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Atico am-mining-may13-bro-s

  1. 1. www.aticomining.comAticoMiningCopper and goldfrom Colombia
  2. 2. CopperandgoldfromColombiaAtico Mining is single-mindedly preparing torejuvenate the senescent El Roble mine and makeit perform better than ever it did in its primeAticoMiningwritten by: John o’hanlonresearch by: abi abagun
  3. 3. Based in Vancouver, Atico MiningCorporation focuses on findingand developing mid-size high-grade copper-gold deposits inLatin America. The companywas floated on the Toronto Stock Exchangejust over a year ago by a team that has longand successful experience in the region andincludes several members of the Ganozafamily which is very much involved in FortunaSilver which has operations in Mexico as wellas their home nation Peru.Atico, however is currently taken up withjust one project, El Roble located near to thetown of El Carmen de Atratoin the Chocó department ofColombia. There is alreadya functioning mine there,privately run by localcompany Minera El Roblewhich over the last coupleof decades has mined 1.5million tonnes of ore withan average head grade of2.5 percent copper and 2.5 grams per tonneof gold. Atico has an option to purchase a90 percent interest in this operation, and ishoping to exercise that option during thecourse of this year, taking over the currentmining operation plus the surrounding6,600 hectares in mining claims.The current owner is happy to relinquishits interest since the levels now being minedare nearly exhausted, and to allow Atico toexplore the future possibilities of the mineand its surrounding areas. And these areconsiderable, says CEO Fernando Ganoza.El Roble is a volcanogenic massive sulphideEl Roble, Surfacedrill programAticoMining(VMS) deposit, the only one currently beingworked in Colombia but similar to veryproductive sites of a similar nature in Canadaand elsewhere in the world. “VMS depositsoften come in packs, or clusters,” he explains.“The fact that we are in an area of 100 squarekilometres, where five or six other VMSs arebeing explored in a 100 kilometre radiusindicates there is potential for this area to belike those in Canada, Peru and other VMSdistricts. But here the percentage of sulphidein this mineralisation could be very high, ashigh as 70 or 80 percent. What you find inthe El Roble is more chalcopyrite, carrying30 percent copper, hence thehigh copper grades.”More immediately,though, Atico has concludedthat another level containingat least as much ore as hasalready been extracted overthe lifetime of El Robleis lying up to 300 metresbelow the existing mine.“There are two things that excite us aboutEl Roble,” Ganoza continues. “One is theexisting mine, which we will continue towork, along with the fact we have foundthese very high grade resources below themine. That creates the perfect opportunityto combine an ongoing operation withnewly-found resources that we can takeadvantage of. At the same time we areexcited about the prospect of findingadditional VMSs in the surrounding landpackage. These can then be developed andfed to the mill and processing facility thatis already operating.”1.5million tonnesOre already extractedfrom El Roble
  4. 4. MWH Geo-Surveys is a geophysical service groupwhich has been successfully providing practical and cost-effective GRAVITY SURVEYS for mining, petroleum andgeothermal exploration since 1980.• All digital land gravity surveys• Proprietary gravity /GPS data collection system• Committed to precision field work in even the mostdemanding of environments around the world• Overriding commitment to consistent, safe and reliablesurvey quality• Gravity surveys performed in over 31 countries,on 5 continents; with over 700,000 gravity stationscollected to date by dedicated field staffUS: 1 775-722-0616 | Canada: 1 250-542-9897www.mwhgeo.comHigh Quality Land Gravity Surveys - WorldwideThe existing mill hasdaily capacity of 400 tonnes.Atico will need to grow thiscapacity. “The first expansionwill be relatively small – a40 to 50 percent increase tomaybe 600 tpd. At the sametime we will be optimizingthe operation in termsof productivity. Right nowthe throughput is 350,and we want to take it up to600 tonnes.”So the currentinfrastructurewillberetainedand improved, but the deeperlevels will be accessed withdifferent infrastructure, designed from theoutset to support throughput of up to 600tpd. “We will be trucking ore from insidethe mine, which means you have to haveanother dimension of tunnelling.” This willbe a much more sophisticated operation thanthe existing one, which uses LHD (load-haul-dump) equipment. However the new stopeswill use mechanised cut-and-fill methods.Modern mining, he hopes, will address oneanomaly that has shown up in the mine, whichhas been producing at a grade lower than thehistorical resource that Kennecott definedEl Roble Mine, Flotation CircuitAticoMining“VMS depositsoften comein packs,or clusters”MWH Geo-SurveysMWH Geo-Surveys specializes in high precision gravitysurveys. Using digital ‘feedback’ micro-gravity instrumentscombined with millimeter precision GNSS positioningand a digital terrain mapping system, our gravity surveyscan efficiently and accurately map your density specificexploration properties.MWH has developed a data logging system that wirelesslycaptures the digital gravity meter output and integrates thereal-time GNSS positions to enhance survey productivityand accuracy.For over thirty years our operations have spanned the globeincluding some of the world’s most challenging environments.With knowledge, experience and technology we can providegravity surveys in a safe and cost effective
  5. 5. “Mines have a finite life and we worrythat El Carmen de Atrato’s dependencewill only increase, so we need to doeverythinginourpowertomitigatethat”back in the 1980s at 4.8 percent copper and3.2 g/t gold. Actual yields have come in at2.5 percent and 2.5 g/t respectively, but thisis probably explained simply by dilution: toomuch extraneous rock is getting mixed inwith the extracted ore. The new El Roble willbe better equipped to deliver the high gradesthe geologists are finding.However the existing infrastructure atthe level currently being mined – calledthe 2000 level because it is 2,000 metresthe sophistication it needs, which is why theassociation with us makes sense.”Atico’s directors are from South Americaand are here for the long term. Colombiahas become a lot more secure in the lastdecade, though in its 22 years of operation ElRoble, on the edge of its most stable provinceAntioquia, never experienced any problems.However El Carmen de Atrato has becomevery dependent on El Roble, with 50 percentof its economic activity directly related tothe mine. “Our vision for this property isthat it will become a much bigger operation- we believe this could be a very importantmining centre. But mines have a finite lifeand we worry that El Carmen de Atrato’sdependence will only increase, so we need todo everything in our power to mitigate that.”The idea is to make El Carmen de Atratoabove sea level – can be used productivelyin the new 1800 level. The shafts can beused to bring additional access points intothe mine, bring in services like electricity,water and air, and provide alternativesafety. “We will add a lot of years to thelife of the mine with these new resources,but there needed to be investment to reachthese resources and mine them efficiently,”he summarises. “The current owner doesn’twant to make that investment, and lacksEl Roble Mine, ColombiaAticoMiningself-sufficient by the time the mine closes.Atico Mining, he reveals, as already knockingon the doors of government departments,local authorities and NGOs to start schemesto develop local agricultural, engineeringand service businesses that can take overas an alternative to El Roble, which alreadyemploys 35 local people in connection withits ongoing surveying and drilling work.But for now Fernando Ganoza’s energy iscompletely taken up with this year’s game-changers for Atico – purchasing the mineand getting the mill in shape to double itscurrent throughput.For more information aboutAtico Mining
  6. 6. Produced by:www.bus-ex.comAtico