On July 17, 2019, Josemaria Resources completed a previously announced spin-out of the Los Helados Project and certain other exploration properties into NGEx Minerals by a Plan of Arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act (the “Arrangement”) and changed its name to “Josemaria Resources Inc.”
Under the terms of the Arrangement, the Company transferred its wholly-owned subsidiaries that directly or indirectly held the Los Helados Project and other exploration projects located in Argentina and Chile, along with $7.3 million in cash to NGEx Minerals Ltd. in exchange for common shares of NGEx Minerals. NGEx Minerals was incorporated on February 21, 2019 under the laws of CBCA as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company in connection with the Arrangement. Pursuant to the Arrangement, the Company distributed 100% of the common shares of NGEx Minerals it received under the Arrangement to its Josemaria Resources shareholders on a pro rata basis, such that its shareholders received one common share of NGEx Minerals for every two common shares of Josemaria Resources held as of the record date. NGEx Minerals began trading on August 20, 2019 on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSX-V”) under the trading symbol “NGEX”.
Pursuant to the Arrangement and changes made to the Board of Directors during the third quarter of 2019, the Company’s board of directors is currently comprised of the following eight directors:
- Lukas Lundin
- Jack Lundin
- Wojtek Wodzicki
- Ashley Heppenstall
- Paul Conibear
- Christine Batruch
- Adam Lundin
- Ron Hochstein
Changes were made to the executive team during the third quarter of 2019, with the goal of assembling a dedicated team with the capability to complete the technical and commercial feasibility work required to advance the Josemaría Project towards development:
- Mr. Adam Lundin was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer effective September 16th, 2019, replacing Dr. Wojtek Wodzicki, who continues to serve as a Director of the Company;
- Mr. Ian Gibbs was appointed Chief Financial Officer effective as of September 1, 2019, replacing Ms. Joyce Ngo, who has taken on the role of Corporate Controller;
- Mr. Arndt Brettschneider was appointed Vice-President, Projects, effective as of August 6, 2019, replacing Mr. James Beck, who resigned as Vice-President, Corporate Development and Projects. Mr. Brettschneider has overall responsibility for the delivery of the Josemaría Project Feasibility Study.
- The Company’s primary focus is the advancement of its 100% the Josemaría Project in San Juan Province, Argentina by completing a feasibility study by the third quarter of 2020. The Company assembled an integrated engineering team led by Fluor Canada Ltd., who is responsible for overall project management, infrastructure and mineral process design and project cost estimation. Other consultants are also engaged to support the program with a focus on environmental issues and permitting, social and community relations, mineral resource and reserve estimates, mine design and tailings and water management.
- To provide the material for feasibility-level metallurgical testwork and to increase confidence in the mineral reserve, particularly the portion scheduled for the first five years of production in the PFS, the Company completed a comprehensive reserve definition drill program earlier in the year. Data from the drill program is being used to update the resource and reserve models and metallurgical equations, which will form the basis for detailed mine planning as part of the current feasibility study. Drilling to collect geotechnical data for the open-pit mine design and to determine site geotechnical conditions at planned locations for mine infrastructure, and to locate and characterize source locations for water to support the planned operation, was also carried out.
- During the second half of 2019, work on the feasibility study focused on advancing project design concepts and engineering designs for on and offsite facilities. Analysis of samples for metallurgical and comminution testwork continued with a focus on increasing confidence in the expected metallurgical response and grinding characteristics of the mineral reserve. Pilot plant testing of a bulk sample was completed, and an analysis of the test results commenced. Work also commenced on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (the “ESIA”) with the engagement of Ausenco (Vector Argentina S.A.) based in Mendoza, Argentina, to compile the baseline data and lead the development of the ESIA in support of future project permitting.
- The Company commenced the Argentine summer field season test programs during the third quarter of 2019 to collect additional geological, geotechnical, metallurgical and hydrological information. Collection of baseline, archeological, community, social and environmental data to inform the ESIA was also continued through 2019.
The Company is targeting completion of the feasibility study on the Josemaría Project by the third quarter of 2020, with the objective of advancing the Project towards permitting and eventual development. Management also plans to continue environmental and social baseline studies that will provide information required to prepare an ESIA report in support of project permitting. Additional opportunities and next steps include:
- Project optimization and value engineering;
- Compilation and integration of field season results;
- Offsite infrastructure assessments;
- Concentrate transportation option analysis;
- Environmental and social impact assessment;
- Community engagement; and
- Continued open dialogue with all levels of government.