Equinox Gold’s asset portfolio includes three promising exploration-stage copper porphyry projects, bringing multi-metal optionality to the Company and creating a strong platform for long-term growth.
Porphyry copper-molybdenum project in Ecuador.
Warintza is a porphyry Cu-Mo project located in Southeastern Ecuador, along the same trend as the Mirador Cu-Au and San Carlos Panantza Cu projects.
Porphyry copper-molybdenum project in Chile.
Ricardo is a grassroots exploration property located in one of the world’s most prolific copper mining districts.
Porphyry copper-silver-gold project in Mexico.
Equinox Gold owns a 60% interest in the past-producing La Verde Project, with the remaining 40% interest held by a subsidiary of Teck Resources.
Adjacent to San Carlos Panantza Exploration-stage Cu project
40km north of Mirador development-stage Cu-Au project
|Property size||22,676 hectares|
|Resources||Inf resource: 1.8 Blbs Cu @ 0.61% CuEq|
|Status||Exploration-stage: Only a small portion of the project has been tested
6,500 metres of drilling to date in 33 holes
|Strategy||Hope to resume exploration in 2018|
The Warintza Project covers four known copper-molybdenum target areas: Warintza Central, Warintza West, Warintza East and Warintza South. All were originally identified as a result of regional stream sediment sampling, followed by increasingly detailed soil and rock chip sampling along with geological mapping.
The Warintza property exhibits classic porphyry mineralization, with low-grade copper and molybdenite mineralization distributed widely across the property. Quartz veinlets, variably mineralized with pyrite, chalcopyrite and molybdenite, form stockworks. Locally, the stockwork grades into a hydrothermal breccia, containing rotated fragments of altered quartz latite porphyry in a quartz-sericite-sulphide cement. The hydrothermal episode that produced the stockwork breccia re-distributed some of the existing copper-molybdenum mineralization and probably introduced additional copper into the system.
Only one of four defined targets has been drilled at Warintza
Only a small portion of the property has been tested to date. The current mineral resource estimate is based on 33 core holes drilled at Warintza Central. Significant zones of higher grade supergene chalcocite exist, with 12 of the drill holes intersecting significant widths of copper mineralization assaying > 1.0% copper. Only one of the four defined targets has been drilled and the limits of mineralization at Warintza Central have not been defined.
Drilling results were incorporated into a 2012 resource estimate for the project, outlining 195 M tonnes grading 0.42% copper and 0.031% molybdenum, for contained metal of 2.1 Mlbs of copper and 132 Mlbs of molybdenum, with a copper-equivalent grade of 0.61% copper. The results were summarized in a technical report.
The Ecuador government has recently reiterated its support for mining projects
The Warintza Project represents a promising exploration opportunity. The project is located in a corridor of mineralization that is known to host numerous exploration- and development-stage projects with copper, copper-gold, copper-molybdenum and high-grade gold mineralization. Step-out drilling at Warintza Central has the potential to extend the known mineralized zone and expand the existing resource. Likewise, mapping and sampling at the other target areas could identify additional drilling priorities.
The environment for mining and exploration projects in Ecuador has improved meaningfully in recent years. The Ecuador government has recently reiterated its support for mining projects, recognizing the positive economic and social opportunities that mining projects can bring to the country. Equinox Gold’s leadership team has extensive experience with government and community relations and is working in cooperation with the government to establish the relationships and social support required to recommence exploration activities at the Warintza project.
|Location||Northern Chile, 25-35 km south of Chuquicamata, one of the world’s largest known copper deposits|
|Property size||16,000 hectares|
|Status||Grassroots exploration with two drill holes to date|
|Strategy||Joint venture with a senior mining company to fund exploration|
The Ricardo Project is a copper-molybdenum exploration prospect located in the Chuquicamata mining district of Northern Chile. The project is strategically located along the West Fissure Fault, a crustal structure that extends for 5,000 km from Chile through Peru and hosts numerous world-class porphyry copper deposits, including Chuquicamata, Escondida, Collahuasi, El Abra, El Salvador, El Teniente and Zaldivar. Collectively the district hosts over 130 million tons of copper in current resources and past production.
In April 2013, the Company acquired a 100% interest in the Ricardo property with the objective of exploring for copper-molybdenite porphyry deposits and related supergene mineralization. The principal target is the faulted offset of the Chuquicamata deposit, which lies at depth under post mineral cover on the west side of the West Fissure Fault, in the southern portion of the Ricardo property.
Drilling at the Ricardo project has been encouraging. Results to date show that the near vertical 1600 metre HR-2 hole intersected strong quartz sericite alteration and a series of rock types similar to wall rocks found on the west end of the Chuquicamata orebody. The hole intersected, at a depth of approximately 600 meters, a zone of weakly anomalous Zn in the range of 100 ppm Zn. At a depth of approximately 900m to 1,100m this was replaced by weakly anomalous Cu values ranging from 100-200 ppm Cu. Weakly anomalous Zn reappeared from approximately 1100m to the bottom of the hole at 1600 meters.
In porphyry copper systems, metal zoning usually takes the form of an outer Zn zone surrounding an inner Cu zone, and the Company interprets that the HR-2 hole may have intersected the outer portion of a deep porphyry copper system.
The Ricardo Project is strategically located in one of the world’s most prolific copper mining districts. Equinox Gold expects to explore this promising property with a senior partner, allowing Equinox Gold shareholders to participate in exploration upside at the property while minimizing exploration costs.
|Location||State of Michoacán, 320 km west of Mexico City|
|Access||Paved roads to site
Existing infrastructure with water, power and rail nearby
|Resources||M&I: 3.7 Blbs Cu @ 0.41%
Inf: 2.7 Blbs Cu @ 0.37%
|Status||Care and maintenance|
The La Verde Project is underlain by a quartz-diorite dominated intrusive complex which forms an east-west trending ridge approximately 5.5 km long and 1 km wide, subdivided into the West Hill and East Hill targets.
East Hill contains four main copper mineralized zones characterized by disseminations, blebs and veinlets of bornite-chalcopyrite +/- arsenopyrite-molybdenite mineralization with associated sericite-chlorite-quartz alteration. Three of the zones (#1, #3 and #4) are hosted within altered and brecciated quartz-diorite in close proximity to dykes and stocks of quart-feldspar porphyry intrusive, while the fourth zone (#2) is hosted largely within unbrecciated quartz-feldspar porphyry.
West Hill is characterized by veinlets, veins and disseminations of pyrite-chalcopyrite +/- arsenopyrite-pyrrhotite within steeply-dipping to vertical, east-west trending bands of epidote-sericite-quartz-calcite-altered quartz-diorite and quartz-gabbro porphyry.
The Property has been explored sporadically since 1906 with most of the recent work focused on the West Hill and East Hill targets. An induced polarization geophysical survey and 20 drill holes were completed in 2010, followed by 24 drill holes in 2011 and 12 drill holes in 2012. Total drilling to date is 114,824 metres in 641 holes. All drilling results were incorporated into a 2012 resource estimate outlining:
The results are summarized in the 2012 technical report and also shown in plan view and cross-sectional view below.
La Verde is a potentially attractive mining opportunity based on reasonable future copper prices and capital/operational cost estimates. The project hosts a substantial copper resource with both gold and silver by-product credits. Based on previous drilling, the bottom of the copper mineralized system has yet to be defined, representing the potential to identify additional mineralization at depth. Equinox Gold and Teck Resources are considering next steps for this property, with no additional exploration planned for 2018.