Snapshot: Located in Region IV 40km by road from the city of Ovalle, target is Porphyry Cu/Au, and associated hydrothermal breccia copper/gold systems. Close to infrastructure:45km SE of Andocolla Mine. Max altitude 1,800m asl. To date encouraging results with up to 400m @ 0.3% Cu and 0.1g/t Au from surface, but large target that needs larger budget to gain momentum.
The Joshua project is a series of 100% HLX owned exploration concessions targeting Cu/Au porphyry systems. The Project surrounds a small operation, the Carmelita Mine, where Local artisanal mining is exploiting a small tonnage of oxide copper material at a grade of approximately 1.5-2% Cu. Helix’s technical team have undertaken a series of field campaigns in the area. Geological mapping and geochemical analysis has confirmed prospectivity, with classic copper porphyry alteration, intrusives, and breccia systems mapped over significant areas of the project explored.
2011 RC drilling on target 1 identified wide zones of copper sulphides in five RC holes drilled for 1200m. The best result ARJS005 returned 256m @ 0.32% Cu Eq (Cu + Au) from surface to EOH including 27m @ 0.58% Cu Eq from surface. Drilling was very slow and reflects the lack of quality RC rigs available for small exploration campaigns in Chile. Drilling followed up by four lines of IP and a second phase of drilling was conducted in 1Q12 of 1000m DDH to provide coverage from the preserved roof rocks in the east to the IP chargeable feature in the west as well as a single hole drilled sub-vertically into the core of the system. Results from the diamond drilling showed consistent low grade copper mineralisation along the southern flank of the outcropping part of the system and a single hole drilled sub-vertically into the northern-most access point DDH2 intersected 400m @ 0.33% Cu Eq from surface to EOH.
Target 1 porphyry alteration and drill collar locations – Joshua Project
Following 18months of activity five priority targets have been identified as detailed below and shown in Figure 4.
In order of Priority
1. Porphyry Target No.1 – This is the most advanced of the targets identified to date. Comprising a copper-rich outcropping siliceous zone with assays from rockchips at surface, returning up to 0.7% Cu and 0.4g/t Au + Mo, confirmed that it was mineralised. To date Helix has drilled 2200m of RC and Diamond drilling into the southern flank of the porphyry. The porphyry presents as intense silicification that has overprinted the original texture. It also shows a strong stockwork of quartz veins and abundant to moderate black tourmaline noted throughout the drill core. Copper oxides are regularly distributed within the rock mass and variably in the abundant quartz veins. The core has a semi-circular shape on surface with a diameter of over 750m. Since the Carmelita mine (located to the East in preserved roof rocks) is approximately 350m lower in altitude to the highest point of Target 1, and drilling to date has intersected copper mineralisation over several holes for their entirety (up to 400m in DDH2), there is ample evidence that the system is large, variably mineralised and is not closed off in any direction.
2. Porphyry Target No.4 – NE of Target 1, Target 4 is possible a continuation of Target 1 or the two systems join at depth. Surface geochemistry and IP geophysics suggest this Target is large (+2km in diameter) has sulphide accumulation in two zones in resistive rock and has associated vein and breccia systems along strike to the SE of the main target. Drilling of this target is a priority.
3. Hydrothermal Breccias/Shears – Several significant hydrothermal breccia systems have been identified on Joshua including the system that controls the Carmelita Mine. These are considered excellent targets for the more gold-rich fluid systems active in the area and may provide near term high grade production to give cash flow to the Assets. Whilst these targets are of lower volumes, closing a deal with the owner of Carmelita and undertaking surface geochemistry, geophysics and drilling in 2H12 is considered worthwhile.
4. Porphyry Target No.3 – A smaller system than Target 1 located 9km SE of Target 1, where a siliceous cap is exposed at surface with copper staining, sericite/silica alteration and bound by two regionally significant NE faults. A large area of clay alteration with evidence on oxide copper as float in a saddle immediately SW of the core of the system, provides encouragement. An IP line will determine if suphide accumulation is present
5. Porphyry Target No.2 – This target is located 6km SE of target 1 and has a smaller surface expression to target 1. The target is surrounded by cover and intense silicification along strike so additional work is required to determine the true size of this target. An IP line will assist in prioritising this target.
A Large portion of the surrounding tenure has not been mapped in any detail to date, several areas on the Eastern Edge of the project appear to be returning some interesting rockchip results from various lithologies and target types so ongoing regional studies are warranted.
The Joshua Project was a greenfields discovery by Helix, utilising its in-country exploration model and the experience of the Helix’s Chilean technical team that had been active in the region with previous employees. The Joshua area has been subject to a small locally run mining activity particularly at the Carmelita Mine (within the Joshua tenement boundaries) where oxide copper is extracted from shear zones and breccias hosted in a granodiorite, thought to be roof rocks over a porphyry.
The regional geology is mapped as dominated by Paleocene-Eocene volcanics and intrusives including monzonites, granodiorites, diorites, gabbros, with porphyry, riolites and dacites present. Onlapping this sequence is series of Upper-Lower Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary units.
To date field mapping has been confined to the area mapped in Figure 3. This coincides with the Palaeocene-Eocene volcanics and intrusives. Mapping a 1:5000 scale has identified, Porphyry, various hydrothermal breccias, volcanic breccias, intrusive breccias, diorite intrusives, granodiorite intrusive, intense silica alteration, zoned porphyry alteration and varying degrees of contact metamorphism. Tenement scale mapping is ongoing.
Mapped geology and alteration highlighting main targets on Joshua Property (Carmelita Mine and others are the High grade Breccia/Shear targets)
Property Description, Location
The Joshua Project covers an area of approximately 92km², with a small excised area of 0.25km² covering the Carmelita mineral claim. The project area is dominated by a series hills and valleys varying in altitude from approximately 900m asl to 1,800m asl at the highest peak.
The Project lies 20km E-NE of the township of Monte Patria (population ~15,000) and 45km E of Ovalle (population 120,000). A large water reservoir, the Embaise La Paloma is situated on the road between Monte Patria and Ovalle.
Joshua Location map
Access, Climate, Local infrastructure and Physiography
Access to the Joshua Project is via sealed road to the township of Monte Patria and then good all season un-sealed road to the project area. Helix has undertaken track upgrades on the project area to allow for drill rig access.
The project is situated in Region IV, inland 100km from the coast, vegetation is dominanted minor scrub, small trees around drainage, thin grasses and cactus. The valleys are subject to cultivation of crops and vegetables, although there is minimal cultivation on the Joshua tenements.
Rainfall is low, Ave. 11-15mm per annum with the July and August being the months when the majority of that falls.
The temperature is mild with a range of 5-29 degrees averaging a 15 degree change between minimum and maximum daily temps all year round
The tenement is close to Ovalle a city of +120,000 people, and the mining and port town of La Serena is less than 2 hours drive from Joshua.