5 Australian Mining Projects in Argentina

Recently, BNamericas published a list of the  ¨Top 5 Australian mining projects in Argentina ¨, which naturally sparked our interest because there is a lot of negative sediment surrounding the Argentinean economy.

The list consists of projects that are generally less known by the investment community but show some promise.

Las Opeñas

Genesis Minerals (ASX: GMD) has a 100% interest in this gold project located in the Andean province of San Juan. However the local subsidiary of Canadian miner Teck Resources (NYSE: TCK) has recently notified Genesis that it has elected to exercise its pre-emptive Back-in Right to earn a 60 per cent interest in the Project by spending $1.2 million. Teck are currently sole funding exploration at the Project.

The project is located near neighboring Poncha gold project, where Genesis has the right to acquire 100% from Teck Argentina.

The first drill exploration program at Las Opeñas was completed in November 2012, while Teck completed exploration work in 2013. Following significant discoveries, a follow-up drill program is expected during the first half of 2014.

Santa Inés

The Santa Inés copper-gold-silver project in Salta province, controlled by PepinNini Minerals (ASX: PNN), is the company’s first project in Argentina. It comprises one mining license, an exploration license, as well as an exploration-to-mining conversion application.

The project is at a very early stage and there has been no previous exploration work on the properties.

PepinNini recently announced the completion of phase I of exploration at Santa Inés, which included mapping and sampling of an area of some 1,000ha. Of 10 samples, eight recorded more than 0.5% copper. Additional work included a ground magnetic survey.

Phase two of the exploration program is to commence over the next few months, which will include more geological mapping and soil geochemistry.

The company is capitalised at around $2 million.

Sierra Cuadrada, Cerro Chacón

ASX listed Avocet Resources Limited with TSX-V listed Lion One Metals Limited, Avocet is now a 100% owned subsidiary of Lion One, and has now changed its name to Lion One Australia Pty Ltd.

Lion One Metals (ASX: LLO) has two projects in the southern province of Chubut: the Sierra Cuadrada uranium project and the Cerro Chacón gold project.

The Sierra Cuadrada is a JV with Canadian junior U3O8, and consists of 10 tenements, covering an area of close to 600km2. The project is an early-stage prospect, and is located adjacent to the Sierra Cuadrada project of Argentina’s nuclear energy agency CNEA.

In fiscal 2013 (ended June last year) the company entered into an agreement with U3O8 where the latter may earn 51% in the project by spending US$1mn in exploration work over four years.

Although mineralization is visible, little surface exploration and no drilling work has been undertaken in the area. Lion One plans to undertake trenching, geochemistry and geological mapping as part of its next exploration program.

The Cerro Chacón project signed a JV with MH Argentina in early 2012 for this gold project. The project consists of 13 tenements covering 500km2.

Lion One can earn a 60% via its subsidiary Piche, by spending US$500,000 over three years. Exploration work was completed in early 2013, including ground magnetic and IP surveys, as well rock and soil sampling.

Cerro Blanco

Oro Verde Limited (ASX: OVL) recently announced the signing of a non-binding MOU to acquire this copper-gold-molybdenum project in San Juan province from fellow Australian junior Argentina Mining (ASX: AVK).

Oro Verde will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of the seller’s local subsidiary, Entropy Resources, which holds options to acquire Cerro Blanco, as well as the San Francisco and Amiche projects, also in San Juan.

Exploration work has been previously conducted at Cerro Blanco. In 2011 a ground magnetic survey was conducted, suggesting potential for strong mineralization in the area, the company says.

A binding heads of agreement is expected for March 31, while Oro Verde has until May 31 to complete due diligence.

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