Gladiator Metals (TSX-V: GLAD)(OTC: GDTRF) CEO Jason Bontempo on Drilling to Reveal Scale at Whitehorse Copper Project


Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today for an overdue update on Gladiator Metals is the CEO of Gladiator Metals, Mr. Jason Bontempo. Jason, it's great to have you on. How are you, sir?

Jason Bontempo: Good evening, Gerardo. I'm very well, thank you. Looking forward to giving you an update. A lot has been happening.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. You've been busy on many, many fronts and it's part of the reason why you and I haven't chatted in a few months, but I wanted to have you on just to provide the market an update. Look, we've seen the copper spot price pull back a tad bit, mainly due to softness in the Chinese economy, which I think anybody that's looking at the supply demand fundamentals in the copper space knows it's probably an opportunity in the midterm to really add to quality positions, whether you favor producers, developers, or explorers.

I think this pullback is going to be short-lived in the copper space and I think the pullback in the better resource stocks that are doing a good quality job of getting out there and exploring, developing or producing, whichever their cup of tea is, I think they're going to catch the first bid and I think it will be substantial. I'm excited for the fall and the winter. But what have you been up to? Tell me a bit about Gladiator and where things are now. You just raised a bunch of cash. I understand that that private placement was pretty well received. How are things coming along?

Jason Bontempo: Yeah, thanks, Gerardo. Yes, the private placement went very well. We're very buoyed by the fact that for a junior company that we are, we managed to attract significant investment from some sophisticated institutional specialist resource funds. In particular, Tribeca Investments, a global resource fund, and Mackenzie out of Toronto, a global resource fund, which quite frankly pays testament to the quality of our project. And in reality with those two corner stoning, we raised almost $8 million Canadian in a very, very tough market at the time. And now the company is fully funded to execute a significant program over the next 12 months. So there's lots of value to add. Now, in addition to that funding, which now sets us in a very strong position moving forward, we reported our first 14 drill holes at our most advanced prospect and our most significant prospect, which is Cowley Park. Now just bear in mind, Cowley, just remember that Cowley sits in a 15 kilometer strike of the belt.

The belt's about 35 kilometers, but we have a particular 15 kilometer strike where Cowley is the jewel and the crown at the moment. It's the most advanced. There's about four or five prospects that we want to work up. But Cowley, we drilled 14 holes and we got exactly what we were hoping for. It confirmed existing or previous historic Hudbay drilling, but it also more importantly either did some significant infilling of Hudbay holes where there might've been a 100 to 200 meter gap. We drilled in between. And sure enough, we were hitting copper mineralization. So the takeaway is that for us, Cowley is there. It's looking really impressive. And what we need to do is drill. As I keep saying, we need to drill to reveal and confirm. And so now that we're fully funded, there's going to be drilling kicking off in early September at Cowley and it's just going to go on and continue. What we hope for there to be significant tonnes and grade deposit at Cowley and high grade. What we would consider high grade.

We're talking up to anywhere from four to six times higher than the average grade being mined or the average copper resource out there, Gerardo. It is quite significant. And so that's why we like it. It starts at surface. It’s only shallow dips underground. And what that means is, is you've got very good access to high grade resources from surface. And then of course we reported on some other prospect areas. We've reported on the Cub Trend, which is another very high priority target area. It's only two kilometers to the west of Cowley. And then we also reported on Arctic Chief, which is a little further up the belt, more to about 10 to 15 kilometers away. And wow, what a really interesting and exciting prospect Arctic Chief is. We reported some pretty high grade sampling results and it was associated with some very high grade gold, anywhere from two to 13% copper and four, five to 10 grams a tonne gold. In the south at Cowley, it's more associated with molybdenum and silver. But as we move further north, we start to see the gold come in.

And I should remind you, when Hudbay did mine, the Little Chief area over 15 years, they reported almost 250,000 ounces of gold produced. So what that means is already there's a high copper grade, but the equivalent copper grade's going to be even higher in our view when we start assaying for the multi elements, whether they be gold in the north or moly in the south. And that's something that Hudbay never did. That's a whole value add amount of work that we'll do. But look, what I'm trying to summarize there is we've got Cowley to work on, we've got Cub Trend to work on and we've got Arctic Chief to work on and they're three of another five or six areas. Now we've got North Star, we've got Best Chance and we've got the sort of historic Chief’s Trend.

So now that we're fully funded, what we're hoping to show you is prove up some significant high grade copper resources in an area which has got excellent proximity to infrastructure and excellent proximity to a skilled labor force. And that all plays into bringing a project for the community and for the government to assess quite frankly in a very green perspective because there's so much advantage to it as well, because being high grade, it's going to be low disturbance, low tonnage. Good proximity to infrastructure means that's a whole lot of infrastructure that you don't have to build and burn carbon to build. So in the future it will play for a very interesting opportunity.

Gerardo Del Real: What comes next? You're cashed up. You talked about drilling these targets that... And I think it's worth reminding everyone of the scale of the project. When you talk about a target here and a target 10, 15 kilometers away, this isn't a one deposit or a one target play. This is truly a district scale copper opportunity that I think is going to be advanced right as the copper market really takes off. How aggressive do you plan on being and how are you deploying the treasury?

Jason Bontempo: So in terms of scale, if you measure from Cowley Park to Arctic Chief, it's about a 15k stretch. Along that stretch there are, as I just mentioned, five or six prospect areas we would want to test with drill testing. This could be up to... It could be a hundred million tonne camp. And if you'd use grades of one and a half percent copper, average grades of one and a half to 2% across three or four different possible deposits along that stretch, that's a significant mining camp if it gets to that stage. So look, that is multi-billion dollars worth of value in development and that's the scale of the potential.

What's next? Well, we start drilling again in September at Cowley, and then we're going to be planning drilling at Cub Trend, which is a secondary prospect, two kilometers west. So there's another prospect that we'll be looking to work up. These are advanced areas, by the way. This is where there's previous drilling, there's previous high grade copper results. We're just for the first time in 40 years standing back and assessing the size, how big could they be? Because at the time when they were first discovered and revealed, they were only really focused on getting surface tonnes from these areas. Now we're looking to say, hey, what exactly is there? So till Christmas, testing Cowley, testing Cub, testing Arctic Chief. These are three areas that we will be drilling at to test the potential. And as you quite rightly put it, as we were getting results, and I keep saying we'll drill to reveal, hopefully we're revealing some significant copper resources which will drive value in our share price and the company as a whole.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, look, I've spoken with people that have modeled the potential. We've spoken privately and I can tell you there's a lot of people out there that are kind of assuming 50 million tonne potential and there's a couple of people out there that I respect that believe there's a potential for maybe a hundred million tonnes of economic grade copper with some pretty attractive gold and other metal credits. So I think anything close to either of those two estimates and you get a pretty darn significant re-rating. Jason, I want to thank you for your time. Thank you for coming on. I know we were overdue for an update. I think doing this right before drilling commences is a perfect way to set the table and I'm looking forward to touching base here in a couple of weeks again.

Jason Bontempo: And fully funded as well, Gerardo. Let's not forget that.

Gerardo Del Real: Yeah. No need to go to the bank and I know it's tough markets for a lot of companies out there. You were able to get out there and get it done within a resource macro backdrop that's pretty challenging for a lot of groups. So congrats on that front as well. Thanks again for the time, Jason.

Jason Bontempo: Thanks, Gerardo. Bye now.

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