"We own over 120 strike km of the Cape Ray shear and see vast potential beyond what we have already discovered, to add more resources and to grow the mining inventory in Newfoundland."
Can you give a brief overview of Matador Mining and the company’s portfolio?
Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ; OTCQX: MZZMF) is an Australian listed company that owns tenement in Newfoundland Canada, including the Cape Ray gold project and the Hermitage project. We have published a PEA on the Cape Ray project, which already has 837,000 ounces of gold in mineral resource which are within a 15 km strike zone. We own over 120 strike km of the Cape Ray shear and see vast potential beyond what we have already discovered, to add more resources and to grow the mining inventory in Newfoundland.
What characteristics contribute to the attractiveness of the Cape Ray gold project?
Newfoundland is significantly underexplored and has extremely exciting geology. There are structures that run up the East coast of North America and we know that there is gold in the system as multiple discoveries have already been made. In Newfoundland there is also access to low-cost power which is 95% renewable, with a target to get to 100%. The mining industry has the support of local government, provincial government, local communities, and the first nation groups which want exploration and mine development to be successful. They understand that it contributes to job and wealth creation for the island. Everything you are looking for in an exploration destination is in Newfoundland.
Relative to more developed areas in Canada, how underexplored is Newfoundland and to what extent has drilling in the region expanded over the past few years?
The number of tenements pegged three years ago has increased four-fold today. Four years ago, the total drilling on the island was 70,000 m. Drilling activity on the island has increased significantly and with up to 400,000 m of diamond drilling estimated to occur on the Island for gold exploration during 2021 alone. Newfoundland is today known as a gold exploration destination.
What is Matador Mining’s exploration and drilling strategy moving forward?
Matador Mining has held our tenements for approximately three years and has significantly grown our area landholdings across the prospective, yet poorly explored Cape Ray shear. In 2020, we did the first level of systematic exploration, starting with ground magnetics surveys to establish what is under the transport of cover and identify structures which could host significant gold systems. In addition, we also tested auger drilling, which is a quick and cost-effective drilling system able to easily drill through the shallow transport of cover. Our testing was successful and we identified the path finding elements for gold on our belt. In 2021, we are flying aeromagnetic surveyors across the vast majority of our tenement holding, which will be followed up with expanded auger drilling and then diamond drilling. We have five auger drill rigs testing areas in the belt and we have access to three diamond drill rigs for the season. We are taking a systematic approach to identify rock structures through aeromagnetic surveys, testing the structures to make sure they have the path finding elements for a gold system and, if they do, we will follow up with diamond drilling.
What was the motivation behind the Hermitage property acquisition?
Our local geologist highlighted to us that there was an area, Hermitage, which had previously been explored by base metals explorers. They did not find anything significant for them, but had identified base metal elements which included our path finder elements. This means that it should be a good host system for gold, but no one has ever explored this area for gold before. This is a bolt-on to our Cape Ray project and looks to have good potential that we want to test in 2022.
To what extent is the market willing to take risks on junior mining companies?
We have just raised A$16 million through the Canadian Charity flow-through model, which is very efficient from a lack of dilution perspective. Through this process, we attracted two big North American funds onto our share register, Franklin Templeton, and CI Sentry. From a current capital market perspective, the capital is there for good exploration in highly prospective areas.