Exeter Resource Corp. has exercised its option to acquire the mineral properties comprising the Caspiche gold-copper project in the Maricunga district, Chile, from Anglo American. Anglo will retain a 3% net smelter royalty on production from the project.
Jacobs Engineering currently is conducting two pre-feasibility studies for Caspiche. The first study is considering a stand-alone oxide-gold project to mine the upper part of the deposit and is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2011. The second study, which is being conducted concurrently with the oxide study, is considering mining both the oxide and sulphide deposits and is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2011.
The Caspiche project is located between the Barrick-Kinross Cerro Casale gold-copper deposit 10 km to the south and Kinross’s Maricunga mine 15 km to the north. In mid-September 2010, Exeter reported a Caspiche measured and indicated mineral resource of 1.3 billion mt at a grade of 0.50 g/mt gold and 1.14 g/mt silver, including 1.2 billion mt at a grade of 0.20% copper. Contained metal in this resource is estimated at 21.3 million oz of gold, 48.4 million oz of silver, and 5.3 billion lb of copper.
Exeter’s Chairman Yale Simpson said, “We are fortunate the geometry of the project includes a more than 100-m-thick, gold-only oxide blanket at surface, which immediately overlies the huge sulphide gold-copper deposit. The gold-only oxide provides us with excellent potential for early start-up of a modest-cost operation that may produce in excess of 150,000 oz of gold per year.”