While Bulgaria may not be the first country investors equate with gold mining, executives at one TSX Venture Exchange-listed company are sitting on pins and needles waiting for the drill results that could prove their high-grade thesis.
Velocity Minerals Ltd., one of the first movers for gold in Bulgaria, has entered into option agreements with Gorbuso-Kardzhali A.D., a private Bulgarian mining company, to earn 50% of the Ekuzya project and 70% of the Rozino project. Historical drilling on the Rozino project suggests the potential of high-grade gold mineralization.
Velocity announced on Aug. 1 that it initiated phase 1 drilling at the Rozino project, which is located within the Tintyava prospecting and exploration license in southeast Bulgaria. The nine diamond drill holes are a part of a larger, 12,000-meter drill program of up to 65 holes.
CEO Keith Henderson told Streetwise Reports, “We have rushed the first drill cores to the lab and are expecting to receive results imminently. This will be the first indication of whether our thesis for high-grade mineralization is correct.”
To recap a little of the history: According to the company, Rozino was first explored in the 1980s by Asenovgrad Geoengineering EAD, a Bulgarian state company that drilled 86 vertical diamond drill holes. “Available drill technology was limited to vertical drill holes, which in the context of steeply dipping zones of mineralization was not a suitable approach,” the news release noted.
The area was then explored in the early 2000s by Hereward Ventures Ltd. and Asia Gold Corp., drilling 55 holes. According to Velocity, “Diamond drilling was angled, but oriented to the northwest, parallel to the predominant outcropping structural trends and therefore less than optimal. In 2005-2006, Asia Gold carried out a structural review and identified a strong northwest control on mineralisation and completed 2 drill holes to test this new idea. Drill hole R-245 was drilled towards the northeast, perpendicular to the newly interpreted northwest control on mineralization, and intersected 68m @ 3.15 g/t gold, including 11.39m @ 8.09 g/t gold.”
According to the company, “Hole R-245 confirmed that mineralization exists between the drill fences and the potential for additional broad intersects of near surface, high grade mineralization located between the existing drill fences is considered to be good to excellent. Velocity’s current drill program is testing this interpretation.”
Velocity’s partner Gorbuso is the only company in Bulgaria that holds a cyanide operating permit, and according to the company, Velocity would have access to its processing plant if the project is developed.
The Rozino project is located about 20 km from Ada Tepa, which Dundee Precious Metals in developing.
Velocity is conducting soil and trench sampling at the Ekuzya project, and expects to begin drilling in early 2018.
Velocity is helmed by an experienced team of mining professionals. CEO Keith Henderson has served in senior roles at Anglo American, Cardero Resource, Dorato Resources and Centenera Mining. Stuart Mills, the vice president of exploration, was a senior geologist for Anglo American, as well as at Lundin Mining, Red Back Mining and Orca Gold. Director Mark Cruise is the CEO of Trevali Mining Corp., and director Daniel Marinov, vice president of exploration at Trevali and a Bulgarian national, served as a senior geologist with Anglo American and Rio Tinto. Exploration manager Valentin Buhov, also a Bulgarian national, has worked for many mining majors including Kinross and Anglo American.
Velocity completed a reverse takeover with privately held 1077076 B.C. Corp. on July 21, 2017. Management and the board hold 47% of the shares and are subject to 36-month escrow terms, 13% are subject to 18-month escrow terms, and 15% are from a recent private placement, leaving about 25% of the shares free trading.