Marayes Coal Project 


Location: San Juan, Argentina
210km northeast of Mendoza

In late 2015, Dark Horse expanded its tenement holdings in the Marayes Coal Project by executing an Option to Purchase with the individual owner, Mr Alberto Herrera, for an interest of 100% of the lease covering the main historical Marayes mining area in the San Juan province of Argentina.

The lease area, marked in pink in the below map (320-H-2006), is located in the heart of the known coal occurrences at Marayes and, as such, is a significant acquisition for Dark Horse. The lease is 4,548 hectares and includes the old Rickard and Rodolfo mine shafts and associated declines. 

Historical records make reference to the Mines of Rickard, Rickard Extension and Eloisa; and Shafts – Rodolfo and Olivero; and Galleries (drifts) - Rickard, Pagni and Larrosa. These are shown in detail on old surveyed maps, and extend over several square kilometres of area. Coal was mined during the 40’s and 50’s and used for steam raising and metallurgical purposes. 

The seams mined at Rodolfo are believed to be at a depth of 12m to 13m and through a series of galleries (declines), mapped for a total length of 430m. The seams mined are believed to be a part of the lower I and II sequence. There are two distinct coal seams of around one meter in thickness within an interbanded sequence (carbonaceous mudstones), with dips between 6 and 10 degrees. 

Dark Horse has traced some thin carbonaceous/coaly outcrops on surface for a distance of some 4kms northwest of the Rickard shaft, which indicate the presence of the seam sequence over a reasonable strike length. Outcrops consisted of thinly, interbanded carbonaceous mudstone and minor coal, some bright. Additionally, some similar carbonaceous/coaly outcrops exist some 500m south of Marayes township, indicating the continuity of the sequence in a southerly direction from the Rickard mining area. Regional geological maps show the carbonaceous sequence existing over a much larger distance to the north and south of Marayes (~40kms). 

Dark Horse continues to explore opportunities to acquire further prospective coal areas in San Juan Province and also in selected areas in other provinces where coal occurrences are known (and where mining was carried out in the past). 

Marketing studies continue for the Marayes project to determine the type and size of the potential market for Marayes coal. Preliminary results indicate a potential local demand in excess of 200,000 tonnes per annum within the study area.

The two large cities of San Juan and Mendoza in this region host significant industry requiring energy for material processing, including cement plants, lime kilns, mining and mineral processing (San Juan Province hosts a number of major mining operations), agriculture (especially wine production), breweries and other general industry. Preliminary cost and pricing studies have indicated that Marayes coal could be price competitive with the existing fuel supplies, which are principally gas, oil, pet-coke and imported coal.