Exploration Excellence

Our exploration team has delivered net asset value creation through the drill bit. Major league results at multiple Capstone assets, both previously and currently owned, has proven the team’s exploration excellence. The Exploration page outlines our current brownfield and greenfield focus areas.

Cozamin Brownfield Exploration

Since acquiring the Cozamin mine in 2006, when it was considered a sunset operation, we have significantly extended the mine’s mineral resources and mine life three times. In addition, each subsequent discovery has resulted in higher copper grades. Exploration success in 2019/2020 extended Cozamin’s life to ~10 years (from ~4 years) at 50% expanded copper and silver output.

In 2021, Cozamin’s exploration program focused on two areas of brownfield active expansion located at a westward extension of the Mala Noche Footwall Zone (MNFWZ) and the Mala Noche Vein West (MNVW) Mineral Resource limits. We believe there is a plethora of other brownfield targets and structures within historical workings yet to be tested to add potential expansions beyond MNFWZ.

Copper Cities Greenfield Exploration

Pinto Valley and Carlota are the only producing mines in the District.

Drilling underway at Copper Cities.

Copper Cities greenfield exploration 1

On January 20, 2022, Capstone announced that it has entered into an Exploration Access Agreement with BHP Copper Inc. for the Copper Cities project, located 10 km east of the Pinto Valley Mine.

Copper Cities was developed in the 1950s as a part of the United States of America’s national effort to increase copper production to support the war effort in Korea. The operations included open pit mining, concentrating and leaching of copper ores. The mining and milling concluded in 1978 while leaching continued until 1982 when the site closed. Over the mine life according to USGS records, a total of 68.7 million tonnes of ore was milled at an estimated feed grade of approximately 0.66% with production of 895 million pounds of copper including 75 million pounds of copper cathode.

Capstone believes that Copper Cities is geologically a mirror image of Pinto Valley with the same host rocks and age. The plan currently underway calls for a $6.7 million two-phase drill program aimed at twinning historical drill holes and to select a portion of these for metallurgical testing. Discussions between Capstone and BHP are at an early stage.

Brazil Greenfield Exploration

Capstone has optioned the IOCG-target Planalto Project in Brazil from Lara Exploration, part of the management team that discovered the Timok project in Serbia. To date, a total of 36 holes have been drilled, with the best hole showing 142m at 0.83% copper. The 2021 exploration program was delayed due to COVID and stated towards the end of Q4. Activities will continue in 2022.

Santo Domingo Brownfield

In 2021, Capstone undertook the first exploration program at Santo Domingo since 2011. The focus of the program is shallow mineralization at the eastern portion of the deposit which is open for expansion as well as a strong untested conductive anomaly (VTEM) with a similar response to the central portion of the Santo Domingo ore body that suggests a continuation of mineralization at depth. We plan to release the results of the 2021 exploration program in Q1 2022.

In 2022, Capstone plans to spend $11 million in brownfield exploration programs at Pinto Valley and Cozamin. In addition, the Company has planned $6 million for exploration activities in Chile and Brazil.

Capstone will update its exploration plans for 2022 following completion of the combination with Mantos Copper in early Q2 2022.