Bezant, a copper-gold exploration and development company, has received approval for its environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Eureka project in the Jujuy province of Argentina.
The approval from the Provincial Directorate of Mining and Energy will allow the company to advance the Eureka project with full-scale exploration works.
Authorities have approved the document for ten of the 11 licences, covering approximately 3,400ha of the total project area of 5,500ha.
Exploration activities will be focused on the near surface copper-gold mineralisation in the licence areas that are historically known for small-scale mining operations.
Bezant believes the Eureka project has the capability to be developed into a low-cost copper-gold mine.
As part of the EIA, Bezant conducted a series of geophysical and geochemical tests in order to establish a cost-effective exploration programme.
The company collected 18 surface rock samples from sites including those that had no clearly identifiable copper seams and the samples showed copper values ranging from 27ppm to 4.48%.
The rock samples, which showed 1% copper or more, were taken along a 1,000m strike extent of identifiable copper mineralisation outcropping on surface.
ITAGH Consulting Group, using a Schlumberger array, conducted 2,800m of vertical electrical sounding at both known outcrops of mineralisation and also alongside new trenches for exploration across the Eureka I Mine tenement area.
Bezant chief executive officer Bernard Olivier said that the approval means the company can now commence full-scale exploration works on the Eureka project site.
"We thank all levels of the Argentinian Government for their support in approving our EIA for Eureka as part of a larger initiative to support local mining in Jujuy and the ongoing cross-border investments being made into the country to develop natural resource projects," Olivier added.
"I look forward to beginning our JORC work programme and replicating the cost-effective delineation success that Bezant has demonstrated on Mankayan in the Philippines at Eureka."
Image: Bezant believes the Eureka project has the capability to be developed into a low-cost copper-gold mine. Photo: Bertrand Rieger / Corbis.