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Providing expert advice to the Canahuire project in southern Peru

In August 2010, Canteras Del Hallazgo S.A.C., (CDH) a joint venture between Gold Fields Ltd. and Compania de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A., commissioned SRK Consulting Canada to provide expert structural geology advice into the exploration and resource delineation programs at the Canahuire Project in southern Peru. This assignment included reviewing and providing recommendations for increasing the understanding of the structural geology of the Canahuire deposit through staged reviews and input (two site visits and one data review meeting) over the course of one year. SRK worked closely with the CDH and Gold Fields exploration teams, in part providing on-the-job training to key project personnel as the study progressed.

The Canahuire deposit is an intermediate sulfidation epithermal gold-copper-silver deposit hosted within breccias of a diatreme complex that crosscuts deformed Yura Group sedimentary rocks. The deposit is located 120km northeast of the city of Moquegua, in the Ichuna region of the Andean fold and thrust belt of southern Peru. This area of Peru has recently received renewed exploration interest, including the discovery of the Canahuire deposit, in part related to a regional prospectivity analysis that SRK previously conducted.

SRK provided a definition of the regional tectonic history, including the tectonic controls on the formation of the Canahuire deposit and how these may be related to other porphyry and epithermal districts in southern Peru. This regional analysis outlined potential structural trends and locations that are important for exploration in the Ichuna region on a broader scale.

The Canahuire deposit displays a strong structural and geometrical control to the distribution of diatreme facies and also gold-copper-silver mineralisation. A particular focus of SRK’s input and analysis was on the controls on the distribution of higher grade (>10 grams per tonne) gold. This included outlining the potential geometry of hydrothermal pathways and traps, and the influence of post-mineralisation faulting on the modification of grade distribution within the deposit.

James Siddorn:

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