British copper-gold exploration and development company Bezant Resources has received approvals for an updated environmental impact assessment (EIA) permitting specified additional exploration work and drilling at the company’s Eureka project in Argentina.

The Government of Jujuy’s director of mining and energy resources of the secretariat of mining and hydrocarbons gave approval for the updated EIA, which will enable the company to take up exploration drilling over the licence areas.

Over a two-year exploration period until 3 May 2021, the company will conduct various activities, including work on topography, geophysics, soil geochemistry, geological mapping and diamond drilling.

The approval is subject to certain routine conditions, including submission and implementation of an environmental monitoring plan.

Through its subsidiary Puna Metals, Bezant Resources has been working with the regional government and local stakeholders to secure the updated EIA approvals for the Eureka project covering 3,320 hectares.

The nine licences to which the approvals have been granted are Mine Eureka, Mine Paul I, Mine Paul II, Mine Julio I, Mine Julio II, Mine Gino I, Mine Gino II, Mine Mason I and Mine Mason II.

The additional exploration programme will focus on parts of the Eureka, Julio I and Julio II mine areas to the west of the old Eureka mine.

The preparatory work is aimed at defining final drill targets for a diamond drilling programme, which will consist of up to nine holes with target depths of approximately 200m to 300m per hole to determine the resource type and characteristics.

The programme is also intended to examine the high resistivity zones to determine if distinct feeder systems exist at a comparatively shallow depth.

Bezant Resources intends to seek a joint venture (JV) partner focused on South America and capable of financing a drilling campaign.

“The updated EIA approvals will enable us to move forward with our stated JV strategy.”

Currently, the company plans to undertake preparatory work to define primary drill targets on the area of focus instead of pursuing a drilling campaign in its own right.

Bezant Resources CEO Laurence Read said: “Following the review of the Eureka project by our technical team in 2018, the most prospective areas were selected for permitting to a drill ready status.

“These areas were the subject of the greatest amount of historic exploration work and allow for the most beneficial expansion of our knowledge base on the project.

“The updated EIA approvals will enable us to move forward with our stated JV strategy to ultimately undertake drilling on the project and determine the size and type of resource beneath the historically mined area.”