EMX’s Balya royalty property occurs in the historic Balya lead-zinc-silver mining district of northwestern Turkey. The Balya license was acquired by EMX in a 2005 government auction after review of historic exploration results. In 2006 EMX entered into an agreement to transfer the Balya and Sofular properties to Dedeman Madencilik San ve Tic. A.S. (“Dedeman”) a Private Turkish company in exchange for cash payments, work commitments, 4% NSR royalties, and the Alankoy gold-copper property (see EMX news release dated November 14, 2006). In January 2020 Dedeman sold the Balya property to Esan Eczacibaşi Endüstriyel Hammaddeler San. ve Tic. A.Ş. (“Esan”) a private Turkish company. Esan operates numerous mines and processing plants in Turkey, and is one of Turkey’s leading producers of raw materials and base metals. Most importantly, Esan operates a lead-zinc mine and flotation mill on the property immediately adjacent** to EMX’s royalty property at Balya. EMX retains a 4% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on the Property that is uncapped and cannot be repurchased. See Company news release dated January 7, 2020)
Mineralization at Balya consists of Pb-Zn-Ag rich skarn and carbonate replacement zones hosted in limestones and dacites. Balya North is the main mineralized prospect, and occurs as a shallow dipping, 1,800 by 3,000 meter zone of multiple stacked horizons of mineralization at depths ranging from 10-20 meters to 200-300 meters.
Drilling programs at Balya have resulted in over 340 core holes totaling more than 80,000 meters. This drilling has expanded the lead-zinc-silver mineralization in the Balya North Zone, and confirmed the continuity and tenor of the mineralization with in-fill holes at 25 to 50 meter spacing. The Balya North Zone remains open for extension along strike, down dip, and to depth.
Esan completed a 22,230 meter drill program in 2020 in order to update its exploration model and to also test for projections of mineralization at deeper levels in the system. This program was successful, and Esan has since notified EMX that it has started development of the 4,900 meter decline, which will reach its intended final depth in approximately two and a half years. However, Esan has also advised EMX that commercial production from “run of mine” material is anticipated in Q4, 2021 as development of the decline proceeds and encounters lead-zinc-silver mineralized bodies along its path. The decline will have dimensions of 5 meters by 5 meters, with a downward slope averaging 14%, which will reach a total depth of approximately 650 meters.
While development work on the decline proceeds, Esan will continue its exploration drilling, with 60,000 meters expected to be drilled in 2021. This work will continue to refine the current exploration models and also continue testing deeper levels in the system.
EMX congratulates Esan on its progress and looks forward to additional updates as work advances.
Comments on Sampling, Assaying, QA/QC, and Adjacent Properties. Esan’s Balya drill samples were collected in accordance with industry standard best practices. The samples were submitted to ALS laboratories in Izmir, Turkey and Vancouver, Canada (ISO 9001:2000 and 17025:2005 accredited) for sample preparation and analysis. Elemental concentrations were determined by four acid digestion and ICP MS/AES techniques. Over-limit analyses are performed by atomic absorption, and in some cases (>30% Pb and >30% Zn) by volumetric titration techniques. Esan performed routine QA/QC analyses on their assay results, including the utilization of certified reference materials, blanks, and duplicate samples.
**Esan’s project provides context for EMX’s Balya royalty property, which occurs in a similar geologic setting. However, this is not necessarily indicative that Balya hosts mineralization with similar tonnages or grades.
Sofular and Aktutan
EMX has a royalty interest in the Aktutan polymetallic project sold to Dedeman in 2007 for considerations that also include a 4% uncapped NSR. (see Company news release dated August 30, 2007 for more information).