Kuya shares advanced on the news, rising 2.25% or $0.02 to 91 cents in light trading volume. The shares currently trade in a 52-week range of $2.95 and 76 cents.
Highlights from the initial estimate include 5.8 million ounces of silver equivalent at an average grade of 451 g/t silver equivalent (AgEq) contained in 404,000 tonnes. On top of that is an inferred resource of 8.0 million ounces of AgEq at an average grade of 356 g/t contained in 700,000 tonnes.
Silver represents 74% of the gross metal value in the indicated resource and 70% in the inferred resource.
“We are very excited to have our first-ever mineral resource estimate which has exceeded our expectations for the initial phase one drilling program,” said Kuya President and CEO David Stein.
“The data collected to date will help guide the exploration strategy as well as the design for the underground development of Bethania,” he said.
The Bethania Silver project is located on the Cordillera Central in Central Peru, approximately 316 kilometres by road from Lima. It is a region that contains prolific and prospective base and precious metals belts.
It is an area that hosts numerous styles of mineralisation, including epithermal gold silver, porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum, and replacement skarn zinc-copper.
The project consists of four concessions covering 1,750 hectares that are accessible year-round via a four-hour drive from the city of Huancayo. The focus of the project is the Santa Elena concession, where the Bethania Silver Mine is located.
The project was in production until 2016, toll milling its ore at various concentrate plants in the region.
Historically, the mine produced silver-lead and zinc concentrates from the run-of-mine material until it was placed on care and maintenance due to market conditions and lack of working capital.
In December 2020, Kuya Silver acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of S&L Andes Export SAC, the Peruvian company that owns the Bethania mine and holds the mining concession, permits and other rights.
The resource estimate announced on Thursday consists of 18 different veins all located within the original mine area and includes data from a 5,000-metre drilling program as well as previously collected underground rock chip samples.
The company said it has identified three main mineralized structures that control 18 veins included in the mineral resource estimate.
“The amount of mineralized material estimated to be above the current mine workings is a pleasant surprise,” said Kuya COO Christian Aramayo.
“While this initial resource estimate confirmed our understanding of the mine geology, our drilling to date has been relatively shallow and we look forward to exploring the Bethiania vein system at depth in the next campaign while ramping up development in preparation for planned future production.”
Kuya’s other key asset is the Silver Kings project, which is located near the historic mining town of Cobalt, in northwestern Ontario. The project encompasses 10,000 hectares and consists of both Kuya’s 100%-owned Kerr Project and the Silver Kings joint venture that Kuya has entered into with First Cobalt Corp (FCC-TSXV, FTSSF-OTCQB, FCC-ASX).