- A project generator and exploration company
- Portfolio includes nearly 40 gold, silver and precious metal projects in Chile and Argentina
- Holds about $20 million in the bank with no debt
What Mirasol Resources does:
Mirasol Resources Ltd (CVE:MRZ) (OTCMKTS:MRZLF) is a project generator and exploration company with gold, silver and precious metal properties in Chile and Argentina.
The company’s portfolio includes two self-funded projects with planned drilling programs, plus five projects under exploration partnership as well as a portfolio of deal-ready and pipeline projects in both countries.
Mirasol’s exploration efforts are focused on two highly productive mining regions: the Atacama-Puna region of northern Chile and the Santa Cruz Province in southern Argentina. These regions are richly endowed with mineralization and have world-class gold, silver and copper mines operated by some of the world’s largest mining companies.
Mirasol’s exploration strategy combines the project generator business model and self-funded exploration and drilling. Under this hybrid model, the company first secures ownership of the property, completes preliminary exploration work and defines drill targets. Then Mirasol assesses the risk-reward trade-off to determine whether to invest further by drill-testing the property itself or to team up with quality partners to test the property via an earn-in agreement.
In these partnerships, the partner - typically a well-funded major mining company - invests its money over several years in Mirasol-owned properties, saving Mirasol from risking its own cash as it retains exposure to a potential discovery through a retained interest and also generates an income stream.
Led by CEO Norman Pitcher, a professional geologist, Mirasol’s management team has decades of experience in the geological terrains and deposit types common to Chile and Argentina. Also, the Mirasol team has extensive knowledge and experience in claims management, permitting regimes and community/government relations in both countries.
Mirasol’s head office is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the company has local offices in both Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago, Chile.
How is it doing:
Mirasol entered 2020 in a strong financial position and had around $17 million in the bank and no debt at the end of March. Meanwhile, the firm's partnership structure allows it to maintain a tight share structure under which company insiders hold 28% of the 54 million shares outstanding.
In March, however, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the company to temporarily suspend field activities at its projects in Chile and Argentina to ensure the safety of its employees. Since then, the company has slowly started up some operations.
In August, Mirasol resumed fieldwork at the Inca Gold Project in Chile and is now completing a comprehensive surface exploration program. The initial focus of the program is on the Sandra target, in the southern part of the property and includes 1:2000 scale mapping of the quartz vein swarms, systematic channel sampling across the veins and reconnaissance prospecting to refine drill targets.
The company has staked an additional 2,200 hectare near the Sandra target and plans a 1,500 meter (m) diamond drilling program toward the end of 2020. Mirasol has an option to acquire the Inca Gold project from mining major Newmont Corporation (NYSE:NEM).
Over in Argentina at its Sascha Marcelina project, Mirasol is moving forward with a self-funded 2,600m drill program designed to complete an initial test of the best targets on the property. Mirasol believes the project contains defined targets that are both of high quality and drill-ready and it is willing to take a more aggressive approach to see these targets tested over the upcoming season.
In addition to the foregoing self-funded initiatives, Mirasol is working with its partners to see drilling completed at its projects currently under partnerships in both Chile and Argentina.
In Chile at the Gorbea Gold project, Mirasol has teamed up with a subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM), which is funding and operating the project. Mirasol’s partner is committed to drilling 2,000m during the next field season.
So far, Newcrest has spent around US$8.6 million on the property and sunk over 5,000m of diamond drilling. The best assays for this year’s program came from the last hole at 0.54 grams per ton (g/t) gold and 2.65 g/t silver over 129m (from 363m), including an intersection of 2.09 g/t of the yellow metal and 3 g/t silver over 10m (from 371m).
Mirasol is also working with Newcrest to test the Altazor project, located in Chile as well. An anticipated first-pass drill program of 2,000m is subject to an ongoing community engagement process, which has been impacted by travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Coronación copper and gold project in Chile, the company is working with another earn-in partner, First Quantum Minerals Ltd (TSE:FM). First Quantum has the option to earn-in 80% of the project over six years by making annual cash payments totaling US$875,000, completing at least 10,000m of drilling and delivering a pre-feasibility study report. First Quantum plans a 3,000m drilling program this field season.
Over in Argentina, Mirasol has teamed with Silver Sands Resources Corp (CSE:SAND) to develop the Virginia Silver project. They have finalized the exploration plan for the upcoming season, which calls for geophysics, trenching and about 2,500m of drilling to be completed before the end of the year, under a first-year commitment of US$ 1 million.
Finally, Mirasol has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for an option deal with Mineria Activa, a Chilean private-equity fund focused on mining. Mineria will have the option to buy 100% of Mirasol’s Nord polymetallic project over four years but must make annual cash payments totaling US$3 million and complete at least US$500,000 worth of exploration during the first two years.
- Expected stand-down of COVID-19 restrictions in Chile and Argentina
- Start of 1,500m drilling at Inca Gold near year-end 2020
- Moving foward with 2,600m of drilling at Sascha Marcelina
- Plans 10,000m of drilling at its partner-funded projects (Virginia/Gorbea/Altazor/Coronación)
- Create more exploration partnerships to further increase drilling programs
What the boss says:
“We are looking forward to the year ahead as Mirasol will see a level of activity at our projects that will result in a solid news flow and hopefully a significant discovery," Mirasol CEO Norman Pitcher said recently.
"Following our strategy of self-funding high priority targets, we will be drilling at Inca Gold in Chile and Sascha Marcelina in Argentina. With the addition of partner funded projects at Virginia, Gorbea, Altazor, and Coronación, Mirasol could see more than 13,000m of drilling on 6 projects.”