General Base Metals
Gladiator Metals (TSX-V: GLAD)(OTC: GDTRF) President Marcus Harden on Drilling & Developing a District Scale Copper Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the newly-appointed President of Gladiator Metals, Mr. Marcus Harden. Marcus, it's great to have you on. How are you today?
Marcus Harden: I'm great. Thank you very much, Gerardo. I'm just up here in Whitehorse. The rain and the snow are starting to come in, so missing the sunshine, but things are looking great up here.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's get right into it. I want to talk about Whitehorse, and I want to talk about the project and the potential scale, because I think that's what really stands out to me. But before we get into that, can you just tell us a bit about your background? Obviously, I'm familiar with the credentials and the experience there, but for those that may not be familiar with your background and expertise, can you speak to that a bit?
Marcus Harden: Yeah, certainly. I'm a geologist of about 20 years' experience. Around the globe, I've been involved in a few discoveries, going through to mining; one in China, one in West Africa, and one, actually, in Australia but it's just starting up now, underground. I've worked all over the world, mostly in exploration, resource developments but taken a few through to production as well.
I've been up in Canada for the past three years. I came up to run a junior exploration company called Auteco, which was based out of Pickle Lake in Ontario. And then, I've been coming out to the Whitehorse Copper Project now for just over a year. I came over to review the projects a year ago and got very excited by what I saw. And I've now moved into the position of president to help push exploration through.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about why you got excited. I know in the conversations that I've with people, there's kind of two schools of thought, and I'm going to play devil's advocate here. The first is the scale, the grade, the potential for a pretty substantial resource is clear as all day. If there is a bit of pushback that I've received, and you touched on this being a part of your background, it's been whether or not this is a project that can get across the finish line with permitting and in development. And so, obviously, that's way down the road. But first and foremost, what is it that got you excited about the project? And then I'd love to talk about the community relations and that aspect of it, because you just recently also appointed a community relations liaison, obviously, to get ahead of that.
Marcus Harden: Yeah. So, like I said, I came in last year to review the project. And it's a historical mining district, around 10 million tonnes, that's just over a percent-and-a-half copper, along with credits including silver, gold, and molybdenum were mined from 1962 through to 1982. So fairly small scale operations, small open pits with one substantial underground at the Little Chief deposit. And then really, it closed down in a low copper prices environments in the early '80s, and it's pretty much sat there untouched since then.
So, we came in and had a look at it. And really, what we inherited when we started looking at the project was a pile of old drill logs from the '80s, so nothing digital. But as we started to forensically put back together this digital data, we started to realize how much was still here. There were a few residual reserves mentioned in the text, and we started to put together the drill holes around that in the 3D picture and started to see significant widths of good grade copper, so plus 2% copper.
In that first trip, we put together an area called Cowley Park, which is down to the south of trend. We've got about 35 kilometers of strike up here in Whitehorse with around 30 occurrences, drilled occurrences known along that trend. And Cowley Park really rose to the top because basically that was where we had the most data at that early stage. So we put that together. We saw some high grade in-steps. There's very much open, the most southeasterly draw hole that I think is 43, it's just over 2% copper and open to the southeast.
But what was also quite exciting for us, is that the vendors, which is a Whitehorse based company called Kluane Drilling, although they operate internationally, they had been using the area as the training area for their drill rigs, and they'd actually drilled around 10,000 meters of diamond drill core into Cowley Park and some other areas along the trend. And a lot of that hadn't been sampled or even logged. And in that initial visit, I started going through the core, going through the boxes, and we've been finding some real treasure troves in there. There's one of the releases from last year, 12 meters at 8% copper was sat in the core trays, unlogged and unsampled, for example. So we've been putting that back together. And I'm sure as you can appreciate, Gerardo, as a junior company, we need to be getting news flow out fast and regular.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely.
Marcus Harden: And the idea of being able to put out those historical logs as we put them together and the 3D picture that was starting to take shape, as well as starting to process that core that had already been drilled is a huge leg up on that front for a company of our size.
Gerardo Del Real: You just recommenced drilling a fully funded program, you have 8.2 million cash on hand as of September the 26th. I understand the diamond drill program is a 4,000 meter program. Is that accurate?
Marcus Harden: That's right. Yeah. We've already drilled 2,000 meters, and this is all going into the Cowley Park prospect I was talking about. We drilled that earlier on in the year and we released those results to market. And a couple of exciting things came out of that initial drilling. One was, well the mineralization, we were able to confirm those higher grade portions. But the other was, a lot of the historical drilling, they didn't assay for any of the credits despite them informing the production profile when it was operating. We've been able to bring in molybdenum, silver, and gold values as well into our new drilling.
And also, the sampling before was very selective, just to the plus 1% copper zones. But actually there's low grade mineralization. When I say low grade, I mean 0.5 to 1%, so not particularly low grade by most standards, mineralization around those higher grade cores as well. We got a lot of positives from that first 2,000 meters. And on the back of that, we went out, and like you said, we raised that money, and then we're back to drill 4,000. We've just drilled, we're about 2,000 meters into it at the moment, so 10 holes, and we are very excited to be releasing that to market in the coming month or two. But I would say, at the same time as progressing the Cowley Park drilling, we've got permits in to start drilling some of the other prospect areas which we've been putting together, and we're really looking forward to introducing those to the market in the coming weeks as well and showing what we're going to be doing there.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to seeing those results, Marcus. I do want to touch on the community relations aspect, because obviously it's something that Gladiator is focused on with the recent appointment of the liaison. Can you speak to that part a bit?
Marcus Harden: Yeah, absolutely. Well, when we started off, obviously it was really just the two of us out here, pretty basic for that first round of drilling. And raising the money has allowed us to really improve our presence in Whitehorse and the community. Luckily, we're not starting from a low position, we have our project vendors, which is, like I said, Kluane Drilling, but in particular Rob and Jim Coyne, and they're also our largest shareholders as well. They've been living in Whitehorse for all their lives. They are citizens of the Kwanlin Dün First Nations on whose traditional territory the properties lie. And as such, they're very well-connected into the community.
And so, we haven't been starting from a low level in that regard, but that first round of drilling was done on a bit of a shoestring and we hadn't built up our community relations side at that stage. And that's something that we see as equally as important as the exploration. We are planning to be exploring here for a long time, we can see a lot of resource potential and that's what we're focused on, we're building that up. But yeah, with that needs to be done in consultation with the communities, making sure we are meeting their needs and answering their concerns as they come up.
Gerardo Del Real: Marcus, it's been great having you on. I'm looking forward to having you back. I'm really looking forward to those assays and being able to start putting together a more comprehensive picture of, again, what looks to me a district scale copper play with some pretty important byproducts and then credits there. Anything to add to that?
Marcus Harden: No, I think that's it. We are very excited to be bringing out the next targets along the exploration pipeline. We are working in the background, news flow’s going to be coming from our active drill program and we anticipate the first round of results in the next month. We're still processing that 10,000 meters of unsampled core, we've only released about 2,000 meters of that so far to date. And we're also got our regional exploration program going, we're flying a airborne mag at the moment, a lot of these are magnetite skarns, so we're hoping that that's going to be a direct detection tool undercover for us, and we'll be releasing that to market as well as those active drill results.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic, a lot to look forward to. Thanks again for your time. Appreciate it, Marcus.
Marcus Harden: No worries. Thank you very much, Gerardo
Gerardo Del Real: Chat soon. Cheers.
Marcus Harden: Cheers.