Atacama Pacific Gold initiated a $24.5-million Phase III exploration program on its 100%-owned Cerro Maricunga gold project in Chile’s Maricunga mineral belt. The campaign, which will include 42,000 m of drilling, will target the Cerro Maricunga oxide gold deposit, which currently hosts 92.8 million mt grading 0.54 g/mt gold for 1.616 million oz of gold in the indicated category at a 0.3 g/mt cut-off and a further 116.7 million mt grading 0.52 g/mt for 1.949 million oz in the inferred category.

Three drill rigs were being mobilized to site in November and a further three rigs were scheduled to arrive before the end of the month. Approximately two-thirds of the 42,000 m of planned drilling will be infill drilling, with the goal of converting the existing inferred gold ounces to measured and indicated. The remainder of the budgeted drilling will target resource expansion. (