"Pampa Metals’ main objective is to make discoveries. There are not many junior companies like us currently doing grassroots exploration, and the biggest value-add moment for investors is the transition from exploration to discovery.”
What were the main milestones achieved by Pampa Metals in 2021?
Pampa Metals is still a very young company, being established in December 2020, but we have achieved a significant amount in a short period of time. We conducted extensive geophysical programs over our largely covered porphyry copper targets in Northern Chile, and surveyed several of our projects with a combination of induced polarization (IP) technologies, and magnetics. We were one of the first companies to use a drone-flown magnetic sensor in Chile. Detailed geological mapping on available outcrops is crucial to our targeting. These surface programs were followed by diamond drilling on two of our projects, which included drilling of three separate targets at our Redondo-Veronica project and one target at our Cerro Buenos Aires project.
Towards the end of 2021, we started doing further detailed geophysical surveying on the Cerro Buenos Aires target. In the meantime, we discovered a completely new zone of porphyry-related, quartz-vein stockwork at surface at our Block 4 project and started trenching towards the end of 2021.
Although we have not yet made a discovery, our drilling programs at both Redondo-Veronica and Cerro Buenos Aires were very positive, and we believe we have clear line of site towards potential discoveries. Pampa Metals also signed an option and joint venture agreement with Austral Gold, allowing them to earn in to our Morros Blancos and Cerro Blanco projects.
Can you tell us about Pampa’s partnership with VerAI Discoveries?
VerAI’s technology is based on high-resolution geophysics, using very specific proprietary algorithms which can successfully be applied to mineral exploration. According to our partnership agreement, Pampa Metals will be allowed to evaluate and explore a series of copper and precious metals targets on eight new property blocks which are owned by VerAI. We have an exclusive option to define one or more designated projects (DP) from the eight property blocks over a 12-month period, during which we are required to bear exploration expenditures of US$500,000. In order to earn a 51% stake in each DP selected, Pampa Metals will spend at least US$1 million on each DP over the following two years.
Pampa Metals is currently active on four copper and gold projects in Chile. Where is exploration work being focused on these projects?
At the Morros Blancos and Cerro Blanco projects, Austral Gold has already progressed surface exploration activities and started their first drill test at Morros Blancos in January 2022. They are drilling approximately five diamond core holes totalling 2000 m at the Rosario del Alto high-sulphidation gold-silver target.
In 2021, Pampa Metals carried out wide-spaced, reconnaissance RC (reverse circulation) drill testing around the relatively small Cerro Chiquitín outcrops at our Cerro Buenos Aires project, which expose portions of a tourmaline breccia body as well as a quartz-veined diorite porphyry complex. This has allowed us to zero down to a much smaller area of interest which is obscured by post-mineral cover. We are currently conducting a detailed IP survey over this area which will be followed up with diamond drilling later in 2022. At our Block 4 project, which could well be a significant drill target for us in the near future, we were able to complete five effective trenches over our target area which exposed more of the porphyry intrusion and quartz-veinlet stockwork. We have taken approximately 200 rock samples from these trenches and are currently waiting on assay results.
We are also actively exploring our Block 3 project which, like Block 4, lies along the Domeyko Cordillera copper belt – host to three of the world’s top five copper mining districts. We have conducted detailed geological mapping of the available outcrops, and completed drone-flown magnetic surveying, which has delivered a number of interesting potential targets that will be followed up with electrical geophysics and drill testing.
What are your thoughts on how political changes in Chile could impact the country’s mining industry?
I have always viewed Chile in a bullish way and continue to do so, as I believe the country’s democratic institutions are solidly based. Chile has had left-wing presidents before, while its mining industry has made consistent progress. With regards to the new constitution, the Chilean public has selected people from a wide range of backgrounds to be on the constitutional assembly, and I believe that these people will come up with acceptable solutions to Chile’s problems. I am confident that any changes that occur will be supportive of foreign investment as Chileans understand the importance thereof.
What would you say differentiates Pampa Metals in the copper junior market?
Pampa Metals’ main objective is to make discoveries. There are not many junior companies like us currently doing grassroots exploration, and the biggest value-add moment for investors is the transition from exploration to discovery. This is why we are encouraging investors to look at the Pampa Metals story, as now is the time to create real value increases for stakeholders by making a major copper discovery along the prime mineral belts of Chile.