CuOro explores Colombia’s Copper-Gold Potential
By Greg Klein
On its first visit to the Santa Elena Copper-Polymetallic Property in Colombia’s Antioquia Department, the CuOro Resources TSXV:CUA team was astounded by the size of the outcrops.
President/CEO/Director Robert Sedgemore describes the sight: “They’re 10 metres high, 10 to 15 metres wide, and they extend about 70 metres on TEM-1,” one of three VMS areas of outcropping identified by a surface geophysical transient electromagnetic survey (TEM). “It’s a 100% massive sulphide, so it’s like a wall of metal sticking out of the ground. We sampled that over 100 metres, and it came back at 2.5% copper. You don’t see outcrops like that, and we’ve got several of them that extend north-south over about a thousand metres in an area about 400 metres east-west. We’ve identified additional outcrops to the south. So when you come across that kind of mineralization sticking out of the ground you just have to start drilling.”
Drill they did, with 8,000 metres so far out of a 25,000-metre program that began in July. As the results continue to flow, Sedgemore becomes increasingly optimistic about the potential for a low-cost, close-to-surface, copper-gold-silver-lead-zinc mine.
Assays released January 10 include
- 1.44% copper, 0.07 g/t gold, 2.4 g/t silver and 0.23% zinc over 102.9 metres
(including 2.06% copper, 0.12 g/t gold, 4.8 g/t silver and 0.28% zinc over 30 metres)
- 1.61% copper, 0.14 g/t gold, 2.5 g/t silver and 0.22% zinc over 21 metres
(including 2.41% copper, 0.16 g/t gold, 4.4 g/t silver and 0.39% zinc over 9 metres)
- 1.94% copper, 0.09 g/t gold, 4.7 g/t silver and 0.06% zinc over 6.9 metres
- 0.47% copper, 0.04 g/t gold, 1.4 g/t silver and 0.16% zinc over 6 metres
“The results we have to date are very, very positive,” Sedgemore comments. “We’ve identified a couple of areas that seem to be two different deposits. We’re getting some continuity over several hundreds of metres to the north, around TEM-1 and also to the south around TEM-2, and on top of that we drilled Hole 25, came up and extended the work further south. We’ve done a lot of work on the ground. Just this week, we started a downhole EM survey. We’re using that to define the massive sulphide targets. We had two drills spinning; we added a third one; and we’ll be using that to target these new anomalies that pop up from the EM survey.”
The company’s aiming for an initial resource estimate in late 3Q or early 4Q. The program so far has gone through the $3-million work requirement of a 100% earn-in option CuOro has with a private Colombian company. The option also requires a payment of $3 million over three years and a sliding royalty based on copper prices.
Nearby infrastructure, Sedgemore maintains, “is second to none. When you’re developing a project, the main infrastructure requirements are water, power and access. We have a paved road right to the site gate and three hydroelectric dams within five kilometres. Normally, infrastructure like that takes up 20% to 30% of the capex. But for this project, we’re seeing the capex for infrastructure well below 5%.”
It’s a 100% massive sulphide, so it’s like a wall of metal sticking out of the ground. We sampled that over 100 metres, and it came back at 2.5% copper. You don’t see outcrops like that, and we’ve got several of them —Robert Sedgemore
Having first visited Colombia 15 years ago, Sedgemore seems to be putting down roots. “Our whole team is in Medellin, including my family—we’ve relocated to Colombia. The working environment is good. We have a lot of support from local communities as well as government. They’re very pro-mining. Over the coming years, I think Colombia’s outlook will become even more positive as new mines come into production.”
Sedgemore’s mining career includes over a quarter-century of international experience. Since the mid-1990s, he’s served as Chief Engineer at the world’s largest copper mine, BHP Billiton’s Escondida. After that he was Chief Engineer at another Chilean copper production, Placer Dome’s (now Barrick’s TSX:ABX) Zaldívar Mine before joining the International Finance Corp of the World Bank as Senior Mining Specialist. At CuOro, Sedgemore heads a team with extensive management and technical experience in several parts of the world, especially South America.
In addition to Santa Elena, CuOro has an purchase/work option to earn a 100% interest in the Barranco de Loba Gold Project, 450 kilometres northeast of the flagship. “Our geos are on the ground now,” Sedgemore reports. “Over the last month, we completed our social community program, and we just set up a base office there. The team have started an extensive surface work program. We’ll get that finished, as well as some geophysics and all the sampling, by the end of 3Q. Then we’ll start some drilling.”
Beyond that, CuOro has its eye on other acquisitions. “We’re doing due diligence as we speak,” Sedgemore says. In addition, the company boasts “a pretty tight share structure,” with the founder and insiders holding about 35% and HudBay Minerals TSX:HBM another 13%.
He concludes, “We’re in a good position right now, with about $18.5 million in the treasury. Our Santa Elena and Barranco work programs should end the year with $7 million or $8 million left.”
At press time, CuOro had 30.33 million shares trading at $1.57 a share for a market cap of $47.6 million.
Disclaimer: CuOro Resources Corp is a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in CuOro.