Newmont Holds 9.5% in Metallic, Eyes La Plata's Copper Potential

Newmont maintains 9.5% stake in Metallic Minerals, advancing exploration in the promising La Plata multi-mineral project.

By Max Weldon

5/15, 12:54 EDT
Newmont Corporation

Key Takeaway

  • Newmont Corp. maintains its 9.5% stake in Metallic Minerals by purchasing additional shares, reinforcing their collaboration on the La Plata project.
  • The La Plata project, showing district-scale potential for precious metals, advances into 2024 with plans for resource expansion and new target drilling.
  • With copper's critical role in renewable energy, the La Plata project's development is significant amid a forecasted tightening copper market.

Newmont Increases Stake in Metallic Minerals

Newmont Corp. has exercised its "top-up right" to purchase additional shares in Metallic Minerals Corp., maintaining its 9.5% ownership stake by acquiring 342,750 common shares at CA$0.33 per share. This move comes as part of the companies' ongoing collaboration on the La Plata project in southwestern Colorado, which has shown promising drill results indicating a district-scale, precious-metal-rich porphyry system. Metallic Minerals President Scott Petsel expressed satisfaction with the partnership, highlighting the project's potential based on recent exploration outcomes.

La Plata Project Exploration Advances

Funded by Newmont's initial CA$6.3 million investment, exploration at the La Plata copper-silver-gold-platinum group element (Cu-Ag-Au-PGE) project has benefited from both capital and technical support. This collaboration includes a joint committee overseeing the project, with Newmont contributing expertise and personnel to enhance exploration efforts. The partnership is set to continue into 2024, focusing on surface data acquisition, geologic mapping, and geophysics. The exploration campaign aims to expand the main Allard deposit and test over 20 new surface targets that may represent additional porphyry centers.

2024 Exploration Campaign and Resource Expansion

Metallic Minerals is finalizing plans for its 2024 exploration campaign at La Plata, with objectives including resource expansion drilling at the Allard deposit and initial drilling of new priority targets. The company's 2023 drilling campaign yielded positive results, with significant porphyry-style mineralization encountered in all drilled holes. An expanded NI 43-101 resource estimate for La Plata was announced in July 2023, showcasing a substantial increase in copper and silver resources. The U.S. Geological Survey has also recognized the La Plata mining district as a potential critical minerals resource area, further underscoring the project's significance.

Copper's Role in the Energy Transition

The global copper market, valued at US$304.1 billion in 2022, is projected to grow significantly over the next decade, driven by the demand for renewable energy and electronic devices. Analysts predict a tightening copper market with potential deficits, highlighting the importance of new discoveries and advancements in mining technology. Metallic Minerals, with its exploration efforts at La Plata and strategic partnership with Newmont, is positioned within this critical sector as the world transitions to more sustainable energy sources.

Management Quotes

  • Scott Petsel, President of Metallic Minerals:

    "We are very pleased with the ongoing collaboration and support from Newmont on the La Plata project... Our latest drill results demonstrate the potential of the La Plata project to be a district-scale, precious-metal-rich porphyry system with multiple holes returning from 500 to 900 meters of continuous mineralization starting from surface and including some of the highest grade-times-thickness values for copper drill holes in the U.S. over the last year." "Final planning is in progress for the 2024 exploration campaign, which is anticipated to include resource expansion drilling with a focus on the higher-grade porphyry units at the Allard deposit and first drill testing of new priority targets outside of the Allard resource area." "Our emerging vision for the La Plata project is that we have the potential for a district-scale system with multiple porphyry centers in addition to the Allard resource area... This is supported by multi-kilometer scale metal-in-soil values that extend well beyond an area of drilling and correspond with strong alteration responses in our detailed district-scale airborne hyperspectral survey."