The large area optioned from SQM covers a variety of ground that has had little to no exploration work completed prior to the Company’s involvement, despite being centrally located in one of the world’s largest copper mining districts. The Company’s prioritized designing and optimizing a suitable exploration program for the size and characteristics of both the Property and deposit types potentially hosted within.
The initial exploration program was designed to efficiently cover the ground in accordance with our option agreement schedule, such that it initially focused on target generation and prospect selection. A basic outline of the first stage exploration program was as follows:
1. Data compilation
2. Desktop analysis & target selection
3. Initial ground work and prospecting
4. Prospect generation and selection
5. Follow-up groundwork, including additional geology, geochemistry & ground geophysics
6. Drill program design
7. RC drilling in two phases: 2km grid drilling followed by 1km grid infill based on results
As a result of Arena’s success in the initial exploration program, option agreements were executed on two separate parts of the land package with Teck and JOGMEC respectively. Both companies have now completed the initial 2km grid drilling on their JV areas.
JOGMEC recently started the second phase of follow-up drilling on the Pampa Union grid following up on positive results from PU-RC-039 as well as some additional in-fill regional exploration drilling.
Teck completed its first phase exploration drilling and ground geophysics during the first year of their agreement. Additional geophysical surveys and the second phase of drilling were completed on the Paciencia North prospect in late 2016. Results from this latest phase of work are pending.