Anglo Asian Mining PLC said it has identified significant copper mineralisation at Xarxar in the Gadabay region of Azerbaijan and an initial exploration model of the mineralisation has been prepared.
The AIM-listed gold, copper and silver producer, which is primarily focused in Azerbaijan, noted that a geological block model and open pit mining study are currently being developed and will be published in the coming weeks.
The company said AzerGold CJSC drilled 15 core drill holes at Xarxar with a total length of 4,923 metres (m). Three of the drill holes (totalling 1,140m) had been sampled and assayed by AzerGold CJSC. Geological core logging, sampling and assaying of the remaining drill core has been conducted by Anglo Asian. The company has also reviewed other information acquired from AzerGold CJSC which included geochemical and geophysical data together with maps and interpretative reports.
The mineralisation including the recent drilling is hosted within a zone that is over 500m in the broadly east-west direction by about 290m in the north-south direction. Mineralisation is exposed at surface in some areas, but the upper contact ranges from 25m to 115m from the surface and continues to a depth of over 500m. The model is based on a cut-off of 0.2% copper.
The structural positioning of the mineral-forming process was largely controlled by a north-east striking fault system, where a 300m x 300m quartz-diorite-porphyry stock is in direct contact with the metasomatite host rock.
The mineralisation is copper-dominant and comprises mainly oxides and secondary sulphides, with minerals such as malachite, azurite, pyrite, chalcocite and bornite, together with some primary chalcopyrite as common minerals in the deposit, and minor barite and magnetite minerals are also recorded. The main copper mineralisation lenses are located in the central part of the Xarxar deposit, with approximate east-west orientations. The depth of oxide, transition and sulphide zones is being studied.
In a statement, Anglo Asian Vice-president, Stephen Westhead commented: “We are very excited about the acquisition of Xarxar and the potential copper that it can bring to the Anglo Asian production pipeline. “Surface drilling and underground exploration tunnelling is ongoing, and the company looks forward to reporting the results soon. Metallurgical testwork is underway to assess the processing options.
“The Xarxar Contract Area has very good exploration potential with both known mineral occurrences and targets identified by the previously conducted ZTEM survey.” On 5 July 2022, the government of Azerbaijan approved amendments to Anglo Asian’s production sharing agreement and the company acquired three new contract areas with a combined area of 882 square kilometres.
The company said then that the acquisition of the three new contract areas is a transformational milestone in the history of the company with the Garadagh porphyry deposit alone containing over 300,000 tonnes of copper with an in-situ value of over US$3.0bn at current prices and the acquisition underpinned the company’s vision of becoming a mid-tier gold and copper miner.
The Xarxar contract area borders the Gedabek contract area to the north, east and west and the two contract areas are contiguous. Xarxar hosts the Xarxar deposit and multiple other mineral occurrences.
The company commenced a core drilling programme at Xarxar immediately following its acquisition. It has also constructed a portal and is developing an exploration tunnel towards the ore body.