Southern Empire Resources Corp. [SMP-TSXV, SMPEF-0TCQB, 5RE-Frankfurt] has retained the services of the geologist who played a key role in the Nevada discovery that propelled Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX, GOLD-NYSE] to global dominance in the gold mining sector.
Shares of Southern Empire jumped 31.8% to 14.5 cents February 3, 2022, on news that Southern Empire has hired Larry Kornze as an advisor to the company.Â The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 31 cents and 10.5 cents.
“With more than 40 years of gold exploration expertise, much of it Barrick Gold, and an incredible track record of discovery, Larry brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our Southern Empire team,” said Southern Empire CEO Dale Wallster.
“Given his exceptional understanding of the geology of Carlin-type and other epithermal gold deposits, Larry will bring particular expertise to the ongoing exploration and evaluation of our Pedro Gold Project in Mexico,” Wallster said.
Kornze, and is former colleague Keith Bettles, are credited with the discovery of the Barrick’s 40 million-ounce Betze gold deposit at the Goldstrike Mine Complex on the Carlin Trend in Nevada.Â He was also an integral part of other Carlin Trend exploration efforts that resulted in the discovery of Barrick’s Miekle, Deepstar, Screamer, and Rodeo deposits.
At Goldstrike, he also managed reserve development drilling and resource estimation, ore control guidance, mine dewatering, and orebody metallurgical studies.
As part of Kornze’s appointment as an advisor, Southern Empire has granted him 100,000 options, exercisable at 11 cents per share for a period of five years from the date of grant.
In July, 2021, Southern Empire struck a deal with Commander Resources Ltd. [CMD-TSXV], allowing Southern Empire to acquire a 100% interest in the Pedro mineral tenures that cover approximately 1,750 hectares of private lands in Durango state in north-central Mexico.
Pedro is approximately 80 kilometres west-northwest of Torreon, a city with a metropolitan area of population of 1.5 million.
The Pedro Gold Project covers prospective geology including the HP Breccia, an epithermal gold system discovered in 2012 by regional grass roots prospecting that was directly supervised by David Tupper, now Southern Empire’s Vice-President of Exploration.
Previous drilling by a subsidiary of Newmont Corp., [NGT-TSX, NEM-NYSE] encountered gold within epithermal breccias including in hole LP-103-R, which returned 10.5 metres of grade 0.51 g/t gold. However, drilling did not meet Newmont’s expectations and the company abandoned its option.
Southern Empire has said once its property option is exercised, Commander will retain a 2.0% net smelter royalty interest in future production from the Pedro Gold Project.
Southern Empire’s belief in the exploration potential of the Pedro Gold Project led to the recent start of a core drilling program. The company said drilling is progressing well, with three holes totalling 421 metres completed and a fourth hole under way. The fourth hole targets an induced polarization geophysical anomaly where strongly oxidized, hematitic volcanic rocks have been mapped.
Drill core samples have not yet been submitted to an accredited geoanalytical laboratory for assay analysis.Â It is anticipated that these samples will be sent to the laboratory after the drill program has ended.