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Golden State Mining’s (ASX:GSM) shares drop following exploration update
  • Castillo Copper (CCZ) plans to expedite twin drilling programs at two priority targets at its Mt Oxide Pillar in Queensland’s copper-belt
  • The Arya Prospect is prospective for iron oxide copper-gold mineralisation and comprises a sizeable massive sulphide bedrock conductor indicative  
  • BHP's preliminary sampling of surface rock chips, up to 1.84 per cent copper, were interpreted as up-dip extensions to the main sulphide body correlating with the bedrock conductor
  • Previous drilling at the Big One Deposit intersected up to 28.4 per cent copper in a shallow high-grade supergene copper orebody
  • As test-drill targets have been finalised, Castillo will be inviting contractors to submit quotes for the twin drilling programs
  • The final step, prior to drilling commencing, is securing approval from Queensland’s resources regulator
  • Castillo Copper is trading grey at market open, with shares selling for 1.7 cents each

Base metals explorer Castillo Copper (CCZ), has announced plans to expedite twin drilling programs at its Mt Oxide pillar in Queensland’s copper-belt.

High-quality drill targets

Both targets have exploration histories dating back to the 1990s, but a downturn in base metal prices meant the sites were only minimally explored and exploited.

Castillo believes the time is now right to take another look at the sizeable massive sulphide bedrock conductor at the Arya Prospect, and the shallow high-grade supergene copper orebody at the Big One Deposit.

Arya prospect

Arya's massive sulphide bedrock conductor has been identified twice now via electromagnetic surveys — once by BHP in 1997, and again by Geoscience Australia in 2019.

BHP's preliminary sampling of surface rock chips, up to 1.84 per cent copper, were interpreted as up-dip extensions to the main sulphide body correlating with the bedrock conductor.

BHP initially recommended follow-up drilling at Arya, but never went ahead due to the base metal downturn in the late 1990s.

In addition, the site appears highly prospective for iron oxide copper-gold mineralisation.

Big One deposit

The Big One Deposit was originally targeted by West Australian Metals (WME) in 1992.

The company undertook a 27-hole reverse circulation (RC) drilling program for 1673 metres.

The drilling intersected shallow high-grade supergene copper ore, with intercepts up to 28.4 per cent copper.

In 1997, WME mined around 4400 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 3.5 per cent copper from a shallow open-pit operation. 

Records obtained from the WME campaign indicate a north-east trending fault of supergene copper ore intruded by a porphyry dyke — suggesting the possibility of additional mineralised conduits.

Next steps

Given the ample supply of data points from the historic surveys and exploration at the two sites, Castillo believes an expedited drilling program at optimised targets should yield further promising results.

As the drill-test targets have been finalised, Castillo will be inviting contractors to submit quotes for the twin drilling programs. 

Discussions with the necessary landholders and access agreements are mostly in place and a contractor has already been selected to clear nearby access tracks that were damaged through the wet season.

All that remains now is the final approval from Queensland's resources regulators to authorise the proposed drilling campaigns. 

Once that approval is attained, the drill teams will be fast-tracked to site.

Castillo can then start getting drilling at the Arya Prospect and Big One Deposit - hopefully with further good news to follow.

Castillo Copper is trading grey at market open, with shares selling for 1.7 cents each at 10:13 am AEST.


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