Comet holds approximately 45 km2 of exploration tenements in the Capote area, 40 kilometres northwest of the city of Vallenar, around the old workings of the Capote Gold field. Some of the tenements held are in the process of being converted to Mining Claims (Mensura)
There are three immediate targets in these tenements:
- High grade gold mineralisation associated with veins and stockworks;
- Large tonnage lead/zinc/silver associated with the old Plomiza mine; and
- Potential deeper seated IOCG deposit.
The Capote Mining District is a well known historic gold mining locality. The head grade of the famous San Juan mine was around 40 g/t Au. Comet’s tenements are in general situated around the borders of the old goldfield, although the Company is building a tenement position within the field itself.
Reconnaissance sampling by the Company has shown that the mineralised veins extend well outside of the general perimeter of the known field.
The Capote project presents potential for a variety of mineralisation styles, with gold and copper being the predominant metals of interest. The old Capote goldfield was the site of extensive old high grade gold mining, with the mineralisation exploited being generally confined to narrow veins of limited strike. Comet has conducted extensive reconnaissance sampling in the area, which has demonstrated lower grade gold mineralisation over relatively significant widths, suggesting potential for larger tonnage targets.
The gold mineralisation in the Capote area may be related to an underlying IOCG system – the veins at surface composed mostly of limonite, quartz and some calcite, with evident argillic alteration to clay minerals which is found locally. On the whole the veins are orientated with a north – south strike direction.
Alteration assemblages vary locally depending on both lithologic and structural circumstances. The auriferous quartz veins are usually accompanied with a certain amount of argillic alteration, exhibiting lots of limonite and also some strong kaolinite locally. Zones of sericitic (or phyllic) alteration seem to be more restricted to dilation zones related to the veins. There also exist carbonate dominated veins which frequently hold a higher Cu to Au ratio. These veins tend to show a somewhat milder argillic alteration to the host granitoid rocks. The surrounding andesites of the Canto del Agua Formation often exhibit a certain amount of propylitic alteration. This form of widespread alteration is characterized by chlorite and epidote.
Ore material from one of the Capote veins, Au: 64 g/t
Gold mining in this area stretches back even before the Spanish conquistadors, but had a boom in the 1930’s that lasted until the 1970’s. The high gold grades were very attractive for the mining operations. The head grade of the San Juan mine for example was 43 g/t gold and the tailings pile at Capote contains around 350,000 tons of material at around 1.6 ppm Au and reflects the scale of the previous mining activity in the area.
Preliminary work by Comet has firmly established:
- That there are numerous mineralised structures outside of the ‘core’ of the old goldfield;
- Lower grade (than mined by the old timers) mineralisation extends into the vein host rocks;
- The gold mineralisation is often accompanied by significant copper values; and
- There are unexploited structures of high grade within the Comet tenements.