Hudbay Minerals has signed an exploration agreement with the Uchucarcco community in Peru for surface rights to two satellite properties.

The two satellite properties, Maria Reyna and Caballito, comprise a large, contiguous block of mineral rights with the potential to host mineral deposits close to the processing facilities of the Constancia mine.

Located within 10km of the mine, the Maria Reyna comprises a 5,850ha concession block.

The Maria Reyna property was subject to diamond drilling work by a previous optionee that led to a copper skarn-porphyry discovery.

Based on earlier geophysical surveys and geological mapping, the property has prospective for additional discoveries.

Situated 3km north-west of the Constancia mine, the 120ha Caballito property is the site of the former Katanga mine, which produced copper oxide from the early 1900s to the early 1990s.

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Hudbay president and CEO Peter Kukielski said: “We are very pleased to have reached an exploration agreement with the Uchucarcco community on these highly prospective properties.

“Historic drilling at Maria Reyna indicates attractive grades over wide intersections starting at surface and the past-producing Caballito property has the potential to add higher grade copper mineralisation to our Constancia operations.”

Hudbay plans to start early field exploration activities at the properties soon and expects to finalise the Uchucarcco agreement in the second half of this year to increase community investment costs.