Peru is a prolific producer of both gold and copper. In 2019, it was one of the largest gold producers in Latin America, with an output of 128.4 metric tonnes. Even more impressively, Peru was the world's second-largest copper producer that year, with a copper-mining output of 2.4 million metric tonnes, and it hosts 13 percent of the world's copper reserves. It is no surprise that major companies are focused on this mining-friendly nation, including Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD), Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO), Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), Hudbay Minerals (NYSE:HBM,TSX:HBM) and many more. As the majors focus on production, there is a growing number of junior exploration companies searching for viable copper and gold deposits in the region.
One company focused on finding success in Peru is Peruvian Metals (TSXV:PER, OTC Pink:DUVNF), a Canadian mineral processing and exploration company with reported revenue exceeding C$1.6 million for 2019. The company has an 80 percent stake in the Aguila Norte processing plant, which has a processing capacity of 100 tonnes per day.
Peruvian Metals is acquiring new high-grade properties within the plant's region. It has acquired and assembled the Cerro La Cumbre silver-gold project and obtained 50 percent ownership in the gold-silver-copper Palta Dorada project. Both properties are located within trucking distance to the Aguila Norte plant and have permits in place to extract minerals for processing. The company expects to process minerals from Palta Dorada in Q1, 2021.
The Cerro La Cumbre property has the potential to host a high-grade silver-gold resource that mimics yields of other past-producing gold-silver producers in the same Calipuy volcanic complex in Northern Peru. Mineralization at Palta Dorada is hosted in granitic rocks similar to the gold-rich Pataz region in Northern Peru. The average of the assay results from the sulphide rich quartz veins is 10.51 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 329 g/t silver and 1.74 percent copper.
Other notable properties include:
- The silver rich Minas Maria Norte property
- The Mansa Musa high sulphidation gold-silver project
- The Indio Inka gold property
- The Pueblo de Oro gold-silver property
- The Panteria copper-gold porphyry project
- The Renaldo gold-silver target
The company's dedication to property development has created strong relationships and support from small-scale artisanal miners and local officials. Government bodies are enthusiastic as there is a strong push to formalize and tax the artisanal and informal mining operations taking place in Peru. This could help regulate mining in the area, creating a more secure system for future development and exploration. Peruvian Metals is building key relationships with many of these miners.
The Aguila Norte processing plant is situated near many of the company's gold projects. The infrastructure at the company's key projects makes them highly accessible, which will further optimize yield. These properties have access to reliable power and water and are accessible by the Pan American highway and good access roads. Properties in Southern Peru are located nearby existing plants with good infrastructure.
With operations in Peru since 1994, Peruvian Metals has also established beneficial partnerships with external mining interests. The company has first-mover industry knowledge of the country and is continuously applying for new areas. Past key partnerships include Rio Alto, First Quantum (TSX:FM) and IAMGOLD (TSX:IMG), and these major companies have invested significant capital into Peruvian Metals' current projects.
Peruvian Metals also generates cash from option payments and eventually will generate more from several NSRs on their properties. A recent transaction on the company's Mansa Musa property with GEXEG — a private mining consulting company — will provide significant option payments to Peruvian Metals and a 3 percent NSR on gold production.
Likewise, the company has profit-sharing agreements in place with local miners for the sale of concentrates. In these deals, Peruvian Metals provides upfront capital for the shipment and treatment of minerals on properties owned by the concession owner. Good relationships with local miners give Peruvian Metals a competitive advantage over other companies as miners are continuously submitting new mineral sources.
The company's tight share structure and multi-faceted revenue model has positioned it for growth in revenue and exploration plans. Peruvian Metals is solely focused in Peru and insiders control almost 29 percent of the outstanding shares.
The company is well advanced in the process to expand and receive the permits to expand mining operations over the next couple of years. Between 2021 and 2023, it expects full capacity processing and 100 percent owned mineral production from properties in Northern and Southern Peru. With projected fully internal cash flow from processing and plant profitability, Peruvian Metals should see substantial revenue growth without significant share dilution to its current shareholders.
- Peruvian Metals is focused on mineral processing and development of its recently acquired “mine-ready" properties in Peru, including the Cerro La Cumbre gold-silver project and a 50 percent interest in the high grade Palta Dorada Project.
- Mineral processing from third parties has yielded positive cash flow from the company's 80 percent owned Aguila Norte processing plant, with future operating margins expected to increase once production commences from its recent acquisitions.
- With operations in Peru since 1994, Peruvian Metals has the industry and regional expertise to thrive in this mining-friendly jurisdiction. This is also made possible through establishing current and past key partnerships with metals traders including Rio Alto, First Quantum, IAMGOLD, Rio Silver and mining consulting company GEXEG.
- The company is currently establishing profit-sharing partnerships with artisanal miners on the sale of concentrates, which has advanced its commitment to developing strong ties with local economies and this skilled workforce.The company has organically generated NSRs for potential free cash flow on its non-core projects.In 2019, Peruvian Metals' revenue exceeded C$1.6 million with only 50 percent plant capacity. This has demonstrated the potential for increased revenue generation for the company and an expansion of mining operations over the next couple of years. Currently showing over 70 percent capacity for third and fourth quarter 2020.
- The company's closely owned shareholder portfolio and multi-faceted revenue model has positioned it for advanced growth. The shareholder portfolio includes insiders, major shareholders and players close to the company.
- The company acquired a new high-grade Silver-Lead-Zinc property that covers an area of approximately 94 hectares and includes several old mine workings.
Aguila Norte Processing Plant
Peruvian Metals has an 80 percent stake in the Aguila Norte processing plant located near the Pan American highway, close to Trujillo, Peru's third-largest city. The plant's strategic positioning makes it one of the few in the region capable of supporting the many small-scale mining activities and local artisanal mining processes in Northern Peru. This plant can conduct crushing, milling and flotation circuits with an initial systemic processing capacity of 100 tonnes per day.
The plant processed approximately 18 thousand tonnes of minerals for small miners in 2019 and has yielded thousands of highly marketable mineral assets. This processing includes approximately 4,000 metric tonnes of zinc concentrates (averaging 52.4 percent zinc) and over a thousand tonnes of lead-silver concentrates (averaging 52.9 percent and 125 ounces per tonne). The plant was shut down for nearly five months because of COVID-19 restrictions and reopened July 28, 2020. It has achieved over 70 percent plant capacity. As operations expand, Peruvian Metals can increase processing capacity up to 350 tonnes per day under the current permit. This is in conjunction with the forecasted construction of the CIL/CIP gold processing circuit, which the existing plant permit also allows.
Minas Maria Norte Project
The Minas Maria Norte property hosts veins that contain rich silver, gold, lead and zinc mineralization within the historic Huachocolpa Mining District of Southern Peru. This 368 hectare property covers several high-grade gold-silver-lead-zinc veins hosted in volcanic rocks. The low sulphidation mineralization at Minas Maria Norte is considered to be similar to Kuya Silver's (CSE:KUYA) Bethania mine 65 kilometers to the northwest.
During 2017, interest in the Huachocolpa area was renewed and made polymetallic mining and milling the dominant formal economic activity in the district. The area has attracted two serious private companies by purchasing and making significant investments into the historic Recuperada and COMIHUASA mills. The combined capacity of the two mills is currently 1,500 tonnes per day with planned expansions to over 3,000 tonnes per day.
Mineralization at Minas Maria Norte occurs in a series of conjugate vein sets within a 600 meter wide structural corridor; over 10 veins have been observed on surface. Sample results within this structural corridor ranged from 0.01 to 40.30 g/t gold, 0.70 to 1,848 g/t silver, 0.01 to 20.80 percent lead and 0.02 to 16.66 percent zinc. Fifty percent of the samples averaged 5.33 g/t gold, 459 g/t silver, 5.4 percent lead and 1.99 percent zinc.
The historic Tangana lead-zinc-silver mine and associated veins are located approximately 2.5 kilometers southwest of Maria Norte. The vein sets at Tangana have a similar orientation but they occur at a lower elevation. The Tangana mine is now owned by Latitude Base Metals and still contains a significant lead-zinc-silver resource. Peruvian Metals is a shareholder of Latitude Base Metals.
Palta Dorada Project
The Palta Dorada property spans approximately 12 square kilometers within the Ancash mining district in Northern Peru. Advantageously positioned, the project site is accessible from the company's Aguila Norte processing plant by paved roadway.
The company took seven sulfide chip samples from the main shaft on site with widths between 0.49 to 1 meter. Mineral testing revealed grades of 3.06 to 24.1 g/t gold, 36 to 865 g/t silver and 0.22 to 4.94 percent copper, or US$896 gross metal value per tonne. Findings averaged 10.51 g/t gold, 329 g/t silver and 1.71 percent copper. Oxide gold veins show potential with 93 percent recoverable in bottle roll tests.
Mineral Sacks ready for shipment.
In partnership with Rio Silver Inc., Peruvian Metals Corp. has the option to earn 50 percent by spending US$250,000. This would establish a joint effort to explore and develop the property and share sales revenue from metal concentrates. Permits are in place for bulk sampling extraction, which will be processed at the Aguila Norte Plant. Revenue generation is forecasted to increase three to five times once processing and selling the company's own concentrate can be conducted. Development of this project will be driven from cash flow generated by continuously processing extracted bulk samples.
Mansa Musa Project
The Mansa Musa project hosts a high-sulfidation target within the gold-silver bearing system developed in the Tertiary period volcanic rock infrastructure on-site. This is an exciting potential revenue generator for the company as the geological patterns on the property mimic other high-sulfidation oxide gold properties in Southern Peru. A recent transaction on the company's Mansa Musa property with GEXEG will provide significant option payments to Peruvian Metals and a 3 percent NSR on gold production. Similar properties in Southern Peru include Minera IRL's (CSE:MIRL) Corihuami gold mine and Aruntani's Arasi gold mine. The style of mineralization means lower extraction costs and potentially higher yields. More than US$6 million has been spent on Mansa Musa by previous operators.
Jeffrey J. Reeder, P. Geo., Chairman—CEO & Director
Jeffrey J. Reeder has a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta and has been registered as a professional geologist with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia since 1992. Reeder has over 26 years of experience in Peru and is fluent in Spanish. He is responsible for identifying and acquiring Aguila Copper-Moly, currently being developed by Mexican mining company Industrias Peñoles, and the Pinaya Copper-Gold project, currently being explored by Kaizen Discovery.
John P. Thompson, P. Eng.,—Director
John P. Thompson has a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. from Acadia University in Nova Scotia and has been a director since June 2006. Thompson has over 35 years of experience in surface and underground exploration, mine development and mineral resource estimation. He has worked in Canada, the United States, the Dominican Republic, South America and Asia. Thompson is currently the President and CEO of Sona Resources Corporation.
Steve Brunelle is a Canadian geologist with 29 years of experience in mineral exploration throughout the Americas. He has been an officer and director of several resource companies, most recently Stingray Copper Inc. and, before that, Corner Bay Silver Inc. At Stingray, the Mexican bulk mineable oxide copper deposit Èl Pilar was taken to feasibility in 2009; Stingray was subsequently acquired via merger.
At Corner Bay Silver, the bulk mineable silver deposit Alamo Dorado was taken to feasibility and the company was acquired by Pan American Silver Corp. Brunelle is presently a director of Eagle Graphite Corporation, Klondike Gold Corp. and Rio Silver Inc. During the 1990s, Brunelle was the President of MacMillan Gold Corp. at the time of the assembly of the Aguila area properties in Peru.
William R. Brown—Director
William R. Brown is a geologist with nearly 40 years of experience in both mineral and petroleum exploration. Since the mid-1990s, he has lived in South America, principally working as country manager for TSX Venture Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange listed companies. He has been a key player in several successful property acquisitions in Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Brown is also a large shareholder of Peruvian Metals, owning more than 4 percent of the outstanding shares of the company.
Oscar Francisco Pezo Camacho—Director
Based in Lima, Peru, Oscar Francisco Pezo Camacho is a Peruvian National and is well known in the Peruvian mining and financial communities. From January 2011 to February 2012, Pezo was the CEO of NCF Bolsa SAB, a Peruvian brokerage house based in Lima. From 2004 to 2010, he was one of the founding shareholders and CEO of NCF Inversiones S.A., a Peruvian financial group experienced in Peruvian capital markets and holding direct investments in junior mining companies with projects in Peru as well as the parent company of NCF Bolsa. Pezo has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and an MBA from Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (Lima, Peru).
Daniel Hamilton—CPA & CA
Daniel Hamilton holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Administration degrees from the University of Ottawa and he is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He brings over 30 years of post-qualification experience in senior accounting and financial roles. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of several junior exploration companies listed on the TSX and TSX Venture Exchange and his experience includes Vice President, Controller for Amec Americas (a multinational engineering and project management services firm) and Group Controller for Zinc at Noranda (now Glencore Canada).
Justin Bourassa—CFO & Corporate Secretary
Justin Bourassa has over 15 years of global experience in the management, development, governance and reporting of private and publicly listed mineral exploration and mining companies. Over the past 15 years, he has previously served as Chief Financial Officer and/or as Controller and/or provided controllership duties for numerous publicly traded companies in the mineral exploration section and a number of private companies. In addition, Justin is a founding principal of SPROutsourcing, which provides bookkeeping and accounting services to various public and private companies.