Aguila Copper Corp. (TSX-V: AGL)(OTCQB: AGLAF) CEO Mark Saxon on Exploration at Lida & Advancing Multiple Copper Projects in Stable Jurisdictions

Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Aguila Copper, Mr. Mark Saxon. The traveling once again, Mr. Mark Saxon. How are you, Mark?

Mark Saxon: Good afternoon, Gerardo. Yes, good to talk to you. And yeah, you're very true. I did make an escape from Australia and made a trip to Vancouver, which was great, and just really good to get out and talk to new people and do new things. So really appreciated that. And we've got the wheels rolling now, corporately and professionally, so it's a great time.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about the wheels rolling. We talked a bit off air. I mentioned to you that I'm so enthusiastic to see quality exploration work being done again, right? We went through maybe a decade or so of just vast underinvestment in the commodity space where even quality projects had to struggle and fight for dollars. And so great for me to see projects once again, get capital allocated towards the exploration side of it. And I think you had some news here a few days ago on your Lida project in Nevada, with some high grade copper and silver surface sampling results, that were absolutely fantastic. And though it's an early stage project, when you mix that up with the project that you have in Manitoba, which has the potential for multiple copper, zinc, gold resources, resources are there, it has the potential for a drastic expansion of those. Aguila's starting to look very, very attractive at current levels. And I say that as a biased shareholder who participated in the most recent financing, or at least the one right before that one. Tell me about Lida in Nevada.

Mark Saxon: Absolutely, Gerardo, and I guess a lot of thoughts in that question there, in that statement, because I guess what we did at Aguila, and particularly during the last 12 months, we took a bit of a breath as a company, and we decided to reset ourselves as what we want the company to be in the future. And we looked, I guess, globally, and we spoke to our board in great detail and yeah, we didn't have the crystal ball. We couldn't consider what was happening today in Ukraine and Russia and the tragedies happening there. But certainly we saw all the signs that mining was coming back into North America. Mining was coming back into safer jurisdictions, into places where permitting can happen more securely and certainly in a shorter timeframe. And so that gave us a real focus in North America, and particularly into the good mining jurisdictions of North America.

We love copper, and I guess we're really focused on giving sustainable support to the EV story, to the energy transition and to the battery story. And copper alongside, I guess, nickel and lithium are the places really to play that story at the moment. And so we were very keen to get involved in copper exploration in North America. So in doing that, we did a very regional study on the major mining districts in North America and the places that we wanted to be. And we were very proactive in that. We didn't look at places that were really tough and we focused on the places we could make progress. And we then dug into the geology and we started to look at places that were near the major mining districts, but were not on them, little bit undercover, a little bit different, maybe something different in the geology that gave us a hint of an ore body, but that didn't have it found yet.

And that's where Lida came from. So we did a very broad regional study in Nevada. We had identified that in the Walker Lane Belt, in the western part of Nevada, there's a number of copper projects that are emerging, and Rio Tinto's working on a major one there, called New York Canyon. And we took a look at that geology and we said, all right, how can we play the similar game to what they're playing at New York Canyon and find something that may have some similar features? And so that's where Lida came from. So we've been in the field recently. We've done some sampling over a very broad area. And really, the remarkable thing on this project was no known drilling on the property that's gone through to the target horizon. And yet at surface there's a hundred to hundreds of what was called at the time dog holes.

So shallow holes that were dug through the soil, into the bedrock. And there's loads of copper sitting at surface there, oxide copper, where it's been weathered, a little bit of sulfide copper, where a few deeper shafts went in and sampling of that has given us up to 26% copper in the latest round of sampling and loads of samples above 1%, and some very high grades of silver as well, which are sitting in what look to be breccia pipes that have broken through the geology and the stratigraphy and come to surface. And so that's silver up to more than 400 grams per tonne. So yeah, it's really building up as a strong conceptual target. And yeah, we're very excited about it.

Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned in the release being surprised by the high grade silver. What is it about the high grade silver that surprised you? Just the fact that it was there or is there something geologically that threw you off?

Mark Saxon: Yeah. Silver's one of those things like gold, I suppose, you don't really know it's there until it's there. You've got to put the samples into the laboratory. And so, we know in that part of Nevada, there are some high grade silver targets and opportunities, and certainly there's silver mining, obviously not too far away. What we were looking for though, I guess, in a porphyry or a skarn target. The porphyry deposits tend not to be associated with high grade silver. And so we were expecting to see certainly the high grade copper and we were very pleased with that. The silver was a surprise because they're not always involved with this deposit style. In this style of deposit we're looking at, we're imagining a buried porphyry or a skarn target with some breccia pipes and some fault structures that are coming through to surface and depositing just a little bit of mineralization, just that hint, that sniff at surface. Whereas the real target is buried at a lower level in a limestone horizon that's not outcropping.

And so to see the silver, it's an amazingly strong, positive indicator to say that, all right, these breccia pipes, they're very well mineralized. They've got high grades of copper. They've got high grades of silver. Shows there really is a system there somewhere, and yeah, now the task is to find where that system is focused and concentrated.

Gerardo Del Real: I have to ask you, because it seems like a pretty severe disconnect between the assets and the resource base that you already have, just switching gears to the Sherridon project, right? There's already over 300 and I want to say 60 million pounds of copper across all categories, right? And of course, I'm talking historical resource estimates and I'm talking indicated and inferred. But to have over 360 million pounds of copper as a head start, with copper at $4.72, and you with the market cap sub $7 million Canadian, there's a lot of runway there. What can we expect, the rest of the year, to unlock some of that value?

Mark Saxon: Yeah, absolutely, Gerardo. And yeah, I guess the project we've picked up, which is the Sherridon project is really a remarkable one. And it's a major mining district. It's had very high grade mining in the past. And in fact, on Twitter or LinkedIn somewhere, I shared this week, some of the historic photos that were found from the mining camp, and we're talking, yeah, a major town was built on the basis of the project that we now are earning 90% of. As you say, there was one major mine, which was about 8 million tonnes at two and a half percent copper and two and a half percent zinc. So that was the production in the 1940s and fifties. Since that time, there has been four historic resources drilled out, copper and zinc rich, with silver and gold as well, and loads of other targets and intersections that were never followed up by previous explorers.

It was a slightly unusual project and unusual transaction because it kind of fell off the map, because it was caught in a company that had gone into receivership and really just sat there as a bit of an orphaned project. But this project, it's got lots of historic mining. It's got more than 500 drill holes, many of them into sulfides. It's got geophysics, it's got a 3D model and all that stuff, we're now unwinding and revealing. So we're building out a work program at the moment, but absolutely we'll be back there drilling as soon as possible, so within the summer.

We've got opportunities to redo some economic models and resources based on the much higher copper price than when it was done last time, which is more than 10 years ago. And so, yeah, we can jump some steps here at Sherridon. And again, I guess the thinking we've had is it's a brownfield site. It's got road access. It's got rail access. It's got power. It's only 70 kilometers from Flin Flon and 70 kilometers from Snow Lake, so the ability to get something to happen there very quickly is superb. It's a place that can really jump ahead and become a Canadian leading project in no time at all.

Gerardo Del Real: Sounds like a mine that wants to be a producing mine again.

Mark Saxon: Yeah. It's that perfect project for the current market and the current environment, I think, because we've got a real shortfall of copper that's coming almost immediately. And projects that are sitting in North America, in brownfield sites, these are the perfect ones to come back into production because you've already got some disturbance from past mining. So the permitting process is simplified. You've already got the infrastructure on site. And so the economic cost and the environmental cost is greatly minimized in those locations. And so you can move much faster and actually make a difference to the supply shortage that's looming.

Gerardo Del Real: Mark, it's always a pleasure to have you on. Anything else to add to that?

Mark Saxon: No. We're building up our teams and we've got good money in the bank, and we're very excited about the coming 12 months and much beyond that. It's a great time to be in mining once again.

Gerardo Del Real: $7 million market cap, 360 million pounds of copper. A lot more to be discovered, if I'm right. Again, I'll leave it up to y'all to put that together. Thanks a lot, Mark. Appreciate it.

Mark Saxon: Thanks, Gerardo. Talk soon. Cheers. Bye.

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