Booth # 2738 • orvana.com • 416.369.1629
Orvana Minerals’ (TSX:ORV) Don Mario gold mine in Eastern Bolivia has proven this Toronto-based company’s competence in acquiring, building and operating a mine. In developing newly acquired assets – the advanced-stage El Valle-Boinás/Carlés gold-copper project in Northern Spain and the Copperwood copper project in Michigan, United States – Orvana Minerals applies the same ingredients that made it a success story: experienced team, quality projects and cash resources. CEO Roland Horst talks about these promising mineral assets and the company’s journey towards further growth and value-creation.
Resource Intelligence: You expect production at your El Valle-Boinás/Carlés gold-copper (EVBC) project to start this spring. Are things moving along as scheduled?
Roland Horst: Yes they are. We will be processing at about 70% capacity or approximately 70,000 to 75,000 ounces per annum starting in May and then we’ll go to into full production in early 2012, which would be another 25,000 to 30,000 ounces per annum. The full production will be 105,000 ounces of gold per annum and about 3,900 tonnes of copper per annum.
RI: How competitive is the project in terms of operating costs?
RH: It is very competitive. Before we put small hedges in place required by our bank facility, we were probably below the 50 percentile cost at about 0 an ounce. With the hedges we’re probably below 0 an ounce, including copper credits.
RI: Could you give us more details that would help investors evaluate the project?
RH: The mine life that we have outlined in the 43-101 is seven years, including the reserve base, which is 700,000 ounces. But when you look at the indicated and inferred potential, we think that the mine life could easily be doubled. We’re looking at a quick payback of 2 to 3 years based on current prices. We’ve paid million cash for this asset and we’re putting about million into it. Altogether that’s about 5 million for what could turn out to be 2.5 million ounces including inferred. So you’re looking at acquisition/development cost per ounce in the area of .
RI: What about the infrastructure, jurisdiction and expertise of the team?
RH: We’ve been mining in Bolivia for eight years and we’ve got the mining expertise: we kept some of the people from Rio Narcea that have worked on that asset for over 10 years. We have 225 people on site now and that will increase to 250. It’s a great team and a great asset. There is a mill, which we have refurbished, and there was substantial development already including a lined tailings pit.
RI: Could you update us on the Don Mario Mine upper mineralized zone (UMZ), which you are now working on?
RH: This is a new deposit that has a 10-year mine life. It will produce on average about 14.5 million lbs of copper, about 14,000 ounces of gold and 460,000 ounces of silver. The payback is fairly quick, probably less than a year. It has about 6 million tonnes so it looks to be a fairly finite resource at this point but it is very profitable. The only thing left to be completed is the sulfuric acid plant. We expect to be fully operational in early March. We’re still producing about 1,500 ounces a month from Los Tajos and will stop this production as UMZ begins.
RI: What other projects will you be advancing this year?
RH: The big one is Copperwood in Michigan. The PEA we announced last September reported about 20 million tonnes at 1.8% copper. We will be working towards a pre-feasibility study and permitting this summer. That’s one to watch and we’ve also got an additional roughly 8 million tonnes right next to that. We expect to combine those two and will have a new 43-101 resource report out very soon.
RI: What immediate opportunities are on the horizon for your shareholders?
RH: The immediate one is Bolivia, which will be in production March 2011, and then Spain with 70% production in May. Then in June we are looking at pre-feasibility and permitting for Copperwood. The fact that we are going from a low cash flow, low-income story to a high cash flow, high-income story will give us the opportunity to look for acquisitions.
RI: Where do you see Orvana in five to 10 years?
RH: We’d like to be an intermediate gold producer of 300,000 to 500,000 ounces per annum and a significant copper producer with over 30,000 tonnes of copper per annum as we bring Copperwood on stream. We anticipate revenues of over 0 million in the next five years. This is a very strong growth story in copper, gold and silver.
RI: Which three key points should investors look at when evaluating Orvana?
RH: The first point is that we’re a miner and this is a cash-flow and an income story so it’s not an exploration story. The second point is the growth potential of our existing projects particularly in Spain, where we think we could probably double those ounces in the measured and indicated category and then eventually look at increased production as well. So there is good internal growth. The third point is that this is a very strong developing copper story in both Michigan and Bolivia. The three key points are cash-flow producer, good growth potential, and copper/gold play.
RI: Is there anything else investors should know?
RH: We are in a strong financial position and have drawn down a -million loan from Credit Suisse. We’ve got million on the balance sheet right now so there’s really no issue for us to finance Spain. With the cash flow from Bolivia and Spain we can then look at financing Copperwood as well as additional acquisitions.
Growing pipeline of development projects
– El Valle-Boinás Carlés(EVBC), Spain (Au/Cu)
– Don Mario Upper Mineralized Zone (UMZ), Bolivia (Cu/Au/Ag)
– Copperwood, Michigan (CW), USA (Cu)
Experienced management team and board, focused on building long-term shareholder value
Strong financial position
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