Max Resource (TSXV:MAX; OTC:MXROF; Frankfurt:M1D2) is currently drilling its highest-priority target, URU, within its CESAR copper-silver project in northeastern Colombia. In October, Max reported its ground-based Induced Polarization (IP) and Total Magnetic Intensity (TMI) anomalies correlated well with surface geochemical targets, and successfully defined new drill targets at URU-C and URU-CE.
Now the company has the first-ever drill core from the project, and it looks spectacular. Before delving into the core, some background on CESAR and what Max has been doing the past two years to bring it to the point of drilling.
For the past three years, Max has not only been discovering high-grade copper zones on its flagship CESAR property, but expanding these areas, moving ever closer to confirming the existence of a huge copper-silver system.
The project sits on a massive sedimentary system covering a significant portion of the 200-km-long Cesar Basin, a geological feature that extends for over 1,000 km from the northern tip of Colombia southwards through Ecuador and Peru.
There is access to major infrastructure resulting from oil & gas and mining operations, including Cerrejón, the largest coal mine in South America, held by global miner Glencore.
Max’s goal is to transition the Cesar Basin towards the mining of copper, a key metal for Colombia’s transition to clean energy.
Earlier this year Max signed a two-year co-operation agreement with Endeavour Silver Corp. (TSX:EDR), a mid-tier silver producer and explorer focused on Mexico. Endeavour has agreed to assist Max in significantly expanding its land holdings at CESAR, by providing financial and technical capabilities to secure new mineral tenures in the Cesar Basin. Endeavour will receive a 0.5% NSR royalty on new mineral tenures acquired by Max, but not on Max’s existing ones.
Max is focused on three copper-silver districts, each located along the CESAR 90-kilometer-long belt, with the objective of expanding the zones and defining drill targets. Max is currently drilling URU-C and URU-CE. The districts are:
Max has so far received 21 mining concessions covering a total area of 188 km² — more than any other company has received in Colombia.
This significant milestone paved the way for Max to initiate drilling on its URU concessions.
“The main objective of this initial drilling program at URU is to confirm the down dip continuation of the copper-silver mineralization for both the URU-C and URU-CE discoveries. Follow-up drilling will target mineralization along strike and further down dip. To gauge the enormity of the URU District, Max’s drilling is currently targeting a significant 1-km of strike of the URU 20-km-long surface copper-silver mineralization,” said Max’s CEO, Brett Matich, in the Sept. 28 news release.
The URU discovery spans a major structural corridor and remains open in all directions. It is located on the southern portion of Max’s 90-km-long CESAR copper-silver project, shown below.
Geologically, Max compares the sediment-hosted copper-silver mineralization at URU to that found in the Central African Copper Belt.
Almost half of the copper known to exist in sediment-hosted deposits is contained in the CACB, including Ivanhoe Mines’ 95-billion-pound Kamoa-Kakula copper deposit in the DRC.
Maiden drill program
The inaugural drill program at URU-C and URU-CE began in October, with a plan to complete at least 2,000 meters. This is the first-ever drill program within the 20-km-long copper-silver URU District. A second-phase drill program is continuing through to year-end.
So far eight holes from four drill pads have been completed, for a total of 1,421 meters, all at the URU-C Zone. Drill hole lengths ranged from 53 to 382m. Max reports that visible chalcocite and malachite, both copper minerals, have been observed in the diamond drill core, which is currently being assayed, with results due out in early December.
The drill rig is now moving to a second target, the URU-CE Zone, located 750 meters east of URU-C, with drilling expected to continue through to mid-December.
“We are pleased that the drill core has evidenced visible chalcocite and malachite mineralization, and we look forward to receiving assay results,” Max’s CEO, Brett Matich, said in the Nov. 17 news release. He continued:
“Max’s focus for this initial drill program is to identify the URU-C and URU-CE structurally controlled copper-silver mineralization at depth. We will then follow-up on multiple stratiform copper-silver targets more typically found in the Cesar Basin.”
Max has had a great start to drilling the first two targets within the 20-km URU District and the CESAR 90-kilometer-long copper-silver belt.
Eight holes from four drill pads, a total of 1,421 meters, have been sunk into URU-C, and we can see from the above photos that at least some of it is mineralized — visible chalcocite and malachite have been observed in the diamond drill core.
Consider this: most juniors have one, two, at the most three prospective areas they are exploring. Max has identified an enormous number of surface outcrops, that are copper-silver mineralized.
There are literally dozens of other targets for Max to test. URU-C and URU-CE are just two of 105 drill targets identified…so far. There’s also the Conejo District and the AM District that we expect Max to move onto after drilling at URU is complete.
But It’s important to keep in mind the bigger picture. The whole idea is to demonstrate the economic potential of the targets being drilled. What the company wants to accomplish in this first-pass drill program, is to hopefully identify economically significant silver and copper drill core intervals at each target. Remember, Max is not there to drill off a deposit; because there are so many targets at CESAR the idea is to ‘run and gun’.
Drill, assay, and report. Then move on to the next target, drill, assay, and report. And then the next. Times 105.
In talking with Chris Grainger, Max’s technical advisor and an expert on Colombian geology, he said one of the reasons there are so many majors watching Max, is the potential mineralized scale of the area they’re working in. They are not looking for one deposit, or to make one discovery, they’re looking to lock up a whole district where there’s going to be potentially multiple deposits. An excerpt from my interview with him, and Max’s CEO Brett Matich, is pasted below:
CG: Basically, because what we’re seeing at surface and what we’re seeing in the geophysics is making sense now. There are more blind targets that we need to test, so if we have one rig there, given these are man-portable rigs their production is a bit slower, we may soon need a second rig, and Max has some $20 million in cash.
What you see at surface is maybe 15%, so as soon as you start drilling you expect to attain so much structural understanding, alteration what’s important, so we’re likely going to be building more pads, and we expect there’s going to be more drilling and to be quite honest with you it’s probably just going to continue because every hole we put down we’re going to learn more.
The teams that are out doing the geophysics and the ground magnetics for example, we continue to identify new outcrops, so it’s as simple as that, it’s just more time, more drilling, more geophysics, more surface mapping, there’s going to be more things in the drilling pipeline, I think that’s the key.
As mentioned, Max has finished up at URU-C and the drill rig is now moving to a second target, the URU-CE Zone, located 750 meters east of URU-C, with drilling expected to continue through to mid-December.
Another potentially rich zone, URU-CE is a large bluff of highly exposed outcrop 750m to the east of URU-C. It’s 15m wide with visible copper mineralization trending SSW for +250m of strike and open in all directions
Max will drill it over the next few weeks and then take a break over Christmas. In the new year, Max expects to move the drill, or drills — by then a second rig will probably be added — to the main 20-kilometer trend at URU, that is 4.5 km to the west of URU-C. Drilling there will likely take up the majority of 2023.
From what I’ve seen so far, I’m optimistic that Max is onto something big at CESAR, and if the drill-core photos are any indication, at least some of the copper mineralization is high-grade, from depths of between 53 and 382m. This is very encouraging.
The assays will tell us more, and as Max keeps drilling targets, our understanding of this potentially massive copper-silver sedimentary system will gradually take shape. With a drill program underway, around $19M in the treasury, and Max’s field teams continuing to explore for and uncover new outcrops, I’m expecting a steady flow of news for months.
Max Resource Corp.
TSXV:MAX; OTC:MXROF; Frankfurt:M1D2
Shares Outstanding 160.2m
Market cap Cdn$48.5m
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