Hannan Metals (TSX-V: HAN) CEO Michael Hudson on Increase of Granted Mining Concessions at the Basin-Scale San Martin Copper-Silver Project in Peru
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Hannan Metals (TSX-V: HAN)(OTC: HANNF), Mr. Michael Hudson. Mike, how are you today?
Michael Hudson: Very well. You sound like you've done a fair bit of talking today, Gerardo. You're a bit crackly.
Gerardo Del Real: I've done a fair bit of talking for the past month. Yes, you are absolutely correct, Mike. It's been a day of being on the phone, as I imagine it's been for you. You just had some news from Hannan, which is slowly but surely becoming one of the most exciting copper-silver plays in the space.
You were granted additional concessions at your San Martín project in Peru. Can we talk about that? We have silver at $23. We have copper flirting with $3. I can't imagine a better time to have control of a basin-scale play.
Michael Hudson: Exactly. It has the benefit of being a copper project, but of course it has a silver credit where we're seeing 1 to 2 ounces of silver for every few percent of copper. We have a zone that extends over plus-100 kilometers. We've got that ground under tenure. We're seeing that zone develop between 2 to 5 meters thick at 2% to 5% copper. It's rare to find these new copper discoveries.
As your listeners know, this is a relatively new part of Peru that hasn't really been explored before. The rules are being thrown out the window in terms of what we're finding. We've done a lot of work there at the start of this year. Of course, we haven't been back since mid-to-late March, but we've been putting a lot of work at the desktop scale. A lot of samples coming together.
Now I think the most critical part of this release is that the Peruvian authorities are back at their desks and the system's starting to work again. We've got some areas that were granted. We've got more than 50% of areas; 43 out of 87 of the mining concessions are now granted. Which allows us to do much more thorough work and continue with the social licensing. We have people on the ground at the moment continuing with that work, local people who are able to move around their communities carefully and discuss our upcoming plans. A lot has happened and further consolidations.
Gerardo Del Real: You and that team at Hannan should be commended for taking a responsible approach to exploration. A lot of company's CEOs would look at $23 silver, $2.90-something copper, and want to rush and expedite the process. With COVID attacking Peru the way it did, this is absolutely not the time to do that.
It's important to note that you're taking a responsible approach. You're being productive in the meantime making sure that you're working with the communities and stakeholders to help during this tough, tough time. I know we talked about that last time, but I think it's important to highlight it because we have a lot of newbies in the space that aren't familiar with the Hannan story.
Michael Hudson: Correct. There will be a time to get boots back on the ground. We've got four geologists with support staff ready to go. Literally we're getting people calling us from the areas asking us when we're coming back. But we just need to make that decision at the right time. San Martín, the area in which we're working, is still one of the worst affected parts of Peru. We've been supporting and helping where we can the local communities. That's been our effort over the last few months rather than trying to get in there and take more samples and expand this story. That time will come, not too long but slowly but surely, Gerardo
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned having people on the ground right now. Paint a picture for me of what it looks like a few months down the road when you're back to full-time exploration as it relates to being on-site, obviously many sites because it's a massive group of properties here.
Michael Hudson: Yeah. We'll have the four teams based in one or two locations. We'll have social licensing people working ahead of those teams talking to people about what we plan to do, and what we have done, and engaging at that level. Each geologist generally has a field helper. There's a driver, of course, that goes along with that support staff because the drivers have to drop people off and pick them up. It's quite a small, a reasonable number of people that starts to build up just on each team.
The geologists will be walking up creeks, walking up the hills, finding more of these areas. We've done a big satellite-based remote sensing study over the last few weeks that has really defined the mineralized positions, because it's not just one position that we're talking about here. The geologists will be confirming that. We have staff in Lima who will start the processing towards drilling some of the better-known areas and start that permitting process.
Everyone can't wait for it to be all-go. Of course, everyone's getting frustrated about their lives, let alone just starting exploration again in this lockdown world. It will be all hands on deck and lots of results flowing. We raised some more capital just recently. That's not a limit, which it has been for many years in trying to get boots on the ground and people going. The capital basically allows us to do more work and increase the chances of discovery and advancing a project quicker.
Gerardo Del Real: Last but not least, Mike, I know you've mentioned in the past that you've entertained conversations from several majors that are interested in the project and your position. You have a first-mover advantage that I think is day-by-day proving to be frankly a brilliant pivot from Ireland into Peru. How are those inquiries progressing with this higher silver price and high copper price?
Michael Hudson: There's consistent interest, Gerardo. You keep asking me and I keep giving you the politically correct answer, which I can only do. We put it out in press releases that we've had discussions. So everybody's on the same table. Nothing else has been released. That means there's nothing else material to talk about, but this is a project that has the scale and grade to attract the interests of major mining companies. That's simply put.
Gerardo Del Real: Well said. Anything else to add to that, Mike?
Michael Hudson: No, Gerardo. All is good. We just look forward to getting back onto the project, and we trust that our stakeholders have some better outcomes over the coming weeks and months with where they're sitting at the moment.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you very much. It's appreciated.
Michael Hudson: Thanks, Gerardo.