Topacio, a historic producer, comprises 9,300 hectares. FDG has optioned 100% of it from Inversiones Mineras SA, with a final payment of US$3 million due April 30, 2016. IMISA will retain a 3% net smelter royalty.
President/CEO David Dunn spoke to Kevin Michael Grace October 3.
RW: This is your second resource estimate?
DD: Yes, and we’ve more than tripled the resource.
RW: Topacio is a historic producer?
DD: From 1900 to 1917, they mined from six different veins. When Trident was working on Topacio, they thought there were 11 veins. We’re up to 25 veins now that contain gold that we’ve got at least a couple of grams off of. It’s a fairly big resource, but it’s in the jungle, and that’s why it wasn’t developed. The biggest thing we’ve done so far is get a road into the property, which is only eight kilometres, but it was a $466,000 expenditure. It was completed about five months ago, and so for the first time ever we were able to work through the rainy season. We’re going to go back to do a drill program in November.
RW: The resource is all within 150 metres of surface?
RW: So you’re looking at an open-pit scenario?
DD: The veins stand up 30 to 50 metres above the surrounding topography, and they form ridges. I think our best hit in the first program was 5 metres of 47 grams, and that was 5 metres true width, a nice oreshoot. That’s the real plum here. To start with, we can get about 200,000 ounces from the surface. Not even by open pitting but by open cutting, just by stripping off around these veins and mining them in the sections where they run. Initially we’re going to be treating 10-gram material.
There are seven arastras [primitive milling operations] here. I’ve sampled their orepiles, and I’ve never gotten less than 15 grams out of them. Now they’re hand picking it and transporting it around on mules, or when it dries out a bit they use an old Toyota Land Cruiser, but they’re not doing a lot of damage to the resource.