COLOMBIA - Energy & Mining
President & CEO, Cordoba Minerals Corp
Sarah Armstrong-Montoya is President & CEO of Cordoba Minerals Corp.
SANTIAGO VARELA TORRES 2022 was a great year for Cordoba with its most important drilling campaign in Colombia thus far. These results will be used for both the feasibility study and the environmental impact assessment (EIA), which is required to license the project and build the mine. To date, the campaign has given great results, confirming our geological model from the pre-feasibility study and in some cases bettering it. From a social perspective, we have continued working with our stakeholders and are involved in a range of community investment programs from training and upskilling local community members with SENA, education programs, formalization of informal and artisanal miners, and environmental initiatives to name a few.
SARAH ARMSTRONG-MONTOYA In December 2022, we closed a USD100-million transaction with our strategic Chinese partner, JCHX, for a 50% stake in the Alacran deposit. JCHX first invested in Cordoba (at the public company level) in 2019 and currently hold a 19.9% interest. There is a long-existing relationship between JCHX and the Ivanhoe group dating back to the Oyu Tolgoi days in Mongolia, and it is currently the mining contractor at Ivanhoe Mine’s Kamoa-Kakula project in the Congo, where it came in ahead of schedule and under budget. With JCHX’s extensive experience in mine construction and its pre-existing relationship with the group, it was the natural choice for Cordoba to partner up with on the Alacran project when we were looking for a strategic partner.
SA-M The goal is to jointly develop the Alacran project with JCHX and take it through the construction phase and into production, which will have a significant impact in terms of employment and infrastructure in Puerto Libertador and the Department of Cordoba. Whilst this project is considered medium sized by international standards, for Colombia it is significant. There is only one other copper project in production in Colombia that produces 875 tons a day, and as we announced in the pre-feasibility study, we will start off with a production of 22,000 tons per day. It is the only mining project at the moment going through the licensing phase and can realistically be in production in the next four years. We are currently waiting on the PTO approval and expect to file the EIA application in 2023. Our end game is to build and develop a sustainable and green mine and to ensure that the growth of the communities and the region simultaneously with the advancement of the project, with a particular focus on improvements in education, health, and infrastructure.
SVT This is a project that has been declared by the ANM as one of national interest. The estimated investment for construction and sustaining capital is around USD700 million and it will generate around 2,000 jobs. This project will be a complete game-changer for the region. The creation of jobs and the investment in these regions can only translate to benefits for the communities. That is one of the greatest impacts that this project will have in the region. For Colombia, it will be the largest copper project in the country once we are licensed.
SA-M We all share in the responsibility to achieve a more balanced, secure, and sustainable future through the clean energy transition. Copper plays a fundamental role in this as demand is forecast to increase by over 500% in the coming years with not enough supply. We need to ensure that we are responsibly mining and in compliance with the highest ESG standards. Colombia is a country extremely rich in resources and very underexplored, and ongoing exploration is a must if it wants to play a role in the transition to clean energy.
SVT We certainly take advantage of the group’s know-how and goodwill, not only technically, but also the group’s great examples of social work in other projects around the world, which we can bring to Colombia.