Ero Copper intercepts 39.8 meters grading 5.57% Cu including 21.9 meters grading 9.43% Cu in step-out drilling at the Vermelhos Mine

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ero Copper Corp. (the “Company”) (TSX:ERO) is pleased to provide a quarterly update on the ongoing exploration and resource definition drilling programs at its Pilar, Vermelhos and Surubim mineral districts, all part of its 99.6% owned Vale de Curaçá Property located in Bahia State, Brazil.  Significant new drilling results are highlighted below:

  • At the Vermelhos mine, hole FVS-212 intersected 39.8 meters grading 5.57% copper including 21.9 meters grading 9.43% copper.  This hole is the first to test the south extensions of the main Vermelhos deposit and was drilled approximately 25 meters south of the main Vermelhos ore bodies.  The newly identified extension remains open to the south.
  • At the Pilar mine, holes FC4884 intersected 18.0 meters grading 6.28% copper and FC4986 intersected 6.9 meters grading 5.82% copper and 15.4 meters grading 3.71% copper.  These two holes are the deepest intercepts yet of copper mineralization and were drilled approximately 235 meters below the extent of all previously known mineralization.  They represent down-dip extensions of copper mineralization on the East Limb of the Pilar Mine with the zone remaining open along strike and at depth.

Other notable drilling highlights include:

  • Hole FC5331 that intersected 44.7 meters grading 1.56% copper including 19.4 meters grading 2.24% copper (part of the Pilar North Extension – R22 Underground program);
  • Hole CRN7-64 that intersected 11.0 meters grading 7.70% oxide copper (12.06% copper total) (part of the Vermelhos oxide program).

This update encompasses results received for the various exploration drill programs from February through to the end of April 2018.  While drilling and assaying remains ongoing, data collection for the Company’s mid-year National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”) update, expected to be released during the third quarter of 2018, has been cut-off as at the end of May.


The Pilar District encompasses the area surrounding the Pilar underground mine, Caraíba mill complex and the past producing open pit Pilar and R22 mines.  Seven drill rigs are currently operating within the district.

During the period, down-dip continuity of the East Limb was tested below the previous extent of all known mineralization at the Pilar Mine. Through the end of the period, complete results had been received for two drill holes (FC4884 and FC4986 – results highlighted earlier in this news release and detailed in the table below).  Mineralization has now been identified on the East Limb of the Pilar Mine to level -1200, approximately 1,650 meters below surface, and 235 meters below the previously known extent of mineralization. Copper mineralization at the Pilar Mine’s East Limb has now been mined, delineated or identified over a vertical extent of 1,650 meters.  The newly identified zone on the East Limb remains open along strike and to depth.

Other drilling activities in the district during the period focused on infill and step-out drilling of the previously announced Deepening Extension (where 4 underground core rigs are operating) and North Extension zone (where one surface drill rig is operating).  The remaining rigs are evaluating the extent of the newly discovered West Limb (see the Company’s press release dated May 17, 2018 for the announcement of the West Limb discovery).

The Deepening Extension program has been targeting a zone of mineralization on the East Limb between level -750 and level -900 approximately 1,200 meters to 1,350 meters below surface and approximately 100 meters laterally from the current level of the primary ramp (completed to level -850). During the period from February through April 2018, assays were received for 22 holes comprising 6,887 meters drilled.  To date, the program focused on upgrading known resources and newly identified mineralization between sections 40 and 49 (approximately 400 meters in combined strike length).  The most continuous and highest-grade copper mineralization has been delineated over a north-south strike length of approximately 180 meters between sections 45 and 49. The results of the East Limb Deepening Extension programs, including the aforementioned discovery holes drilled to depth, are shown in the following table.  Please see The drill holes were drilled from surface.  The length of intercept may not represent the true width of mineralization. Values may not add up due to rounding. From, to and mineralized intercepts are rounded to the nearest tenth of a meter. NSI: no significant intercept. Listed holes include infill program with available assay results. Holes not included are either pending assay results or are not part of the Vermelhos infill program.

In addition, at the Vermelhos Mine, in-ore stope development within the UG1 mining area has resulted in the Company building a coarse ore stockpile on surface. To date, approximately 9,802 tonnes of material grading 4.37% copper has been mined and stockpiled on surface as a result of gallery development within the UG1 mining area.

The 15,000 meter copper oxide program at Vermelhos is designed to drill a 25 meter by 25 meter grid pattern from surface to a depth of approximately 40 meters along an open northeast trending zone, approximately 100 meters to 200 meters wide, of anomalous copper in soil samples located to the immediate north-northeast of the mine portal.  During the period from February through April 2018, 138 holes have been drilled totaling 4,446 meters of drilling.  To date, drilling has identified two distinct zones of oxide mineralization. Additional drilling will focus on the north-eastern most zone which remains open.  During the period, complete results from 13 additional holes (in addition to the 17 holes previously announced) returned assay results grading above 0.20% copper oxide. The results from the 13 holes are shown in the table below (see Figure 5 for drill collar locations):

The drill holes were drilled from surface.  The length of intercept may not represent the true width of mineralization. Values may not add up due to rounding. From, to and mineralized intercepts are rounded to the nearest tenth of a meter. Listed holes include Vermelhos oxide program with assay results above 0.20% copper oxide.


The Surubim District is located approximately 40 kilometers to the north of the Caraíba mill complex and comprises the Surubim open pit mine and past producing Angicos open pit mine.  Five surface drill rigs are operating within the Surubim District.

One drill rig is currently focused on extension drilling at the Surubim mine as part of a mine planning program to evaluate extensions to zones of mineralization currently being mined. The remaining drill rigs are currently evaluating new exploration targets adjacent to the Surubim Mine.


The Company has commenced its airborne electromagnetic and gravity geophysical survey of the Curaçá Valley targeting high-grade mineralization.  To date, approximately 7% of the survey has been flown.  Data processing and target identification commenced with the start of the program.


Ero Copper Corp, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., is focused on copper production growth from the Vale do Curaçá Property, located in Bahia, Brazil.  The Company’s primary asset is a 99.6% interest in the Brazilian copper mining company, Mineração Caraíba S.A. (“MCSA”), 100% owner of the Vale do Curaçá Property with over 37 years of operating history in the region.  The Company currently mines copper ore from the Pilar underground and the Surubim open pit mines.  In addition to the Vale do Curaçá Property, MCSA owns 100% of the Boa Esperanҫa development project, an IOCG-type copper project located in Pará, Brazil.  Additional information on the Company and its operations, including Technical Reports on both the Vale do Curaçá and Boa Esperanҫa properties, can be found on the Company’s website ( and on SEDAR (


The Company is currently drilling underground with core drill rigs using a combination of owned and third-party contracted drill rigs.  During the period from February 2018 to April 2018 third party drill rigs were operated by Major Drilling, who is independent of the Company.  Drill core is logged, photographed and split in half using a diamond core saw at MCSA’s secure core logging and storage facilities.   Half of the drill core is retained on site and the other half core is used for analysis, with samples collected on one-meter sample intervals unless an interval crosses a geological contact.  Reverse circulation cuttings are split at the drill rig using one-meter sample intervals. All sample preparation is performed in MCSA’s secure on-site laboratory.  Total copper is determined using a nitric-hydrochloric acid digestion and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (“AAS”) and/or Titration. Oxide copper values are determined using sulfuric acid digestion followed by AAS.  All recent sample results have been monitored through a QA/QC program that includes the insertion of certified standards, blanks, and pulp and reject duplicate samples.  Regular check-assays are submitted to ALS Brasil LTDA’s facility located in Vespasiano, Minas Gerais, Brazil, at a rate of approximately 5%.  ALS Brasil LTDA is independent of the Company.

Rubens Mendonça, MAusIMM, Chartered Professional – Mining, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release. Mr. Mendonça is a Qualified Person and is independent of Ero Copper Corp. as defined by National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

Signed:  “David Strang” For further information contact:
David Strang, President & CEO  Makko DeFilippo, Vice President, Corporate Development
(604) 429-9244