A Management Dream Team & A Unique Mine
Publisher's Note: Today, we're bringing you the transcript from Gerardo Del Real's interview with CEO, President, and Director of Chakana Copper, Mr. David Kelley.
Mr. Kelley has decades of experience working with some of the biggest names in the commodities sector, such as BHP, Western Mining, and Newmont.
Read on to learn about Chakana Copper's Soledad project in Peru, its unique structure, and how Chakana's management team is uniquely qualified to explore it.
To your wealth,
Publisher, Outsider Club
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with the Outsider Club. Joining me today is CEO, President, and Director of Chakana Copper, Mr. David Kelley. Mr. Kelley is an economic geologist and exploration geochemist with more than 25 years of international exploration experience throughout the Americas, Central Asia, and Australasia.
Most recently, Dave was responsible for developing the exploration program at Las Bambas for MMG as a general manager of exploration in the Americas. Dave, that's a mouthful. Thank you so much for your time today.
David Kelley: Thank you, Gerardo, and thanks for the interest in Chakana Copper.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. Listen, it's a compelling story and it's not a new story in the sense that we've seen this project pass through the market before. But your perspective and take on the project is unique, it's interesting, and I think provides a clear path forward for unlocking more shareholder value.
I want to get to that, but I want to start by asking you about your background. I did a very brief introduction there, but you have a whole heck of a lot of experience and I think your experience and the technical team's experience is critical to the success of this project. So let's start with some of your background, if you could indulge us.
David Kelley: Yeah, sure. I mean, you hit the main two points. An economic geologist and exploration geochemist, I graduated from Colorado School of Mines in 1989 and spent 22 years with the majors, big companies like BHP, Western Mining, Newmont, and then the last 10 years with MMG and its predecessor companies.
So lots of big company experience, and this is really my first opportunity to jump off into the junior world in a leadership capacity like I'm in now. But I've worked all over the world. I've done copper exploration, global gold exploration, nickel exploration, a variety of different commodities, different deposit types, and many, many different geographies.
The Soledad project is right in my comfort zone and a part of South America that I've worked in for 20 years, so it was a really good shift.
Gerardo Del Real: I mentioned that the Soledad project has been looked at before. Your technical team, as well as you, obviously, are looking at this differently. I'd love to talk about the team in place and why this technical team is, frankly, so critical to the success of the project, because you are taking a different approach with the Soledad project.
David Kelley: Yeah, that's right. Really, when we talk about the technical team at Chakana we start at the very, very top of the company.
Doug Kirwin's our chairman. Doug was really inspirational in getting us focused on the tourmaline breccia pipes themselves as a target type as opposed to the previous exploration campaigns that were focused on a deep, conceptual porphyry target that was thought to be driving these tourmaline breccia pipes.
That really comes from Doug's global experience in tourmaline breccia pipes. He did his master's thesis many decades ago on tourmaline breccia pipes and he's visited, I would say, all the major mining camps that have tourmaline breccia pipes as part of their ore systems. So it was really Doug's influence that got us directed in the right direction.
Also at the board level we have John Black. John is an outstanding economic geologist in his own right, a consummate professional. He's also a very successful CEO and a discoverer. So the three of us formed a technical team at the board level, and then that passes down to our Peruvian team.
Steve Park is our chief geologist. He has 20 years' experience mapping and working and exploring in Peru, was part of the Pierina drill lot team for Barrick. So very experienced in the Cordillera Negra.
Our project manager is a guy named Carlos Montoya, lots of mine geology exploration experience, very good at running drill programs. The caliber of the results that we are getting now really speaks to the caliber of the team that we have in place. We've got eight geologists on the team in Peru, and we're ramping that up too as the program goes forward and we add more drill rigs.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about the history of the project. I've mentioned several times that you look at this project differently. You outline, I believe you're up to nine pipes, but you're only currently testing two. Is that correct, Dave?
David Kelley: Yeah, that's right. The current inventory of outcropping mineralized breccia pipes at surface is at nine, and then we have about a dozen other strongly altered zones that have sheeted quartz cerussite tourmaline veins with sulfides that cut the andesitic volcanic rocks, and that fits the model perfectly of what the top expression of a blind pipe would look like. So we've got a huge inventory of targets to be tested.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. How is the grade distributed among the two pipes that you're testing now?