Bravo Mining (TSX-V: BRVO)(OTC: BRVMF) President Simon Mottram on Start of Phase-2 Drilling at Flagship Luanga PGM, Gold, Nickel Project, Brazil


Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president of Bravo Mining — live from the field in Brazil — Mr. Simon Mottram. Simon, it's great to have you back on. How are you today?

Simon Mottram: Yeah, great, Gerardo. Thanks for having us back and it's good to be here.

Gerardo Del Real: Listen, there is a lot to be excited about with Bravo. You and I had the opportunity to catch up in person at PDAC. And, look, let's be completely transparent: we're very, very excited. And I say ‘we’ because I'm a biased shareholder in Bravo. 

But we're very excited about the assays that have come in, the assays that are pending, the upcoming resource update. But I am really, really, really excited about this new — what I am calling a potentially game-changing discovery — that I think we're going to be able to prove out here in short order. 

So I want to talk about how things are going. I mentioned that you're in the field. How are things coming along, Simon?

Simon Mottram: Yeah, things are going great. The drilling is going exactly as planned. I think you've seen from the last couple of press releases that the results are continuing to come back as good, if not better, than the historical results. 

And obviously, the medium-term game here is to prove up that historic resource and get it over into 43-101 and just start by proving up that existing historical resource that's near surface. 

So you saw the press release the other day; Stage-2 drilling has started. We're already out in the field now with the drill rigs, committed to the extensional drilling below that 150 meter panel, if you like, as we get started on moving into resource modeling stage. 

And obviously, as you said, I think we're waiting on results for about 45 holes. We should have that in the next sort of one to two months. And then, we'll basically get onto modeling. So I think the timeframe on that in the second half is still looking very solid; it's well on track. You saw the press release about the drilling in the north. There's a lot to talk about. Where do you like to start?

Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's start here. Let's talk about how special Luanga already was. The infrastructure is top-notch. The geology, the historic resource… everything you've been able to prove up with the drill bit already made Luanga what I said was going to make Bravo the next billion dollar company for yourself, for Luis, and for shareholders. 

But I really do want to get into this nickel-copper sulfide mineralization because, as I read through the latest release and the commencement of Phase-2 drilling, I couldn't help but notice that, to me — and I'm not a geologist, Simon, so you correct me if I'm wrong — but it really sounds like the team is excited about chasing the feeder zone for this nickel-copper sulfide mineralization. 

And if you're able to latch onto that, then I think Luanga goes to a completely different level. Tell me a bit about — and we talked about this at PDAC — but tell me a bit about your background with nickel and these types of systems. And then, tell me about how you're approaching locating this potential feeder zone and what you think you have here.

Simon Mottram: Yeah, well, let's just flick back to where you started there. I would say you're absolutely right. I mean, we came in here with Luanga; there's a historic resource. We set out with the clear intentions to drill out that historic resource and prove it up. And in doing that, we've then come across that there is clearly magmatic nickel at depth below that resource. So potential, clearly. 

And I know you're going to call it a game-changer, and I wouldn't disagree with you. The potential is that we do what we said we're going to do. We're going to drill that deposit out, then we're going to extend it and drill it to twice the depth that it's currently at. And that pathway is fairly set. Everyone can see where it's going.

But in the background to that, and this has long been a question, where is the blue sky? You have a significant amount of exploration dollars committed to the Phase-2 program. We've just started the Phase-2 program. We've said that. And basically, the blue sky is now on the table. It's the nickel potential below Luanga. And I think the nickel potential has not remotely been tested. 

And even the nickel that we've encountered so far has been encountered because we're drilling deeper on existing sections, and we're just starting to touch upon it. So clearly, the exploration push is going to be on that magmatic nickel story. And it's definitely not a case of extending the Luanga PGM deposit. We're talking about something completely different here. 

There is nickel in the Luanga PGM deposit, and that is the PGM deposit. But below that, we do see significant potential that you could have a nickel deposit, or nickel deposits, plural. And then beyond that, of course, you have the potential for the feeder zone.

Now, I can't tell you too much about the feeder zone right now because we're not out there in the market at this present moment saying, ‘Hey, guys, here's the feeder zone and here's the empirical data that proves it.’ But that's coming, and you will see that at some point. Are we excited? Yeah, of course. We're massively excited. I mean, look, part of it is market driven excitement. It's not driven by me, obviously. 

But am I excited? Sure, I'm excited because I come from a long background in nickel. My career in sulfides in general, for the most part, started in nickel. And my first year in nickel sulfide exploration was in western Australia. 

But then, the following six years was basically all spent following layered mafic, ultramafic style nickel PGM deposits. First in Australia. And then, I went and lived in Vietnam for three years and ran a project up in the north of Vietnam, which was, again, layered ultramafic PGM nickel. In that case, it was nickel-copper-PGM, and PGM was subordinate to the nickel. Nickel was the main play.

And here we are at Luanga, and we're looking at it going, ‘You know what guys… this is the same thing. We've been here, we've seen this before. Why aren't we looking for nickel?’ And of course, we are looking for nickel in the background. But now that the Phase-2 program kicks in, we now have a seriously chunky budget where we can chase the nickel properly. 

The approved budget is there, and we've basically done the background work to say, ‘Look, this potential is real.’ And we've already hit magmatic nickel sulfides in a number of locations in and around Luanga, and we're now following those.

But I mean, the big picture potential is below it. The cool thing is if you look at that central zone, the way that it's slightly overturned past the vertical, you have to drill through the ultramafic to get to the PGM deposit that is stratigraphically above it. But from a drilling perspective, it's below it because it's been turned over past the vertical. 

So again, you can sort of kill two birds with one stone to a certain extent because every time we drill deeper under the central zone, we're stepping back and drilling more of the ultramafic footwall below it to get to it. And in doing that, that's how we've now started encountering nickel.

But I mean, look, in the big picture, nickel, I guess, is more the buzzword. If you look at who's around the world and what they're doing and who's doing PGMs, you have a particular group. But then, if you expand that group and say, ‘Well, who's interested in nickel?’ Well, now you've just invited all the big boys into the party who are chasing battery nickel. Everybody wants nickel sulfide. 

So I think from that perspective, I'm imagining that's what drives market anticipation and excitement. And for guys like yourself, chasing the nickel is obviously a fantastic use of funds for the exploration.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. You talked about the robust budget. What does that look like? I know the treasury is very, very robust. I know that, obviously, Luis, you, the team have had zero issues raising capital. 

You did so when you went public a little bit over eight months ago during one of the tougher times in the resource space, and you were able to raise just over C$40 million at a pretty significant premium to the previous raise. What does the Phase-2 budget look like, Simon?

Simon Mottram: Look, on the high level, you only have to go to the technical report that we published last year, which had the Phase-1 program at about US$16 million and the Phase-2 program at about US$14 million. Where does it go from there? 

It actually gets kind of a bit weird from there because I'm having to answer the technical questions on behalf of the company for the auditors at the moment. And they're saying, ‘Can you please explain how you've underspent by 40% on the drill program?’ And it's like, ‘Well, at that point, at the cutoff date, we go, well, the program's 90% complete, but you're 40% under the budget.’ It's like, ‘Yes, because the drilling is a hell of a lot cheaper here than what everyone thought it was going to be.’

So the reality is, Gerardo, I think if you look at that Phase-2 program in the technical report, there's 7,500 meters there committed to exploration. But you know what, I would probably tell you, in real terms, is that I can actually probably drill twice as many meters with that exact same amount of money.

But look, in real terms, it's a US$14 million budget, and it covers, essentially, two main parts. It covers resource extension below the existing PGM deposit, and then, the rest of the money is basically directed to exploration. 

So just going off the top of my head — don't quote me on this one — but if you look at the technical report, it says 14,000 meters, something like that, in extension drilling, and it's about 7,500 meters for exploration. 

But you know how it goes, Gerardo, if we go out there and we hit the good stuff, it's straight back to the table saying, ‘I want an extension of budget.’ And I don't think you're going to find anyone that's going to say no, especially not the shareholders if they're seeing the returns and the results that they're hoping for.

Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. You know these systems well. You cut your teeth with these systems. A lot of your career successes have come from these types of systems. For people that aren't familiar with the Luanga deposit and the potential scale of the nickel sulfide zone, how broad is that potential scale there, Simon?

Simon Mottram: Look, I mean, it's big. You've only got to compare it to the PGM scale. I mean, we're talking about underneath the PGM deposit as it is right now. Now, that deposit has a strike length of 8.1 kilometers. 

This intrusion is big. It's a big intrusion. It's essentially 8-km-long; the ore body projected to surface. But the intrusion itself is about 7, 7.5 km because it actually curves around in that typical bowl shape, so you get a bit more length of strike squeezed into a lesser length, if you like. But the intrusion is probably 5 to 6 km wide, and it's probably 4 km thick. And then, you have, obviously, a potential feeder zone below that.

But again, we go back to what we talked about last time we spoke… Luanga is turned over on its side. So you're essentially looking at a cross section through the intrusion in plain view at surface. And your feeder zone, now, in theory, is literally sticking out to the south because it's been brought up to surface. This has been rotated through 90 degrees. 

So your feeder zone, instead of being kilometers below it, is now basically sticking out to one side. All we’ve got to do is go to the south. So the footwall zone, if you have 8 km of strike, and the footwall is below it… so there’s 8 km of potential strike that we need to explore. And obviously, some quick airborne EMs should give us a good head start onto that.

And then, typically speaking, the footwall ultramafic rock, or the host rock, that we're targeting for nickel is the harzburgite, which is below the PGM deposit, which is hosted in orthopyroxenite, which is stratigraphically above it.

Now, I mean, that harzburgite is, generally speaking, up to 800 meters thick, which is not that much when you consider an intrusion is 4 km thick. 800 meters of that is harzburgite, and that's the target stratigraphy that we're chasing. 

And if you go back to all those different press releases you're referring to, and you look at the brown color, which is the harzburgite in the sections, you'll see that's where the nickel is predominantly. It's down there in that ultramafic where you'd expect to find magmatic nickel.

Yeah, I forgot to mention, after the nickel, I then spent the next 12 years in massive sulfide copper. And when you stick myself together with Paulo, the VP exploration, and we have guys like Stuart Comline on the board — he's been doing PGMs his entire career; he's a South African based PGM expert — there's probably 50 years of massive sulfide exploration combined just in between three or four of us. 

And in the company as a whole, I dread to think how many decades of experience there are in PGM massive sulfide deposits. So I like to think that it's our beach… as they say in Portuguese here in Brazil, translated, obviously.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, Simon, I know that people with your experience, a team with your experience doesn't excite easily. You're not the type to get involved with a project or look at a potential game-changing discovery, as I describe it, and just get excited for getting excited reasons, just to kick rocks. The potential here is massive. 

You have the potential to really, really grab a tiger by the tail here. I can't wait to start seeing some of the assays on the deeper holes here. And it sounds like you’ve got a pretty darn good handle on the geology, where you expect to find not just the mineralization of nickel but that feeder zone. 

And I think we probably find out sooner rather than later whether or not you indeed do have that tiger by the tail. Anything to add to that, Simon?

Simon Mottram: No, I think you're spot on, Gerardo. I would agree with you 100% on that. It's definitely a case of… last year was interesting… and I think this year's going to be more interesting. Keep watching the space.

Gerardo Del Real: I couldn't agree more. I'm excited. I can't wait for the assays. Simon, thank you for your time. I'll let you get back to it.

Simon Mottram: Thank you, Gerardo. You have a great day and it was great to speak to you.

Gerardo Del Real: Same, cheers.

Simon Mottram: Okay, bye.