Regulus Resources (TSX-V: REG)(OTC: RGLSF) CEO John Black on Consolidating AntaKori Land Package & New Targets
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Regulus Resources, Mr. John Black. John, how are you today?
John Black: Hi Gerardo, I'm doing well. It's good to catch up with you.
Gerardo Del Real: You had some news today that I want to get into and I got to believe it bodes well for the near, mid and long-term prospects of the project. Let me read the headline and then I would love for you to provide a bit of context, John. The headline reads, "Regulus signs option agreement with Gold Fields to further consolidate land position for the AntaKori copper gold project." Let me state the obvious. We're all excited to hear about when the drill will be turning again, but this is an important step for several reasons. And I would love for you to highlight why that is and the details on the deal.
John Black: Okay, great. Excellent. This is a piece of news that we've been working on for quite some time. Since we originally entered into the project, we interacted with Gold Fields as they had some ground that was interfering amongst our land position and it's ground that is important to us for a number of reasons. And what this agreement allows us to do is to collaboratively explore that ground with Gold Fields under a joint venture. We have the ability to earn into a 60% interest in their ground by completing $3.5 million worth of work, which includes both technical work as well as community work and social work that goes along with advancing a project like this.
And so that gives us access to additional ground, increases our land position and more importantly, consolidates our land position, so we have a more contiguous block. It makes it easier for us to work as we move forward with a very good chance that we'll find some additional mineralization on that ground.
It also has some other very significant implications to us in that our current resource is based on a conceptual pit that we were allowed to float over our ground and onto portions of the Coimolache joint venture to our south, with an agreement we have with them. This agreement allows us to model that conceptual pit onto the Gold Fields ground as well. So we were in a position that as we continue to find mineralization in Anta Norte the north of the project, we start to bump into that Gold Fields land position, and it could inhibit our ability to show all of the mineralization that's on our own ground. And this allows us to do that lay back onto their ground, which is a pretty critical part of the agreement going forward.
Gerardo Del Real: Gold Fields has been operating in the region for a while now. And that's important moving forward. Can you explain Gold Fields' influence in this part of the world?
John Black: Yes, absolutely. They operate the Cerro Corona mine, which is about seven kilometers away from us. So it's a very nice copper gold porphyry system that they're exploiting there. They have about a 20,000 tonne per day mill, quite a profitable mine for them. But it's a mine that has a relatively short remaining mine life. And about 2025 they stop mining from their pit. They'll continue to process low grade stockpile for another five years, but they're looking for ways to extend that operation's mine life, either through finding more ore on their ground or finding ore within a certain haul distance, which we easily fit within that range.
So they're very active in the area. They know how to operate in this part of the world. We interact with them quite a bit anyway, but this gives us even more reasons to be interacting with them and getting advice from them and just sharing ideas as we move forward. But we do it in a way that also doesn't trap us with them. So we're not beholden to them. They don't control our company. This isn't the type of an agreement where they get a board seat and have some type of direction on it. So we maintain our independence, but we get the benefit of being business partners with them, to explore this portion of ground.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. I have to ask before you leave, any updates on drilling resumptions?
John Black: We're moving along pretty well and getting there. We're getting quite close. I can't give an exact date at this point in time, but I can say that we have broad acceptance for reinitiating the drilling for the immediate project area, the communities that we more directly deal with. What we're just making sure that we're comfortable with, is the broader political context in Peru, that reinitiating the project doesn't draw interest from outside political interests that would like to take advantage of using us as a soapbox to promote other ideas on this. And so we're quite close to having a good evaluation of that completed, and we anticipate we'll be able to start in the next few weeks moving forward, but I can't give a specific date on that right now. I will say that this agreement with Gold Fields we just announced actually helps us in this situation because it provides us with a manner in which we can increase the size of the project.
And we have reasons to be interacting with some of the peripheral communities that right now are not in our direct area of influence. So they don't receive as many benefits as the groups where we're directly working. And they would very much like to, but this gives us reasons to interact with them and propose work programs to go forward in collaboration with those communities. So it gives us a very logical way to extend the size of the project and extend the benefits and interaction with some of the surrounding communities that would very much like to be involved with us.
We don't like to just offer jobs for work that's not very productive. We'd like to make a link between jobs or benefits that are given to communities in terms of them being directly influenced by the project. And that way we form an alliance with the communities to move the project forward. It's just a much safer way to work on. And we see that, that's the opportunity that this provides us for is very productive work programs to move forward with some of the surrounding communities as well.
Gerardo Del Real: And John, this is a heck of a way to add value while the drill is getting ready to return, right? I mean the bottom line is you've now increased future resource estimations. You've added exploration opportunities. You've consolidated part of the district. Great work. I believe shareholders will reward the company. And frankly, I think Regulus, because of the pause in drilling, is one of the more compelling speculations in the entire copper space today. Anything else to add to that?
John Black: No, I think you just summarized it very well. Thank you.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you again for your time, John. And hopefully we're chatting soon about the drill bit turning.
John Black: We'll be in touch quite soon on that. Thank you.
Gerardo Del Real: All right. You take care now.
John Black: Take care. Bye.