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Mining Snapshot of Australian Mining Companies in Latin America

Mining Snapshot of Australian Mining Companies in Latin America

Inca Minerals
Inca Minerals has announced an exciting porphyry discovery at its Chanape tenement in Peru, a find that has also attracted very strong market interest. While Inca is still awaiting assays from its first two promising drill holes at, managing director Ross Brown likes what he sees: “I can say positively that each and every technical box has been ticked with respect this porphyry,” Brown told HighGrade.

In terms of potential drilling, Brown said between 100-150,000m might be required based on the experience of other companies that have made significant porphyry discoveries. He “conservatively” expects an area of 1km-by-1km down to a possible depth of 1000m might be probed by the drilling anticipated at Chanape.

“Essentially we’re a drilling company now. We have found the target … we need to do everything we can do to properly drill this, and be properly funded … and we, the three remaining directors, are really focused on drilling this out,” Brown said. “It is really quite exciting.”

Azure Minerals
Mexico-focused Azure Minerals enjoyed a strong uptick in investor interest in January, after high-grade drill results from its Promontorio copper project suggested that the new resource could potentially double the fundamentals of the proposed development.At Promontorio the aim is to outline between one and two million tonnes grading 4-5% copper equivalent, with the current resource totalling 502,000t at 4.7% copper, 2.1gpt gold and 99gpt silver. Pre-feasibility work based on the smaller resource showed the generation of $US72 million free cash over 4.5 years from an operation with a capex of $US34.5 million – based on current metal prices. If the resource can be doubled as targeted, free cash notionally rises to $US192 million.

Estrella Resources

Chile-focused Estrella Resources may look for a joint venture partner to support exploration after locking up exclusive rights over 2,560sq.km of tenements covering 130km strike of the the highly prospective Atacama Fault Zone in the Antofagasta region. Estrella completed a binding 5-year option with Chilean mining and chemicals giant Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile allowing it to earn 100% of all metal discoveries in SQM’s Altair project. The companies expanded their initial agreement to include previously unavailable land between SQM’s North Altair and South Altair projects. The Australian explorer says it covers a significant portion of the entire northern Chile iron oxide copper-gold belt, giving it one of
the largest prospective IOCG portfolios in the country. Estrella says it is well-funded to explore the project but will consider bringing in a JV partner given the significant size of the tenement package and the multiple initial target zones.

Lachlan Star
Lachlan Star has secured a $9.6 million debt facility from Canada-based Sprott Resource Lending Partnership. The loan includes a 12-month term and will be drawn in two $5 million tranches at 11% per annum. Extension for a further 12 months is optional under certain circumstances and with the payment of an extension fee. “This is a good outcome for shareholders in that it provides additional working capital on a stand-by basis and with minimal equity dilution,” Lachlan executive chairman Mick McMullen said. “Our owner mining fleet has been operating at budgeted levels, mining at the high-grade Chisperos pit is now accessing ore and this debt facility provides a working capital cushion for the company which sets the company up for a strong CY 2013

.”Lachlan Star resumed the maximum gold production rate at Chisperos in Chile last month after therelocation and energising of the adjacent power line which had prevented full access to the pit since March 2012. Delivery of the owner’s mining fleet has taken place and it has started work in the bulk tonnage Hemisphere Mining has a struck an agreement with Anglo American, with the mining giant set to inject $US25 million ($A24.2 million) to earn a majority a stake in a handful of the company’s Chilean projects.

Southern Hemisphere said the farm-in option agreement struck with Anglo would allow the company to earn a 75% stake in the Chitigua, Carboneras and Meteoritica projects by spending $25 million on exploration over five years.Under the agreement, Anglo will commit $1.5 million to exploration, completing 3000m of drilling within 18 months of signing the agreement. If Anglo wishes to proceed, the company will inject a further $8.5 million on in-ground exploration to earn a 60% stake in a locally incorporated company that holds the projects.To earn the remaining 15% stake, Anglo will need to commit an additional $15 million to exploration activity within 24 months.Southern Hemisphere managing director Trevor Tennant said he was pleased to ink an agreement with a global company of Anglo’s calibre. “This is another significant event for Southern Hemisphere, and complements the important strategic joint venture we concluded recently with Lundin Mining Corporation at our Llahuin project,” he said.Tennant said two tier one mining companies expressed interest in a farm-in arrangement.

Latin Resources
Latin Resources says that a 371% increase in resources at its Guadalupito iron and heavy mineral project in northern Peru – to 1.5 billion tonnes – is a game changer for the company The updated inferred resource at the project totals 1.46 billion tonnes at 5.7% HM for a contained 82.9 million tonnes of heavy mineral.
The newly defined resource represents a 371% upgrade on the previously defined resource. The upgrade was achieved with the addition of a new inferred resource estimate for the Los Conchales area, 2km east of the previously released inferred resource estimate for the Heldmaier area.Further upside remains, with the resource estimated from within 1350ha of the 24,000ha of Latin controlled mining concessions and claims.

Latin managing director Chris Gale said it was a significant achievement to have defined 1.5Bt of inferred resources after only two years of exploration. “We are extremely pleased to post our third and most significant resource at Guadalupito that is a real game changer for Latin,” he said. “We look forward to further evaluating development alternatives for what is undoubtedly become a world-class iron and heavy mineral sands deposit, still with significant upside potential.”Los Conchales is located in unpopulated desert, 15km from the Santa River. The project also sits in close proximity to Peru’s
largest steel smelter and is also 29km by road to Chimbote Port.

This article was sourced from the February edition of Latam News, the monthly newsletter of the Australia-Latin America Business Council (www.alabc.com.au)

 

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