New Potential at La CigarraMon, 10/22/2018 - 14:26
Q: What is your perception of the exploration market in the country?
A: Upcycles are the time for exploration companies to raise and spend capital because this is when investors are interested in funding new projects. A big challenge in Mexico right now is the time it takes to obtain the title to new ground. When Mexican authorities address these problems, I believe that exploration expenditures will significantly increase within the country. This translates into higher levels of employment especially in remote areas that greatly need it and would also result in more deposits being discovered and developed into mines.
Q: What milestones has Kootenay Silver achieved in its drilling programs in Mexico?
A: Kootenay Silver’s drilling programs shift according to the availability of capital and its budget. The program in La Cigarra is progressing well and we have started to drill this site again. There are several targets in the region that we want to evaluate and we have prioritized these areas according to our expertise and knowledge. We believe we are on the extension of the mineralized silver belt that trends northwest coming out of San Francisco Del Oro and Santa Barbara. We cover about 20 km of that trend, which is very exciting as the trend to the south has produced over 500 million ounces of silver. At La Cigarra, Kootenay Silver has 51.5 million silver ounces measured and indicated and an additional 11.5 million inferred silver ounces.
On top of these discoveries, Kootenay has also identified a footprint in the mineral zone that is between 2-4km wide that stretches over 10km before disappearing to the south and re-emerging into the San Francisco del Oro-Santa Barbara districts. We have numerous targets to drill and are focused on finding not only more ounces but high-grade ounces. These are the type of ounces that can improve the economics of the current deposit and move the project towards a feasibility study.
Along with these projects the company is continuously searching for new acquisitions. It is during downcycles in the exploration business that the opportunity for high-quality assets arise and we are always on the lookout for these opportunities. It is a give and take process. We are always balancing the assets each project can offer against the capital that is required to develop them and the assets we already own.
Q: How much does Kootenay Silver plan to invest in drilling in La Cigarra during 2018?
A: We will spend up to US$2 million throughout the next two phases of the project. The first step will channel about US$1 million into 5,000m of drilling. Kootenay Silver will then assess the results before deciding to move on to the second phase. There are so many targets in the region that we could drill 100,000m if we had the capital. We believe this project has tremendous potential and one day could be bought by a mining operator. For now, we are focusing on drilling and obtaining a concrete assessment of its resources.
Q: How would you assess the advancement of La Negra, a project being developed by Pan American Silver?
A: A total of 87 holes have been drilled into the La Negra discovery to date for a total of 17,000m. We are entering the third year of the agreement between Kootenay Silver and Pan American Silver and it is on track to complete the investment it is required to make. It has spent over US$4 million and must spend US$8 million over the course of the four years until 2020. If it finds more mineralization similar to that in La Negra, there is a good chance that the deal will continue after the four years.