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Aguila Copper Corp. (TSX-V: AGL)(OTCQB: AGLAF) CEO Mark Saxon on Exciting Year of Exploration & Resource Expansion at Sherridon Copper-Zinc Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Aguila Copper, Mr. Mark Saxon. Mark, great to have you back on, how are you today?
Mark Saxon: Gerardo, great to be here, and to speak to you. For the first time, in a very long time, I'm speaking from Vancouver. So its nice to be out and about and meeting new people again.
Gerardo Del Real: It's great to have you on. You just closed the acquisition for multiple copper-zinc-gold resources in Manitoba an excellent, excellent project. Congratulations. I know you've been meaning to speak in more detail about the project and why you're so excited about it. I would love for you to provide the context, and let's talk about what comes next.
Mark Saxon: Yeah, absolutely. I'll talk a bit first, I guess, about the history of the project, and how we came to be there because it makes a really interesting exploration story. The project, Sherridon it's called, in Manitoba, and it's about 65 kilometers to the north of Flin Flon. So the Flin Flon Belt is the Flin Flon Snow Lake Belt, together, a really major mining district that has been in production for about a hundred years. So there are some very major mines there. HudBay is obviously the big operator in Manitoba. So the project that we are working on, Sherridon, was mined from the 1930s until the 1950s. I'll introduce the resource in a minute, it was closed in 1955. It was dormant for a little while, but HudBay got involved. HudBay at one point joint ventured into a company called Halo Resources.
Halo did a lot of exploration work. In total, we've got, say 400 drill holes or something on the project. HudBay exercised a clawback over the top of Halo Resources. Halo then didn't have a project, went and did other things. HudBay moved away from the clawback when metal prices were low in 2013 and that left Halo in a difficult position. They couldn't continue. HudBay's been involved in this region, but Halo had the ground because they were the final owners. We called up Halo Resources and we found a way to allow them to do a transaction and came up with a really great deal. So yeah, we're in good shape and ready to go.
Gerardo Del Real: What comes next for Aguila? You've been very, very busy behind the scenes. I know for shareholders, sometimes it doesn't seem like there is a lot is going on when you're vetting projects. When you're doing the due diligence that is required to pull off something like this, then it all happens quickly. Right? What comes next, Mark?
Mark Saxon: Yeah, exactly. It's that saying of hurrying slowly or something. So we identified the project in Sherridon. I guess that was like October last year, it took us this long just to work out the legals, take a look at the data and make sure it was where we wanted to be, but we identified it really from first principles. The idea was we were looking for resource stage copper projects that hadn't had a press release on them for a very long time. This hadn't had a public press release for about 10 years, despite having a number of resources on the property. We dug back into the history and identified that as a great target.
Most of that has to happen under the radar and behind the scenes. We quietly were acquiring the information we needed to make our decisions. We also have been very active in the U.S., picked up some projects there and we're moving into work programs in those as well.
For Sherridon, it will absolutely be the focus of the company as we move forward. It's a company-making project. It's a good size landholding. It's close to operating mines. It's got existing resources from surface. As I said, it's got almost 500 drill holes on the project already. We've got a massive data set there to make our decisions on as we go forward.
When you look at the way, these kind of camps develop and you think of Snow Lake itself, where you think of the Flin Flon Camp, there were a number of smaller resources on both of those sites Then suddenly deeper exploration, than new technologies and better geophysics. You can look a little bit deeper and suddenly you find the mother lode, you find the really big deposit, and Sherridon really looks like one of those projects, where we've got about 20 million tonnes in historical resources at the moment. Historical being the resource was 2010, reasonably recent historical. We're in a position now to use all that data, drill deeper, and find new ideas. Find the real mother lode that sits associated with that 20 million tonnes.
Gerardo Del Real: You're starting with a base. I should mention this was using $3 per pound copper prices, $1,000 gold prices, and a $1.05 per pound zinc prices, but you're starting with a base of, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's just over 360 million pounds of copper across all categories. You can throw in nearly 500 million pounds of zinc and some gold and silver credits there as well. What do you feel is the exploration upside, knowing that you're already off to a heck of a start given the tiny market cap that Aguila has right now?
Mark Saxon: The numbers you quote there are correct. So for context there, historical resources from 2010, and your numbers there were including indicated inferred. That's correct, and that's from surface. There were pit designs for open pit mining and underground mining as well.
If we sort of step back and we look at the exploration targets, then yeah. Let's cast our eye to Snow Lake or to Flin Flon where there's a number of deposits of similar size to the one you've just quoted there, sort of that 300 million pounds or something like that, sitting below those deposits are the really large deposits with much higher grades and really high gold grades as well in some of those camps. So if you look at past production, it was around 8 million tonnes at 2.5% copper and about 3% zinc. These are really great ore-bodies when you find the right one. That obviously would be extremely valuable today. Like you say, the metal prices that were used in these calculations in the historic resources were at least 50% lower than what you would do today. Which increases the resource of the project immediately by lowering the cutoff grade. You can keep the same NPV value as the metal prices go up
Gerardo Del Real: A lot to look forward to. What's the market cap at now, Mark? I mentioned how tiny it is.
Mark Saxon: About, 10 million bucks. We're still coming out the gates. It's a great project, we're very fortunate to have the opportunity. I must say we're enjoying working in Manitoba. We've had great reception already from the permitting authorities, and from the digital survey. As we find our feet there, they've been very welcoming. Providing us with the information we need. So it feels like a really great jurisdiction.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a lot of copper, it's a lot of zinc for a company with the market cap Aguila has right now. I'm biased, as I always am. If I'm speaking with someone, I'm a shareholder. I've written checks in the past, I'm looking forward to writing some in the future.
Gerardo Del Real: Mark, thank you so much for the update. Looking forward to having you back on
Mark Saxon: Great Gerardo, and we'll chat soon, cheers.Click here to see more from Aguila Copper Corp.