Castillo Copper unveils ambitious plans for Big One Deposit

14 May 2024 09:12

Castillo Copper Limited (ASX:CCZ) has announced its intention to undertake a comprehensive soil sampling campaign at the Big One Deposit, located within the NWQ Project in Mt Isa.

This decision follows a reconciliation of highly prospective historical exploration findings, coupled with a recent surge in the copper market and bullish forecasts from leading investment banks.


Figure 1: Big One Deposit – Line of Lode & Historical Drill-Holes

Big One Deposit development

Located within Castillo Copper’s NWQ Copper Project, the Big One Deposit stands out as a significant asset in proximity to holdings of major industry players like Anglo American.

With a JORC 2012 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 2.1Mt @ 1.1% Cu for 21,886t contained metal, the Deposit’s potential is underscored by historical data and high-grade results from three drilling campaigns conducted between 2020 and 2021.

Notable results include intersections include:

  • 40m @ 1.64% from surface incl: 11m @ 4.40% from 24m, 5m @ 7.34% from 28m & 1m @ 16.65% from 29m (BO_303RC)
  • 44m @ 1.19% Cu from surface incl: 14m @ 3.55% from 27m, 3m @ 10.88% from 37m & 1m @ 12.6% from 37m (BO_301RC)

Castillo Copper’s Non-Executive Director and Chief Geologist, Joel Logan, provided insights into the exploration potential of the Big One Deposit, stating, “The ground north of the Big One Deposit’s line of lode, which contains a sizeable anomaly, is highly prospective.”

“Indeed, drill-hole designs can be inferred via the nearby orientation of multiple extensions from confirmed highly mineralised lodes. Moreover, structural, petrographic and GIS analysis suggest the potential for shear hosted and IOCG style mineralisation in the current areas of interest.

With the presence of malachite, azurite, and cuprite on the surface above potential targets, adjacent tenement holdings owned by majors, and the relative proximity to established and historic mine sites underpin the Big One Deposit’s exploration potential.”

Campaign strategy

The upcoming soil and rock chip sampling campaign is strategically targeted north of the known orebody, aiming to explore an area with a substantial, yet untested, bedrock conductor.

Previous findings suggest that the known orebody, commencing from the surface, remains open to the north, east, and down dip.

Once the surface results are assayed, the geology team anticipates having sufficient data to devise a drilling campaign aimed at potentially extending the known mineralisation at the Big One Deposit.

Bullish market sentiment

Throughout 2024, the copper market has already shown consistent growth, witnessing an impressive 17% increase in price since the beginning of the year.

Notably, a surge in late April briefly propelled the commodity price to USD$10,000/tonne, after which it has comfortably maintained a range above USD$9,700.

However, intensified supply stress has prompted Investment Bank Goldman Sachs to revise its end-of-year price target upward, from USD$10,000 per tonne to $12,000.

Portfolio review

The Board is committed to advancing the NWQ Copper Project, which encompasses over 20 known copper prospects.

Additionally, Castillo is actively seeking partnerships to develop its remaining assets in New South Wales and Zambia.

Castillo Copper Chairman, Ged Hall, emphasised the company’s strategic focus on fully developing the Big One Deposit, highlighting the renewed interest in the Mt Isa copper belt.

“Following our strategic asset review in 2023, the new Board plans to fully develop the Big One Deposit, commencing with a comprehensive surface sampling campaign north of the known orebody.

“Further, with the current upcycle rekindling significant interest in the world-class Mt Isa copper belt, the Board has decided to prioritise the advancement of the NWQ Copper Project and seek development partners for the remaining assets in NSW and Zambia,” he added.

CCZ’s Australian Security Exchange-listed share price has risen 60% today and is currently trading at $0.008 (9:00 am UTC+ 8 hours).

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