western Trend. It commenced at a -83-degree dip and a 125-degree azimuth. Intriguingly, alteration began 525 metres downhole, where quartz-sericite alteration was encountered in the overlying rhyolitic tuffs. Mineralized RMB chalcopyrite was detected from 825 metres down, with the quartz-sericite alteration gradually transitioning to potassic alteration, intensifying up to 1,500 metres. At this point, the early porphyry unit’s top was intersected, revealing widespread potassic alteration and chalcopyrite from 1,500 metres to the hole’s end at 2,050 metres.

Moreover, ATXD-22A, a daughter hole drilled out of ATXD-22, started at 921 metres downhole at a 135-degree azimuth and a -65-degree dip. The hole began in RMB with chalcopyrite mineralization and weak potassic alteration, extending to a depth of 1,823.1 meters, where a significant fault was intersected, marking the end of the mineralized geology. The hole ultimately concluded at a depth of 1,871 metres.

The final drill holes of the Phase III project are anticipated to be concluded by the end of May, with comprehensive assay results expected by late July. Following the receipt of all assay results, ATEX Resources Inc. plans to revise the copper-gold porphyry resource statement for the Valeriano Project and prepare an updated NI-43 101 compliant technical report. Furthermore, the company will perform metallurgical tests using core samples from the Phase III program.

Highlights from the results are as follows:

  • ATXD-23 intersected 550 metres of mineralized early porphyry, between 1,500 and 2,050 metres downhole (Figures 1&2)
  • ATXD-23 extends the strike length of the Western Trend by approximately 200 metres north of hole ATXD-11B that intersected 1,342.5 metres of 0.73% CuEq (0.46% Cu, 0.31 g/t Au and 43 ppm Mo) and was released on March 30, 2023.
  • Copper mineralization in the early porphyry consists mainly of chalcopyrite and to a lesser extent bornite, consistent with mineralization observed in ATXD-11B.
  • Additionally, ATXD-23 intersected 650 metres of chalcopyrite-bearing Rock Milled Breccia (“RMB”) above the early porphyry interval from a depth of 850 metres downhole to the porphyry contact at 1,500 metres.
  • ATXD-22A (daughter hole) drilled southeast out of ATDX-22 intersected altered chalcopyrite bearing RMB and mineralized late porphyry units.
  • The final two holes of the program, ATXD-24 and ATXD-22B are anticipated to be completed by the end of May.
  • Complete assays for ATXD-23 and ATXD-22A are expected by late May.
Figure 2A: Valeriano Project – ATXD-23 (Projected 200m North) – Cross Section;
Figure 2B: Valeriano Project – Western Trend – Longitudinal Section. Source: ATEX Resources



The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is not an insider or shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.

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