Southern Hemisphere Mining (ASX: SUH) has defined a maiden JORC Resource of 318,000 tonnes of copper and 307,000 ounces of gold for the company's Llahuin Porphyry Copper Project.
The total resource for Llahuin is 106.2 million tonnes at 0.4% copper equivalent, with the total contained in the Measured and Indicated categories.
An additional Inferred Resource of 12.2 million tonnes at 0.36% copper equivalent has been defined.
A Scoping Study at Llahuin will begin immediately, based on the newly defined resource, with the objective of defining an operation capable of producing between 45,000 and 50,000 tonnes per annum of copper metal plus gold credits.
The Llahuin project covers an area of 7.72 square kilometres in Chile, and features similar geological characteristics to Teck Resources' (TSX: TCK, NYSE: TCK) nearby 400 million tonne Carmen de Andacollo copper mine.
The current resource is based on the Llahuin Porphyry Zone, where the majority of drilling has been focused, and the Cerro Zone. Further drilling in both zones is planned to enhance the resource.
Managing director Trevor Tennant said the maiden resource provided a strong foundation for Southern Hemisphere's ambitions to develop a significant copper gold operation in Chile.
"What is particularly encouraging is that there is immediate potential to extend the resource with further drilling in both the zones," Tennant said.
"In addition, we have developed and implemented a Central Hub Satellite Strategy to target and secure additional projects within a 10-15 kilometre radius of Llahuin which could provide opportunities to increase both the resource tonnage and grade.
"We look forward to reporting further developments as part of this Central Hub Satellite Strategy in the near future and to updating the market on our drilling and exploration plans moving forward."
Tennant also highlighted some of the benefits of the Llahuin Project, which is expected to form the cornerstone of Southern Hemisphere's copper gold portfolio in Chile.
"We were attracted to Llahuin by its favourable location and logistics - just 17 kilometres from the mining town of Combarbala and 56 kilometres from the Pan-American Highway and at an elevation of 1,300 measured - and its potential to deliver a sizeable resource relatively quickly," he said.
Southern Hemisphere Mining has completed an option agreement for the Mina San Francisco exploitation licences covering an area of 0.75 square kilometres, located about 10 kilometres from the Llahuin Amapola concessions.
The company acquired the option agreement over the Mina San Francisco licences for staged cash payments of US$505,000 (A$478,841) over a period of 24 months of which US$15,000 has been paid to date.
Apart from the work of artisanal miners, there has been no previous significant exploration activity on the property.
Mapping of the licence area has identified a breccia zone that extends 750 metres in a north to south direction and is 130 metres wide.
Southern Hemisphere Mining has begun a limited pilot drilling program at Mina San Francisco.
The company has also submitted an application for the surrounding exploration licences covering 40 square kilometres.
What is significant about these satellite areas is that they do not need standalone Resources to be of benefit to Southern Hemisphere Mining.
"With the satellite areas they don't need standalone tonnages, obviously the bulk of the tonnage is at the Llahuin porphyry," Tennant said.
"So even if a satellite project has say 10 million tonnes, it's still useful to us especially if it's high grade and it's early on in the project."