While it may not be a name many are familiar with, Pershimco Resources (TSXV: PRO) thinks its Cerro Quema project could let it become the next big name in Panamanian copper.
And it should be clear if it’s on to something by year-end.
The company is starting an aggressive drill program to a 1 km depth to see if its deposits and anomalous zones sit on top of a large copper porphyry.
The first drill hole will test beneath its Quema zone, which is west of the most defined deposit to date: La Pava.
Taken together, the La Pava, Quema and La Mesita zone have indicated oxide resources of 20.2 million tonnes grading 0.79 gram gold for 513,100 oz. in-pit gold. Beneath that oxide cap there is a transition zone and a copper-rich sulphide zone, which has in-pit indicated resources of 2.75 million tonnes grading 0.64 gram gold and 0.24% copper.
And while it will drill deep to see if its 17 km strike length of 12 deposits and anomalies are indeed just the tip of the iceberg, there could be cash flow within reach.
The company is permitted to build an open-pit, heap-leach mine that processes 5,000 tonnes per day, but it is looking to amend the permit so that it can process at twice that rate.
The company’s president and CEO Alain Bureau says it would take nine months to get the permit for the larger mine — which is considerably less time than if it was starting from scratch.
Earlier metallurgical tests indicate that the “ore” should behave well on the pad, as column testing showed gold recoveries of 92–93%.
While Bureau says this number would likely go down, he notes that it’s the best-behaving ore he has seen in his experience, which includes being part of five mine-development projects.
The company will get a better handle on the economics of any envisioned mine when a prefeasibility study is tabled by next year’s second quarter.
But what will drive the stock in the near-term are results from deep down in the Panamanian rock.
The company is in a good region to make such a big find — First Quantum Minerals’ Cobre Panama project and its 14.8 million tonnes of copper sit 160 km north of Cerro Quema.
Pershimco has delineated four large chargeability targets that it hopes are sulphide bodies. The targets are beneath the La Pava, Quema, Idaida and La Pelona gold oxides.
Most importantly of all, drilling so far — which hasn’t gone deeper than 500 metres — has returned porphyry indicators.
Those indicators include stockwork, sheeted and ptygmatic quartz veins that have been overprinted by advanced argillic alteration associated with the high-sulphidation gold- and copper-mineralization event.
There is also molybdenite in veins and fractures with local synchronous alunite, overprinted by epithermal alunite typical of porphyry D veins and K-feldspar-magnetite alteration that is typical of porphyry style, potassic hydrothermal alteration.