Rockridge Resources (TSX-V: ROCK) President Jordan Trimble & CEO Grant Ewing on Initial 43-101 Resource at the Knife Lake VMS Copper Project, the Raney Gold Project & Why They Are Bullish on Copper
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, and I also have the pleasure of the President of Rockridge Resources, Mr. Jordan Trimble. Jordan, Grant, how are you this afternoon?
Grant Ewing: Very good. Thank you.
Jordan Trimble: We're good. Thanks.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks for coming on. Thanks for taking time. You just announced the first pass 43-101 resource estimate for the Knife Lake Project. A couple of points that I want you to touch on really quick – and I'm going to start with you, Jordan – you have a very near-surface, very good grade resource that nobody seems to care about right now.
The very interesting part to me is that this deposit actually is believed to be a remobilized portion of what should be a larger primary VMS deposit. So I want to talk copper at the end. I want to remind people of your valuation and the opportunity. But before we get to that, congrats on the estimate. Can you talk a bit about the details?
Jordan Trimble: Yeah, absolutely. It's a key milestone for the company, one that we've been working towards since acquiring the project. Just to recap, the numbers reported, an NI 43-101 resource with an indicated resource of 3.8 million tonnes at just over 1% copper equivalent, mostly copper in that. And then an inferred resource in addition to that of 7.9 million tonnes at 0.67% copper equivalent. So, a great anchor to the property if you will. It's a big project, over 85,000 hectares. There's just this one known deposit that was found decades ago.
We talked about the history of this project, with a lot of previous exploration back in between 1970 and 2001. But not a lot of work that had been done in the last 20 years, which was an exciting aspect to us. Having just this one deposit and knowing that it's a remobilized VMS deposit near surface also excites us because it's presumably come from a primary source and that's what we're going to be looking for going forward.
Having drill results like we had earlier this year, which helped confirm the historic resource and some infill drilling, you look at one of the better holes that we had there where we drilled 13 meters of just over 5% copper equivalent near surface. That just illustrates the discovery potential elsewhere on the project as well. You come up with those kinds of numbers consistently and you find new deposits. Needless to say, the market's going to respond positively.
But getting back to this resource again, it's a great anchor for us. It's a good starting point. It's near surface. I'll let Grant talk a little bit more specifically about the deposit, but I will note shortly we'll be commencing our summer field program, which really is geared towards refining and prioritizing numerous regional exploration targets. Again, looking for that primary source of mineralization, and looking for clusters of deposits given that we have this one-off isolated VMS deposit. You never find VMS deposits in isolation. We're confident we can go out and we can find more.
Gerardo Del Real: Grant, let's talk details. You have 3.8 million tonnes at 1.02% copper equivalent in the indicated category. You also have an additional 7.9 million tonnes at 0.67% copper equivalent. Jordan, you pointed out the fact that this is a near-surface VMS deposit.
Thoughts there, Grant, on opportunities to upgrade the inferred resource? Is that going to be a focus of the next work program or are we going to get right to swinging for that home run and finding that larger primary VMS deposit that many believe exist?
Grant Ewing: Yeah, so part of the process going forward will be to get to upgrading that inferred piece of the resource. But I think our first real push at this project is looking for deposit extension, because there is a great potential rate at the Knife deposit area itself for resource expansion, so building more resource. And then I think we'll really focus regionally where we've got a lot of high-priority targets outlined.
As Jordan mentioned, we'll get out in the field. We've mobilized our crews now, so we'll be in the field very soon and we'll prioritize and refine a lot of these targets. A great potential we think to find other deposits, whether they're related to this VMS or they're different new ones. And that will really give us the base then to relook at that potential scenario we could look at a mining operation in the future here.
Gerardo Del Real: I want to highlight the geologic setting because the Knife Lake district, of course the analog is the world class Flin Flon metals belt that exists to the south. I don't think it's a coincidence that Rockcliff Metals – and again, not to be confused with Rockridge Resources – but Rockcliff Metals has an upcoming hundred thousand meter drill program, and Hudbay is nearby as well.
So this region obviously is very, very prospective. Whether you're a major, a mid-tier or a junior, companies are not drilling a hundred thousand meters if they don't believe there are multiple prizes to be found. Can you just comment and provide some context on the geologic setting of the Knife Lake district and why it's so exciting for discoveries?
Grant Ewing: Yes, certainly. Just a little bit on Rockcliff, they've got several smallish VMS deposits, quite high grade. With Knife Lake we also have a nice high-grade center core to this deposit that's very near surface. So that would make a great starter open pit for future mining operations. You know, this Flin Flon Snow Lake district is large, certainly world-class as you noted.
Continuous mining operations have been conducted in this region over the last 90 years and new discoveries are being made even today. So we've got the Knife Lake Project, it's situated in the northwest section of this large region and the one lone discovery. As these deposits normally occur in clusters or groups, we think the potential is real strong regionally to find more VMS deposits.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent.
Jordan Trimble: I'll just add to that, Gerardo. Getting back to these regional developments, just from a market standpoint. That Rockcliff hundred thousand meter drill, and that's going to provide a lot of news flow from this jurisdiction over a pretty lengthy period of time coming up. You have, as we've talked in the past Glencore in a partnership with Foran, just south of us. Foran coming up with an updated resource recently and then Hudbay has been in the area for many, many years. They're the big company in the Flin Flon jurisdiction camp and they had their recent discovery near their Lalor mine, which they're continuing to explore. So there's going to be a lot of news flow from this region, which I think will benefit Rockridge and its shareholders.
Gerardo Del Real: Gold is pushing $1,522 in the US as I speak. I think a lot of people forget you have a gold project tucked in there in the portfolio. Can we talk about that a bit?
Jordan Trimble: Yeah, absolutely. It's a good point to bring up because I think it does get lost a little bit given our flagship is Knife Lake, but we lifted this company with a gold asset. Just southwest of Timmins there's been historical drilling and work on the project. The last programs carried out about 10 years ago. So again, this fits in this overarching theme and strategy we have of going into good jurisdictions like Saskatchewan, like Ontario in Canada, going into brownfields jurisdictions where there's been a fair bit of historical exploration using older techniques and methodologies. And then going in and looking at these projects through a new lens with some new techniques and methods and hopefully making new discoveries. And so the Raney gold project, which again is in Rockridge's portfolio, is a great little gold asset to have. And we look at some of the historical numbers from that project. There was shallow drilling that returned 6.5 grams of gold over 8 meters.
And so there's room to move, there's expansion potential and discovery potential. And it's not something that we want lost on shareholders in the market because it is in the portfolio and trading at a $4.5-million dollar valuation. Needless to say, we're not getting much market appreciation for that project right now, but in this gold market, I think that that can change quite quickly.
Gerardo Del Real: Well said. Grant, anything to add to that?
Grant Ewing: Yeah, just to add on the Raney project, that project fits well with our corporate strategy. We're focused on mining jurisdictions that are friendly to mineral exploration development. We're focused on geologic settings that have the potential to produce world-class discoveries and the Raney project fits well with that strategy. It's got great infrastructure, it's road accessible. There's gold-bearing structures that have been defined that produced high-grade from the historic drilling. So it's a great project to follow up on and look for additional discovery, especially with this gold market heating up as it is.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk copper a bit. We have a situation very similar to the uranium space where we all know that in the mid- to long-term, the fundamentals are extremely bullish. In the short-term however, of course, there's some issues and some speed bumps that we bumped into.
Can we talk a little bit about the overall copper space? What you're hearing? I believe you were recently at the Sprott Conference and Mr. Robert Friedland gave a speech that was very well received, as it usually is. Any thoughts on the copper space?
Jordan Trimble: Yeah, we were there. I was there. I watched the speech and needless to say it's always informative and entertaining and a big focus of that was the copper market. And you know, we are of the same belief that copper over the next little while I think is going to be one of the better performing metals. You look at the growth in what I like to call millennial trends, in electric vehicles, renewable energy, power generation and energy storage.
I mean, just look at solar and wind. Electricity generation uses five times more copper, and then electric vehicles. You have about three and a half to four times more copper versus internal combustion engine vehicles. So you know, there is this macro and strong trend right now towards electrification globally. And copper, as we've talked about is the common denominator.
Now we do have some interim speed bumps with the trade wars, but I think that that to a certain extent is priced into the market. I mean, we've seen the copper price drift a little lower here over the last little while. And we've seen obviously that result in lower share prices as well. So I think there is a good entry point here. I think that over the next few years we're going to see the price of the metal increase as demand continues to grow.
And as we see, one of the things we've talked about is the supply side. And we know there's a lot of copper mines that are shutting down over the next 15 years. And there really hasn't been any significant major discovery in good jurisdictions over the last 10, 12 years. So that's one of the reasons we went out, we acquired Knife Lake. We know that this is a prolific VMS camp and in our case it's predominantly copper in the VMS deposit and we think we can find more copper and more deposits on our ground.
Gerardo Del Real: Perfect. Perfect. Well gentleman, listen, I want to thank you for your time. Grant, anything else that you'd like to add to that? I know your background is pretty extensive.
Grant Ewing: Yeah, just a little bit more on the copper market. I think it's pretty hard to argue with the looming supply gap that ourselves plus many others are predicting over the coming years. We've got aging mines around the world. New discoveries of course for any metal become more challenging as time passes, as a lot of the low hanging fruit has been picked. So we see a great medium term outlook for copper and we're happy to have our core project, as that being the commodity of focus with our core project.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking forward to having each of you back on to talk about the work program as that develops. Have a great rest of the summer in the meantime, and I'm sure we'll be chatting soon. Thanks again guys.
Grant Ewing: Thanks a lot.
Jordan Trimble: Thank you.