Gold Fields and Buenaventura have discovered a major gold-copper-silver deposit in their Chucapaca project in southern Peru, near the border with Chile.

The Canahuire deposit, inside the Chucapaca project area, has an estimated mineral resource of 5.6m gold equivalent ounces.

The estimated mineral resources could increase, according to the companies, after further exploration in adjacent areas is carried out.

The companies expect to start a pre-feasibility study of the Canahuire deposit by July 2010.

Gold Fields has a 51% stake in the Chucapaca joint venture, while Peru precious metals miner Buenaventura owns the rest.