Advancing a Copper-Gold-Silver Deposit on Argentina-Chile Border
This profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
Filo Mining Corp. (TSXV:FIL, Nasdaq Stockholm:FIL) has a 100 percent interest in a major new development project called Filo del Sol located in the Andes along the Chilean/Argentine border. It is a large copper/gold porphyry system overlain by a high-sulphidation epithermal copper-gold-silver deposit.
This upper copper-gold-silver deposit has been the subject of independent resource estimates, metallurgical testing, and a preliminary economic assessment with a view towards developing it into a producing mine.
- Indicated resource containing 2.8 billion pounds of copper, 4 million ounces of gold and 109.9 million ounces of silver; and
- Inferred resource containing 1.4 billion pounds of copper, 2.5 million ounces of gold and 60 million ounces of silver.
This is considered a large-scale deposit; the size of which is typically held in senior mining company portfolios. What is particularly exciting about this project is that these estimates are just the beginning. They represent only the upper epithermal oxide deposit and sulphide zone and do not include the massive copper/gold porphyry system below. Furthermore, roughly only 25 percent of the prospective acreage hosting Filo del Sol has been explored to date.
Please view the independent technical report for full details and disclosure on the resource estimate (https://www.filo-mining.com/assets/docs/reports/FDS_PEA_TR_Dec_18_2017.pdf).
The same Lundin Group team that discovered Filo del Sol has been working in this part of the world for many years and has had great success in Alumbrera, Veladero, Josemaría, Los Helados, etc. Of interest, the most recent discoveries – Josemaría and Los Helados (held in another Lundin Group company called NGEx Resources Inc.) and Filo del Sol – are located between two prolific mining belts known as El Indio and Maricunga. These two mineralized belts that run along the border between Chile and Argentina have yielded some of the largest mines the world has seen. It had previously been thought that there was a gap between these two belts and that the districts were separate, however, Filo del Sol and the other discoveries by the Lundin Group are proving otherwise – which is highly significant for the future growth of the area. Filo Mining Corp. and NGEx Resources Inc. virtually control all of the prospective land in the “gap” between the two belts.
Drilling will continue at Filo del Sol, with the objective to further expand the known resources and also potentially include some testing of deeper targets. Another objective of the ongoing drilling will be to provide additional data to facilitate continued upgrading of the company’s Inferred resources to the Indicated category as Filo Mining moves into its next important stage: Pre-Feasibility Study.
The metallurgical test programs on the Filo del Sol deposit have been carried out in three phases. The third, most comprehensive phase, was conducted by SGS Minerals’ independent laboratory in 2017 on samples from several different zones of mineralization within the deposit.
Four types of mineralization were tested: gold oxide (AuOx), copper-gold oxide (CuAuOx), high-copper M zone (M-Cu) and high-silver M zone (M-Ag).
A conservative approach was taken in applying the metallurgical recoveries from testwork to the financial analysis used in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the deposit. A 3.0 percent reduction was made in moving from column test results to estimated operating recoveries. A 10.0 percent reduction was made where estimated recoveries were taken from bottle roll test results.
What all these numbers mean is that the initial metallurgical testing confirms that Filo del Sol is amenable to low cost heap leach processing.
These numbers and many other considerations were factored into a PEA that was recently completed on the Filo del Sol project. The PEA contemplates the development of Filo del Sol as an open pit mine utilizing heap leach processing of the ore.
Preliminary Economic Assessment
SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. carried out an independent PEA on Filo del Sol. The results were excellent and show it to be one of the most exciting development projects in South America.
Filo del Sol PEA Highlights (considering only the oxide portion of the resource):
- A $705 million after-tax NPV using an 8 percent discount rate and an IRR of 23 percent
- Pre-production capital cost of $792 million, including $71 million in capitalized pre-stripping
- Average annual production of approximately 50,000 tonnes of copper, 115,000 ounces of gold, and over 5 million ounces of silver per year
- Life of Mine revenue split approximately 56 percent copper, 26 percent gold, and 18 percent silver
- Robust resource, with most of the mine plan derived from Indicated Mineral Resources (79 percent)
- Open pit mining followed by heap leach processing to produce copper cathode and gold-silver doré
- Excellent metallurgy and fast leach kinetics provide unique processing opportunities
It is a large project and robust in a variety of metal price conditions: standard open pit mining with the opportunity to process ore utilizing simple low cost heap leaching, excellent early metallurgical results, no deleterious elements and ample resource expansion potential.
Below is a summary of the Filo del Sol project and PEA results.
The next phase for Filo Mining is to complete a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on the project.
The Company is headed by Adam Lundin, President & CEO, and as Filo Mining moves into PFS, he will, in Lundin Group style, continually look for opportunities to optimize the mine plan, costs and efficiency. Building on the already large copper-gold-silver resource will always be a priority. Filo del Sol is open for expansion in several directions and the Company has barely scratched the surface in terms of the exploration potential across its 17,666 hectare land package.
Adam brings a recognized legacy and years of international finance and capital markets experience to Filo, complementing the Company’s strong technical team. He is well placed to lead Filo Mining through the next phase of its growth into a significant copper, gold and silver producer. Early in his career he worked at a number of mining companies around the globe before moving into finance and ultimately becoming co-lead of Pareto Securities highly-successful London office.
His technical and corporate team include the following:
Wojtek Wodzicki has a doctorate in Geosciences from the University of Arizona and over 30 years of experience in international mineral exploration and corporate management. He has led successful exploration teams throughout the world, and has managed large scale projects from the generative stage through to engineering studies. Teams led by Wodzicki are responsible for several significant discoveries including Los Helados, Josemaría, Filo del Sol and El Limon-Guajes. He has worked for the Lundin Group since 2007 and was previously CEO of Filo Mining and Sanu Resources and has served as a director of several public companies. He is President, CEO and Director of NGEx and was responsible for the spinout of Filo Mining from NGEx.
Bob Carmichael—VP Exploration
Bob Carmichael joined the Company from the UK office of Lundin Mining Corporation, where he was General Manager, Resource Exploration with oversight of all near-mine and resource definition exploration activities. Prior to joining Lundin Mining, he acted as Vice President, Exploration for EuroZinc Mining Corporation and held executive positions and directorships for several other Canadian exploration companies operating internationally. He has also been a director and first Vice President of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia and sat on the technical committee for Geoscience BC. He currently also serves as the Vice President Exploration of NGEx Resources Inc.
He is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of British Columbia, holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of British Columbia and has 29 years of experience in public company management and international mineral exploration.
Jamie Beck—VP Corporate Development and Projects
Jamie Beck has more than 15 years of international project management and corporate development experience. He also serves as the Vice President, Corporate Development and Projects of NGEx Resources Inc. Prior to joining Filo Mining and NGEx, he worked in corporate development with Lundin Mining. His focus is on project development, corporate strategy, acquisitions, divestments and joint ventures. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario, holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.
Paul McRae has a distinguished global reputation in project and construction management in the mining industry for both surface and underground projects of all scales and complexities. He was most recently responsible for the successful development of Lundin Mining Corporation’s Eagle Mine in Northern Michigan. His track record includes on time/on budget project management of major underground investments for INCO including the McCreedy East, Garson and Birch Tree projects, serving as Project Manager on the highly successful De Beers Victor Project in Northern Canada, and leadership of numerous other projects from conceptual through construction phases in Australia, Canada, Spain, Portugal and South America, over a career spanning more than 40 years.
Pablo Mir practices in the area of natural resources law with a focus on mining. He is a senior partner of the Chilean law firm Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana, one of the largest in Chile, where he leads the natural resources practice. He has advised international mining companies on the exploration, development, financing, construction, and acquisitions of mining projects in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. He has been recognized by specialized legal publications as one of the top mining lawyers in Latin America. He received his Law Degree from Universidad de Chile and was admitted to practice in 1989.
Ashley Heppenstall is the Lead Director of the Board of Directors of Filo Mining Corp. He previously served as the President, CEO and Finance Director of Lundin Petroleum AB. Early in his career, he worked in the banking sector where he was involved in project financing of oil and resource sector businesses. In 1990, he was a founding director and shareholder of Sceptre Management Limited. Since 1993 he has worked with public companies associated with the Lundin family. In 1998 he was appointed Finance Director of Lundin Oil AB. Following the acquisition of Lundin Oil by Talisman Energy in 2001, Lundin Petroleum was formed and he was appointed President and CEO in 2002 until his retirement in 2015. He obtained a degree in Mathematics from Durham University. He is also a director of Lundin Gold Inc., Africa Energy Corp., Etrion Corp., and ShaMaran Petroleum Corp.
Internationally recognized leader and financier in the resource sector. Legendary ability to see opportunity and add value. Has lead multiple companies to achieve enormous success through exploration discoveries, building mines, developing oil fields and negotiating multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions.
The Lundins love the business they are in and take seriously their contribution to the materials and resources that people around the world need and want. It’s an ever-changing and ever-growing world and they enjoy the opportunity to get to know and invest in local communities and see innovative technologies that make peoples’ lives easier or more efficient. They understand that, in the end, this business is ultimately all about people, be it the investors, the consumers or the communities they operate in.
Over a decade ago, the Lundin Family started a Foundation with a mandate, among other things, to work with all of the Lundin Group companies around the world to help establish and support new sustainable local businesses in the areas the companies operate in. Lundin Group companies and other partners contribute to the Foundation.
As an example, at a project in Ecuador, Fruta del Norte, held in another Lundin Group company called Lundin Gold Inc., the Foundation partnered with local Lundin Gold employees who wanted to start their own catering business. The Foundation supplied the initial investment and technical assistance during the start up. Since 2015, the company, called Catering Las Peñas (or CLP), has offered food preparation, cleaning and laundry services to Fruta del Norte. In just over two years, 150 jobs have been created. The partnership has had a significant positive economic impact on the local region. Local agricultural producers are now integrated into the catering supply chain, which has boosted the economy and has generated important sources of stable employment. Lundin Gold was recently given an award by the UN for Best Practice for Sustainable Development.
There are many more great examples and Filo Mining Corp. intends to carry on in this tradition and build upon the excellent Lundin Group reputation.
The Filo del Sol Project has all the right Lundin Group ingredients: large resource, low cost so that the project works in a variety of foreseeable metal price environments, robust economics, opportunity to add significant value, and a jurisdiction that works.
Backing of the Lundin Group. Lundin Family as the largest shareholder. Large institutional investor ownership.
Right management team to achieve objectives: history of success and a proven track record.
Right timing: copper and precious metal demand is strong and growing yet investment on the supply side has been lacking. Filo Mining recognized this opportunity and invested, drilled, and added value while most other companies were inactive. The Company is now in a position to move forward quickly as the markets continue to turn.
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