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Antilles kicks off Cuban copper-gold drilling campaign

Antilles Gold’s drilling at its El Pilar gold-copper oxide deposit. Credit: File

Antilles Gold has launched a 7000m drilling program to a depth of 100m at its El Pilar gold-copper oxide deposit in central Cuba.

Management says results from the campaign will go into a maiden mineral resource at the deposit, which is expected to be development-ready by the fourth quarter of this year. The El Pilar oxide concession is currently being transferred into Antilles’ joint venture with the Cuban Government’s mining company. GeoMinera SA.

Depending on the results of the current drilling program, a scoping study for an open-pit mine at El Pilar should be completed by the end of the year. Management argues that while the project would only be small, it could serve as an early contributor to cash flows for the JV partners and will require minimal financial contributions.

Antilles’ El Pilar project covers 1700 hectares and is one of three exploration concessions held in an agreement with GeoMinera.

Management says its induced-polarisation survey in April uncovered multiple chargeability and resistivity anomalies next to earlier drilling and to both the south and east. The work also confirmed the results of a completed aeromagnetic survey from the 1990s, which was undertaken by Canadian company SGS Resources as part of a wider package of work. It included mapping and soil sampling in 22 trenches and 24,000m of shallow drilling of the overlying gold-copper oxide zone.

Antilles believes the El Pilar site offers great potential for a major mine because it is located on flat, undeveloped land adjacent to a 60km rail link to the port of Palo Alto. High-voltage power transmission lines, the Cuban central highway and a town providing a ready labour source are also all nearby.

In March, Antilles released El Pilar drilling assays including 134.5m grading 1.13 per cent copper from 49.85m and containing 18.5m at 4.85 per cent copper, in addition to 30.5m at 0.51 per cent copper from 49.5m, with 14m going 38.31 grams per tonne gold.

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