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Canadian company to search for gold and copper in Jamaica

By Karena Bennett

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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Canadian firm Carube Copper Corp, expects to commence its search for copper and gold in Main Ridge, Clarendon by July.

The drilling of the area, which has already shown signs of approximately eight kilometres of gold in soil and rock in two areas, will see the mining company drilling at least eight holes in determining whether Main Ridge is fit for gold mining.

So far, Carube and partner Oz Minerals have pumped CA$22.9 million ($2.3 billion) on mining explorations in Jamaica including the Bellas Gate, St Catherine project. Of that CA$6.2 million ($622 million) from Carube’s accounts. But now the Canadian company will have to get creative in funding the exploration for Main Ridge since it reacquired Oz’s 70 per cent interest in Bellas Gate as well as its five other licences in Jamaica in 2017.

“We still have to get the budget approved from the board and it’s a moving target. We’ve acquired another project in Canada, so what we are trying to do is allocate funds we have and potentially seek funds from the market,” Carube’s Vice-President of Business Development, Jeff Ackert told the Jamaica Observer.

“Once we have that sorted out then we will know exactly how much we are going to spend, but Main Ridge is still a priority for us so we will still be splitting our budget,” he continued.

Carube plans on employing roughly 100 people from the drilling project in Main Ridge. If the results are positive, the company will conduct then a feasibility study. After that, a permit to construct and operate a mine will have to be acquired.

“You can imagine that the cost of mining is going to be a huge amount, so you want to make sure you’ve got all of your studies done. We are still quite a distance from mining…but the first drill hole on a project is always quite exciting,” Ackert told the Sunday Finance.

Jamaica’s geology is considered to be very similar to the Dominican Republic, which holds the world-class Pueblo Viejo project held by Barrick Gold Corporation and Goldcorp Inc Pueblo Viejo produced 1.2 million ounces of gold in 2016, and has proven and probable reserves of 13.5 million ounces.

If Carube is successful in its operation, the Government of Jamaica will retain five per cent royalty on all projects. The mining company would also have to pay taxes.

Carube holds a portfolio of eleven 100 per cent owned copper and gold exploration permits in Jamaica covering 535 sq km. The prospector, which started operations in Jamaica in 2011, also has three early stage porphyry style projects in British Colombia, Canada. Its latest acquisition is a mining claim in Nova Scotia, Canada and Carube now has eyes on two more assets in South and North America.

Carube’s flagship asset, the Bellas Gate Project, consists of two copper-gold-silver licences covering 84 sq km. The project is considered to hold multiple near surface mineral deposits and has garnered the attention of some of the largest gold and copper mining companies globally.

The Bellas Gate project which sprawls across 85 square kilometres, includes Ginger Ridge, Connors, Bull Snap, Kola, Geo Hill, Mab Hill, Camel Hill, Stamford Hill and Charing Cross.

Ackert reasoned that it will take “several million Canadian worth of drilling” to get to the next stage of Bellas Gate and as such the company is looking for another partner on the project.

“We are actively looking. It’s interesting that we have had quite good interests from some of the major copper producing companies in the world, we are hoping to have them come look at the project in the next couple of months,” he said.

CARUBE TO AUCTION SOME EXPLORATION SITES

Carube is also exploring joint ventureS, partnerships or the offloading of what it terms as “non-core assets”. These include exploration of the Above Rocks, St Catherine, area where the company has three licenses and eight copper/gold prospects identified; Hungry Gully, St Thomas containing three large copper/gold targets, one with large gold identified; Guys Hill, St Catherine with two licences covering highly anomalous copper in steam sediments and Shirley Castle, Portland, a highly prospective ground covering historic copper showings.

“We have considered an auction for sale of those projects; we have had some interest, be it in joint venture partnership or to sell those to third parties. This is part of our business model but most of the time we retain some kind of interest them,” the Carube executive said.

Carube’s exploration in Jamaica will be focused on Main Ridge, Bellas Gate and Arthurs Seat, which is located between Bellas Gate and Main Ridge with historic copper showings.

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