Located close to the port city of Arica, the Cristal Copper Project is situated in northernmost Chile, adjacent to the Peruvian border. The project is easily accessed from Arica to the west, or via highway 135 from the north or south. Also known as Ruta 5 135, or the Pan-American Highway, this highway runs from the Peruvian city of Tacna (approximately 58km north of Arica) all the way south to the Chilean city of Copiapo; a total distance of approximately 1,298km.
more about arica
Chile’s northernmost city, Arica is a port city with a population of approximately 223,000. Just 18km (11mi) south of the shared border with Peru, it is located within the country’s Atacama region and sits on the Pacific coast. The city is served by the Chacalluta International Airport as well as the Arica-La Paz railway, which runs from this corner of the Pacific coast all the way to La Paz, Bolivia.
With 9 square kilometers’ of concessions, our Cristal Copper asset is situated on public land in a region of northern Chile that is supported by excellent infrastructure. Prior exploration work was carried out in the area during the 1990s by various companies, although the first significant work on the Project was conducted by BHP Billiton (“BHP”) under an option agreement in 2012. The results of these initial airborne magnetics, gravity and EM studies, along with limited drilling were considered to be prospective for the potential discovery of a buried porphyry copper deposit but no exploration work has been conducted on the property since this time.
New Energy Metals Corp. plans to follow up on this initial exploration work, focusing on the area where a large geophysical anomaly was previously identified. The Project is currently surrounded by large land positions held by several senior copper producers.
background of project
The large geophysical anomaly identified by previous exploration activities is of aeromagnetic low and gravity high. Measuring several kilometers across, the anomaly shows a weak magnetic high surrounded by a magnetic low, which could potentially be indicative of a buried porphyry copper deposit. In addition, a coincident northwest trending gravity high could represent a topographic high within a potential porphyry copper system.
During the work carried out on the Project by BHP Billiton, a subsequent BHP summary report stated that an enhancement of the magnetics data had identified a 2-3km diameter circular doughnut feature. This doughnut feature has a weak magnetic high core surrounded by a magnetic low, which is accepted by geologists and geophysicists as a typical signature of buried porphyry copper deposits.
A significant anomaly, it exists within close proximity of the area where the West Fissure undergoes an abrupt change in direction from North-South to North45West, at the intersection of the NE-SW regional structure.
Since this initial exploration work by BHP, no further exploration work has been conducted on the property.
The Company has proposed an Initial Project Exploration Program, which will begin with a drill program. This initial drill program will comprise of 4-6 holes to test the principal target. Total budget for the program is estimated to be between USD $1,000,000-$1,500,000. The company anticipates that an all-in cost of approximately USD$250 per meter will cover the necessary permitting and ancillary costs of the Initial Project Exploration Program.
a brief history of the west fissure fault in chile
Chile has a unique geological profile. Incredibly long and thin, 80% of the country is covered by mountains. In total, the surface area of Chile is 756,950 sq km (292,183 sq mi); although if you include the Chilean Antarctic territory, that number increases to a total land mass of 2,006,096 sq km (1,246,530 sq mi).
The West Fissure Fault is an essential branch of Chile’s Precordilleran Fault System and runs in a North-South direction. The Precordilleran Fault System (also known as the Domeyko Fault, or Falla Domeyko in Spanish) is a geological fault that runs parallel to the Andes, the coast, and the Atacama Fault. A number of porphyry copper deposits are found throughout the West Fissure Fault, including the Chuquicamata copper mine (currently the world’s largest open pit copper mine by excavated volume), the Collahuasi copper mine, El Abra copper mine (operated in part by Codelco), El Salvador copper mine, Escondida copper mine, and the formerly active Potrerillos mine (1927-1959).
Known as a strike-slip fault, the West Fissure Fault is characterized as having a fault surface or plane that is typically near vertical, while the footwall (which is the block of rock found on the underside of the inclined fault or mineral deposit) moves sideways in either a left or right direction with minimal vertical motion.
In addition to the substantial porphyry copper deposits throughout the area associated with the Cristal Project, substantial deposits have been found northwest in Peru’s Incapuquio Fault System. These two important fault systems are projected to intersect near the Project area and provide a favorable geological environment for the occurrence of buried porphyry deposits.