Unico Silver moves to 100% ownership of Conserrat project in Argentina

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By Colin Hay - 
Unico Silver ASX USL 100% ownership Conserrat Santa Cruz Argentina

Unico Silver (ASX: USL) has put its confidence in its “flagship” Santa Cruz portfolio in Argentina on show with a decision to move to 100% ownership of the Conserrat project.

The transaction will move Unico to full ownership of Minera Los Domos (MLD), a private Argentinian company that owns the Conserrat project and regional tenements.

Currently, USL has an 80% shareholding in MLD, an incorporated joint venture with private Australian company RN Gold under which the latter is free-carried to completion of a pre-feasibility study on each project in the Conserrat area.

Simplifying ownership

To simplify the ownership arrangements, Unico has entered into an agreement through the payment of 3 million ordinary Unico shares to acquire the remaining 20% in MLD held by RN Gold.

The transaction also provides Unico with an increase in mineral resources of 2.29m silver equivalent ounces at a cost of $0.17/oz.

In addition, it clarifies ownership across USL’s entire Santa Cruz portfolio and removes the 20% free-carried interest on all mineral titles held by MLD including three priority pipeline projects.

“We are pleased to move to 100% ownership of Conserrat,” Unico managing director Todd Williams said.

“This is an accretive transaction that increases total attributable silver-gold resources and streamlines the portfolio, providing Unico Silver with greater optionality and flexibility to unlock value from future exploration at Conserrat as well as high-priority regional tenements.”

Significant upside

Conserrat is host to indicated and inferred resources of 11.4Moz silver equivalent at 149 grams per tonne.

The project is made up of one title for 8,696 hectares and is host to an epithermal vein field that partially outcrops over an area of 25 sq km, with high-grade silver mineralisation defined at six prospects.

MLD also holds early-stage exploration projects in the Santa Cruz and Rio Negro provinces, including the Corona, Angostura and Paredes projects.

Santa Cruz focus

Unico Silver holds interest in a large portfolio of exploration properties in the Argentinian province of Santa Cruz, host to numerous multi-million-ounce precious metal epithermal vein deposits such as Cerro Negro (Newmont) and Cerro Vanguardia (AngloGold Ashanti).

The Cerro Leon asset includes the Pingüino (100%-owned by USL) and Conserrat vein districts located 15km apart, with both assets consolidated in November 2022 via a transaction with Austral Gold (ASX: AGD).

Unico has identified 35 advanced and early-stage targets that are prospective for new vein discoveries within the Pingüino and Conserrat vein districts.

Both vein districts are considered underexplored when compared to similar epithermal vein districts in the Santa Cruz province.