Big Picture – A Deep Dive Examination of Coro Mining Corp.
Coro Mining Corp. Snapshot
Coro was founded with the goal of building a mining company focused on medium-sized base and precious metals deposits in Latin America. The Company intends to achieve this through the exploration for, and acquisition of, copper projects that can be developed and placed into production.
A Leveraged Cash Flow Strategy
Using in-house exploration and development expertise, the Coro strategy is to grow a mining business through the discovery, development and operation of “Coro type” projects which have the following characteristics:
- Stage of development when discovered/acquired is immaterial, preferably open pit
- Close to infrastructure & water
- Cost effective with a short timeline to production
- Environmentally simple & socially acceptable
- Financeable relative to Coro's market capitalization
- Readily scalable with additional exploration
Coro will then develop them by:
- Accelerating commencement of production
- Minimizing initial capital investment rather than maximizing Net Present Value
- Prioritizing profitability over production rate
SCM Berta Operation
- Coro owns 65% of the Berta open pit mine and the Nora SXEW processing plant
- The Nora plant has a production capacity of 4,800 tonnes (10,582,190 lbs) per year of copper cathode
SCM Berta SA (â€œSCM Bertaâ€) is the entity which holds the Berta mine, Nora plant and has optioned the El Jote mineral deposit, all of which are located in ChaÃ±aral Province, III Region, Northern Chile. The Nora Plant, located 5km north of the town of Diego de Almagro, was acquired to process Pregnant Leach Solution (PLS) from its Berta deposit located approximately 20km west of the village of Inca de Oro. Coro owns 65% of Berta with ProPipe SA owning the remaining 35%.
SCM Berta is currently in production and has undergone expansion of production capacity from 3,000 tonne (6,613,870 lbs) per year to 4,800 tonnes (10, 582,190 lbs) per year of copper cathode. Copper cathode, the â€˜platesâ€™ of 99.99% pure copper that are output from an SXEW (Solvent Extraction & Electrowinning) plant, may be sold directly from the plant without further refining.
The Marimaca copper oxide project, located in the Antofagasta Region of northern Chile, close to the coast and major infrastructure, is a 1 hour drive north of the Port of Antofagasta and 22 kilometres from the port of Mejillones. It is 14 kilometres from the Antofagasta to Tocopilla paved highway (and is centred on UTM coordinates: 374,800 E and 7,434,900-N).
No previous exploration drilling had been done on this property prior to Coroâ€™s involvement. in this property. Broad zones of copper oxide mineralization, well-exposed on the hillside, were being mined by local artisanal miners via open pit methods. Coroâ€™s experienced exploration team recognised that this property would provide a significant and low-risk target that met the Coro criteria - a viable leachable copper oxide resource which could be rapidly defined, in an excellent location, all of which could ensure limited impediments for an expeditious development.
In August 2016, following a 60-drill hole exploration program, Coro announced the new discovery at Marimaca.
A maiden resource estimate for the Marimaca 1-23 claim only was released in January 2017 and updated and expanded in April 2018. Additional resource potential is present on adjacent 100% Coro controlled properties and Coro intends to aggressively explore this during 2018-19 with a view to materially increasing the resource base of the Marimaca project.
The 100% owned Celeste Sur iron ore project is located 55km NE of the port of ChaÃ±aral, in the III Region of Chile. The Celeste property is comprised of a number of concessions covering ~2,800 hectares and was acquired by Coro in 2010 for the issuance of 150,000 Coro shares and the assumption of a 2.5% copper royalty.
Celeste is contiguous with and along strike to the northeast from the ENAMI owned Cerro Negro iron oxide copper gold (“IOCG”) type deposit. Small scale artisanal copper mining activity has been carried out in the Celeste area since the early 1900s. In the period 1994 to 2002, Cominco, (later Teck Resources), Phelps Dodge and Atna conducted exploration at the Celeste Property, including the drilling of 18 RC holes for 4,161m and 16 RC holes for a total of 3,650m. No resource estimates have been completed on the property.
In September 2014, results from initial mapping, surface sampling, and test work indicated a potential target of 5-10 million tonnes at 40-50% iron. This could be capable of sustaining an operation to produce iron concentrate, using a simple, low cost, dry crushing and magnetic separation process route, enhanced by its proximity to a port with existing concentrate handling facilities.
The potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature, being based on surface sampling and mapping only, there has been insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the target being delineated as a mineral resource.
No further work is planned in the Celeste property until iron ore prices recover.
The Llancahue project is 100% owned by Coro and is located 38km south west of the City Of Talca in the VII Region of central Chile, at an elevation of less than 200m above sea level.
In November 2014, Minera PeÃ±oles de Chile Ltda (“PeÃ±oles”), a subsidiary of Mexican mining company, Industrias PeÃ±oles SAB de CV entered in an option to acquire a 70% interest in the project. Coro announced the termination of this option agreement in October 2016.
Geology and Mineralization
The Llancahue property was staked in 2007 by Coro in recognition of its potential to host significant porphyry copper style mineralization. The Company had concluded that the Chilean Upper Cretaceous/Lower Tertiary porphyry belts may extend farther south than hitherto recognized, and accordingly initiated a reconnaissance exploration program following up known mineral occurrences and ASTER satellite derived alteration anomalies. Llancahue was the site of an old working for copper, and attractive copper sulphide mineralization hosted by potassically altered and brecciated diorite was present on its dump. The old workings were located on the edge of an extensive covered area, bordered to the north by propylitically altered diorites and andesites, containing disseminated magnetite.
In 2008, the Company entered into an exploration agreement with Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corp (“Freeport”) whereby Freeport could earn an interest in Llancahue and other Coro owned exploration properties in the Talca Belt by committing to certain expenditures, including drilling. Freeport completed their first year expenditures and drilled 7 reverse circulation (RC) holes at Llancahue, but elected to withdraw from the agreement, after only the last hole in their program, LLA-07, intersected significant mineralization.
In 2009, a 6-hole reverse circulation drill program was completed, including an intercept of 100m at 1.37% copper. The drilling to date suggests that this mineralized intrusive and its brecciated contact zone is of restricted areal extent. However, the intensity of the alteration and the accompanying high grade copper molybdenum mineralization, together with the extensive propylitic halo, support the concept that a larger body of mineralized diorite or breccia complex may be present.
Mineralization at Llancahue, as currently understood, is hosted by an apical hydrothermal breccia developed around a sub vertical finger of strongly potassically altered diorite, and comprises disseminated and veinlet chalcopyrite, bornite and molybdenite. The drilling to date suggests that this mineralized intrusive, and its brecciated contact zone is of restricted areal extent. However, the intensity of the alteration and the accompanying high grade copper molybdenum mineralization, (which is anomalous in Bi), together with the extensive propylitic halo, support the concept that a larger body of mineralized diorite may be present under cover to the west of the area drilled. This is further supported by the presence of strongly potassically altered, chalcopyrite and bornite mineralized breccia float found in two other locations on the property, and by the increasing intensity of alteration around the northern and western margin of the covered area.
Luis Albano Tondo
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr Tondo is a highly experienced mining engineer with a Bachelor's degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil; an MEngSc from the University of Queensland, Australia; and an MBA from the Foundation Dom Cabral business school in Brazil. He has some 30 years of mining experience in Latin America and prior to joining Coro, spent the seven years as Chief Operating Officer at mid-tier copper and gold producers in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, where he was responsible for operations, projects and business development activities. Prior to this, he spent five years developing multi-million dollar capital projects for Kinross Gold Corporation in Brazil and Chile, and 16 years in operations roles with Rio Tinto in Brazil. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Armando Veliz brings to Coro over two decades of accounting and financial experience, largely in South America and the mining sector. He has held a variety of senior accounting, finance and commercial positions at Nyrstar, Latin American Invest Chile and Xstrata. He is an Argentinian certified public accountant in addition to holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.
A graduate of the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London, Mr Stephens has over 40 years of international mining experience. Before co-founding Coro, Mr Stephens was Vice-President of Exploration for First Quantum Minerals, during which time he lived and worked extensively in Chile, Mexico and Brazil. Prior to First Quantum, Mr Stephens spent ten years with Cyprus Amax Minerals Company managing exploration teams in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists (US) and of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (UK). Mr Stephens is also a qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101.
Sergio L. Rivera
Vice President of Exploration
Mr Rivera graduated from the Universidad CatÃ³lica del Norte with a Masters degree in Economic Geology. His 32 years of experience in the exploration of base and precious metals is principally in the Andean Region of Chile, Argentina and Peru. For the past 17 years, and before joining Coro, Mr Rivera was General Manager of Exploraciones Andinas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Codelco, the world's largest copper producer where he played a prominent role in the discovery of several world-class ore deposits, which cumulatively contain more than 35 million tonnes of copper.
Vice President Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Mr Bias started his career as an equity analyst at Schroders and Citibank in London, after which he moved into industry, where he managed investor relations for high-growth mining companies Aquarius Platinum and LionOre Mining, and later, led investor relations for the flotation of Glencore, the largest IPO ever in the metals and mining sector. He holds a BA in Law from Durham University and an MBA with a specialisation in Commodity Trading, Shipping and Finance from Université de Genève in Switzerland.
Colin Kinley (1)(2)(3)
Chairman, Independent Director
Mr Kinley spent 26 years with Layne Christensen, as a Senior Executive responsible for Energy Operations, Specialized Drilling, Mining Technologies and Remote Site operations. For the past eight years Mr Kinley has been CEO of Kinley Exploration, a resource industry integrated project management company operating internationally. He is currently a director of Excelsior Mining, COO, founder and director of Eco Atlantic Oil and Gas, an E&P company exploring oil offshore Africa, and is founder and CEO of Jet Mining Corporation Australia.
Ms. Decher joined in April 2018, and brought additional finance strength, a strong corporate governance perspective and public reporting expertise to the Board. She has served as the Vice President, Finance and Assistant Secretary for Franco Nevada, as President and Chief Financial Officer for Geoinformatics Exploration, a Canadian and international exploration company. She currently serves as Chairwoman of Red Pine Exploration and is an Independent Director of Ascendant Resources, and until recently was the Lead Independent Director of Integra Gold before it was acquired by Eldorado Gold. Ms Decher is a Canadian Chartered Public Accountant. She holds a Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University and Bachelors Degree in Finance from Concordia University.
Mr Tim Petterson was appointed as an Independent Director of Coro in November 2018. He was nominated by and represents Tembo Capital, the Company's second largest shareholder. Tim is qualified as a mining engineer, which complemented by a career in in investment banking brings a unique combined technical and corporate perspective to the board. Tim is a currently a Managing Director for Mining at Kepis & Pobe, a Vancouver based natural resources investment company. He is also a founder and Executive Chairman of Minera Cobre, a Canadian private copper exploration company active in Colombia. Prior to relocating to Canada, Tim served as Head of Global Mining Research at both HSBC James Capel and ABN AMRO, having led many high-profile public offerings and financings. Mr Petterson is a mining engineer. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from and is an Associate of the Camborne School of Mines.
Michael Haworth (1)(3)
Mr Haworth was nominated to the Board of Directors by Greenstone Resources, a private equity fund specializing in the mining and metals sector. The Greenstone team has over 80 years of experience in the sector covering all aspects of mining project development.
A graduate of the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London, Mr Stephens has over 40 years of international mining experience. Before co-founding Coro, Mr Stephens was Vice-President of Exploration for First Quantum Minerals, during which time he lived and worked extensively in Chile, Mexico and Brazil. Prior to First Quantum, Mr Stephens spent ten years with Cyprus Amax Minerals Company managing exploration teams in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists (US) and of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (UK). Mr Stephens is also a qualified person for the purposes of NI 43-101. In July 2018 Mr Stephens stepped back from his executive responsibilities as the head of exploration, however, his skills and experience have been retained as a Non-Executive Director and also as a consultant to the business.
Luis Albano Tondo
President, CEO & Director
Mr Tondo is a highly experienced mining engineer with a Bachelor's degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil; an MEngSc from the University of Queensland, Australia; and an MBA from the FundaÃ§Ã£o Dom Cabral business school in Brazil. He has some 30 years of mining experience in Latin America and prior to joining Coro, spent the seven years as Chief Operating Officer at mid-tier copper and gold producers in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, where he was responsible for operations, projects and business development activities. Prior to this, he spent five years developing multi-million dollar capital projects for Kinross Gold Corporation in Brazil and Chile, and 16 years in operations roles with Rio Tinto in Brazil. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and a Qualified Person for the purposes of NI 43-101.
(1) Audit Committee
(2) Governance & Nominating Committee
(3) Compensation Committee