Bezant granted new environmental impact assessments in Argentina
Copper-gold exploration and development company Bezant Resources announced on Monday that updated environmental impact assessment (EIA) approvals permitting certain specified additional exploration work and drilling activity on the most prospective areas of its Eureka Project in Argentina had now been granted by the Director of Mining and Energy Resources of the Secretariat of Mining and Hydrocarbons, Government of Jujuy.
The AIM-traded firm said the granting of the updated EIA approvals, which were subject to certain routine conditions including the submission and implementation of an environmental monitoring plan, would enable exploration drilling to be conducted over the licence areas that it had determined and selected as having the most prospectively.
It explained that the approvals provided for a two-year exploration period to 3 May 2021, and permitted work on topography, geophysics, soil geochemistry, geological mapping and diamond drilling, among other things.
Bezant, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Puna Metals, had been working with the regional government and local stakeholders to progress and secure the updated EIA approvals in respect of the Eureka Project covering a total area of 3,320 hectares, the board said.
The nine specific licences to which the approvals related were Mine Eureka, Mine Paul I, Mine Paul II, Mine Julio I, Mine Julio II, Mine Gino I, Mine Gino II, Mine Mason I and Mine Mason II.
Bezant said that, in light of the historic third-party mining activity on the northern area of the Eureka Project and previous induced polarisation geophysical work denoting areas of resistivity and both sedimentary and rock chip sampling all in the same location, the focus of the planned additional exploration programme was on parts of the Eureka, Julio I and Julio II mine areas to the West of the old Eureka mine.
The objective of the next stage of preparatory work would be to define final drill targets for a diamond drilling programme comprising up to nine holes with target depths of between 200 and 300 metres per hole from surface aimed at determining the resource type and characteristics and examining the high resistivity zones to determine if distinct feeder systems existed at a comparatively shallow depth.
It said that its strategy remained to seek a joint venture partner focussed on South America and capable of financing such a drilling campaign.
The company added that it did not currently intend to pursue a drilling campaign in its own right, but would undertake preparatory work to define primary drill targets on the area of focus.
The board said it believed that securing the updated EIA approvals represented a “significant” step forward in progressing the Eureka Project.
“The granting of these updated EIA approvals on the most prospective areas of our Eureka Project is testament to the work carried out by the team and its constructive engagement with local communities and government agencies,” said chief executive officer Laurence Read.
“We would like to thank such stakeholders for their valuable support.
“Following review of the Eureka Project by our technical team in 2018, the most prospective areas were selected for permitting to a drill ready status. These areas were the subject of the greatest amount of historic exploration work and allow for the most beneficial expansion of our knowledge base on the project.”
Read said the updated EIA approvals would enable the firm to move forward with its stated joint venture strategy to ultimately undertake drilling on the project, and determine the size and type of resource beneath the historically mined area.
“The hypothesis we are pursuing is that there is both near-surface sedimentary copper sufficient in grade to be mined in the future as well as high grade feeder zones within 300 metres beneath surface.
“Whilst progressing preparatory work, the Company will continue to identify and assess suitable potential joint venture partners for the further development of the project.”