This Junior Miner Is Looking for Big Gold

The Vital Investor is wanting into Aztec Minerals, which is aiming to delineate two oxide deposits in Mexico and Arizona, each with giant scale porphyry/CRD potential at depth.

A few of the most attention-grabbing juniors are those that have already got ample, strong drill outcomes to delineate a really first rate NI43-101 useful resource, however can develop them even bigger, and have flown underneath the radar for a very long time whereas quietly finishing their drill packages.

Usually a change in administration and/or altering steel sentiment are all it takes to attain vital re-ratings. Aztec Minerals Inc. (AZT:TSX.V; AZZTF:OTCQB) appears to be simply that sort of junior mining firm, specializing in gold/copper tasks, with the extra advantage of a high-profile founder (Bradford Cooke, Govt Chairman and founding father of Endeavour Silver), and apparently numerous exploration potential at depth for each their JV tasks, Cervantes (Mexico) and Tombstone (Arizona, U.S.). With about CA$2 million within the treasury, drill outcomes for Cervantes coming within the second half of February, and one other drill program deliberate for Tombstone, it seems to develop into a busy and attention-grabbing 12 months for Aztec Minerals.

About Aztec Minerals


Aztec Minerals is a mineral exploration firm centered on the invention of enormous polymetallic mineral deposits within the Americas. The present flagship mission is the Tombstone mission in Arizona, containing historic mines which produced 32 Moz silver and 240 koz gold from 1878 to 1939. The previous flagship Cervantes mission is a porphyry gold-copper property in mining-friendly Sonora, Mexico. Each tasks have seen ample drilling to point vital oxide heap leach useful resource potential, and each have giant scale exploration (porphyry and CRD sort mineralization) potential at depth.

Aztec Minerals was listed in 2017, with Cervantes as their qualifying asset on the time. Regardless of sturdy drill outcomes producing spectacular gold-copper intercepts in 2018, typically beginning virtually from floor, unfavourable mining sentiment didn’t assist the story, and the corporate didn’t comply with up with drilling at depth at Cervantes on the time. Throughout 2017, the Tombstone property was optioned, however didn’t see any drilling. Each properties have seen additional geophysical surveys and goal definition, and after the COVID-19 crash of March 2020, Aztec administration made essentially the most of an entire market turnaround, initiated by the massive $2 trillion stimulus bundle.

The newly incoming Chief Govt Officer Simon Dyakowski loved a recovered share worth and a CA$3 million elevate in the summertime of 2020, and drilling at Tombstone resulted in sturdy oxide intercepts. Sadly, the newly loved constructive mining sentiment didn’t comply with the persevering with normal inventory market restoration, which went on to new all-time highs till very not too long ago when the Fed determined to make the most of a extra hawkish stance on rising rates of interest, and Aztec was no exception:

Share worth 5-year timeframe (Supply:

Regardless of macro financial antics, it seems just like the share worth is bottoming now. With the present excessive inflation setting, the unfavourable actual charges, being the primary (no less than for me) sentiment driver for gold, appear stronger than ever. So it seems just like the gold worth appears set for a transfer larger quickly.

When administration and the Board of Administrators, essentially the most recognizable identify is after all founder and Chairman Bradford Cooke (MSc Geology), who can also be the founder and Chairman of Endeavour Silver (CA$883 million market cap, over CA$1.5 billion in Might 2021) and Canagold Assets. On the helm is President and Chief Govt Officer Simon Dyakowski (CFA, MBA), who has in depth expertise in company growth and capital markets (RBC, Financial institution of Tokyo, Salman Companions, and varied junior mining corporations). He’s assisted by Vice President of Exploration Allen Heyl (BSc, P.Geo), who has over 38 years of expertise, largely within the Americas. Allen was essential to the invention and analysis of over 30 Moz gold and 25 Mt copper, together with Marmato-Enchidia (Aris Gold), Motherlode (Corvus/Anglogold Ashanti), Rio Blanco (Zijin Mining), and Tres Cruces and Nueva Condor/Huampar (Oroperu). Administration is assisted by a Board of Administrators with numerous expertise in all related fields, and supported by an advisory board with one other 70 years of related expertise.

Some fundamental data on share construction: Aztec Minerals has a good 64.96 million shares excellent, and trades at a mean every day quantity of 63,000 shares. There are 13.2 million warrants (bulk of it priced at CA$0.40, expiring in August 2022) and 4.845 million choices (weighted common worth of 25 cents with a mean remaining life of two.1 years), that means the absolutely diluted variety of shares stands at 83 million shares now. Administration and the Board of Administrators maintain 10%, different insiders 3%, and some funds and excessive web worths maintain 20%.

The money place is estimated at CA$2 million, with no debt, and administration is seeking to elevate extra relying on drill outcomes. For the final 9 months ended Sept. 30, 2021, G&A was CA$1.06 million, which was substantial as exploration expenditures for a similar interval got here in at simply CA$1.03 million. Dyakowski had this to say about it: “G&A was larger on account of authorized charges to barter the Cervantes JV. We additionally needed to assist the train of warrants that expired in July 2021 and October 2020.”

The present share worth is CA$0.23, leading to a present, tiny market cap of CA$14.94 million, and this is among the causes I consider this little junior might develop into a real multi-bagger in a 12 months or two. Let’s take a look at their tasks to see why I consider this type of potential could possibly be there.

The Tombstone and Cervantes Initiatives


Aztec Minerals has two core belongings in its portfolio, that are Cervantes and Tombstone. Each tasks are a part of a JV, the place Aztec Minerals is the operator and majority proprietor in each JVs, and each tasks are situated in mining pleasant and prolific areas, as might be seen right here:

The present flagship mission of Aztec Minerals is the 434 hectare Tombstone mission in Arizona. The corporate is the operator of a 75/25 JV with non-public Tombstone Companions. Tombstone hosts a historic mine from the outdated days, referred to as the Rivalry Mine, producing 32 Moz of silver and 240 koz of gold, largely from CRD deposits and oxide ores between 1878 and 1939. Historic mining was terminated due to lack of know-how to counter the water desk associated inflows on the time.

In a nutshell, CRD stands for Carbonate Alternative Deposits, the place the orebody is fashioned by substitute of sedimentary, normally carbonate rock by metal-bearing options within the neighborhood of igneous intrusions. Igneous intrusions kind when magma was pressured into older rocks at depth, then cools and solidifies earlier than it reaches the floor. Three widespread varieties of intrusion are sills, dykes, and batholiths. In lots of circumstances, CRD deposits are near skarn/porphyry deposits, and infrequently have the form of vertical chimneys or extra horizontal blankets (referred to as mantos). A well known and close by instance is the big Taylor deposit, found by Arizona Mining (taken over by South32 not too long ago for CA$1.8 billion). A schematic part of a geological mannequin for CRDs, developed by Dr. Peter Megaw, who was the primary to explain them in his doctoral thesis, might be seen right here:

The intrusive inventory drawn within the mannequin above normally stands for Cu-Au or Moly porphyry mineralization. Normally in these geological fashions, the zonation for metals begins with copper/gold/moly at depth, then there’s a zinc/lead/silver zone, and extra near floor one can discover silver/gold. Very often, a CRD or porphyry has an oxide gold/silver cap at floor, which is heap leachable, and that is precisely the case at Tombstone (CRD) and Cervantes (porphyry). 

RC drill packages accomplished in 2020 and 2021 on the Rivalry pit indicated substantial mineralization, as all however one of many 44 drill holes intercepted gold and silver. Intercepts had been typically lengthy, and in addition predominantly longer than the thickness of overburden at every gap, indicating a probably favorable stripping ratio which might bode extraordinarily properly for future economics. For instance, the drill outcomes of 2020 are proven within the desk beneath, with solely 6 of 21 holes beginning at a depth deeper than the size of intercept itself (in all probability helpful to zoom in along with your browser):

Highlights are TR20-002: 67m @ 1.07g/t Au (1.6g/t AuEq) from 19.8m, TR20-003: 93m @ 0.77g/t Au (1.07g/t AuEq) from 6.1m, TR20-009: 30.48m @ 3.31g/t Au (3.78g/t AuEq) from 32m, TR20-017: 140.21m @ 0.38g/t Au (0.62g/t AuEq) from 1.5m, and TR20-018:  32m @ 1.4g/t Au (2.09g/t AuEq) from 80.8m. Please observe a number of holes had been drilled underneath vital angles like gap TR20-017 and TR20-018, decreasing true width to generally even 30% of obvious size. However this, these are superb outcomes, for certain when taking into consideration that the majority holes bottomed in mineralization, and that the encountered mineralization was oxidized and heap-leachable. Attention-grabbing to see are the intersected historic underground workings, being developments, or (very) excessive grade veins being mined beneath the historic open pit.   

The 2021 program was designed to step out from the 2020 holes, spaced 50 meters aside alongside fence patterns trending north-northeast, dipping from close to vertical to -45 levels east. The 2020 drill collars are indicated in inexperienced, the 2021 collars in purple:

The information launch from Dec. 7, 2021 offered an entire checklist of all drill outcomes, and these didn’t precisely disappoint both. Highlights are TR21-03: 32m @5.7g/t Au (6.3g/t AuEq) from 80.7m, TR21-06: 74.7m @ 0.22g/t Au (0.47g/t AuEq) from 83.3m, TR21-10: 96m @1.39g/t (2.2g/t AuEq) from 25.9m, TR21-11: 24.4m @ 1.2g/t Au (2.22g/t AuEq) from 82.3m, TR21-16: 64m @0.8g/t Au (1.03g/t AuEq) from 48.8m, TR21-017: 64m @ 1.73g/t Au (2.53g/t AuEq) from 27.4m, and spotlight among the many highlights gap TR21-22: 65.5m @ 2.44g/t Au (3.4g/t AuEq) from 21.3m. This final gap was a twin gap from a historic gap, and the outcome was even exceeding expectations. Please observe true width generally varies significantly from obvious widths as properly on this drill program, as mineralized zones are likely to dip from 20 to 80 levels. Though essentially the most southern-located holes TR20-10 to fifteen returned first rate intercepts of lower-grade mineralization, these are nonetheless financial. Subsequently, it appeared affordable to comply with up by “infill-stepout” holes extra to the north, however this didn’t occur but. In line with Dyakowski, this was on account of extra competent rock in that space, in order that they determined to drill this half afterward with diamond drilling, and in addition to drill deeper which requires diamond drilling to hit targets at depth.

Within the following part, it may be noticed how constant the gold mineralization is, and extra importantly, is open at depth:

The water desk is situated at about -150 meters depth, however poses no drawback in any respect with present dewatering tools. Commonplace open pit depths are about -200 meters, so there may be extra exploration potential at depth, but in addition laterally. The entire drilled space now measures 900 meters lengthy by 230 meters huge, and to most depths of 200 meters. When doing a back-of-the-envelope guesstimate, this might end in a 900 meters by 150 meters by 50 meters by 2.75 t/m3 = 18.5 Mt mineralized envelope, at a mean grade of 1g/t AuEq this might already end in an estimated 600 koz AuEq useful resource. As the realm is open laterally and at depth, I’m curious how far Aztec administration can take this.

Apart from this open pit potential, administration firmly believes there could possibly be giant CRD sort mineralized potential at depth (150 meter to 1,000 meter depth), primarily based on a number of significant deeper drill outcomes which already had outcomes like 7.16m @ 6.5percentPb and a couple of.6percentZn, indicating excessive grade CRD mantos, the presence of close by manganese-silver wealthy mines, and different polymetallic mines situated in the identical sort of host rock, on this case Paleozoic limestone. Apart from this, Tombstone is on the identical development and simply 60 kilometers away from the Taylor deposit (Arizona Mining/South 32):

Whereas outcomes and interpretation of Part 2 RC drilling program examined shallow epithermal gold-silver mineralization, the upcoming Part 3 drill program is designed to focus on deeper epithermal gold-silver mineralization beneath the Rivalry pit, and the coveted deep CRD silver-lead-zinc-copper-gold mineralization in Paleozoic limestones underlying the Bisbee Sediments. This program can be scheduled after Cervantes drilling has been wrapped up, and more cash is raised in response to administration.

A geophysical survey involving resistivity already outlined a big goal at depth, which might be seen beneath:

This would be the focus of the deep drilling from the Part 3 program at Tombstone. For readability: The vertical brown line is an interpretation of the Rivalry Fault which runs from north to south alongside the Rivalry Pit.

The second mission of Aztec Minerals is the previous flagship 3,650 hectare Cervantes mission, which is a porphyry gold-copper property in mining-friendly Sonora, Mexico, and Aztec Minerals is the operator of a 65/35 JV with listed Kootenay Silver).

The Cervantes mission has already seen a whole lot of reconnaissance exploration, reminiscent of IP surveys, airborne magnetics and radiometrics, but in addition soil sampling which might be seen on the map beneath. However solely the California goal has seen drilling to this point, with sturdy outcomes, as Part 1 highlights present:

  • 160 meters of 0.77gpt Au, 0.13% Cu and three.4gpt Ag
  • 139 meters of 0.70gpt Au, 0.10% Cu and a couple of.1gpt Ag
  • 43 meters of 1.18gpt Au, 0.16% Cu and 5.1gpt Ag

A map with the 2018 drill collars from a 17-hole 2,675 meter Part 1 program, testing a 900 meters by 600 meters gold in soils anomaly might be discovered beneath. All holes intersected gold-copper-silver mineralization:

To get a great grasp on outcomes at California, take a look on the desk with the total outcomes from the 2018 program, with the perfect holes highlighted in purple:

It was attention-grabbing to examine preliminary metallurgical check work on oxidized drill core, as recoveries had been achieved as much as 88% for gold, and 78% on combined oxide-sulphide materials. That is extraordinarily good for oxide recoveries and transitional ore recoveries, extra normal are 70% to 75% for oxides and 50% to 60% for transitional ore.

Aztec Minerals estimates a drilled space of 800 meters size by 200 meters width to a depth of about 150 meters. As might be seen on the part beneath, all drill holes had been drilled underneath an angle, however because the floor and thus the mineralization itself are dipping underneath a delicate angle as properly, it may be assumed that true width within the case of Cervantes is 60% to 70% of obvious width. This in flip made me guessing a couple of 800 meter by 200 meter by 70 meter by 2.75 t/m3 = 30.8Mt mineralized envelope, assuming a mean grade of 0.6 g/t Au this could end in an estimated 600 koz Au, excluding copper and silver credit, so barely greater than Tombstone. Not unhealthy in any respect for an oxide deposit if administration can show this up and hopefully broaden these numbers additional. However this isn’t all, as you’re in all probability already conscious of potential at depth by now.

A 12.8 km pole-dipole IP survey was accomplished in 2016 over 220 hectares protecting parts of the California soil anomaly and the Jasper prospect. Robust chargeability anomalies ranging from the floor to depths of no less than 600 meters had been outlined. Such broad, sturdy chargeability anomalies are sometimes related to giant zones of disseminated sulfide mineralization typical of porphyry copper deposits.

A 3-dimensional IP survey protecting 520 hectares was performed in 2019, extending the protection from the 2016 survey in direction of the west and southwest protecting three extra targets: Estrella, Purisima East, and Purisima West. Spectacular and in depth IP anomalies had been detected from close to floor to depths of 500 meters on all three targets.

Aztec Minerals began a considerable Part 2 5,000 meter RC drill program on Dec. 14, 2021, and relying on drill outcomes, is seeking to delineate a useful resource estimate on the California, California Norte, Jasper, and Purisima East targets. In line with a really latest Jan. 26, 2022, information launch, the primary 14 holes are accomplished now, totaling 2,810.6 meters, and outcomes are anticipated within the subsequent a number of weeks. Two holes of 500 meters depth are deliberate at California to check the IP chargeability anomaly as pictured above. The steadiness of the Part 2 program will check an IP chargeability anomaly at California Norte, and an outcrop on the Jasper goal. As Aztec Minerals additionally recognized very giant IP chargeability anomalies at depth, it’s seeking to discover giant porphyry sulfide gold-copper mineralization there, which may even be explored within the ongoing Part 2 program, and will very properly form as much as be a really attention-grabbing wild card for buyers.

Wild playing cards apart for gamechanging alternatives at depth, personally I just like the oxide useful resource potential of say 600 koz to 1 Moz Au for each tasks essentially the most, as just one financial oxide mission of this measurement might simply already assist a CA$50 million market cap, not to mention two. And with none additional discoveries at depth included.   

Positioned For a Re-Score


At a present market cap of simply CA$15.9 million with about CA$2 million within the treasury, with two practical possibilities on an financial oxide deposit AND two wildcard possibilities on deep, giant scale mineralization, plus inflation working wild which might present gold with an ideal setup for larger ranges, Aztec Minerals appears to be positioned properly for a re-rating this 12 months. Drill outcomes for Cervantes are due within the second half of February 2022, and a brand new drill program is deliberate for Tombstone. As well as, administration indicated it’s searching for alternatives in protected jurisdictions throughout the Americas for tasks with prime quality bulk tonnage gold/silver/copper potential, so an acquisition will not be out of the query in 2022, which appears to be shaping as much as be one other busy 12 months for Aztec Minerals.

I hope you will see that this text attention-grabbing and helpful, and may have additional curiosity in my upcoming articles on mining. To by no means miss a factor, please subscribe to my free publication on to be able to get an e mail discover of my new articles quickly after they’re printed.

All introduced tables are my very own materials, except said in any other case.

All photos are firm materials, except said in any other case.

All currencies are in U.S. {Dollars}, except said in any other case.

Please observe: the views, opinions, estimates, forecasts or predictions relating to Aztec’s useful resource potential are these of the writer alone and don’t symbolize views, opinions, estimates, forecasts or predictions of Aztec or Aztec’s administration. Aztec has not in any means endorsed the views, opinions, estimates, forecasts or predictions offered by the writer.

The Vital Investor is a publication and complete junior mining platform, offering evaluation, weblog and newsfeed and all kinds of details about junior mining. The editor is an avid and demanding junior mining inventory investor from The Netherlands, with an MSc background in building/mission administration. Quantity cruncher at mission economics, searching for high-quality corporations, largely progress/turnaround/catalyst-driven to keep away from an excessive amount of dependence/affect of long-term commodity pricing/market sentiments, and infrequently searching for long-term deep worth. Getting burned up to now himself at junior mining investments by following overly constructive sources that as a rule averted to say (hidden) dangers or essential flaws, The Vital Investor realized his lesson properly, and goes a couple of steps additional ever since, offering a contemporary, extra in-depth, and demanding imaginative and prescient on issues, therefore the identify.


The writer will not be a registered funding advisor, and has a protracted place on this inventory. Aztec Minerals is a sponsoring firm. All details are to be checked by the reader. For extra data go to and skim the corporate’s profile and official paperwork on, additionally for essential danger disclosures. This text is offered for data functions solely, and isn’t meant to be funding recommendation of any sort, and all readers are inspired to do their very own due diligence, and discuss to their very own licensed funding advisors prior to creating any funding choices.

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