Latin Metals (TSX-V: LMS)(OTCQB: LMSQF) CEO Keith Henderson on Drilling Large Scale Copper-Gold Properties in a Copper Bull Market


Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president and CEO of the very busy Latin Metals, Mr. Keith Henderson. Keith, what a difference a month or two makes in regards to the copper and the gold price. Before we jump into that, how are you, sir?

Keith Henderson: I'm really great. The sun is shining up here in Vancouver, which is a welcome change from the last little while. We just got back from PDAC, which was, for sure, the biggest, busiest PDAC I've ever experienced for myself personally. It was just meetings, meetings, meetings start to finish. All of them set up prior to the actual event and it was just hugely productive and nothing feels better than getting things done. Just fantastic.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, Keith, we've been around long enough to know that when you have those behind-the-scenes meetings, that typically means there's a lot of discussions for potential joint ventures and Latin Metals' business model is kind of predicated on that. When I saw the news that you're expanding your Esperanza Copper-Gold project in red hot San Juan province, Argentina, it put a smile on my face because I think Latin Metals is already one of the better and more compelling speculations in the resource space. We have $4 copper, we have all-time highs in the gold price.

The Esperanza Copper-Gold Project has a bunch of copper-gold mineralization that lends itself to the belief that there's a pretty big system to date, and you've already drilled a hole that was 387 meters of 0.57% copper and 0.27 grams per tonne gold. I want to touch on the expansion of the Esperanza Copper-Gold Project because I think it's a savvy one and one that likely will pay dividends once we see a partner or potentially even Latin Metals get a drill bit going over there.

Keith Henderson: Yeah. In my mind, I refer to Esperanza as a post-discovery project and that sets it apart from a lot of other projects in the exploration space. There are people in this industry who really only invest in things after there's been a discovery, because they want that risk to be kind of mitigated, and that's certainly what we have here. We've got a project that's, as you said, a fantastic intersection. The project's exposed at surface, which is a rare, rare thing in South America.

It's got expansion potential at depth. It's open in all directions. I would say the only aspect of this project that sometimes got a slightly negative comment from people, and particularly from some of the bigger companies who were looking at it, was this is kind of a small project in space and is there going to be enough space here for us to expand mineralization, particularly out to the west where we think it goes? Is there going to be enough space to develop the mine if we get there? That was a bit uncertain.

So this deal is absolutely critical for us and it's really, for me, the final piece. This gives us another three and a half thousand hectares out to the west. If the mineralization keeps going out there, we're going to be able to pin it down and make it part of the project. We've got lots of space to potentially develop the project in the future, and it's made a huge difference. I think for any of the bigger companies that might be looking at this, it's definitely the final piece to go, "Okay, now this thing really works and if it is there, this is something we can move forward with."

Gerardo Del Real: I got to believe there's a lot of discussions around not just this project, but several other Latin Metals projects. Can we speak to that activity as much as you can share, Keith?

Keith Henderson: Well, yeah, and as much as I can share is basically nothing in a sense. I can tell you that, coming through October, November, December, it was getting pretty hard for me to get a phone call back or an email replied to when I was dealing with some of the other companies. Things were certainly going very quiet before Christmas. Coming into January, week one and week two, the phone started ringing, the email started hopping and it was like somebody flicked a switch in the mining industry.

All of the companies woke up in the first week of January with a budget sitting in their account and needing to spend something on. With so little activity on this front over the last few years, starting with COVID and going on from there, a lot of these bigger companies don't necessarily have projects that they can just turn on. They might have some exploration projects, but maybe they don't have any that are drill ready. Having a drill ready asset like this is really an attractive thing for a lot of companies if that's the direction that they're getting from their management. Yeah, it was an unbelievable change and a very welcome one at that.

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Gerardo Del Real: What comes next? Again, I know there's a lot behind the scenes that you can't share, but I have to believe that you're confident about the catalysts that we thought were going to materialize in 2023, those catalysts being multiple drill programs, you have to be more confident now about that happening in 2024, especially with the macro backdrop, right?

Keith Henderson: Yeah, absolutely. More confident. The greatest partners, in my view, are the biggest companies. If you think about something like Esperanza, if you give it to a junior company and there is something there and it's going to be a big porphyry, eventually there has to be a transaction later that brings in another big company. We're trying to cut out the middleman here and just get to a company that if we find something and if we're able to develop it, this is the company that can develop it. I think that's a really good way for us to go.

Gerardo Del Real: Multiple drill programs, the potential for those, and it sounds like you're pretty laser focused, yeah, on getting a big company to come in as opposed to a smaller junior where, as you mentioned, if you do make a discovery of significance, you actually have to find the big company to develop it, right?

Keith Henderson: Yeah, so that's one side of it. When you deal with a bigger company, you're automatically dealing with a company that might take a little bit longer on the legal side. You're talking about a company that's got three or four lawyers that are going to be sitting in a room dealing with your agreement rather than one lawyer, and sometimes there's not a great deal of need for them to move quickly, so I have to manage that very carefully because that's the potential downside here and I need things to happen quickly.

For sure, a great focus of my discussions with companies right now is to say, "Look, these are the things that I need. These are the types of deals I need to get, but here's another important thing. I need to get to an announcement a bit faster than you might want me to because I've got to be able to talk to my shareholders about it." I don't want to have a conversation with people like you saying, "Oh, it's really great, but I can't talk about it." I need to be able to talk about it.

We need to get to those shorter, more easily executable documents like letters of intent and letters agreements so that we can say, "Shareholders, here's what's going on. It might take us another six months to get to the definitive agreement, but we're up and running and this is what we're doing." It's all about getting what's happening in the background into the forefront and getting it to be something that I can tell people about.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, I'm looking forward to being able to have you on here at a time where we have some of those agreements in place and you're able to share some definitive details on the next steps. Again, I'm confident that we see multiple drill programs this year. It's exciting to me because of the macro backdrop that we have with copper at $4 and gold at all-time highs. Anything to add to that, Keith?

Keith Henderson: Yeah, I think I agree with you, and I think we have suffered in share price just like everybody else has. It's not a unique problem, but when you get to this kind of market with this kind of activity going on in the background, it becomes an easier sale. I think we'll be able to get the interest we need back into our exploration business quite easily when we start to deliver on some of these deals. People will look at companies like Latin Metals, whatever the share price is, 7 cents, 10 cents, it doesn't matter, it's going to look like pretty good value, and I think that's where we start to see the recovery.

Gerardo Del Real: I absolutely agree. Looking forward to it. Thanks so much for the update, Keith.

Keith Henderson: No problem. Thanks. Cheers.

Gerardo Del Real: All right. Chat soon. Bye now.

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