South America is home to some of the largest copper deposits in the world, and several exploration companies are working hard to discover new resources and expand existing ones. Here are the top three copper exploration companies in South America, along with some of their most notable intercepts.
Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) (OTCQB:SLSSF)
Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) (OTCQB:SLSSF) is a Canadian copper exploration company focused on the discovery and development of copper and gold deposits in the Americas. The company has a strong presence in South America, where it is actively exploring for copper and gold deposits in Ecuador and Peru.
The company continues to report regular exploration results expanding on its discoveries at what has been called a potential “superpit”.
Warintza is considered a take-out target as the Company has defined a large 1.5Bt copper inventory, featuring a high-grade starter pit and low strip ratio, within a mining district offering major structural advantages from highway access, abundant and low-cost hydroelectric power, fresh water, labour and low elevation. The Company has de-risked the project by locking in a social license through an IBA signed with the communities, and freezing in place the regulatory and fiscal framework by signing an Investment Contract with the Government in December. The final de-risking item is completing project permitting, which is ongoing and expected in 2024 with the project being designated a “strategic priority project” by the Government.
First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM)
First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) is a Vancouver-based mining company with operations in Africa, Australia, and South America. Its flagship copper mine is the Cobre Panama project, located in Panama. The company has been exploring the region for years and has made several significant copper discoveries.
First Quantum has reported several impressive drill intercepts at Cobre Panama. One of the most notable was a 136-meter intersection of copper and gold mineralization, grading 0.63% copper and 0.35 grams per tonne of gold. This intercept was found in the southeast extension of the Cobre Panama deposit, and the company believes it has the potential to significantly increase the mine’s resources.
Anglo American (LSE:AAL)
Anglo American (LSE:AAL) is a multinational mining company with operations in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Its copper operations are located in Chile, where it owns a 50% stake in the Los Bronces mine and a 100% stake in the Mantoverde mine.
Anglo American has reported several impressive drill intercepts at Los Bronces. One of the most significant was a 95-meter intersection of copper and molybdenum mineralization, grading 0.67% copper and 0.022% molybdenum. This intercept was found in the north zone of the mine, and the company believes it has the potential to increase the mine’s resources.
Teck Resources (NYSE:TECK)
Teck Resources (NYSE:TECK) is a Canadian mining company with operations in Canada, the United States, and Chile. Its copper operations are located in Chile, where it owns a 90% stake in the Quebrada Blanca mine.
Teck reported several intercepts at Quebrada Blanca since exploration began. One of the most biggest was in 2021; a 129-meter intersection of copper mineralization, grading 0.39% copper. This intercept was found in the QB2 deposit, which is currently under construction and expected to begin production in 2022. The company believes that QB2 has the potential to become a significant copper producer, with a projected mine life of over 25 years.