Santo Domingo


The discovery of the Santo Domingo deposit was the result of a conceptual exploration effort using a new technology. The FALCON™ gravity gradiometer was the first system that allowed collection of airborne gravity data over large areas. In 2002, Far West Mining Ltd. (acquired in 2011 by Capstone) and BHP Billiton entered into a joint venture agreement to explore for Iron-Oxide-Copper-Gold (IOCG) deposits in northern Chile's Candelaria Copper Belt utilizing the new technology.

The FALCON™ system was the perfect tool for the exploration of this deposit style as the copper mineralization is accompanied by large quantities of very dense iron oxides that are easily detected by a gravity survey. The survey covered 5,145 km² in eight blocks along a 300 kilometre strike length of the belt for a total of 10,700 line kilometres. Interpretation of the survey data resulted in numerous targets that were tested in several drilling campaigns between 2003 and 2005. In total, the joint venture exceeded 25,000 metres of drilling during this period of time.

In early 2005, Far West completed its earn-in on the project and BHP Billiton elected to reduce its interest to a 2% Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty. In June 2005, Far West reported the results from what turned out to be the discovery hole of the Santo Domingo deposit.

Continued drilling over the course of 2005 and early 2006 established the presence of contiguous thick mineralization at Santo Domingo, culminating in the initial resource estimate of 139 million tonnes (Mt) at 0.59% copper (indicated category) in May 2006, one year after the discovery hole was drilled. Additional drilling in the following years encountered more mineralization and three successively increasing resource estimates established the current resource.

2002 Far West Mining strikes exploration agreement with BHP
2002 Area flown by BHP proprietary Falcon system
Apr/05 BHP converts exploration agreement into 2% NSR
Jul/05 Discovery drill-hole of Santo Domingo IOCG deposit
Jun/06 Initial Mineral Resource Estimate
Oct/07 Updated Mineral Resource Estimate
May/08 Preliminary Assessment issued
Aug/10 Updated Mineral Resource Estimate
Jun/11 Capstone acquires Far West Mining and Santo Domingo project
Aug/11 Pre-Feasibility Study issued
Oct/13 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) filed
Jun/14 Feasibility Study issued
Jul/15 EIA received 
Sep/15 Discontinued all work on the Santo Domingo project to preserve financial flexibility