CEO Morgan Poliquin Discusses Almadex's Recent Copper-Gold Porphyry Discovery at El Cobre's Norte Zone
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is Almadex Minerals CEO, Morgan Poliquin. Morgan, thank you for joining us today.
Morgan Poliquin: Thanks for having me on again.
Gerardo Del Real: You've been very busy recently. We got news on August the 8th that you had discovered a gold-rich porphyry system at the Norte Target at the El Cobre Project in Mexico, which looks to be what could be potentially a significant gold-rich discovery. What can you share with us about the results?
Morgan Poliquin: It's the first hole into this new area that ... We had some past drilling there that gave us some indications, but this is the first time we really drilled something into this zone. While it's early days, I think what we can say is that there's significant gold with the copper mineralization. Porphyry deposits tend to be large volume copper deposits with or without gold. Obviously, here, there's a lot of gold, so it's quite exciting. As much as it's early days and we've got a lot of drilling to do, we've got very good reason to do that.
Gerardo Del Real: Morgan, I'm excited. Anytime that you're drilling, it's exciting. Almaden had news last week, as well. Obviously, you're not unfamiliar with this part of Mexico. You did your thesis on this if I'm not mistaken, correct?
Morgan Poliquin: Yeah. We feel like we have pioneered and championed this part of Mexico. For simplicity's sake, we call it Eastern Mexico. That's half the country, obviously, but what we mean by that is a very specific area where there's some very important geological things happening that have basically developed some gold and silver deposits, as well as copper and gold deposits. There's two different types of deposit potential here we're looking for in Eastern Mexico, and Ixtaca is more of the gold/silver type, and this is the copper/gold type. Of course, porphyry deposits, as I said before, they can be quite significant deposits.
Very early days here, but the number one gold producer in the world is actually a copper deposit. That's the Grasberg deposit in Indonesia. They're very big targets and, of course, they take a lot of drilling to fully understand, but this is an outstanding and very exciting start.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. There's two things about the news release that really excited me. The first part is the 163.5 meters of 0.68 grams per Tonne gold and 0.29% copper. That was actually down to only a depth of 317 meters if I'm not mistaken. Is that correct?
Morgan Poliquin: That's right, and we're drilling from ... It's an angle hole at -55, which essentially means that vertically it's only about 100 meters down that we're getting this stuff, and there's no reason why it can't come through the surface. In fact, we'll be seeing if it does with shallower drilling in this very area. That's right. This is an area that's poorly explored. We acquired this project in 1995, I believe, and it's been a long time coming. We've had a number of partners, and finally, we got the property back 100% in 2013, and now we're excited to be drilling in this area. The last hole that was in this area was a very shallow hole that ended in 40 meters of lower grade than this, so we decided to drill a deeper hole in that area, and this is what we've hit.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. The second part that's exciting to me is this was drilled in what's called the Norte zone, but this is actually one of four porphyry centers, if I'm not mistaken. Is that correct?
Morgan Poliquin: That's right. It's a large area of what we call alteration where the hot fluids that bring in the copper and the gold cook up the rock. It's just a huge area. Within that, we've identified four different areas where there's copper, gold in either soils or in some cases, like this one, we had even some drill results. This is just one of four areas within this very large area of alteration. We think it indicates the potential for the other areas, as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful. What can shareholders and potential shareholders expect as far as the drilling program for the rest of 2016 as it stands now? Obviously, it's evolving.
Morgan Poliquin: It is evolving, and we are currently designing how we're going to follow up on this first hole. We're deepening this hole right now just to get some more information out of the hole and see where alteration changes in three dimensions and that sort of thing, but I think while we want to be, first of all, understanding if there's any trend to the mineralization, we then want to follow it up with a real definition drilling program with the aim of developing a resource. The nice thing about porphyries is that they tend to be fairly high volume deposits. Obviously, that's the hope here, and very quickly, once you understand any orientation or trend, which you have to be careful to understand first, you can start to really drill them off, as it were, quickly.
Gerardo Del Real: That sounds great. I'm excited for assays, obviously. Are we anticipating those in the next 3-4 weeks? Any timeline guidance there?
Morgan Poliquin: Yeah. We have assays in the lab, so we expect very shortly for additional assays to come out of this hole that we've already announced, but further holes, we're still drilling on this hole from which the announcement came from. Over the next weeks and months, we expect to be complementing obviously the results that have come out so far with new ones.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Obviously, the discovery is exciting, but for those that aren't familiar with the Almadex story, can you share with us a little bit about the robust portfolio of properties that you have under the Almadex banner?
Morgan Poliquin: Delighted to. Thanks for the opportunity. Look, we started looking in this Eastern Mexico area, and as I say, right back to the mid 90's, and we identified some real potential for new deposits and happily Caballo Blanco was our first discovery a partner made on the other half of El Cobre, and that really started showing the potential of this belt. That's now roughly a million ounce heap leach deposit, which is owned by a company listed in Canada. We have a royalty on it. Then we need the Ixtaca discovery, and that really solidified our understanding of the potential.
In 2015, as we developed Ixtaca, we decided that the 20 other projects in the company, Almaden at the time, really needed to have a separate focus on them as Almaden focused on Ixtaca and its development towards making a production decision, so those 20 projects went into a new company, Almadex, which was for the benefit of the Almaden shareholders. All the shares in Almadex were spun out to Almaden shareholders at the time, in August last year. The first thing we did was to get back to our plans, which are to drill our identified projects, and this was the first one we started drilling on earlier this year and delighted to have this kind of success already in the program.
Gerardo Del Real: Morgan, luck seems to follow you around with the drill bit. We're excited to hear results from the discovery, and I can't wait to see how it develops as the year progresses.
Morgan Poliquin: Thank you very much for the opportunity. Us as well, and I appreciate your having me on the show.
Gerardo Del Real: Hopefully you're back on soon to talk about new results.
Morgan Poliquin: Look forward to it. Thanks so much.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you, Morgan.
Morgan Poliquin: Take care.