McEwen Mining Inc.’s (TSX: MUX) (NYSE: MUX) copper subsidiary McEwen Copper has reported new assay results from its Los Azules operation in San Juan, Argentina.
The company has completed drilling the 25,000 metres it initially planned following the restart of its exploration program in October last year.
Prior to the end of the field season, McEwen aims to increase drilling density so it can improve the classification of shallower copper resources into the measured and indicated categories; test for extensions of mineralization at the site to the north, south and at depth; and provide data for the feasibility study mine design scheduled to be completed late next year.
Highlights from the newest assay results include the following:
- Hole AZ22183: 0.87 per cent copper over 152 metres
- Hole AZ22184A: 0.92 per cent copper over 276 metres
- Hole AZ22181: 0.87 per cent copper over 172 metres
- Hole AZ22186: 1.00 per cent copper over 282 metres
Los Azules is growing in San Juan, together with local contracting firms. HG Perforaciónes' 2 #drilling teams will soon add 2 others. This #LF160 drill, dedicated to extraction of samples and geotechnical tests, works day & night to advance our top 10 world-class #copper project. pic.twitter.com/V3AA6lnAm6
— McEwen Copper (@McEwenCopper) January 16, 2023
Los Azules is situated 6 kilometres from the Argentinian border with Chile and sits at a 3,500-metre elevation in the Andes Mountains. It is one of the world’s largest open-pit copper projects and a preliminary assessment from 2017 indicated that it was expected to last for 36 years.
“We have four different drilling contractors with 13 drills turning. This initiative also involves training and optimizing the entire value chain, with the significant engagement of local suppliers and services,” said Michael Meding, General Manager and Vice President of McEwen Copper.
Last year, the company completed the construction of a new road into Los Azules at a lower elevation, enabling McEwen to access the project year-round rather than only six months of the year like the single previous road permitted. The indicated resource estimate for the site shows that it contains 10.2 billion pounds of copper, 55.7 million ounces of silver and 1.7 million ounces of gold.
In addition to Los Azules, McEwen Copper holds a 100 per cent interest in the Elder Creek project in Nevada.
Last month, the leading vehicle producer Stellantis (NYSE: STLA) (Euronext Milan: STLAM) (Euronext Paris: STLAP) invested US$155 million in Los Azules to help secure a reliable supply of copper for its electric vehicle batteries.
Mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd. (ASX: RIO) (LON: RIO) also invested $30 million in the project last month.
Both companies now own a 14.2 per cent equity stake in McEwen Copper. The demand for copper is expected to increase by about 300 per cent in the coming years due to the growing demand for electric vehicle batteries and the metal’s importance in their construction.
McEwen Mining’s stock rose by 0.65 per cent Wednesday to $12.41 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has been on a steady incline for the past month, rising by 24.35 per cent from $9.98 on March 5.