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 ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT
The San Matias Copper-Gold-Silver Project was the subject of an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment prepared by Nordmin Engineering Ltd. and published in July 2019.
The PEA outlined a robust project with positive economics, and management believes there is considerable scope to enhance project value through optimization studies.
- Conceptual 8,000 tpd conventional open pit mining operation, increasing to 16,000 tpd after the processing plant expansion is completed in Year 6 – underpinned by 119.1 Mt of modeled mill feed grading 0.45% copper, 0.26 g/t gold and 2.41 g/t silver, supporting a 23-year life of mine. During the first five years, the PEA includes copper, gold and silver grades averaging 0.67%, 0.30 g/t and 3.74 g/t respectively with a low strip ratio of 0.82:1.
- PEA life of mine production of 417,300 t of copper, 724,500 oz of gold and 5,930,000 oz of silver contained in a clean copper concentrate and precious metals doré. The copper concentrate is expected to contain very low contents of deleterious elements, such as arsenic and lead.
- Estimated annual copper production of 15,400 t in concentrate in Years 1 to 5; increasing to 20,700 t in Years 6 to 16; and averaging 18,100 t per year over the total 23-year PEA life of mine.
- Average LOM C1 cash costs of US$1.32/lb copper, net of precious metals by-product credits.
- Initial capital expenditures of US$161.4M, expansion capital expenditures of US$120.6M and total PEA life of mine capital expenditures, including sustaining capital, Tailings Management Facility and reclamation costs, of US$527.5M.
- Pre-tax NPV of US$347.0M at an 8% discount rate and a pre-tax IRR of 26.8%, using metals price assumptions of US$3.25/lb copper, US$1,400/oz gold and US$17.75/oz silver. A COP/US foreign exchange rate of 3,125:1 was applied. Pre-tax values include Colombian mining royalties of 4% of total precious metals revenue and 5% of total copper revenue.
- After-tax NPV of US$210.7M at an 8% discount rate and an after-tax IRR of 20.3%, representing a 5.3-year payback using the same metals price assumptions.
- Over the PEA life of mine, the San Matias Project is expected to generate $180.7M in royalty revenue plus US$331.2M in income tax revenue to the government.
- Cordoba has identified additional opportunities to enhance the overall project economics, including delineation of the high-grade gold veins contained within the Alacran Deposit and optimization of mineral processing and metals recovery. Potential also exists for the discovery of the porphyry sources for the Alacran and Montiel West deposits and for other deposits within the San Matias Project area.
- Indicated Mineral Resources at San Matias total 114.3 Mt grading 0.45% copper, 0.26 g/t gold and 2.42 g/t silver. Inferred Mineral Resources total 4.8 Mt grading 0.26% copper, 0.20 g/t gold and 1.21 g/t silver.
The PEA was independently prepared by Mr. Glen Kuntz, P.Geo., and Ms. Agnes Krawczyk, P.Eng., both of Nordmin, who are considered "Qualified Persons" under NI 43-101. The technical disclosure above is based upon the information in the PEA prepared by or under the supervision of Mr. Kuntz and Ms. Krawczyk.
The San Matias 2019 PEA is preliminary in nature and includes an economic analysis that is based, in part, on Inferred Mineral Resources. Inferred Mineral Resources are considered too speculative geologically for the application of economic considerations that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves and there is no certainty that the PEA results will be realized. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability and due to the uncertainty that may be attached to Inferred Mineral Resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resource as a result of continued exploration.
NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment: San Matias Copper-Gold-Silver Project, Columbia
July 29, 2019 [10.5 mb]