The Margarita Iron-Oxide-Copper-Gold (IOCG) project is located in Chile, 65 kilometres (km) north of the city of Copiapo with excellent access to infrastructure. The property is located within the prolific Coastal Cordillera belt that hosts the world-class Candelaria (Lundin Mining Corp.) and Mantoverde (Mantos Copper Holding) IOCG mines, and porphyry-skarn deposits such as Santo Domingo (Capstone Mining Corp.) and Inca de Oro (PanAust/Codelco).
On May 2, 2022, Torq announced a new discovery on the project, which included an intercept of 90 m of 0.94% copper and 0.84 g/t gold. The Company then drilled an extension to the discovery, announced September 13, 2022, which was 190 m to the north and included an intercept of 98 m of 0.94 g/t gold and 0.68% copper. After completing the second drill program on the project, Torq announced on November 28, 2022 that it had defined an 800 m mineralized system at Margarita.
The Margarita project is comprised of approximately 1,445 hectares and is flanked by secondary copper oxide mineralization on the southwestern boundary of the property. Torq’s exploration strategy at Margarita was to find the copper sulphide source to the oxide mineralization that exists, which it was successful in doing in its discovery drill hole.
Torq’s maiden 4,075 metre (m) reverse – circulation (RC) drill program at the Margarita project resulted in the discovery of a new copper and gold sulphide system. Drill hole 22MAR-013R intersected 90 m of 0.94% copper and 0.84 g/t gold at a depth of 50 m – 140 m. This discovery successfully identified the copper and gold sulphide source mineralization to the abundant copper oxide mineralization observed on the southern margin of the project, validating the Company’s exploration thesis, and represents the potential for a significant new IOCG discovery in the Cretaceous Coastal Cordillera belt in northern Chile.
See May 2, 2022 news release for a summary of the results from the drill program.
Torq’s follow-up drill program drilled an extension to the original discovery, 190 m north, intercepting 98 m of 0.94 g/t gold and 0.68 % copper.
See Sept. 13, 2022 news release for details on the extension to the discovery at Margarita.
The remainder of the drill holes from the phase II 4,000 m drill program helped to define an 800 m mineralized system at the project, and included 64 m of 0.63 g/t Au and 0.63% Cu in 22MAR-017R, 130 m of 0.36 g/t Au and 0.28% Cu (including 30 m of 1.02 g/t Au and 0.57% Cu) in 22MAR-023R, and 62 m of 0.51 g/t Au and 0.38% Cu (including 16 m of 1.6 g/t Au and 0.98% Cu), in 22MAR-024R.
See Nov. 28, 2022 news release for the complete results from the phase II drill program.
Extensive leaching of copper within the top 20 – 30 m from surface was observed in the drill results from the Falla 13 discovery, leading the Company to conduct a multi-element soil geochemistry survey across the project area, primarily to identify gold anomalies as a proxy for copper-gold mineralization. The results of this survey have identified targets adjacent to the Falla 13 discovery area that demonstrate its potential for growth as well as five new target areas that have not yet been drill tested.
See April 5, 2023 news release for details on the results of the soil geochemical survey.
A magnetic survey over the Margarita project shows a circular magnetic low surrounded by magnetic highs beneath the hydrothermal alteration system. The magnetic highs are associated with less altered, andesitic to rhyodacitic rock units that may correspond to dome structures, which are considered to be part of the mineralizing intrusive hydrothermal system that characterizes the property. The lower magnetic responses correspond to strongly altered units that include various porphyritic and breccia bodies as well as andesitic dykes and provide a clear large-scale 1.5 km by 1.5 km geophysical target within the property boundaries.
An IP survey at the Margarita project consisted of a total of 49-line km with lines spaced every 250 m. The results of the program have demonstrated two north-northwest trending chargeability anomalies that are approximately 3 km by 500 m in dimension at a threshold of 30 millivolts, which is consistent with the presence of sulphide minerals. Importantly, these chargeability anomalies spatially overlap with resistivity lows that are consistent with hydrothermal alteration and form the basis of geophysical targeting at the project.
Out of the 39 drill holes with known assay results available that define the copper oxide mineralization, 13 are within the land package of the Margarita - Cototuda agreements, totaling approximately 1,500 m. The historical drill holes are located in the southwestern corner of the property in a zone of strong hydrothermal alteration. Copper oxide mineralization with reported grades of 0.2 – 0.6% copper were encountered to 210 m vertical depth with drilled widths ranging between 30 – 120 m. Importantly, none of these drill holes encountered primary copper sulphide mineralization.
The Company acquired the rights that constitute the Margarita project through two option agreements: 1) The Margarita claims with Minera Viento Norte (MVN), a local Chilean company, and 2) The La Cototuda claims with a small-scale mining company (Figure 2). Under these option agreements the Company can acquire 100% interest in the project, subject to a net smelter royalty (NSR) through combined cash payments and work expenditures as detailed below in Tables 1 & 2.
Table 1. Margarita Claims: Minera Viento Norte
|Period from Signing Definitive Agreement and Initial Payment||Cash Payments (USD)||Work Expenditure Requirement Until $6,200,000 is paid|
|Within 60 days of signing the Definitive Agreement||$50,000 (Initial Payment)|
|within 6 months||50,000||400,000|
|within 18 months||100,000||1,150,000|
|within 30 months||300,000||1,500,000|
|within 42 months||1,200,000|
|within 54 months||2,000,000|
|within 66 months||2,500,000|
The Margarita NSR is 1% with 50% (being 0.5%) buyable for $2,000,000.
Table 2: La Cototuda Claims: Small-scale mining company
|Period from Signing Definitive Agreement and Initial Payment||Cash Payments (USD)||No Expenditure Requirement|
|Upon signing the Agreement||$50,000 (Initial Payment)|
|within 12 months||250,000|
|within 24 months||250,000|
|within 36 months||350,000|
There is no NSR relating to the La Cototuda claims.
In relation to the option arrangement of the Margarita project, a finders fee of 466,666 shares of the Company will be issued, subject to customary TSX Venture Exchange acceptance.