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Canadian-based mining company continues exploration of La Plata Canyon

Metallic Minerals Corp. has confirmed gold, silver and copper reserves
A Canadian-based company will explore La Plata Canyon for its mining potential. Courtesy of Metallic Minerals Corp.

An area northeast of Mancos in the La Plata Mountains is being reevaluated for mining potential. Drilling since the 1950s has shown the presence of a porphyry system that contains significant amounts of silver, gold and copper.

Metallic Minerals Corp. entered into an agreement with two private vendors that allowed the company to explore 8,000 acres in September 2019, according to a previous Journal article. Exploration efforts have sought out reserves of gold, silver, copper, and other minerals.

The sites for exploration include former historic prospects Allard and Copper Hill, though the project is referring to the site as the “La Plata property.”

A meeting for feedback about the plan was scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Mancos Community Center.

The sites are about 8.5 miles northeast of Mancos.

Greg Johnson, former president of Metallic Minerals, said, “We are initiating on-site exploration to collect geologic, geochemical and geophysical information covering this historic brownfields district, including synthesis of past exploration and mining information to systematically refine future targets for drilling,” according to a news release from Sept. 10, 2019.

The area was mined from the late 1800s until the 1940s, but has been idle since then. The period of exploration since the 1950s resulted in a total of 56 drill holes that confirmed the presence of the porphyry system, according to a news release from Dec. 15, 2021.

This project has been in progress since 2019, and each year, crews complete exploration activities that include mapping, prospecting, surface and soil sampling, and analysis of “geological, geochemical, geophysical and remote sensing data,” according to various news releases since 2019.

A zone of copper-silver-gold mineralization within the porphyry system covers “an area of at least three kilometers by one kilometer with over one kilometer of vertical relief that remains open to expansion,” a July 20, 2021, release stated.

Metallic Minerals announced their acquisition of “100% interest in six patented mineral claims,” called the Morning Star property, which is 78.2 acres, according to a news release from Nov. 10, 2022. These claims straddle the Montezuma and La Plata county line, and could potentially contain copper-silver-gold mineralization and “epithermal style deposits of high-grade gold, silver, and tellurium,” according to the release.

Metallic Minerals Corp. is continuing exploration for mineralization in the La Plata Canyon.
Recent updates

The launch of the company’s 2023 exploration activities, which includes a drill campaign, was announced in July. By Sept. 14, more than 2,000 meters of the planned 5,000-meter drill program was complete.

This drilling found copper sulfide in two holes. The results of last year’s drilling had potential to expand current resources and increase the overall grade of the deposits, a release stated.

Four holes were drilled last year for resource expansion, and all four intersected the porphyry “with varying levels of visible copper sulfides and vein density,” a press release said late last year.

As of June 13, Metallic Minerals is working on mapping and surface sampling to advance and prioritize newly identified targets for drill testing within the copper porphyry. The targets include Copper Hill, Renegade, and Morning Star sites.

“At La Plata, we have established a U.S.-based critical minerals resource consisting of over 1.2 billion pounds of copper and 17.6 million ounces of silver,” current president Scott Petsel stated in the most recent press release. “We see the opportunity to continue to grow existing resources by drilling at the existing Allard resource area, as well as for new discoveries by first drill testing of major new targets.”

A meeting will be held on June 20 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Mancos Community Center discussing updates on this project. The room was reserved by the Mancos Conservation District, Mancos Town Clerk and Treasurer Jamie Higgins told The Journal.

A flyer from the Mancos Conservation District posted on Facebook outlines the meeting. Petsel will give an overview of the proposal, then Nick Mustoe from the U.S. Forest Service will discuss the federal process and “how mineral rights operate on federal land,” the flyer says. Corey Beaugh from the Colorado Division of Water Resources will give an overview of the substitute water supply plan and how this project aligns with adjudicated water rights.

There will be time for closing questions at the end of the meeting.

A correction was made to the meeting time and information based on a Facebook post from the Mancos Conservation District.