Copper Resources in the Altiplano

In spite of not having comparable copper resources to those identified in the Northwest region of Mexico, the Altiplano still hosts significant resources contained in several types of ore deposits, such as porphyry copper, skarn, carbonate replacement, intermediate sulphidation epithermal, MVT and VMS. Teck-Goldcorp´s San Nicolas VMS and Frisco´s Tayahua carbonate replacement deposits in Zacatecas State are host to the largest copper resources, with more than 5.5 B lb Cu, of which 2.8 B lb Cu are contained in San Nicolás and 2.7 B lb Cu in Tayahua at grades of 1.24 % and 1.05 % Cu respectively, that represent over 57% of the total published all inclusive resources in this region. These are followed by the intermediate sulphidation epithermal deposit of Cozamin of Capstone with over 793 M lb Cu and by the porphyry copper deposit of Aranzazu held by Aura Minerals with over 768 M Lb Cu. Both are also in Zacatecas State, with grades of 1.34 % and 1.48 % Cu respectively. Next is the skarn deposit of La Paz, run by Negociacion Minera de Santa Maria de la Paz y Anexas in San Luis Potosi, with more than 757 M lb Cu at a grade of 1.20 % Cu. To date, the Altiplano hosts published all inclusive resources of more than 9.9 B lb of copper, of which, more than 3 billion occur in carbonate replacement deposits, over 2.8 billion in a single VMS deposit, and over 2 billion in skarn deposits. Many ore deposits with less than 500 M lb Cu mainly from carbonate replacement and skarn affinity occur and are widespread in the region. Other areas of the Altiplano are amenable for copper exploration and are awaiting to be explored in search of additional resources.

The table below shows tonnages, grades, as well as copper resources (all inclusive) for each of these deposits.

published copper resources in the altiplano

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