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Exeter Resource resumes drilling at Caspiche project

Exeter Resource Corp. (TSE:XRC), an exploration-stage company, said Tuesday that it has resumed drilling at its Caspiche gold-copper project in northern Chile.

The property rests in the Maricunga Belt of Chile and contains 100 million metric tons of gold-only shallow oxide ore that overlies the main Caspiche gold-copper resource. The oxide deposit has 1.4 million ounces of gold.

Initial drilling will collect more detailed geotechnical data and core material for advanced metallurgical evaluation programs for a potential extension to the current engineering program, the company said in a statement.

As part of the oxide project development program, Schlumberger Water Services has been selected to carry out hydrological studies.

In addition, Knight Piesold has been hired to perform geotechnical investigations for siting major construction components for the sulphide project.

Separately, Arcadis Chile is finishing environmental and community impact studies for the oxide project as part of the environmental impact assessment permitting process. Arcadis will also go forward with environmental baseline studies for the full project.

Following initial drilling for engineering study purposes, drilling will focus on testing new porphyry targets nearby Caspiche, which will allow the company to follow up on encouraging hydrothermal alteration associated with porphyry mineralization intersected late last season on the adjacent Sideral project, held under option from Xstrata.

On September 13, Exeter announced that it was granted a 10,726-hectare water exploration license from the Chilean government, providing a second potential water source for the company's Caspiche gold-copper project. The concession is located roughly 100 kilometres north of Caspiche, at an elevation of 4,700 metres above sea level.

The company expects to initiate a water exploration program consisting of field mapping, geophysics, drilling and pump testing, which is slated to begin in December this year. Currently, a field camp is being installed to facilitate the program, the company said.

Additionally, the company’s pre-feasibility study on the combined Caspiche oxide-sulfide deposit has entered its final stage. Exeter said three mining scenarios are under consideration: a super pit option, a hybrid open pit and a full underground option.

With the pre-feasibility study nearing its completion, the company has engaged select international consultants to review and comment on the study. It expects the report to be released in mid January of next year.

Shares of the mineral explorer rose 0.72 percent to $4.17 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.