McEwen Copper has reported additional promising drill results from its Los Azules copper project following significant investments to support its copper-sourcing potential.
The copper mining firm is 52 per cent-owned by McEwen Mining Inc.(NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX) and recently its Los Azules project has been receiving interest from car makers and other large firms looking to secure a copper source.
McEwen Copper has full ownership of Los Azules, which is a significant untapped copper deposit situated in San Juan, Argentina. The deposit has an estimated 10.2 billion pounds of copper resources at a grade of 0.48 per cent Cu (indicated) and an additional 19.3 billion pounds at a grade of 0.33 per cent Cu (inferred).
In January, its assay results revealed that Los Azules is a substantial porphyry copper-gold-silver deposit with significant potential for expansion. The ultimate depth and lateral extents of the deposit are yet to be determined.
McEwen Copper announced the exploration drilling results from its AZ22174 and AZ22191 drill holes on Monday and reported the following highlights:
- At its exploration drill it found 1,052 meters (m) of 0.29 per cent Cu including 480.0 m grading 0.42 per cent Cu in AZ22174, which is coincident with a prominent deep geophysical anomaly and showcases the potential to meaningfully expand Los Azules through exploration.
- At its delineation drill it saw 236 m of 1.39 per cent Cu and 0.19 g/t Au, including 42 m of 2.78 per cent Cu in AZ22191.
“Exciting results in hole AZ22174 highlight the potential of exploration to create additional value for McEwen Copper, and continuity of mineralization in the infill program is de-risking our mineral resource,” McEwen Copper VP and general manager Michael Meding said in a statement.
McEwen Copper recently received a US$15 million investment from vehicle maker Stellantis (NYSE: STLA) (Euronext Milan: STLAM) (Euronext Paris: STLAP) and around US$30 million from Rio Tinto Ltd. (ASX: RIO) (LON: RIO)’s latest venture Nuton LLC.
The investments aim to secure electric vehicle battery raw materials and copper sources.
Electric vehicles (EVs) typically use lithium-ion batteries, which require copper for their anodes, cathodes and current collectors.
As the demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, the demand for copper in battery production is likely to increase significantly, further solidifying copper’s importance in the transition to a low-carbon future.
Listen to Robert and myself presenting on Los Azules' role to drive value for McEwen Mining Inc. at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference 2023! https://t.co/D9phwFaFWQ
— Michael Meding (@mmeding) March 6, 2023
Los Azules is one of the largest undeveloped high-grade open-pit copper projects
Situated in the San Juan province of Argentina, Los Azules is a porphyry copper exploration project located approximately 80 kilometres west-northwest of Calingasta and 6 kilometres east of the Argentine border with Chile. The project is located at an elevation of 3,500 meters in the Andes Mountains.
Los Azules is one of the world’s largest undeveloped high-grade open-pit copper projects with significant growth potential. As per the project’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) completed in 2017, it is expected to be the 25th largest copper producer globally during the first ten years of its 36-year operation. Furthermore, it is anticipated to be a low-cost quartile producer.
McEwen Copper’s Los Azules project restarted activities in October with a focus on drilling to upgrade the copper, gold, and silver resource classification to measured and indicated, facilitate mine design and demonstrate the extension of the deposit. The drilling program covers over 25,000 meters in 75 new holes and aims to provide metallurgical, hydrological and geotechnical data.
Between Jan- May 2022 over 13,500 meters of drilling were completed and from October to the third week of February, a further 16,900 meters were drilled in 66 holes, making this the most extensive annual drilling campaign in the project’s history.
The current program’s results are expected to provide improved geological and economic estimates, which will be included in a planned 2024 Feasibility Study.