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Interview: Q and A with David Archer Chief Executive Officer of Savannah Resources (LSE:SAV)

Savannah Resources plc (LSE:SAV) CEO David Archer caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their current drill program, future exploration and 2015 being their big year


Q1: We’ve spoken many time before so just wanted to catch up with what Savannah has been doing. How is the drill program going at the moment?

A1: Very well actually. We’re so pleased that we’re able to get on the ground with 2 diamond rigs and that drilling started at the end of January and we now have those 2 rigs drilling away at the moment on the first of three targets that we had on at the Sarami West project. So we’re sub-targeting the discovery of volcanic massive sulphide mineralisation, high-grade copper mineralisation is the key feature that we’re looking at there.


Q2: These targets, are they of significant substantial size? For a layperson, are we looking at something which is a game-changer, or would be a game-changer for Savannah or for any company?

A2: Yes I suppose it will be a game-changer in the sense that we’ve applied very disciplined exploration approach, starting off by ways of reinterpreting the airborne geophysical data, dragging a lot more detail out of that and using that to provide us with some on-ground targets which we then followed up with ground geophysics and the third element to this is the drill test of those targets with the drilling that’s underway at the moment. I think apart from the very desirable commercial outcome of finding an oil body, if we’re successful in that way it’ll really demonstrate the capability of our exploration model and it’s an exploration model that can be applied to our other tenancy in Omar so this will very much establish a cookie-cutter style of method for discovering oil bodies in the Omar and Ophiolite belt.


Q3: How does the Oman situation fit in with your wider strategy?

A3: I think the key thing with it is we’re looking to aggregate a series of small to medium sized, medium to high grade copper ore bodies on the basis of a development model with a central processing facility that will produce a copper concentrate from a series of satellite ore bodies. The key thing about all of this is that because of the nature of these ore bodies which have higher than average grades, a mine and development of this sort should be able to demonstrate quite superior economic and commercial characteristics with early paybacks and strong cash-generative capabilities.


Q4: Savannah Resources is followed very closely on the bulletin boards and on Twitter and we know with private investors that there are two characteristics, they want to see results yesterday and they always want the share price to be higher than it is now. In terms of the timeframe that we’re looking for here, is 2015 going to be the big year for Savannah Resources?

A4: I think it will be particularly on the copper side of things. We’re really working very vigorously in Oman, we’ve got a number of targets here in the best part of the Omar and Ophiolite belt. We’ve got a really first-class exploration team applying themselves very well and we hope as a result of what we’re able to achieve in Oman this year that we have really clearly set ourselves up to be one of the new mining companies in Oman going into production in the latter part of this decade.


Q5: Oman seems to be the centre of your world at the moment, are there any other areas that you may head off to or anything bubbling under in terms of exploration ideas?

A5: Yes, I suppose we are a little bit guided by weather conditions in Oman, it’s really prime exploration season at the moment, its winter there so conditions are really ideal for ground work. Later in the year, we’ll be shifting our focus back to Mozambique where we have a very exciting mineral sands project on the coast of Mozambique. We have an existing 65 million ton 4.2% total heavy mineral resource at our Jangamo project. As I think a lot of people are aware, it’s been pretty wet in Mozambique, in fact there’s been some tragic floods over the last few weeks, and we’re really looking for weather conditions to improve closer to the end of the wet season and that’ll allow us to recommence our resource definition drilling in Mozambique so it will be a pretty active year for us. We’ll have active programs going on both in Oman and later this year in Mozambique so should be a pretty news-rich environment from the point of view of our investors. I think one of the things Savannah has proved over the last 12 months is that we are able to successfully execute programs on time and on budget, we cover a lot of ground and we’re really one of the more active of the junior AIM explorers operating at the moment.

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