Pathfinder is on track to start maiden drilling at the historic high-grade King Tut gold and cobalt mine in Argentina in late March.

Pathfinder Resources (ASX:PF1) plans to start a six-hole, 1000m diamond drilling program at its King Tut project later this month, which could potentially result in the definition of a maiden high-grade gold-cobalt inferred resource.

The company is in advanced negotiations with an experienced local drilling contractor and expects the program to take around eight weeks.

The King Tut project is located in a region well known for its gold mining — the La Rioja Province.

La Rioja is home to several Tier 1 multi-million oz gold mines controlled by the majors, including Barrick Gold’s Veladero mine, which produced 550,000oz of gold in 2019 and is in close proximity to Pathfinder’s King Tut mine.

The Gualcamayo mine, which is owned by Colombian company Mineros S.A. and regularly produces more than 100,000oz of gold a year, lies to the south, while across the Chilean border to the north-west lies the Cerro Castle project, which contains 23 million oz of gold in reserves.

The La Rioja Province and Western Australian government recently initiated a collaboration to share mining knowledge and help establish Argentina as a top international mining destination.

This is a positive move as the region begins to attract greater attention from ASX-listed companies keen to explore Argentina’s abundant wealth of resources.

South32 (ASX:S32) is the most recent to reveal its entry into Argentina, inking a deal in February to earn a 65 per cent stake in Sable Resources’ Don Julio project in the San Juan Province by spending $US8.5m over five years.

Pathfinder made its foray into the region late last year with the acquisition of the King Tut project, which features the historic high-grade King Tut mine.

Pathfinder heads towards maiden resource with first gold-cobalt drilling in Argentina
Location Map. Pic: Supplied.

The mine previously produced gold and cobalt at grades of up to 28 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 2.85 per cent cobalt from both surface and underground workings.

Mining was undertaken at King Tut briefly in the 1950s and 1980s and records show it produced 38,000t at an average grade of 7g/t gold and 0.86 per cent cobalt.

Pathfinder’s maiden geological mapping and rock chip sampling program earlier this year returned high-grade mineralisation of up to 37g/t gold and 2.57 per cent cobalt outside of the veins mined at King Tut.

Pathfinder said the results significantly improved the company’s understanding of the King Tut geology and confirmed extensions to the known mineralisation, providing a solid base for the planned drilling program.

The aim of maiden diamond drilling will be to define the continuity of known mineralisation at depth and provide additional structural information on the regional setting, targeting the gold and cobalt mineralisation along the strike and to the west of the King Tut mine.

In early December, Pathfinder appointed Argentina-based Condor Prospecting, which has a team of highly experienced local geologists and support staff.

Condor has first-hand knowledge of the King Tut project geology, local community, social and environmental conditions.

“To be executing our maiden diamond drilling program now is very exciting and stands as a testament to our team’s ability to deliver, and the capabilities of our local team engaged through Condor Prospecting,” managing director Shannon Green said.

“The rapid advancements that we have made would not have been possible without this. We look forward to reporting the results of the maiden diamond drilling program to our shareholders in the near future.”


This article was developed in collaboration with Pathfinder Resources, 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.