Even the best of miners have been getting terribly beaten down in today’s market, especially silver miners and streamers. I’d rather look how far AURYN/AUMC have progressed to overcome hurdles since 2015. This is still a very speculative stock and shareholders have quite a few years ahead before their is a good idea of how the market will value AUMC. While it is true Hochschild has suffered from the depressed silver prices, they are a mid-tier miner of both gold and silver with most mines in Peru and Argentina. They are not much different than other mid-tier miners looking to close deals on prospective properties and build reserves.
Will the first step of the anticipated LDM project follow Dr. Sillitoe’s report and recommendations, which are from his visit to the property last year? What is the likelihood that Luciano Bocanegra would have put this property in front of Dr. Jannas for possible interest? Both Bocanegra and Jannas had worked for Hochschild in the past. Surely it was Dr Jannas that had presented the LDM project to Hochschild Mining Plc. Would Dr. Sillitoe,s review of the property, all data reviewed, and report not have been a deciding factor for Hochschild to move forward? It is logical to think so. The LDM has a long history, but little in the way of modern exploration and mining. To review a few of the more recent events, 2017 was a most interesting year.
The ADL Project announcement January 2017 was quite comprehensive and informative. Very significant progress and results were reported from the Larissa adit. This was right after AURYN opens a 42m section of the high grade gold vein in the Larissa Adit and then things again began to get real quiet so far as exploration and mining. It was at that point it was announced that starting in February (2017) a district wide exploration and analysis on the Fortuna and the Las Dos Marias targets would begin, both of which had remained virtually untouched in years. Additionally, Dr. Raymond Jannas was engaged to serve as a geological consultant for the following six months to evaluate all the targets on the ADL Project, including the LDM. Dr. Jannas had previous employment as Vice President-Exploration & Geology by Hochschild Mining Plc.; This was after working for eight years at Gold Fields Limited where he served as Worldwide Project Generation Manager between 2006 and 2007. Also interesting, early in 2015, Luciano Bocanegra was brought in to AURYN, whom also coincidentally, had worked earlier for Hochschild Mining PLC as a Senior Geologist (also a couple of years for Rio Tinto).
The following month (March 15, 2017 through March 19, 2017), Dr. Richard Sillitoe was contracted to review Auryn’s exploration data and tour the property at the Alto de Lipangue. Auryn CEO, Maurizio Cordova, and consulting geologist, Dr. Raymond Jannas, accompanied Dr. Sillitoe. It was requested that Dr. Sillitoe produce an evaluation report of the Altos de Lipangue Mining District for Auryn. The report was for internal purposes to provide Auryn’s team with a fuller understanding of the diverse geological structures found at the ADL. It was expressly used strategically to plan the future business plan for development of the entire project; This included exploration, exploitation and the possibility of bringing on additional partners with the requisite expertise specific to each project.
The LDM actually has a long history, but little in the way of modern exploration and mining. Much of the early preliminary stage exploration of the LDM has already been completed. Many will recall that only 2 of 8 originally planned drill holes under ACA Howe were sunk at the LDM before money ran out.
Some may even recall this excerpt from a 2012 MEDINAH MINERALS, INC., Las dos Marias Property Update, May 3, 2012:
Exploration was carried out under the supervision of A.C.A. Howe International, Gordon House P. Geo., and Paul Jones, Mining Engineer with DM 99-02 encountering a significant high-grade gold intercept at the 68-meter depth. Specific assay values are reported as follows:
Meters Gold/g/t Silver/g/t
68 to 69 61.77 38.2
69 to 70 122.20 54.2
A.C.A. Howe International re-sampled these sections and reported as follows:
“Note: one extremely high-grade, 2-meter interval with individual samples yielding 61.77 and 122.2 grams gold/tonne, respectively was returned from DM 99-02 between 68 and 70 meters. A.C.A. Howe re-assays of the secondary sample in this interval yielded 455 grams gold/tonne across 1 meter, indicating the probable nugget nature of the gold mineralization in this interval.”
Paul Jones, Mining Engineer, submitted a follow-up mining/exploration program for
DM 99-02 that proposed sinking a shaft to the high-grade intercept to extract an estimated $1.4 million average gold containment at that location. This estimate was based on $380 per ounce gold prices. With current prices at $1,600 per ounce, the dollar value of this projected gold recovery has been significantly enhanced.
Paul Jones based his estimated gold recovery values on a zone in the quartz vein
15 meters long by 35 meters vertically.
Anyway, back around 2011-2012, instead of a shaft, an adit 40 meters below the top of the mountain was undertaken to reach the so called “glory hole” first encountered by Howe in the drill hole designated DM 99-02. Recounted below is part of one of DOC’s posts describing results of the adit effort:
SERNAGEOMIN came along and said “no can do” as far as sinking a shaft from surface to the 68 meter level. They said you need to come in from the side of the mountain at about 1,280 masl and drift a horizontal adit to serve as a ventilation/safety adit. When they got to the point where they intersected the 99-02 hole at about 40 meters or so depth from surface they then sunk an internal vertical shaft/winze to go after the 68 meter level goodies. Along the course of the horizontal ventilation/safety adit they found all kinds of goodies and ran into several preexisting “Spanish tunnels” which revealed truckloads of information probably analogous to a fair amount of vertical drill holes.
The vertical internal shaft/winze got to the 68 to 70 meter level and revealed a lot of goodies. They reported on what they found in the first 10 meters of their “Level 70” workings which headed to the NE. Then AMC got involved and everything got real quiet.
The announcement of a binding LOI with Hochschild on August 22 was the first significant news shareholders have heard recently since the reorganization and name change. On Oct 7 AUMC announced:
Phase 1 concludes on Friday, October 12, 2018. Phase 2 will begin on Monday, October 22, 2018, and we expect a Phase 3 to be completed prior to the end of 2018.
The aim of these first phases is to establish the targets for drilling in early 2019.
And from the Q3:
As of the date of this Disclosure, Hochschild is currently working on the LDM property, and at their request, the Company has granted them an extension to sign the final contract on or before December 15th 2018
Perhaps Hocschild wanted to complete phase 3 to avoid any unexpected surprises.
From the LOI, “An aggressive work plan is scheduled to take place and the short-term goal is to have the property ready for drilling to begin in early 2019.”