Aztec is a mineral exploration company focused on discovering and developing quality gold-copper/large polymetallic deposits in North America. A solid management team and BOD lead the company with solid track records, including Brad Cooke as Chairman, who founded the company and until recently was the CEO (and founder) of Endeavour Silver (one of the few remaining primary silver producers).
Aztec’s flagship assets in the Tombstone JV project in Arizona (75%/25%) with Tombstone Partners. Tombstone is an epithermal gold-silver and CRD lead-zinc-silver-copper-gold project. It also has a JV project with Kootenay Silver (65%/35%) on the Cervantes project in Mexico. Aztec holds the 65% interest, having completed the 4-year earn-in with Kootenay. The company has a fair share structure (which isn't the case with too many junior exploration companies) with 59.71m shares issued and 73.327m shares fully diluted.
Tombstone: This asset is a potential company maker with two components, near-surface mineralization amenable to open-pit/underground mining in, around, and below the Contention pit, higher-grade epithermal mineralization as well as a CRD deposit at depth. The near-term focus is to delineate additional resources around and below the Contention pit as this is lower-hanging fruit. Longer-term (and potentially near-term) if exploration efforts mirror that of the Taylor project (which was acquired by South32 for $1.8B a couple of years ago), the focus could change. It is located 65km northeast of the enormous Taylor CRD discovery. The Contention open-pit operated in the late 1980s with recovery rates of 75% Au and 60% Ag. Historically speaking, Tombstone produced 32m oz. Ag, 240k oz. Au, 65m lbs. Pb, and 1.1m lbs. Zn, primarily from oxide ores between 1878-1939. Technologies have improved, so one should expect metallurgical tests to yield higher recovery rates.
The Phase I RC drill program was comprised of 20 holes and 2,993m, which tested for the potential for shallow, broad, bulk tonnage Au-Ag mineralization around and below the Contention open-pit and underground mine workings (successfully). The focus of the Phase I exploration program was to better define three styles of mineralization. The three types of mineralization at Tombstone include;
- Potential high-grade, bulk tonnage CRD's could lie below the Bisbee Group in the underlying limestones, geologically similar to the Taylor deposit. The discovery of a large CRD deposit would be the company maker.
- Bulk tonnage Au-Ag epithermal disseminated and stock-work mineralization around porphyry, on which the Contention open-pit, heap leach operation (developed in the '80s).
- High-grade Ag-Au-Pb-Zn-Cu veins cutting Cretaceous Bisbee Group classic sediments.
Highlights from the Phase I RC drilling campaign:
On September 10th, 2020, Aztec drilled the first five holes (843m) from the Phase I drill program (2,993m). Four holes were drilled in a "spoke pattern" to test the central segment of the north-trending main Contention Structure, which hosts the historic underground and open pit Contention mine (deepest hole 200m vertical). Drill highlights from this release included:
- 77.7m @ 0.94 g/t Au and 42 g/t Ag
- Including 9.14m @ 3.18 g/t Au and 135 g/t Ag
- Including 3.05m @ 3.19 g/t Au and 139.5 g/t Ag
- 97.53m @ 0.77 g/t Au and 25.2 g/t Ag
- 54.86m @ 0.54 g/t Au and 26 g/t Ag
- 24.38m @ 0.52 g/t Au and 26 g/t Ag
At the north end of the Contention pit, four holes were drilled 300m north of the first four holes, which included the highest-grade intercept up until that time (all of which interested old mine workings). Drill highlights included (which included shallow, bulk tonnage, open-pit style Au and Ag mineralization as well as deeper, high-grade, underground-type mineralization at the north end of the Contention Pit;
- 13.71m @ 0.78 g/t Au and 23.5 g/t Ag
- 57.91m @ 0.59 g/t Au and 11.8 g/t Ag
- 30.48m @ 3.21 g/t Au and 45.6 g/t Ag
- Including 15.14m @ 6.18 g/t Au and 77.2 g/t Ag
Additional drill results which comprise the rest of the 2020/21 Phase I drill program include:
- 48.77m @ 0.38 g/t Au and 50.7 g/t Ag
- 25.91m @ 0.43 g/t Au and 78.4 g/t Ag
- 21.34m @ 0.27 g/t Au and 34.7 g/t Ag
- 32m @ 1.40 g/t Au and 55.2 g/t Ag
- 4.57m @ 1.89 g/t Au and 143 g/t Ag
- 15.24m @ 0.61 g/t Au and 76.9 g/t Ag
- 67m @ 1.07 g/t Au and 42 g/t Ag
- 12.2m @ 3.18 g/t Au and 136 g/t Ag
- 30.48m @ 3.21 g/t Au and 45.6 g/t Ag
Drilling has confirmed shallow, oxidized gold-silver mineralization below the Contention pit, which thus far boasts above-average grades for the region. Drilling has confirmed bulk tonnage gold-silver mineralization down 100m deep along the Contention pit, which is still open for expansion. The 2021 RC Phase II drill program is focused on infilling the 2020 drilling in and around the Contention pit as well as targeting shallow epithermal oxide gold and silver mineralization.
The company released initial results from the Tombstone 2021 Phase II RC drilling. The first five holes were drilled along the north-central part of the Contention pit, confirmed and expanded near-surface mineralization. The holes were drilled in two fan patterns below the north-central part of the Contention open pit, stepping out from and filling in between the 2020 north and central Contention drill patterns.
Every hole intersected near-surface, oxidized gold-silver mineralization in two or more parallel zones. Drill highlights include;
- 32m @ 5.71 g/t Au and 40.5 g/t Ag
- 21.40m @ 2.07 g/t Au and 26.1 g/t Ag
- 21.34m @ 1.19 g/t Au and 37.1 g/t Ag
The Phase II RC infill drill program, is ongoing. Recently, on July 27th, 2021, Aztec reported some excellent drill results from its Phase II RC drill program on the Tombstone project. Drill highlights include:
- 96m @ 1.39 g/t Au and 56.40 g/t Ag
- 39.64m @ 2.09 g/t Au and 47.1 g/t Ag
- 4.57m @ 1.26 g/t Au and 18.6 g/t Ag
- 7.60m @ 0.90 g/t Au and 41.6 g/t Ag
- 6.1m @ 1.05 g/t Au and 24.3 g/t Ag
Aztec also has a JV project with Kootenay Silver, the Cervantes Porphyry Au-Cu property in Sonora, Mexico. Drilling has commenced, so it is likely assays will be reported in Q4/Q1.
Aztec Minerals provides significant optionality to investors through the drill bit, bulk tonnage mineralization, epithermal mineralization, and the potential of a large and valuable CRD deposit, though drilling is required, notably at depth.
Disclosure: Goldseek Employees own shares of Aztec Minerals.