Firetail Resources Limited (ASX:FTL) has announced substantial advancements in the preparations for the maiden diamond drilling program at the Picha Copper Project in Peru, following the successful completion of shareholder voting in favour of its acquisition of up to an 80% interest in Valor Resources Limited (ASX:VAL) Picha Copper Project and Charaque Copper Project in southern Peru.
Figure 1: Drill site preparation at Cumbre Coya target
Exploration Camp and Drilling Contract
Firetail Resources is on track to commence the maiden diamond drilling program at Picha in the first week of October 2023.
The Company has made substantial advancements in the Project’s preparations, with an exploration camp, crucial for logistical support, nearing completion.
Furthermore, Firetail has signed a drilling contract and mobilised equipment to the site, with the drill rig expected to be on-site by the end of this month.
The acquisition of Valor Resources interest in the Picha Copper Project and Charaque Copper Project was overwhelmingly approved by Firetail shareholders on August 21, 2023.
This strategic move has positioned Firetail to benefit from Valor’s experienced in-country management and technical team, along with an Earn-in Agreement with global gold and copper producer Barrick Gold Corporation covering the Charaque Project.
Through the divestment of its Picha and Charaque Copper Projects in Peru, Valor is strategically streamlining its portfolio, directing its attention towards the exploration of promising high-grade uranium resources in Canada.
This transition is well-timed, capitalising on the surging uranium price propelled by the momentum of green energy initiatives and increased investments in nuclear power.
Figure 2: Picha and Charaque Copper Projects in Peru
Regulatory Approvals and Drill Planning
Firetail Resources has also reported the receipt of the Autorización de Inicio (Permission to Begin Drilling) from the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines, a critical regulatory milestone. This approval allows Firetail to commence the maiden drilling program within the approved “Effective Area.”
The drilling permit encompasses the drilling of up to 120 holes at Picha, distributed across 40 drill platforms with three holes planned per platform.
The maiden diamond drilling program will comprise approximately 5,000 metres and is designed to test four targets within the Effective Area – Cobremani, Cumbre Coya, Maricate, and Fundicion.
Firetail Resources has revealed details of high-potential targets and proposed drill-holes at the Picha Copper Project which include:
Cobremani Target – Drill-hole PDH-04: Surface geochemical anomaly including a channel sample of 41.6 metres @ 1.12% Cu and 22.85g/t Ag, and a strong geophysical anomaly at approximately 200 metres depth.
Maricate Target – Drill-hole PDH-35: Surface geochemical anomaly including a channel sample of 17.6 metres @ 1.95% Cu.
Cumbre Coya Target – Drill-hole PDH-48: Surface geochemical anomaly including a channel sample of 32.85 metres @ 0.61% Cu and 209 g/t Ag, along with a chargeability anomaly. Drill-hole PDH-76 has geophysical and chargeability anomalies at approximately 250 metres depth.
Fundicion Target – Drill-hole PDH-70: Chargeability anomaly at approximately 250 metres depth. Drill-hole PDH-87 has a geophysical chargeability anomaly at approximately 250 metres depth, while drill-hole PDH-91 has a geophysical chargeability anomaly at approximately 300 metres depth. Drill holes PDH-102 and 112 exhibit a chargeability anomaly at approximately 150 metres depth.
Figure 3: Picha proposed drill program and DIA approved area
Firetail has undertaken comprehensive preparations, including selecting a reputable local drilling contractor to execute the maiden drilling program.
The final stages of an exploration camp installation are nearing completion, with access roads and drilling pads for the first nine holes expected to be finalised by the end of September, enabling the drilling program to commence on schedule in October 2023.
Executive Chairman, Brett Grosvenor, expressed his excitement for the drill program.
“We are very pleased with the progress made at the Picha Copper Project in Peru,” he said.
“The local team in Peru is on target to commence drilling in the first week of October and their approach to the preparation has been extremely thorough. Picha has undergone a substantial exploration program in the past 18 months to identify a significant number of targets, and the team has done an excellent job to advance these targets to the drilling stage.”
“The excitement is building within the Firetail team and we are confident that the targets identified have potential to position the project for a significant discovery in the coming months.”
“We look forward to the commencement of drilling in the next two weeks.”
VAL’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 33.33% and is currently trading at $0.004 (11:30am UTC+ 8 hours).