Exeter Resource (TSX:XRC; NYSE-MKT:XRA; Frankfurt:EXB) is fast-tracking development at one of the largest gold discoveries made in Chile in recent years. The wholly-owned Caspiche Project is located in the emerging world-class gold province of Maricunga, which hosts several important deposits held by the world’s major mining companies. Caspiche is a unique deposit which includes an oxide gold zone above a higher-grade gold-copper core.
Exeter is working to bring the project into the feasibility-stage by the end of this year in preparation for a production decision. Based on the 2014 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), which outlined a range of low-capex mining opportunities, the company is planning for staged production beginning with a modest-scale heap leach operation generating cash flow to fund larger scale open pit/underground mining of the gold-copper zone.
“Our ability in today’s market to focus on advancing the 1.7 million-ounce gold oxide open pit is sensible and achievable,” said Co-Chairman of Exeter, Yale Simpson. “Importantly for shareholders, with future elevated gold and copper markets, we believe the value of the very large Caspiche gold-copper inventory will be a strong value driver for Exeter. Caspiche is unique, representing one of only a few scalable development projects that is not yet controlled by a major company.”
Exeter initiated a feasibility-level work program in February 2017, which includes 6,000 meters of drilling and metallurgical test work. A large majority of the feasibility-level engineering work has been completed. Most importantly, the company has secured critical access to water supply through a water option agreement so that it can better fast-track the project while awaiting the Chilean government’s approval of its water rights application.
The world’s leading copper producer, Chile consistently ranks as one of the most mining-friendly nations in the world. The South American nation has a deeply rooted mining culture, large pool of skilled labor, and a stable government committed to transparent permitting processes.
Exeter Resource management and board members have a long track-record of success, and decades of experience in the mining industry. Exeter Co-Chairman Bryce Roxburgh was involved in the discovery of Caspiche as well as the Cerro Moro deposit in Argentina. Caspiche was spun out into Exeter Resource in 2010, and Cerro Moro was acquired by Yamana Gold via the takeover of Extorre Resouces for C$414 million in 2012.
Mark Smith, Senior Technical Advisor, has nearly four decades of experience in the design, construction and operation of heap leach facilities; most recently as heap leach design coordinator on the definitive feasibility study for the Coffee Gold Project in Yukon. He also has extensive experience in the Maricunga region of Chile including the Maricunga mine, Marte Lobo and Cerro Casale. Jerry Perkins, VP Development and Operations, has more than 40 years’ experience in mining and metallurgy, specializing in project development, feasibility studies and operations management.
- 100-percent control of advanced-stage, development-ready project with feasibility-level work underway and secured water supply.
- Unique gold oxide, higher grade gold-copper core, large scale gold-copper deposit.
- Measured & Indicated Mineral Resources: Oxides 1.7 million ounces of gold equivalent and Sulphides 37.9 million ounces of gold equivalent.
- The proposed project has a very low strip ratio (0.27:1) and favorable gold recoveries.
- 2014 PEA shows low CAPEX, strong economics.
- Share Structure: Management holds 10 percent; Institutional shareholders hold 35 percent; Sun Valley Gold largest shareholder with 14 percent.
- Stable mining jurisdiction of Chile.
- Managed by a team of industry experts with a track record of success; 3 significant discoveries in the past decade; Extorre (Cerro Moro, Argentina) taken over by Yamana Gold for C$414 million or C$4.26/share.