Exploring and Developing High-Quality Copper-Silver Projects in Russia
This Azarga Metals profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Russia is not only known for its vibrant cities, rich cultural history and brilliant architecture. It’s also home to some of the most prolific mining districts in the world. According to a report issued by the Fraser Institute for Mining, the country ranks amongst the top 25 jurisdictions in mining attractiveness. That same report revealed that the country boasts an investment attractiveness rating above 70 percent, outranking notable European countries like Sweden, Norway and Spain.
Russia seeks to benefit from Europe’s green energy plans as a major contributor to the world’s precious and base metals, like silver and copper. With several high-quality mines and mineral deposits scattered near the country’s eastern border, active investors could see significant gains and economic success by investing in this European giant.
Azarga Metals Corp. (TSXV:AZR) is a mineral exploration and development company focused on its 100 percent owned Unkur copper-silver project in the Zabaikalsky province in eastern Russia. The project sits in a geographically advantageous region that shares a border with China and Mongolia.
Unkur leverages strategic positioning in a mining-friendly jurisdiction home to Udokan, the third-largest undeveloped copper deposit in the world. The flagship project’s similar geological structure has the possibility to mimic Udokan’s mineralization and copper-silver yield.
Azarga Metals acquired the Unkur copper-silver project in 2016 and quickly began its extensive exploration program. To date, Azarga has comprised mapping, sampling and ground magnetic campaigns. The company has also conducted two diamond drilling programs across 16 drill holes and 186 meters of channel sampling.
Unkur boasts excellent terrain and infrastructure with rich resource networks, like water, high-voltage substations and accessible highway and railway transportation lines. The 5,390-hectare land position has a relatively flat geological profile, which aids in mining and open-pit conditions.
In April 2021, Azarga released positive updates on the flagship project, announcing its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) study will consider various operating scenarios at Unkur, including a low capital and operating cost heap-leaching scenario. Consideration of these new methods creates the opportunity for lower capital expenditure and shorter timeline production for the company.
.The Unkur terrain is relatively flat at around 900 – 1,000m above sea level
The following steps for the company include planning its physical exploration program in the eastern part of Unkur, which it expects to commence in August 2021. The confirmed presence of extensive copper and silver mineralization at Unkur East in January 2021 from a geochemical surveying program demonstrates justification for further exciting exploration and development.
Azarga Metals Corp. has a proven board and management team with experience in Russian mining, capital markets and low-cost exploration. This leadership and its technical team prime the company for outstanding discoveries across Unkur’s potentially vast copper-silver resource.
Azarga Metals’ Company Highlights
- Azarga Metals Corp is a mineral exploration and development company focused on its 100 percent owned flagship Unkur copper-silver project in the Chara-Aldan area in eastern Russia.
- Unkur is a sediment-hosted stratiform copper-silver deposit with world-class discovery potential. Its current inferred resources hover 62 million tonnes at 0.53 percent copper and 38.6g/t silver grades.
- The flagship project leverages excellent infrastructure with power and water on-site and advantageous positioning less than 30 kilometers from the world’s third-largest undeveloped Copper project known as Udokan.
- Unkur East is relatively undeveloped and has limited exploration history, which gives Azarga an exceptional first-mover advantage in this mineral-rich region.
- The company has a solid and well-versed management team of top mining and finance professionals with proven track records of success.
- The neighboring Udokan Copper Project holds copper resources of 26.7 million tonnes (Mt) and is the 3rd largest undeveloped copper deposit globally.
Azarga Metals’ Key Projects
Unkur Copper-Silver Project
The flagship Unkur copper-silver project is a sediment-hosted stratiform copper-silver deposit located in the Zabaikalsky province in eastern Russia. The asset has a 25-year mineral exploitation license across 5,390 hectares and leverages access highways and railway transportation. Mining at Unkur is an open-pit conventional truck and excavator operation.
To date, work has comprised surface geologic mapping and geochemical sampling, approximately 130 line kilometers of ground magnetics geophysics, 4,580 meters of diamond drilling across 16 drill holes and 186 meters of channel sampling from four trenches. The initial results of this 2017 program revealed a maiden NI 43-101 resource estimate of 42 million inferred tonnes at 0.52 percent copper and 38g/t silver, containing 220,000 tonnes of copper and 52 million ounces of silver.
2020 exploration programs completed extensive drilling, metallurgy testing and geological modeling of mineralized envelopes. Recoveries reported up to 96.4 percent copper and 96.7 percent silver with leaching. Azarga remains very excited for new resource estimations and further development of this high-grade prospect.
Azarga Metals’ Management Team
Alexander Molyneux — Non-Executive Chair
Alexander Molyneux has over 20 years of metals and mining industry executive and financier experience. Since 2018, he has been the managing director and CEO of Galena Mining Ltd. Prior he was the CEO of Paladin Energy Limited, one of the world’s largest uranium companies, where he optimized its operating business and completed a US$700M successful recapitalization of the company and a re-listing on the ASX. Molyneux serves on several public company boards, including Ivanhoe Mines Group and Ivanhoe Energy, Argosy Minerals Ltd., Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd., Tempus Resources Ltd., Comet Resources Ltd. and AMWolf Capital Corp.
Gordon Tainton — President & CEO
Gordon Tainton is an experienced, successful business leader who, since the early 2000s, has held senior management and board positions in both public and private companies within the mining and extractive industries and physical commodity marketing. His project experience includes involvement with studies and development plans, trading, logistics, off-take agreements and project financing. Tainton also has significant expertise in project generation in the junior mining sector.
Tainton currently serves as a non-executive independent director on the board of Vancouver-based Northern Lights Resources Corp. and Metallum Resources Inc. He holds a BA from Simon Fraser University.
Dr. Alexander Yakubchuk — VP of Exploration
Dr. Alexander Yakubchuk has over 30 years of operational and executive experience in the Former Soviet Union, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Australia, Mongolia, China, Canada and several other European countries. He has been the director of Exploration of Orsu Metals Corporation since 2008.
Dr. Yakubchuk previously worked with and consulted companies such as BHP-Billiton, Norilsk Nickel, Goldcorp, Rio Tinto, World Bank and Inco and previously lectured as an Associate Professor Lomonosov Moscow State University for five years.
Dan O’Brien — CFO
Dan O’Brien is the CFO for several publicly listed exploration companies trading on the TSX and TSX Venture exchanges. He has over 15 years of experience in financial reporting for publicly traded mineral exploration companies and has held CPA & CA certification since 2007. O’Brien was previously a senior manager at a leading Canadian accounting firm specializing in the audit of public companies in the mining and resource sector.
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