Almadex Minerals (TSX-V: AMZ) CEO Morgan Poliquin: Channel Sampling in the Villa Rica Zone Confirms Another Copper-Gold Porphyry System at El Cobre Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is CEO of Almadex Minerals (TSX-V: AMZ)(OTC: AXDDF), Dr. Morgan Poliquin. Morgan, thank you for coming on.
Morgan Poliquin: Well, thank you very much for having us on once again.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, you released some news on April the 10th, and I wanted to have you come on to explain it to the average non-geologist like myself. Now, let me read the headline to set it up a bit. It reads, "Almadex reports 14 meters of 1.57 grams/tonne gold from channel sampling in the Villa Rica Zone, El Cobre Project, Mexico." Now most people don't have the kind of background that you have, Morgan, but if you could please explain why this news release is so important, especially on the heels of the upcoming drill program of that Villa Rica Zone.
Morgan Poliquin: Well thanks for that opportunity. This Villa Rica Zone is a good distance away from where we've been reporting some really exciting news from August of last year and onwards in what we call a Norte Zone. It's a couple kilometers away and obviously that's a significant distance. And we've found an outcropping, which we reported earlier, porphyry mineralization, which is very similar to what we're drilling up in this Norte Zone. So what it means, it confirmed by these channel samples, which are more continuous samples, and again they're restricted by where you have rock that's outcropping, but nevertheless, the results are really significant in terms of gold mineralization and it shows definitively that in this quite separate part of the property from where we're drilling, we have significant mineralization. It's not defined in terms of where it goes to depth, we have to drill to do that.
But what it says in a nutshell is we have multiple targets on this property and in the Villa Rica Zone we always felt we had the indications of another porphyry system, but now we've proven it and the pictures at the end of this news release for the geologically inclined are really important because they definitively show the type of textures that are somewhat unique to porphyry systems, the stockwork quartz veining we call it. And that is the thumbprint of a porphyry system. So all told, we found a new zone that wasn't previously understood and we look forward to drilling it very much.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Now when I go through the results, I see that there's a lot of gold, obviously you have, you know, up to 1.91 grams/tonne, less copper. And the news release goes on to explain that the exposed mineralization is oxidized so any copper that had been present had likely been removed through the weathering process. Can you explain that a bit.
Morgan Poliquin: Absolutely, happy to do so. Copper is very susceptible at surface to that green color that you see on the top of buildings and so on. That's an oxide of copper and what happens eventually if copper minerals are exposed to the air as they become soluble and wash away. Rain is slightly acidic and it's acidic enough to be able to dissolve copper and eventually wash it away in the presence of oxygen and air and so on. And so basically the exposures near surface very often, particularly in this kind of weathering - dry and wet season weathering we have here - right at surface the copper is removed and so all the rusty red that you see in the pictures in the news release show that quite clearly.
So the sulfide minerals that originally were the original minerals that brought the copper into the rock, they've been broken down and what you have left is rust with the copper gone. So we don't know what the copper grades were in this material, but we expect with drilling we'll be able to define that and that's the path forward to understanding what we really have here. And what we see in the property is that copper does go with gold in pretty significant quantities at the Norte Zone. So the expectation would be that the copper has been downgraded just through the natural weathering process, and moreover what we see in this property is that the weathering is just a pretty thin skin, that surface. So drilling will of course tell the true story when we get to that stage.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Now the 8 channels that were taken, I understand those were taken in an area roughly like 90 x 50 meters, is that correct?
Morgan Poliquin: That's right, yeah. The outcrop were distributed over that area so what we mean by that is that this is the area where rock is actually exposed and we don't know what's in between but certainly there's significant area over which these rocks are exposed. And again, they're indicating real porphyry mineralization and textures.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. So just to summarize the project, the El Norte Zone at El Cobre has two rigs turning right now, is that correct?
Morgan Poliquin: That's right.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. And Villa Rica, when can we expect a drill to start turning there, Morgan?
Morgan Poliquin: Yeah, we're still prospecting and I think we have obviously drill targets pretty well defined through these outcrops but I think we'll do a little bit more prospecting to ensure that we fully understand to the best we can before we start drilling. But ultimately the way this will be figured out is through drilling and I would expect it's possible that next month would be a sensible time to get in there and start with the first drilling. But there's some logistical things but as soon as possible we'll be there.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, and in the meantime, I imagine before the end of the month hopefully we have some assays from El Norte, new assays.
Morgan Poliquin: I expect so, yeah. As you well know, Gerardo, given your heritage, there's quite a significant time away from work over the holiday, the holy week here, Semana Santa, so we have a little bit of a break for our crew respecting family first here and so everyone will be back at work next week and we fully expect that'll allow us some time for the lab to get caught up with assays. We shipped rocks off. So I would expect very soon we'll be able to report some more assays on the Norte Zone drilling.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Now in the meantime, Morgan, you have a portfolio of very, very prospective properties. I think the fact that you've had such success in being a project generator and then making discoveries at 100% owned projects, you did it with Ixtaca in the Almaden days and now you're doing it with El Cobre here with Almadex. But can you go over the portfolio that has properties that are still available and the ones that are actually joint ventured out, because there is some interesting property there including the Willow property, which I'm hoping to visit at the end of the month, that you recently joint ventured or optioned to Abacus.
Morgan Poliquin: Oh, thank you for that. Well we've been prospecting in Mexico and Nevada for many years and we have, we think, some very good ideas. What we like to do is prospect in pretty poorly understood terrains, meaning where's there's opportunities to make new discoveries and where there isn't a lot of competition. There's not a lot of competition in regional exploration in any event. But in the case of Mexico, we're focused in what we call Eastern Mexico, for lack of a better term, and that's what I did my PhD on. We think we understand the geology in that part of the world better than really anyone by virtue of all the years we've spent there and our research there, and we have a portfolio of properties that are similar geology to that where Ixtaca is located so, you know, gold and silver veins and similar to El Cobre where there's potential for porphyry.
So that prospecting has resulted in a number of projects we've been able to acquire and, you know, obviously we're pretty focused on El Cobre right now. And hence we've done joint ventures to put more irons in the fire. One of the properties we like a lot is actually in Nevada where we did a large regional program kind of along the similar vein to Nevada's pretty well known for Carlin type deposits and then younger epithermal veins. But there's actually deposits that were formed in between those two ages that are porphyry high sulfidation gold systems which are pretty exciting to explore for. And we feel that that's what the Willow system represents and the evidence is pretty good for that and there's some great targets to find. And we feel very pleased to be working with our partner there, Abacus, who are moving towards doing a drill program to test those targets, really good porphyry explorers.
I think it's a broad portfolio and in the bad market that we've had for the last few years these kinds of early stage properties don't get the attention they really merit. And as with El Cobre, we hope to create value through the drill rig whether with partners or ourselves over time here.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Well I encourage everybody to go to the website. It's almadexminerals.com for a great overview of all the projects including what's becoming a very important discovery I believe at El Cobre.
Morgan, I want to thank you very much for your time.
Morgan Poliquin: Hey, thank you. I really appreciate being on as always.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Enjoy the holiday. Have a great weekend, Morgan.
Morgan Poliquin: You too. Cheers, bye.