ARGENT VISION AND STRATEGY
Argent Minerals Limited is an ASX listed Company focused on creating shareholder wealth through the discovery, extraction and marketing of precious and base metal products from the Lachlan Orogen in New South Wales, Australia. This area is home to Australia’s first discovery of gold, and today hosts world class deposits including one of the largest underground copper-gold mines in the southern hemisphere.
During 2014, Argent announced its goal to become a leading polymetallic producer through the production of 1.5 million tonnes per annum with a mine life of the order of 20 years.
Argent’s strategy to achieve this goal comprises three key elements, with exploration featuring as the key immediate driver of growth.
Argent Minerals is aggressively pursuing the significant exploration upside potential that it has identified at the Kempfield Polymetallic Project, a registered NSW State Significant Development. Owned 100% by Argent Minerals, Kempfield is the Company’s flagship project with a substantial Mineral Resource of 52 million ounces of silver equivalent of lead, zinc, silver and gold at a silver equivalent grade of 75 g/t Ag Eq that has been recently upgraded to JORC 2012 standard.
Tonnes and grade are key factors in any project economics, and Argent’s focus is to add both where opportunities exist to do so, particularly where this might add to the Company’s base and precious metal resources. Grades of up to 17.9% combined lead/zinc have been identified immediately to the west of the existing Mineral Resource, where exploration vectors point to the potential for multiple additional Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) lenses and a feeder zone.
The timing of this development coincides strategically with market forecasts of a world wide shortage of zinc and significant zinc price increases on the London Metals Exchange (LME).
Whilst Argent Minerals has established an initial goal of discovering an additional 5 million tonnes at Kempfield with higher grade lead/zinc, silver, gold and potentially, copper, the potential for a much larger system and associated world-class discovery has been identified. Successful exploration of this opportunity will be a game-changer with ‘company maker’ potential for Argent Minerals.
Argent is finalising preparations for drilling these new target areas, and the Company has achieved a significant breakthrough in geophysics for delineating these targets. MagnetoMetric Resistivity (MMR) surveys have yielded a strong correlation with known lead/zinc mineralisation at Kempfield, a relatively poor conductor which is not readily identifiable by traditional electromagnetic surveys. This recent breakthrough means that a new, highly specific geophysical tool has become available for the low cost delineation of lead/zinc targets at Kempfield in preparation for diamond drilling, as a strategic complement to Argent’s methodical approach to base and precious metals exploration at Kempfield.
Argent has earned 51% in the West Wyalong Project, following the Company’s identification of a substantial porphyry copper-gold target with a magnetic survey in July 2014. Argent plans to aggressively pursue this target, which is significant in size at approximately 1.4 kilometres by 800 metres. The Company is now in the process of earning a further 19% for a 70% share in the project equity through exploration expenditure. The local government body, the Bland Shire Council, has welcomed these developments and has publicly indicated its strong support for Argent and the prospect of a new copper-gold mine in the area.
2. INCOME GENERATION THROUGH MINING PRODUCTION
As Argent pursues the exploration for base and precious metals to realise its goal of mining production, the low-cost silver-gold heap leach operation for which an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted to the NSW Government in April 2013 remains in place as a fast-response, market-ready option, to take advantage of any precious metal pricing recovery that may occur. In the event that the precious metals pricing recovers to the levels prevailing prior to the EIS submission, Argent is well positioned to progress this plan through a rapid approval process and toward the commencement of production revenue, as an optional first stage along the growth path to a leading polymetallic producer.
3. CAPITAL EFFICIENCY
In addition to having relatively low costs, Argent has developed a track record in capital-efficient funding. Approximately $1.8 million in funding has been raised through the Company’s R&D claims, with a considerable portion of these funds being reinvested directly into project value. The net result is that Argent Minerals has only diluted its ordinary share capital by 10% since August 2011.
On 18 September 2014, Argent announced that it had been awarded $158,400 in heavily contested NSW Government funding to drill-test the significant exploration upside identified at the Kempfield Polymetallic Project. The Company intends to continue to pursue capital efficient funding methods.
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