Avrupa Minerals Ltd is what the company itself calls a ‘prospect generator’. Essentially this involves the exploring going round Europe and identifying, acquiring and upgrading potential mines.
As chairman Mark Brown explains: “We’re looking in Europe, in old mining districts for very large deposits and we’re using modern techniques.
“When we get a project to the stage that it’s ready to be drilled which costs a lot more money we quite often go and find a partner to do that drilling.”
The Vancouver-headquartered group has prospects in Portugal, Kosovo, Germany and, more recently, Morocco.
Portugal and Kosovo are the main hotspots at the moment: Avrupa operates two joint ventures in Portugal and another one in Kosovo.
The two countries are also host to the company’s first discoveries – a gold discovery in Kosovo and a zinc discovery in the Pyrite Belt of Portugal.
As Brown alluded to, Avrupa only looks at “world-class”, historic mining areas that have been mined for hundreds of years.
The company says this help’s to de-risk exploration, plus it’s easier to get partners on board when you’re looking in well-known, mining-friendly areas.
Kosovan gold rush
Back in September 2016, Avrupa found gold at the Slivovo project in Kosovo below the bottom thrust fault, which had previously been thought to be the lower limit for mineralisation in the Main Gossan Zone.
The findings were part of the final five 2016 drill holes at Gossan and, along with those from the previously-reported eleven drill holes, will be used to prepare an updated resource estimate during the fall of 2016.
Three holes cut gold mineralization below the thrust fault with intercepts at grades up to 5.98 grams per tonne over 15 metres.
While the data from these holes may not be enough to calculate a resource for this area, the new information does show that the mineralization continues to the east and is open down dip, Avrupa said in a statement.
The new drilling indicates that mineralisation in the Gossan Extension Zone continues for at least 90 metres to the east from the high angle fault that divides the two zones.
“While gold is present only in amenable host rocks above the low angle reverse fault in the Main Gossan Zone, it is now clear that gold mineralization has additional possibilities in permeable host rocks below the fault in the Gossan Extension Zone,” the company said.
‘Great track record’
“We have a great track record,” says chief executive Paul Kuhn.
“We’ve signed a new JV option every year, we’ve had at least two drill programmes every year we’ve been around, we’ve had two new discoveries, we’ve got two NI 43-101 compliant resource estimates and we’ve got one pre-feasibility study underway right now”
Brown adds: “Investors get good exposure to a lot of different metals and they don’t have to pay for all the exploration as our partners often do.”
How the numbers stack up for Avrupa
In its most recent quarterly update, Avrupa told investors that it had spent US$194,000 on exploration for the three months to September 2016.
This included $10,000 on the Covas joint venture in Portugal, $168,000 on the Alvalade copper project, $24,500 on Alvito, and a further US$25,000 on Slivovo.
In keeping with a firm at this formative stage, the firm reported a loss of $464,000.
The share price is up almost 20% compared to this time last year, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The stock hit a high of C$0.21 last summer, before running out of steam a little bit towards the end of year.
However, over the past few weeks it has retraced some of that ground and now sits at around C$0.13 a share, giving it a market cap of just above US$10mln.