Epithermal Gold Panama
GCR’s involvement in Panama has been scaled down since the termination of the joint venture with Bellhaven Copper & Gold, Inc. GCR is not conducting active exploration in the country however six applications for concessions in GCR’s name (shown in red in the figure below) are still current. These applications were identified from a review of geophysical data and a country-wide database of surface geochemistry which GCR purchased in 2007. The applications cover very prospective ground with coincident geophysical and geochemical anomalies and are located in similar terrain and settings to the large Panamanian copper porphyry deposits of Petaquilla and Cerro Colorado.
GCR Skill Base
GCR Chairman Chris Torrey worked in Panama from 1991 to 1995 and managed the Central American exploration effort for Cyprus Minerals Corporation and then Cyprus-Amax. Chris was largely responsible for the definition of the Cerro Quema gold project in the Azuero Peninsula and initiated exploration programs in the surrounding district prior to the decision by Cyprus to sell Cerro Quema. In about 1994 Cyprus switched its exploration efforts to porphyry copper deposits, and programs for gold were curtailed.
Panama – the Country
Panama is a democratic republic with close ties to the United States. Its principal income is derived from the Panama Canal. It has an open-market economy and an extremely strong banking sector. Panama is a natural transport hub for shipping and air travel. The economy is vibrant, with US$5.4 billion earmarked for the new, larger lock systems planned for the Panama Canal. Panama’s currency is the US dollar, with no exchange restrictions. The company income tax rate is 30%, and a 2% net smelter return government royalty is payable on mine production.
Other Mineral Deposits
Panama hosts one of the world’s largest undeveloped porphyry copper deposits, at Cerro Colorado in eastern Panama, with about 1,400 Mt at 0.78% copper. Petaquilla, also a porphyry deposit, is located in central Panama and contains a resource of 1,115 Mt at 0.5% copper, 0.015% molybdenum and 0.09 g/t gold. The Chorcha porphyry hosts 47 Mt at 0.71% copper and 0.08 g/t gold. All of these deposits are hosted in the high, jungle covered portions of the Cordillera Central.
An epithermal gold project adjacent to the Petaquilla porphyry known as Molejon is currently being assessed by Petaquilla Minerals Ltd, which has outlined approximately 893,000 oz at an average grade of about 2.5 g/t gold. Close to Los Hatillos, the Remance mine produced 88,000 ounces of gold during the mid-1990s, and Santa Rosa produced about 100,000 ounces before closing down in 1998.
These are low sulphidation-style epithermal deposits, with Remance being a vein system and Santa Rosa hosted on the the margins of a maar volcano. Both are hosted in an early Tertiary volcanic dome field.