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Southern Hemisphere kicks off Chilean copper-gold search

Updated: Apr 17

Southern Hemisphere Mining has kicked off drilling at Llahuin. Credit: File

Southern Hemisphere Mining has launched a new drilling campaign at its Chilean porphyry copper-gold project in a bid to amalgamate adjacent prospects within a big geochemical halo into one large resource.

The company today outlined a 2500m program of diamond and reverse-circulation (RC) work at the Cerro de Oro prospect within its 149-million-tonne Llahuin porphyry copper-gold project, 250km north of the country’s capital of Santiago, that has a currently-estimated 680,000 tonnes of copper equivalent and rock copper-gold geochemical anomalism.

The new campaign has been contracted to DV Drilling from La Serena in Chile in a bid to extend the limits of previous drilling information further down-dip and to explore the area between the company’s Cerro de Oro and Ferrocarril sectors.

Recent soil geochemistry in the area has defined significant anomalism in both copper and gold, while recent selected rock-chip sampling undertaken as part of mapping and refining drill targets returned several significant results including best grades in three separate samples of 7.28 per cent copper, 18.65 grams per tonne gold and 55g/t silver.

Llahuin has a rectangular-like area of tenure measuring about 8km north-south and averaging about 2km east-west, covering an area of about 14 square kilometres. It contains several prospect areas comprising many targets with the potential to expand the company’s resources.

Management says that its exploration is in an ongoing expansion phase, concentrating initially on surface or near-surface exploration – including soil and rock geochemistry and shallow drilling to define target areas – and then progressively extending to greater depths to build economic scale.

Within the tenement area there are three main zones of interest – the Central Porphyry, Cerro de Oro and Ferrocarril zones – evenly distributed north-south along the longer central axis of the tenement, about 1km to 2km apart, in an area of extensive surface pallid bleaching and alteration that is typical of Andean porphyry zones.

The Central zone contains an estimated 108 million tonnes at 0.42 per cent copper equivalent, Cerro de Oro has an estimated 41.6 million tonnes at 0.38 per cent and Ferrocarril features an estimated 15.9 million tonnes at 0.37 per cent.

Notably, the “Cerro” and “Ferro” deposits link up along about 1.9km of strike inside a cohesive 2km-by-1km geochemical soil anomaly of greater than 400 parts per million copper, representing a mineralised zone comparable in scale to the main part of the Kalgoorlie Super Pit.

Moreover, the Central zone lies separately less than 1km north of the combined Cerro-Ferro zone, while the Southern Porphyry target is just 1km south of Ferro within its own copper soil anomaly showing more than 400ppm. Combined, it increases the overall strike of the suite of deposits to about 3.5km.

Southern Hemisphere is an experienced minerals explorer in Chile – the world’s leading copper-producing country and one of the most prospective global regions for major new copper discoveries. The company’s projects also include the 30.3 million tonne Los Pumas manganese project.

It is now looking to expand the scale of its known mineralisation at Llahuin after kicking off a new drilling campaign and it will be interesting to see to what degree it can join the dots to bring together its multiple targets into that single large resource.

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