Condor Blanco (ASX: CDB) is a Chilean explorer & developer with copper, gold, IOCG, iron projects which are distributed across several mineralized belts. The epithermal gold-silver and copper-gold projects are located to the west of the major mining city of Copiapó in northern Chile.
Managing Director Glen Darby is in Questions & Answers today with Proactive Investors.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: What is the delay with diamond drilling results from Carachapampa? Are they being held back?
Glen Darby: There's no way I want to hold the assay results back, we're as keen as investors are to see them. The holdup is purely with the Chilean assay company. What's slowing the process is that the lab needs to cut the core in intervals of around 10 centimetres (6 inches), along around 400 metres of each hole.
The cutting of the core is a painstaking process and we really didn't expect this to take so long. For future core processing and analysis, we have now purchased a diamond core cutter so our local geologists can cut the core on-site during the drilling of each hole, this will save us a heap of time. We are expecting the results from the assay company very soon, possibly this week.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: I understand the drilling rig has been moved to the lower Gold Iron tenement. Where are we up to with that?
Glen Darby: We started drilling 7 June with the view of initially drilling two test holes to around 500 meters each. If we see mineralisation (which we're expecting of course), we plan to continue with a more extensive program in July. A third hole is planned moving the rig to deepen one of our better RC holes to 400-500m.
We're expecting encouraging results in the first hole, which is now completed, as it's right on the outer edge of our target prospect. The second hole on the other hand (which is now underway) should be more interesting. We hope to have no. 2 completed in less than 2 weeks from now and assay results 2-3 weeks after that.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Is the strategy to attract interest from a mining major given the proximity to discoveries and mines?
Glen Darby: Yes, especially on our large scope copper porphyry targets such as Yeratas and Gold-Iron.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Exploration to date at the Carachapampa Project looks promising, identifying a large high-sulphidation epithermal system. What are you hoping for there in terms of the big picture?
Glen Darby: In this area of Chile if we find what we are looking for it will be enormous. We have similar mineralisation to that of our neighbouring La Coipa mine owned by Kinross and the Chimberos Mine owned by Kingsgate.
Carachapampa, interestingly has gold porphyry mineralisation at depth related to the gold-silver epithermal mineralisation at surface; this system is similar to Exeter's Caspiche project. Carachapamapa as an area in whole is intriguing with a number of targets.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Are you planning any other drilling programs over the winter?
Glen Darby: During winter, we will concentrate on the projects at lower altitude. Gold Iron drilling is continuing. The snow at higher altitude will melt over September enabling us to take advantage of the entire drilling season from early October to May 2014.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: What is the progress with the Marianas Tailings project is this still a high priority?
Glen Darby: Yes, we're very focused on moving ahead to production. Following our trench and pit sampling program, we're now initiating a detailed recovery report suited to secure the off take agreement. This should be completed in three weeks.
As we are funding the development of the project through to production, we need to complete all the pre-production business planning.
Look, this will be a simple materials handling process of funnelling the tailings into a series of three magnetic separators.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: What are the reasons for delays in production?
Glen Darby: Marianas is at lower altitude and now that winter is upon us we are concentrating efforts here. A new, separate production team is being assembled to develop and manage the operation. We also need to finalise permitting and install machinery on the processing site.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: What is the approach to monetising production of concentrate from the Marianas Project and are there currently buyers for the concentrate?
Glen Darby: The resulting concentrate will be sold to local purchasers at the gate. We're finalizing negotiations on price now based on the bulk sample concentrates we processed at the Higuera Tailings Re-Treatment operation at La Serena that resulted in an iron concentrate up to 63%.
We're still planning to upscale from 5,000 tonnes per month to 30,000 tonnes per month which could relate to around $1,000,000 per month. This is exciting for a junior miner, and yes, it's a high priority for us.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Condor Blanco's exploration tenements are surrounded by world class copper and gold discoveries and mines operated by majors such tenements surrounded by existing mines of Kinross, Barrick, Exeter, Andina and Kingsgate. Have there been discussions with any of these companies on tenements owned by Condor Blanco?
Glen Darby: We have a lot of interest in joint venturing some of our projects from several of the top global mining groups. There has been substantial interest in Yeratas and Gold-Iron our Copper targets with a number of field visits and confidentiality agreements in place. We hope to advance discussions further in the near term.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Issued capital is not large at 119 million ordinary shares, what percentage would the top 20 hold?
Glen Darby: 30%.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: What are the prospects for Condor Blanco for the rest of the year?
Glen Darby: Look, we're very excited with our prospects moving forward, even with the resource stocks and commodities being trashed of late. We're in a strong position as a junior exploration company and although as an explorer we are always looking to increase the tempo of exploration, if you compare us with the market.
We only have a small issued capital compared to our small market cap of around $3 million; so really, there's only upside from here. Investors should feel comfortable with were we're heading.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Why should investors consider an investment in Condor Blanco?
Glen Darby: You have to remember, Condor Blanco is surrounded by huge mineral discoveries and operational mines. Once the Tailings program kicks in, we will have strong cash flows to continue and broaden our exploration program (without dilution), which is really where we want to go. So go buy some stock, at these levels, CDB is undervalued in my opinion.
PROACTIVE INVESTORS: Thank-you Glen.
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