Avrupa Minerals (CVE:AVU) says it has acquired a new license in the northern Pyrite Belt of Portugal, which is located just 40 kilometres north of its Alvalade joint venture project with Antofagasta Minerals.
The new Marateca 742 square km license was issued by the Mining Bureau of Portugal. Avrupa said it previously held an exploration license, also called Marateca, covering some of the same area as the new license.
The latest document covers a portion of the Pyrite Belt that is under-explored, according to the company's statement, with targets being potential copper and zinc-bearing massive sulfide deposits, hosted in a similar setting to that of the Alvalade project.
Prior work in the area by Avrupa includes core drilling at three different targets, said the junior explorer, with two holes at the Serrinha target intercepting "anomalous base metal values and silver".
The company said it is "highly optimistic" about further drilling in all three target zones. Further geological mapping and prospecting done last year also identified five areas in the new license with exposed rock units that Avrupa says typically host massive sulfide deposits in the Pyrite Belt.
The Marateca license lies next to the company's Alvito license, with Avrupa hoping to joint venture both these assets, either separately or together. Potential partners have already begun to review the targets on both licenses, which together cover some 1,730 square kilometres - land that has targets which can be brought to drilling stage with just a small amount of surface exploration work, Avrupa reiterated.
Avrupa is in the process of upgrading precious and base metal targets to joint-venture ready status in a number of districts in Europe, with the aim of attracting potential partners.
The company, which has properties in Portugal, Kosovo and Germany, holds a total of 16 exploration licenses in these European countries, including 10 in Portugal. It operates three joint ventures in Portugal, including the Covas partnership with Blackheath Resources (CVE:BHR), and the Alvalade joint venture with Antofagasta Minerals in the southern part of the country.
Last month, it signed a third deal to option out its Arga tungsten-gold project to tungsten explorer Blackheath, giving Blackheath the option to acquire up to an 85 per cent interest in the property over several years.
Earlier this month, Avrupa said core drilling has resumed at the Monte de Bela Vista target on its Alvalade joint venture. This will be the fourth hole drilled at the target, the companies said, which is located less than 2km north of the old Lousal mine on the Neves Corvo mineral trend.
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