Q&A interview with Solid Resources (V.SRW) President & CEO Greg Pendura. The company is focused on tin, tantalum and rare metals exploration in Spain.
What’s new with your company Greg?
Solid Resources (TSX: V.SRW, Stock Forum) is in the final phase of obtaining its mining permit in Spain. The property has a 14 km strike zone showing commercial promise based on its prior NI 43-101 Reserve Estimates and Metallurgy Studies.
What distinguishes your company from others in your space?
Very few junior mining companies have the financial staying power to reach the permitting stage of growth. Fortunately, we are close to the near-term production stage and if all goes well, we will be able to not only experience significant cash flow, but will have the ability to finance other projects internally.
In Spain we are fortunate to have the infrastructure in place. As a team we have the expertise in exploration and production along with the necessary administrative talent to interface with government bodies to fast track the process.
Spain has been in the news over its current recession and high unemployment, is this a negative for your company?
In fact, we have seen this as a positive for Solid both financially and in expediting the project into production. While Spain has always been a mining-friendly country, with a rich history of natural resources, there has been a definite appetite with the current Spanish mining authorities to move our Alberta-1 concession into production as early as practically possible. The Spanish ministry is aware of the potential of our concession and fully appreciate the benefits to their economy and work force of a producing mine. As proof of this, the ministry granted Solid the maximum 20% subsidies for exploration in both 2011 and 2012.
What do you think you could do with that project over time? What would the goals for it be?
We believe we have the potential to see a fully commercial mining operation with a minimum 30-year mine life. In order to obtain our mining permit we need to show a NI 43-101 reserve of five million measured tons and acceptable bulk sample recovery rates in our pilot plant. Internally our goal is to eventually show a reserve of 50 million tons and to expand our operations from our anticipated initial mining permit of 1500 ton/day to a more appropriate level for a mine resource of this size.
What size of operation will this be and what are your costs?
In discussion with the Spanish mining authorities, we will initially begin with an expandable plant of up to 1,500 tons per day with a cost of approximately $15 million Canadian. Our anticipated ROI is excellent, with an anticipated payback within approximately one year of operation.
You mention tin and tantalum as your target metals, what is the market for these now?
CRU, an independent authority on commodities, has identified tin in their hottest category in forecasting price changes up until 2016. This is largely due to the fact that most counties, including China, which is the largest consumer of tin, have now banned the use of lead in solder, replacing it with tin. As a result, tin is the most common metal used in all electronics, allowing for over 50% of its current usage and placing it in a global supply shortage. Tantalum is another rare metal that is crucial to the electronics industry for its usage in capacitors. Pricing for tantalum, which is largely controlled by 3-4 companies globally have been over US$150 per pound for 30% concentrate and over US$250 per pound in oxide form. The recent passing of the Dodd-Frank Act in August 2012, with respect to conflict-minerals will add to the current global supply shortage of tantalum.
To conclude would you summarize your key goals for the balance of 2012 and 2013?
By the end of 2012 we will have concluded our 2012 Work Program, including drilling and assays to obtain a NI 43-101 compliant Reserve Estimate of five measured million tons. In addition our bulk sampling in our pilot plant will have been completed and very likely surpass the lab recovery rates of 83% for tin and 65% for tantalum. The various environmental studies along with a pre-feasibility studies study will be concluded and all data submitted to the Spanish Mining Authority for permitting approval. Upon receipt of the approvals, funding will be undertaken for the 1500 ton/day facility, with expected construction completion by the end of 2013.
Disclosure: Solid Resources is a Stockhouse client