VANE Copper Project

20 December 2010
VANE Copper Project

McGhee Peak/Granite Gap Copper Projects, Land Package Expansion, USA


  • Initial exploration encourages expansion of land package
  • 168 additional hectares secured for copper exploration in New Mexico
  • 656 hectares total ground for porphyry copper exploration, New Mexico
  • New ground fully permitted for access and exploration
  • Drilling permits applications being processed
  • Expanded drill program scheduled for Q1 2011 encompassing new areas

VANE Minerals plc, through its wholly owned subsidiary AVEN Associates LLC, today announces the expansion of the Company’s land position by 168 hectares at the porphyry copper targets in Hidalgo County, New Mexico. The Company now has exploration licenses securing over 656 hectares and drilling is expected to commence Q1 2011.

VANE’s licenses are situated along the Santa Rita Mineral Trend, also known as the Santa Rita Lineament, that extends northeast from Cananea in northern Sonora to Santa Rita, New Mexico a distance of 320 km. This mineral trend is well defined by a number of minor mineral occurrences as well as four major copper deposits at Cananea, Bisbee, Tyrone and Chino. Two of these systems, Chino and Tyrone, are owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Co. In 2007, they had a combined production of 249 million pounds of copper, 13,000 ounces of gold and 209,000 ounces of silver.

VANE has undertaken detailed geologic work over the last six months within the Peloncillo Range that is located on the mineral trend approximately half way between the mines at Tyrone and Bisbee. Results from the program indicate the existence of exploration targets on both sides of the range. Federal lode claims were located in each of the areas and additional geologic work was undertaken to refine the targets and plan the necessary drilling programs. As a result of that work, it became apparent that the two original target areas are actually parts of the same very large mineral system; additional claims were therefore required to adequately test the system for viable mineralization.

Alteration of the sort typically associated with porphyry copper deposits has now been recognized over an area of some eight square miles in the Peloncillo Range and is situated adjacent to broad areas of soil and alluvial gravel cover. Information tabulated from published mapping and previous exploration combined with recent mapping and sampling points to at least three targets based on interpretation of vertical and lateral mineral zoning effects.

Following the positive results from the geological program VANE, has expanded its property position in New Mexico and is now scheduling drilling for Q1 2011, encompassing targets that sit within the enlarged portfolio. With tenements now secured on a significant land package VANE is now processing drilling permits including the additional new exploration hectares.

Commenting today Clark Arnold, Director of Geology, said: “The results of our survey program over the last six months have identified distinctive hydrothermal alteration effects typically associated with major porphyry copper systems. These results combined with the location, on a well defined mineral trend are very encouraging. With this in mind, VANE has expanded the land position in New Mexico and has now scheduled drilling over the enlarged area once drill permits are in place.”