Rockridge Resources (TSX-V: ROCK) CEO Grant Ewing on the Copper's Bright Long-Term Outlook, Emergence of Several High-Priority Copper Targets at the Knife Lake Project & Follow-up Plans at the High-Grade Raney Gold Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Rockridge Resources (TSX-V: ROCK)(OTC: RRRLF), Mr. Grant Ewing. Grant, how are you sir?
Grant Ewing: I'm doing very fine. Thank you for asking.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's start with some macro commentary. We know we're in the midst of tax-loss selling season. We know that means that the majority of the companies on the TSX are going to get hit, but there are some things to be optimistic about in the base metals space.
One, it seems like, at least initially, there is some talk of friendlier relations with China and the US. We know that the trade war was a major reason why the base metal companies and the base metal prices got hit. It seems like that's at least trending in the right direction, though somewhat unpredictable.
I would love your take on the macro side of the base metal space because of your background. Then let's talk about the exciting news. You just completed the field program and you outline several high-priority targets at Knife Lake. That's all good work because we know that if you're going to stay in the game, you've got to keep busy and you got to keep productive and wait for that turn.
Grant Ewing: Yeah, that's a very good starter summary. Rockridge is focused on two commodities. Copper is the primary base metal in our portfolio of assets. Then also we have a high-grade gold project in Ontario.
As far as the copper market though, I think we're certainly seeing a bit of a soft market at the moment. But I think I agree with you, better times are ahead for this commodity. There's a significant supply-demand gap – I think that is forecast by just about all professional forecasters – coming in the next, let's say 10 to 15 years.
We got aging mines around the planet, aging copper mines. We've got a growing electrification of the world and copper is a key commodity that supplies that. Longer term, we feel good and I think with Rockridge we have an excellent copper project in mining friendly Saskatchewan, Canada that we're advancing.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed, agreed. You just identified some high priority-targets that are in pretty close proximity to the Knife Lake deposit that you plan on drill testing next year. Now these targets are important because of the type of system this is and because we know that these systems of these deposits tend to happen in clusters.
Can you get into the targets and why you're liking what you saw from the field program?
Grant Ewing: Yeah, that's correct. We've defined some high-priority targets. Our Knife Lake project is located in Saskatchewan, northwest of the prolific Flin Flon-Snow Lake metals belt. We're in a similar geologic setting at the Knife Lake project. One discovery so far on the large claim holding we have. Approximately 80,000 hectares are controlled by Rockridge in this area.
And as you mentioned, VMS deposits, which Knife is one, normally occur in groups due to the way they're formed geologically. Our Knife Lake deposit was discovered relativity easily back in the '60s. It was a near-surface deposit with copper staining at surface and other deposits certainly could be at surface on our large land holding. Also, VMS deposits can occur at depth so there you need to be a little bit more astute with your exploration to locate those.
Gerardo Del Real: I was going to ask you about the eight target areas, because you obviously were successful at the three. But sorry to interrupt, please continue.
Grant Ewing: Yeah, so what we did when we acquired this project, the option on the Knife Lake project, was initially put out the inaugural resource estimate. Knife Lake is a near-surface, copper-dominated VMS system. The higher grade primary deposit is closer to the surface so that's very beneficial for potential future mine development. In and around Knife, we focused our summer program that we just completed so that we can prioritize the areas closer to the deposit first because those kind of discoveries are going to make it more meaningful for a future development potential.
We've got about three high priority-targets defined now. We brought these to drill-ready status through the summer program and there's at least another eight or so priority targets on the large land holding that future programs will assess. These targets were developed basically on all sorts of geologic and geophysical data inputs. We have coincident anomalies based on sampling, mapping, geophysical data. These three targets we've identified within a 6-kilometer radius of Knife Lake are classed as high-priority and drill-ready now at the moment.
Gerardo Del Real: Now, correct me if I'm wrong, the reason these targets are important is because you believe that Knife Lake is actually a remobilized portion of a larger VMS deposit. Is that accurate?
Grant Ewing: That's correct. So that's based on some technical studies of the deposit. We think it's a remobilized VMS deposit that perhaps is a primary source in the very close area to this deposit. There's also real good depth extension potential to the deposit. It's never been drilled really below a couple of hundred meters. It's been just weakly tested. We see the potential for discovery at depth at the known deposit as well as regionally.
Gerardo Del Real: I just returned from the New Orleans Investment Conference and I was encouraged because there were, it was a younger crowd, there were a lot of new faces that were kicking the tires. They weren't committing yet. They weren't allocating speculative capital yet. But they were asking the questions. That always to me is the prequel to what follows, which is typically new faces and new capital coming into this space.
For those not familiar with your gold project, the Raney gold project, can you speak to that a bit? Because despite the pullback today, gold is still in a pretty, pretty good space sitting at $1,465 as we speak.
Grant Ewing: Yeah, that's correct. At $1,500 US gold, that's getting in the neighborhood of all-time-high gold prices in Canadian dollar terms.
We have a great high-grade gold project that's located in Ontario, Canada, southwest of the Timmins gold district. Of course, in Timmins there's been 50-million-plus ounces produced in that district. A world-class district. We're drive access to our project, southwest of Timmins, approximately two hours. At the Raney gold project, we've got a gold vein system identified based on previous exploration work. Not a lot of work done in the past and it's been several years since any work was done there.
We're going to follow up in the next program that we anticipate in the new year on a hit, a gold intercept that graded 6.5 grams over 8 meters and was never followed up at depth or along strike. That's a real good target and we're excited to have that as our second core project in Rockridge.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Well, Grant, we got another month or two of tax-loss selling, a little under two months. So hang in there. In the meantime, congrats on all the good work that you're doing. All you can do in these markets really is position shareholders for what we know is coming, which of course is the turn.
It's a highly cyclical business and it can be brutal to the downside, but we're all in it for the same reason. And that's for that cyclical turn that I think is coming in 2020. Is there anything else that you'd like to add to that?
Grant Ewing: Yeah, agreed. We're in definitely in a cyclical business and during these kind of periods where the stock prices are under pressure, I think it's a great accumulation timeframe. The companies like Rockridge are working hard to create shareholder value and we work through the low cycles and the high cycles. Of course shareholders are rewarded well in the high cycles and have to persevere through the more difficult cycles.
Gerardo Del Real: In the words of Rick Rule, "I sat around and took all the pain, I might as well stick around a little bit longer and enjoy some of the gains that we're in it for." Right?
Grant Ewing: There you go. I think with Rockridge, we've got such a small market cap at the moment, roughly $4 million Canadian. Two high-quality exploration projects. We're really a discovery-driven exploration story. I think we have great potential to create significant shareholder value as we advance things.
Gerardo Del Real: Well said. Grant, thank you very much for that update. I appreciate it.
Grant Ewing: Excellent. Thank you.