BNAmericas covered a Mining Coffee Chat hosted by Dr. Remi Piet, Director of AMI’s Natural Resources and Infrastructure practice. The Coffee Chat focused on challenges faced by junior miners due to the COVID-19 crisis. Here is an excerpt from the article:

COVID-19 travel restrictions with impacts on fundraising have made things more complicated for Latin America’s junior miners.

“Fundraising has been slow. Things are taking longer, and it is hard to show stakeholders the value of projects,” Lucky Minerals‘ CEO Adrian Rothwell said during a webcast hosted by research firm Americas Market Intelligence(AMI).

According to Lucky Minerals’ Ecuador country manager, Santiago Yepez, travel restrictions have severely impacted geology work, which requires much on-site presence.

In an interview with BNamericas, Christian Easterday, CEO of Hot Chili, said the pandemic has crimped many activities on the ground, leading to belt tightening.

“We’re fortunate that we have a small amount of money in the bank and our teams are madly working on the completion of the drilling we’ve just done. The preparation for the first resource at Cortadera is well underway and we’re looking to deliver that this year,” he said.

Like Hot Chili, most junior miners with projects in Chile are advancing with drilling results analysis and environmental studies submissions, while some also focus on exploration deals.

RIO2 recently submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment for its US$206mn Fénix gold project, in Atacama region. In April, Lithium Chile secured an option to explore its Apolo and Sancarron gold properties in Atacama region, while Aftermath Silver completed the acquisition of an 80% interest in the Cachinal silver project in Antofagasta region.

Earlier this month, Vancouver-based Revelo Resources reported that its exploration agreement with top lithium producer SQM has been terminated, and the option agreement with Canadian Teck has failed.

Meanwhile, in Argentina companies with a strong balance sheet are taking M&A opportunities.

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