Home » Technology Minerals (TM1) » Technology Minerals #TM1 – Exploration Update on the Asturmet Cu-Co-Ni Project, Asturias, NW Spain

Technology Minerals #TM1 – Exploration Update on the Asturmet Cu-Co-Ni Project, Asturias, NW Spain

Technology Minerals Plc (LSE: TM1), the first listed UK company focused on creating a sustainable circular economy for battery metals, is pleased to announce initial results from a lithogeochemical programme and targeting studies at its 100%-owned Aramo Copper-Cobalt-Nickel (“Cu-Co-Ni”) Project in Asturias, NW Spain. 


·     First results from new lithogeochemical sampling at the Aramo Mine on the St. Patrick licence confirm high-grades of cobalt and copper, with associated nickel mineralisation

·    Grab sampling across multiple mineralized veins and alteration zones have confirmed the style and tenor of mineralisation and have reported assays ranging up to 1% – 28% copper, 0.1 – 1.88% cobalt and 0.1 – 1.68% nickel.

·    Lithogeochemical sampling was completed within four accessible working levels at the historic Aramo Cu-Co-Ni mine in Asturias.

·    A total of 205 rock samples have been collected and analysed at ALS Laboratories, Loughrea, Ireland.

·    This work has formed the basis of a broad characterisation study of extensive zones of alteration and mineralisation which are present and clearly observed within parts of Levels 3 and 4 of the mine.

·    A 3D laser survey has also been completed at the Aramo Mine on the historical Levels 3 and 4. This will provide a 3D model framework of the mine workings and allow for systematic and more intensive underground mapping and sampling on these levels.

·    This work will lead to a better understanding of the geological and mineralogical model at Aramo, and in turn form the basis of 3D visual planning for diamond drilling targeting unmined mineralization as well as extensions to the main zones.

·    Mine archive searches have produced targeting data associated with areas outside of the Aramo mine on the St. Patrick Licence as well as targets associated with several other of the Company’s pending licence applications.

Asturmet Project

The Company holds 100% of the Aramo Project through its 100% wholly-owned subsidiary, LRH Resources Limited (“LRHR”), and LRHR’s 100% wholly-owned subsidiary Asturmet Recursós S.L. (“Asturmet”). The Asturmet Project consists of eight exploration permits or P.I. (Permiso del Investigación): St. Patrick (P.I. 30858), St. Andrew (P.I. 30869), St. David (P.I. 30870), Astur A (P.I. 30864), Astur B (P.I. 30865), Astur C (P.I. 30866) and Astur D (P.I. 30868) along with new application Astur F (P.I. 30880). The licences cover a total area of approximately 535km2. The St. Patrick licence (which covers the historic Aramo Mine), was issued to Asturmet in June 2018. The remaining licences are in the application process with the Spanish Mining Administration, with St. Andrew and St. David licences in the final stages of issuance.

Aramo Mine Lithogeochemical Sampling

A total of 205 samples have been collected during a series of underground sampling programmes. These samples were collected as part of a preliminary mapping and lithogeochemical characterisation study to help determine the distribution and nature of the alteration and mineralisation within different parts of the accessible mine. At this time the most accessible and safest access is on Levels 3 and 4 (155 samples) with restricted access on Level 1 and 2 (46 samples). The Socavon at level 0 (4 samples) does not show significant alteration or mineralisation being positioned within the footwall of the system. Each of these areas have been visited and the number of samples collected are summarised below in Table 1.

Level ID



Level 0

Socavon Adit



Portal Spoil Surface


Main Adit


Level 2

Portal Spoil Surface


Main Adit


Side Gallery


Level 3

Portal Spoil Surface


Arrebolleu Stopes


San Felipe Stope B


San Felipe Stope C


San Felipe Stope D


San Vincente Zone


Breccia Corner


Level 3.5

San Felipe Stope A


Level 4

Metastur Pit


Portal Spoil Surface


Pyrite Vein West


Horse Head Gallery


Sta. Barbara Gallery


San Pedro Gallery


Total Samples



Table 1: Lithogeochemical sampling at Aramo

The samples were collected from as many of the historically reported mineralised veins (filons) as are currently accessible. At the highest point on Level 4 there are 5 main veins called Metastur, Vein 5 (Horsehead and Pyrite veins) Santa Barbara and San Pedro. On level 3 the main veins that are accessible are San Felipe and to a lesser extent San Vincente.. It should be noted that the samples collected are a combination of both bedrock/sidewall outcrop, collapsed sidewall material that lie below its source location, and float material from spoil both underground and at surface near the portal. These samples were collected specifically as a method of determining the broadest range and distribution of both alteration, mineralisation and associated grade. The next phase of work will include detailed underground mapping and channel sampling to add to a higher degree of grade distribution clarity to the extensive zones of alteration and mineralization seen underground. 

Results from Level 4 

Sampling on Level 4 has confirmed broad zones of pale orange partially dolomitized limestone of the mountain limestone unit, these broader zones tend to be relatively lower in grade than the more discrete and significantly higher-grade mineralised zones which align with the known veins which are partially worked at this level (Figure 1). The primary veins underground are Vein 5, Sta. Barbara and Sn. Pedro. Results from material across all the sampled zones at this level includes material assaying up to 1% – 16% copper, 0.1 – 0.42% cobalt and 0.1 – 1.16% nickel.

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Figure 1: Aramo mine primary sampled areas on Level 4.

Results from Level 3 and 3.5

Sampling on Level 3 has also confirmed broad zones of pale orange partially dolomitised limestone of the mountain limestone unit, these zones are both more extensive and more connected than Level 4 and clearly exhibit strong structural control relating to several different fault orientations as well as an apparent relation to stratigraphic control. Level 3 alteration and mineralisation also appears to be of a generally higher tenor but still shows variable grade distribution within the alteration zones and veins. There is more underground development on level 3 and the main accessible zone is called San Felipe which is intersected at both Level 3 and level 3.5 across four distinct working areas termed Stope A to D, these are the main areas sampled. Results from material across all the sampled zones at this level includes material assaying up to 1% – 28% copper, 0.1 – 1.88% cobalt and 0.1 – 1.68% nickel.

Results from Level 2

Sampling on Level 2 is restricted to one of the main adits and one side gallery, when the mine closed the company closed off some of the access by piling up waste material to prevent access to the main zone of mineralisation which lies vertically below that seen on levels 3 and 4. Limited access at this time has so far restricted underground sampling to some peripheral alteration and mineralisation outside of the main historically mined areas. Results from material across all the sampled zones at this level includes material assaying up to 1% – 19% copper, 0.1 – 1.38% cobalt and 0.1 – 0.55% nickel. 

Results from Level 1 

Sampling on Level 1 is also restricted to one of the main access adit and therefore sampling has also been restricted to some minor peripheral alteration and mineralisation. Results from material across all the sampled zones at this level includes material assaying up to 0.5% copper, 0.1 % cobalt and 0.1% nickel. Access further into the main body of the mine will be required in order to reach the main mineralised zones. 

Other areas 

The Socavon is a lower-level footwall access haulage drift that was not connected to the higher levels of the mine during the active mining period at Aramo. The 1km long adit appears to have been designed to undercut the main mineralised zones within the unmineralised footwall of the mine.

All samples collected  have followed a strict sampling and chain of custody process and were analysed by ALS Laboratories in Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland. Samples were analysed by four-acid ICP-AES analysis.

Underground Laser Survey at Aramo Mine

The main period of operation of the Aramo mine was between 1948 and 1955 with peak copper production between 1953 and 1955 before final closure in 1957. An extensive search for historical mine records, underground plans and technical data has to date yielded a limited number of  underground maps of variable quality and of relatively little use in the modern context for recording ongoing underground mapping and sampling.

Therefore, the company commissioned a 3D underground laser survey at Aramo which was carried out Sociedad Asturiana de Diversificación Minera (SADIM) a part of Grupo Hunosa, in association with Ingeniero Oscar Diez Regil.

The initial survey was completed in all of the main accessible parts of the mine on levels 3 and 4 (Figures 2 and 3).  The preliminary results exceeded expectations both in quality and detail (Figures 4 and 5). The maps that can now be produced from this work have facilitated the accurate georeferencing of all geological and geochemical data collected to date and will form the basis of the next phase of detailed mapping and systematic sampling.

The primary purpose of the survey and associated geological mapping work is to enhance the understanding of the geometry of the mineralising system at Aramo and aid in the planning of surface diamond drillholes targeting both known mineralised zones and potential unmined extensions. This will include verifying the non JORC compliant historically reported “recognised reserves” (detailed below), on mapped structures, both proximal to the mine and also westwards under the plateau.

Diagram Description automatically generated

Figures 2 and 3: Showing the full surveyed areas on parts of levels 3 and 4 

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Figures 4 and 5: Showing detail of areas at the level 4 portal (left) and the adit at the junction with San Pedro Vein on level 4. 

Mine Archive Review

A search for data related to the Aramo Mine and the surrounding licenced areas has been ongoing. Very little data appears to have survived the intervening 70 years since the area was actively producing copper from these areas. However, mine records examined have revealed multiple areas that were licenced at different times across what is now the St. Patrick Licence and which were being targeted with exploration proximal to the Aramo mine for reported copper (and associated cobalt/nickel) occurrences. The same sources show similar historically licenced areas on targets across several of the other licence applications that the Company has with the Mining administration. A full assessment of these newly discovered data are ongoing and will be reported on in due course.

Local Geology

The Aramo Cu-Co-Ni Project is classed as an epithermal carbonate-hosted deposit and lies within the western closure of the Cantabrian Orocline Fold and Thrust Belt. The Aramo Mine is located within the Aramo “Caliza de Montana” stratigraphic unit comprising of organic rich limestones. Mineralisation is broadly confined to wide alteration zones with more localised east – west orientated high-grade veins and stockwork mineralisation. The alteration zones, which are themselves pervasively mineralised, are interpreted to form extensive “pipe-like” bodies with significant vertical development at major fault intersection planes. These zones develop laterally outwards along individual faults creating the so called “Filon” zones. Lower angled stratigraphic bedding within the host limestones within the pipelike zones appear to create flatter zones or lenses of alteration and mineralisation with a 30 – 40-degree orientation dipping westwards.

The primary sulphide mineralisation comprises of copper-nickel-cobalt sulphides with three recognised stages of mineralisation accompanied by dolomite and quartz precipitation. An important supergene stage postdates the sulphides and is associated with calcite gangue. Mineralisation is considered to be Permian in age. 

The Aramo copper-cobalt mine on the St. Patrick licence was the main mine in the area and ceased production the late 1950s. The mining operations were on a relatively small scale, and the records for production, grades, development, and geology were poorly kept. One surviving record widely quoted estimated that approximately 200,000 tons of 1-20% Cu, 1-3% Ni and 1-3% Co ore were extracted from the Aramo mine, with at least 400,000 tonnes reported as (for the time non-JORC compliant) “recognised reserves” in a subvertical orebody formed by veins and breccia pipes of 150m by 40-50m and 600m deep. This has not yet been verified, but it is expected that the ongoing work leading to a comprehensive drilling programme in due course will work towards establishing coherent mineralised zones both within the mine area and exploration targets within potential satellite zones/filons that are structurally and stratigraphically associated with the Aramo Fault both to the west and south.

The Aramo Mine

The Aramo mine was most recently in production from 1947 and ceased production in 1957. It has remained dormant for the last 65 years. The mine has several distinct mineralised zones with extensive alteration and associated Cu-Co-Ni mineralisation at a number of levels over a known vertical extent of 530m whilst westwards, there lies a further 200m of vertical prospective stratigraphy above the mine and to the west below the plateau.

Currently there are four primary levels termed Level 1 (995m O.D.), Level 2 (1085m O.D), Level 3 (1150m O.D) with a small sub level and stope termed Level 3.5 (1155m O.D.) and Level 4 (1180m O.D.). Access to-date has been primarily on Level 4 and parts of Level 3 with only limited access completed so far on Levels 1 and 2. The Socavon termed Level 0 is a footwall adit approximately 1km in length and is located at an elevation of 703m O.D. close to the historical mine processing plant. The only mine plans in existence from between 1947 and 1957 illustrate the mine planned development only have been digitally captured and geo-referenced and are represented in Figures 6 and 7 below. 

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Figure 6: Aramo mine Plan 1947 and 1957 showing the four primary working levels (Plan).


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Figure 7: Aramo mine Plan 1947 and 1957 showing the four

primary working levels (oblique view west).

Alex Stanbury, Chief Executive Officer of Technology Minerals, said: “We are pleased the initial results from our sampling survey at the historic Aramo mine within the St. Patrick licence has confirmed high grade Copper-Cobalt-Nickel mineralisation. In the coming months we plan to expand our exploration campaign which will help us continue to gain a better understanding the full potential of the project.  The Asturmet Project forms part of our wider strategy to move forward and advance multiple exploration campaigns across our portfolio of mineral resource projects focused on cobalt, copper, nickel, manganese, and lithium.”

Competent Person

All scientific and technical information in this announcement has been prepared under the supervision of EuroGeol Vaughan Williams M.Sc. P.Geo (a Principal of Aurum Exploration Services who currently provides exploration services to LRHR), and a “qualified person” within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. Vaughan Williams is also company secretary of LRHR and a Director of LRHR’s Spanish subsidiary Asturmet.

The Directors of the Company accept responsibility for this announcement.

For further information please visit www.technologyminerals.co.uk, @TechnologyMinerals on Twitter, or contact:

Technology Minerals Plc

Alex Stanbury, Chief Executive Officer

Lester Kemp, Chief Operating Officer

Wilson Robb, Chief Technical Officer

+44 (0)20 4582 3500

Oberon Investments Limited

Nick Lovering, Adam Pollock

+44 (0)20 3179 0535

Arden Partners Plc

Ruari McGirr

+44 (0)207 614 5900

Gracechurch Group

Harry Chathli, Alexis Gore, Amy Stupavsky

+44 (0)20 4582 3500

About Technology Minerals Plc

Technology Minerals is developing the UK’s first listed, sustainable circular economy for battery metals, using cutting-edge technology to recycle, recover, and re-use battery technologies for a renewable energy future. Technology Minerals is focused on extracting raw materials required for Li-ion batteries, whilst solving the ecological issue of spent Li-ion batteries, by recycling them for re-use by battery manufacturers. With the increasing global demand for battery metals to supply electrification, the group will explore, mine, and recycle metals from spent batteries. Further information on Technology Minerals is available at www.technologyminerals.co.uk  

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