The Hot Breccia Property

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Hot Breccia Property Location

Location of the Hot Breccia Project in the Arizona Copper Belt

The Hot Breccia Project is located in the heart of the great Arizona Copper Belt, USA, adjacent to Christmas Mine and Hayden Smelter. The project is approximately 90 minute drive from both Phoenix and Tucson. The project covers 1,420 hectares in 227 mining concessions that lie about four kilometers from the historic Christmas mine which recorded production of about 481.6 Mlbs of copper from 20.2 M tons at a grade of 1.2% Cu plus significant gold and silver (Sources: Arizona Geological Society Spring Field Trip Guide in 2014). Prismo has not been able to verify the production information, and it is not necessarily indicative of the mineralization on the Hot Breccia property.

It is believed that the Hot Breccia property may contain high-grade skarn mineralization similar to that originally mined at the Christmas mine, and the historical information is being used by Prismo solely to plan and guide future exploration.


Hot Breccia Location Map

The Hot Breccia Project is a 1,420-hectare property located 5 km southeast of Freeport’s Christmas mine and 2 km from ASARCO’s Hayden smelter complex in Arizona’s Copper Belt. The property consists of 227 unpatented mining claims.

The property has excellent infrastructure near paved roads and power lines, and the nearby Asarco Hayden complex with a flotation plant and smelter,  a 2 km to the west. Water for drilling and exploration work is also available.

The property is accessible via paved access roads such as Arizona State Highway 77 which runs along the San Pedro River and connects the town of Winkleman (7 km south) to Globe (35 km north). The nearest major city and airport is Tucson, which is approximately a 90-minute drive to the south.

  • Tier 1 Copper Jurisdiction

Hot Breccia Project and its surrounding mines and deposits

The Hot Breccia Property is located in a Tier 1 Copper Jurisdiction. Since 1910, Arizona has been the leading producer of copper in the United States. Today, 68% of U.S. copper production comes from Arizona. There are 10 major copper mines in Arizona that produce 23 to 632 million pounds of copper per year. Most of the copper mined in Arizona comes from porphyry copper deposits, with copper ore associated with intrusive igneous rocks similar to granite.

Geological Setting and Mineralization

The Hot Breccia Property is located in the Banner Mining District, a mountainous zone bound on both sides by deep alluvium-filled valleys. The region is characterized by Basin & Range style morphology, consisting of high mountain ranges bounded by normal faults.

Hot Breccia Geological Setting and Mineralization

Cross-Section of the Christmas Mine area showing mineralization (geology from Briggs)

The surface outcrop, abundant across the property, is primarily upper Cretaceous-age (Laramide age) andesitic flows, clastics, and tuffs of the Williamson Canyon Formation that measure up to 2350 ft (760 m) thick. This age and type of volcanics are common around Arizona porphyries, and are often high-level volcanic piles overlying, and roughly coeval with, a causative porphyry intrusion at depth.

Below the volcanics lies a thin layer of the Cretaceous Pinkard Formation, composed primarily of siltstones and sandstones. Paleozoic carbonate and quartzite rocks below the Pinkard include the Mississippian Escabrosa Limestone, Naco Formation limestones (primary host rock for copper skarn at the Christmas Mine), and the Devonian Martin Formation. At depth, basement rocks consist of Cambrian Troy Quartzite and the Apache Group (quartzite/diabase sills/conglomerate/shale with minor limestone) atop Precambrian Pinal Schist.

Located 5 km northwest of Freeport’s past-producing Christmas mine, a porphyry copper skarn deposit hosted by the same Laramide dike swarm and within the same Paleozoic sedimentary rocks as those found at Hot Breccia. Larry Barrett, a Project Geologist for Bear Creek Mining Company, then the exploration arm of Kennecott, staked the Hot Breccia claims based on information from his 1972 Master’s Thesis. Barrett described classic surface indications for a large porphyry copper deposit at depth, including a Laramide-age dike swarm and hydrothermal breccias that cut upward through a thick Laramide volcanic pile, in some cases transporting clasts of altered Paleozoic limestone, mineralized skarn, and sulphide-bearing rock from below. Mineralized cobbles of the underlying Paleozoic rocks are also present in the overlying Cretaceous volcanic complex.

Alteration in the mineralized zone consists of dark brown garnet–magnetite skarn that progresses outward into a retrograde ore-bearing clay-calcite-quartz assemblage; very similar to descriptions of the mineralized zones at Christmas.


Historic drill holes at the Hot Breccia property

Historic drill holes at the Hot Breccia property

Kennecott drilled seven holes from 1972 to 1981, and Phelps Dodge drilled two holes on and near the current property in the same era. All drill holes reported hydrothermal alteration within the volcanics, increasing alteration intensity downwards, and Paleozoic carbonate host units have several copper intercepts reported to exceed 1% copper and elevated zinc. The northern Phelps Dodge drill hole reported 1,270 feet (387 meters) of variably mineralized skarn with several intercepts over 1% copper and a high of 3.16% copper.

In July 2023, we completed an airborne ZTEM geophysical survey at Hot Breccia as part of an on ongoing exploration program. The Company has also received assay results for the first batch of samples taken at the project, that indicate the presence of not only copper mineralization, but also gold mineralization associated with gossanous veins and shear zones. See our July 11, 2023 Press Release to learn more.

Table 1. Highlight assays for samples from Hot Breccia

Highlight assays for samples from Hot Breccia