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‘There’s gold in them hills’

Traces of gold and copper found by miners in their first drill hole in the Bellas Gate area of St Catherine have made Canadian mining company C3 Metals Limited hopeful that they have finally struck the sweet spot they have been after for nine years.

“We believe that the target has tremendous potential,” President and CEO of C3 Metals Dan Symons said in a filing on Monday.


The preliminary findings suggest a breakthrough for the company, which entered Jamaica nine years ago.

“Our understanding of the Epidote Ridge system within Bellas Gate has been significantly advanced by our recent geological mapping and geophysics interpretations. These partial assays of the first hole drilled in this target support our thesis,” Symons reported.

C3 Metals is a minerals exploration company with operations in Jamaica and Peru, in South America. In the island, it holds a 100 per cent interest in five licences covering 207 square kilometres of prospective copper and gold terrain. The company’s shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto, Canada.

The company has said that it plans to drill up to five holes in each zone for which it has licences. These areas are all along a fault line that runs across the island from Montego Bay to St Thomas.

In the Bellas Gate area, the company said it drilled downwards for 330 metres. What was found in the sample results was copper and gold, starting from a few metres from the surface and continuing for most of the length of the drill, or hundreds of metres downwards. Finds of precious ores spanning about 100 metres are usually considered “high grade”, according to industry sources. The find at Bellas Gate triples that measurement.

The Financial Gleaner awaits comments from C3 Metals on the find.


In the mining business, such findings generally result in higher stock valuations as investors and speculators price in the potential extraction value. On Monday, two classes of C3 Metals shares increased by 37 per cent and 20 per cent.

While the work of testing the ore results, or assays, continues, the company appears to be already upbeat about the latest development. The operators of the drill at Bellas Gate plan to continue drilling for another 700 metres.

“Although these assay results represent less than half the first drill hole of a five-hole programme, we felt it prudent to immediately announce the results, given the outstanding continuity and grades of the copper and gold mineralisation reported to date,” Symons said in the company filing.

The Bellas Gate project sits within what is known as the Crawle River-Rio Minho fault district, which is a major structural break in the earth that cuts across Jamaica and is known to host multiple rock systems. C3 Metals recently conducted geological mapping and geophysics interpretations of the Bellas Gate land, which improved its baseline understanding of the area.

C3 Metals, which is described as a developmental company, has yet to book revenues. It held an accumulated deficit of US$17.6 million at February 2022. Its cash infusion, however, resulted in US$16.8 million in working capital at February 2022, but even this amount requires raising more funds going forward to finance the drills in Peru and Jamaica.

“Given the company’s plans for significant exploration expenditures focused on the Jasperoide, Peru project and also on the Jamaican projects during 2022, existing funds on hand at quarter end are not sufficient to support planned exploration costs, costs of acquiring new exploration properties or ongoing corporate costs over the coming year,” according to the company’s financials. That said, the company continues as a going concern and has raised additional capital when needed.

C3 Metals changed its name in 2020 from Carube Copper. In Jamaica, the company has licences that cover the Bellas Gate, Connors, Camel Hill, Geo Hill, Provost and Hendley communities.

Up to 2019, C3 Metals held 11 licences in Jamaica, six of which were sold to Geophysx Jamaica Limited in a deal valued at US$210,000.

C3 Metals’ explorations in Jamaica date back to 2011. In 2014, OZ Minerals of Australia became a partner, reportedly pumping US$12.5 million into the Bellas Gate project over three years. OZ Minerals elected to withdraw from the joint venture in 2017, leaving C3 Metals with 100 per cent interest in the project.

C3 Metals’ most recent previous drilling in Jamaica was undertaken from 2015 to 2017, which confirmed continuous zones of near-surface copper-gold mineralisation that have not yet been followed up. The Jamaican Government reportedly stands to earn five per cent royalty from extractions by C3Metals, as well as tax revenue.

C3Metals puts the value of the Jamaican assets at some US$8 million at February 2022.

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