Vancouver-headquartered Ero Copper on Thursday announced a significant regional nickel-sulphide discovery in the Curaçá Valley of Brazil.
The newly discovered system, known as Umburana, has an initial strike length of 5 km and remains open in all directions.
"To think that copper in the Curaçá Valley was first documented in the late 1700s and we are just now discovering nickel sulphide mineralisation not far from where copper has been mined for over 40 years is truly remarkable,” said CEO David Strang.
The system was discovered using new detailed field mapping and soil geochemistry collected during the Ero Copper’s 2021 and 2022 exploration programmes in conjunction with the company's airborne electromagnetic survey.
The ongoing program has identified large intervals of disseminated and interstitial nickel sulphides, as well as zones of high-grade semi-massive (containing about 30% to 60% sulphides) and massive sulphides (containing about 60% to 80% sulphides), with massive sulphide intercepts up to 1.5 m in thickness grading up to 6.59% nickel (7.11% nickel-equivalent).
Nickel mineralisation outcrops at surface, is evident in trenches and remains open down-plunge. Maximum depth of drilling to date is about 300 m below the surface.
There are four exploration drill rigs currently operating on the system.
Commenting on the discovery, chief geological officer Mike Richard said that it was the most significant development in the Curaçá Valley's regional exploration programme to date.
“I am incredibly proud of our exploration team for their contributions to making our first nickel discovery and believe we are at the early stages of unlocking significant value for the company. These zones are the first targets we have drill tested in what is an emerging new exploration frontier, and based upon results to date, we have good geological evidence to support the ‘key’ signatures for nickel potential that we expect will vastly enhance our nickel exploration programme in the months and years ahead."