Mariana Resources (LON:MARL) has commenced deep drilling at the La Borita copper prospect in Argentina targeting a “most attractive” concealed porphyry copper deposit.


Investors liked the news as shares in the company rose 3% immediately after the announcement was made.


Two 600-700 metre deep holes will be drilled 400 metres apart to test strong chargeability anomaly below exotic copper travertine mineralisation at surface.


The copper target was generated via low cost surveys conducted by Quantec Geoscience Argentina.


Mariana has an option agreement allowing it to acquire a 100% interest in the property by making payments of a total US$0.9 million over a six year period and subject to a 2% net smelter royalty that can be bought out for a further US$1.2 million.


La Borita is located in a prominent topographic basin in the Catamarca province, which coincides with a northeast trending 7 x 3.2 kilometre (km) airborne magnetic low.


Mariana called Catamarca a “mining friendly province”, noting that it hosts Xstrata’s (LON:XTA) Alumbrera, the largest mine in the country with an annual copper production of 180,000 tonnes.


“Using a low cost geophysics programme Mariana has generated a most attractive porphyry copper target in which Mariana has a right to acquire a 100% interest,” said managing director of Mariana Resources John Sutcliffe. A ground magnetic survey and pole-dipole IP geophysics have been carried out to investigate the magnetic-low and delineate possible sulphide mineralisation at depth. The IP survey identified broad zones of elevated chargeabilities, which were interpreted to be an expression of porphyry-scale sulphides at depth.


Quantec Geoscience concluded that “All the geophysical data collected are consistent with expectation for a non-magnetic porphyry intrusive and related sulphide mineralization”.


The Mariana exploration model is therefore a concealed porphyry copper deposit centred on the magnetic low.


Earlier this month, Mariana struck bonanza grades of gold and silver at its Las Calandrias project in Patagonia.


The company says there is potential for high-grade gold mineralization along the 450 metre strike vein-breccia trend at Calandria Norte, part of the Las Calandrias area in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina.


That announcement came just a day after Mariana removed another layer of risk from Las Calandrias by acquiring the freehold surface rights to the licence area in Patagonia.


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