Azure Minerals Strikes Silver and Gold in Mexico
An Australian company developing two precious metal projects in Mexico, has caught the attention of a pair of analysts and the Mining Journal.
Ngaire McDiarmid started her July 1 Mining Journal article on the company by writing: "As if opening a jewellery box, virtually everywhere Azure Minerals looks, it discovers silver, gold and base metals at its flagship Alacrán project in Mexico."
Describing Azure's Mesa de Plata target at Alacrán, Warwick Grigor of Far East Capital noted in a July 12 research report that the deposit contains, "a 26 Moz silver resource at 84 gpt Ag, with a near surface high grade zone of 15 Moz at 220 gpt. The company is very confident that it will have a mine here with an engineer recently being appointed to carry out a feasibility study."
Grigor also wrote that Azure's second target at Alacrán, Loma Bonita, offers additional "exploration upside." Preliminary metallurgical work at Loma Bonita, according to a July 14 release from the company, has shown "good gold recoveries," and in an Aug. 25 statement, the company noted that drilling had "significantly [extended the] gold mineralised zone at Loma Bonita."
"This looks like a company with plenty of merit," Grigor wrote.
Simon Tonkin of Patersons Securities calls the two discoveries at Alacrán "exciting." In a July 12 research note Tonkin wrote, "Azure Minerals has made one of the most exciting new silver discoveries in recent times at Mesa de Plata, part of its Alacrán project in northern Mexico. AZS has done an excellent job in drilling the deposit to resource status within six months of discovery."
At Mesa de Plata, according to Tonkin, Azure "has defined a near-term silver development opportunity, given that the high grade portion of the deposit commences at surface and remains open to the north. . .AZS has commenced development studies on the deposit, which we believe should be favourable given the potential open pit is devoid of overburden."
With regard to Loma Bonita, Tonkin noted the target "has the potential to add mine life to the Mesa de Plata development project should a heap leach operation come to fruition.
In her Mining Journal article, McDiarmid quotes Azure's managing director Tony Rovira as saying, "We believe there could be significant copper mineralisation at depth at Loma Bonita based on the geology we've seen." Though the company's focus is on Mesa de Plata, Rovira told McDiarmid that, "if we continue to get good drill results at Loma Bonita then that shows great promise to be a deposit as well."
McDiarmid notes that "Azure is also working on its other major project Promontorio, a joint venture with Kennecott Exploration, the North American subsidiary of Rio Tinto."
"Azure is in the final stages of the US$5m earn-in commitment" on the Alacrán deposit, Grigor noted in July. "Once it completes this spending, in the next few months, [partner] Teck [Minera Teck S.A. de C.V, a subsidiary of Teck Resources Ltd.] then has the right to claw back 65% by spending $15m. Teck is more interested in copper though. It is unlikely to exercise the claw-back on the basis of a silver orebody."
Commenting on Azure's board and management team, Tonkin wrote that both have "proven mineral discovery and mine building credentials." In addition, according to Tonkin, the company has "a solid share registry with Sprott (10.7%), Drake (7.8%), Mark Creasy's Yandal Investments (7.2%) and Dynamic Precious Metals Fund (4.9%)."
Tonkin went to to write: "We see the Alacrán project as very prospective. . .the company is very well funded and has a small but highly capable board. . .[while] Teck has a clawback right on the project, we see this as a potential opportunity for AZS to negotiate a positive outcome for all stakeholders."