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Silver Viper CEO Steve Cope: Phase 2 Drilling Completely Focused on El Rubi Discovery
Silver Viper CEO Steve Cope joined the Investing News Network to discuss progress his company has made exploring its La Virginia project.
The company is currently working on the second phase of its drill program on La Virginia, which is 100 percent focused on discoveries made around the El Rubi zone. The company has recently begun drilling again at La Virginia, returning high-grade results including intercepts of 58.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 1,923 g/t silver over 1 meter, and 6.3 g/t gold and 1,071 g/t silver over 1 meter. Additional drill results have already been sent to the assay lab for review. Silver Viper expects to have the results back during the first week of February.
Silver Viper recently conducted its first round of financing following its initial public offering (IPO), which allowed the company to raise C$4 million. According to CEO Steve Cope, approximately 80 percent of the funding originated from new institutional partners, which he believes is indicative of a bull market in the gold industry. With roads, power lines and existing infrastructure surrounding the property, La Virginia has the potential to be advanced by an operator without the need for significant infrastructural upgrades.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Silver Viper CEO Steve Cope. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Steve Cope, welcome. Before we start, let’s tell everybody what your company name is, your symbol, and what markets you’re on.
Silver Viper CEO Steve Cope: Okay, my company is Silver Viper Minerals, we trade on the TSX Venture under the symbol VIPR and also on the OTC pink sheets under VIPRF.
INN: You primarily have a property in Mexico that we spoke about last year. What’s changed since we spoke here a year ago?
SC: What’s really changed over the last year is we’ve been focused on creating new targets on the project. We did a very large mapping and sampling program in the area where we made our discovery that we talked about last year. We’ve identified four new major anomalies that have never been tested, they’ve never been sampled, they sit in the general vicinity of where we made our discovery. Of course, I mean, within kilometers of the area where we made our discovery.
INN: Was that a surprise?
SC: Yes and no. I think the biggest surprise of the anomalies was what looks like a parallel major trend that sits about two kilometers to the east, and that caught us off guard. We didn’t necessarily expect to see that light up in the soils or in the sampling program.
INN: Those are nice surprises to have.
SC: Absolutely. More targets mean the potential for more ounces and that’s what gets the big guys interested.
INN: Where are we at right at the moment as far as the development of this property?
SC: We’re currently drilling our phase two on the project, it’s 100 percent focused around that discovery that we made at El Rubi, and we’re going to be adding a second rig to start testing some of these anomalies we’ve identified.
INN: So, the drills are in the ground at the moment?
SC: Yes, we actually just put out our first batch of three holes on Monday of this week and the drill started turning again on January 3. We’ve completed another four holes since those assays and that stuff is in the lab, so we are waiting anxiously on those results.
INN: How long do you anticipate it will be before you get those results?
SC: Typically, we’ve got about a three week turnaround time, and we like to release in batches of three to five holes. We don’t really know how long the assay lab takes, that’s the general average. So, I would expect the results probably to come out in the first week of February, give or take.
INN: Naturally you’re hoping for good results and you’re anticipating positive results. What will that do as far as your ability to then be able to actualize the project and turn it into an operating mine?
SC: Right now the way we’re focusing this exploration program is by systematically stepping out at 50 meter spacings and stepping back and adding to the depth component. We feel that is the appropriate level of spacing for us to bring in those ounces into a resource and start growing this project to where one of the bigger mining companies will take a look and say, “No, we want this in our portfolio. This is going to be our next mine.” That’s kind of how we operate — we take it as far along as pre-feasibility, and then we’ll vend it off to one of the big mining companies.
INN: As far as your fundraising efforts are concerned, do you have the funds now that you need to get to that point?
SC: Absolutely. In September, we did our first financing post-IPO. We went to the market looking for C$3 million, and we actually hard-capped it at C$4 million. We had a ton of interest; we turned back a lot more money and it was a good problem to have, but we didn’t want to dilute down where we were trading at. It was very exciting, it was different and I think it was a good sign that we are entering a bull market in our sector. Approximately 80 percent of it was brand new institutions participating, and it was absolutely fantastic. So, yes, we have the funds to do so. We could possibly do another financing this year but that would be based on success and expediting the drill program and adding rigs.
INN: So, let’s talk just a little bit more about the property. Where is this situated, and when it comes time to actually make it operational, what are the infrastructural elements that are in place?
SC: So, we sit about 220 kilometers east of Hermosillo in Sonora, Mexico. We can go all the way to about a half an hour away from the project along paved highway. The last town that we hit along that road is called Nácori Chico. From there it’s a well-kept dirt and gravel road that takes us right to the camp.
INN: And you plan to upgrade that road when you become operational?
SC: Yes, absolutely, whoever is operating at that point would certainly be upgrading that road. As we have success at El Rubi, there may be an additional option of adding a bit of road into that particular spot on the project. I think you would end up building the mill up on the plateau at El Rubi. There would be some infrastructure, but the government has recently added power lines right through the middle of the projects, and we have water year-round, so we haven’t had any issues that way as far as things that can be a headache when it comes to mining.
INN: Let’s also talk about that part of Mexico as a mining jurisdiction. What is your relationship with the government like? Because it is generally pro-mining there.
SC: Absolutely, I mean, Sonora is Mexico’s number one gold-producing state. I think it’s number two or number three as far as silver production in Mexico, so it has a very long history. I would say most of the major miners that operate within Mexico have a mine operating in Sonora state. It is the most prolific for gold and everyone loves gold.
INN: What is your number one message today to anybody who is watching this? What do you want them to take away from this interview that we’re having?
SC: Because we did a newer IPO in 2017, our name isn’t fully out there. It’s quickly getting out there and people are starting to hear about us and the main message is “Don’t wait too long to get our stock.” We just put out fantastic results including up to 6,000 grams silver equivalent in our first batch of assays here that we just put out, so don’t wait. This is a stock that is primed to go up a lot higher and if you’re interested in gold or silver exploration stories, I think this is one that people should really be looking at.
INN: Well, great. Thank you very much.
SC: Thank you.
This interview is sponsored by Silver Viper (TSXV:VIPR,OTC Pink:VIPRF). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Silver Viper in order to help investors learn more about the company. Silver Viper is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Silver Viper and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.
This interview may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, receipt of property titles, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The issuer relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements. Investing in companies comes with uncertainties as market values can fluctuate.