Culpeo Minerals (ASX:CPO, OTCQB:CPORF) is a copper-focused Australian exploration and development company with a portfolio of Chilean assets. The company’s projects are focused on Chile’s Coastal Cordillera Belt, where the Lana Corina, Culpeo’s flagship asset, presents significant opportunities for further exploration with high-grade copper and molybdenum mineralization. The company also has two additional projects, Quelon and Las Petacas where early stage exploration has defined several exciting targets.
Chile leads the world in copper production by a wide margin, contributing 28 percent of global copper production. Comparatively Peru, in second place, contributes less than half as much at 11 percent. Earning the top spot is partially a result of Chile’s natural deposits, but the country’s significant output is a testament to its mining-friendly regulations.
Exploration work at Lana Corina, to date, has returned high-grade assay results for both copper and molybdenum. Assays have indicated a grade of over 1 percent copper equivalent, and up to 15,000 parts per million (ppm) molybdenum. The presence of molybdenum creates an additional future revenue source and increases the value of the project.
Molybdenum is roughly ten times the value of copper by weight as it is a strategic metal used in industries that require durable steels, such as catalytic converters on vehicles and various military applications.
Lana Corina contains higher-than-average molybdenum grades, as is typically seen when co-occurring with copper, further enhancing the asset’s potential. The company has already completed 7,000 meters of drilling on the project, with additional opportunities to increase the footprint of known mineralization.
Much of the company’s portfolio is within the Coastal Cordillera Belt, which hosts medium-sized, high-grade copper deposits estimated at 50 to 100 million tonnes at 1 percent copper equivalent. The copper within this belt is typically higher-grade than the prolific copper porphyry deposits in the Andes.
Culpeo’s additional assets are nearby existing copper projects with significant deposits, indicative of the assets’ potential as exploration continues. The Quelon and Las Petacas projects are underexplored and prospective for high-grade copper-gold deposits with the potential for iron oxide.
A management team with expertise throughout the mining industry leads the company toward fully exploring its promising portfolio and increasing shareholder value.
The Lana Corina project is within the Coastal Cordillera region in Chile. This past-producing asset is highly prospective to become a world-class project as exploration continues. Culpeo has already completed its maiden drill campaign and is now moving towards its Phase 2 drill campaign.
- High-grade Results: The inaugural drill campaign at the Lana Corina project indicates high-grade copper and molybdenum. The company is now moving towards its Phase 2 drill campaign. Assays from the maiden campaign include:
- 257 meters @ 1.10 percent copper equivalent (CuEq) in CMLCD002 from 170 meters
- 173 meters @ 1.09 percent CuEq in CMLCD003 from 313 meters
- 169 meters @ 1.21 percent CuEq in CMLCD010 from 239 meters
- 104 meters @ 0.81 percent CuEq in CMLCD001 from 155 meters
- 81 meters @ 1.16 percent CuEq in CMLCD005 from 302 meters
- 72 meters @ 0.91 percent CuEq in CMLCD013 from 352 meters
- Historic Production: The project has historically produced 1 million tonnes at 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent copper. This significant production indicates what’s possible as Culpeo further explores the assets.
- Targets for Future Exploration: The company’s exploration campaigns and historical data have identified 18 additional regional targets for follow-up exploration and potential drilling.
Quelon Copper-Gold Project
The Quelon project is 40 kilometers south of the Lana Corina project and 240 kilometers north of the major city of Santiago. The project has multiple outcropping targets of up to 3.43 percent copper and significant gold and iron-oxide.
Culpeo’s Las Petacas project remains significantly under-explored with outcropping copper and gold mineralization defined 6 kilometers of strike. The project has significant blue-sky potential as exploration continues.
- Nearby Analogous Project: The Las Petacas project is near Lundin Mining’s (TSE:LUN) Candelaria Mine. This mine has an estimated 925 million tonnes at 0.65 percent copper. Drill results completed indicate the potential for Las Petacas, with results including:
- 14.0 meters at 0.73 percent copper and 0.1 g/t gold from 59 meters
- 6.0 meters at 0.58 percent copper and 0.03 g/t gold from 120 meters
- 5.0 meters at 1.27 percent copper and 0.07 g/t gold from 1 meters
- 7.5 meters at 0.73 percent copper and 0.04 g/t gold from 11 meters
- Future Targets: Completed IP and ground magnetic surveys have indicated several priority targets for future exploration to determine the deposits within the asset.
Max Tuesley – Managing Director
Max Tuesley is a geologist with 30 years of experience in base metal/gold exploration and mining. He has a proven track record of successful project and team management, both within Australia and Internationally, working on projects in Mongolia, Sudan, Laos and the Philippines. Tuesley spent seven years with Xstrata in senior management roles with a focus on its Australian Copper Operations, including the Ernest Henry IOCG project.
He holds a Bachelor of Science from The Queensland University of Technology and an Honors Degree in economic geology from James Cook University. He is a member of the AusIMM.
Geoff McNamara – Non-executive Chairman
Geoff McNamara has 30 years of international resource sector experience as a geologist, project manager and fund manager. He previously worked in private equity (FUM US$800 million) and was director of Societe General’s mining finance team in New York. Operational roles included project manager, senior mine geologist and mine geologist for Ivanhoe Mines, Lion Ore International and Western Mining Corporation. McNamara is the co-founder of Tesoro Gold, where he also currently sits as non-executive director. Tesoro Gold discovered the El Zorro Gold Project in Chile.
Zeffron Reeves – Non-executive Director
Zeffron Reeves is a geologist with over 20 years of experience in the resource sector working on projects from greenfields exploration, discovery, definition and feasibility, construction, production to closure.
Reeves is currently co-founder and managing director of Tesoro Resources, which recently discovered the highly prospective El Zorro gold project in Chile. He was also managing director of ASX-listed Kopore Metals (previously, Metallum), which also had a number of development and operational projects in Chile. He has held senior management positions with Cleveland Mining and Ashburton Minerals, developing projects in Brazil.
Reeves has a Bachelor of Applied Geology (Honors), a Master of Business Administration from Curtin University, and is a member of the Australia Institute of Geoscientists.
Paul Schmiede – Non-executive Director
Paul Schmiede is a mining engineer with over 25 years experience in mining, exploration and business and corporate development. He has had direct exposure to gold and base metal commodities in a range of jurisdictions, including Australia, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He is currently vice-president of corporate development for TSX-V-listed Sarama Resources, which has development-stage gold assets in Burkina Faso. Prior to that, he was vice-president of operations and project development at Moto Goldmines, where he managed the pre-feasibility, bankable and definitive feasibility study for the more-than-22-million-ounce DRC-based Moto Gold Project (now Kibali Gold). Prior to joining Moto Goldmines, he held senior operational and management positions with Gold Fields Ltd and WMC Resources Ltd where he was responsible for underground and open pit operations as well as project development and planning.
Schmiede holds a first-class mine managers certificate (Western Australia), a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) degree, and is a fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Sergio Uribe – Country Manager
Sergio Uribe is an administrative, management and development professional with experience in Chile. He has worked on numerous resource projects from greenfields exploration, discovery, production, closure, retreatment and tailings reclamation. Part of the development team with Fortescue Metals Group during the development of its Pilbara mining operations, he has 10 years of resource sector experience. Uribe has represented numerous foreign companies investing into resource projects in Chile, and was commercial manager of Metallum Chile, where he was involved in the acquisition and development of their operation in Chile. Prior to this, he was general manager of Acorn Mining Chile and country manager for Cleveland Mining Chile.
Uribe has a business management degree from Universidad del Desarrollo and is a member of the civil police and a military reserve officer.