Ascendant's programme is part of a phased earn-in to the project through its joint venture agreement with Redcorp Empreedimentos Mineiros (75% owned by MAFL).
This programme follows the robust findings of a preliminary economic assessment, announced in January 2020, and, comprises 2,700 metres of drilling and downhole induced polarity (IP) surveying.
The plan is to significantly increase and upgrade tonnage at the project’s copper-rich South Zone. It presently has an indicated resource of 2.47mln tonnes and 6.09mln tonnes of indicated resources.
"We are excited to see Ascendant continue the exploration activities in the South Zone. Covid-19 and market conditions have created challenges that both Ascendant and Redcorp have risen to overcome,” said Jacques Vaillancourt, 'Mineral & Financial Investments' chairman in a statement.
“Ascendant has been a good partner and has met and we expect will continue to meet all of its obligations to M&FI on a timely basis. We hope that this exploration program will greatly improve copper (and copper equivalent) tonnage and grade," he added.
Vaillancourt noted that information from the project to date suggests the South Zone has the potential to be significantly larger than the project’s North Zone. It is believed to be largely comprised of copper-rich stockwork mineralization that may be amenable to bulk mining methods at sufficient size.
“Previous drill programs have achieved tremendous success as highlighted by an exceptional drilling-to-tonnage ratio,” Vaillancourt added.
“This is characteristic of a project in the early stages of discovery. Nevertheless, we are confident that we have only begun to demonstrate what is possible at Lagoa Salgada.
“As exploration progresses, we hope to find the feeder system, substantial showings of chalcopyrite within the copper stockwork mineralization discovered to date, leads Ascendant to believe that this is an important next step on this path."