Southern Arc Minerals (CVE:SA) (OTCQX:SOACF) said Thursday it has completed a prospectivity study to identify copper-gold porphyry exploration targets at its West Lombok project in Indonesia.
The study found 17 new porphyry exploration targets throughout the property, with the company already starting drill testing on priority targets. Southern Arc said it will continue to evaluate these targets with detailed ground work.
Based on previous drilling by the company, Southern Arc said it considers the West Lombok property to be "highly prospective for mineralized porphyries".
Drilling during 2007 and 2008 on the Selodong prospect in the southern part of the property returned "significant" porphyry-grade intersections, including 363.50 metres at 0.3% copper and 0.5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, and 102.25 metres at 0.5% copper and 1.05 g/t gold.
"At Selodong, relatively deeper erosion has exposed mineralized porphyries and it is inferred that at higher elevations northwest along the mineralized corridor, advanced argillic alteration zones in the Mencanggah and Pelangan prospects represent potential lithocaps to concealed porphyry systems," the company said in a statement.
New targets with "moderate to high porphyry prospectivity" occur at Montong Botek, Blongas, Mahoni, Belikat and Makam Kedaro in the Selodong prospect, as well as Bising, Lendak Bare and Telekur in the Mencanggah prospect, and Batu Sendi and Lala in the Pelangen prospect.
A number of the targets have already had a limited amount of drill testing, including the Montong Botek and Blongas targets, which host zones of high-grade gold-rich porphyry copper mineralization, supporting the outcome of the prospectivity analysis, the company said.
COO of Southern Arc, Dr. Mike Andrews, said: "The prospectivity study has identified valid porphyry exploration targets on the West Lombok property based on conventional and contemporary wisdom on porphyry / lithocap models.
"Southern Arc has a two-pronged exploration strategy at West Lombok: to drill the more than 26-kilometer cumulative strike length of epithermal-gold mineralization identified on the property, while exploring for copper-gold porphyry systems related to the epithermal mineralization.
"While Southern Arc awaits receipt of its Ministry of Forestry permit, the company will prioritize the porphyry targets to the southeast and northeast of the property that are located in areas without forestry designation."
In January 2011, the company received a mining business license for its West Lombok property, located on the southwest portion of Wombok Island in Indonesia.Shortly after, Southern Arc initiated the forestry permit process that allows for advanced exploration activities on the property.
Recently, the company has slowed its exploration program while awaiting a resolution of permitting issues related to exploration and development work completed within areas designated "Production Forest", which allows open-pit and underground mining with the appropriate forestry permit.
The porphyry prospectivity study was completed by Dr. Steve Garwin, Southern Arc's senior technical advisor. The analysis followed 3D inversion modeling of results from a high-definition airborne magnetic and radiometric survey completed in September 2011.
Pathways or inferred deep-seated structures were determined from coincident deep linear features expressed in local geology, topography and the processed results of the airborne magnetic survey images, the company said.
Southern Arc is a Canadian mineral exploration company with a portfolio that includes four exploration projects with epithermal gold and gold-copper porphyry prospects on the Lombok and Sumbawa islands in Indonesia, three of which are being advanced in partnership with major mining companies Vale (NYSE:VALE) and Newcrest (NYSE:NEM).
The company’s flagship West Lombok Project is 85% owned by Southern Arc, 10% by the Indonesian Government and 5% by a local partner, and encompasses a 13 kilometre by 7 kilometre structural corridor that is covered by deforested grassland, and hosts both epithermal gold and copper-gold porphyry deposits that were identified by Newmont in an earlier exploration program.
Southern Arc is actively exploring West Lombok after identifying 21 kilometres cumulative strike of mineralized structural breccia or “MSB” that trend from the northwest to southeast of the property, with three main prospects: Pelangan, Mencanggah and Selodong.