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Barksdale Resources (TSX-V: BRO)(OTC: BRKCF) CEO Rick Trotman on Navigating Frivolous Lawsuits & Preparing for Drilling in Q3
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president and CEO of Barksdale Resources, Mr. Rick Trotman. Rick, it's great to have you back on. The last time you and I chatted, we were celebrating what appeared to be long-awaited imminent drilling at your flagship. We've had some news since then that I wanted to update our audience on, and so I thought I'd have you back on. How are you today?
Rick Trotman: I'm doing great, Gerardo. How are you?
Gerardo Del Real: I am excellent. It's an interesting summer, look, between a stale gold market, a resurging copper market, a lithium space that's begging for the James Bay plays to start drilling again with Mother Nature not yet cooperating, and then this recent legal action that affects Barksdale. It's been an interesting summer, right? It's a lot of wait and go. We seemed like we were almost across the finish line as it related to drilling, and you and I chatted briefly off air. It seems like we're still there, so I just wanted you to come on and just clarify what's going on the legal front as it relates to the Sunnyside copper, lead, zinc, silver project in Arizona.
Rick Trotman: Yeah, definitely. This is a key thing that our shareholders have been asking, so it's a good topic to discuss. Look, we've got the bulk of the permits that we need to move forward with drilling. The last thing that we need is a signed-off plan of operations, and so that's getting worked on right now. Once we have that in our pocket, we're fully ready to drill. Now, this lawsuit's thrown a wrench into the whole system. The environmental groups are trying to get an injunction against us to stop us from being able to drill. This is going to the court. We have a court date for late August, I believe it's the 24th, and really the outcome of this injunction request determines whether or not we can drill in the short term or in the long term.
And let's just say that the bar is really high for these groups to prove that the work that we are going to do in drilling is going to cause irreparable harm. And so look, after four and a half years of permitting, after all the good work that we've done, the good work the Forest Service has done, and all the scientific studies that we've put into this thing, it's a very, very tall order for them to get this injunction issued by the courts. So from my mind, the goal is to get this out of the way by September 15th. That's what we've agreed to. And then at that point, assuming that we get the judgment that we believe is going to come down, we can start drilling at Sunnyside.
Gerardo Del Real: And listen, I'm no legal scholar here, but the way that I understand it, the groups that are not only filing this lawsuit but the groups behind them, out of state groups, by the way, from what I understand, that are funding a lot of this legal action, the bar that they have to meet is a pretty substantial one, right?
Rick Trotman: That's true, that's true. What they have to prove is that they have a solid case and that they are likely to win, and on top of that, they have to be able to prove that either the Forest Service has not followed their process, which four and a half years, I can squarely say that I'm confident that they followed the process, or that we will cause irreparable harm in our drilling program. And Gerardo, this property has been drilled in the past. The roads already exist. The first couple of drill pads already exist. All of the damage that they say that we could cause, it would've been caused by the last group that did all the drilling. And to my knowledge, none of that played out, so in my mind, this is a de-risked project. This is a de-risked permit. At this point, we're just waiting for the judge to issue a ruling on this injunction request and we can get going.
Gerardo Del Real: I fashion myself a pretty simple guy that typically has pretty simple premises, whether I'm speculating on a company writing a check or just doing due diligence. The way that I understand it is, the plaintiffs, the groups that have filed this lawsuit that are trying to get this injunction, are asking the government to grant them an injunction based on their premise that the government didn't do a thorough enough job in vetting the permitting process. Is that about right?
Rick Trotman: Yep, exactly. Yep, so it's a two-pronged thing. They say that the government didn't do their full job in terms of fully analyzing all the impacts and that the program that we would execute would cause significant harm to the environment. And the science is behind us. The Forest Service has done a great job, albeit, it's taken a long time, but in that lengthy process comes a lot of diligent work, so we feel very confident about this.
Gerardo Del Real: Anything else to add to that in the meantime, Rick? I understand that September 15th is the date that all parties have agreed to have it one way or the other. And again, I understand that drilling is, once you get the green light, if it goes the way you anticipate it will go, drilling is right around the corner from that in mid to late September, correct?
Rick Trotman: Exactly. But what we've done is we've restructured our drilling contracts to coincide with this September 15th date, so assuming we get the green light from the court, we will start drilling as soon as we can mobilize rigs onto the site.
Gerardo Del Real: Good stuff, Rick. I'm looking forward to having you back on. I appreciate the update. Anything else to add to that?
Rick Trotman: No, I hope everyone has a great summer, and yeah, hopefully we have a great beginning of September here.
Gerardo Del Real: Well I know like myself, you are keeping your eye on the copper space, which is getting more interesting by the day. I suspect that the resumption of drilling, if it goes the way we think it'll go, is going to coincide with a really, really exciting end of year in the copper space and one that hopefully Barksdale and shareholders are able to take advantage of. Thanks again.
Rick Trotman: Thank you. I appreciate it.Click here to see more from Barksdale Resources