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Waking The Legendary “Mother of Vienna” Silver Mine

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There are renowned, historical mines around the world that have legends of incredible mineralization and riches. Some were mined out long ago and forgotten, some were never verified or discovered, and some legendary deposits have become prominent mines today.

Every region has had its own fabled resource deposits, as every kingdom had its source of wealth and minerals. All of the gold, silver, and metals used in history had to come from somewhere, after all.

Rarely, if ever, can mining investors expect to stumble upon a legendary mine. Discovering a new, breathtaking deposit is one thing, but it’s expected that all known massive deposits with a proven history are likely to be tapped dry. Franz Kozich, well known on Bay Street as a financier and mineral exploration developer, has been involved with prosperous projects throughout the Americas and China, including in Ontario, yet not once did he find a “legendary” deposit.

So it came as a huge shock when he realized that one was sitting on his doorstep. Kozich, the President & CEO of Richmond Minerals Inc. (TSX-V:RMD, OTC:RMDFF, Forum), had always known that Austria had a rich history of mining, with some of the world’s largest silver mines dating back to the Roman ages. The revelation that one of those mines had been sitting dormant for centuries wasn’t just a shock, it was an opportunity.

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With two prosperous historical holdings to its name, Richmond Minerals has become an opportunity as well. Stockhouse Editorial recently spoke with the Company’s management, including President & CEO Kozich, Exploration Manager Warren Hawkins, and Director Thomas Brunner. Speaking about their newest endeavour, the remarkable Oberzeiring Polymetallic Project in Austria acquired in November 2019, Kozich made it clear how impressed he was by the project.
“I have been many, many years in this business, looking everywhere around the world, and then I find maybe the most important and exciting project in front of my house in Austria. We know that the area had an old iron ore mountain with a lot of history, but then we realized that it was actually sleeping. In the Middle Ages, the mine only went down to 80 meters, and nobody has touched it with modern exploration.” Many mines can claim they have history, but not many come with fabled names like “The Mother of Vienna,” as Oberzeiring does. If you were to visit the area yourself, you’d find a local tourist mine shows off the historical silver coins minted onsite, as the mine famously supplied minerals for buildings in the Austrian capital.

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So why has such a renowned project not been tapped dry? The cause is a massive flooding of the mine workings in the early 1360’s that rulers at the time weren’t able to solve. Though, it wasn’t for lack of trying, as both Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Maria Theresa tried their hand at rescuing the mine centuries apart. The feat was impossible without modern technology, however, and the mine fell onto the back burner behind other projects, wars, and major upheavals that captured Austrian attention and left it as a footnote.

Enter Richmond Minerals, modern technology able to dewater and resurface the Oberzeiring Project, and the Company’s new Director Thomas Brunner. Brunner, the Chairman & CEO of the Swiss private company Aurex Biomining AG that owned Oberzeiring, joined the Company’s board as part of the acquisition. While many in the mining industry overlooked the project, he dug deeper and saw just how promising it was.

The entire Polymetallic Project covers 99 mineral claim units and more than 3,000 hectares, large mines, and over 100 artisanal mines. Historical grades in the mine are astronomical, with Brunner having seen grades of up to 10% of ore in pure silver, and an updated 43-101 report in January seeing gold grades up to 6.4 g/t Au. From just the tourist mine that’s open in the area, they’re recovered samples of up to 384 grams of Ag, with plenty of other industrial metals in the area.

(Image via Richmond Minerals)

With some groundwork completed and lots left to do, Richmond Minerals has their work cut out for them, but investors familiar with the team know that they’re no strangers to working with historical deposits. The Company’s other impressive holding is the Ridley Lake Gold Project, centrally located within the Swayze Greenstone Belt in north Central Ontario that’s home to numerous other gold deposits, and with early prospecting dating back to 1932.

Next-door to the 196 contiguous claims of Ridley Lake, both the Trelawney Cote Lake deposit and the Probe Mines Borden Lake discovery that are on strike to the east and west were acquired for more than $500 million. The property itself, meanwhile, laid quiet as a result of litigation from 1989 that was dismissed in 2014, allowing Richmond Minerals to resurrect the Project in 2015.

(Image via Richmond Minerals)

Since then, Warren Hawkins has overseen three rounds of drilling on site, as well as geophysical surveying which identified new targets and extended the initial work done in 1989. On the main Aguara Zone that had been drilled over 3000 feet, the latest rounds of work extended the target to the west by 600 metres and remains open on strike. Past drill holes on the property returned one-metre intercepts of 11.30 g/t Au, 7.55 g/t Au, and 7.64 g/t Au, and historical assays were even better, with grades reaching up to 23 g/t Au.

During our interview, Hawkins made it clear how much more promise is left at Ridley Lake that hasn’t been explored, and why the Richmond Minerals team is excited about developing the project.

“The potential is wide open. We have new targets we’ve identified to test, we have the follow-up from drilling intersections retained in 2017, and gold is one of the few bright sports in the whole marketplace. Ontario gold is in a good place and there’s reported grams and physical anomalies on our project that we haven’t even gotten around to testing yet, so of course we’re excited about the project. Factor in Oberzeiring and both projects being in areas that have mines near our doorstep and fantastic infrastructure, you’re looking at potential world-class plays.”

Richmond Minerals has the projects, the plans, and the potential. Just as the Ridley Lake Project has plans for another round of diamond drilling and further exploration plans, the Company wants to conduct a large sampling program at Oberzeiring to test all the artisanal mines, conduct geophysics and magnetics analysis, and define drill targets.

Of course, with the lingering COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt on mining operations worldwide, they’re focused on setting up for future success. If their current permits expire before the work season is allowed to begin, it’s a simple step of reprocessing and adjusting schedules.

(Image via Richmond Minerals)

Because at the end of the day, the promise they have managed to accumulate isn’t going away anytime soon. The market forces favouring gold and silver are strong now, but experts have expected them to remain positive long before the pandemic took hold. With all of the pieces lined up, all it takes is one impressive grade finding for the markets to take notice.

And if you can believe it, the impressive results and history displayed by Richmond Minerals’ projects barely scratches the surface of their true potential. At Ridley Lake, it’s a simple fact that multiple $500 million gold mines are on strike to both the east and the west, and there are a number of anomalies that haven’t even been explored yet. At Oberzeiring, it’s a matter of history, with a renowned mine shutting down long before it had expired or before it could fully be explored and expanded upon. With hundreds of metres unexplored right next to high grade silver ores, it’s more than just a tourist mine, it’s a sleeping giant.

It’s no accident that Ridley Lake and Oberzeiring share a lot of similarities, because the Richmond Minerals team knows what separates valuable projects from fool’s gold. It’s more than history, it’s more than location, and it’s more than the market. It’s a combination of all three, and being able to assess when the time is right to strike. When it comes to legendary mines and acquisitions, everyone wishes they had the chance to be a part of the history. If you find a real sleeping giant discovery, how do you say no?

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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