James McDonald
President, CEO and Director
Kootenay Silver Inc
View from the Top

Kootenay Silver: Strategic Asset Development

By Alejandro Ehrenberg | Thu, 06/18/2020 - 16:04

Q: What are the major highlights regarding Columba?

A: Columba is our project in northern Chihuahua. It is a classical high-grade low sulfidation Mexican epithermal vein system. Our 2019 drill campaign there is the first in 30 years. Before that, there is no indication of any significant historic drilling; however, there was a reasonable amount of development work done in the 1910 era when they put a 200-meter shaft on one of the veins. The shaft had six levels, each of which was sampled. Data from that sampling shows consistent high-grade results along the vein, along widths of 1-3m. And there are many other veins on the property. The first holes of our 2019 drill program have confirmed the high-grade nature of the veins. We found that the narrower high grade is part of a wider zone of veining up to 25m grading good silver. Moreover, we started testing other veins in other places, obtaining a number of good intercepts. We drilled 6,800m, with very consistent results. On the original vein, we have wide-spaced holes along 700m, with big gaps in between. Every hole intercepted silver, with the majority being high grade. It is a very strongly mineralized vein. We just started the 2020 drilling program, for which we have budgeted 7,000m for another 40 holes. We are going to have a second drill to follow the other veins. A high-grade project like Columba excites the market, especially when you have a successful discovery.

Q: How is the higher-grade silver distributed at Columba?

A: It is at a greater depth than the lower-grade. It is a classic epithermal system exposed almost entirely preserved, so much so you could use if for a field school. The area looks as if you took a small scoop from the top to create a window into where the veins begin to have silver grade. You can walk from a good, strong quartz vein at the bottom, where there is an erosional basement, and walk up the side of the mountain until your quartz vein disappears and turns into a breccia. The values in the breccia are very low at one to three grams silver per tonne. As you come down elevation and deeper into the system the values gradually increase: we are getting 300 to 2,000-gram intercepts in the drilling. It is also exciting that, because the system is so well-preserved, we have accurate knowledge of where we are. We know we are at the top. Whatever was deposited there is almost entirely preserved.

Q: When will you define the resource and move on to the next phase?

A: We will make that decision in 2020. First, we will define the limits of the shoot in the F Vein.  If that is successful in demonstrating some significant size, we will follow up with in-fill drilling. We will also test numerous other veins searching for additional mineralized shoots in the other structures, following up on good intersects from last year. If both parts of the program are successful, then we will advance to resource and then economic studies.

Q: What challenges have you had to overcome?

A: Geologically, Columba was pretty simple. There is enough exposure to be able to map the veins and targets fairly easily. However, the agreement to acquire the rights to the concession took a year. Our team in Mexico negotiated the mineral rights and access to the surface, advancing the negotiations in a very fast and professional way.

Q: In what state is the permitting process for Copalito and what are the asset’s characteristics?

A: The permitting process has been completed. It took longer than Columba’s because we had to wait on some concession applications. Getting sign-offs on other historic agreements around the property was also time-consuming. Nevertheless, we have all the necessary permits and surface land agreements. We will start drilling there soon.

Copalito is similar to Columba. It is a big vein swarm, a classic vein system, but it is more complex. Some of the veins are silver-gold while others are more gold dominant and can contain base metals.  Some of the veins exposed at surface are 15m wide. We became very excited about Copalito because of the size and number of the veins and the fact our grab had a chip sampling achieved fabulous results. One of the rocks from a nearby dump was 7.5 grams gold and 14 percent zinc and select grab samples are as high as 3779 gpt silver. Nevertheless, there is no indication of previous drilling.

Q: What are the financial requirements to further develop these assets?

A: There are many possibilities for us, including selling some of our assets or partnering with other companies. The main factor, however, is that the silver price increases. Now that we have control of a few potentially high-grade projects, we are just watching the price closely. As we enter a bull market for silver this will enable us to get access to additional equity financings and advance our portfolio of silver properties.

Kootenay Silver Inc is a Canadian and Mexican-based silver exploration company actively engaged in the development of major silver projects in Mexico: La Cigarra Silver and Columba projects in Chihuahua and the Promontorio and La Negra silver discovery in Sonora.


Alejandro Ehrenberg Alejandro Ehrenberg Journalist and Industry Analyst