Rio Loa is located in the northern part of the prolific Maricunga gold belt, which boasts more than 100 Moz of gold in reserves, resources, and past production. Recent exploration success at the northern end of the Maricunga belt is highlighted by Gold Field’s Salares Norte gold-silver oxide discovery, with Measured and Indicated Resources of 3.3 Moz gold at 3.9 g/t and 42.1 Moz of silver at 48.9 g/t. Salares Norte has delivered some notable drilling results for Gold Fields including hole SNDD017 which returned 132 m at 53.2 g/t gold and 59.3 g/t silver.
Rio Loa property is located approximately 25 km south of Salares Norte, and can be accessed year-round by road. This 1,000 Ha property has seen minimal exploration and no drilling, but previous work has identified moderate to strong silica-argillic alteration and oxidized vuggy silica characteristic of high-sulphidation gold deposits. Rock chip sampling of trenches and outcrops by previous owners identified extensive strong anomalies of arsenic, antimony, lead and weak gold in trenches and outcrops. Alteration mapping using ASTER satellite imagery shows an alteration pattern interpreted as a mixture of advanced argillic (alunite), iron-oxide and silicification within the property limits. The geochemical response and alteration pattern at Rio Loa is similar to the geochemical responses on other high sulphidation deposits within the belt such as at Salares Norte and Kinross’ La Coipa mine.