Los Andes Copper has secured approval to conduct drilling campaign at its Vizcachitas copper-molybdenum porphyry project in Chile.

The Regional Environmental Committee (Comision de Evaluacion Ambiental) cleared the project’s drilling permit application submitted by Compañia Minera Vizcachitas, the wholly owned unit of Los Andes that owns the Vizcachitas Project.

With the approval, the firm will drill up to 350 holes on up to 124 platforms at the project site over the next four years.

The work allows Los Andes Copper to complete a prefeasibility study (PFS) for the Vizcachitas project.

Los Andes Copper plans to undertake infill drilling within the PFS openpit as well as drilling to extend the higher-grade mineralisation to the north of the preliminary economic assessment pit.

The firm will also test the prospective geophysical targets, which were identified in 2020.

Los Andes Copper executive chairman Fernando Porcile said: “We are delighted with the unanimous approval received to carry out drilling at Vizcachitas. This decision is of particular significance as the drilling allows the Company to complete the on going PFS.

“As we continue to progress on delivering a robust PFS, we look forward to sharing positive updates in the coming months.”

As per the estimates, the project holds measured resource of 254.4 million tonnes at a grade of 0.439% copper and an indicated resource of approximately 1.03 billion tonnes at a grade of 0.385% copper.

The project is scheduled to commence production in 2025/2026 while PFS is planned for completion in the fourth quarter of this year.