Cordoba initially acquired the San Matias project in 2015, and subsequently optioned the Alacran deposit, completing the purchase in June 2020.
The San Matias Project is 100%-owned by Cordoba, which includes 100% of the Alacran Copper-Gold-Silver Deposit and satellite deposits at Montiel East, Montiel West and Costa Azul.
The San Matias Copper-Gold-Silver Project is located in the municipality of Puerto Libertador, Department of Córdoba, Colombia, 390 kilometres northwest of Bogotá and 160 kilometres north of Medellín. San Matias is accessible via a 70 kilometre paved road from the city of Caucasia to Puerto Libertador and then via a 21 kilometre partially unsurfaced road. Caucasia is easily accessible by road or by regularly scheduled flights from Medellín.
San Matias is situated in the northern foothills of the Western Cordillera and the southern side of the Caribbean lowlands. Altitudes in the property area are between about 100 metres and 350 metres above mean sea level. The climate allows for mineral exploration and drilling year-round. The physiography of the project area is favourable for open pit mining with sufficient room for a processing plant, waste rock dumps, tailings storage, and other mine infrastructure.
The region is complex and richly endowed in mineralization — within 30 kilometres there are two large operating open pit mines including Cerro Matoso (large-scale nickel laterite mine operated by South32) and Carbon del Caribe (coal mines).
Initial exploration on the property was carried out by Dual Resources Inc. between 1987-1989 and included pits, trenches, rock sampling, underground sampling, geological mapping and a ground magnetic survey, followed by 15 diamond drill holes totalling 2,584 metres. A concession agreement was granted in 2009 to Sociedad Ordinaria de Minas Omni and was subsequently optioned to Ashmont Resources Corp. in 2010. Ashmont carried out geological mapping, underground mapping and sampling, a ground magnetic survey, and 52 diamond drill holes totalling 13,429 metres. Cordoba initially acquired the San Matias project in 2015, and subsequently optioned the Alacran deposit, completing the purchase in June 2020.
San Matias is located in an accreted oceanic terrane of the Western Cordillera, described as the Calima Terrane by Restrepo & Toussaint (1988). The host rocks likely belong to the Upper Cretaceous Cañasgordas Group, which is subdivided into the Barroso Formation of basalts, and the Penderisco Formation of turbidites, chert and limestone. The San Matias Project area comprises three primary lithological domains: intrusive rocks (including porphyries) in the Alacran, Montiel East and Costa Azul deposits; volcanic rocks in the Montiel West deposit; and volcaniclastic rocks in the Alacran deposit. Volcaniclastic rocks are also present in the Alacran Norte and Willian prospect areas. The volcanics and volcaniclastics likely belong to the early Cretaceous-age Barroso formation.
The Alacran Deposit copper-gold-silver mineralization is hosted by a west-dipping Cretaceous succession comprising mafic volcanic rocks overlain by a calcareous volcaniclastic sequence and capped by pre- to syn-mineral, sill-like diorite and felsic sub-volcanic bodies. The sequence is approximately 550 metres thick, and the diorites are about 200 metres thick. Copper-gold-silver mineralization occurs throughout the volcaniclastic package at Alacran, except within the lower mafic units. It is most strongly developed in the calcareous volcaniclastic sequence.
PRELIMINARY FEASIBILITY STUDY
The San Matias Copper-Gold-Silver Project was the subject of an independent Preliminary Feasibility Study prepared by Nordmin Engineering Ltd. and published in January 2022.
The PFS outlined a robust project with positive economics, and management believes there is considerable scope to enhance project value through optimization studies.
- Probable Mineral Reserves totalling 102.1 Mt grading 0.41% copper, 0.26 g/t gold, and 2.30 g/t silver diluted.
- 22,000 tonnes per day ("tpd") open pit mining operation, with average annual production of 68.8 Mlbs copper, 55 koz gold, and 386 koz silver, over a 13-year Life of Mine ("LOM"). Low overall strip ratio of 1.1.
- During the first 6 years of production, copper, gold and silver grades within the fresh and transition rock are expected to average 0.61%, 0.29 g/t and 3.50 g/t respectively.
- Total recovered production of 849 Mlbs copper, 0.7 Moz gold, and 4.7 Moz silver, with metallurgical recoveries averaging 92.5% copper, 78.1% gold, and 62.9% silver in copper and precious metals concentrates. The copper concentrate is expected to contain very low contents of deleterious elements, such as arsenic and lead.
- Copper C1 cash costs averaging $2.59/lb copper (before credits), and $1.18/lb net of precious metals by-product credits.
- Initial capital expenditures total $434.9 million. LOM capital expenditures, including sustaining capital, reclamation and closure costs total $591.0 million.
- After-tax NPV8 of $415.1 million and IRR of 25.4%, representing a 2.9-year payback using the same metals price assumptions.
- Financial analysis shows that 60%, or $292.1 million of the $434.9 million initial capital expenditure can be financed by debt. This would improve the after-tax IRR to 27.2%, but marginally reduce the NPV8 to $394.5 million.
- At current metals prices of $4.28/lb copper, $1,778/oz gold and $21.93/oz silver, after-tax NPV8 increases to $650.7 million and IRR to 32.7%, representing a 2.4-year payback1.
- The Alacran Mine is expected to generate $190.4 million in government royalty revenue plus $514.2 million in income tax revenue to support government and social programs in Colombia and local communities.
- The current PFS does not include the satellite deposits: Montiel East, Montiel West and Costa Azul. The combination of infill drilling in the Alacran Deposit and the inclusion of satellite deposits has the potential to significantly add value to the Project and potentially extend the mine life.
1 Spot metals prices are as of Dec. 14, 2021, based on the website www.thestockmarketwatch.com/metal/prices.aspx
The PFS was independently prepared by Mr. Glen Kuntz, P.Geo. and Ms. Joanne Robinson, P.Eng., both of Nordmin, who are considered "Qualified Persons" under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. The technical disclosure in this news release is based upon the information in the PFS prepared by or under the supervision of Mr. Kuntz and Ms. Robinson.
NI 43-101 Preliminary Feasibility Study: San Matias Copper-Gold-Silver Project, Columbia January 11, 2022
NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment: San Matias Copper-Gold-Silver Project, Columbia
July 29, 2019 [10.5 mb]