There are thousands of companies trading on the stock exchange and some will be around 10 years from now and some won’t. However, raw materials like copper will always be around and so will the companies that mine copper. Swingplane Ventures (SWVI.OB) is one of those companies and in attempt to establish further credibility in the public markets, just recently announced that it is reviewing a proposal by AMEC (AMEC International Ingenieria y Construccion Limitada) in Santiago, one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy companies, for an initial evaluation and report on its Algarrobo Property. However, we are now getting ahead of ourselves to lets start where this story begins, copper.
Copper is everywhere – take a minute and look around you, it’s in what you see and often in what you don’t see. It’s behind the walls of your home, in electrical and telephone wiring. It’s in computers, refrigerators, microwaves and automobiles. The average home today contains about 400 pounds of copper for electrical wiring, water pipes and appliances, while the automobile you drive contains about 50 pounds. Each child born today in America will need 1500 pounds of copper in the course of his or her lifetime to enjoy our current standard of living.
Copper is the most versatile and durable of all metals and has been called “man’s eternal metal”. Copper is malleable, ductile and long lasting. Copper is a better conductor of heat and electricity than any other metal except silver. Without copper, there might never have been an electric light or space flight. This miraculous mineral and its alloys are at the heart of all technology, from telecommunications to transportation.
So it’s obvious that we need copper, where is it found? Chile has the world’s largest copper reserves and is also the largest producer and exporter of the metal. Copper mining has played a significant role in the Chilean economy since at least 1825 when foreign investors were actively competing to control the country’s rich copper and silver deposits. By 1835, Chile was exporting 12,700 tons of copper per year, mostly to the United States. By 1860 copper accounted for 55% of the economy.
Historically, Chile has been highly-dependent on its copper exports. After the War of the Pacific (1879-83), the quantity of copper that Chile mined continued to skyrocket. Although the demand for copper put Chile way ahead of other nations in the region, its increasing dependence on copper put it at the mercy of the world market. When copper prices dropped or industrial slumps hit Europe, Chile’s economy went into a tailspin. Chile has diversified in the years since, and now ranks as the most competitive Latin-American economy. Exports account for 40% of GDP; and commodities account for 30% of the exports. Below is a chart from the Chile Central Bank showing copper’s importance to the Chilean economy:
And this now brings us to Swingplane Ventures, a company which owns a copper mine in Chile. Swingplane Ventures’ Algarrobo Property is an Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold (IOCG) property located approximately 850 km north of Santiago, in the III Region, Province of Copiapo, Chile. The city of Copiapo is located approximately 43 km to the southeast of the property, with the small port city of Caldera 25 km to the east. The property consists of 32 tenures, comprising a total of 6,161 ha (15,224 acres).
The mineralized trends are very well defined at surface through abundant workings, both historical and from more recent work. The workings range from shallow pits and near surface workings to more extensive mine development extending up to 450 m below surface. Taken together, these workings are interpreted to clearly delineate four major veins, referred to the “Major Veins”, each of which have a surface extent up to 1.3 km, with an interpreted potential strike length at surface extent of at least 4 km. In addition to the major veins, a number of subordinate, subsidiary and/or undeveloped veins are interpreted to be present between the major veins. These veins may represent secondary veins developed as a series of splays, comprising “horse-tails”, to the primary veins and/or a nested set of primary and en echelon secondary veins. Here is a photo of the property from a recent report:
Zacks recently put out a report on the stock and said that even though Swingplane is in the development stage of resource exploration and delineation, which will require several rounds of financing, its option on a past producing property should permit limited copper production in 2013 due to the Chilean government’s unique promotion of the copper industry. The research firm further said that the prospects for discovery of additional high-grade copper veins on the tenures controlled by the option held by Swingplane Ventures are promising. Recent production from Roble 2A in 2009 at 2010 and the driving of three drifts on the newly discovered Veta Gruesa vein on Roble 5B strongly suggest the continuation of high-grade copper veining in several of the Roble tenures.
The company’s announcement on Thursday is further evidence of the fact that its property has potential. The company said that the report is expected to provide additional independent evaluation of the Property with further direction regarding development and increased production from the Property. AMEC will produce a qualitative statement regarding the mineral potential of the Algarrobo Property in the shape of a Due-Diligence report. The report will be based on the information that Swingplane makes available to AMEC and a visit to the Property.
Notably, AMEC is one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy companies. Its customers, in both the private and public sector, are among the world’s biggest and best in their fields — BP, Shell, EDF, National Grid and U.S. Navy to name just a few