Logistical calisthenics aside, we are now back to pre-COVID velocities at Royal and from next week, when Giovanni and I finally touchdown in Nicaragua, we will be fully-deployed and fully active with grass roots exploration, drill-definition and diamond drilling concurrent and underway in Nicaragua and Colombia.
Before launching into a brief update, the guys and gals at Moon Patrol have created a very useful corporate video which you can find on our web page here (3mins). Moon Patrol were tasked with trying to concisely illustrate our extensive portfolio of projects and their current stage of development. That’s a lot to ask, but we think they pulled it off quite nicely.
Caribe & the Golden Triangle
Obviously our current focus is with our partners Hemco, at the Caribe gold discovery in Nicaragua. It’s exciting to consider that a project which is now returning drilling results of 100 meters at 1g/t gold, commenced life in 2018, as a single 3.5 g/t rock-chip sample grabbed from a small boulder that the process of weathering just happened to leave behind above laterite and soil cover which in some cases can exceed 30 meters in thickness! We almost didn’t find it; which has profound implications we think, for the rest of Nicaragua’s Golden Triangle. At Caribe, we are still at the stage where knowledge exceeds wisdom (which is normal for a discovery) but thankfully we have a more powerful drilling rig now on site and it is transecting the previously problematic clay zones without issue. Elsewhere in Nicaragua’s prolific Golden Triangle we are developing new exciting gold breccia targets at our Yuoya project (2.25 square kilometer breccia-body) and just East of the mining town of Siuna.
One of our regional gold breccia prospects in the Siuna district, Golden Triangle. Here the breccia body has been mined just beneath the weathered zone by artisanal miners. This breccia carries gold grades in excess of 30 grams per tonne and is yet to be drill-tested
Northern Block Colombia
In the Northern Block we are currently permitting the next drilling stage at Guintär-Niverengo, extending the soil geochemical grid at Margaritas and conducting drainage-sample-based reconnaissance exploration throughout the region. The next phase of drilling at Guintär-Niverengo will target deeper, probably east-west oriented porphyry-style bodies which we believe underly the skarn gold and silver mineralization at Niverengo. Drilling is expected to commence in June this year. At Margaritas there is a gold-mineralized breccia body exposed at surface and so together with the information derived from the soil geochemistry, we have over 2 kilometers of strike-length to drill-test. We are hoping to advance Margaritas to the initial stage of title conversion this month, meaning we should be permitted for a scout-drilling campaign on the project either later this year, or early in 2022.
Southern Block Colombia
Safe access to our title and application areas in southern Colombia remains a challenge. However, together with influential international and national institutions, local councils and community groups, we are advancing some exciting collaborative arrangements over some highly prospective gold projects. We are also proud to say that our agreement with post-conflict cooperative ECOMUN is functioning well and that by providing jobs, we are actively assisting in the reincorporation of ex-combatants. It occurs to me that those of you who are relatively new to Royal Road may not have seen the 2018 documentary which highlighted the Company’s strategy and ambitions in southern Colombia. If you have 20 minutes, take a look here.
A New Face!
Vice President Exploration: Giovanni Funaioli
Born in Pisa, Italy, Gio received his MSc Geology in volcanology/geothermics from the University of Pisa with a thesis on the geothermal potential of the Rincon de la Vieja volcanic complex in Costa Rica. He started his career as a volcanologist but soon developed a passion for ancient volcanic sequences and paleo-geothermal fields and applying his knowledge to mineral exploration. Gio is a registered Professional Geoscientist (EurGeol) with the European Federation of Geologists (EFG), a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) and a fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG).
He has more than 25 years’ experience in precious- and base-metals exploration in a variety of geological environments from Archean to Quaternary in age and from grassroots to mine feasibility stages in South- and Central America, Europe, East- and West Africa. He has held senior positions with Bolivar Goldfields, MK Gold-Arlo Resources, Hecla Mining, and Bolivar Gold, acted as Exploration Manager for Gold Mines of Sardinia, Medoro Resources, LGL, Newcrest Mining, and Perseus Mining, Technical Manager for Goldfields, and Strategic Project Manager for Gran Colombia Gold.
Gio has been directly involved within the discovery of more than 12M oz of gold, including the delivery of the world class Choco 10 gold deposit in Venezuela and the discovery of its satellite VBK deposit.
Gio is most keen on travelling and discovering new cultures. He particularly enjoys applying what he has learned about local cuisines once back at home on the coast of Tuscany!