Record-high jobless figures in Spain this week have led to increased speculation of more stimulus from central banks. The developments in Spain will be weathered with confidence by Solid Resources, a Canadian company with several assets in the Iberian country.
“The government of Spain have a healthy view of wanting to ‘dig their way out of a recession’ through their support of mining,” says Greg Pendura, CEO and president of Solid Resources.
“The recession battered economy of Spain is immersed in a double-dip recession after failing to recover convincingly from the collapse of a decade-long property boom in 2008, an economic disaster that has sent the unemployment rate soaring to a record 27 percent.”
Tailings at Mina Maria Plant
Among Solid Resources assets in Spain is the 1,030 hectare Cehegín iron ore property, located in the province of Murcia, in south eastern Spain. The other is Alberta-1, a mining exploration project located in the region of Galicia in north-western Spain. The property consists of 3,690 hectares in a north-south direction, hosting numerous pegmatite dykes (type of rock that hosts rare metals). Alberta-1 contains significant commercial tonnage of rare metal pegmatite hosting tin, tantalum and lithium.
“You won’t find a country with longer and richer mining history than Spain,” Pendura says.
“Digging up rocks has been a staple of the southern Spanish territory for the past 5,000 years, and its mineral wealth attracted the Phoenecians, Romans and many others over the centuries. This is the place that gave birth to mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd., and its namesake copper mine may be the oldest in the world.”
Solid Resources has been in Spain since 2000. The company’s management had the foresight in the early 2000’s to understand the importance of Tantalum in the near future with the onset of new electrical technologies coming on stream.
The Alberta-1 concession, which was a former producing tin mine has shown to contain vast amounts of this rare metal. Beginning in 2003, Solid has undertaken four drill programs (2003, 2005, 2011 and 2012) to prove out commercial values of tantalum, tin and lithium on Alberta-1.
“The latest drill program is on time and below budget,” Pendura says. “We are excited about entering the final phase of the project and working towards the implementation of a commercially viable mining operation once this permit has been obtained.”
With economical average grades of 800 ppm of tin, 110 ppm of tantalum and 0.5 percent lithium, Solid Resources is anticipating making their submission to the Spanish Mining Authority by the end of May 2013.
The Cehegín iron ore property is comprised of 62 separate concessions, formally owned by the Spanish ironworks company Altos Hornos de Vizcaya S.A. The property produced a premium grade of iron ore (over 65 per cent iron) up until 1989. Three of those concessions (Maria, Colossus and Solebad) could be moved into production in 18 to 24 months.
“There is excellent infrastructure already in place – the deep sea Port of Cartagena is 100 kilometres away, connected by rail and an excellent toll-free highway, hydro and water on site,” explains Pendura.
Solid Resources is busy analysing the vast amount of historical geological and production data on the property. The company intends to make this historical data compliant with the standards of the NI 43-101 to allow these three concessions to commence production.
The possibility of increased stimulus to boost the Spanish economy should not pose any concern to potential investors, he adds.
“Spain is a mine friendly jurisdiction,” says Pendura. “You have a very strong and stable government; you have probably the best infrastructure in the world; you have a huge and talented workforce right there, and you’ve got better than average taxation rates of 30 percent. Spain, with one of the worst fiscal problems is embracing mining.”
Solid Resources received maximum subsidies on their Alberta-1 tin and tantalum exploration of 20 percent for both 2011 and 2012.
“The local governments and mining authorities of for region of Galicia and Murcia where each of the tin, tantalum and iron ore projects are based are very supportive to expedite each project into production,” Pendura says.
Solid Resources is one of numerous foreign companies that have taken the plunge into exploration in Spain, and rediscovered the benefits of working in a stable environment with plenty of first-world benefits.
“In essence, it’s the anti-Congo,” explains Pendura. “Spain is considered Ground Zero for the European mining revival, where dozens of companies have active projects. It should come as no surprise the Iberian Peninsula is attracting the most interest. It still holds great mineral potential after thousands of years of mining.”
Solid Resources is a Canadian junior mining company focused in Spain on the exploration and development of rare and precious metals and industrial commodities worldwide. The Company is currently in the late stage of quantifying the presence of tantalum, tin, lithium and other rare minerals on its Alberta-1 property in north-western Spain and re-opening 62 iron ore concessions in south-eastern Spain.
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