top of page

Antilles mine plans boosted by more Cuban copper hits

Antilles Gold exploration director Dr Christian Grainger examining El Pilar drill core. Credit: File

Antilles Gold believes new copper intervals have confirmed the near-term development potential of its El Pilar oxide copper-gold deposit in Cuba and says production could start as early as 2025.

The company has completed 3000m of diamond drilling from a 7000m program and results reveal copper intersections of 13m at 2.12 per cent copper from 80m and 5m grading 1.46 per cent copper 40m.

Other intersections from the program include 12m at 4.8 grams per tonne gold from surface, with 98m grading 0.73 per cent copper from 29m in the same hole and 24m going 2g/t gold from 5m, with 7m at 1.82 per cent copper from 55m also in the same hole.

Antilles says outstanding gold grades in the gold domain extend from surface to depths of between 40m and 50m, with solid copper grades in the underlying copper domain continuing for a further 50m to 70m.

The oxide gold zones are well defined by old artisanal workings and drilling. Management says oxide copper zones are increasing in volume both laterally and vertically with continuing exploration and expects them to project into the underlying porphyry sulphides.

Antilles is pushing towards a mineral resource estimate for its proposed Nueva Sabana oxide mine around the end of this year after additional holes have been drilled and included.

It says results from the current drilling program and 24,000m of historic drilling reinforce the prospect of near-term development of its proposed low capital expenditure Nueva Sabana mine at El Pilar. The mine would be based on producing copper concentrate with early high-grade gold concentrate being produced from the gold cap.

Preliminary metallurgical testing shows an 85 per cent gold recovery from a simple rougher flotation circuit, with a concentrate of 53.1g/t gold produced from an ore sample grading 2.11g/t. Metallurgical testing is also continuing on the copper oxide ores.

The Nueva Sabana and El Pilar project is owned by Minera La Victoria SA (MLV), Antilles’ 50:50 joint venture (JV) company it shares with the Cuban Government’s, GeoMinera. MLV intends to rapidly develop the Nueva Sabana mine with the planned start of a 10-month mine construction period in the second quarter of next year aimed at leading to first product sales in early 2025.

Exploration results to date have given MLV the confidence to begin permitting for the mine development and it has completed a detailed estimate of capital costs of about US$20 million (AU$30.5 million) for the proposed mine at a mining rate of 500,000 tonnes per annum of ore. Antilles says MLV has started negotiations with an international commodities trader to arrange an advance on sales of gold concentrate to fund the project development costs.

The company recently revealed it could potentially sell all, or part, of its majority holding in the El Pilar copper JV in the next two or three years if drilling continues to enhance the value of the asset. It has already been approached by interested major companies.

Antilles is well underway planning construction of its La Demajagua gold-silver-antimony mine in Cuba, also in partnership with GeoMinera. Timelines for the Nueva Sabana and La Demajagua mines are similar, giving the company a significant gold and copper production runway starting from 2025.

Management, in conjunction with the Cuban government, has carefully selected highly-prospective tenements to develop and the strategy is starting to show genuine potential. Using forward sales to fund project development could also limit the usual equity raises associated with mine development, meaning shareholders may not be confronted with dilution.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact:


bottom of page