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Posts tagged ‘Argentex Mining Corporation (ATX)’

High Grades, Smaller Envelopes

May 31st, 2011

Argentex is Piling Up the Silver Ounces in Argentina

By Ted Niles

Peter Ball is very keen that you grasp the concept. For, impressive as Argentex Mining’s recently reported intercept of 88.8 grams per tonne silver over 61.8 metres may seem, its Executive VP of Corporate Development is more interested in what those numbers include. In this case, an interval of 675.7 g/t silver over 5.8 metres. “We’ve had areas of 277 grams over 24 metres—but our focus is defining mineralized widths of higher-grade material over concentrated or smaller widths. The concept in this area is open slot mining, near surface. Multiple pits. We’re not going to have a pit 300 feet wide!”

The area to which Ball refers is the Deseado Massif in the Patagonia region of Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. In addition to Argentex’s polymetallic Pinguino property, the area hosts Extorre Gold Mines’ Cerro Moro project, Pan American Silver’s Manantial Espejo mine, AngloGold Ashanti’s Cerro Vanguardia mine, Coeur d’Alene’s Mina Martha and Goldcorp’s Cerro Negro project. Ball explains, “They’re all mining these open slots, near surface. The first 50 to 100 metres everywhere on our project has been oxidised, where the gold and silver has been leached out, and it’s high grade. You’ve got this nice meat. That’s what’s going to be mined.”

Argentex is Piling Up the Silver Ounces in Argentina

Argentex has 100% control of over 124,000 hectares of property in the Santa Cruz and Rio Negro provinces, of which its Pinguino property is the most advanced. Pinguino comprises 10,000 hectares and has a 2009 indicated resource estimate (at a 50 g/t cut-off) of 7.32 million tonnes grading 169.64 g/t silver equivalent and inferred resources of 35.4 million tonnes grading 123.63 g/t silver equivalent (totalling approximately 180 million ounces silver equivalent).

Last year, a discovery hole at Pinguino graded 2,428 g/t silver and 0.22 g/t gold over 6 metres, bringing new attention to the near-surface vein systems.

Pinguino assays released May 26 include 88.8 g/t silver over 61.8 metres (including 675.7 g/t silver over 5.8 metres), 1.33 g/t gold and 92.9 g/t silver over 29 metres (including 3.83 g/t gold and 271.3 g/t silver over 9 metres), 1.14 g/t gold and 38.8 g/t silver over 17.8 metres and 1.03 g/t gold and 112.7 g/t silver over 11 metres.

May 5 assays revealed 118.1 g/t silver over 19 metres (including 3.21 g/t Au and 678 g/t silver over 3 metres), 205.5 g/t silver over 20 metres (including 1.64 g/t gold and 470 g/t silver over 8 metres) and 86.2 g/t silver over 21 metres (including 2.77 g/t gold and 121.9 g/t silver over 7 metres).

Ball reports, “We’re consistently seeing veins with widths in the range of four to 12 metres within the first 100 metres of surface, with the vein systems open at depth and open along strike. And some of these veins can range longer than a couple kilometres. Wherever we drill, we appear to consistently and continuously hit high-grade silver with positive associated gold grades. We currently have in excess of 50 veins measuring over 75 line-kilometres, and we keep finding more as we go along. All sitting very close to surface. So it is quite a large, very high-grade system. We believe it’s the second-largest mineralized vein swarm in Patagonia—second only to the Cerro Vanguardia mine, which is along strike to the southeast.”

Wherever we drill, we appear to consistently and continuously hit high-grade silver with positive associated gold grades – Peter Ball

Ball characterizes the Pinguino property as “advanced exploration or early development.” He notes that, to date, Argentex has drilled greater than 50,000 metres on the property and that a preliminary economic analysis has been completed. “At today’s prices, we could build a small mining operation for under $22 million. Internal rate of return would be just under 200%, a payback period of less than six months. That small mine would run over 650,000 ounces of silver for eight years and approximately 6,000 ounces gold.” And that’s based on the resource calculated two years ago.

But Ball does not see production in Pinguino’s future. He says, “This year and most of next we’re working on prefeasibility studies and more drilling and such. We’re looking to have two resource estimates completed by the fourth quarter of this year. One will be an update on the polymetallic; the second will be for the new near-surface stuff, which will probably be giving us a nice re-rate. We are looking to build a significant silver resource and build value through ounces in the ground first.” He adds, “We will worry about building a mine when we have done the due diligence.”

Argentex has not been wanting for interest. Its major shareholder is International Finance Corporation—a member of the World Bank Group—who holds 19.9% of the company. And, Ball adds that the company’s $20-million financing announced May 26 is being led by GMP Europe, “an excellent financial group to have representing us, supported by a solid syndicate including Byron, Northland Capital, LOM, Casimir and Haywood.”

Ball concludes, “Shortly after I joined Argentex, the phone was ringing. I was contacted by most of the investment houses and banking groups looking to be involved in the Argentex story. Within a month I had six analysts on site in Argentina. It’s one of the few stories I’ve had the pleasure of working for where the calls coming into the office outmatched the calls going out.”

Argentex currently has 59.8 million shares trading at $1.17 per share. The company has a market cap of $69.97 million.

Argentex VP Peter Ball on Argentina assays of 675.7 g/t silver over 5.8m

May 27th, 2011

“We are 100% focussed in the province of Santa Cruz in Argentina. We have about 136,000 hectares of land. Our top priority focus of all our projects is Pinguino. Pinguino is about 100 square kilometres. We have about 75 line kilometres of veins. We are actively exploring and developing the resource within that one project. We’ve drilled, up to today, probably 50,000 metres. We’ve done over 500 holes. We have an old resource from October 2009 that had about 180 million ounces of silver equivalent, contained in this polymetallic resource. The program this year was to expand that resource, but also to develop a near surface silver-gold oxide resource. Since discovering the discovery hole near surface of 2,428 g/t silver over 6 metres, we started drilling around all these veins outside of the polymetallic. Because there are two separate geological mineralized events; they can be mined and explored separately. Since then we’ve had some phenomenal hits: 500 g/t over 12 metres, 1000 g/t over 5 metres, 1000 g/t over 10 metres, yesterday we had 700 g/t over 5.75 metres, plus also we’re starting to discover some interesting gold values. We hit about 6 g/t gold over 5.75 metres. So it’s a huge, very high grade system. We believe it’s the second largest mineralized vein swarm in Patagonia—second only to AngloGold Ashanti’s Cerro Vanguardia mine, which is along strike to the southeast. They’ve been mining there for 14 years, it was their first mine.

“We’re consistently seeing width in the range of six to 12 metres within the first 100 metres of surface. Open at depth, open along strike. And some of these veins are 8 kilometres long, 2 kilometres long, 5 kilometres long. Wherever we drill, we appear to consistently and continuously hit high-grade silver. A lot of people are very interested in the story, because of the high grade and the size of the project. We’re not talking about one vein, we’re talking about at least 50-some veins, and we keep finding more as we go along. All sitting directly on surface.

Wherever we drill, we appear to consistently and continuously hit high-grade silver. – VP Peter Ball

“I would say that the Pinguino deposit would be categorized as advanced exploration or early development. One reason is we’ve done a heck of a lot of drilling; we’ve got drill results coming out probably until September. We’re going to have two resource estimates completed this year, probably October Q4. One will be an update on the polymetallic, the second will be for the brand new near surface stuff, which will probably be giving us a nice re-rate. The only reason I say early development is because we completed a preliminary economic assessment, a scoping study, announced in March. Basically, at today’s prices, we could build the mine for $20 million. Internal rate of return would be just under 200%, a payback period of less than six months. That small mine would run 650,000 ounces of silver for eight years, and less than 10,000 ounces gold. But what one must realize, is that the PEA was done on our resource from two years ago.

“But we’re not the next emerging silver producer. We’re going to have a significant silver resource, and sure, if we wanted to, we could push forward; but the goal is to build value through ounces in the ground first, and get some re-rates, then focus on that. Because this year and most of the next year we’re working on prefeasibility studies and more drilling and such.

“We control 100% of all of our projects. We actually own the land of the Pinguino deposit. We purchased it for less than $1 million late last year. Our major shareholder is International Finance Corporation which is an arm of the World Bank, one of the largest funds in the world.They went to Argentina, looked at a number of projects, and selected ours for their first investment, and their only investment, I believe, in Argentina. They purchased 19.9% of us. As of today we have 57 million shares out, but we just announced a $20 million financing this morning, led by a syndicate of bankers that are looking to get on our side. The financing is being led by GMP Europe, which is a phenomenal name to have representing us. And the company has never been marketed until about two and half months ago! Very tight and lean management structure. Very low burn rate. Probably less than $150,000 a month, including the whole company, including Argentina—unless we’re drilling. If we drill you can add $500,000 per month, per rig. We have $4 million in the bank. We have great shareholders, a great management team, great board of directors. And we’ve been having excellent feedback.

“We’re looking forward to having some analyst coverage here fairly soon. Two weeks after I joined the company I had pretty much all the banks phone me, and I had six analysts down on site after they requested to go down. It’s one of the few stories I’ve ever worked on where they phone me.”

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Argentex reports Argentina Silver Assays including 277.4 g/t over 24m

April 12th, 2011

Argentex Mining Corporation TSXV:ATX announced drill results from its Pinguino Project in Santa Cruz, Argentina. Highlights include 1.6 g/t gold and 114.2 g/t silver over 14 metres (including 2.68 g/t gold and 202.8 g/t silver over 5 metres), 1.08 g/t gold and 144.7 g/t silver over 13 metres (including 2.36 g/t gold and 309.4 g/t silver over 5 metres), 1.47 g/t gold and 149.5 g/t silver over 10 metres, 34.9 g/t silver over 20 metres, 277.4 g/t silver over 24 metres, and 1.12 g/t gold and 512.5 g/t silver over 12 metres.

President Ken Hicks remarked, “We continue to define significant near surface silver mineralization at Pinguino. With more than 51 veins mapped to date and many targets remaining to be tested, our 2011 exploration program is focused on expanding our silver resource. We are encouraged by the large intervals of silver mineralization and the higher than expected gold values from this recent drilling. We continue to plan additional drilling in our efforts to further expand these zones along strike and at depth.”

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Contact:
Peter A. Ball
Executive VP Corporate Development
604.568.2496

by Ted Niles

Argentex reports Argentina assays of 965 g/t Silver, 3.23 g/t Gold over 4m

March 29th, 2011

Argentex Mining Corporation TSXV:ATX announced results from the Marta Noroeste vein of its Pinguino Project in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Assays include 1.97 g/t gold and 473 g/t silver over 9 metres (including 3.23 g/t gold and 965 g/t silver over 4 metres), 41.7 g/t silver over 32 metres (including 659 g/t silver over 1 metre), 39.3 g/t silver over 19 metres (including 692 g/t silver over 1 metre), and 105.9 g/t silver over 8 metres.

President Ken Hicks commented, “These intersections on Marta Noroeste continue to highlight the presence of a significant mineralized silver and gold system, and represent another successful milestone in showcasing the potential of the exploration camp. Our experienced technical team, led by technical advisor Diego Guido, PhD, continues to identify a precious metals vein swarm consisting of 51-plus veins over an approximate strike length of 75-plus line-kilometres to date, making this one of the largest discoveries to date on the Tranquilo Trend, second only to the world-class Cerro Vanguardia mine located to the south east. With the recent announcement of a positive preliminary economic assessment, based on only a small portion of the Pinguino project, we believe that we are making significant progress in advancing the deposit to development stage.”

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Contact:
Argentex Mining Corporation
604.568.2496

by Ted Niles