Exploration and development firm Herencia Resources has awarded a drilling contract to Major Drilling Group International for its Picachos copper project in central Chile.
The deal requires the Canada-based contractor to drill about 3,000m to 4,000m of shallow reverse circulation (RC) drilling.
High-grade, shallow copper targets will be drilled under the RC drill programme, which is due to start in about four weeks.
Herencia said it will target the high-grade structural mineralisation and manto-style targets at Picachos, as part of the upcoming drill programme.
The company will also test for shallow mineralisation identified in an area north-west of the existing Flor del Bosque mine area.
The drill programme intends to identify zones of mineralisation that would potentially underpin a larger-scale and long-life open pit copper mining project at Picachos.
Commenting on the upcoming drill programme at Picachos, Herencia Resources managing director Graeme Sloan said that starting drilling at the project will be a significant milestone for the company.
"Several high-quality drill targets have been identified following a comprehensive structural mapping exercise at Picachos," Sloan said.
"These targets will be tested and will include both the mineralised structures currently being mined for high-grade copper and the adjacent and extensive areas of manto-style copper mineralisation."
The Picachos project is located about 50km south-east of the coastal city of La Serena, 8km west of both the existing Andacollo copper-gold project operated by Teck Resources and the mining town of Andacollo, and 10km south of the privately owned Tambillos copper mine.
Apart from the Picachos project, Herencia has recently completed a feasibility study in relation to its 70%-owned Paguanta project, a high-grade silver-zinc-lead project located in northern Chile.