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Centenera Mining Corporation (TSXV:CT; OTC:CTMIF) is building a diverse metals portfolio with a focus on quality properties in Argentina. The company’s key projects are the Huachi copper-gold porphyry project, the Organullo gold project and the El Quemado tantalum-lithium project, all of which are in the mining-friendly Provinces of Salta and San Juan. Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri has implemented several important free market policies in the last year which promote foreign investment including the elimination of export duties.
Centenera announced the acquisition of the Huachi copper-gold project in Q1 2017. In total, the copper-porphyry system has been tested by 7 diamond drillholes, all of which intersected copper-gold mineralization. The best drillhole to date intersected 353.1 meters grading 0.49% copper equivalent1. Most importantly the deposit is open to the west and north where porphyry-style alteration is mapped at surface and untested by drilling to date.
“Our strategy is to accumulate high quality assets in Argentina; however, we don’t think that project accumulation alone will create value,” explained Keith Henderson, President and CEO of Centenera Mining. “Our goal is to move these projects forward and where appropriate we will do that with our own exploration team. In such cases, we will work towards an appropriate exit point for shareholders. In other cases, we will consider joint venture partnerships that will mitigate project risks and minimize dilution for shareholders while still maintaining a significant interest in each project.”
Centenera is led by a highly experienced team of successful resource sector professionals, including Henk van Alphen, who is a Director. His long-established network and expertise in Argentina have proven instrumental in helping the company identify quality projects and negotiate acquisitions.
- 100-percent Argentina-focused resource company with multiple projects:
- One copper-gold porphyry – the flagship project at Huachi
- One tantalum-lithium project and three precious metals projects
- Provinces of San Juan, Salta and Juyuy provide safe investment climates; Salta province is ranked #1 jurisdiction in Argentina with San Juan a close second (Fraser Institute 2016).
- Huachi has potential to be a significant copper-gold porphyry deposit.
- Organullo shows potential for bulk-mineable epithermal gold.
- Exposure to reliable commodities like gold and copper and well as speciality metals like lithium and tantalum .
- Seeking to acquire additional mineral resource projects in Argentina.
- Tight share structure with more than 60 percent of stock with supportive shareholders including Teck.
- Upside potential with extensive exploration databases throughout northwest and central Argentina.
Advanced Project: Huachi Copper-Gold Project
The copper-gold mineralization at Huachi is associated with a porphyry-epithermal system with extensive multiphase quartz-stockwork development. Despite a long history, the project was first drilled in 2006, with the discovery hole intersecting 199m grading 0.35% copper equivalent from surface. Several more drillholes were completed returning up to 353m grading 0.49% copper equivalent, but poor commodity prices ($0.90/lb copper and $450/oz gold) meant that drilling ceased in 2007.
Historical work completed on the project includes systematic rock sampling, detailed property scale mapping, an IP survey, and drilling. A total of 6,300 metres of drilling has been completed on the property exploring for copper-gold porphyry as well as gold epithermal mineralization.
Huachi is not a grassroots exploration project. Copper-gold mineralization has been discovered and the results of historical drilling indicate that the system is extensive and thick. Mapping at surface defines alteration and mineralization including a 1,400 metre X 850 metre >3% pyrite halo, suggesting that significant mineralization remains untested. Centenera intends to drill the Huachi project, attempting to expand the project size and ultimately to publish a resource estimate.
Advanced Project: Organullo Gold Project
Centenera’s wholly-owned Organullo gold project is located in the mining-friendly province of Salta, Argentina. The project lies near the town of San Antonio de los Cobres and is surrounded by excellent infrastructure including road, rail, electrical transmission lines and gas pipelines. The large property includes the small historic Julio Verne underground mine which produced copper, gold and bismuth in the late 1930s.
Potential for bulk-mineable epithermal gold deposit
An extensive historical exploration database does exist for Organullo which includes 44 drill holes over a total of 8,200 meters;1,500 surface samples and geophysical data. The historical drill results support the potential for a bulk-mineable epithermal gold deposit. Highlights from the results include 200 meters grading 0.47 g/t gold and 189 meters grading 0.66 g/t gold, both from surface using RC drills.
Surface sample results indicates a large alteration system with more than 7 kilometers of geochemically anomalous rock samples along trend.
Organullo has a JORC-compliant geological target size in the range of 600,000 ounces at 0.94 g/t gold to 94,000 ounces at 0.92 g/t gold, using a 0.5 g/t cut-off grade. Further exploration and geological modelling is planned to define a mineral resource estimate.
High priority exploration targets
A 2012 study conducted by GeoRes define four high priority target areas at Organullo with an initial program of 30 drill targets begin the process of exploration and resource definition.
Exploration Project: El Quemado
The El Quemado tantalum-lithium project is also located in the province Salta, about 80 kilometers west of the city of Salta. The 7,959-hectare project includes the small-scale historic El Quemado mine which reportedly produced niobium-tantalum concentrates with an average grade of 39.65 percent tantalum, 20.98 percent niobium and 61.46 percent bismuth.
Lithium primary exploration focus
A part of the El Quemado pegmatite field in the nation’s premiere Pampean pegmatite province, several known pegmatite occurrences are located within the El Quemado property. These occurrences are rare element class granitic pegmatites which is a spodumene (lithium) subtype. The Greenbushes lithium operation (Talison Lithium) in Western Australia is an example of this subtype; interestingly the world’s largest hard-rock lithium producer was once a tantalum producing deposit before lithium production began in response to growing demand for battery materials.
“Our primary focus at El Quemado will of course be lithium, but the potential to produce tantalum as was done in the past adds tremendous value especially given the growing demand for conflict-free tantalum from the global market,” stated Henderson.
Other Pipeline Properties
Mina Angela Gold Project
The Mina Angela gold project is located in the province of Chubut, Argentina and is 50 kilometers northwest of Pan American Silver’s Navidad advanced-stage silver exploration project. The 15,500-hectare property hosts epithermal gold mineralization and includes an underground mine which government records show produced 1.04 million tonnes of ore with average grades of 4.0 g/t gold, 48.4 g/t silver, 2.0 percent lead, 0.4 percent copper and 4.6 percent zinc between 1983 to 1992.
While the property remains largely underexplored, existing data from exploration conducted in the late 1990’s indicates the mineralized system remains open at depth and along strike, demonstrating the potential for expansion and new discoveries at Mina Angela. Significant drill intercepts include:
- 36 meters at 40.65 g/t gold; 1,773 g/t gold, 1.79 percent lead; 0.23 percent copper; 10.65 percent zinc;
- 2 meters at 6.69 g/t gold; 240g/t gold, 0.52 percent lead; 0.04 percent copper; 2.19 percent zinc.
Crosby Gold Project
The Crosby gold project is located in the province of Jujuy, Argentina. The property is contiguous with the Silver Standard’s producing Pirquitas Mine and is transected by the same northwest trending structure that hosts Pirquitas.
Keith Henderson—President, CEO & Director
Keith Henderson is a mining industry executive with more than 20 years’ experience throughout Africa, Europe, and North and South America. He was educated in Europe, graduating with B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. in geology and has extensive experience in multiple mineral deposit types and commodities. After several years in consulting roles, Henderson worked with Anglo American Exploration in Europe and North America, leading a number of exploration projects and ultimately he was project manager for Anglo Coal as the company made its first entry into Canada. In 2007, he joined Cardero Resource Corp. as Executive Vice-President, where he played a critical role in advancing the Pampa de Pongo through a positive scoping study and ultimate sale for US$100 million cash. Henderon is currently a director at Desert Star Resources and Remo Resources.
Hendrik van Alphen—Director
Henk van Alphen is a successful mining executive with 35 years of experience. He is the founder of Pacific Rim and Cardero Resource Corp and has a long history of project spin-outs and value-creation with early involvement in Trevali Mining, ITH Mines, Balmoral Resources and others. He has been directly responsible for raising $200 million in the last 10 years and has been closely associated with an additional $800 million in finance. He is highly experienced in South America (Peru and Argentina) and acquired Peru iron deposit for $0.5M and sold for $100M cash. Henk van Alphen is currently President & CEO of Cardero Resource Corp and Wealth Minerals and a director at Ethos Gold Corp.
Charles Straw —Director
Charles Straw is an economic geologist with over 18 years in the mining industry globally. He holds an honors degree in applied geology from UNSW in Sydney and has lead the exploration and evaluation of precious and base metals projects in Australia, North and South America and China.
Anne Labelle —Director
Anne Labelle is a geologist and a lawyer, working in mineral exploration and development (primarily in the Canadian Arctic) since the mid-1990s and, after being called to the bar in 2006 in BC, practiced securities law at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP before returning to the mining industry in 2008. Labelle is a graduate of Carleton University, with a B.Sc. (Honors) in Geology, obtained her law degree at the University of British Columbia, and is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia.
Stephen Pearce is a practicing lawyer who specializes in corporate and securities work. He serves as a director and officer of several resource related public companies. He has a law degree from the University of British Columbia and an economics degree from York University.