The South Gobi is one of the fastest developing mining regions in the world, in part due to its proximity to China, the world's largest consumer of commodities. Limited exploration has already yielded multiple gold, copper and molybdenum deposits with an estimated mineral endowment of over 85Moz of gold and greater than 43Mt of copper.
Kincora Copper was the first company to conduct modern, district scale, systematic exploration across the Southern Gobi copper belt. It has been exploring in Mongolia for over ten years and has retained one of the largest land packages in the Southern Gobi. This includes two, and potentially a third, large copper and gold intrusive systems, the latter only being discovered during last year's fieldwork.
In 2021, Kincora (after spending some A$13 million on Mongolian exploration) decided to refocus its efforts on porphyry projects in Australia's Macquarie Arc belt. Resilience Mining is the beneficiary of Kincora's relocation, securing what Kincora told its own shareholders is a "very attractive portfolio" with targets "as good as you get within a global setting".
Under Resilience Mining's deal with Kincora it will acquire an 80% interest in Kincora's licences. It will also take over Kincora's on-site White Pearl exploration camp, its existing geological and administration teams in Mongolia and an office in Ulaanbaatar. In addition, Resilience Mining will have exclusive access to Kincora's large and proprietary datasets of gold and copper opportunities in Mongolia, and this (combined with Resilience Mining's own database that includes more than 160 mineral projects) places Resilience Mining in a strong position to acquire promising new exploration licences.
Kincora will retain an interest in these assets through a 9.9% equity in Resilience Mining, a seat on its Board and a retained 20% interest in the transferred licences, together with an option to take a 20% funded interest in any other projects generated in Mongolia by Resilience Mining. The retained equity in the three transferred licences will be free carried until a successful PFS at Bronze Fox or a Scoping Study at Tourmaline Hills. Thereafter an 80:20 JV will be formed on a fund or dilute basis.
Resilience Mining's exploration and development strategy is focussed on targets that are at, or near, the surface, with some "quick wins" able to be progressed into near term production. One of these successes has been the recent delivery of a maiden JORC resource at the West Kasulu prospect, which is part of the Bronze Fox project. The inferred resource consists of 194Mt containing 504,000t copper-equivalent (CuEq) at a 0.20% CuEq cut-off. The deeper porphyry (below 325m) at this prospect is thought to contain an exploration target of 100-300Mt grading 0.25-0.35% CuEq.
Resilience Mining is now in the throes of completing its pre-IPO financing and is in advanced preparations for a listing on the ASX. Associated funding of at least A$5 million is planned to finance the company's significant drilling programme to increase the size of, and confidence in, already defined near-surface large mineral systems.
Resilience Mining has three main objectives post listing:
1. Bring into near-term production the company's at/near-surface Cu and Au deposits, initially focusing on the advanced Cu oxide project at the West Kasulu JORC Resource.
2. Drill the portfolio of potential shallow Cu/Au porphyries, including expanding the existing West Kasulu JORC Resource.
3. Joint venture with a major to explore potentially significant deeper porphyries.
Developing the fully and partially oxidised copper inferred resource that is situated within 100m of the surface at West Kasulu will be Resilience Mining's first objective after the IPO, with production possible as early as 2024. Desktop analysis has already commenced for a potential near term, near surface copper oxide heap leaching project, situated on the existing mining license. Metallurgical test work by Kincora indicated 70% soluble Cu in the oxides, and Resilience Mining intends to augment this project with its own management's SX/EW experience.
A second objective is to grow the West Kasulu JORC inferred resource, mainly above 325m, and to explore for other shallow porphyry targets, particularly those at Dunlop Fox on the Bronze Fox mining licence, and West Kasulu Extension and the more recent discovery at Shuteen North, both on the Tourmaline Hills exploration licence.
Resilience Mining is also seeking a major partner to assist in exploring the deeper porphyry deposits on its acquired licences as it looks for the next world-class porphyry similar to Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi deposit in the South Gobi.
Mining Licence at Bronze Fox
The Bronze Fox project is situated within a 30-year mining licence and hosts the majority of the West Kasulu porphyry deposit and its JORC resource. Kincora had also identified an additional Cu/Au prospect and four Au/Pb/Zn porphyry-related epithermal prospects on the licence.
The Shallows project at West Kasulu is 2.4km long and 1.4km wide, and is believed to be potentially similar to Xanadu's Kharmagtai open-cut project where a scoping study has recently attracted a staged investment commitment of A$58 million from Zijin Mining.
Drilling at West Kasulu already includes an intersection of 929m at 0.37% CuEq from 343m (hole F62), and 10m at 0.80% CuEq from 528m (hole F107). Drilling planned for 2022/23 includes 1,900m to grow the resource above a depth of 325m.
Exploration Licence at Tourmaline Hills
This project hosts the extension of the West Kasulu project and two other less explored but outcropping prospective Cu/Au porphyry complexes (with historic artisanal mining), and a further three identified porphyry-related Au/Pb/Zn epithermal prospects.
Kincora reported "encouragement" after work in 2021 for near surface gold at the West Fox epithermal prospect in the north-east of the tenement. This included 179 samples of over 1 g/t Au (with grades of up to 126 g/t), plus silver, copper and lead. Rock chip samples included 14% grading over 1 g/t Au, and 2% grading over 10 g/t Au.
Resilience Mining's management experience includes that of Chairman Mark Stewart, Technical Director Peter Reynolds and Exploration Consultant Zygmunt Jakubiak.
Stewart has over 34 years of international legal and commercial experience, particularly in the junior mining and resources sector, plus ten years as a senior executive with Anglo American Plc.
Reynolds has over 45 years of experience in the minerals industry, and since 2006 has consulted to the industry, with regular visits to Mongolia. He established and managed AMC Consultants' offices in London and Adelaide, and prior to that held senior positions with Normandy Mining, Newmont Australia and at BHP's Olympic Dam Operations.
Jakubiak has more than 40 years industry experience in Africa, Europe, Russia, Australia and Central Asia. He has had several years of senior and consulting roles in Kazakhstan.