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Antilles confirms strong Cuban copper hits at El Pilar


Antilles Gold is ramping up its hunt for Cuban copper. Credit: File

Antilles Gold has confirmed the presence of what it says is an extensive porphyry copper system at depth at its El Pilar deposit in Cuba after plunging three new diamond drillholes into the promising project.


The company says “strong copper results” were returned within both the oxide and underlying sulphide zone, reaffirming the near-term development potential of its El Pilar play. It says chalcopyrite and chalcocite, which are known copper sulphide high-grade mineralisations, were seen in the deeper zone.


Based on the intersections, Antilles is undertaking additional geological studies to determine the structural configuration, phases of intrusion and levels of mineralisation within its complex system. Drilling is continuing at the El Pilar oxide copper-gold deposit to progress a maiden resource estimate for the company’s proposed Nueva Sabana mine by year’s end.


Management previously revealed copper intersections of 13m at 2.12 per cent and 12m from surface at 4.8 grams per tonne gold. It says gold mineralisation extends from surface to depths of between 40m and 50m, with solid copper grades in the underlying copper domain continuing to 70m.


The Nueva Sabana and El Pilar projects are owned by Antilles and Minera La Victoria SA in a 50:50 joint venture (JV) company it shares with the Cuban Government-owned GeoMinera. The JV intends to fast-track the development of the Nueva Sabana mine via a 10-month construction phase starting in next year’s second quarter, with a proposed mining rate of 500,000 tonnes per annum and first product sales in early 2025.


Industry experts believe the demand for copper will rise in the coming years on the back of tight supply, with the average age of the world’s top 10 mines now 95 years. The mines are getting deeper, grades are lowering and overall, copper is becoming more expensive to mine.


There is also a geopolitical risk as most of the major mines are in Chile and Peru.


Copper’s supply-demand imbalance sparked a record-breaking run to US$10,730 (AU$16,493) per tonne in March last year, but recently declined to US$8300 (AU$12,738). Market watchers now sense highs for the metal will be retested soon.


An update on Antilles’ Cuban copper properties and those in the Sierra Maestra copper belt will be presented by its exploration director Dr Christian Grainger in a webinar slated for next Monday. It promises to be rousing roadmap to the company’s highway to gold and copper production.


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