Cordoba Minerals (TSX-V: CDB) CEO Mario Stifano on Latest High-Grade Results at Alacran and Timetable for an Updated Resource Estimate
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, how are you?
Mario Stifano: I'm doing really well, Gerardo. How are you?
Gerardo Del Real: I'm excellent. Thank you for asking. It's good to catch up, it's been a few months. I know that you were anticipating the 15 assays that you reported this morning, and I appreciate you taking the time to chat about those. The headline reads, "Cordoba Minerals Receives Additional High-Grade Intercepts from the Alacran Deposit in Colombia." A couple of the goals of the program, one was to step-out and demonstrate continuity of the copper-gold mineralization, and it seems like you've achieved that. You're still getting high grades, you're hitting near surface, and you're expanding the Alacran deposit, which is exciting. Can we start there?
Mario Stifano: Yeah, exactly. We spent quite a bit of time planning this drill program, because the objective here was to try to understand the limits of the Alacran deposit, as well as do some infill drilling. We've learned a lot about Alacran from this deposit, including where there's additional potential in Alacran. So if you look at Hole 70, which is one of the most important holes here, basically what we identified in Hole 70 is that the Alacran deposit is open to the northwest, continues to be open down-dip. And then we also identified within that hole a new style of mineralization, which is high-grade gold with cobalt. And you know, we scratched our heads when we saw the high-grade cobalt, where we got 1.13% cobalt. And it's basically showing up in epithermal veins, a brand new style of mineralization that's crosscut the main Alacran deposit. Very similar to what happened in the central part of the Alacran deposit with the bonanza gold grades that we hit in Hole 36.
So we're really starting to understand a little bit more about Alacran, it's a very complex system, which is great because as I've said many times, when you get these complex systems, they're usually big systems. So Alacran is proving to us that it's a very interesting deposit. In the southern part of Alacran when we had our previous Hole 66 that showed Alacran continues to the south, we drilled some more holes to the south, and again we've been able to extend the mineralization up to 200 meters from the previous resource shelves.
So from an investor perspective, Alacran is looking really interesting. You know, we can look at our prior resource, we had 54 million tonnes at 0.7% copper and 0.37 grams gold. We're really confident here with all the drilling that we've done, it's over 50 holes since the prior resource, that we have a good shot here of increasing the size of that resource, that is going to, we hope, make Alacran the obvious to investor perspective to be an economic deposit. I mean, you got a low strip ratio deposit here, high grade, right in the middle of infrastructure. You got roads, you got power, you got a workforce, you've got communities that are in favor of open pit mining. There's mines all around us. This is a real mine here, this is not a play. This is a real mine that we think has a shot to go into development.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Now I understand that drilling is halted for the time being and you're going to resume after the New Year, but you've also got an important catalyst coming up in that resource estimate. When can we anticipate one, more drilling, and two, that resource update?
Mario Stifano: Well, first we want to now model all these holes, which is going to be a critical part of the resource update. And we anticipate having that out in the early part of Q1, so some time end of January, middle part of February, somewhere in that timeline is what we're targeting. And that is going to be a very important catalyst for Cordoba, and the market and investors because if we can demonstrate that we have grown the prior resource by some good size. You know, somewhere around that 75 million tonne range, I really don't know what the resource will be because we're working on it now. But you know, anywhere from 65 to 80 million tonne range, you've got a really healthy deposit here, that I think every mining company would die to have because you just run economics on that. You know, at 54 million tonnes we had over 1.1 billion pounds of copper, around 2.5 million ounces of gold equivalent. You increase that by 30 to 50%, you've got a really sweet deposit, especially when you factor in that this is a one to one type strip ratio, two to one type strip ratio here. Mineralization starts right from surface. You've got a high-grade core. This has got a good shot to go into development and production.
Gerardo Del Real: And just to be clear, that target for that resource update is Q1, so sometime in January hopefully?
Mario Stifano: Sometime in end of January, early February.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, excellent. Mario, how is the treasury?
Mario Stifano: Well, let me answer your other question in terms of restarting the drills.
Gerardo Del Real: Yes.
Mario Stifano: I think after that resource update, you know we're going to try and determine where the deposit remains open, because we do know it's open to the northwest. We know it's open down-dip and there's some potential extensions in the center part of the deposit we still need to test and drill. We'll probably start that after the resource has been released.
And then in terms of treasury, we're in really good shape here. You know I think we've got good enough treasury until sometime in the second quarter of 2018. And then at that point, as every exploration company needs to do, we'll opt to go to the market. But keep in mind we've got a very large shareholder in High Power Exploration, which is Robert Friedland’s private company, which is very, very well-funded. So you know, we're one of the lucky juniors that we really don't have to stress about raising capital because of our backers.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Well we talked a bit off air, it's a tough time of the year for a lot of companies, tax loss selling season has really, has frankly hit the stock pretty tough. I think it's an excellent candidate to shoot back up here after the New Year. It's definitely, definitely an interesting speculation. Mario, is there anything else that you'd like to add?
Mario Stifano: Yeah. Look guys, I think you're bang on. You look at what's happened in the sector over the last few months, a lot of the junior players are down, 30, 50, 60%. A lot of the high flyers. This is the time to accumulate. You accumulate when things appear cheap, not when things appear expensive. If you're big believer in gold recovering in 2018 into 2019, if you're a big believer in the new technologies in terms of electric vehicles where copper is going to play a key component. We see some huge shortfalls in copper supply hitting 2020 and 2021. You're likely to see a run up in copper prices well before then, which should help a company like us, Cordoba. You know, we discovered cobalt in our deposit and this is the first time I'm even aware of any economic grades of cobalt being hit anywhere in Colombia.
Just reinforces this northern part of Colombia is quite unique from everywhere else, and we control this whole northern part. It's 200,000 hectares of ground. I’ve said many times we've just started scratching the surface of our district here, and over time we're going to find more and more of these kind of prospective areas. And hopefully, Alacran is not the only deposit that we will have discovered. Our hope here and our expectation is there's going to be a few more Alacrans here and a few more porphyries to be found in our district. So, this is still the beginning of a very long-term story, but if you're a true believer in copper, you're a true believer in the management team, such as myself and Friedland, that could really advance the project, this is where you really want us to try and put some of your money into.
Gerardo Del Real: Alacran is a heck of a start, Mario. And I completely agree, if you can take a mid- to long-term view and you're a contrarian, this is the time to accumulate stock. You don't want to chase it when it's $1.00, $1.50, unless it's justified. It's much better to buy it at $0.45, which I think is where it's at, if I'm not mistaken, right now.
Mario Stifano: Exactly. Yep. I agree.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Mario, thank you again for your time.
Mario Stifano: Well, thank you again, Gerardo. I really appreciate it.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking forward to having you back on in January, February for that resource update.
Mario Stifano: And so am I. Hopefully it'll be a good news story, which we expect.
Gerardo Del Real: That's the expectation. We'll see. Thanks again, Mario.
Mario Stifano: Thank you.