Flying over the cattle country of the Córdoba region, Simon Ridgway, the CEO of Cordoba Minerals, and Paul Dias, CEO of Minatura International,
inspected an area of artisanal gold mining by helicopter near Puerto Libertador, some 200 kilometers north of Medellín. What caught Ridgway’s eye was a small hill, directly above an alluvial operation, that he believed could be the potential hard-rock source feeding the alluvial zone. Ridgway decided to option the property and his company started actively exploring the 26,000-hectare property in April 2012.
This is a relatively new area for hardrock copper-gold exploration and it is generating interest as a possible extension to the Mid-Cauca Porphyry Belt. “We’re all sort of pioneering this region, which was previously known more for coal than copper or gold,” says Peter Thiersch, President of Cordoba Minerals. “Whether we’re in the same age intrusives as the Mid-Cauca, or whether we’re on the same structural trend or something parallel, is too early to tell, but we do seem to be further north than was previously thought to be prospective.” Continental Gold is exploring an adjacent concession to the east, while Ashmont Resources is exploring a project to the west.“It’s a bit of a contest to see who gets the best results, before we can talk about opportunities to consolidate the district, which would probably be the most attractive scenario,” says Thiersch.
The Cordoba property contains at least five areas of interest but its main target is at Montiel, an abandoned artisanal gold operation that exposes an area of strong quartz-magnetite stockwork veining over an area of roughly 200 by 200 meters. An initial program of 5,000 meters of diamond drilling at Montiel is in the permitting process, with a second contingent phase of drilling aimed at the other anomalies across the property. Sampling has so far returned significant gold and copper values in soils and rocks, and suggests that Montiel may host a large copper-gold porphyry system. “It seems something big is going on here,” says Thiersch, “as we have multiple ‘windows’ of porphyry, skarn, and alluvial-style mineralization popping up across the property.” Cordoba has formed a series of trenches across the Montiel target, which most recently have returned results of 48m of 1.80g/t gold and 0.34% copper.
Cordoba currently owns an 11% interest in the property and under the terms of the option can earn an additional 40% by spending $15 million on exploration over the next two and a half years. About half of the project’s concessions have been granted so far, but Cordoba is waiting for approval
of key concessions before starting the full drilling program. For now, the company is 100% focused on the Cordoba project, but is always reviewing potential acquisitions as well. “It seems like everyone’s uncle has a gold project to look at in Colombia,” jokes Thiersch. “The country is so prospective that there are many great opportunities here and we’re happy to be a part of it.”