General Base Metals
TinOne Resources (TSX-V: TORC)(OTC: TORCF) Executive Chairman Chris Donaldson on Advancing Multiple Tin Projects in Tasmania by way of the Drill
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the executive chairman for TinOne Resources — Mr. Chris Donaldson. Chris, always a pleasure to speak with people I enjoy speaking with. How are you?
Chris Donaldson: Hi, Gerardo. Yeah, I'm great. It's good to chat with you, and I've certainly been quite busy here. But it's good to have a story here that we're trying to get out and that people seem to be gravitating to.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about it because this is a unique story to our audience, and a couple of things stand out to me. One is the quality of the portfolio. Two, the quality of the team, and not just management but board and advisors. It's a who's-who of quality, quality people. And then, three, I love that modern approach to exploration that you're taking that really helps derisk a lot of the risk that's just inherent in the exploration business.
And so I'd love to start with a bit of your background. And then, let's talk about the team. And then, we can dive right in.
Chris Donaldson: Yeah, for sure. So I've been in the capital markets for 25 years or so and on a number of boards. I joined up with the Inventa Capital Group about two or three years ago now. And Inventa Capital, of course, headed by Craig Parry, who many people would know from his time in the industry. He was a founder of NexGen and chairman of Skeena Resources and Vizsla Resources and a number of other companies. He and Mike Konnert started a company which is putting out some pretty good new projects — and one of them being TinOne.
And tin is a market that I didn't really know much about. But it is certainly one of the most interesting markets out there right now. So yeah, happy to join up with that group and happy to be launching TinOne here.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about why tin? You said it's not a market that you knew a lot of but, obviously, you were excited to take the lead and run with it on this one. Tell me a bit about the portfolio and what attracted you to the assets, and tin, in particular.
Chris Donaldson: Why don't we start the tin market… it's a relatively small market. I was 10 years with a company called Western Copper & Gold and talking about copper and always talking about the supply and demand issues that were coming and coming and coming. And we're starting to see that now. And tin has basically similar fundamentals there.
There's a real supply and demand problem in the market here, and that squeeze has happened and is happening. The tin price itself hit an all-time high about four months ago. It's since pulled back. But what's happening there is on the supply side, almost all of the tin in the world is coming from emerging countries and maybe dubious countries: Indonesia, DRC, Myanmar, and also China.
And those countries… not only are their environmental standards not great… but many of them are restricting the export of the material because it's a critical raw material. The use of it: 50% is used in all kinds of electrification. It's considered the glue that holds batteries together and so on.
So that demand is increasing, certainly, and is projected to increase over the next many years; 2% to 4%. And it's a small market in terms of the number of companies that are out there. And it's even smaller, the number of companies that have projects in good areas; tier-one areas. And more and more you're hearing from the Teslas of the world looking at the chain of supply and where it comes from.
So when we had the opportunity to acquire these projects, which, actually, the group was able to get them 3 to 5 years ago, in a good jurisdiction like Australia, and more specifically, in Tasmania in Australia — we jumped on it. So we're in an industry that has moments where there's an absolute squeeze on it.
So tin itself is one of the most cyclical of all the metals, and we saw that six months ago. There was a squeeze, and we got up to US$50,000 a tonne. We've pulled back over the last few months but the long-term trajectory is certainly positive. So it's a good space. It's one where when times are going well, it gets quite a bit of excitement. So we're working right now to advance the couple of projects that we have.
Gerardo Del Real: Tell me what comes next as far as advancing those projects. You mentioned that excellent jurisdiction, which is becoming more and more critical moving forward… not just for exploration and development but if you're ever actually going to build a mine and hope to feed supply into that market, you'd better be in a jurisdiction that supports that. And that's evolving by the day, right? Tell me a bit about the projects and the focus and what comes next as far as developing and exploring.
Chris Donaldson: Yeah, so we have two main projects. And the one that we're working on first is called Great Pyramid. It's in Tasmania and in a great area of Tasmania. It's an area that previously was forested. The regulations are such that it's reserved for future commercial use. So if you're putting a lens on… is this something that can be built… it’s certainly in a very favorable area for that.
In Great Pyramid itself, we're not starting from scratch. It had a historic resource on it of about 10,000 tonnes at 0.2% and, presumably, it would be an open pit. And so what we're doing is drilling out and proving the historic resource and also tapping into newer areas and going deeper than what the previous drilling had performed. And this project — and our other one that I'll talk about — it basically was moving along, advancing quite well. And then, in the mid-80s, when the tin price collapsed under US$5,000 a tonne, work on it just kind of stopped.
We just finished a financing so we've got some cash. We've been drilling for the last four months or so, and we're really close to releasing our first set of results. And I'm hoping to have those out in the next week or two, which really will show people what we have and the potential of the Great Pyramid deposit.
Gerardo Del Real: Tell me about the other project. I know it's multiple quality assets in the portfolio.
Chris Donaldson: Yeah, and Great Pyramid, the goal on that is to really get that up to a certain size, and that will underpin the value of the company. But while we're doing that, we're working on another project called Aberfoyle. Aberfoyle is a historic tin district, and it produced over two million tonnes at about 1%.
And what the old-timers were doing there was just chasing these high-grade veins, and they were quite successful at it. But they never did any modern exploration. So they haven't done any kind of long-term planning, any field mapping, soil sampling, and so forth — so we're doing all of that work now.
The idea is that we will work on Great Pyramid in the short-term here and get it to a certain state that we can potentially put out a resource on it. And then, we'll have Aberfoyle set up with drill targets and be able to shift our focus onto that once we finish at Great Pyramid.
Gerardo Del Real: We love being early to stories and introducing stories to an audience at attractive entry points. I’ve got to bring up the market cap. I know that directors and management and advisors own close to 40% of the stock, if I'm not mistaken. Where's your market cap at right now, Chris?
Chris Donaldson: Yeah, we're sub-C$10 million right now so we're really, really early-stage in terms of the growth of the company. But our projects aren't early-stage; they're historic projects and one that had previous resources on it. So I think we should have some new re-ratings here once we get out into the market with our first bit of results.
One thing, Gerardo, that was pretty interesting: We just recently joined the International Tin Association, and we were the 10th company to join in the Explorer-Developers category. So one thing that's interesting about the tin market is it's very, very small; there are very few companies out there that are advancing primary tin projects. So if you take one thing from my conversation here, it’s that we're in the Top 10 Explorer-Developers in the tin space.
But why is that a benefit? Well, there are a couple of companies who have done really well over the last couple of years, and the one that gets a lot of attention is called Alphamin. It's a producer out of the DRC. The people who have invested in that have all done quite well. So if you're looking to get into a new story, there are very few to choose from, and there are even fewer that are in good jurisdictions.
So I think we're in a very good spot to see some real growth from where our market cap is right now. Obviously, the market's down a little bit. But once we get out there and start telling the story and we’re able to really prove up the value that we have in our Great Pyramid project — I think this story is going to resonate.
Gerardo Del Real: Chris, you have a tiny market cap. You have some very advanced projects that have seen historic mining and exploration. You have a quality, quality team. I love the skin-in-the-game, and best of all, you're not just sitting around waiting for a better market. You're actually defining targets and have assays pending and drilling coming up — so all of those factors check a lot of boxes for me.
I'm looking forward to catching back up. And for anyone that's out at Beaver Creek, touch base with Chris and I. We'll be out there. Say hello if you see us. Anything to add to that, Chris?
Chris Donaldson: Yeah, I look forward to chatting with you in the next couple weeks here once we get our first bit of results out. I guess one other thing to mention is that we just got our OTCQB listing. For our American friends, it makes it easier for them to trade. Our symbol is TORCF… so that's some news that came out today.
Gerardo Del Real: Good stuff, Chris. Pleasure as always… we'll catch up again soon. Thank you.
Chris Donaldson: Alright, fantastic. Thanks, Gerardo.