The origins of the Vizcachitas deposit go back to the staking of the San Jose claim in 1975. During the late 1970s, Compañía de Petroleos de Chile, S.A. (“COPEC”) first reviewed the property. In 1981, they completed a geologic mapping, petrographic work and geochemistry program, which confirmed that Vizcachitas was a porphyry copper-molybdenum prospect.
Placer Dome Sudamerica Ltd. (“Placer”) reviewed the project in 1992 and signed an option agreement. Placer completed mapping and sampling programs followed by six diamond drill holes totaling 1,953 metres.
In 1995, General Minerals Corporation (General Minerals) acquired 51% of the shares of Sociedad Legal Minera San Jose (SLM San Jose), owner of the San Jose central core mining claim, and 100% of the mining claims of Santa Teresa, Santa Maria, San Cayetano, Tigre 1 through 3 and claimed the León 1 through 16 concessions. These concessions surrounded the San Jose, claim and brought the total area of this land package to 3,788 Ha. In 1997, General Minerals entered into a joint venture agreement with Westmin Resource Ltd. (“Westmin”), which was subsequently terminated by Boliden in 1998 (Boliden acquired Westmin during the period of the joint venture). Beginning in 1995, General Minerals conducted detailed mapping, sampling, geophysics and drilling programs. A total of 61 diamond drill holes were completed through 1998 for a total length of 16,347 metres. Based on this information, General Minerals calculated an historic (non NI 43-101 compliant) measured and indicated resource of 645 million tonnes at an average copper grade of 0.45% and an average molybdenum grade of 0.014% at a 0.3% Cu cut-off.
In 1998, General Minerals commissioned Kilborn International to complete an initial feasibility study on the Vizcachitas Property. Kilborn commissioned an audit of the historic General Minerals resource and concluded that at a copper price of $1.00 per pound, the Net Present Value at 8% was $201 million and the Internal Rate of Return was 20%. This study was not NI 43-101 compliant.
Shortly after the initial feasibility study was completed, General Minerals put the project on a care and-maintenance basis, dropping all but the central core of concessions.
Lumina Copper Corp. purchased General Minerals’s subsidiary Vizcachitas Limited in late 2003, which included the shares of Vizcachitas Holdings (Chile), 51% of SLM San Jose and 100% of the remaining claims constituting the Vizcachitas Property. In May 2005, under a Plan of Arrangement, Vizcachitas Limited was transferred to Global Copper Corporation, one of four successor companies of Lumina Copper Corp.
In February 2007, Los Andes Copper Ltd. acquired Global Copper Corporation’s interest in the Vizcachitas property. During 2007 and up to June 2008 the company completed 63 diamond drill holes for a total length of 17,487 metres in areas of the Vizcachitas property outside of the San José central core. AMEC International (Chile) SA was commissioned to prepare a Resource Estimate Report compliant under NI 43-101. This report was completed in August 2008 showing an indicated resource of 515 Mt with an average grade of 0.39 % Cu and 0.011 % Mo in the Sulphide zone using a cut-off grade of 0.3 % CuEq, and using the same cut-off grade showing 572 Mt with an average grade of 0.34 % Cu and 0.012 % Mo. During the remainder of 2008, the company carried out a further 16 diamond drill holes and a total length of 5,128 metres on the areas surrounding the San Jose central core.
In December 2010, Los Andes Copper Ltd. consolidated the mining property of the Vizcachitas project by acquiring the remaining 49 % of SLM San Jose. During the 2011-2012 period, the company systematically compiled and documented all the historical data for the Vizcachitas Project. The assay certificates for all the samples were located and the pulp samples for the General Minerals and Los Andes Copper assaying were documented and stored at the project site.
In December 2013, Coffey Mining and Alquimia Conceptos S.A. completed the updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the Vizcachitas project.
In January 2014, the company acquired the non-consumptive water rights for the Rocin River, which currently runs through the Project’s mining claims, together with studies for the development of a 29 MW run-of-river hydroelectric project. This project is currently at a development phase and construction is expected to take place well in advance of the development of the Vizcachitas Project. This plant will be connected to the national power grid in central Chile (Sistema Interconectado Central), being enabled to supply power to third party connected to this grid.
In February 2014 Coffey Mining and Alquimia Conceptos S.A. updated the NI 43-101 PEA and mineral resources estimate on the Vizcachitas project.
During the first half of 2015, all of the historical drilling was re-logged. The historical drilling was generally carried out through the supergene mineralisation and then then only a short distance in the primary mineralisation. This means that there are various drill holes, especially in the central core where the drill holes finished in grades above 0.5 % Cu or in geological units which indicate that the drill hole is still in the upper part of the system. The reclogging showed that the historical logging and geological model had not properly identified the importance of the higher grade early diorite porphyry and hydrothermal breccias and that these higher grade geological units extend over a distance of 1,400 metres north-south and 700 metres east-west.
During the end of 2015 and early 2016, a 3,600 metre drilling campaign was completed, with eight diamond drill holes. The program was designed to test the new geological model and confirm the width and depth extent of the higher grade central core.
The success of the 2015-2016 campaign led to an 8,300 metre drilling campaign during February – July of 2017, completing 11 diamond drill holes. The 2017 campaign further confirmed the new geological model, with significant intersections in the early diorite porphyry and hydrothermal breccias. The campaign also extended the mineralisation to the north of the central core, and showed continuity of higher grade supergene mineralization.