Cordoba Minerals (TSX-V: CDB) CEO Mario Stifano: Drilling in Colombia Hits More High-Grade Copper-Gold and Visible Gold
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is President and CEO of Cordoba Minerals (TSX-V: CDB)(OTC: CDBMF), Mr. Mario Stifano. Mario, thank you for joining me this afternoon.
Mario Stifano: Thank you, Gerardo, for inviting me.
Gerardo Del Real: I wanted to have you on, you had a big news release today. You released some results. The headline reads, "Cordoba Minerals Announces Additional High-Grade Copper-Gold Mineralization at the Alacran Deposit in Colombia." Initially the market received the news very well, you were up 8% to 9% early morning if I'm not mistaken. Then mid-morning I think the US markets turned over. It seems like all the copper stocks specifically got hit hard and that included Cordoba. But the news release, it doesn't take away from how positive that was, so I definitely wanted to go over the drill results, what you're seeing and what the next steps are. Let's talk about the actual release, some very, very good copper numbers, some decent gold numbers. Can you go over the details with me?
Mario Stifano: Yeah, thank you. The way Cordoba likes to do our drilling programs, we like to do a whole program and then release the results in batches. We're not a typical microcap junior that does one hole at a time. What we want to try and do to the market is tell a story.
With this release what's become very clear here is we do have a high-grade deposit at Alacran, we appear now to have a gold zone, potentially multiple gold zones at Alacran. It's a north-south trending zone with crosscutting east-west zones. We hit quite a bit of high-grade gold and high-grade copper in multiple holes. What's really interesting from an open-pit perspective, all the mineralization that we hit starts near surface and it's all within the open-pit resource envelope that we currently have at Alacran.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. The other really interesting part to this news release is that you also hit another intercept. We don't have assays yet, I'll caution everyone, but you did have some more visible gold. Can we talk about that? Because the last time you saw that you registered 0.9 meters of 4,440 grams per tonne gold, 10.25% copper and 24.7% zinc. Just throw in 347 grams per tonne silver for kicks, right?
Mario Stifano: Exactly.
Gerardo Del Real: Obviously, everybody hopes for those kinds of numbers, nobody expects them again. The bottom line is, you found some more visible gold in an area which I believe is about 150 meters from this last intercept. Is that accurate?
Mario Stifano: That's correct. We're hoping it's good karma here because where we hit the 4,000 grams was in hole 36, and this visible gold is in hole 63, so the inverse. Hopefully that's a good indication of good karma for what we're seeing at Alacran. Yeah, we did hit some visible gold. We don't have any assays back as of yet. It was actually one of the last holes we drilled. It was great timing to put into the news release.
Hopefully within the next month or so we'll get assays and get that out to the market. Typically when you see visible gold you get good assays. Fingers crossed that we get something that the market's really going to like and zero in on again like they did on hole 36.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Those CBM veins, you now have traced those for over a 400 meter structural trend. Is that correct?
Mario Stifano: That is correct. We've got everything from the 4,000 gram hole at hole 36, hole 9 on the northern part is 30 grams. We have some other intercepts between 11, 9 grams, 7 grams. We've got quite a bit of hits now with these Carbonate Base Metals veins. Every hole that we're drilling at Alacran is allowing us to better understand this ore body because this is complex, and I've said it from the very beginning. The more complex an ore body is the better likelihood of having a world-class deposit here.
At Alacran now, in the news release you'll see that we mention the dyke and the diorite intrusion. This is becoming a key feature for us and a key thing we're going to follow up down plunge because a lot of high-grade is related to this dyke and a lot of the high-grade is around the artisanal mines, where of course these artisanal miners have been mining for 30 years and where we hit hole 36 with the 4,000 gram hit. Now what we need to do and prepare ourselves for is some deeper holes around this village area, which we haven't done as of yet, and trying to follow where this mineralization is coming from. Because what we're hoping here is it will lead us to the porphyry.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful. I understand that we're waiting for assays on hole 63, that's the hole in that area that had the visible gold. Approximately how long do you think, Mario, to get those assays back? Are we talking a month, a month and a half, a little less, a little more?
Mario Stifano: Yeah, usually it takes about a month. We just drilled the hole, so the core has to get cut and sent in. In Columbia it's taking us three weeks minimum and up to four weeks to get assays back. From there you've got compile your news release and do all your images. I think we're about a month away. Hopefully we'll try and get it out sooner than that. Obviously if we can get it out earlier we would love to do that and get this out to the marketplace. As soon as we get some good results out there we'll make sure we get it out to the marketplace.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. The news release also mentioned that you'll be drilling deep holes around that area, right around the artisanal mine workings.
Mario Stifano: Correct.
Gerardo Del Real: Obviously you're looking for that source of the higher grade gold and copper mineralization. What can you tell me about that? How deep are those holes? Or is that still in the planning stages right now?
Mario Stifano: It's still in the planning stages. The diorite and the dyke is a key feature, a structural feature, that appears to be a structural control for the high-grade copper and gold. The Carbonate Based Metal vein is a source of mineralization that crosscut all this. It all seems to be coming from the sub-vertical dykes and diorites. For us, we've really got to start understanding how it's happening at depth because Alacran is a replacement system and for the geologists out there, typically when you get these replacement systems there is a porphyry nearby.
We're hoping and we're anticipating that potentially the porphyry is sitting underneath this village area, where all these artisanal mines are, just from what we're starting to see in the core and the grades that we're starting to see in the core in this area. That's why we really want to focus now on a couple of deeper holes here. We're not just going to stop at the deeper holes, we see potential for offsets at Alacran to the north and the south based on a lot of the geological work we've been doing. Some of those targets will be drilled as well. There's a lot more to come we believe at Alacran.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful, wonderful. You mentioned those other targets and I have to talk about them, because I think they're important. When I went and visited the property you were very excited about following up at Costa Azul and at Montiel West and East. Can we talk a bit about those targets?
Mario Stifano: Yes, great question. Costa Azul is two kilometers east of Alacran. It's an important target for us because not only is it east of Alacran, but we drilled a hole there two years ago, it was around 80 meters of 0.6% copper and 0.5 grams gold, and it's a porphyry, but hasn't really been followed up. We just drilled one hole there and hopefully again we'll get some assays out on that in the next month.
That hole, Costa Azul to Buenos Aires trend, is about a three kilometer trend. We're seeing signficant geophysical targets. In addition to that we're seeing quite a bit of outcropping. As we're walking the ground we've noticed some outcropping bornite veins. Again, from a geological perspective bornite is almost about 60% copper by weight, where chalcopyrite is around 33% by weight.
As you move further south to Buenos Aires there is some artisanal miners now that have started to mine some outcropping on top of a hill, where we can see the chalcopyrite and obviously they're recovering gold. We're getting really excited about this porphyry trend. Cordoba hasn't really focused yet on the porphyries because a lot of focus has been on Alacran, but as the year progresses we're going to be spending more and more time not only in Alacran but more and more time now starting to drill these porphyry targets. From a shareholder perspective, an investor perspective, I've said this many times, once we find these porphyries all bets are off on what the potential valuation could be for Cordoba.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. The grades are getting better. To provide some context for people that aren't familiar with the property, Costa Azul is to the east of Alacran. If I'm reading the release right it seems like the copper grades are getting better in that direction. Is that accurate?
Mario Stifano: Yeah. We drilled a lot of these current holes on the eastern end of the deposit. Yeah, we hit some great holes above the resource grade, which is 54 million tonnes at 0.7% copper and 0.37 grams gold. A lot of the higher grade was around this village as well, that's why this whole focus of what's going on in this area is a critical target for and why we want to do some deeper holes here now.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Turn around time on the next drill program, obviously you're going to need some time to regroup and put everything together. I know it's complex, complex in the mid to long term is always a good thing as you mentioned, all the world-class deposits tend to be that way. How long do you think before the next drill program starts?
Mario Stifano: We're planning on doing what we call our think tank, where we bring all the best geologists. Robert Friedland and his team and our team, they spend about a week going through all the drill results, looking at all the targets and then planning the next phase of drilling. That's planned to happen in the first week of June.
From there we'll start launching our next drill program. We're still going to have drills active on site as we continue to drill up, but what we really want to do now is start finding where these high-grade sources are for the CBMs, which we've already hit some, where the potential porphyries are related to Alacran, and that whole Costa Azul to Buenos Aires trend where we want to start putting some holes.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. Mario, I want to thank you so much for your time and the update. I think it's an important one and it sounds like the rest of the year is going to be a busy, busy time for Cordoba and for HPX, your partner on the project.
Mario Stifano: Exactly. From an investor perspective what you want to see is a junior explorer that's constantly putting money in the ground, looking for the deposits and looking to grow their deposits. That's what Cordoba is all about, we're not a junior that just sits in markets. We're actually doing real work here in Columbia.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. To that end, could you remind everybody what the burn rate is and your cash position, because of course HPX is putting up the majority of the money. Your G&A I understand is minimal. Can you give us a little context there on that end of it?
Mario Stifano: Yeah. Cordoba still has over a million dollars in cash, which allows us to fund ourselves to at least until the end of the year, and into 2018. We don't need to raise any capital for the year. We're in fantastic shape, no dilution from that perspective.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Mario, lots of news flow coming up. Hopefully we have you back on here within the next month or so as we get those assays, and of course any time that you have visible gold it's fingers crossed, wait-and-see type of situation, but obviously exciting.
Mario Stifano: Exactly, exactly. We're excited, really excited. Let's see what those assays come back as.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you, Mario.
Mario Stifano: Thank you, cheers.