• Reconnaissance drilling hits near-surface, high-grade copper at Vaca Muerta and El Quillay North Prospects, part of the Fortuna Project in Chile
  • Prospect areas are part of a suite of promising exploration targets within an underexplored copper belt
  • Active exploration continues at both the Fortuna and Lana Corina Projects


Special report: Early-stage drilling has hit near-surface, high-grade copper mineralisation grading up to 2.19% CuEq at the Vaca Muerta and El Quillay North Prospects within the Fortuna Project in Chile.  

Culpeo Minerals (ASX:CPO) Fortuna Project, 10km to the north of the flagship Lana Corina asset on Chile’s coastal copper belt, hosts multiple zones of copper mineralisation over a 6km strike length.

Although highly prospective, the project has undergone only limited previous exploration across four key prospects (La Florida, El Quillay, Vaca Muerta and Piedra Dura).

Currently, Culpeo’s main exploration focus is El Quillay, a sizeable copper prospect which lies within a 3km long regional fault zone in an area previously mined by both open cut and underground mining.


Copper mineralisation at El Quillay

Assay results from reconnaissance drilling have now been received, with multiple zones of copper mineralisation intersected.

The second hole at El Quillay North returned 13m at 0.59% copper equivalent from 20m, confirming copper mineralisation within the target. This hole was drilled along strike of hole CMEQD002 which intersected 26ma at 0.81% copper equivalent.

CPO says the results highlight the significant widths of outcropping mineralisation that are hosted within the El Quillay Fault, a structure known to have at least 3km of strike extent.

The majority of the El Quillay Fault remains undrilled and with the discovery of mineralisation at El Quillay East and geophysical targets to the west, CPO has initiated the next phase of field work.

This will include detailed surface mapping and sampling, trenching in areas prior to drilling and ground truthing of targets identified from historic geophysical data.


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Plan view of Fortuna Prospect with drill intersections. Pic via CPO


1m at 2.19% copper at Vaca Muerta

Meanwhile, positive drilling results were also returned from Vaca Muerta after completing 330m of diamond drilling in two holes at two separate early stage targets.

Encouragingly, CPO says the mineralised lenses are hosted within a very broad zone of highly altered and brecciated volcanic rocks which are favourable host units.

A high-grade intercept of 1m at 2.19% copper equivalent was returned from a zone of brecciated volcanics from 55m.

Further work is planned in the form of detailed surface mapping with a focus on understanding the structural controls on mineralisation, which will assist in the planning of the next phase of drilling at the prospect.


All the ingredients for a major copper discovery

“To drill and intersect multiple zones of shallow copper mineralisation on our first pass reconnaissance drilling program at Vaca Muerta is extremely positive and highlights the significant potential of the target area,” CPO’s Managing Director Max Tuesley says.

This result, coupled with the ongoing exploration success at El Quillay, indicates Fortuna continues to provide potential for a major copper discovery.

“Three distinct targets have now identified that include: breccia hosted copper mineralisation at El Quillay and Vaca Muerta, porphyry copper and gold at La Florida and high-grade structurally controlled copper and gold at Piedra Dura.”


Active upcoming exploration

A diamond drilling program of ~2,000m at Lana Corina continues, aiming to extend high-grade, broad zones of copper and molybdenum mineralisation and focusing on new breccia targets and mineralisation associated with the deeper cupola zone.

Ground based site reconnaissance of priority areas at Vista Montana is underway, focused on geophysical datasets (ground magnetics), rock chip sampling and geological mapping with results expected to be returned from the laboratory in the coming weeks.

And ground-based site reconnaissance of priority areas at Fortuna will kick off shortly, utilising interpreted geophysical datasets (PDIP, ground magnetics and remote sensing anomalies).



This article was developed in collaboration with Culpeo Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.