Mining News

Denarius Metals Accelerates Its Path to Production in Spain with the Acquisition of 50% of Rio Narcea Recursos and Its Aguablanca Mine...

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - December 5, 2023) - Denarius Metals Corp. (TSXV: DSLV) (OTCQX: DNRSF) ("Denarius Metals" or the "Company") announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement (the "Agreement") with the shareholders of Rio Narcea Recursos, S.L. ("RNR") (collectively, the "RNR Shareholder Group") to acquire a 50% interest in RNR, which has the rights to exploit the historic producing Aguablanca nickel-copper mine located in Monesterio, Extremadura, Spain, approximately 88 km from the Company's Lomero Project.

Serafino Iacono, Executive Chairman and CEO of Denarius Metals, commented, "The acquisition of a 50% stake in RNR reflects the continued execution of our strategy of acquiring significant projects in highly prospective and tier one mining jurisdictions in Spain. The acquisition gives us ownership in the only nickel deposit in Spain and one of the few in Europe. With our Zancudo Project in Colombia already on track to commence production in 2024, this acquisition gives us a second mine going into operation next year with Aguablanca set to resume production through underground mining in the next 12 months. The acquisition also accelerates our path to production from our flagship Lomero Project using excess capacity available in RNR's 5,000 tonnes per day ("tpd") processing plant. Our technical expertise and location of assets in the nearby Autonomous Community of Andalucia makes us uniquely suited to benefit from the synergies derived from a combination of the Lomero and Aguablanca Projects. We look forward to continuing our work to help the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia and Extremadura become frontrunners in sustainable raw material technologies and practices to support the European climate neutrality goal and increase local well-being."

Under the Agreement, Alto Minerals S.L.U. ("Alto"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Denarius Metals in Spain, and owner of the Company's Lomero Project, has acquired 50% of all of the issued and outstanding shares of RNR in an arm's length transaction with the RNR Shareholder Group for cash consideration totaling EUR 25 million (equivalent to approximately US$27 million), of which EUR 2.5 million has been paid on signing of the Agreement and the balance will be paid in instalments of EUR 5.0 million on March 31, 2024 and approximately EUR 5.8 million at the end of each of June, September and December 2024. The Company used a portion of the net proceeds from its recently completed convertible debenture financing to fund the initial payment and is currently in discussion with several parties regarding potential structured financing sources, including royalties, streaming, prepayments on offtake contracts and other similar arrangements, to fund the future payments due in 2024. No finder's fees are being paid in connection with the acquisition.

In addition, the Company, through Alto, and the RNR Shareholder Group have entered into a joint venture agreement (the "JV Agreement") pursuant to which Alto will appoint three members of the RNR board of directors and the RNR Shareholder Group will appoint the remaining three members. Pursuant to the JV Agreement, Alto will be the operator of the Aguablanca Project and the RNR Shareholder Group will provide a line of credit to RNR to fund the resumption and start-up of operations at the Aguablanca Project.

The acquisition of the 50% stake in RNR is subject to conditional approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Aguablanca Project

The Aguablanca Project is located approximately 100 km north of Seville within the Monesterio municipal boundary in the south of Badajoz Province (Autonomous Community of Extremadura) and close to the Huelva and Sevilla (Autonomous Community of Andalucia) provincial boundaries, in the south of Spain. Discovered in 1994, the Aguablanca mine was one of the only deposits in Spain able to produce nickel (sole producer) and copper. The Aguablanca deposit is a magmatic sulfide deposit hosted in gabbro and gabbro-norite rocks. The deposit is rich in nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) with anomalous cobalt (Co), platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd) and gold (Au).

Production commenced in 2005 and, in 2007, RNR was acquired by Lundin Mining Corporation ("Lundin"). Lundin continued to operate the Aguablanca Project until 2015 through an open-pit exploitation and on-site processing plant. Over its 11-year operating life, the total volume of ore mined at Aguablanca was approximately 14 million tonnes at grades of 0.59% Ni and 0.35% Cu. At full operating capacity, the mine was processing approximately 1.85 million tonnes of ore per year with an average of approximately 8,000 tonnes of Ni and 7,000 tonnes of Cu produced in concentrate. The concentrate produced in the plant during the period from 2005 through 2015 totaled 997,575 tonnes with an average grade of 6.67% Ni and 5.99% Cu, containing 66,552 tonnes of Ni metal and 59,236 tonnes of Cu metal. The recovery in the plant was 80% for Ni and 92% for Cu.

The Underground Mining Plan for the Aguablanca mine has already been approved by the local mining authority. The Environmental Impact Study ("EIS") approved in 2017 is still in force. All surface facilities at the mine, including the 5,000 tpd processing plant, are in good condition and maintenance activities to resume plant operation are expected to last no longer than 6 months.

A historical Mineral Resource estimate (the "Historical MRE") of the Aguablanca mineral deposit was produced for the RNR Shareholder Group in March 2023 by CRS Ingeneria Consultoria ("CRS"), Madrid, Spain, based on information collected from various historical exploration campaigns. The Historical MRE, prepared before the Company became interested in the Aguablanca Project and acquired its 50% interest, summarizes the estimated quantity, grade and mineral content of the underground deposit, below the current level of open pit exploitation. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the Historical MRE as current mineral resources or mineral reserves, and the Company is not treating the Historical MRE as current mineral resources or mineral reserves or is using the Historical MRE for the basis of a production decision. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

Based on a nickel price of US$10.00/lb, the following table summarizes the Historical MRE for underground resources at the Aguablanca Project at a cutoff grade of 0.30% Ni:

Ni Grade
Ni Metal
Cu Grade
Cu Metal
Co Grade
Pt Grade
Pd Grade
Au Grade
Measured & Indicated6,4140.6340.590.5635.791500.280.240.15


The Historical MRE is relevant to the Aguablanca Project as it reflects the known geologic assumptions of the mineral deposit. The geologic report prepared by CRS, which is the basis of the Historical MRE, is well written and the mineral estimation procedures are well documented. The Company's QP considers the Historical MRE to be reliable. General statistics and geostatistics were evaluated for the deposit. Domains were created according to geology and structures to ensure mineralization was estimated according to each separate domain. High grade outliers were capped to avoid over estimation of mineral content. Variograms were evaluated to determine variance of mineralization. Mineralization was estimated using Ordinary Kriging estimation techniques. Resulting mineral resource estimates were validated by evaluating swath plots, local estimates of mineralization compared to drilling composites and visually. The Historical MRE was categorized according to the CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves 2014. Mineralization for the Historical MRE has been categorized as measured, indicated and inferred mineral resources. No more recent estimates or data are available to Denarius Metals. In order to update the Historical MRE, the Company's QP needs to independently validate the Historical MRE through a review of the geological models, drilling databases, assay reliability and reproducibility, geostatistical analyses and a re-estimation of mineral resources for the Aguablanca Project.

Synergies Between Aguablanca and Lomero Projects in Spain

The Company's 100% owned Lomero Project is a polymetallic deposit located on the Spanish side of the prolific copper rich Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB). The Lomero Project is located in the Huelva Province of the Autonomous Community of AndalucĂ­a in Southern Spain, about 90 km west northwest of Seville and 88 km west-southwest of the Aguablanca Project.

After the latest update of the Mineral Resource estimate for the Lomero Project, with an effective date July 31, 2023, the Company has attained a sufficient level of knowledge to undertake further work for an initial engineering study, and preliminary economic assessment. The proximity between these two projects provides opportunities for the Lomero Project to capture synergies that will offer numerous benefits including:

  1. Aguablanca offers extra processing plant capacity to process material from Lomero, given that the optimal capacity of the existing plant at Aguablanca is 5,000 tpd and the underground mining plan for Aguablanca is set at 2,500 tpd;
  2. Having access to the existing process plant at Aguablanca represents a significant time and capital cost saving for the development of the Lomero Project;
  3. This strategy accelerates the commencement of mining operations for the exploitation of the Lomero-Poyatos and Palomarejo deposits and the resultant creation of local employment in the area of the Lomero Project;
  4. The consolidation of processing at the Aguablanca Project also reduces the environmental impact at Lomero that should speed up the environmental permitting process for Lomero; and
  5. The combined operations will produce a wide range of strategic and precious metals from the two projects such as nickel, copper, zinc, lead, gold, silver, cobalt, platinum and palladium, enhancing the Company's exposure to a broader range of metals and opportunities to benefit from cyclical demand.

Qualified Persons ("QP") Review

Mr. Scott E. Wilson, CPG, President of Resource Development Associates Inc., is an independent consulting geologist specializing in Mineral Reserve and Resource calculation reporting, mining project analysis and due diligence evaluations. Mr. Wilson has over 34 years of experience in the mining industry and is a Registered Member (#4025107RM) of Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc. Mr. Wilson and Resource Development Associates Inc. are independent of the Company under National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"). Mr. Wilson is acting as the Company's QP, as defined in NI 43-101, and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information disclosed in this press release.

About Denarius Metals

Denarius Metals is a Canadian junior company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and eventual operation of polymetallic mining projects in high-grade districts, with its principal focus on the Lomero Project, a polymetallic deposit located on the Spanish side of the prolific copper rich Iberian Pyrite Belt, one of the largest districts of pyrite-rich massive sulfide deposits in the world. The Company is also carrying out an exploration campaign on the Toral Zn-Pb-Ag Project located in the Leon Province, Northern Spain pursuant to a definitive agreement signed in 2022 for an option and joint-venture arrangement with Europa pursuant to which Europa has granted Denarius Metals two options to acquire up to an 80% ownership interest in Europa Metals Iberia S.L. ("EMI"), a wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary of Europa which holds the Toral Project. The Company has commenced construction activities at its 100%-owned Zancudo Project in Colombia, which includes the historic producing Independencia mine, providing an opportunity to develop near-term production and cash flow commencing in 2024 through local contract mining and long-term growth through continued exploration of the Zancudo deposit which remains open in all directions.

Additional information on Denarius can be found on its website at and by reviewing its profile on SEDAR+ at

Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

This news release contains "forward-looking information", which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the Agreement and the acquisition of a 50% interest in RNR, regulatory and TSX Venture Exchange conditional approval, potential structured financing sources, funding of the Aguablanca Project, reliability of the Historical MRE, synergies between the Aguablanca and Lomero Projects and the Company's business plans or strategies. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Denarius Metals to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements are described under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form dated April 21, 2023 which is available for view on SEDAR+ at Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this press release and Denarius Metals disclaims, other than as required by law, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, results, future events, circumstances, or if management's estimates or opinions should change, or otherwise. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Cautionary Statement on Mineral Resources

Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of mineral resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues. In particular, the quantity and grade of reported inferred mineral resources are uncertain in nature and there is insufficient exploration to define these inferred mineral resources as an indicated or measured mineral resource in all cases. It is uncertain in all cases whether further exploration will result in upgrading the inferred mineral resources to an indicated or measured mineral resource category.

For Further Information, Contact:

Michael Davies
Chief Financial Officer
(416) 360-4653