Aztec Minerals CEO Simon Dyakowski discusses the start of 5,000 meter drill program at the flagship Cervantes Gold-Copper Project in Sonora, Mexico

Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Aztec Minerals — Mr. Simon Dyakowski. Simon, good to have you back on. How are you?

Simon Dyakowski: Gerardo, I'm doing very well. We had an update out today… a bit late in the year… but we have started drilling at Cervantes. So I appreciate you having me on to discuss that.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. I love to see CEOs and companies get busy as opposed to just ignore the last couple of weeks of the year. You've commenced a 22- hole, 5,000-meter RC drill program at the Cervantes Gold-Copper Project in Sonora, Mexico. 

This is a project that has had drilling in the past, and, look, the intercepts from past campaigns have been excellent, right; 0.77 grams per tonne gold over 160 meters, for example. Walk me through the approach to this drill program. Is it going to be infill, exploration, a combination of both?

Simon Dyakowski: Exactly. So it will be a combination of infill and step-out drilling at the existing discovery that we made, which is known as the California Zone. And that's where we hit these very wide widths in the range of half a gram up to 0.77 over 160 meters; so wide widths of gold oxide mineralization. 

Fourteen drill holes will be going into California, and those will be 200 meters deep and spaced 50 meters apart to give us a nice grid for potential resource estimation down the road. But we also have several pure exploration targets. So at California Norte, we'll have a hole going in there testing a coincident geochemical anomaly. That's several hundred meters north of California. Similarly, several hundred meters west at Jasper, another hole will be testing some outcropping copper and copper-moly mineralization there.

And perhaps most significant out of these exploration targets will be Purisima East where we have — this is about three kilometers southwest of the main California Zone, so quite a ways away — and we'll have six drill holes testing some historic high-grade gold mineralization in some old mine workings that we found there. And we also have coincident anomalies both in gold and copper and moly soil geochem as well as IP chargeability. So that's a significant target.

And finally, last but not least, the big prize at Cervantes could very well be a much larger gold-copper porphyry system. So we have dedicated two 500-meter holes… so a total of 1,000 meters going vertically into the California Zone to get through that oxide cap that we've already discovered and investigate what's underneath.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Now listen, you've had some preliminary metallurgical tests, and that's important, right, because this is a property that I've had my eye on for years. I've wanted to see a follow-up drill program. 

Obviously, there was a year or two that wasn't conducive to raising capital and going out and allocating it to a drill program. You were able to pull that off here recently. Walk me through the met test a little bit because you've gotten some very encouraging results thus far.

Simon Dyakowski: That's a good point to discuss. This area of Mexico is known as the Laramide Porphyry Belt. But notably, it's also an area of established gold heap leach production. So obviously, the leachability of the ore is of paramount importance there. 

So we have run some preliminary metallurgical testwork on some of the drill core that came up in 2017 and 2018. And the results were solid just on the first round of testing in the mid to high-80s [percent] for the oxide group testing. So it's a good point; it's all for naught if the metallurgy doesn't work, and so far, it looks good. 

And I'll point out that we are just about 50 kilometers north of Mexico's newest gold heap leach mine, which is Minera Alamos' Santana Mine. And we're also about 40 to 60 kilometers from each of La India, which is Agnico Eagle's heap leach mine in eastern Sonora, as well as Alamos Gold’s Mulatos Mine. So it's really the right neighborhood for heap leaching, and everything looks good in that respect for us to-date.

Gerardo Del Real: I'm assuming that the infrastructure between those other two projects and the Cervantes project are probably pretty good. Am I wrong about that?

Simon Dyakowski: You're not wrong. It's a great area from a logistical perspective. Hermosillo, 160 kilometers to the east of us, really, is the regional administrative center for mining in the country. There's great access to drills, skilled labor. We are close to paved highways, and there's power lines nearby, and we have water wells onsite. So all of those very important aspects are present in the region. So we're in the right neighborhood for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Simon, appreciate the update, looking forward to results. When do you anticipate starting to get assays back? I know coming into the holiday season tends to slow things down just a little bit but I've got to believe that here, within the next couple of months, we'll start seeing assays from the first couple of holes.

Simon Dyakowski: We plan to drill as many holes as we can over the next two weeks… so hopefully three or four. And then, we'll restart drilling activities again. It will be, I think, the week of January 4th… so we'll be right back to work early-January. 

We'll be drilling through February. And in terms of results, we expect to have them, hopefully, by the end of January… definitely in February, we'll have something out to the market… so not too long to wait here.

Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it. Thank you so much for the update, Simon. Appreciate it!

Simon Dyakowski: Thank you for the time today.

Gerardo Del Real: Chat soon.

Simon Dyakowski: Alright, thanks a lot for sneaking me in there.