Aztec Minerals Inc. (AZT:TSX.V; AZZTF:OTCQB), a Vancouver-based mineral exploration company focused on new discoveries in the Americas, is moving forward with two prospective projects. Aztec Minerals is a relatively newly listed company. Bradford Cooke, Aztec Minerals Chairman, told Streetwise Reports, "Since our IPO 18 months ago, we've done a tremendous amount of work to create value for shareholders."
"At our Cervantes project in Sonora, Mexico, we outlined by drilling a gold oxide cap to a large porphyry gold-copper prospect defined by a strong IP geophysical anomaly. At our Tombstone project in Arizona, we identified by mapping and sampling potential high-grade, bulk-tonnage carbonate replacement deposits (CRDs) in a geologic setting similar to the Taylor deposit of Arizona Mining Inc., located only 65 kilometers southwest of Tombstone, which recently received a $1.8-billion friendly takeover bid by South 32."
The company is transparent about its strategy. Throughout North America, Aztec Minerals targets "low-cost, highly prospective exploration properties" with "strong potential for large gold-copper mineralized zones."
"Through seasoned management, exploration expertise, potential partnerships with larger companies and a well-funded treasury, Aztec Minerals has what it needs to unfold the discovery potential of these two properties," Cooke noted.
Mexico: Cervantes Gold-Copper Project
Aztec Mineral's core asset is the prospective Cervantes porphyry gold-copper property in Sonora, Mexico. Northwest Mexico is home to some of the largest porphyry copper-molybdenum-silver-gold deposits on the world, for example, Grupo Mexico's Cananea and La Caridad mines. Southeast Sonora hosts two large open-pit epithermal gold mines, Alamos Gold's Mulatos Gold Mine (2.0 million ounces remaining) and Agnico Eagle's La India Gold Mine. Cervantes is located 160 km east of Hermosillo at the crossroads of one of the NW trending copper trends and the EW Mulatos gold trend.
The property is accessible by road. "Aztec successfully negotiated community support and land access through its attention to the needs of the local ranchers. Best safety and environmental practices were used during the Phase 1 drill program," Cooke stated.
Since Cervantes was only explored by a small, shallow drill program in the mid-1990s, Aztec had reason to believe the area was significantly underexplored and held strong discovery potential. "In late 2015 and early 2016, the company identified robust and coherent gold, copper, and moly anomalies by soil sampling. An induced polarization survey over the heart of the gold-copper-moly anomalies in 2016 delineated a large, strong, open-ended chargeability anomaly that confirmed a larger copper-gold porphyry target below an oxide gold cap," Cooke noted.
In 2017, the company obtained a drill permit and all required surface agreements. A Phase 1 drill program was completed in late 2017-early 2018. In total, Aztec Minerals drilled 2,675 meters in 17 holes. Aztec also won a government land lottery and acquired two new mineral concessions covering approximately 3,149 hectares adjacent to the Cervantes property. Mapping and sampling has outlined an additional seven prospective target areas and more soil and rock chip samples were collected for a total of 1,111 samples.
In June 2018, the company announced that it completed its phase 1 drilling. Per the table below, drilling results shows 160 meters grading 0.77 gpt gold, including 80 meters of 1.05 gpt gold, 0.11% copper and 4.0 gpt silver in drill-hole 18CER010.
Cervantes Phase 1 Drilling Highlights
160m @ 0.77 gpt gold including 80m @ 1.04 gpt gold, 0.11% copper & 4.0 gpt Ag in 18CER010 from 0.0m
139m @0.71 gpt gold including 20m @ 2.1 gpt gold and 0.16% copper in 17CER005 from 0.0m
118m @ 0.63 gpt gold including 43m @ 1.18 gpt gold plus 0.16% copper in hole 17CER003 from 2.0m
122m @ 0.60 gpt gold including 62m @ 0.88 gpt gold plus 0.06% copper in hole 18CER007 from 0.0m
170m @ 0.42 gpt gold including 32m @ 0.87 gpt gold plus 0.06% copper in hole 18CER006 from 0.0m
Of the 17 drill holes, 14 showed long and anomalous intervals of gold and three holes were lost due to broken rock at shallow depths. The company stated, "Silver was surprisingly anomalous and copper developed an enrichment environment as chalcocite and covelite replacing pyrite and chalcopyrite."
Aztec noted that a Phase 2 drill program will focus on testing the large, strong IP anomaly lying below and beyond the surface oxide gold cap, as well as some reconnaissance drilling at some of the other seven prospect areas.
Management says the project has caught the interest of several major mining companies and discussions are underway with regard to a possible option and joint venture with a big partner.
Arizona: Tombstone Silver-Gold Project
The Tombstone Project is another asset of Aztec Minerals. Tombstone is a historical silver-lead-gold-copper-zinc mineral district in southeastern Arizona. Discovered in 1877, the area became known for its high-grade, oxidized, carbonate replacement deposits (CRD) of silver-gold-lead mineralization.
The Tombstone Project is close to numerous world-class porphyry copper deposits in addition to the newly discovered Taylor zinc-lead-copper-silver-gold "CRD" sulphide deposit.
"Aztec holds an option to acquire a 75% interest from Baroyeca Gold & Silver Inc. in most of the old patented claims (163 hectares) constituting the famous Tombstone silver mining district located 100 km southeast of Tucson, Arizona," explained Cooke. "Historical underground oxide ore grades in the district reportedly averaged 26 oz per ton (opt) silver, equal to 892 grams per tonne (gpt), 0.21 opt (7.2 gpt) gold and 2.25% lead."
Furthermore, management believes "potential high-grade, bulk tonnage CRD could lie below the Bisbee Group in the underlying Paleozoic limestones." This shares a similar geological setting to the Taylor deposit of Arizona Mining, located only 65 kilometers southwest of Tombstone, which recently completed a CA$1.8-billion friendly takeover by South 32.
Historical deep drilling (done by Santa Fe) on west and north sides of the Tombstone district shows "narrow high grade CRD mineralization, proving the potential for a larger CRD system."
Aztec launched a CA$139,000 phase 1 exploration program at Tombstone in August 2018. It includes structural and geological mapping, soil and rock sampling, trenching and airborne geophysical surveying. The data will be used to model both shallow and deep CRD targets.
In late September 2018, Aztec Minerals announced that it had acquired late 1980s to early 1990s drilling and trenching data for the Tombstone Project. (See the complete data here.)
Big plans are ahead for the Tombstone Project, and management says that it has no plans to slow down.
Management Powers Ahead
Aztec Minerals is working with an experienced management team who have established track records for making discoveries and building mines.
Chairman Bradford Cooke alone boasts 40 years of experience in the mining industry, including 15 years as the founder and CEO of Endeavour Silver Corp., a successful mid-tier silver mining company. President and CEO Joey Wilkins, B.Sc, P. Geo, has 30 years of experience exploring throughout the Americas. Wilkins is backed by a CFO and VP, Investor Relations who bring over a half century of combined experience in the field.
After being publicly listed at CA$0.35 per share, AZT shares currently sit at CA$0.15 per share for a market capitalization of only CA$4.2 million. The company has 27.9 million shares issued and outstanding, or 38.9 million fully diluted. Insiders hold 17.9% of the fully diluted shares, Chairman Cooke has recently been purchasing shares in the market and Coeur Mining is a strategic investor with a 9.9% fully diluted stake.
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