Maurice Jackson: Joining us for a conversation is Tim Johnson of Granite Creek Copper Ltd. (GCX:TSX.V).
Always a pleasure to speak with you, sir. Before we get in today's conversation, I would be remiss if I didn't highlight, underscore and foot stomp the success of Granite Creek Copper share price. You are up 600% since March 23, and we haven't even discussed today's press release, which may further increase the shareholder value. Why has the market been so upbeat about Granite Creek Copper, sir?
Tim Johnson: I think a lot of it has to do with recent action in the metal prices. We, in the copper space, have been waiting quite a while for the move that copper's made in the past few weeks. That's helped us. And our position, where we are on the planet, we are in one of the best jurisdictions for mineral development in the world. The Yukon is a great place to operate. And I think those things combined and the fact that we're doing something, we've got people on the ground, all those things have helped us move our share price to where it is today.
Maurice Jackson: Mr. Johnson, I referenced that GCX is looking to further increase your shareholder value. And this time it's through a strategic acquisition with one of your neighbors, Copper North Mining Corp., to increase your footprint in the highly prolific Minto Copper District, where you have your flagship Stu Copper Project. What can you share with us?
Tim Johnson: We've just announced an offer to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of Copper North. We already owned 30% of those shares, which we acquired in December last year. This is a further acquisition. GCX sees this as a very interesting strategic move, as a consolidation of the second largest land position within the highly prospective Minto Copper Belt. There will only be two of us in the belt. There'll be us, and the Minto Mine just to the north of us, about 30 kilometers away. We're quite excited about that.
What this allows us to do is to combine a preliminary economic assessment-stage project, and the Carmacks Project owned by Copper North, with our highly prospective ground on the Stu Project. The combined land package is going to be about 176 square kilometers, good road access, good access to infrastructure like power. So we're pretty excited about snapping the two projects together.
Maurice Jackson: Expand on that for us—on some of the common synergies that you will share with the Carmacks deposit there. You talked about infrastructure.
Tim Johnson: Right now, to access our Stu Project, you'd go through the Carmacks Project right through up to ours. That's an advantage that we've already got, built out road access all the way through to most parts of our property. We share the geology for both projects. There's high-grade pods of copper and some of them we suspect cross the current claim boundary. So exploration can open up now that these two properties are going to be put together. And we can determine if there are resources right there across the boundaries, and we don't have to be shy about drilling right up to the claim boundary. We can just keep drilling right across it.
Maurice Jackson: How will this acquisition of Copper North enhance the economics of the Stu Copper Project?
Tim Johnson: Well, it's great creating the potential for a significant contained copper project. Currently, the Carmacks deposit, on an oxide and sulfide combined basis, has somewhere around 500 million pounds of copper. We believe we have the ground on the Stu Project to significantly grow that resource. Our target is over 1 billion pounds. So what we want to do now is go back and see the areas that we can quickly drill off resources, to try to reach that target.
Maurice Jackson: As a shareholder, this is encouraging news. If we expand and include the narrative on the entire copper space, and when you include the strategic advantage that you have with oxide versus sulfide on the Stu, can you just expand on that for us?
Tim Johnson: Yeah. That's an interesting point that you bring up. The Carmacks deposit, again, currently owned by Copper North and we're acquiring it, has a preliminary economic assessment that contemplates a seven-year mine of oxide only. Now underlying that oxide resource there is significant potential for a large sulfide resource. And then on our Stu property, just across the claim boundary, we have both oxide and sulfide.
So when you start to put these together, you can see there are two very interesting development paths. You develop that oxide resource, and once you've gone down through that, and you're into the sulfide resource, you either look at developing that, or you look at other players in the belt who have a sulfide mill just to the north of us. So it opens up a whole range of ways that we can develop those two resources. And we're pretty excited about that.
Maurice Jackson: Does Granite Creek plan on conducting drilling this year?
Tim Johnson: We do. It is going to be a bit challenging. We're getting late in the season. And with the ramp-up of exploration in the Yukon, crews are hard to find. We do have a drill potentially for mid- to late September, and we're working on the logistics of getting all that together. Yes: if we can, if all the pieces fall in place, we do want to drill this fall yet.
Maurice Jackson: Oh, that's exciting. All right, sir. What is the next unanswered question for Granite Creek Copper? When can we expect a response and what determines success?
Tim Johnson: Well, I'll remind readers that we did do a program this summer, where we re-assayed a bunch of the historical core in the Stu Project from our A Zone. This was a program that had been drilled in 1980. There had been limited assays done on that core, and it wasn't a full spectrum assay. They only assayed for the copper and the precious metals weren't a complete assay. We expect results back from that very soon. Once we can collate those results, and get those out to the market, I think that's going to be interesting, and that's going to inform us on what we need to do to publish resources on our A Zone. And when then we combine those with the Carmacks Resources, we think is going to be a very compelling story.
Maurice Jackson: Last question, sir. What did I forget to ask?
Tim Johnson: Well, you touched on it, and that's the macroeconomics of the copper space. We see a shortfall in the near term and probably for a significant number of years out. I think $3 copper is only the beginning.
As the world moves towards electrification, there's no substitute for copper. Even if you look at the battery metal space, where everybody's arguing about whether they should be more nickel or more cobalt or what the battery chemistry it is, for copper, it doesn't matter. The more battery-operated cars there are in a world, the more copper we're going to need. And the more energy storage there is in the world, the more copper we're going to need. It's going to be a really exciting space to be in.
I won't predict the copper price, but I think it's definitely moving up from here. Like I said, I think $3 is only a start.
Maurice Jackson: We've highlighted this in the past, but the world is going to consume more copper in the next 25 years than all of recorded history. And it's prudent for investors to take this opportunity, to find companies that have a strong foothold in the copper space with proven management, and you have it right here in Granite Creek Copper and Tim Johnson. Mr. Johnson, before we close please share the website address Granite Creek Copper.
Tim Johnson: www.gcxcopper.com
Maurice Jackson: Mr. Johnson, it's been a real pleasure speaking with you today, sir. Wishing you and Granite Creek Copper the absolute best, sir.
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