EMX’s royalty portfolio in Serbia initially resulted from prospect generation and organic royalty growth via the 2006 sale of its properties, including Brestovac West, for uncapped NSR royalties of 2% for gold and silver and 1% for all other metals. In 2013, EMX acquired 0.5% NSR royalty interests* covering the Brestovac and Durlan Potok properties, which along with Brestovac West**, are included in the Timok Project, which is now controlled by Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd.
Brestovac (Cukaru Peki) Royalty
The Timok Project’s Cukaru Peki deposit, which is covered by the Brestovac NSR royalty, includes the Upper Zone underground mine which consists of high-grade, epithermal-style copper-gold mineralization, and the Lower Zone project which consists of a deeper body of porphyry-style copper-gold mineralization. Mineral Resources and Reserves for the Upper Zone (UZ) and resources for the Lower Zone (LZ) are summarized in the tables below.***
EMX filed an Amended and Restated Technical Report titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report – Timok Copper-Gold Project Royalty, Serbia”, with an effective date of December 31, 2020 and an amended date of March 25, 2022 by Mineral Resource Management LLC. The Technical Report restates the Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimates reported by Zijin per the requirements of NI 43-101. The Timok Technical Report was prepared in accordance with the exemption set forth in section 9.2 of NI 43-101.
Since EMX’s Technical Report and Zijin’s 2020 Annual Report disclosures, Zijin disclosed updated Cukaru Peki resources and reserves in its 2021 Annual report in Q2 2022. Zijin’s resource and reserve statements do not meet NI 43-101 disclosure requirements.
Zijin has steadily advanced the Timok Project since acquiring 100% control in 2019 through the acquisition of previous owner Nevsun Resources Ltd., as well as the purchase of the remaining Lower Zone minority interest from Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Production from the Upper Zone commenced in Q4 2021 (see https://www.zijinmining.com/news/news-detail-119181.htm). In addition, work on the Lower Zone was conducted to upgrade resource confidence and define reserves.
The commencement of commercial production at Timok represents an important milestone for EMX, which purchased its NSR royalty on Cukaru Peki in 2013 shortly after the discovery of Cukaru Peki.
Other Timok Royalty Properties
EMX has royalty interests covering adjacent projects and other properties in the region, including:
Brestovac West, which is covered by NSR royalties of 2% for gold and silver and 1% for all other metals. The Brestovac West royalty was organically generated by EMX and contains the Corridor Zone gold prospect. It is situated directly west of Brestovac and the Cukaru Peki deposit.
Durlan Potok, which is covered by a 0.5% NSR royalty defined under the same royalty agreement as Brestovac, and is located in the Timok Magmatic Belt approximately 20 kilometers north of Brestovac and Cukaru Peki.
These royalties complement the Brestovac (Cukaru Peki) royalty and provide additional Timok Project exploration upside.
* EMX notes that: a) the original Brestovac and Brestovac West licenses are now covered by the Brestovac Metonivca and Brestovac Zapad permits, and b) portions of a reconfigured Durlan Potok permit (i.e., expanded in some areas and reduced in other areas) are not covered by the EMX royalty.
**EMX’s Timok Royalty covering Cukaru Peki is stated to be a 0.5% NSR in the royalty agreement. The royalty agreement contains a provision for the reduction of the royalty rate under certain circumstances, but EMX does not believe that those conditions have been satisfied. EMX is in discussions with Zijin to resolve the royalty rate issue (see Company news release dated January 27, 2022).
*** Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral Resources were reported inclusive of Mineral Reserves. Contained metal does not take into account recovery losses. Rows and columns may not add up due to rounding.
The Upper and Lower Zone Mineral Resources and Upper Zone Mineral Reserve estimates were reported in Zijin’s 2020 Annual Report issued on April 28, 2021 (The Mineral Resource estimate was supervised by Qualified Mr. Kevin Francis SME RM an “independent Qualified Person” as defined in NI 43-101), and are materially the same as originally stated by previous operator and former reporting issuer Nevsun Resources Ltd. in its Technical Report filed on SEDAR titled “NI 43-101 Technical Report – Timok Copper-Gold Project, Serbia: Upper Zone Prefeasibility Study and Resource Estimate for the Lower Zone” with an effective date of June 19, 2018 and a report date of August 7, 2018. The Mineral Resource estimate was supervised by Mr. Martin Pittuck, C.Eng., FGS, MIMMM an “independent Qualified Person” as defined in NI 43-101. The Mineral Reserve estimate reported by Zijin has been conformed to the requirements of NI 43-101.