It can take the market a day or two to actually understand a technical press release. On March 1, 2022, Eloro Resources (ELO.V) put out a news release which needed to be carefully read to reveal a significant intersection with heavily mineralized rock over 373 meters at its Iska Iska property in Bolivia. This intersection is particularly important because, while it certainly contains silver, it has an abundance of tin.
I reached out to Tom Larsen, CEO of Eloro. From the time I sent the email asking for an interview on March 1 to March 6, the market had figured out the press release. ELO had gone from $3.90 to as high as $5.29 before settling back to around $5.00.
“We have been drilling below our original discovery at Santa Barbara,” said Larsen by phone. “Santa Barbara, which we are calling Domain 1, is a silver epithermal system. By itself, Domain 1 is a big system. Potentially 400 million tons grading 160 gpt silver equivalent. We’re waiting on the 43-101 for a final size estimate. For scale, the San Cristobal mine, one of the largest lead, zinc and silver deposits in the world, has about 300 million tons.”
“What we reported in the news release is one of the holes in what we are calling Domain 2,” said Larsen. “These holes go deeper into what our geologists are pretty sure is a porphyry. A big porphyry with significant tin values.”
“How big? It’s 4 kilometres long. We are awaiting results from other holes we have drilled,” said Larsen. “We’ve deployed a fourth drill.”
Larsen points to the comments Dr. Osvaldo Arce, P.Geo. in the news release, “At Iska Iska we are rapidly defining a massive porphyry-epithermal silver-tin polymetallic mineralized system. The grade and extent of tin mineralization increases considerably with depth which is typical of the deeper parts of tin porphyries in Bolivia. Superimposed on this extensive tin porphyry system is a higher-level silver-zinc-lead epithermal mineralized system that is principally hosted in the major breccia pipes and intensely fractured dacitic domes surrounding these breccia pipes.”
“Dr. Arce literally wrote the book on these sorts of systems in Bolivia,” said Larsen. “We may be looking at the biggest tin discovery in many years.”
Come for the silver, stay for the tin. The fact is that tin has enjoyed a significant run in the last couple of years. It has gone from a low of less than $7.00 USD a pound in Spring of 2020 to its current price of around $21.50 per pound. This is largely due to dwindling supply from Far Eastern operations which are just a step or two up from artisanal as well as increasing demand from the electronics and electric vehicles sectors.
“In our most recently reported hole we hit 375 meters of .22 tin per ton,” said Larsen. “That is about 4 pounds of tin per ton. We’re doing metallurgy and we are getting good overall recoveries. But tin is tough. We have brought in an expert from Cornwall, England to advise.”
Domain 1 and Domain 2 are interesting in another way. They are somewhat stacked on what Larsen refers to as the volcanic structure. The top of the stack is the silver/tin epithermal, lower down is the tin porphyry.
“Domain 1, the Santa Barbara, is more than enough for a stand-alone mine,” said Larsen. “We are planning to put out a 43-101 on Domain 1 in late April or early May.”
Domain 2 will take longer to define. However, while it is deeper than Domain 1, it is fairly directly accessible. “You can push an adit 300 meters into the side of the volcanic structure and hit what we think is a major tin porphyry,” said Larsen.
For the moment, drilling from an underground drill station as well as from surface is needed to confirm and define the potentially giant tin bearing structure. There is a huge magnetic anomaly and step-out holes, 300-400 meters apart are planned to confirm the structure.
“At the end of the day we may have a billion tons of commercial material,” said Larsen.
Eloro is in the process of derisking both domains. Everything from definition drilling to the first 43-101 to significant community engagement are designed to assure the much larger corporate entity, or entities, who will, eventually, build the mine or mines. Iska Iska has already attracted larger companies’ attention. Of course, Larsen can’t discuss which companies or even how much attention; but the size of the deposits has not gone unnoticed.
“This could be the discovery of the century,” said Larsen.
Which is why I increased my position in Eloro after speaking with Larsen. I still don’t hold that many shares, but this could be a generational opportunity. Don’t want to miss it.