Celsius Resources Limited’s (ASX:CLA) Philippine subsidiary, Tambuli Mining Company Inc. (TMCI), has completed a positive technical due-diligence and evaluation of its Sagay project in the Province of Negros Occidental.
Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Board, Martin Buckingham, said the promising results have led the CLA Board to elect to pursue further exploration of its second copper-gold asset in the Philippines, with the expectation of developing the project into a viable asset.
Sagay represents a complementary project to the company’s flagship Maalinao-Caigutan-Biyog (MCB) development,” Mr Buckinham said,.
“While we still need to obtain an exploration permit extension in order to be able to conduct further drilling prior to defining a JORC compliant Mineral Resource, we strongly anticipate the project will add significant value to shareholders and the Company.
“We anticipate drilling to commence in the third quarter of 2021 with the main objective of testing the broader extents of what appears to be very large-scale porphyry copper mineralisation.”
The Sagay Copper-Gold Project is located in the north-eastern part of Negros Island, within the cities of Sagay and Escalante and within the Province of Negros Occidental.
Negros Island is part of the central group of Islands in the Philippines commonly referred to as “the Visayas”. Access to the project area is through Bacolod City, the provincial capital of Negros Occidental. Bacolod City to Sagay is an 81 kilometers drive through well-paved highway. The areas of interest were centered on one of two prominent hills that stand out on the project area – being Nabiga-a Hill.
The Sagay Project appears to contain very large-scale porphyry copper mineralisation at depth defined by the numerous thick drill hole intersections as seen in the historical drilling conducted by TMCI (a wholly owned subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Inc., at the time), between 2012 and 2016.
The first phase of exploration at Sagay commenced in 2008 and was carried out by Tambuli Mining Company, which completed extensive field mapping, soil and rock sampling and a series of geophysical surveys consisting of Induced Polarisation (IP) and ground magnetics.
Following on from this initial phase of drilling, the presence of geological features including a well-defined alteration system, indicative of a porphyry copper and epithermal gold setting, provided the encouragement to pursue diamond drilling activities.
Diamond Drilling activities at Sagay were completed between 2012 and 2016 over two project locations, known as Nabigaa Hill and Sherman Hill, with the main area of interest restricted to the exploration drilling completed at Nabigaa Hill.
A total of approximately A$10.8 million has been spent at the Sagay Project on historical exploration and associated activities.
Reported drilling at Sagay includes a total of 25,076.2m of drilling across 31 diamond drill holes, 28 of which are located at Nabigaa Hill. The exploration results at Sagay have to date identified a number of relatively high- grade, shallow copper mineralisation, in addition to a very large body of copper mineralisation with true widths interpreted to exceed 500m in places. The large-scale copper mineralisation at depth is still open in multiple directions (see figures 2 to 4).
There are a few locations where the potential extensions to the current defined large-scale copper-gold mineralisation could be tested. These locations are largely based on an interpreted north-east strike and near vertical dip to the copper-gold mineralisation. The location for the possible shallow higher-grade copper-gold at Sagay is also yet to be defined, Further drilling along possible north-east or north west orientations to the previous shallow copper-gold intersections is warranted to test the extent of this mineralisation.
Apart from the direct extensions to the currently defined copper-gold mineralisation, there is considerable scope for further discoveries of two defined deposit types at the Sagay Tenement.
An Exploration Permit over the tenement EP000003-VI was first issued to TMCI in 2008 with a total area of approximately 4,594.23 hectares. Since then, three exploration permit renewals have been issued in 2010, 2012 and 2015. An extension to the exploration permit was filed in 2017 with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) but was not pursued further due to a departmental order placing a moratorium on the issuance of exploration permits at the time.
This impediment is no longer in place and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has recently advised TMCI to submit updated Exploration, Environmental and Social Work programs. If the extension of the exploration permit is granted, it will be valid for a period of two years, within which the Company will be required to implement the approved work programmes in compliance with all permit conditions and the Philippine Mining Act.
Following renewal of the Permit referred to above, the company is planning to undertake Diamond Drilling in the third quarter of 2021 at the Sagay Project, with the main objective of testing the broader extents of what appears to be a very large-scale porphyry copper mineralisation at depth as defined by the numerous thick drill hole intersections as detailed in the Historical Exploration section of this release.