- Antilles Gold Limited is an Australian mining company listed on the ASX (AAU) and OTCQB (ANTMF).
- The company is focused on gold and copper projects in Cuba through joint ventures with the Cuban government’s mining company GeoMinera. The relationship with GeoMinera opens new development opportunities for Antilles and de-risks permitting processes.
- The company is engaged in four development projects: 1) Nueva Sabana gold‐copper mine; 2) La Demajagua gold mine; 3) El Pilar porphyry copper project; and 4) Sierra Maestra copper concessions. Of these, Nueva Sabana and La Demajagua offer near‐term development opportunities.
- The Nueva Sabana is a near‐term gold‐copper mine development project with a 10‐month construction beginning in June 2024. The project is expected to generate strong cash flow from concentrate sales from mid‐2025.
- The second mine development project is La Demajagua, an open-pit mine gold project where construction will commence in late 2024 and commissioning begins mid‐2026. The project includes the construction of a commercial concentrate processing facility capable of producing 100,000 oz of gold per year in dore. This project will also produce approximately 10,000 tons per annum (tpa) of antimony‐gold concentrate (30,000 oz gold equivalent per year).
- The company’s two exploration projects include the El Pilar copper‐gold porphyry system and three concessions in the Sierra Maestra copper belt.
- Investment in Cuba offers several benefits, including richness in minerals, lower operating costs and royalties, stable government and regulations, several investment incentives and the availability of a skilled workforce.
With a change in the US‐Cuba relations, Cuba is becoming a destination for miners. To encourage foreign investments in its mining sector, the Cuban Government has instituted attractive investment laws and realistic mining and environmental regulations. The country also offers investment incentives, including a waiver of 15 percent income tax for eight years, no import duties, and no withholding tax on foreign services or dividends. Royalties on metal sales are fixed at an industry standard of 3 percent.
Additionally, the Cuban Government allows JV loans and sales proceeds to be deposited in a foreign bank account for disbursement directly to creditors, effectively eliminating country credit risk.
Several international companies have established operations in Cuba, including Toronto‐based mining giant Sherritt International and Australian oil & gas company Melbana Energy. Commodities trading company Trafigura also has a major presence in Cuba, commissioning the US$300‐million Castellanos base metals mine in 2017, which was developed in a joint venture with GeoMinera.
Antilles Gold’s partnership and excellent relations with GeoMinera has resulted in rapid project permitting and access to several new development opportunities for the Australian company.
Antilles Gold offers strong growth potential through two near‐term development projects, Nueva Sabana and La Demajagua, and two exploration projects, El Pilar porphyry system and Sierra Maestra copper concessions.
The Nueva Sabana is a near‐term, gold‐copper mine development within a 50:50 JV with GeoMinera, and is expected to initially produce around 55 grams per tonne (g/t) gold in a concentrate from a high‐grade gold cap followed by ~25 percent copper concentrate. Project development strategy includes finalizing the mineral resource estimate (MRE) in January 2024, completing the feasibility study by April 2024, and beginning the 10‐month construction program in June 2024. The project is expected to generate strong cash flow from mid‐2025.
The second proposed mine development is La Demajagua open-pit mine, which is likely to produce ~50,000 tpa of gold arsenopyrite concentrate (32 g/t gold, 27 percent arsenic), and ~10,000 tpa of gold antimony concentrate (28.8 g/t gold, 48 percent antimony, 1,200 g/t silver) for nine years. According to the plans, construction will commence in late 2024, with commissioning in mid‐2026. La Demajagua will also include the construction of a commercial concentrate processing facility to treat La Demajagua’s gold arsenopyrite concentrate and imported gold pyrite concentrate, with the capacity to produce 100,000 oz gold per year in dore, which will further increase JV profit and cashflow.
The company’s two exploration projects comprise the 17,800‐hectare El Pilar Concession in Central Cuba covering a cluster of three copper‐gold porphyry deposits (El Pilar, Gaspar and San Nicholas), and three concessions totaling 54,000 hectares within the producing Sierra Maestra copper belt in Southeast Cuba, with indications of porphyry deposits highly prospective for copper, gold and molybdenum.
Antilles aims to recommence drilling of the El Pilar porphyry system in mid‐2024 after its concession has been transferred to a new JV with GeoMinera. Importantly, there is a likelihood for Antilles to become the majority owner of the new JV, which would permit the future transfer of a controlling interest to a major mining group for any mine development.
Antilles intends to invest part of the expected surplus cash flow from the Nueva Sabana mine to fund the exploration of major copper targets, including the El Pilar copper‐gold porphyry system, and the Sierra Maestra copper belt.