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ASX-listed Antilles Gold has flagged the potential for a second mine development in Cuba, in a joint venture (JV) with the Cuban government’s mining company, GeoMinera.

The company told shareholders that based on a review of geological data from exploration work undertaken by a Canadian company in the 1990s, the Antonio polymetallic deposit has proven capable of sustaining a small openpit operation that would produce copper and zinc concentrates, with silver credits.

Antonio is one of four copper-zinc-silver mines that were operated by a Russian mining company before their abandonment following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and withdrawal of support for Cuba around 1989.

The project is estimated to host an inferred resource of some 2.25-million tonnes, at 1.58% copper, 2.51% zinc and 16.5 g/t silver, for an estimated 73.38-million pounds of contained copper, 124.49-million pounds of zinc, and 1.19-million ounces of silver.

Antilles told shareholders that at the current metal prices, the in-ground value of the inferred resource is estimated at $525-million, rendering it a significant development prospect for the company.

The proposed first stage project at Antonio is expected to involve a low cost development of between $25-million and $30-million, and development could potentially be undertaken by the JV mining company in 2024-25, and be fully funded from anticipated surplus cash flow from the La Demajagua gold-silver mine which is expected to be commissioned in mid 2024.

Antilles executive chairperson Brian Johnson told shareholders that the next six months would underscore the growth potential of the Company’s joint venture with GeoMinera, with completion of the definitve feasibility study for the La Demajagua mine, expected to be completed in November 2022, and with drilling results from the major El Pilar copper-gold porphyry deposit starting in September 2022, and for the Antonio copper-zinc deposit in December 2022.