CEO Interview With Steve Williams
Steve Williams: Okay.
Björn Junker: Steve, welcome back and congratulations. These are outstanding results. Why don’t you take us and talk us through your latest production numbers and what that might mean for Pasinex?
Steve Williams: Yeah. Thanks, Björn [SP]. Yeah, this has been an exciting little time for Pasinex and, obviously, I’m very pleased. First of all, a week ago, we announced high grade sulfide intercepts at depth. We’re deeper down in the Pinargozu deposit and, and more particularly, we are starting the see sulfides as opposed to oxides so, that was obviously very encouraging. And then now, as of yesterday, today, we’ve announced the opening up of our new adit in Pinargozu and it’s a bigger adit than the previous two adits. And as a result of that, we’ve been able to double our production. We’ve gone from an average of around 60 ton per day of production to an average of around 120 tons per day of production from the Pinargozu mine. In terms of annualized zinc production, we were doing something in the order of 10, 11 million pounds of zinc per year at the production rate of 60 ton per day, and now with the new adit and higher production based on the sort of production we did in August, we are looking at something of the order of around 25 million pounds of zinc per year, contained zinc metal per year. So, it’s a significant step-up in our zinc production from Pinargozu. So it’s exciting and it’s important.
Björn Junker: And to come back what you said earlier, a larger part of what you’re producing now is sulfides which, like, has fetched a much higher price than the oxide material that you’ve been producing before?
Steve Williams: Yes. So, yeah, we are starting to see the sulfides now. That was in the drilling results that we announced a week ago, and you can start to see some very high grade sulfide intercepts there. And I can tell you that the new adit goes into an area where those sulfides are, and some of the production that we’re starting to mine or some of the production that we’ve mined in August was sulfides. Still at the moment, the majority of our resource that we have, our internal resource that we have is oxide, but as I said, we’re starting to see a significant amount of sulfides.
The sulfides are a lot more available than the oxides. It’s all direct shipping. First of all, you get an effective grade. The oxides we’ve been selling typically 33%, 34%, 35 % zinc, that’s sort of average, and that actually we’ve published those numbers in the press release we put out yesterday. So, but the sulfides tend to be 48%, 49%, 50%, 51%, 52 % zinc, around 50% zinc. And so, they’re a higher grade and they get better payment terms. We get more return from the smelt effective to us, the mining company on the sulfide versus an oxide. So, the sulfide is significantly more valuable because both the grade and the payment terms are better. So, it’s significantly more valuable than the oxide. So, yeah, it’s very important to us.
Björn Junker: Right. Do we have some numbers internally that you’re using as…well, let’s say everything goes as it’s doing now up to the end of the year, do you have some revenue or earnings numbers that you feel comfortable though in sharing with your share holders?
Steve Williams: Yeah. What I can tell you, I mean, first of all just on the oxides. I mean, at the moment, you know, most of our production have been oxide. We’re gonna see a lot more sulfide but I still think a significant part is gonna be oxide just because the two higher adits are still in the oxides. So, the mining that would take from the two older adits is just about on the left side, and the mining that would take from the new adit that we’ve just opened, that will be, I don’t know, maybe half and half or 60-40 something like that, oxide – sulfide, something like that, but still, as I said, the, the predominant production we’re gonna get is going to be from the, well, is gonna be still on oxide because of action from the higher adits. The two earlier adits are oxide. So, if we just look at the oxide, the oxide material, it depends on the zinc price and the zinc price has been going up. But if I use something of the order of around a dollar U.S. per pound zinc price, the oxides are worth something came around to us, 240 to 250 U.S. per ton as an indication to you, and now I can tell you that mining costs are running, again, possibly it’s been around 130, 140 U.S. per ton.
So we’ve got a margin of around $100 per ton on the oxide. Now, the mathematics on the sulfide is a lot, lot better, but I’d rather not get into those numbers just yet because it’s still early day, but the mathematics are a lot, lot better, Björn. But just going back on the oxides, so we have a margin of something of around $100 per ton. That’s, as I said on current sort of zinc prices around a dollar U.S. per ton, U.S. per pound. So that’s the sort of EBIT coming off the mine. However, what we are then doing, and I think you’re probably aware of this, but we’ve been drilling constantly.
We’ve had two drills running. And so basically, I can tell you we’re taking all of that money and we’re putting it back into exploration at the moment, because what we’re still about is building the future but still about building that resource, looking for more of that sulfides. And so, we’re taking the margin we’re making from the mine and putting it back into exploration. But those are the sort of numbers, Björn.
Björn Junker: Okay, interesting, interesting. Well, as you said, you’re going to continue exploring. You’re going to look for a resource, sort of going back to the novel way things are done in the industry. Do you have a time frame for that or is that…we’ll just that results from the amount of drilling you’re planning to do, anyway?
Steve Williams: Look, the drilling and the building of the resource, the building of the future is number one priority. I think we’ve got a tremendous opportunity. I think we’re just starting. I think I might have said it before, but we’re just starting to see the opportunity. I think we’re still early in the system. The last drilling results we announced are, I believe that, you know, outstanding, this very little piece out there with those sort of results, and I think we’ve got the opportunity to find more high-grade sulfides.
So, looking for that higher grade sulfides, looking for those deeper sulfide roots of the system is our priority and booting that resource, because with that we can start to build our very important zinc deposit here. So, we’re gonna continue drilling and we’re gonna be, you know, continue to be aggressive on drilling and, it’s all about building a bigger resource, and I think if we find that and I think, personally, I think we’ve got a good chance but that’s my biased opinion, of course. But if we find that, we will build a bigger mine, you know. What we’re doing is, at the moment, still just a step to the way to building a bigger mine. So, those are our plans. That’s where we’re going in the next couple of years.
Björn Junker: Okay. Thank you, Steve. Certainly sounds exciting. So we’re really looking out for the next couple of drill results and production results, and see how it goes for the rest 2016. Thank you.
Steve Williams: Thank, Björn.