Exploration – Overview

Arizona Sonoran owns 100% of the +4,800 acres of land just north of the W Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. The privately owned land is host to a porphyry copper belt, extending 4 km, from Parks/Salyer to the SW and the Cactus Northeast Extension to the NE and with the Cactus deposit at the centre.

The long section below displays the horst and graben fault block geometries and mineralization interpretations from the Parks/Salyer deposit to the NE Extension. NE movement along the basement fault was accommodated by block rotation and the formation of NW trending normal faults resulting in the formation of horst and graben blocks. The copper box indicates Arizona Sonoran controlled property boundaries. The existing Cactus West pit is displayed on the long section.

Recent ASCU exploration programs centered on definition and expansion core drilling around the two known mineralized zones (now known as Cactus East and West). In 2019, two vertical PQ core holes were drilled into the East mineralized zone for verification of grade and for metallurgical testing as part of the evaluation program prior to purchase. One additional vertical PQ core hole was drilled into Cactus East in 2020 for further metallurgical testing, for a total of 5,768 ft (1,758 m). Five angled HQ core holes totaling 9,252 ft (2,820 m) were drilled in late 2019 and 2020 around the northern and western edges of Cactus East to define and expand mineralization. Also in 2020, 11 angled HQ core holes totaling 15,377 ft (4,687 m) were drilled around the perimeter of the West Pit to further define and expand Cactus West mineralization beyond the pit limits. Infill drilling continues on the Cactus East and West deposits to convert inferred resources defined in the PEA to indicated. In 2019, 55 surface sonic drill holes totaling 5,120 ft of 6-inch diameter holes were drilled across the Cactus Stockpile Project to support an initial resource based on approximately 750 ft (229 m) spaced drilling. Through late 2020 and 2021, an infill surface sonic drill program was undertaken to reduce the spacing to 400 ft (122 m). The resource database for the Stockpile Project resource contains 210 holes. Drilling of an additional 332 holes on the Project in 2021 further reduced the drill spacing to 200 ft (61 m), which will be incorporated into the resource database.


Located 1.3 miles down trend to the southwest from Cactus, ASCU’s 100%-owned Parks/Salyer project demonstrates the same geological characteristics. Parks/Salyer is part of the same high grade porphyry copper system as Cactus and is located within a northwest trending horst block of mineralised bedrock covered by younger conglomerates. The Project is located on Arizona Sonoran-owned land contiguous to Cactus and provides an opportunity to organically grow Arizona Sonoran’s copper resources and mine life at the Project, leveraging off planned Cactus infrastructure and equipment. 

ASCU is planning  8,300 m  drill program as part of the upcoming work programs at Parks/Salyer as follow up to the initial exploration. 

  • In 1996, 2 exploration diamond drill holes were completed by ASARCO at the southern edge of the Parks/Salyer property (S-200 and S-201). As interpreted, they intersected well mineralized zones of oxide, enriched, and primary material that indicated grades were increasing to the north. 
  • In 2019, an ionic leach soil geochemistry program confirmed anomalous soil geochemistry across the property for copper, molybdenum, silver, and gold and a general NE trend of the higher anomalous values. 
  • In 2020, mineralization was extended 800-1,000 ft (275-305 m) north and east of ASARCO’s previously drilled mineralization by 2 ASCU drilled diamond drill holes (ECP-018 and ECP-019). The image above plots the location and scale of the potential Parks/Salyer deposit with respect to the Cactus Mine deposits and highlights the significant intercepts defined by the four exploration holes drilled into the deposit on the property to date.

Cactus NE Extension

The NE Extension is located 3,000 ft (915 m) to the northeast of Cactus East. ASARCO defined the mineralized zone with wide spaced exploration drilling (> 1,000 ft, 305 m) in 1962 and 1963 as part of the initial property wide exploration program. The table below shows significant intercepts of the main holes drilled into the NE Extension. 

NE Extension
From (ft) To (ft) Length (ft) TCu (%) Mineral
S-68 1,016.5 1,044.5 28.0 1.27 oxide
1,078.5 1,125.8 47.3 0.95 oxide
1,161.0 1,208.8 47.8 3.05 oxide
1,275.0 1,290.1 15.1 1.96 enriched
1,322.4 1,354.1 31.7 0.97 enriched
1,354.1 1,526.0 171.9 0.38 primary
S-64 1,093.9 1,104.2 10.3 1.01 oxide
1,163.0 1,227.3 64.3 1.37 enriched
1,333.7 1,350.9 17.2 0.89 enriched
1,350.9 1,776.0 425.1 0.34 primary