Golden Arrow (TSX-V: GRG) Vice President of Exploration & Development Brian McEwen on the Recent Acquisition of the Atlantida Copper-Gold Project in Chile
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the Vice President of Exploration and Development for Golden Arrow (TSX-V: GRG)(OTC: GARWF), Mr. Brian McEwen. Brian, how are you this morning?
Brian McEwen: I'm doing well, Gerardo. How are you?
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Thank you for asking. We were talking off air a bit. You mentioned how busy the company has been. It's a tough market in the junior resource space for most companies, not for lack of effort. You've been busy and the most recent piece of news I think kind of speaks to that. You've now expanded into Chile with an agreement acquire a copper-gold project called Atlantida. Can we talk a bit about the project and why the venture into Chile?
Brian McEwen: Yeah, I'd be quite happy to. We've been looking at a lot of areas, we continue to look in Argentina. We've got some things on the cooker there. We've got some things in some other areas but Chile is very well known for its mineral wealth and on kind of my area you can advance these things pretty quickly and I've got a long experience of working in Chile myself.
We started working in and around that area and we're in and around Copiapó which hosts some of the largest deposits in the area. We did a lot of work and we found one area that had been explored by Inmet and First Quantum. They've got kind of an unofficial resource, not a 43-101 resource that they did. It's sizable and we went back and we looked at the drill core that they drilled.
I think they have 30,000 meters of core and we found a lot of things there that show that there's some higher grade areas in the scarn and in the limestones. So we started looking at that contact and we went onto the property and we did some surface sampling, got back some very good grades. So we started putting together the pieces and I think we've got something of very, very, very, very good potential. That's for sure with the resource that exists in there right now at Atlantida and in the stuff that we believe that we can prove up at a higher grade. Start putting these things all together, you've got a higher grade target so it's paying down the capital to develop the other things.
We think we got a pretty good business plan and there's a lot of other projects in the area that we could add as increments. So we're going to focus on that area right now as part of our main target for New Golden Exploration, the subsidiary under Golden Arrow.
Gerardo Del Real: Now you mentioned the historic resource. It's significant if you can find a higher grade center, because that historic resource is estimated to be about 427 million tonnes averaging 0.43% copper equivalent. You do need some higher grade to make that work but man, that's a heck of a head start and with your experience I got to imagine you're pretty excited to try to vector in.
Brian McEwen: Yeah. If you look the stuff that we've put out there, the higher grade scarn, it's only 40 million but it's already up at 0.7. And it's pretty much the extension of that scarn because that happens right at surface and so that's kind of what we're going to be targeting. We'll see what happens. Very excited to get on the ground.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. The flagship of course, Golden Arrow, the Grosso Group of companies, pioneers in Argentina. Can you provide an update there, Brian?
Brian McEwen: Yeah, well actually this Sunday is the ... is it this Sunday? No, the 28th is the grand opening for the Chinchillas operation, our joint venture with SSR Mining, Puna Operations. It'll be a big ribbon cutting ceremony and ceremonial things. Big chance to come and take pictures. That's running very well. I believe everything is on target. They've already taken some of the ore from Chinchillas over to Pirquitas and run through the plant. And so they've worked out a lot of the bugs and should be up and running here fairly quickly. I've kind of backed away from it, just kind of taking a look on the side but it's been going very well from what I've been able to see.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, congratulations are in order. I know that the silver price, obviously you have a lot of leverage to the silver price and we're stuck between that $14 and $15 an ounce price. I think anybody that's been in the resource space for any amount of time can see higher silver prices coming. Anybody that tells you exactly when that's going to happen is lying. Nobody really knows but I think we can all see it's in the cards that you provide great leverage to the silver price.
But the exploration has to excite you with this new venture into Chile and the other targets that you have. You also have a new target at the Antofalla silver-gold-base-metal project in Argentina. Can we talk a bit about that, Brian?
Brian McEwen: Yeah, I'd be happy to. But just one last thing on Puna is that when the silver price came down the lead and the zinc prices were going up pretty high. You saw zinc go from $0.80 up to a $1.50 and lead up by quite a bit. 20% of the value at Puna is in the lead and the zinc. We did see it not performing so badly when you saw price of silver go down. But now that all three have come up. But I am with you on that, Gerardo, I believe the metal prices will come up.
Antofalla, we put out the results last month or the month before. We were happy to get the results at Antofalla and we're considering what we're going to do next. One of the things that as a junior company you're faced with is these projects that you can only operate six or eight months which is what happens in these high Andes projects. That's the case with Antofalla. We've got some interest from other companies right now. We're trying to think of where our money will best be spent. Right now we're kind of more focusing on the new project in Chile and so we're considering what our options are on Antofalla. It does look like that does have the potential to host a major deposit.
Gerardo Del Real: Well you got a lot of irons in the fire. Is there anything else that you'd like to add, Brian?
Brian McEwen: Yeah. I would like to add is that we have been very active, as I said, in Chile and I think in the coming months you're going to see some more news come out about some other projects advanced and some a little earlier stage. I think really we've done a quite a good job by taking our time and evaluating these other opportunities as they've come along in kind of a down market. I think in the long run it's really going to pay off.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic, well said. I look forward to having you back on. It's great catching up. I'm excited to see what the approach is going to be when you finally get some program details in Chile on that Atlantida project. I think it's interesting.
Brian McEwen: Yeah, I'm actually heading down to Chile on Saturday and we're going to a kick off meeting. This is going to be our exploration plan and everything's going to go from there.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Brian, thanks for your time.
Brian McEwen: Gerardo, always a pleasure and any time you want to talk, I'm happy to speak.
Gerardo Del Real: Chat soon.