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Intercept American Silver

Intercept American Silver

Malbex Resources Hunts Golden Elephants In Argentina

For a company that didn't even exist two years ago, Malbex Resources has shown remarkable progress in a very short period of time. It has acquired a 100% interest in three very promising gold exploration projects in Argentina, completed a large private placement, gone public, and expects to spend approximately US$6 million for exploration work on the three projects during the 2009/2010 field season, which commenced in October 2009 and is expected to continue until May 2010. Its three properties, Del Carmen, Despoblados, and Arroyo de los Amarillos (Amarillos) total 22,400 hectares in area and are located in mining friendly San Juan province in northwestern Argentina. All three projects are located in the prolific El Indio Gold Belt, along the border with Chile. There is excellent access to the projects via a 4-5 hour drive on paved highway and all-weather gravel road from San Juan City. Two of the projects (Amarillos and Despoblados) are adjacent to 30 million ounces of past production and gold reserves at Barrick's Veladero and Pascua Lama deposits. Amarillos and Del Carmen host hydrothermal alteration zones similar to those associated with the high-sulphidation gold deposits at Veladero and Pascua Lama and the former El Indio mine in Chile, while the geologic setting at Despoblados is remarkably similar to Kinross' FDN deposit in Ecuador. Malbex's President and CEO, Tim Warman took time out from his busy schedule to fill us in on the prospects and plans for his fast moving company.

Resource Intelligence: Can you tell us briefly how Malbex got to where it is today?
Tim Warman: Malbex was initially formed privately by a group of experienced mining and finance professionals – Terry MacGibbon (FNX CEO), Joe Hamilton (former Aurelian director and former CEO of African Copper) Rob Pollock and Frank Davis. The founder group had strong ties to mining executives in Argentina and thus were able to acquire properties which were being put up for bid by the Instituto Provincial de Exploraciones y Exploitaciones Mineral (IPEEM), an arm's length agency of the San Juan provincial government in Argentina. The three properties we acquired 100% interests in, Del Carmen, Despoblados, and Arroyo de los Amarillos, are covered by 5 1/2-year agreements running from September 2008, and are convertible into 30-year renewable exploitation licenses with a 3% royalty to the province and a 2% royalty to IPEEM. Because of Joe Hamilton's connection to Aurelian Resources, that is how the team grew to include four additional members of the former Aurelian team – Patrick Anderson, who joined our Board, Peter Stewart, our VP Exploration, Carson Noel, our country manager and myself.

RI: So then what happened?
TM: We engaged Thomas Weisel, Dundee Securities and GMP to place a $10.6 million equity financing to fund the exploration of the three projects. That was followed by the process of taking the company public which we did through a reverse take-over of a trading company on the TSX-V called Arapaho Capital Corp. which was effective as of October 30, 2009.

RI: Can you tell us more about your properties?
TM: Del Carmen is our flagship project, and is located near the southern end of the prolific El Indio Gold Belt. Del Carmen Norte is a well-exposed, high sulphidation epithermal gold-silver system covering approximately 9 sq. km. We are also currently exploring a similar, but less well exposed high sulphidation epithermal system within the same concession package located about 5 km to the south, at Del Carmen Sur.

In 2008/2009, our preliminary exploration at Del Carmen Norte revealed widespread trace to high-grade gold mineralization on surface within the large alteration zone, principally in siliceous black-matrix, hydrothermal breccias that are commonly controlled within north-east striking structures such as those tested at Cresta del Gallo. The style and mineralogy of alteration at Del Carmen Norte is typical for high-sulphidation epithermal gold-silver systems with hydrothermal alteration zoned around cores of massive and vuggy silica, similar to the producing Veladero gold-silver mine and the large Pascua-Lama deposit currently in development. The best result of previous drilling of the Del Carmen Norte system in the late 1990s was 36 m of 1.06 g/t gold.

In addition to drilling, we have ongoing or planned geological mapping, mechanical trenching, and geophysical surveying (ground magnetics and CSAMT) of the Del Carmen Norte hydrothermal system. Targets to be drill tested during the current field season include: Cresta del Gallo; Brecha Límite, with locally prominent fracture (vein) controlled copper mineralization; Quebrada Pedegrosa with veinlets of jarosite (±quartz-hematite) and high-grade gold (several samples >100 g/t Au); Brecha Opportune; Rojo Grande-Lion King, where gold accompanies ENE-striking hydrothermal breccias that cut massive silica and Ladera Sur de los Tortólas. The Brecha Límite and Ladera Sur de los Tortólas prospects have strongly elevated copper and silver which distinguishes them from the others. Coincident gold, silver, copper and arsenic enrichment suggests the possibility of epithermal enargite-bearing vein mineralization at these targets, similar to high-grade mineralization mined previously at the famous El Indio mine, some 20 km to the northwest in Chile.

We just announced strong drill results on February 17 from the first two holes testing Brecha Límite. Hole DDHC-10-008 contains a 35 metre long interval grading 2.2 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au) and 42.9 g/t silver (Ag). This includes a 16 m long interval grading 4.03 g/t Au and 81.8 g/t Ag (5.39 g/t Au equivalent), which further includes a higher grade interval of 4.0 m at 6.99 g/t Au and 191.25 g/t Ag (10.18 g/t Au equivalent). Hole DDHC-10-007, collared 60 m north-east along strike, was abandoned at 34.8 m due to drilling problems, but ended in mineralisation with grades of 0.78 g/t Au and 11.68 g/t Ag over the final 10.8 m. The mineralisation intercepted in the two holes appears to continue north-eastwards within the Malbex concessions.
At Del Carmen Sur, we have been able to collect a large number of surface samples and should be able to report results on that soon.

RI: How about Despoblados and Amarillos?
TM: Our model for Despoblados is that it contains buried targets in two pull-apart basins in a big regional structure. There's excellent access to the Despoblados project since the all-season road going to the Veladero Mine and Pascua Lama development site crosses the centre of the property and the two pull-apart basins. This is a low-sulphidation epithermal gold-silver target similar in geological setting to Kinross' 13.7 million ounce Fruta del Norte deposit in Ecuador. The principal similarities include sequences of poorly sorted epiclastic rocks associated with major regional strike-slip faults which could represent pull-apart basin sequences; and beds of siliceous sinter, evidence for surficial hot springs during the deposition of the epiclastic sequence and suggestive of a buried epithermal target with little other evidence of a hydrothermal system at surface. There are two discrete areas of outcropping pull-apart basin deposits within the Pascua-Lama/Veladero structural corridor at Despoblados; both contain sinter. Exploration by previous operators focused on the large area of visible hydrothermal alteration with outcropping narrow low-sulphidation veins outside the structure and neither of the two basins has been drill tested.

We plan a program of mapping and ground geophysical surveys (magnetometer and CSAMT) to identify zones of enhanced resistivity indicative of silicification and possible epithermal quartz veining beneath the basin cover. We have to do diamond drilling to explore beneath the epiclastic rocks at Despoblados which will be done, if warranted by the results of these studies, during the 2009/2010 field season.

The Arroyo de Los Amarillos project area is located immediately north of Barrick's Pascua Lama concessions and extends northward along the Argentina-Chile border. It is more of a grass roots exploration target and hosts a number of colour anomalies visible on satellite imagery near the Barrick concession boundary. Other operators recognized these to be epithermal alteration zones which became the focus of nearly all previous exploratory work. Probably less than 10% of the concession area has been mapped or explored, due partly to the difficult terrain. We did only limited prospecting in the 2008/2009 field season because of the challenging terrain and poor access.

In addition to the 17+ million ounce Pascua Lama gold deposit to the south, Yamana is exploring immediately to the east of the Los Amarillos concessions, and Barrick continues to control the exploration concessions on the Chilean side of the border to the west.
We began the 2009/2010 field season at Los Amarillos by removing obstructions and improving access roads to allow re-investigation of the zones of hydrothermal alteration identified on surface to date, including geophysical surveying (magnetometer and CSAMT). We are currently doing property-wide stream sediment sampling, prospecting, geological mapping and rock sampling to evaluate the effectively unexplored remainder of the property. Diamond drilling will be conducted in the subsequent field season if warranted by the mapping, sampling and geophysical results.

RI: So why should investors be interested in Malbex at this time?
TM: I think we can reduce it to these basic elements: we have projects with the potential to produce "elephants", located in a pro-mining jurisdiction, and the talent and experience to properly manage and finance them.

Milestones:

* Continue with and advance our existing projects by making at least one discovery
* Investigate additional properties in favourable South American jurisdictions, with the goal of acquiring a more advanced project, with an already identified resource base that has room to grow
* Use our exploration team effectively on properties not affected by winter weather

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