Malbex Resources Inc TSXV:MBG announced drill results from its Del Carmen Project in San Juan province, Argentina. Highlights include
0.3 g/t gold over 61 metres
1.1 g/t gold and 19.5 g/t silver over 18 metres
(including 5.66 g/t gold and 76.6 g/t silver over 3 metres)
0.46 g/t gold over 19 metres
1.25 g/t gold and 30.6 g/t silver over 6 metres
3.87 g/t gold over 15 metres
President/CEO Tim Warman tells ResourceClips.com, “It’s a project we’ve been working on for a couple of years now. It’s up in the El Indio Belt, a very prospective area. There are a lot of big mines up there. It’s a fairly large alteration system—about nine square kilometers—and we’ve been focused in on one particular area called Rojo Grande. It’s where most of these drill results were from. So really, we’re just building on a resource we put out last year, which was about a million ounces of gold equivalent. It’s shallow, oxide and seems to leach fairly well from the preliminary metallurgical tests.
We probably have three or four companies that have been to the [Del Carmen] site in the last two months. We signed confidentiality agreements with them and exchanged data with them—Tim Warman
“[The results] are not bad,” he continues. “There are some nice, high-grade zones in there. Obviously, in a leaching-type environment the grade is important. Relative to its peers it’s actually got a pretty good grade right now; the resource grade is 1 g/t gold and there aren’t many out there with that kind of grade in terms of oxides. The goal right now is to make it bigger.
“The drilling season has wound down. It’s winter up in the Andes right now, so we pulled the drills out about a week ago. There are still quite a few more drills holes to come in terms of results still pending in the laboratory. This season we’re going to get started on exploring some of our new projects in Argentina and Peru, some lower elevation projects that we can work during the Southern Hemisphere winter. We’ve also got some metallurgical work that is coming, I’m guessing, in May or perhaps in June. We’re looking at some column leach tests on the Del Carmen material to get a better idea quantitatively how well that leaches.
“It’s a relatively expensive area to work. We’ve spent about $20 million in the last two to three years drilling up there. I think we’ve come up with a pretty good resource out of that money. But, particularly given the state of the markets, I think that rather than trying to go back to the markets for another equity raise, it’s time to look for someone who has slightly longer timelines in mind.”
Regarding a possible joint venture, Warman says that discussions are going well. “We probably have three or four companies that have been to the site in the last two months. We signed confidentiality agreements with them and exchanged data with them. We have quite a few more CAs than that, but the serious ones I would guess are about three or four companies and we’re talking with them right now. Our plan has always been to explore [our properties], build them up, de-risk them and pass them on to someone who actually enjoys building mines.
“We’re in San Juan Province which—in terms of being pro-mining—is probably the best province in the whole country to work. There are big mines operating there right now, and it’s highly supported by the government. You can drive up [to Del Carmen] in a Toyota Corolla if you wanted, even though you’re above 4,000 metres in the Andes. It’s mainly because we use the access road that leads up to Barrick’s [TSX:ABX] Pascua-Lama and Veladero projects. And there is water up there. The one thing you don’t have is power, but these heap-leach operations aren’t terribly power hungry anyway.”
Warman adds, “We’re reasonably well funded for the next six months. That’s one of the reasons we want to get a partner in for Del Carmen: we don’t want to go back to the equity markets.”
He concludes, “We’re pretty pleased with how the project is shaping up. It’s proving to be a reasonably sizable resource—maybe not tens of millions of ounces but it certainly has the potential to be a multimillion ounce deposit. It will just take some more drilling and some more time.”
or Marla Gale
VP Investor Relations
by Ted Niles