Geological mapping of the main deposit has outlined an east-west trending, funnel-shaped zone of strong phyllic-alteration over a 4500m x 500m-1500m area. This altered zone is hosted by a strongly foliated, fine-grained volcano-sedimentary unit of Jurassic age cut by several generations of porphyritic diorite to stocks and dykes of andesitic and dacitic composition with weak to moderate phyllic alteration and moderate to strong biotite alteration. Geological interpretation of drill hole data indicates that the copper-gold rich porphyry system is associated with a multiphase biotite-altered quartz diorite to diorite stock located at the center of the Zafranal alteration system.
Drilling at Zafranal has shown that mineralization and alteration have a well-zoned pattern consisting of a leached zone, an immature enriched supergene blanket and a much lesser explored hypogene sulphide zone. The best copper mineralization comes from an enriched blanket defined over a 3300m x up to 600m x 50-150m (thickness of blanket) east-west trending area which averages approximately 0.7% Cu consisting of chalcopyrite replaced by chalcocite and covellite. The mineralization is open to the west, the east, the north and at depth.
Mineralization at surface includes disseminated pyrite within distal areas and abundant "D" and rare "B" veins in the core of the zone. Copper oxides observed include malachite, chrysocolla, azurite, and atacamite in the form of veins, fracture fillings, disseminations and stains. The system is locally not strongly leached and systematic outcrop sampling returned anomalous copper and molybdenum values (2,147 ppm Cu average).
Mineralization in the enriched blanket consists of chalcocite as rims or total replacements of chalcopyrite as well as chalcocite coatings over pyrite grains. Covellite is also present but in lesser quantities. Most chalcocite/covellite is disseminated or vein-controlled as it follows the distribution pattern of chalcopyrite-pyrite. The nature of the leached zone (0.1-0.2% Cu), the presence of malachite and azurite and the mix of chalcocite with chalcopyrite and pyrite in the enriched zone are characteristics of an immature blanket with moderate enrichment. Company geologists expect the primary ore to be relatively high grade in order to produce an enrichment blanket grading over 0.9% Cu.
AQM Copper is performing metallurgical testing on mineralized samples from the Zafranal project. The testing is being done under the supervision of Amec Minproc at SGS' Santiago laboratory and AMDEL's Adelaide (Australia) facility. .Results are expected by the third quarter of 2010.