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Argentina’s Salta Province is recognised as one of the most mining friendly provinces and is the one Province where mining rights are well regulated. The geology is prospective for copper-gold porphyries; precious and base-metal epithermal systems; and breccia-complexes associated with the Andean volcanic belt. Over the last decade, exploration in Salta has discovered a number of advanced mineral projects including:El Quevar Intermediate Epithermal Silver Project (60.5 million ounces of silver), Lindero Gold Porphyry Project(2.2 million ounces of gold),Diablillos Au-Ag Epithermal Project (640,000 ounces of gold and 77.1 million ounces of silver),TacaTacaCu-Au-Mo Porphyry Project (11.2 billion pounds of copper, 3.77 million ounces of gold and 459 million pounds of molybdite).

The area targeted by PepinNini for copper-gold-silver is Salta’s Puna region, a high-altitude plateaux adjacent to the Chile border which forms part of the Atacama Alti-plano. Whilst typically over 4000m in altitude it predominantly has only a moderate relief that is generally easily accessible by 4×4 vehicles and a semi-arid environment that is conducive for work all year round. The area is uninhabited aside from the small township of Tolar Grande and the border-crossing outpost at Socompa. The land is almost all government owned thus alleviating the complication of private landholder negotiations. Whilst remote, the region is traversed by an international gas pipeline, high-transmission power lines extending from Salta across to Chile and the Salta-Antofagasta railway, which is currently partially operational.

PepinNini has 12 tenements covering approximately 300 kms2 in Salta to explore for copper and precious metals.

Santa Ines

Significant assay results for grab samples collected from a historic mine working confirms potential for high grade copper and gold mineralization within the Argentinean Santa Ines Project Area. PepinNini plans to target this area with detailed surface mapping and ground geophysical surveys to identify priority drill targets.

The Santa Ines Project comprises one mina (mining licence) and one cateo (exploration licence) covering approximately 82 km2. This project logistically benefits by being only 5kms from the Salta-Antofagasta railway and is easily accessed using existing roads and tracks.

The Project lays within a crustal scale NW trending mega-lineament, which in Andean geology are widely recognised as being major long-lived structural corridors that are fundamental in the control of the distribution of porphyry-epithermal deposits. The “Archibarca” NW lineament extends from Cerro Galán (Argentina’s largest ignimbrite caldera complex) in the southeast through to the Pacific coast of Chile.

Known mineralization along this lineament to the immediate southeast of Santa Ines includes Mansfield’s Lindero Gold Porphyry project (2.2 Moz. Au) that is currently in feasibility and advanced Cu-Au exploration projects including Rio Grande, Arizario and Samenta. Situated approximately 80km to the northwest along the same lineament is BHP’s giant Escondida Cu-Au porphyry (~5 billion tonnes at 1% Cu and 0.25 g/t Au) which also was deposited contemporaneously with the Santa Ines Formation event during the Late Eocene-Oligocene.

Santa Ines mina comprises a number of small artisanal diggings consisting of shallow pits and adits exploiting abundant secondary copper and specular haematite mineralisation associated with haematite-silica veining within a broader envelope of albitic alteration. Orientated to the NE this steeply dipping vein system and phyllic alteration extends across a low outcropping hill. More recent shallow pits indicate that mineralisation is evident for at least 400m across strike whereas along strike it becomes lost under thin cover at the base of a hill after a few hundred metres. Published reports by SEGEMAR (Argentine Geological Survey) describe the mineralisation at Santa Ines as being gold bearing with mineralisation present dominantly as malachite, azurite, chrysocolla and specular haematite with minor primary mineralisation occurring as chalcopyrite and chalcocite. Samples collected recently by PepinNini Minerals confirm high grade copper and gold mineralization is present.

Four grab samples were collected from around the opening of the Santa Ines Mine and assayed by ALS Global laboratory in Adelaide. Assay results are tabulated below:




Au g/t

Ag g/t




















There is no evidence of any modern exploration work having been undertaken at Santa Ines and no historical data is available. PepinNini intend to target a number of potential mineralization models including porphyry-epithermal style deposits and iron-oxide copper-gold targets at depth beneath the surface mineralization evident at Santa Ines. Proposed exploration will incorporate the use of geophysical techniques including both potential field and electrical methods to delineate targets for drill testing.


The Chivinar Project  is situated in the Los Andes Department of Salta ~40km north of the remote Puna township of Tolar Grande. The geology of the general Chivinar area is centred on the Ordovician Chachas Eruptive Complex. Flanking this igneous inlier are Permo-Carbonifeous marine and continental sediments, which have subsequently been overlain in part by volcano-sedimentary packages that are related to a Miocene caldera complex to the immediate west of the project area.

This area is coincident with a smaller but well-defined northwest lineament that extends from the El Quevar Silver Project in the southeast along a line of three closely spaced Pliocene volcanos and through the northern tenure block before passing across the border into Chile in the northwest where a number of small iron ore deposits have been exploited in the past. Within the Chachas Complex area itself are various known copper, base metal, manganese and iron-ore mineral occurrences. Significant zones of alteration are evident in the Aster imagery and visible along sides of the hills that flank the central valley that divides the Chachas Complex.

Whilst the central portion of the older Chachas Eruptive Complex is covered by existing minas and cateos that are held by Mansfield Resources and other private individuals, Pepinnini is targeting the flanks of this complex which it considers prospective for structurally controlled mineralisation related to the younger Tertiary overprint. There is no evidence of any systematic prior exploration in these areas and no existing data is available.