Maricunga Gold Projects (Chile)
Located at the core of Chile's prolific miocene porphyry-epithermal belt
The Maricunga Generative Project is an ongoing initiative of Altius Minerals Corporation and Zeus Capital to identify new high-grade gold-copper deposits through regional target generation. The project comprises seven wholly-owned properties located at the core of Chile's prolific Miocene porphyry-epithermal belt. Preliminary investigations have demonstrated the potential of each property to host epithermal or "Maricunga-style" gold-copper porphyry systems.
Highlights of recent rock sampling on newly identified prospects include 3.55 g/t Au and 146 g/t Ag from a zone of intense dark quartz and jarosite veining, as well as 5.54 g/t Au and 89 g/t Ag from a silicified hydrothermal breccia.
Altius and Zeus are currently seeking a strategic partnership to advance these properties.
The Maricunga - El Indio Belt is characterized by arc-related Miocene volcanics and volcanoclastic sequences covered by younger volcanics and gravels. Miocene magmatic events are typically associated with alteration zones that can be related to epithermal and/or porphyry mineralization centers. Paleozoic granitoids and Mesozoic sedimentary sequences form the basement units that are equally favorable to host Au-Cu mineralization. More than 100M ounces of gold as reserves/resources/past production occurs in the belt.
The southern part of the Maricunga Belt has been explored and intermittently developed during the past 30 years. In general, both junior and major companies have targeted bulk tonnage projects, whereas high-grade deposits have been poorly recognized and documented.
Recent discoveries in the region illustrate the potential of this belt to yield additional gold mines, and include:
- Salares Norte by Goldfields (3.1 Moz Au and 33.6 Moz Ag @ 4.2 g/t; $23.5M budget in 2015)
- Alturas by Barrick (e.g., 97m @ 4.4 g/t Au; 170 m @ 2.8 g/t Au; oxide, compared geologically to the Veladero deposit).
The Maricunga Generative Project was conceived as a targeting exercise oriented to define regional trends and vectors to Au-Ag and Cu mineralization. A large dataset of public and historic data has been compiled. Unclaimed and third party properties have been visited in order to validate targets. To date, more than 820 rock samples have been collected and assayed. The geochemistry and ASD signature of each sample represents the foundation of the exploration program. In-house ASTER and Landsat imagery reprocessing and field evidence has defined zones of interest that are being followed for additional land acquisition. The Maricunga Generative Project comprises today over 30,000 hectares distributed on seven groups of claims as well as ongoing staking and third party property evaluations.
Preliminary surface exploration (121 rock/stream/soil samples) has been conducted mostly on the Vidalita East properties. Eocene to Oligocene volcanic units and to a lesser extent Paleozoic(?) sedimentary rocks are the dominant lithologic phases. Rock geochemistry results up to 5.54 g/t Au, elevated Hg and trace metals (Bi, Mo, Sb and Pb) are associated with a zone of advanced argillic and silica alteration assemblages in the southern portion of these claims. The target is a high-sulphidation, epithermal system.
The exploration target was defined by ASTER alteration zones located at the intersection of fertile N- and NW-trending regional systems. Thrusted Eocene to Miocene volcanic sequences characterize the Freddie properties. Field reconnaissance (63 rock samples) identified subcrops of chrysocolla and malachite bearing hydrothermal breccia (3.9% Cu, 13 ppb Au, 13 ppm Ag, 0.4% Pb) associated with andesitic to dacitic lavas and domes (48 ppb Au). Additionally, a zone with intense quartz veining returned results up to 4.34 g/t Au. The affinity between the Cu-bearing breccias, quartz veins and volcanic units is currently being evaluated.
Jotahues was selected as a result of a ASTER target generation, structural interpretation, and close vicinity to alteration and high-grade mineralization. Additional work is being planned.
Cursory work has been completed at Plato de Sopa, Chavo/Florinda, Corrales and Aladeen. Geochemical anomalies are associated with epithermal systems in all cases. Exploration targets are being currently assessed.
To request more information:
Exploration Manager for Mining Equity Fund
Diego Charchaflie, P.Geo., is the qualified person, as defined by NI 43-101, who supervised work programs and preparation of the technical data presented here.