Oro Verde (ASX: OVL) has secured a more powerful drill rig to improve the efficiency of its current drilling program at the advanced Chuminga Copper-Gold Project in Chile.
Executive chairman Dr Wolf Martinick said, “The more powerful rig with improved drilling system should lead to better core recovery and overall efficiencies that should also result in reduced costs.”
The first core hole in the program was recently completed and returned 61 metres at 0.9% copper and 0.15 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 65 metres.
The current first phase 10-hole, 1,950 metre drilling program is testing around 300 metres of the mineralised breccia exploration target
Swapping the drill rig has resulted in a temporary stop to drilling the second hole on Section B (SB2) so the pad can be enlarged to accommodate the new, larger rig.
To avoid further delays, the rig will begin drilling the remaining holes of the program and return to SB2 when the drill pad is ready.
During the changeover period, Oro Verde undertook further slope stabilisation of road access and pads, and improvement of the water supply to drill sites.
The company built a pipeline and pool system which will be more efficient and less costly than current uphill tractor water cartage.
Chuminga, in which Oro Verde holds a 20% interest, has an exploration target of 50 to 60 million tonnes of between 1% and 1.1% copper, 0.3 to 0.4 grams per tonne gold and 0.5 to 1% zinc, suitable for bulk mining.
The project’s potential was first identified by Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Exploration and AUR Resources, now part of Teck Cominco (NYSE: TCK, TSX: TCK).
The project is well positioned in the coastal area of northern Chile, 60 kilometres north of the regional mining town of Taltal and 115 kilometres south of the port of Antofagasta.
This region has excellent infrastructure and most importantly hosts several world class copper mines such as Mantos Blancos, Chuquicamata and BHP Billiton’s (ASX: BHP) Escondida.
Earlier this month Oro Verde identified Chuminga’s bulk tonnage potential following assays from 99 metres of mineralisation intersected within the first drill hole.
The 99 metre interval includes 69 metres of well-developed core copper and iron oxide breccia mineralisation from 60 metres depth.
Elements of significance are copper and gold, with a maximum of 2.1% copper content and 0.56g/t gold content identified.