Located at the core of Chile's prolific miocene porphyry-epithermal belt
Aethon's Maricunga properties are located at the core of Chile's prolific Miocene porphyry-epithermal belt. Preliminary investigations have demonstrated the potential of each property to host epithermal or "Maricunga-style" gold-copper porphyry systems.
The Maricunga - El Indio Belt is characterized by arc-related Miocene volcanics and volcanoclastic sequences covered by younger volcanics and gravels. Miocene magmatic events are typically associated with alteration zones that can be related to epithermal and/or porphyry mineralization centers. Paleozoic granitoids and Mesozoic sedimentary sequences form the basement units that are equally favorable to host gold-copper mineralization. More than 100 million ounces of gold as reserves/resources/past production have been identified in the belt.
The southern part of the Maricunga Belt has been explored and intermittently developed during the past 30 years. In general, both major and junior companies have targeted bulk tonnage projects, whereas high-grade deposits have been poorly recognized and documented.
Recent discoveries in the region illustrate the potential of this belt to yield additional gold mines, and include:
- Salares Norte (Gold Fields Ltd.)
- Alturas (Barrick Gold Corp.)
A large dataset of public and historic data has been compiled. Unclaimed and third party properties have been visited in order to validate targets. To date, more than 820 rock samples have been collected and assayed. The geochemistry and ASD signature of each sample represents the foundation of the exploration program.
The exploration target was defined by ASTER alteration zones located at the intersection of fertile N- and NW-trending regional systems. Thrusted Eocene to Miocene volcanic sequences characterize the Freddie properties. Field reconnaissance (63 rock samples) identified subcrops of chrysocolla and malachite bearing hydrothermal breccia (3.9% Cu, 13 ppb Au, 13 ppm Ag, 0.4% Pb) associated with andesitic to dacitic lavas and domes (48 ppb Au). Additionally, a zone with intense quartz veining returned results up to 4.34 g/t Au. The affinity between the copper-bearing breccias, quartz veins and volcanic units is currently being evaluated.
Cursory work has been completed at the Chavo-Florinda and the Aladeen properties. Geochemical anomalies are associated with epithermal systems in all cases. Potential exploration targets are being currently assessed.
Diego Charchaflie, P.Geo., is the qualified person, as defined by NI 43-101, who supervised work programs and preparation of the technical data presented here.