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Vancouver Jr. Starts 2024 Exploration at Projects in Yukon and Colorado

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Metallic Minerals Corp. (MMG:TSX.V; MMNGF:OTCQB) says it had started its 2024 exploration programs at its Keno Silver project in the Yukon Territory and the La Plata copper-silver-gold-platinum group element (PGE) in Colorado. Find out why these metals are needed for the new green economy.

Metallic Minerals Corp. (MMG:TSX.V; MMNGF:OTCQB) announced it has started its 2024 exploration programs at both its Keno Silver project in the Yukon Territory and the La Plata copper-silver-gold-platinum group element (PGE) in Colorado.

The company announced an inaugural resource of 18.2 million ounces (Moz) of silver equivalent (Ag Eq) at Keno this year. Preparations are in the final stages for diamond drilling to start there in July, the company said.

At La Plata, Metallic Minerals said field programs have started, including mapping and surface sampling, to advance and prioritize newly identified targets for drill testing within the footprint of the district-scale copper porphyry system.

"We are excited to initiate our exploration activities at both Keno Silver and La Plata for 2024," Metallic Minerals President Scott Petsel said. "Our team is eager to apply the knowledge gained from previous programs to this year's drilling at targets selected to maximize [the] opportunity for success."

The drilling initiative at Keno aims to expand existing resources and test the potential to define new resources at the highest priority drill-ready targets, the company said. A focus will be on resource expansion at the Formo target, which is the largest current resource at the project. All four deposits at Keno, including Formo, start at surface and remain open for further expansion.

The 171-square-kilometer (km2) Keno Silver project is directly adjacent to Hecla Mining Co.'s (HL:NYSE) high-grade Keno Hill mining operations and mill, which is projected to produce 3 to 4 Moz Ag this year.

At La Plata, which is in southwest Colorado, new targets include Copper Hill, Renegade, and Morningstar, which all show very strong surface geochemical signatures, Metallic Minerals said. Drilling is anticipated to start with an initial focus on extending higher-grade mineralization at the Allard resource area, where five separate drill holes intercepted 500 to 900-meter-thick zones of continuous copper and precious metals mineralization.

Additional drilling is planned to test the highest priority targets outside of the Allard resource area at the project.

'Excellent Potential'

Petsel said at the Keno project, there are more than 40 promising target areas across the company's prospective district holdings. There is "excellent potential to significantly grow our current resources, as well as to make new discoveries," the company has said.

In April, the company announced it had filed a National Instrument 43-101 technical report for the inaugural mineral resource estimate for Keno, which is one of its two key projects.

The estimate, first announced in February, noted a combined underground and in-pit total from four deposits for inferred resource of 2.5 million tonnes (Mt) at 223 grams per tonne (g/t) Ag Eq, equating to 18.16 Moz of contained silver equivalent.

Exploration at the La Plata copper-silver-gold-PGE (Cu-Ag-Au) project was funded with an initial CA$6.3 million investment by mining major Newmont Corp. (NEM:NYSE). In addition to capital, Newmont also provided technical support and expertise for the project through a joint committee with Metallic Minerals, including multiple site visits.

In May, Metallic Minerals announced that Newmont exercised its "top-up right" to purchase additional shares of the company. Newmont continues to own 9.5% in Metallic Minerals after it purchased an aggregate of 342,750 common shares at CA$0.33 per share, subject to a four-month plus one day hold period from the date of issuance.

"Over 20 additional porphyry centers with very high-grade surface samples have been identified and prioritized at La Plata that are supported by geophysical indicators," Petsel said. "An updated mineral resource estimate for the La Plata Project is underway that will include the addition of gold, platinum, and palladium, along with copper and silver, based on the positive results from the 2023 drill program."

The Catalysts: Metals for the Future

Both silver and copper are important metals for the switch to green energy.

In addition to being a precious metal, silver is the most conductive element in nature. It's important to the green economy transition because it's used to coat electrical contacts in computers, phones, cars, and appliances. It's also an important element in solar technology.

Silver spot prices rose to a new all-time high of US$32.43 per ounce on May 20 and have continued to hover around US$30 since. The price was US$29.21 on Friday.

According to the Silver Institute's World Silver Survey, global demand for silver "massively exceeded" supply last year, a deficit that is expected to extend into a fourth consecutive year in 2024.

Mordor Intelligence noted that the white metal is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 5% between 2024 and 2029.

"An increase in the demand for new technological products is expected to help the market expand in the future," Mordor analysts wrote. According to a U.S. Geological Survey report, "27% of the silver produced in the United States was being utilized in electrical and electronic applications."

Copper climbed above US$10,000 a ton in May on predictions of tighter supplies and rising consumption for use in electric vehicles (EVs) and power grids in the transition to green energy. It was at US$8,980 per ton Friday but was up US$20, according to Money Metals.

The global copper market was worth US$304.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2023 to 2032 to US$496.8 billion, Acumen Research and Consulting reported.

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Metallic Minerals Corp. (MMG:TSX.V; MMNGF:OTCQB)

*Share Structure as of 1/12/2024

"The increasing demand for copper could be met through developments in mining technology, well-organized designs for ore processing, and the discovery of new copper reserves," Acumen's report noted. "According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), international copper reserves rose by approximately 720 million tons in 2017, and undiscovered copper reserves are estimated to be approximately 3,500 million tons."

Ownership and Share Structure

About 17% of Metallic Minerals is owned by management and insiders, including CEO Greg Johnson with 4.14 %, Independent Director Gregor Hamilton with 0.91%, and the president, Petsel, with 0.5%.

About 34% is owned by strategic investors, including Newmont's 9.5% and mining financier Eric Sprott, who owns 14.5%.

About 22% is owned institutionally. The rest, 27%, is retail.

Its market cap is CA$52.7 million, with 170.35 million shares outstanding, 123.38 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.44 and CA$0.24.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. Metallic Minerals Corp. is a billboard sponsor of Streetwise Reports and pays SWR a monthly sponsorship fee between US$4,000 and US$5,000.
  2. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee.
  3.  This article does not constitute investment advice and is not a solicitation for any investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her personal financial adviser and perform their own comprehensive investment research. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company. 

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