VANCOUVER, CANADA (January 19, 2021) – Aldebaran Resources Inc. ("Aldebaran" or the "Company")(TSX-V: ALDE) is pleased to provide a summary of a newly developed geological-structural model for its flagship Altar copper-gold project located in San Juan Province, Argentina. The delivery of the first-ever, geological-structural model for the Altar project, provides a strong foundation for the forthcoming mineral resource estimate, which the Company expects to deliver by the end of Q1 2021. The mineral resource estimate will be the first created by Aldebaran on the Altar project (the 2018 resource estimate was completed by the previous operator). The focus of the updated mineral resource estimate is to highlight the higher-grade portions of the various porphyry centres within the Altar project. In addition, this model will help delineate possible extensions of known higher-grade mineralization and identify new, previously untested, exploration targets. This new, robust model is the result of integrating various new geological, structural, hyperspectral, and geophysical data sets collected by Aldebaran since assuming control of the project (see Dec 3, 2020 press release).
Dr. Kevin B. Heather, Chief Geological Officer of Aldebaran, commented as follows: “The completion of this new geological model represents not only an advancement in our technical understanding of the Altar cluster of copper-gold porphyries, but also an important milestone in our quest to unlock hidden value from the project. The collection and integration of data sets that previously didn’t exist at Altar, along with the re-logging of over 115,000 meters of drill core, has highlighted numerous new geological features that we believe are fundamental to controlling the higher-grade copper-gold mineralization and better constraining the arsenic distribution; both of which will ultimately enhance the upcoming mineral resource estimate, as well as be critical in the development of new drill targets moving forward.”
Key Takeaways From the Altar Geological-Structural Model
- The current Altar mineral resource model, released in 2018 and created by the previous operator of the project, is based on a strictly geo-statistical model, and used little geological constraints or inputs. The new Altar geological-structural model offers for the first time a robust, consistent, and more realistic framework on which to calculate a new mineral resource estimate and to base any subsequent economic analyses.
- Altar consists of at least five large, mineralized porphyry centres aligned along a 7-kilometre-long corridor, with strong geological and geophysical indications of potentially several more, yet to be discovered centres:
- Evidence of multiple, overprinting mineralized intrusive phases within each of those porphyry centres, indicating that there were multiple mineralizing events at Altar.
- Evidence that all the porphyries at the Altar project are structurally controlled, something that previously had not been identified, and should have material impacts on future drill targets.
- Altar had previously been viewed as a large, low-grade deposit. The Company has identified three distinct zones of higher-grade mineralization and modeled the structural and geological controls of these zones.
- There are two distinct styles of mineralization at Altar which are now properly constrained in the model:
- Secondary supergene (oxide) mineralization which occurs near surface and could potentially be amenable to SX-EW heap leach technology.
- Primary hypogene mineralization (sulphides) which occurs throughout the project and could be concentrated and ultimately shipped to a smelter.
- Arsenic, in the previous mineral resource estimate, was unconstrained and because the estimate was based on a geo-statistical model the perception was that there was arsenic throughout the deposit. In reality, geological evidence indicates that arsenic at the Altar project is hosted by narrow, sub-vertical veinlets that occur within distinct structural zones that have now been meticulously modelled in three-dimensions:
- Constraining the arsenic to these structural zones in the new resource model should reduce the overall arsenic content of the primary (hypogene) copper mineralization.
- A significant amount of the arsenic at the Altar project occurs within the leach-cap and supergene zones and therefore may reduce the impact of arsenic on a potential copper concentrate, as the leach-cap rocks are not mineralized, and the supergene rocks could potentially be processed by SX-EW heap leach technology, which would not extract the arsenic.
For the full release complete with figures, please view the pdf.