Castillo Copper progresses strategy to become mid-tier miner amidst strong copper market

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Castillo Copper Ltd (ASX:CCZ) (LON:CCZ) continues to progress its strategy to become a mid-tier copper miner encouraged by strong results and positive copper market fundamentals.

At present work is primarily focused on the Mt Oxide project in the Mt Isa copper-belt of northwest Queensland where current work is confirming the strong potential of the Big One Deposit.

Mt Oxide is one of the key pillars forming part of the company’s strategic transformation to morph into a mid-tier copper group:

  • The Mt Oxide project, which delivers significant exploration upside through having several high-grade targets and a sizeable untested anomaly within its boundaries in a copper-rich region;
  • Four high-quality prospective assets across Zambia’s copper-belt which is the second largest copper producer in Africa;
  • A large tenure footprint proximal to Broken Hill’s world-class deposit that is prospective for zinc-silver-lead-copper-gold; and
  • The Cangai Copper Mine in northern New South Wales, which is one of Australia’s highest grading historic copper mines.

During the September quarter, the focus remained on Mt Oxide with drilling campaigns at the Big One deposit and Arya prospect as well as listing on the London Stock Exchange, which secured sufficient capital to fund development work.

Market outlook

The International Copper Association Australia has confirmed copper demand will continue to out pace supply in 2020-2021.

To secure longer-term supply, many large copper-focused groups are actively looking to acquire junior mining companies to deliver material upside potential.

Castillo Copper non-executive director Ged Hall said the copper market had experienced an ongoing global inventory squeeze which placed upward pressure on the copper price.

He said: “This is good news for explorers such as CCZ who are looking for copper discoveries.

“Additionally, in America you’ve got the Biden administration which is very pro-renewables and wants to role out more electric vehicles.

“So, on this backdrop, you could say that we’re very lucky to have the win behind us in terms of momentum at the moment.”

Mt Oxide Project 

Following having engaged Depco Drilling as the lead contractor for RC and diamond drilling at the Big One deposit and the Arya prospect in August, the company recently received assays returning shallow copper mineralisation of up to 4.14% at Mt Oxide.

The assays from four holes have returned economic intercepts and have supported the observations made from the core with best results of:

  • 7 metres at 1.37% copper from 57 metres including 3 metres at 2.18% from 58 metres;
  • 1-metre at 4.14% from 65 metres;
  • 7 metres at 0.54% from 55 metres including 2 metres at 1.35% from 60 metres; and  
  • 4 metres at 0.43% from 85 metres including 2 metres at 1.03% from 85 metres.

Castillo managing director Simon Paull said: “With the copper price near a seven-year high, coupled with favourable global fundamentals moving forward, the board’s strategic intent to transform CCZ into a mid-tier copper group is gaining momentum.

“We have a busy forward agenda which will generate significant forward news flow over the balance of the year.”

Castillo considers intersecting oxide-sulphide, shallow copper mineralisation at this stage of the drilling campaign encouraging, as there are still 28 drill-holes to complete along the 600 metres strike which delivers incremental exploration potential.

Looking ahead

The company’s next steps at the Mt Oxide pillar are:

  • Review and report on assays results, once they have been received from the laboratory; and
  • Continue to progress the RC drilling campaign at Big One Deposit then move on to Arya prospect. 

Over the next couple of months Hall said the company would be releasing news on Castillo’s Zambia prospects, where initial work had been ‘extremely positive’.

Zambia pillar

On September 3 CCZ’s Zambian geology team completed a comprehensive infill surface sampling campaign at the highly prospective Luanshya Project which delivered encouraging results including:

  • Ratification that a high-priority target for copper mineralisation, along a 6-kilometre strike event is apparent; and
  • Building on the first campaign, undertaken in April 2020, the geology team properly demarcated the anomalous area which highlighted portable XRF results up to 2,600ppm copper.

Broken Hill Alliance

At the end of September, the company agreed to terms to acquire private group Wyloo Metals tenements (EL8434 and EL8435).

The acquisition delivers CCZ a commanding ground position in the Broken Hill area, while significant technological advances now infer this footprint is prospective for Broken Hill Type zinc-silver-lead and iron-oxide-copper-gold mineralisation.

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