Australia-based Tempus Resources (ASX: TMR) has raised A$4 million (US$2.6 million) in a private placement to fund exploration work at its Blackdome-Elizabeth project in B.C., Canada and at its Zamora project in Ecuador.
Sprott Asset Management and an Asia-based specialist natural resources fund participated in the financing, which issued a total of 26.17 million common shares at a price A15.3¢ per share.
Much of the money will go towards drilling and sampling programs at the company’s Blackdome-Elizabeth project, about 200 km north of Vancouver.
The property consists of two deposits, the Elizabeth Zone, about 35 km northeast of the past-producing Bralorne gold mine, and the Blackdome Zone, a past-producing mine about 30 km to the north of the Elizabeth zone.
The historic Blackdome operation produced about 225,000 oz. of gold at a grade of 20 grams gold per tonne and its tailings facility and mill are in care and maintenance. It currently has indicated resources of 144,500 tonnes grading 11.29 grams gold per tonne and 50.01 grams silver per tonne for 52,600 oz. contained gold and 232,300 oz. contained silver.
The Elizabeth zone has inferred resources of 522,843 tonnes grading 12.26 grams gold per tonne for 206,139 ounces.
Tempus plans to start work programs at the project in mid- to late June, and will focus on verification of historic drill core, resource extension, and exploration of newly discovered targets, such as the Mineral Creek target, about 2.5 km from the Elizabeth deposit.
The company believes with its previous production history, excellent metallurgical recoveries and existing infrastructure, it can fast-track the project into production.
A small proportion of the funds raised will be allocated to its Zamora project, which lies directly adjacent to Lundin Gold’s (TSX: LUG) Fruta del Norte mine. The mine, which achieved commercial production in February 2020, hosts indicated resources of 23.8 million tonnes grading 9.61 grams gold per tonne for 9.89 million oz. contained gold, and a further inferred resource of 11.6 million tonnes averaging 5.69 grams gold for 4.05 million oz. contained gold.
Tempus says its concessions at the Zamora project host similar geochemistry, alteration and geological features to Fruta del Norte. Its 1,000-hectare Zamora concession package hosts the Rio Zarza project, adjacent to Fruta del Norte, and its Valle del Tigre project, to the north of the mine.
The company says its projects are located in much sought-after ground and could be of interest to larger mining companies, citing Newcrest Mining’s (ASX: NCM) decision to take a 32% stake in Lundin Gold in December 2019.
“The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive with the gold prepay and stream facilities expected to provide Newcrest with economic exposure to approximately 400,000 ounces of gold from the mine between 2020 and 2026,” Sandeep Biswas, Newcrest’s managing director, said in a news release at the time.
On the back of Lundin Gold’s success, Ecuador has become one of the most exciting exploration jurisdictions for gold and base metals. The South American country is home to mining giants BHP (NYSE: BHP; LSE: BHP), SolGold (TSX: SOLG; LSE: SOLG), and Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG).
With money now in the bank, Tempus will be looking to capitalize on its high-risk, high-reward play in Ecuador, while furthering its assets in Canada’s Tier One jurisdiction of B.C.
The priority will be to fast-track Blackdome-Elizabeth by completing a resource expansion drill program and update the resource estimate by September or October. The company says it hopes to complete a feasibility study before the end of the year.
— The preceding Joint-Venture Article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by TEMPUS RESOURCES and produced in cooperation with The Northern Miner. Visit www.tempusresources.com for more information.