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Torq options Santa Cecilia gold-copper project in Maricunga Belt in Chile

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Global Mining Review,

Torq Resources Inc has acquired an option to earn a 100% interest in the 3250 ha. (32.5 km2) Santa Cecilia gold-copper project, located approximately 100 km east of the city of Copiapo in northern Chile.

The project is in the southern region of the world-class Maricunga belt and immediately north of the El Indio belt. It is estimated that the Maricunga belt could host up to 90 million oz of gold endowment. The belt is characterised by gold epithermal and gold – copper porphyry deposits that are Oligocene - Miocene in age, including world-class multi-million-ounce deposits such as Salares Norte, La Coipa, Cerro Maricunga, Marte, Lobo, La Pepa, El Volcan, Caspiche, and Cerro Casale.

The Santa Cecilia project is located immediately adjacent to the Norte Abierto project, held by Newmont and Barrick, which is comprised of the Caspiche and Cerro Casale gold – copper porphyry deposits. Collectively, these deposits contain proven and probable reserves of 23.2 million oz of gold and 5.8 billion lbs of copper, and measured and indicated resources of 26.6 million oz of gold and 6.7 billion pounds of copper. Limited historical exploration work at Santa Cecilia was performed by the previous operator, a major international mining company, in 1988 – 1990, when it drilled 47 holes, totalling approximately 14 000 m, and completed 1200 m of exploration tunnel development that clearly defined epithermal gold and gold – silver mineralisation as well as gold – copper porphyry mineralisation at surface and shallow depths, respectively. A subsequent operator of Santa Cecilia then drilled two deeper holes in 2012 that successfully encountered gold – copper – molybdenum porphyry mineralisation, underlying the shallow mineralisation defined by the previous operator’s drilling. Following this work, ground-based Quantec Orion 3D induced polarisation and magneto – telluric surveys were conducted to further define porphyry and epithermal targets across the property, which remain untested.

Shawn Wallace, Executive Chair & Director, comments:

“The Santa Cecilia gold-copper project represents the culmination of our acquisition strategy in Chile. It is our belief that exploration at a project of this magnitude will be transformative for Torq. I would like to thank our entire team, both here in Vancouver and on the ground in Chile, for all their contributions. We look forward to unlocking the exploration potential of the property and adding long-term value for all stakeholders, including surrounding communities, through their involvement in our progress as we earn our social license by operating in a transparent, responsible, and respectful manner.”

“Santa Cecilia completes an extraordinary exploration pipeline, which includes our Margarita iron-oxide-copper-gold project, where drilling is ongoing, and the Andrea copper porphyry project, where exploration is expected to commence in early 2022. Our premier portfolio provides the company with great potential to make Chile’s next significant copper-gold discovery.”

There are three primary target types associated with the 10 km2 surficial hydrothermal alteration footprint: 1) Surface epithermal disseminated oxide gold mineralisation defined by the previous operator’s shallow drilling, 2) High-grade gold-silver epithermal structures and veins, as observed in the previous operator’s exploration tunnel and associated drilling, and 3) Underlying copper – gold – molybdenum porphyry mineralisation analogous to the Newmont/Barrick Caspiche and Cerro Casale deposits, as defined by the 2011 – 2012 drill holes.

Michael Henrichsen, Chief Geologist, comments:

“Santa Cecilia represents an extraordinary opportunity for discovery in Chile. Effectively, it gives us the rare ability to step back in time, to the early 1990’s, when the first round of discoveries were being made within the Maricunga belt. The previous operator’s drilling has suggested a large oxide gold system and the potential for high-grade precious metal structures, while the two holes in 2012 have demonstrated a bona fide porphyry system beneath the near surface oxide mineralisation. We are in an excellent position to expand both the oxide and porphyry mineralised systems as well as to drill entirely new high quality targets for the first time, which we believe have the potential to contribute to the discovery of a cluster of mineralised porphyry bodies.”

Waldo Cuadra, General Manager, Chile, comments:

“As an explorationist, to be able to identify, acquire, and begin exploration at a project such as Santa Cecilia, located within the gold-copper porphyry belt in Maricunga, is an exceptional event. Our group in Chile has been pursuing this project for many years, and finally, with the full Torq Resources team, we have been able to negotiate a favourable agreement. This is a significant milestone, and we very much look forward to initiating exploration at a project we believe holds significant potential for the discovery of a world-class gold-copper deposit.”

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Copper mining news Gold mining news South American mining news