General Base Metals
Gladiator Metals (TSX-V: GLAD)(OTC: GDTRF) President Marcus Harden on Advancing the Flagship Whitehorse Copper Project Via the Drill-Bit in Yukon Territory, Canada
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president of Gladiator Metals — Mr. Marcus Harden. Marcus, how are you today?
Marcus Harden: I'm very well, thank you, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: It's good to have you back on. Listen, let's get right into it. You've commenced drilling at the Middle Chief copper prospect. You've had a lot of success with the drill-bit the past several months. So I thought we would start by just providing a bit of an update on how the last couple of months have come together, the success with the drill-bit, and then we can talk about Middle Chief and what you're expecting there.
Marcus Harden: Yeah, thank you, Gerardo. So all of our previous drilling was mostly around a prospect called Cowley Park. We've put 8,000 meters of diamond drilling into that and proved up continuity of mineralization over about 800 meters; maximum depth is around 170 meters so still fairly shallow drilling.
The next stage for that is really step-out drilling so looking for those exploration multiples on the resource potential that we can see in-house. But things start to dip undercover away from the current drill area. So we're really putting together the lead datasets for that prospect area with airborne magnetics. These are copper-magnetite skarns we're exploring for so we're really going to use that to help drive the exploration upside.
In the meantime, just like you say, we've moved on to another priority target area at Middle Chief. Middle Chief is located just to the north of a prospect called Little Chief where there was some historical production; 8.5 million tonnes at 1.5% [Cu] came out of that as well as almost a gram per tonne of gold. So our drill rig has currently moved onto that; we've got about 10,000 meters that's going to be going into that.
Middle Chief itself, which is located just to the north of the historical mine, was unmined despite there being historical results such as 49 meters at 3% copper or 54 meters at just over 2% copper. And those are quite shallow results from 70 and 77 meters down hole.
The other thing we're really excited about is that none of those historical copper assays have gold assays to go along with it so we'll be adding that dataset onto it. We're also excited about the fact that it's very much open along strike so we'll be putting some holes out to test its potential to the north along strike.
As I mentioned for Cowley Park, we're currently doing a detailed drone magnetic survey, and that has picked up a couple of very nice anomalies to the north of Middle Chief as well, which we'll be putting a couple of holes into. So, we’re very busy there.
We've also been advancing permitting in a third prospect area on the Cub trends, which is located just to the south of some historical pits, and we hope to be putting some drill holes into that in the coming months as well.
So advancing multiple prospects all within about 15 kilometers of one another through the next couple of months and hoping to put a line of sight on some near-term resource potential on the high-grade end of things, keeping in line with historical drilling steps around 1.5%.
Gerardo Del Real: It should be noted, and I think this point is an important one, that there is a lot of historical drilling and testing of this target. So it's a pretty well understood target that you're drilling into. You're not coming in blind drilling and hoping that there's mineralization. It's really a matter of how much is there, right?
Marcus Harden: Yeah, that's right, Gerardo. But it was also discovered from the decline to the underground mining operations, so it's only been drilled from the underground. So projected mineralization to surface hasn't been drilled at all. So the top 120 meters hasn't been drilled. And it's also very much open along strike because the drilling was only from the underground. There's been no drilling out to the north of that area either.
We are confirming those historical drill results that I was talking about but we're also going to be doing some sort of low hanging fruit exploration; simply step-out drilling guided by the drone magnetics just to put extensions onto that known mineralization as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Given the success that you've had with the drill-bit and the size of the land package, what kind of scale are you starting to see come together as you drill out the property and get a better understanding of continuity and width of mineralization? How is that coming along?
Marcus Harden: Yeah, so our internal objective, Gerardo, is to have line of sight on between 50 and 100 million tonnes at 1.5% copper, and we see the way to do that is by putting about 10,000 meters into five of our priority target areas.
And essentially, what we'd like them all to do is to look like Cowley Park… so to have continuity of mineralization over a significant strike length, to have geometries that would be easy to start drilling towards resources — and some shallow nature to those resources as well — but also to investigate not only the copper potential but also the potential credits that might go along with that, which have been omitted from all of that historical drilling that you're talking about.
But I think you raise a key point there, Gerardo. These aren't really sort of discoveries based on geophysics or mapping. There is actually drilling into all of these prospects. It's historical in nature but we've spent a lot of time putting it together from PDFs and paper datasets into modern 3D contexts.
So we're really talking about understanding those areas of resource potential and starting to rank them against one another and decide which areas are going to be the most bang for our buck, which are the areas that we're going to be able to start converting to resources the quickest and in the most cost-effective manner as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Do you have a timeline for resource estimates?
Marcus Harden: We don't currently, Gerardo. We're intending to hit all five of our priority target areas with at least 10,000 meters. So Cowley Park, we've largely met that. Little Chief, we should be there within the next two to three months. As I mentioned, we're in a pretty advanced stage of permitting for the Cub trends, and the Arctic Chief Trend has approved drilling already. So we're looking to do that this year.
And then, I think that's going to answer that question, Gerardo; once we've got drill meters into all of those target areas, we've got some understanding of the upside potential and the grade potential and the credits that are going to come along with that copper mineralization, then we'll be able to rate and rank those five target areas and start to decide which ones are going to get us towards our targeted resources the fastest.
Gerardo Del Real: Sounds like it's going to be a busy year. I know that copper has pulled back slightly. Everyone I speak with, and I share the sentiment, pretty much agrees that the second half of this year is going to be a great, great market for the copper space and that there's a pretty substantial deficit that's materializing that I think is underappreciated by the market right now.
You're positioning yourself beautifully to take advantage of that. Anything else to add to that, Marcus?
Marcus Harden: Yeah, I think maybe just building on what you said, Gerardo. I think we agree with that sentiment, and we see ourselves positioning in that sort of looming deficit. We have infrastructure in place. It is a historical mining district. It's only 25 to 30 kilometers from Whitehorse.
The Yukon territory is a favorable mining jurisdiction. And also hydropower is located 30 kilometers from the project as well. There are power lines criss-crossing it. There are existing haul roads throughout the property as well. So we really see ourselves being able to position to meet the early stage of that supply deficit.
Gerardo Del Real: Good stuff. Marcus, thank you so much for the update. Appreciate it.
Marcus Harden: Thank you, Gerardo, for the call.
Gerardo Del Real: Chat soon. Cheers.
Marcus Harden: Bye.Click here to see more from Gladiator Metals