Restarting the Fully Permitted High-Grade Copperstone Gold Mine
This Arizona Gold profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Arizona Gold (TSX:AZG,OTCQB:KERMF) is an emerging American gold producer advancing the restart of production at its wholly owned, fully permitted Copperstone high-grade gold mine in Arizona. The southwestern state consistently ranks among the top 10 most attractive mining jurisdictions in the world.
Arizona Gold reached a significant milestone in January 2020 by way of receipt of a Decision of Record approving the Mining Plan of Operation for Copperstone. With the final permit now in place, the company is on track to begin production within 12 months subject finalizing of a project funding package. Arizona Gold as announced on February 28, 2020 has a US$25 million project funding package in place with Sprott Private Resource Lending LP subject to achieving defined project milestone in 2020. The extensive existing infrastructure on-site at the past-producing Copperstone project is of significant values as it translates into what will be a very modest amount of capital currently estimated at US$20 Million to bring the mine back into production.
The Copperstone mine land package remains underexplored within a 50 square kilometer area, represents potential to grow the current resource and proven a probable reserve. Arizona Gold is maximizing that potential through a targeted two-phased drill program. The Phase 1 drill program completed in 2019 demonstrated the high-grade nature of the gold mineralization at Copperstone with step holes that indicated higher grade and thickness than initially anticipated with one drill intercept returning 16.8 meters of 40.0 g/t gold, including 3 meters of 98.26 g/t gold.
Arizona Gold raised C$3.9 million and plans to commence a Phase 2 drill program of up to 10,000 meters in 2020 for purposes of extending the current mine life while also testing the exploration upside and the multi-million ounce potential of the Copperstone. Additionally, the company plans to conduct advanced detailed engineering and project optimization which is expected to further enhance the mine’s economics.
Arizona Gold’s management team is stacked with proven mining professionals and capital market veterans experienced in creating shareholder value at all stages of project development which includes Giulio Bonifacio who was the founder and CEO of Nevada Copper from 2005 to 2018 until his retirement which in 2019 completed construction of the first copper mine in the United States in the past decade.
Arizona Gold’s Company Highlights
- Fully permitted, near-production gold mine in premiere mining jurisdiction of Arizona.
- Existing mine infrastructure representing over US$80 million of value reduces capital for the restart of operation to less than US$20 million.
- Aiming to commence commercial gold production at a rate of 600 tpd to produce up to 40,000 ounces of gold within 12 months of concluding a project funding package.
- Advanced metallurgical testing program with plus 95 percent recovery.
- Considerable resource and reserve upside to further optimize project economics and mine life.
- Commencing Phase 2 of well-funded resource expansion and exploration program.
- Management with proven technical expertise in optimizing mines and achieving profitability.
- Tight share structure with 35 percent held by directors and insiders; 36 percent held by family offices and funds.
Arizona Gold’s Copperstone gold mine
Located in La Paz County, Arizona, the Copperstone mine property covers 50 square kilometers (12,259 acres) within the Walker Lane mineral belt at the intersections of the gold provinces in southern California and western Arizona. Together, these provinces host a total known gold endowment of over 40 million ounces of gold. Historical production at the Copperstone mine occurred between 1987 and 1993, totaling nearly one-half million ounces of gold through open-pit mining.
Acquired by Arizona Gold in 2014, Copperstone is a fully permitted high-grade underground gold mine with over US$80 million in mining and processing infrastructure already in place. The existing infrastructure includes a 69kv power line and substation, three water wells, offices, a laboratory building, permitted tailings facility, processing facility and mill. Underground infrastructure includes 4,300 meters of underground development, two portals as well as electrical, ventilation, water management and compressed air.
The US Bureau of Land Management approved the Mining Plan of Operation for Arizona Gold’s Copperstone mine by way of a Decision of Record on January 23, 2020.
Copperstone has a published NI 43-101 mine life of 4.5 years which on completion of Phase 1 drilling is currently estimated at 6 years with an ultimate target of 8 years. The Phase 1 drilling program in 2019 totaled 5,000 meters of drilling.
2019 Phase 1 resource expansion drill results
2020 Phase 2 resource expansion
The planned 2020 Phase 2 drill program is anticipated to include up to 10,000 meters of drilling aimed at increased the current mine life to 8 years plus testing exploration targets to test the multi-million ounce potential. Arizona Gold also plans to further advance detailed engineering and project optimization for purposes of the restart of commercial production.
Arizona Gold’s Management Team
Giulio T. Bonifacio — CEO and Director
Giulio Bonifacio has over 30 years in senior executive positions in the mining industry. Bonifacio is the founder and was the CEO of Nevada Copper since its inception in 2005 until 2018. He has also been instrumental in providing over $700 million of capital to projects of merit while having led the efforts at every stage of development from exploration, production, permitting and construction. He is a CPA with extensive experience in the capital markets, securities matters, project finance and M&A. He held senior roles with Getty Resources, TOTAL and Vengold.
Fahad Al Tamimi — Chairman
Fahad Al Tamimi is a Saudi-based businessman with global investment activities. Previously, he was President and CEO of SaudConsult, the largest engineering firm in Saudi Arabia responsible for many large infrastructure and construction projects in the country. He was also a 50 percent partner of Worley Parsons Arabia, which undertook major infrastructure projects in the oil & gas, energy and a mining project worth over $5 billion in Saudi Arabia.
Claudio Ciavarella — Vice Chairman
Claudio Ciavarella is a Professional Accountant receiving his designation in 1994. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business and Economics, where he graduated Honours with Distinction. Ciavarella is a private business owner with over 25 years experience in the Construction, Real Estate and Manufacturing Industry.
Martin Kostuik — President and Director
Martin Kostuik is a mining engineer with 25 years of experience. Kostuik joined Arizona Gold as President and Director in April 2017. Previously, Kostuik spent over 8 years with Barrick Gold at the Goldstike Mine. He also worked in operations, engineering, exploration and capital projects with Taseko Mines, DMC Mining Services and Luna Gold. Kostuik was CEO of Rupert Resources where he was responsible for building the company through investment opportunities as well as corporate growth. Kostuik has a BSc in Applied Science, Mining Engineering from Queen’s University and an MBA.
Dale Found – Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Found has more than 30 years of international accounting and finance experience, of which the last 13 have been spent in progressively more senior roles within the mining industry. He has significant experience both in corporate and mine site operational finance, having been part of the senior leadership team at Nevada Copper Corp. that positioned the mine for the final construction phase.
Peter Damouni — Director
Peter Damouni has over 18 years of experience in investment banking and capital markets, with expertise in mining and oil and gas. Throughout his career, Damouni has worked on and led equity and debt financings valued over $5 billion. He has comprehensive experience in equity financing, restructuring, corporate valuations and advisory assignments.
Ayman Arekat — Director
Ayman Arekat has over 35 years of strong banking, finance, investment and business management experience gathered while working with global institutions. Arekat has been part of such organizations as Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Investcorp and Abraaj Capital and as an independent businessman. He is currently the managing director of Tamimi investments.
James McVicar — Director
James McVicar is a lawyer with over 20 years’ of specialized experience in corporate finance and corporate/commercial matters for natural resources companies. Earlier in his career, McVicar worked for a number of years at the Ontario Securities Commission. McVicar obtained his law degree from the University of Alberta and holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Queens University.
David Thomas — VP Projects and Mine General Manager
David Thomas is an Engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the mining industry, specifically in constructing and moving mines into production. He has held key roles in constructing mines such as the Kupol Mine for Bema Gold (now Kinross Gold), Fort Knox and Kubaka mines for Kinross Gold, Kensington and Palmarejo mines for Coeur Mining, Hope Bay for Newmont and Pogo and Red Dog for Cominco (now Teck Resources).
Michael R. Smith — Technical Advisor
Michael Smith is a Registered Geologist (SME & Arizona) and senior executive with over 38 years of exploration, development and operations expertise. Previously, Smith was Chief Mine Geologist at Barrick Gold’s Goldstrike Mine and General Manager of Development and Exploration in Peru. He was the Founding CEO and President of Continental Gold and at Vulture Peak Gold where he was responsible for bringing the Arizona gold mine back into production. Smith graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University (B.Sc.) and has an M.Sc. in Geology.
*Disclaimer: This profile is sponsored by Arizona Gold (TSX:AZG). This profile provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Arizona Gold, in order to help investors learn more about the company. Arizona Gold is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this profile.
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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 Arizona Gold and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.