In 2017, Adventus Mining Corporation (formerly Adventus Zinc Corporation) entered into an agreement with Salazar Resources Ltd whereby Adventus may earn a majority interest in the Curipamba project located in central Ecuador by funding exploration and development expenditures of US$25 million over five years and meeting certain development obligations. This includes the completion of a feasibility study for the development of the high grade copper-gold El Domo volcanic massive sulphide ("VMS") deposit located within the Curipamba project concessions, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021. Adventus is expected to fund 100% of the capital costs to production and receives 95% of the free cashflows until all of its investments since 2017 are repaid, after-which the project cashflows will be shared 75% to Adventus and 25% to Salazar.
In parallel with the El Domo feasibility study, Adventus continues to work closely in partnership with Salazar on broader greenfield exploration within the greater 215 km2 Curipamba project.
Curipamba Project & El Domo Deposit
The Curipamba project comprises of seven concessions representing approximately 21,500 ha and includes the advanced high grade copper-gold El Domo deposit. Curipamba is located in central Ecuador approximately 150 km northeast of the major port city of Guayaquil - about a 3 hour drive. The concessions span low-lying hills and plains between 300 to 900 masl.
El Domo is a flat-lying tabular shaped VMS deposit, with mineralization beginning at 30 metres from surface and dimensions of approximately 800 x 400 metres. Three well-maintained gravel roads provide direct access to El Domo and most of the Curipamba project area. Over 60,000 metres of diamond drilling has been completed on El Domo. Highlights of historical intercepts include:
- 24.02 m of 5.41% copper, 6.40 g/t gold, 2.68% zinc, 58.6 g/t silver, 0.15% lead (~11.5% CuEq1) – CURI 336
- 21.10 m of 5.49% copper, 3.94 g/t gold, 2.77% zinc, 42.3 g/t silver, 0.19% lead (~9.8% CuEq1), including: 8.70 m of 11.31% copper,
- 8.16 m of 2.17% copper, 19.67 g/t gold, 23.17% zinc, 229.0 g/t silver, 4.01% lead (~28.4% CuEq1), including: 3.71 m of 3.00% copper,
- 32.43 m of 4.40% copper, 1.29 g/t gold, 1.84% zinc, 13.3 g/t silver, 0.09% lead (~6.2% CuEq1), including: 19.41 m of 7.00% copper, 1.61 g/t gold, 3.00% zinc, 18.4 g/t silver, 0.14% lead (~9.5% CuEq1) – CURI 266
In 2019, Roscoe Postle Associates Inc. completed an independent National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Curipamba - El Domo project, which included an updated mineral resource estimate and produced robust technical and economic results (see May 2, 2019 news release). Estimated Measured and Indicated Resources for El Domo total 8.9 million tonnes at 2.00% copper, 2.56 g/t gold, 2.93% zinc, 51 g/t silver, and 0.28% lead while Inferred Resources total 1.3 million tonnes at 1.52% copper, 2.25 g/t gold, 2.25% zinc, 45 g/t silver, and 0.20% lead. The independent Technical Report and mineral resource estimate, with an effective date of May 2, 2019, can be found on this page (right-hand side attachments) and on SEDAR for Adventus Mining Corporation.
In 2020, Adventus acquired surface rights covering 100% of the land overlaying the estimated Mineral Resources and proposed open pit and underground mines as outlined in the 2019 Technical Report. A number of detailed technical studies and trade-off evaluations were completed as part of an internal pre-feasibility study.
In 2021, Adventus is advancing El Domo development with infill and geotechnical drilling programs in conjunction with a feasibility study expected for completion in Q4 2021. Adventus will also submit a detailed environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) as part of the formal stakeholder consultation and permitting process for future construction and operation of the El Domo project.
Adventus and Salazar believe significant exploration potential exists to expand the El Domo deposit as well as to find additional deposits within the greenfield Curipamba project.
Regional Exploration at Curipamba
With minimal systematic exploration work having been conducted across the entire Curipamba property since the discovery of El Domo in 2008 by Salazar, the partners undertook and completed an airborne MobileMT geophysical survey in 2019 totaling 2,142 line-kilometres (see September 19, 2019 news release).
Since completing the MobileMT survey, the first airborne geophysical survey at Curipamba, the Partners have made significant progress generating targets through a target generation initiative (“TGI”) that has processed and integrated all geoscience data collected from surficial geochemistry, geological mapping, prospecting, drilling, and ground geophysical surveys at Curipamba. These data have been compiled to produce a target ranking matrix that will drive exploration planning through 2020 and 2021. Exploration focus will be on high priority targets that have been classified as either VMS-related, such as El Domo, or intrusion-related.
In total, 15 compelling high priority targets have been defined during the TGI process to date, which are being followed-up by technical staff in the field to refine the priority ranking and begin planning logistics for drilling (see January 21, 2020 news release). Of key importance is that most of these targets are new and have not seen significant exploration or drilling historically.
For the latest information on the Curipamba project and El Domo development, please refer to the Adventus corporate presentation and the company's news releases.