Equinox Copper Corp. (TSXV:EQX) is an exploration and development company focused on developing advanced copper projects into near-term producing mines. The Company has acquired a currently producing project strategically located in Chile’s Atacama copper region and two Arizona projects, both of which are past producing mines, located in the heart of Arizona’s copper belt. The Company is working to both sustain and expand production at its Chilean Aura Project, and is pursuing an aggressive exploration program within its Arizona Binghampton Copper Queen project.
- Significant unrealized exploration and expansion potential
- Drill-ready, past producing project located in Arizona’s Copper Belt
- Producing copper project in Chile’s copper-rich Atacama region
- Experienced management & advisory team with decades in copper industry
Aura Project - Atacama, Chile
The Aura project consists of eight land Concessions totaling 1,110 hectares in the northern portion of Chile’s Atacama region. The project is located 50 miles south east of the Punta Padrones port facility, 20 miles east of the city of Copiapó and approximately 12 miles north of Freeport-McMoRan’s Candelaria and Ojos del Salado Mines.
Shipments of ore from the project to the government-owned Enami processing facility re-commenced in late January 2013, with an average copper grade of 2.3%. Prior production at Aura took place in 2011 – under Aura’s previous owners – with shipped ore at a similar grade.
Historical exploration on this property was minimal, leaving significant exploration and expansion potential. Drilling and ore extraction began in Q4 of 2012, with the expectation that the cost of exploration will be covered by revenue from ongoing production. Of note, Equinox is only currently operating on one of its eight Concessions.
In April 2012, Equinox Copper Corp. announced the Company had entered into a definitive agreement with Mineral Pro LLC to acquire 100 percent of their Chilean subsidiary, Mineral Pro Chile, SPA. Under the terms of the agreement, Equinox will gain a 100 percent interest in the Aura Mining Lease by making total cash payments to Mineral Pro LLC of $250,000 over five years, with $50,000 due upon signing of the definitive agreement and $50,000 due per year for the next four years. In addition, Mineral Pro LLC will receive 3,500,000 shares of Equinox Copper Corp. payable over four years and a two percent royalty on net smelter returns. Equinox has the right to purchase all or any part of the royalty for $250,000 per each one percent.
Binghampton Copper Queen Project - Arizona, USA
The Binghampton Copper Queen Project is situated in Yavapai County, Arizona, located in what is known as the Arizona Copper Belt, home to historically significant mines including the Bagdad, Crown King, and Jerome mines. The Binghampton Copper Queen Project is comprised primarily of two past producing mines: the Binghampton and the Copper Queen. Historic production from the Binghampton Mine averaged 3.1% copper with over 8 million pounds of copper produced from 1901 to 1920. The historic Binghampton Mine contains four existing shafts with the deepest being 1,800 feet, totaling approximately 2.5 miles of tunnel workings in place at the 600 foot level range. Historic data demonstrates that the copper grade in mined sulfide concentrations increases with depth, while existing oxide zones (which have shown to consistently run 1 percent copper) were never mined. The area also shows a significant gold, silver, and zinc overprint.
The Binghampton Copper Queen Project contains two known zones of volcanic massive sulfide mineralization: one at the Binghampton mine and one at the Copper Queen Mine. According to data from the Arizona Geological Survey as reported in DeWitt (1995) production for the Binghampton mine was 157,247 short tons at an average grade of 3.10 percent copper and 0.256 ounces per ton silver (8.8 grams per ton) and the production for the Copper Queen mine was 1,413 short tons at an average grade of 9.95 percent copper, 0.25 percent zinc, 1.582 ounces per ton silver (54.2 grams per ton) and 0.097 ounces per ton gold (3.3 grams per ton).
In 2012, the Company initiated surface and underground sampling, and conducted an airborne geophysical survey with 475 line kilometers flown. The Company utilized these results to determine its drill targets for its Phase I drill program, which commenced in late 2012. The Phase I drill program confirmed the existence of copper oxides at less than 50 metres from surface. In 2013 Equinox plans to target the copper oxide zone with Phase II of its drill program.
In July 2012, Equinox Copper Corp. received assay results from preliminary grab sampling underground and surface trench sampling. The highlights from the findings were positive indication grab rocks samples from surface ranged from 0.32% Cu to 18.35% Cu and underground samples from the Copper Queen ranged from 0.36% Cu to 8.30% Cu.
Equinox Copper Corp. is moving forward with the exploration at Binghamton Copper Queen, sampling the surface trenches in greater detail and channel sampling the accessible underground workings at the Copper Queen Mine. The sampling program in combination with the awaited results from the airborne EM survey will assist in directing the upcoming diamond drill program later in the year.
The company is earning a 100 percent interest in the Binghampton property by making cash payments of $1.25-million and issuing five million shares over the next four years, subject to a 3-per-cent net smelter return royalty. Equinox has the right to purchase the royalty at a price of $1-million (U.S.) per 1 per cent. In addition, Equinox is obligated to pay $250,000 and issue a further one million shares on the filing of a NI 43-101 resource estimate for the property.
Equinox Copper Corp. has the experience, knowledge and proven track record of discovery to advance forward with its projects. Positive drill results from the Binghampton Copper Queen Project and the commencement of production at Aura provide Equinox with opportunities for both short-term and long-term catalysts. In fact, the Company’s unique profile distinguishes it from many other copper players.
Corey Dias – Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Dias brings to the role of CEO a wealth of capital markets experience, accumulated over his ten years on both the buy-side and the sell-side of the market. Mr. Dias began his capital markets career in institutional equity research at CIBC in 2003 and gained further sell-side experience with other boutique investment firms in Toronto. In addition, Mr. Dias was a Vice President at Fortress Investment Group – a major U.S.-based hedge fund – where he was involved in the management of a $400 million investment portfolio. Finally, Mr. Dias was a management consultant at The Monitor Group – a U.S.-based strategy consulting firm – in Stockholm, where he gained invaluable experience in identifying and resolving issues faced by executive management at multinational corporations in various industries.
Mr. Dias holds a Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
Joshua Bleak – Director
Mr. Bleak is a fourth‐generation miner from an Arizona mining family that has developed gold, silver, copper, and uranium properties throughout the southwestern United States. He is currently the President and CEO of Passport Potash, a publicly traded Canadian potash exploration company. He was previously President of American Energy Fields, Inc., a U.S. publicly‐traded uranium company. Currently he serves as a director for a number of Canadian junior mining exploration companies and is President of North American Environmental Corp., a consulting company specializing in mining project management, permitting, lobbying, and land tenure.
Dr. Patrick O’Hara – Senior Geologist
Dr. O’Hara, a Certified Professional Geologist, brings with him over four decades of relevant field experience to Equinox. Dr. O’Hara’s fields of specialization include the interpretation of both base and precious metal mineral deposits, geochemistry, petrology and structural geology throughout North America. In addition, he has authored or co-authored a number of publications specifically dealing with volcanic massive sulfide and precious/base metal deposits in central Arizona. Finally, Dr. O’Hara’s prior application of his specializations while working in Arizona with CONOCO Inc. – which previously conducted exploration on Equinox’s Copper Queen asset – provides a unique insight into this property.
Dr. O’Hara received his B.A. from the City University of New York in 1971 and his Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University in 1980. Dr. O’Hara has also served on the Board of Governors of the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources and is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists.