Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rob McEwen, Copper and Gold in Argentina: Minera Andes sees 2011 Los Azules prefeasibility study TNR.v, MAI.to, CZX.v, GG, AUY, ABX, NGQ.to, BHP, RTP


Chinese are circling the globe in their hunt for resources, Rob McEwen drills Los Azules like a Swiss cheese - we like this combination. Resources of this impressive copper and gold deposit in Argentina will be bigger, question is how much bigger. Small junior TNR Gold squeezed in between all these players on the chess board and reminds about its rights to the part of the property, famous litigators, Xstrata, Lundin family and Chinese Togling - are all in the picture. The outcome is highly leveraged to Copper prices, success in litigation and totally uncertain at the moment, hopefully next move will bring more clarity to all involved parties. Will Rob McEwen be ready to talk to the junior or he will be sided with Xstrata? In any case aggressive exploration program brings project into the spotlight and Rob McEwen is ready to draw a number in prefeasibility as early as next year now.
We are holding a position in the company and, please, do not consider anything as an investment advise on this Blog, as usual.




"We were jealous recently with agressive attitude of Premier Gold to the exploration, now Rob McEwen puts three rigs to drill Los Azules. Objective is to define high grade core in order to further improve economics and step out drilling to increase the deposit size. When you are drilling holes in the the swiss cheese, hopefully you will find cheese. We have a good odds that deposit will be increased further in size and we will have a higher definition of its resource. TNR Gold ("The Company) fully intends on exercising its back-in right to the properties at the appropriate time." - it means that stakes are growing with the Copper price and further drilling results. Deals like Tongling with China Railway Construction Corporation acquaring copper assets in Ecuador will bring Los Azules under the spotlight. Tonling is a shareholder in Canada Zinc Metals and CZX.v is a shareholder of TNR Gold. Boardroom games around this prize promise to be interesting."




Business News Americas:








US-based Minera Andes (TSX: MAI) aims to complete a prefeasibility study for its Los Azules copper project in Argentina roughly in mid-2011, CEO Rob McEwen said.
"It is about a year and a half out. But you will have some drill results probably late [in the northern hemisphere] spring, early summer, and some updated resource numbers," McEwen told BNamericas.
Upcoming work for the study will include 30,000m of drilling, he added.
Minera Andes is looking for ways to extend the drilling season at Los Azules, which runs just December-April due to the project's altitude. Los Azules sits at 3,000m, while the two passes used to access the deposit are in excess of 4,000m.
Tactics for extending the season could include an alternative land route, building an airstrip and having contractors leave the drills on site over the winter, McEwen said.
"All those will probably be executed next year."
Los Azules holds inferred resources of 922Mt grading 0.55% copper at a 0.35% cutoff for 11.2Blb (5.08Mt) contained. At a copper price of US$2.70/lb, a previous preliminary economic assessment estimated capex of US$2.7bn, an IRR of 22% and NPV of US$2.9bn.
Minera Andes secured its 100% stake in the project last October when Xstrata (LSE: XTA) decided not to exercise its 51% back-in right.
ADDITIONAL SANTA CRUZ PROPERTIES
The company is also working on exploration further south in Santa Cruz province, where it has a 49% stake in a JV with Hochschild Mining (LSE: HOC) at the San José silver-gold mine.
"Part of the problem in the past with Minera was that it didn't have 100% of anything that was worked on. So, my objective was to secure as many assets as we could, get 100%, and we could drive our future by exploring," said the CEO.
The plan for this year is to carry out geophysical exploration followed by drilling at three properties - Telken, Martes and Celestina.
"Around Telken, we're just looking for structure and mineralization similar to what we see at San José and what Andean [Resources (TSX, ASX: AND)] has found on their Eureka property. At Celestina and Martes we are looking for something like what Anglo[Gold Ashanti (NYSE: AU)] has at their Cerro Vanguardia property."
McEwen became CEO of Minera Andes in June 2009."
Post a Comment