Marimaca Copper (MARI) - Things Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger
Marimaca Copper is a TSX-listed copper company. The company's flagship asset is the Marimaca Copper Project in Chile's Antofagasta region. It is the only copper discovery made globally within the last five years. This is a low-risk project with substantial exploration potential.
Matt Gordon caught up with Hayden Locke, President, and CEO, Marimaca Copper. Hayden has extensive experience as a mining executive with a significant part of his career spent in the development and leadership for successful LSE and ASX-listed mining companies. He has previously worked with J.P Morgan and Barclays Natural Resource Investments. As of 2018, he has worked in the capacity of CEO at Emmerson Plc, a Morocco-based potash development company where he currently serves as a Director.
Marimaca Copper (formerly known as Coro Mining Corp.) is a copper exploration and development company. It was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Chile. The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX-V: MARI). Compañía Minera Cielo Azul Ltda, Minera San Jorge S.A., Minera Coro Chile Limitada, Minera Rayrock Ltda., Machair Investment Ltd., Rising Star Copper Limited, and Sea To Sky Holdings Ltd. are the company's subsidiaries.
Marimaca Copper is developing the Marimaca Oxide Project located in northern Chile. This unique development-stage copper project features a low capital cost, a competitive cash cost, and strong ROI (Return On Investment) metrics.
Feasibility Study Considerations
The company's recent drilling program led to the discovery of mineralization with broader widths and higher grades than previously anticipated. The company is looking to delay the planned Feasibility Study to ensure that the updated open-pit resource is included in the study. It is looking to scale up the project and attain a decent mine life before opting for a Feasibility Study.
To attain a resource within the indicated category, the company would require between 15,000m - 20,000m drilling with a 50mx50m spacing with the multiple entry holes that already exist. The estimated cost for this drilling operation is within the $4M - $6M range.
The company plans to infill drill the mine to take the inferred resources into the indicated category. The timeline for this process is expected between 4-5 months, scheduled for conclusion by Q1 2022. Following this, the company plans to carry out a Feasibility Study in Q2 2022.
Marimaca Copper is currently identifying exploration targets and is expected to announce the resource size alone with additional parameters within the next 2 months. The company is looking towards an updated open-pit operation through these exploration targets.
Marimaca Copper is currently focusing on the central southern area of the Marimaca oxide deposit. The company has been successful in expanding the scale of the low-grade halo that surrounds the pit outline. This collected data will be utilized towards the development of a future mine plan.
The company plans to analyze the deposit along with an infill drill program to capture an updated resource estimate. The company is also planning extensive drilling work at the Met side of the deposit. Marimaca Copper has the available funding to carry out this planned operation.
The company's PEA (Preliminary Economic Assessment) open pit features 80m drill holes with 0.8% copper reserves. The area directly below the open pit was previously interpreted as sulphides and as a result, wasn't included in the previous resource update. However, it was later found that the drill holes feature a mixed leachable material. The company is anticipating that this part of the deposit features a high-value rock and is looking to utilize its capital resources to quantify this resource.
The Marimaca Copper Project stands out from the competition as it is a low capital cost operation that carries a significantly lower financial risk. The cheap mining costs in Chile further lower the execution risks and enable the possibility of mine building within a relatively short timeline. The company is looking to gain a perspective on the scale of development to carry out a Feasibility Study and work towards building a mine within a short timeframe.
Marimaca Copper has a current market cap of $400M and an equity cheque within the $80M-$120M range. The company is looking to raise capital through selling to finance the operation without over-dilution. As per the internal metrics, this operation appears to be debt financeable. Multiple entities have approached the company for financing options. To raise this capital, the company is looking to demonstrate the size of its resource as it moves into production.