|Deposit Type||Copper-Gold Porphyry|
|Indicated Resource*||2.1 billion t @0.48% CuEq
17.6 billion lb copper
10.1 million oz gold
92.5 million oz silver
|Location||Region III, Chile
135km SE of Copiapo
|Ownership||~64% NGEX; ~36% Pan Pacific Copper|
*see Resource Table for details
Los Helados is a copper-gold porphyry deposit discovered by NGEX Resources in 2008. It is one of the largest grassroots copper-gold discoveries made in the last decade and is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold resources in the world. The deposit is well located with respect to existing mining infrastructure at the Caserones Mine located 12 km from Los Helados and operated by NGEX’s 36% partner. NGEX has a life of mine usage agreement in place with the owners of the surface rights over the deposit. Metallurgical test work indicates that Los Helados would produce a high-quality precious metal-rich copper concentrate. We believe that the combination of a large, high quality resource with the proximity to existing mining infrastructure owned by our partners positions Los Helados as one of the best copper development opportunities globally.
The Los Helados deposit is located in the Andes Mountains of the Atacama Region, Chile. Access to the Project is from Copiapó, Chile, a driving distance of about 135 km, or three hours. Copiapó has a population of approximately 150,000 people, an airport with daily scheduled flights to Santiago and Antofagasta, and companies that offer mining and exploration services.
The climate in the Project area is dry to arid and the temperatures are moderate to cold. Annual precipitation is about 250 mm, with snow at higher altitudes in the winter. Exploration fieldwork is generally carried out from mid-October to early May. It is anticipated that mining operations could be conducted year-round.
Los Helados is a copper-gold (Cu-Au) porphyry deposit. Mineralization at Los Helados is primarily hosted by a Miocene magmatic–hydrothermal breccia that forms a roughly circular, pipe-like body with minimum dimensions of 1,100 m east–west, 1,200 m north–south, and at least 1,500 m vertically. The breccia body is surrounded by a broad halo of moderate to low grade Cu–Au mineralization which diminishes in grade with increasing distance from the breccia contact. The mineralization is dated at 13.13 ± 0.32 Ma. LOS HELADOS GEOLOGY PRESENTATION
The mineralization limits have been established by drilling to the west, east and south; however, the northern limit of the breccia body has not yet been defined and the system also remains open at depth. In particular, recent internal NGEx studies have suggested the presence of a discrete, higher-grade breccia phase occurring along the western and southwestern margins of the breccia. This high-grade breccia zone remains open for further expansion.
Eight drilling campaigns have been carried out at the Los Helados deposit, from 2006 to 2015. Drilling to date totals 75,634 m in 95 drill holes, of which five holes (1,366 m) are RC and 90 holes (74,268 m) are core. Core recovery from holes drilled at Los Helados averages 97%.
The Company’s most recent Mineral Resource estimate for the Los Helados Project, effective as of April 26, 2019, at a cut-off grade of 0.33% CuEq is comprised of 2.1 billion tonnes at 0.38% copper, 0.15 g/t gold and 1.37 g/t silver, containing 17.6 billion pounds of copper, 10.1 million ounces of gold and 92.5 million ounces of silver in the Indicated category, and an Inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 827 million tonnes at 0.32% copper, 0.10 g/t gold and 1.32 g/t silver for 5.8 billion pounds of copper, 2.7 million ounces of gold and 35.1 million ounces of silver.
The deposit contains a discrete higher grade core at a cut-off grade of 0.58% Cu Eq of 531 million tonnes of 0.50% copper, 0.21 g/t gold, 1.66 g/t silver for a copper equivalent grade of 0.65%.
A two-phase metallurgical test work program for Los Helados was conducted at SGS Minerals S.A. (SGS) laboratories in Santiago, Chile under the supervision of Amec Foster Wheeler. Material from Los Helados was also tested for amenability to processing by High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGR) by Thyssenkrupp.
The testwork completed to date indicates Cu recovery ranges from 84.2% to 93.9%, gold recovery averages 76% and silver recovery averages 60%.
No deleterious elements were noted in the concentrates produced from the testwork completed on Los Helados mineralization and they are expected to be marketable to copper smelters around the world.
As of March 31 2020 NGEx holds an approximately 63.8% interest in Los Helados subject to a Joint Exploration Agreement with Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd., (“PPC”) which holds the remaining approximately 36.2%. NGEx is the operator of the Los Helados Project.
NGEx has a life-of-project lease agreement with the owners of the surface rights covering 20,000 hectares over the Los Helados Project area. This agreement secures the surface rights needed for all future exploration, development and mining.
Los Helados is a grassroots discovery made by the NGEX team in 2008. The initial discovery hole, LHDH004, returned a 762 metre interval grading 0.43% copper and 0.22 g/t gold. This was followed up by LHDH016 in 2010 which was the first hole into the deposit’s high-grade core, returning 737 metres grading 0.64% copper and 0.30 g/t gold and LHDH017 in 2011 which revealed the true size of the deposit with a 1,090 metre interval grading 0.51% copper and 0.26 g/t gold. S&P Global Market Intelligence ranks Los Helados as the 4th largest copper deposit discovered globally between 2008 and 2017.