May 2008 Interview with: Santa Fe Metals Corp. (SFM-TSX-V), President and CEO, Ian B. Smith - featuring: their precious and base metal properties in Mexico.
|Santa Fe Metals Corp. (SFM-TSX-V)|
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Looking For Gold, Silver Or Base Metals Gives
Santa Fe Metals A Broader Horizon And Provides Additional Opportunities For
About Santa Fe Metals Corp.
The Company’s mission is to utilize the broad experience and expertise of its management team and board to aggressively identify and develop precious and base metal properties in Mexico. The Company’s management and board together have more than 200 years of industry experience in senior corporate positions encompassing exploration, mining and metallurgical engineering, operations, project management, finance and accounting and mining, corporate and securities law. The Company’s initial area of interest for project acquisitions is the prolific Mexican gold and silver and CRD belts (silver, lead, zinc and copper) of north-central Mexico. Some members of the management and board are very knowledgeable on working conditions in Mexico, having worked there for many years. Mexico is a country that has low political and permitting risk, exceptionally good infrastructure and a very skilled work force. Further information is available on the Company’s website www.santafemetals.com.
Mr. Smith: “Santa Fe Metals is a new company that completed its qualifying transaction and initial public offering last year and was approved for a full listing Toronto Venture Exchange in March of 2008. Our focus is the precious metal and carbonate replacement, (“CRD”) belts of Mexico in the central north. It is north of Mexico City in the Altiplano area where there is good infrastructure, long mining history, a population that understands mining and most important great mineralogy.”
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about the specific projects?
Mr. Smith: “Our qualifying transaction is a project called Lobos and it is a property covering about 10,000 hectres that spans the Zacatecas-Durango border. It is a property that was identified by a magnetic anomaly that has a footprint very similar to the Penasquito property that is being developed now by Goldcorp. It is a property that has very large hydrothermal breccia-fields, epithermal vein systems and as well as carbonate replacement CRD mineralization. Initial work on the ground by the original owners, indicated there were anomalous values of gold, silver, lead, zinc, as well as antimony, mercury and arsenic. The last three are indicator minerals because they are the ones that deposit last in the system and are often indicators for high-grade precious and base metals at depth. We acquired the property in December of 2007 and started working in earnest on the ground in January of this year (2008). We are at a point now where we have mapped and sampled extensive areas and this week we will commence a small reconnaissance drilling program, so we can begin to understand the geology and mineralization at depth and use this information to design a broader based more extensive Phase II exploration program. Our second property is one that we announced in March, a property called Lorena in Chihuahua, Mexico about 25 kilometers east of the famous Naica property. This property is a CRD target, a carbonate replace target, lead, zinc, silver, with the possibility of gold and copper as well. This is a property that has extensive alteration, recrystalization of the limestones and workings for mercury and antimony that are often indicators for high-grade base metals. We are in the process of putting together all of the data that does exist and digest it before we conduct additional geophysics or drilling on that property. We are actively in discussions on other properties as well and again focused in the centre-north of Mexico where we have very good infrastructure and very good access, easy access to the properties. Our wholly owned subsidiary, Compania Minera Coronado S.A. de C.V. ("Coronado"), has just acquired the mineral concessions collectively referred to the Cuatro Cienegas Property in the State of Coahuila, Mexico.”
CEOCFO: You have many years of worldwide experience; why do you like Mexico at this point in time?
Mr. Smith: “My involvement with Mexico goes back to 1974 when I came to Mexico to start the La Caridad Mine, a large copper porphyry property in Sonora. My involvement with Mexico dates back 34 plus years. But not just that, Mexico is a wonderful place to explore. It is the largest silver producer in the world and its mining history is 450 plus years. The people understand mining, the government is very supportive to the mining industry, and apart from that the people are wonderful to work with. It is a good place to do business and it is close, you can jump on a plane in Vancouver and five hours later you can step off in Mexico City which is a jumping off point to the north.”
CEOCFO: With so much activity in the mining area today, how are you able to hone in on the projects?
Mr. Smith: “Personally we are not a gold, silver, or base metals company; we are all of the above. What is important for us is a property that we feel has potential and that we can add value to with the people that we have within the company and the experience in assessing different types of projects and moving them from the exploration to the development phase. The other very important factor is personal contacts. We don’t bid for projects, we work through personal contacts, one contact leads to another. That is how we identify properties that we think could be valuable. Of course having a broader horizon, not just looking for gold or silver, provides additional opportunities as well. We are looking for value not necessarily specific metal type. I think that probably is a distinction that is important for Santa Fe Metals.”
CEOCFO: Exploration and development is expensive; what is the financial picture of Santa Fe Metals?
Mr. Smith: “Along with our qualifying transaction we did a private placement that closed in the beginning of March; it was over subscribed. That brought roughly $2.4 million into our bank account and that is sufficient for us to complete the programs we have outlined and the drilling program at Lobos, which will commence this week.”
CEOCFO: In closing, why should potential investors look at Santa Fe Metals, and why should they choose you out of the crowd?
Smith: “Personally we have a very
good management team. My CFO and I were running bcMetals until we were taken
over by Imperial Metals in February of last year. Our CFO has a very long
and broad experience in accounting and finance. I have forty plus years in
the international mining industry encompassing operations, project
development, consulting. We have a Managerof Exploration in Mexico that has
thirty plus years; a Mexican national, somebody that knows the geology, the
area, and has the contacts and again this is another source of property
acquisition potential for us. Our Director of Administration is another
Mexican national and has a lot of experience doing the admin for mining
companies in Mexico. South of the border in Mexico, Mexicans are running the
show and we don’t need to put an expat into Mexico; they are very competent
to handle the work in front of them. We are a young company, we have
experienced management and board, we have good projects. Our fully diluted
capital structure is about 18 million shares; so we have lots of upside.
Management holds a significant percentage of the company stock and most of
that is escrowed for three years so insiders are either buyers or holding
their stock, not selling; which means lots of upside for investors.”
“We are not a gold, silver, or base metals company; we are all of the above. What is important for us is a property that we feel has potential and that we can add value to with the people that we have within the company and the experience in assessing different types of projects and moving them from the exploration to the development phase. The other very important factor is personal contacts. We don’t bid for projects, we work through personal contacts, one contact leads to another. That is how we identify properties that we think could be valuable. Of course having a broader horizon, not just looking for gold or silver, provides additional opportunities as well. We are looking for value not necessarily specific metal type. I think that probably is a distinction that is important for Santa Fe Metals.” - Ian B. Smith
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