Cartier Silver: High Grade Silver Closing in on Production in Bolivia

Cartier Silver, CFE.C, silver, lead, zinc, Bolivia

Superficially, Cartier Silver (CFE.C) and Eloro Resources (ELO.T) look very similar. Same CEO, same management team, same geos, same tight share structure…silver in Bolivia! In fact, they are very different animals. Eloro’s Iska Iska deposit is a giant (over 670 million tons), silver plus tin plus zinc, polymetallic, project with complex geology and solid grades. Cartier’s Gonalbert property in the Chorrillos silver project is lower tonnage with but higher grades of silver-lead.

There is already a small mine at Gonalbert which mines around 20 tons of 200 gram per ton silver head grade daily and delivers a lead/silver concentrate running 1300 grams Ag per ton. Cartier has recently made the second payment of USD 220,000 and has full access to these workings and recently released systematic channel samples from eight principal areas over a strike length of 2km. The sampling program completed 368 channel samples each of which was cut with a hammer and “a sharp pointed end chisel made of drill steel. While the sampler cuts the channel, a second person collected chips, fragments, and fines in a clean box, sack, or on a canvas sheet spread on the floor. A sample of 1 m length weighed approximately 1-2 kg which was then sent for assay.”

When looking at the location of the channel samples, they demonstrate high-grade silver continuity within several underground haulage working drifts. Drift – 140 (140 meters below surface) reached 257 meters horizontally.

The silver grades ranged from impressive to extraordinary, with significant showings of lead and zinc. In the release, Dr. Osvaldo Arce, P.Geo., General Manager of Cartier Silver’s Bolivian subsidiary, Minera Cartier S.R.L. comments: “Systematic channel sampling in underground workings at the Gonalbert property has confirmed the high-grade nature and extensions of silver-rich structures with increasing grades at depth. These are important targets for further diamond drilling.”

In a phone interview, Tom Larsen, Cartier’s CEO told me, “The Gonalbert project is in a potentially high-grade silver system and has a much greater than 2-kilometer strike length.”

“Dr. Arce is suggesting a 3000 to 6000 meter drill program,” said Larsen. “There could be potential here for a custom mining, toll milling operation. We’ll drill then do a Mineral Resource Estimate.”

The development trajectory of Gonalbert is very different from Iska Iska with the possibility of a near-term strategic partnership. “We have to do some infill drilling,” said Larsen. “And we would have to upgrade the permits to allow, say, 500 tons a day to be mined. This could take several months but should not be a problem.”

Larsen sees the custom mining as a mine, crush and then an XRT ore sort operation. “If you sort you can reduce the waste you have to transport and produce a high-grade pre-concentrate which can be trucked or sent by rail to one of the many mills in the Gonalbert region.”

The point is that Gonalbert is not far away from potential production. “We’ll have to do a raise to pay for the infill drilling,” said Larsen.

In a lot of ways, Cartier is the pocket piece for Iska Iska. While Eloro is very much the main play, Cartier is likely to go into production sooner. And Gonalbert may be a bit of a “sleeper”. It may be significantly larger than it initially looks. It has never been systematically drilled, however, Cartier has done IP chargeability studies over the property.

The channel sampling recently reported matches up with the IP studies to a remarkable degree. The samples confirm that the increase in chargeability as you go deeper in the artisanal mine correspond to an improvement in grade at depth.

However, the IP chargeability study went far beyond the actual artisanal workings where the channel samples were taken and the very limited drilling.

While Cartier will certainly be drilling where the channel samples indicate attractive silver grades, it will also be drilling where the IP chargeability suggests more mineralization may be found.

Cartier enjoyed a run in the early summer of 2023 rising up over $0.80 partially on the excitement surrounding Eloro. It has fallen back to the $0.30 support level. For the investor, Cartier offers optionality on silver at an attractive price. It will drill in the New Year and those results may be released into a rising silver market. There will likely be a raise in the New Year to pay for the drilling. So there should be a steady news flow.

Gonalbert is a very different project from Iska Iska. Its high grade characteristics may well mean that it comes into silver production more quickly and Cartier’s share price may very well begin to reflect that fact.


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