The Valeriano Project is located along a north-south trending metallogenic belt extending through northern Chile and into Argentina. This belt, internally referred to the as the “Link Belt”, connects the Maricunga gold porphyry belt to the north with the El Indio epithermal gold belt to the south. The Link Belt hosts a number of significant copper-gold porphyry deposits, including Filo del Sol (Filo Mining), Josemaria (Lundin Mining), Los Helados (NGEX Minerals/Nippon Caserones Resources), La Fortuna (Teck Resources/Newmont), and El Encierro (Antofagasta/Barrick Gold).
Regionally, a large surface alteration zone or lithocap, of approximately 13 kilometres by 4.5 kilometres, extends from the Valeriano property northward to Antofagasta/Barrick Gold’s resource-stage El Encierro Project. The epithermal gold oxide deposit at Valeriano is hosted within the lithocap, which overlays the copper-gold porphyry.
The geological setting for the Valeriano property is characterized as a sequence of Permo-Triassic felsic volcanics, intruded by various granodioritic mineralized porphyries. The emplacement of these porphyries generated a large hydrothermal system, exhibiting a classic example of zoned alteration from the porphyry through to the epithermal setting. The lithocap above the porphyry exhibits high-level advanced argillic alteration with local epithermal gold silver mineralization, which transitions into a well-developed potassic alteration zone within the porphyry environment. Breccias and quartz filled stockworks are generated adjacent to and within the porphyries and host disseminated copper-gold mineralization.
Mineralization at Valeriano occurs in a zoned sequence, initially as a high-sulphidation epithermal expression near-surface where, primarily gold, mineralization occurs within the advanced argillic alteration zone above the porphyry. This zone transitions with depth into a more copper-rich environment between the epithermal and porphyry system where covellite replaces pyrite. Porphyry-related mineralization then occurs within the porphyry stock and intrusive breccias with copper-gold mineralization occurring mainly as disseminated chalcopyrite and lesser bornite.