Special report: Base metals explorer Castillo has hit upon very encouraging indications of copper in a survey of its flagship red metal mine in northern NSW.

It’s great timing for Castillo. The outlook for copper is improving after a decision by Chile – the world’s biggest copper producer — to hike taxes for miners, making Aussie copper look more enticing.

Castillo (ASX:CCZ) today announced it had completed electromagnetic surveys aimed at detecting accumulations of massive sulphide mineralisation at its Cangai Copper Mine near Grafton in northeast NSW.

Massive sulphide ore deposits are often associated with copper.

The so-called “Downhole ElectroMagnetics” surveys (or DHEM) measure conductivity and resistance by transmitting an electric field into the rocks — which is converted to a magnetic field if the rocks are conductive.

This helps explorers uncover strong conductors or massive sulphide ore bodies located some distance away from the drill hole.

The goal is to identify conductors associated with massive sulphides to reinforce drilling results from August. Assays returned results at an intersection of 11m at 5.94% copper, 2.84% zinc and 19.13 grams per tonne silver from 40m.

Anything above 1.5 per cent copper is considered high-grade.

Early testing has identified several sizeable conductors.

Castillo is now planning further surveys and diamond drilling to start this week.

Good outlook for the red metal miners

Reuters reported recently that it had seen a draft of a proposal from Chile’s congress that suggested an extra 3 per cent tax be levied on copper miners producing more than 12,000 tonnes each year.

Chile is the world’s largest copper producer.

In 2010 the government hiked mining royalties from between 4 and 5 per cent to 4 per cent to 9 per cent of mining sales on a sliding scale, rising to 5 to 14 per cent starting in 2018, Reuters reported.

This is good news for Castillo that have mines in Australia, which is already seen as a cost-competitive country.


Castillo Copper is a Stockhead advertiser.

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