Far West Mining Ltd. is an international mineral exploration company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. The Company is primarily engaged in the evaluation, acquisition, and exploration of mineral properties in Chile and Australia.
Chile – Santo Domingo
The Santo Domingo Project comprises four deposits: Santo Domingo Sur, Iris, Iris Norte and Estrellita. The Project is 100% owned by Far West Mining (with a 2% Net Smelter Return royalty to third parties). The project was initiated in 2002 when Far West Mining and BHP Billiton formed a Strategic Alliance to explore for Iron-Oxide-Copper-Gold (“IOCG”) deposits in northern Chile’s IOCG belt. The IOCG belt stretches over a length of almost 1,200 kilometres from just north of Santiago in the south to the city of Antofagasta in the north along the coastal cordillera of Chile. The belt is one of the most prospective IOCG provinces in the world and hosts numerous large copper deposits including Candelaria (470Mt @ 0.95% Cu) and Manto Verde (350Mt @ 0.75% Cu).
On July 12, 2010, the Company released a resource estimate for the Santo Domingo Project excluding the Estrellita deposit. The estimate was performed by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle and Associates Inc. Santo Domingo has a 43-101 compliant Indicated Resource of 486Mt @ 0.57% CuEq and an additional 61Mt @ 0.46% CuEq in the Inferred category. Both resources have been reported at a 0.25% CuEq cut-off grade. The copper equivalent contains contributions from copper, gold and magnetic iron.
The Company is in the process of completing a Pre-Feasibility Study for the project. The study is expected to be completed in Q2/2011.
In April 2008, the Company published the results of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Santo Domingo Sur and Iris deposits conducted by AMEC Americas (Chile). The study investigates two mining options for the exploitation of the mineral resources on the property: the recovery of copper, gold and magnetite iron from the Santo Domingo Sur deposit (magnetite option) or the recovery of copper, gold, magnetite and hematite iron from the Santo Domingo Sur and Iris deposits (hematite option) The magnetite option envisions the production of an iron concentrate from magnetite (a magnetic iron oxide) in addition to copper and gold while the hematite option includes the production of iron concentrates from both magnetite and hematite (a non-magnetic iron oxide). The annual production of iron concentrate for the hematite option is four times that of the magnetite option. The Preliminary Economic Assessment calculates positive Net Present Values (NPV) for both options under certain metal price assumptions. At US$2.10/lb copper and US$50/tonne of iron concentrate at 65% Fe, the magnetite option has an NPV of US$270 million while the hematite option reaches an NPV of US$739 million.
The exploration potential for IOCG deposits in the Chilean belt remains high and the Company is actively exploring its properties in the belt for additional discoveries.
Australia – Georgetown
Far West, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Far West Mining Pty Ltd is currently exploring for Broken Hill-type (“BHT”) deposits in the Georgetown area of Queensland, Australia. The project is located approximately 300 km west of the port city of Townsville. The Georgetown Project comprises five tenements that cover approximately 330 sq km combined. The tenements feature host rocks of the same age and with similar characteristics to those that host the BHT-style Cannington mine (45 Mt @ 11.9% Pb, 4.8% Zn, 520g/t Ag).
During the 2006-2008 field seasons, Far West conducted ground geophysical surveys and confirmed geophysical targets obtained from an airborne electromagnetic/magnetic survey over all Georgetown properties in 2005. In 2006, field work on the Robin Hood tenement resulted in the discovery of an outcrop characteristic of BHT style mineralization (gahnite-rich gossan) confirming the presence of prospective stratigraphy.
In 2007, the Far West carried out a drill program consisting of seven drill holes in two other target areas for a total of 2,375m. All drill holes intercepted prospective host rocks under cover validating the company’s exploration concept at Georgetown.
The 2008 drill program tested 4 targets on 2 tenements for a total of 3119m in 9 holes. Strong alteration and mineralization over 100m was intersected in 4 holes at Robin Hood, while detailed geological mapping over the area resulted in the discovery of multiple Pb-Ag (galena) and Cu-Ag-Zn rich surface showings. Follow-up drilling at Chudleigh Park in 2008 confirmed prospective rocks with minor alteration but without mineralization.
In 2009 a detailed gravity survey, subsequent drilling (864m in 6 holes) and additional field sampling and mapping at Robin Hood combined new and known showings to one mineralized structure 2km long with highest Ag values in areas previously unexplored.
At Perryvale, mapping and soil sampling indicated strong Garnet-Epidote-Magnetite-Quartz alteration in field samples with elevated Zn in soils over a 4x3km corridor.
In 2009/2010 FWM reduced its land position in the southern areas of the Georgetown Inlier while applying for additional ground north-east of Robin Hood (Mount Mist tenement).
In May 2010, Far West conducted additional ground geophysical work on its Perryvale and Beverly Hills tenements in preparation for 2010 drilling of what the company believes are very interesting magnetic targets in structurally favorable positions.
Far West has earned a 100% interest (subject to 2% NSR royalty held by BHP Billiton) in the Georgetown Project by spending US $2,000,000 on exploration (including airborne and ground geophysical programs).