Global Minerals (CVE:CTG) is a junior mineral explorer that has the goods to back itself up, with a silver project in Slovakia that is bound to attract some attention, says the company's CEO William Pincus.
In a challenging market for any company, junior mineral explorers need to distinguish themselves from the herd in order to stay afloat.
"As we begin to evaluate the asset, we believe we have three attractive aspects to our project, including a low capital cost, a good operating cost, and a relatively short timeline to production," says Pincus, who has 30 years of industry experience and oversaw the development of the 155-million-ounce Pirquitas silver deposit.
Indeed, Global Minerals is looking to advance the undeveloped Strieborná vein. It is in an old mine, adjacent to the previously mined Maria Vein.
The high-grade silver-copper vein type deposit is located in an historic mining district near the town of Roznava in eastern Slovakia. The former Mária mine site, which sits on land owned by Global Minerals, provides space for infrastructure and facilities that are necessary for ore processing and tailings disposal. Underground access is also available through the workings of the past producing Maria mine.
Because of the extensive existing infrastructure, the company's CEO expects the project could move into production in relatively short order.
"The infrastructure is excellent. We have industrial power on site, with a rail adjacent to the proposed plant site, and we are looking to acquire an existing tailings facility.
"Because it is an old mining area, highly skilled personnel are readily available from senior level engineers to metallurgists, underground mine contractors and geologists."
Over the past year, the company has kept itself busy. It has spent time dewatering the old mine, rehabilitating the shaft and surface facilities, and cleaning up levels that had been flooded.
It also started a 5,000 to 6,000 metre underground drilling program late last year to intersect the Strieborná vein.
Global Minerals recently unveiled initial results from the campaign, calling them positive and "in line with our high expectations". An updated resource estimate is planned for the third quarter, which is expected to be coincident with a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the project.
Notable drilling results thus far have yielded 297 grams per tonne (g/t) silver over 7.1 metres and 156 g/t silver over 7.5 metres.
"The critical path to completing the PEA is that we want to complete the drilling and use the results to update the current resource," says Pincus, adding that ongoing results from the drilling campaign will be announced as they become available over the coming weeks.
Currently, the project contains NI 43-101 compliant 14.3 million ounces of silver and 48.1 million pounds of copper in the measured and indicated categories plus an additional 13.5 million silver ounces and 29.8 million pounds of copper in the inferred category.
There are also are significant quantities of antimony, with 29.2 million pounds measured and indicated plus 19.8 million pounds inferred, which could provide an important by-product credit.
Pincus says that a significant portion of the program will be infill drilling, with the aim of upgrading the inferred resources to the measured and indicated category, as well as expanding resources in the upper portion of the mineral deposit, in areas where early mine development can be expected.
Global Minerals has $7 million of cash in the bank, which it says is enough to take the company to the PEA stage. Unlike many junior explorers out there, Global is looking to create cash flow in the near-term.
In addition to Strieborná, there are four under-explored veins nearby. Pincus says he believes the company has enough resources for 8 to 10 plus years of mining just from the Strieborná vein. These other veins, he believes, add "real upside value".
"We don't feel an urgency to explore further, as we believe it is more appropriate to create cash flow and focus on starting production," he says, but adds that there are 90 known vein occurrences and nearby drill targets on the 135 square kilometres of exploration concessions the company holds in the surrounding region.
The company is aiming to take its Strieborná vein into production by early 2015. The PEA study, due out later this year, will include the results of ongoing metallurgical testing, flow sheet design, concentrate marketing and mine planning.
Initial flotation testing has shown that the best overall grade recovery curve resulted in a silver/copper concentrate assaying around 5800 g/t silver and 25% copper at a 94% silver recovery and a 96% copper recovery rate.
As a result, the mineral explorer says that a simple two-stage flotation process will likely be used to make silver/copper concentrates from the deposit.
"It's going to be a tough year," says Pincus, referring to prospects for Canadian juniors.
"Early-stage exploration projects are not going to get a whole lot of attention, but more advanced projects like ours that require modest capital, have reasonable operating costs, and near-term production prospects likely will."
"We expect the value we are demonstrating will be reflected in our share price."