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Infinitum Copper (TSX-V: INFI) CEO Steve Robertson on Discovery of Multiple Zones of High-Grade Copper-Gold-Silver at Flagship La Adelita Project, Mexico
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Infinitum Copper — Mr. Steve Robertson. Steve, it's been a bit. It's great to have you back on. How are you?
Steve Robertson: I'm doing really well, Gerardo. It's great to be back.
Gerardo Del Real: So let's talk Infinitum Copper. When I vet companies, when I look at an investment or a speculation, there's a couple of boxes that have to be checked, right? The first one is the share structure. The second one is the team. And then, lastly, and third would be the asset. The company checks all three.
And I want to start by talking a bit about your background and the team that you've been able to put together because it's an impressive group of ladies and gentlemen that have been around for a while and are serially successful, including yourself, obviously.
Steve Robertson: Yeah, I appreciate that. I think that this business, more than most, is really all about people. If you surround yourself with the right team, you really greatly increase your chances of being successful. And that's exactly what's happened here.
The group, really, was founded by EMC [Emerging Markets Capital]. So that's Jorge Ramiro Monroy and Michael Wood and Marco Roque. Those are the three guys behind EMC. They've got other companies in the business already; Cassiar Gold, Reyna Gold, Reyna Silver. But they wanted to have a copper exploration arm.
And of course, they reached out to Peter Megaw, who is a very famous CRD [Carbonate Replacement Deposit] exploration geologist. I've worked with Peter for many, many years. And once they connected with Peter, Peter brought me into the loop and said that I'd be a good guy to run this company based on my experience with exploration in copper.
So we were able to get the whole team together. We've added Doug Kirwin to the fold as well. So Peter's an expert in the CRD realm. Doug is more of an expert in the porphyry world; equal stature but a slightly different geologic bend to it. And then, we've also got Jorge and a lot of his other affiliates that are serially successful down in Mexico.
Ariel Navarro is a geologist. Actually, both he and his father have developed a generational legend in Sonora state. Ariel was born in Cananea, which hosts the fourth largest copper mine in the world. So really, they have mining and copper in their blood. And yeah, it's been a great opportunity to put together a good team, and out of that falls all sorts of opportunities.
Gerardo Del Real: I am extremely bullish on copper. You have phenomenal timing and you also happen to be in a great jurisdiction, right? The project, the La Adelita project, is located, I believe, in the Alamos Mining District. Is that accurate?
Steve Robertson: That's correct. Yeah, jurisdiction is extremely important these days. There's probably half the world I'll work in and half the world I won't work in at this time. And the list keeps on changing.
But I absolutely love Sonora state because there's a continuum between having complete security of tenure… you want to wake up in the morning knowing that you still own your asset… but on the other end of the scale, you also want to know that if you find something, you're going to be able to put it into production.
And I really think that Sonora delivers on all fronts there. This is exactly the type of jurisdiction that we want to be working in.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. Let's talk about the project. I mentioned La Adelita is the name of the project. It's in southern Sonora, Mexico. It's five kilometers east of a past-producing mine; the Alamo Dorado mine.
Tell me about the project. Tell me what attracted you to the project. The team speaks for itself. It's not a team that lends itself to just any exploration project, right? I mentioned the team having a history of success. And so tell me why La Adelita?
And then, I've got to get your thoughts on copper, Steve, because, again, I'm extremely bullish, and I mentioned your timing was spot on. I think, with a little bit of luck and, obviously, a lot of work, you're hitting the sweet spot if you're able to make a discovery of substance here.
Steve Robertson: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I'll start with talking about the project. I think that we have some of your themes interwoven into each other here because we were talking about people on the team already. Well, the reason why we've got this project is because of Peter Megaw's involvement.
So Peter first hooked up with his partner, Rafael, Gerardo, who is actually a Sonoran born geologist as well. And he identified this project back in 1994 as being one that he wanted to get involved with. And he was actually able to buy it off the prospector that owned it at that time; went into partnership with Peter on it.
And it was actually Peter bringing this property to our attention that got us to take an option on it. It was actually held by Minaurum Gold, another company that's active down in the same state. And they just didn't have enough room in their bandwidth to be able to pay attention to it.
So we were able to convince them that their best opportunity to get value out of the project was to let us take a shot at it. And it's quite amazing to me that this was right next door to the Alamo Dorado mine and that it's had as little work done on it as it has to-date. There's less than 7,300 meters of diamond drilling in total that's been done on the property… so the surface has barely been scratched.
And yet, there's high-grade copper-silver-gold showings all over the property. And those showings are kilometers apart from one another. So this is a big system. We believe that Alamo Dorado is actually part of the same mineralizing system but it's already been mined out. So that's the only part of the district that we don't control. The rest of the district, we believe, is on our property. It's 6,500 hectares. And so it's a big project and lots of room to find critical tonnage of high-grade mineralization on this property. So that's the property.
In terms of my view on copper, Gerardo, I'll tell you that I've been working in copper for my entire career, and I've never felt better about the prospects for the copper market than I do right now. And I think that's supported by what we're seeing in the current copper price. I mean, the price today, I think, is about US$4.70 [per pound], and it's close to an all-time high.
And I think the general belief is it's probably more likely to go higher than it is to go lower. And when I take a look at the supply and demand fundamentals of the market, in terms of the demand side, you've got the same old housing and traditional uses of copper like that that are underpinning the demand side of the market.
But on top of that, you have all of the additional uses of copper that are coming online with the decarbonization of our economy. We want to automate everything. We want to have e-vehicles. We want to have the transmission grids that will support all of those things. So that's all added on top of the traditional uses of copper. So demand is just going to keep on going up year after year after year.
And all of this happens in the shadow of constrained supply. The number of discoveries worldwide in copper — despite the fact that we're working harder to find more copper deposits — the discovery rate is going down. And so there's not a lot of good new mines coming online.
As a matter of fact, most of the mines that are coming online now are much smaller than they have been previously. And so we're just going to continue to see constraint on the supply side. So it really adds up for a good long-term bull market in copper.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the lack of significant recent discoveries. Let's talk about how you advance the La Adelita project. I believe there's 10 target areas that you've already identified. Walk me through what the exploration plans look like.
Steve Robertson: Yeah, we've got a number of showings. They all have a high-grade signature to them. So this is what we really want to find. And there's plenty of opportunities to go out there and try and find the big, low-grade porphyry systems. Those are generally the types of properties that are going to require you to bring in a partner. They've got billion dollar capital cost requirements and so on.
We want to find a mine that we're going to be able to operate from front to finish. And that doesn't mean that we will be the operator from front to finish. We're always looking out for getting the best value for our shareholders. And so if a good opportunity comes along to sell along the way — we'll do that. But I like to have optionality, and so we're going to focus on high-grade.
And at La Adelita, we've got, first of all, the Cerro Grande zone, which has got about a dozen drill holes into it now, and we've seen lots of plus-2% copper-equivalent grades in there. There's copper with a really significant silver kicker and a little bit of gold in there as well and some zinc. And this zone shows exactly what we want to see. It's skarn; it's consistent. It shows lots of indications that this is the product of a long-lived, multi-phase system; the ones that get big and rich. And surprisingly, little work has been done on it to-date.
So really, this is what we call low-hanging fruit. This is an opportunity that's been preserved for us because the property has been hiding out in Minaurum's portfolio and just that they haven't had the opportunity to really properly explore it. So it's a fantastic opportunity.
Outside of that, we've got many other zones on the property that have got even less work done on them but show equal potential for high-grade mineralization. And we've actually demonstrated — in our last news release that we had on March 16th that we talked about — three new discoveries that we've got on our property just in the preliminary work that we've been doing this year.
I already mentioned the Cerro Grande zone; we’ve found the Cerro Grande Footwall zone, which is 45 meters stratigraphically lower. And nobody had actually encountered this zone before just because of the orientation of where the drill holes were drilled. This zone had been completely missed, and it's sitting almost directly parallel to the first zone.
And then, 800 meters to the west of that, we found a brand new showing. It's high-grade. We don't know how big it is because it's still partly under cover, and we haven't been able to get a backhoe or anything up into the area. So we've got to rely on hand trenching. It's pretty hard to uncover it, but it looks like it could be big, and it's certainly high-grade. So lots of potential there.
And then, five kilometers to the south, we've got a brand new showing at Las Trancas, and this is a doppelganger for the Alamo Dorado mine. It looks exactly like the alteration that you see at the old closed down mine next door. And again, high-grade mineralization that's been exposed, and no work done in the area. It's in the valley bottom, it's under cover, and we were lucky to be able to find a showing. And once we started to open it up, we see how wide the alteration zone is there.
So we've actually been doing mechanical trenching down in that area and opening it up. And the results from that trenching program are still pending, and we're waiting for the assay results to come back.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. How much drilling are we going to see in 2022, Steve?
Steve Robertson: We've got a two-phase program coming up. The first phase is 3,000 meters on some of the existing targets. And then, phase-two, we’ll develop targets as we go along, and that's 6,000 meters. So we'll do those two programs consecutively… so a total of 9,000 meters of diamond drilling.
Gerardo Del Real: We talked about the project. We talked about the excellent team. I touched on the share structure earlier. I believe you have just under 42 million shares outstanding fully-diluted. Is that accurate?
Steve Robertson: We have 38 million shares outstanding. And the nice thing is that a lot of those shares are in escrow and have restrictions. And so, as of today, we only have 11.6 million shares that are available for trading… so it's a very tight market for the stock.
And if we get some extra eyeballs on it and we can see some trading get going, I think the stock will react very well to positive results that we have coming out of our exploration.
Gerardo Del Real: And just to be clear, it’s 38 million plus the 3.3, roughly, million warrants, right? So roughly 41.2 million?
Steve Robertson: That's correct.
Gerardo Del Real: Okay, excellent. Where's the market cap right now because this is what gets me excited… when I see a team of this caliber… when I see an extremely friendly mining jurisdiction like Sonora, Mexico… when I see the asset that hasn't had a lot of work and there's opportunity there, but clearly very, very strong copper-gold-silver showings there… where's the market cap today?
Steve Robertson: Market cap at C$0.40 is C$15.3 million… so a pretty modest market cap. We're fully-funded for the program that we've got underway now. And so I think that the stock is well-positioned for lots of upside from here.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. And just to be clear on the project, you have the option to earn-in up to 80%, correct?
Steve Robertson: That's correct. Yeah, we'll earn 80% from Minaurum after we satisfy the earn-in conditions. Then, we’ll form a joint venture and everybody participates going forward.
Gerardo Del Real: You've got the team. You've got the asset. You have a solid share structure. You have a tiny market cap. And I think it's a phenomenal time to be exploring for copper and gold with a little bit of silver, and you mentioned a little bit of zinc as well, I believe. Anything to add to that, Steve?
Steve Robertson: Well, just the fact that we're going to have a very rich news flow as we go forward. We're about to embark on a geophysical survey. We're about to embark on the drilling. And this is really an opportunity for news flow over, probably, the next four or five months out of this program. So it's going to be an exciting time for us.
Gerardo Del Real: Steve, overdue for a catch up. It was great having you back on. Looking forward to having you back on soon here as that news flow continues to pick up.
Steve Robertson: Good talking to you again, Gerardo. Thanks very much.
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, thanks for your time as always.
Steve Robertson: Bye for now.