Barry FitzGerald: A few things Tolga Kumova told us about his stake in Meteoric Resources
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Melbourne’s bustling mining investor Tolga Kumova has taken a shine to the switch in focus by Meteoric Resources (ASX:MEI) from Canadian cobalt to high-grade Brazilian gold.
Fresh from raising more than $500,000 at a kid’s charity day with his broker mate Ben Kay at their Mingela Polo Club near Daylesford in country Victoria, Kumova has just increased his Meteoric stake to 10.6%.
The increase comes from his involvement in Meteoric’s $2.64 placement and share purchase plan in support of its acquisition of the Juruena and Novo Astro projects in central Brazil from the restructuring ASX-listed Crusader Resources (ASX:CAS).
Kumova told Garimpeiro that while it was the high-grade and near-term production potential of Juruena that got him excited, both projects come with potential big porphyry gold-copper upside.
The projects sit on the western end of the Alta Floresta Belt in Mato Grosso state. The belt is home to historic production of more than 7 million ounces of gold.
But the 2017 discovery of a gold-copper porphyry system by mining giant Anglo American has made the region an exploration hotspot, triggering a pegging rush only matched in recent times by Rio Tinto’s Winu copper-gold-silver find in Western Australia’s remote Paterson province.
Like the veil of secrecy Rio initially threw over Winu, Anglo American has been tight-lipped on what it has found at its discovery.
Anglo American chief executive, Australian ex-pat Mark Cutifani, said last year that after drilling an initial six holes, the company stopped and started pegging all the land it could.
“We’ve actually pegged out a fairly substantial land position. I think it’s five times the size of Kent, whereas in Australia, it’s about the size of Gina’s backyard,” Cutifani said.
Meteoric’s Juruena project area lies about 100km west of the Anglo American discovery but as its 1.2c share price for a current market value of $8m reflects,
nearology alone has yet to deliver a market re-rating for the stock.
Still, the company and lead investors like Kumova are excited about the leverage to the upside to be had from success in an upcoming exploration program, funded by the $2.64m underwritten equity raising.
Juruena already hosts a stock exchange compliant resource of 1.3 million tonnes grading 6.3 grams of gold a tonne for 261,000oz (contained).
It was the scene of a gold rush in the 1980s when 20,000 of Garimpeiro’s Brazilian cousins swarmed in to the area to recover 500,000oz of gold from surface scratchings.
Meteoric managing director Andrew Tunks said the immediate plan was to initially concentrate on the growing the high-grade resource for an early trial mining operation before focusing on the porphyry potential.
He said the geology and geochemistry suggested the presence of a high sulphidation gold deposit which can be a peripheral part of a porphyry copper system.
Tunks plans to start drilling at Juruena in June to increase confidence in the high-grade gold resource estimate and to grow its size – ideally to around the 400,000oz mark considered necessary to underpin a commercial operation.
Meteoric has started the mining licence approvals process under which the trial mining carve out allows for the mining of up to 100,000 tonnes a year for each licence.
Following up the porphyry potential – indicated by drilling undertaken by a Canadian company before Crusader came along – would then follow.
Novo Astro is a less advanced large soil anomaly (15 sq km) from which rock chip samples grading more than 10g/t have been returned. It has also been a source of high-grade gold for garimpeiros for 40 years.
Initial work under Meteoric’s ownership will involve geophysical work to better define a circular anomaly which has a large surface gold anomaly sitting on the top of it.