Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) is gearing up to take advantage of the booming gold and silver markets as well as the forecast nickel and copper deficits with its exploration portfolio.
The company wholly-owns the Alacran silver-gold-copper and Oposura zinc-lead-silver projects in Mexico.
Currently, low-cost surface exploration is underway at Alacran – focused on expanding the Mina San Simon silver and gold prospect and the Gregors copper discovery.
Previous drilling at Mina San Simon unearthed 21m at 2 grams per tonne gold and 64g/t silver, while in March drilling at Gregors intersected 30m at 0.68% copper from 22.5m, including 6m at 2.30% copper; and 18m at 0.96% copper, including 1.5m at 7.03% copper.
Additionally, at Alacran’s Loma Bonita deposit, a 126m mineralised interval was reported in early February from a infill drilling program.
The 126m intercept graded 2g/t gold and 26g/t silver from 1.5m.
Within it was a 34.5m interval grading 3.9g/t gold and 60g/t silver from 76.5m.
This deposit has a resource of 5.4Mt at 0.9g/t gold and 28g/t silver for 150,000oz gold and 4.8Moz silver.
Also within Alacran is the Mesa de Plata deposit which hosts a resource of 10.5Mt at 82g/t silver for 27.4Moz.
More drilling at Alacran’s Mina San Simon and Gregors has been planned for later this year.
Alacran is located in Sonora, which Azure claims is a tier one mining province within a safe, stable and supportive jurisdiction which has a strong mining culture and competitive tax rates.
The region has been home to mining for more than 500 years.
Oposura zinc-lead-silver project
Azure’s other project in Mexico is Oposura where small-scale open pit mining was carried out 12 months ago.
The operation produced 6,100t of ore grading 13.4% zinc and 10.7% lead.
In the December quarter last year, trial processing of ore samples generated concentrates grading 35% zinc, 20% lead and 140g/t silver.
Trial processing continued into the March quarter evaluating various processing and offtake options for the ore.
Oposura has a JORC resource of 3.1Mt at 5% zinc, 2.7% lead and 18g/t silver.
Western Australian gold and nickel assets
Back in Western Australia, which is relatively unimpacted by COVID-19 compared to the rest of the world, Azure picked up majority interests in four projects earlier this month.
The deal is with renowned prospector and entrepreneur Mark Creasy’s Creasy Group and will involve Azure issuing Creasy Group 40 million shares.
This will essentially position Creasy Group as Azure’s largest shareholder with a 19.1% interest.
All assets are in joint venture with the Creasy Group and are located in the Pilbara. The assets include the Turner River gold project, where Azure will own 70%.
Turner River is adjacent and along strike of De Grey Mining’s (ASX: DEG) Mallina project which hosts 2.2Moz gold and the Hemi discovery.
As the Hemi discovery grew, De Grey’s share price has rocketed from $0.046 in February to peak at $1.065 on the 1 July.
It has since pulled back to about $0.74 and the company has a market cap of around $860 million.
Turner River is 450sq km and hosts 12km of strike along trend from Hemi.
Another priority project is Andover which is 70sq km prospective for nickel and copper. Azure will own 60% of this project where drilling in 2018 uncovered 26m at 1.03% nickel and 0.46% copper from 43m, including 7m at 2.62% nickel and 0.44% copper from 15m.
In the eastern Pilbara are the Meentheena and Coongan gold projects, in which Azure will own a 70% majority stake in both.
Meentheena covers 223sq km, while Coongan encompasses 141sq km.
Coongan adjoins the western boundary of Novo Resources’ Beatons Creek conglomerate gold project which has a resource of 903,000oz contained gold at 2.53g/t gold.
Azure plans to get on the ground in the Pilbara as soon as possible with geophysical surveys and reconnaissance drilling planned at Turner River and Meentheena.
Meanwhile, at Andover, Azure will diamond drill nickel-copper anomalies identified from airborne, surface and down hole surveys.
Plans for exploration at Coongan are underway with exploration to begin in the coming tenement year.