Mexico silver play Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) has deepened its ties with renowned prospector Mark Creasy by picking up majority interests in three gold and one nickel-copper project in Western Australia from the Creasy Group.
One of the projects, Turner River, is located along strike and adjacent to the Hemi gold discovery that propelled De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG) to a market capitalisation of more than $800 million.
Mr Creasy will emerge as the largest shareholder in Azure, with a 19.1% stake, after receiving 40 million Azure shares for the four projects and taking 1.2 million shares in the current $4 million placement. The Creasy Group has been an Azure shareholder since 2003.
Binding commitments covering the $4 million placement at $0.10 per share have been received from institutional and sophisticated shareholders, including the largest shareholder (until now), Deutsche Balaton Aktiengessellschaft.
Azure’s flagship project is the Oposura zinc-lead-silver deposit in Mexico, a country that is seventh on the list of COVID-19 infection statistics.
The company said because of the severity of the outbreak in the country and the uncertainty surrounding future operations there, it had turned to Western Australia in order to maintain its exploration impetus.
Creasy Group free carried to mining agreement
Mr Creasy will retain minority interests in all the projects and will be free carried through to the signing of a mining agreement.
Azure will take a 70% stake in Turner River next to the Mallina project area that hosts the Hemi gold discovery and 2.2 million ounces of gold.
Turner River covers 450sq km with “the right geology and structural setting,” Azure said. It includes 12km of strike along trend from Hemi.
The company will acquire 60% of the Andover nickel-copper project discovered by the Creasy Group in 2018 and where drilling has hit mineralisation including 7m at 2.62% nickel and 0.65% copper beginning 43m from surface.
In addition, 70% of the Meetheena and Coongan gold projects will pass to Azure. The first has been drilled by the Creasy Group since 1994 for epithermal gold, while the latter adjoins the Beatons Creek alluvial gold project owned by Canada’s Novo Resources.
Mexico projects remain important core
Azure managing director Tony Rovira said the company made the move due to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico and the uncertainty of future field operations.
So far, Mexico has reported more than 36,900 deaths from the virus.
But, he stressed that Azure was not losing interest in the country.
“It’s important for our shareholders to understand that our projects in Mexico remain an important core business for the company,” Mr Rovira said.
“However, these new projects are an exceptional opportunity to explore quality ground in partnership with a proven world-class mine-finder,” he added.