South32 Alliance A Lift For Ausquest

By Gavin Wendt | More Articles by Gavin Wendt

Milestone copper drilling program set to commence at Chololo Copper Project in Peru, under Strategic Alliance with South32 (ASX: S32)

AQD has been a mainstay of our coverage universe, firstly because of its bold exploration ambitions and secondly due to its success in recruiting joint venture ‘big brothers’ with deep pockets to find its exploration activities. AQD’s strategy of exclusively targeting Tier 1 exploration discoveries differentiates it from the vast majority of its junior peers, combined with the fact that it minimizes equity dilution.

AQD has most recently revitalised the ‘big brother’ concept via a unique Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with diversified miner South32 (ASX: S32), where it has developed a pipeline of high-potential exploration opportunities, with South32 funding all exploration activity. The SAA with South32 represents an exciting opportunity to work alongside one of the world’s most successful diversified miners.

Latest Activity

Chololo Project Drilling to Commence

AQD is set to kick off a much-anticipated major diamond drilling program at its large-scale Chololo Copper Project in southern Peru, after having just received all required permits to enable drilling operations to commence. Access preparations are scheduled to start within days with drilling expected to begin in May. The initial phase of drilling will comprise a total of 10 holes for ~5,000m of diamond drilling.

Figure 1: Chololo Porphyry Copper target showing location of the initial drill-holes

Technical Significance

Previous mapping and sampling by AQD has identified the potential for a buried porphyry copper system within the area, with subsequent Induced Polarisation (IP) surveys outlining a priority drill-target. The IP anomaly is thought to reflect a large-scale pyrite (+/- chalcopyrite) halo associated with the inferred buried porphyry copper system. Computer modelling of the IP data has confirmed the large target size (1.5km x 1.0km) and anomaly strength, suggesting potential for significant amounts of sulphide mineralisation within the source rocks. With drilling expected to start in May, first results should be available in June/July.


The SAA with South32 represents an exciting opportunity to work alongside one of the world’s most successful diversified miners, leveraging AQD’s skills as an explorer targeting provincial-scale discovery opportunities. The arrangement provides AQD with the financial capability to identify and evaluate opportunities, as well as providing rewards for success along the way. There are now ten projects that form part of the SAA with South32, a tribute to AQD’s technical capabilities in identifying projects of strong interest.

The Chololo drilling program is particularly significant, as it will be the largest undertaken so far under the company’s broader Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with South32. Furthermore, the program will be drill-testing targets of such size that they are potential company-makers for AQD.

Gavin Wendt

About Gavin Wendt

Gavin Wendt is the Founder and Senior Resource Analyst with MineLife. He has been involved in the Australian share market for more than 20 years as a resource analyst, employed primarily within the stockbroking and finance industries.

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