Copper Lake Resources (TSXV:CPL) recently announced an update on its Marshall Lake copper-zinc-silver property in Ontario, highlighting that the company has completed multi-faceted exploration programs focused on the Billiton Zone area over the past three years.
In line with this, during the winter season 2021 to 2022, Copper Lake Resources completed four drill holes testing the southern portion of the large IP anomaly.
The company’s recent drill program has also identified two priority drill targets – the MT conductor and the east-west build-up conductor – which will be integral for the company’s plans moving forward.
As such, The Market Herald Canada recently had the opportunity to catch up with Copper Lake Resources’ CEO Terry MacDonald to discuss the results and what’s in store for the company moving forward.
TMH: What are the biggest takeaways from the company’s latest results?
MacDonald: The Marshall Lake exploration is progressing well. The drill program last winter was designed to test a cluster of EM conductors at depths between 350 and 500 metres. While the drill results did not intersect significant widths of massive sulphides, we did encounter more high-grade stringer mineralization. And the geophysics that was done in the winter – both the LLEM and the borehole EM – detected very large conductors at depth (the MT conductor) and to the east – the build-up conductor).
TMH: Can you explain more about the build-up conductor two kilometres to the east?
MacDonald: The LLEM detected a large build-up conductor – this means that a large conductor is building up two kilometres to the east of the Billiton Zone. The geophysical magnetic signals show a stronger signal as you move further to the east.
This is very significant because the high-grade stringer zones are all trending eastward, and the build-up conductor is stratigraphically higher – meaning it is younger rock. A VMS deposit is typically at the top of the structure with the stringer zones being the feeder system for the deposit. So it is very exciting to detect a large conductor to the east.
TMH: There’s also the MT conductor, is there anything investors should know about its potential?
MacDonald: The MT conductor was detected using a Magneto-Telluric survey, which can detect conductors up to 1,000 metres in depth. The MT conductor sits below the Billiton Zone. The strongest part of the conductor starts at a depth of about 600 metres and continues to the limit of the MT survey, well below 1,000 metres.
The first hole that was drilled this past winter (MAR-23-01) was 600 metres in length with a vertical depth of about 520 metres – this hole ended in sedimentation which was a very positive sign as this indicates that there was a hiatus in the volcanic event. This is exactly what needs to happen for a VMS deposit to form. The presence of sedimentation suggests the possibility that a deposit formed beneath it. And the fact that the MT detected a strong conductor below the sedimentation is very positive.
TMH: Can you tell us about VMS deposits and their importance?
MacDonald: VMS deposits are poly-metallic volcanic formations, usually from undersea volcanoes. VMS deposits represent some of the world’s highest-grade copper, zinc and nickel mines – and they often come with significant precious metals content – and they are a significant source of base metals. Some notable examples are Kidd Creek, Flin Flon and Bathurst in Canada, and Rio Tinto in Spain.
TMH: What do you need to do to set up a drill program?
MacDonald: We have a camp on the property – we just need to wait for freeze-up to move the drills into position as the ground in the target areas tends to be quite wet.
TMH: The company also has two joint venture partnerships, what is the most significant thing investors should know?
MacDonald: We currently own just over 80% of Marshall Lake and 70% of Norton Lake. Our JV partner on both properties is Rainy Mountain Royalty Corp (RMO), another TSXV company. We have a good relationship with the management of RMO and we both understand that it is preferable to have 100% of the projects. RMO has been contributing their share of the projects to date, but they don’t have much cash left so we are looking at options to acquire 100% of Marshall and Norton.
TMH: Moving on to the Norton Lake Property, what are some catalysts upcoming at this property?
MacDonald: The Norton Lake property, which is a nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum and palladium property, is in the southern Ring of Fire. We have just completed an updated 43-101 that indicates we have a measured and indicated resource of 1.957 million tonnes at a nickel equivalent of 1.07% – the calculated value for the measured and indicated resource using a NSR $/T cutoff approach is US$335 million.
Norton Lake is currently a fly-in property as there is no road access. The Ring of Fire contains a lot of critical minerals, and the Ontario government has been talking about building a road for over a decade, with not a lot of progress at this point. Until the road is built, we will not be performing any significant exploration work at Norton Lake. However, we will look at opportunities to monetize the property if they arise.
TMH: What makes Copper Lake a good investment right now?
MacDonald: We have two good properties, one with a 43-101 resource and one with a historical resource and excellent potential for a significant VMS deposit. We have an excellent exploration team, a strong management team and board. We have a significant group of long-term shareholders that account for 36 per cent of the outstanding shares. We were at C$0.20 in early 2022, and we could easily be back there after we commence our drill program this winter.
TMH: Is there anything else you’d like to touch base on?
MacDonald: We also have evidence of pegmatites (lithium) on the western side of our Marshall Lake property, close to our border with Landore Resources. Landore recently optioned some of their lithium claims to Green Technology Metals for payments of $2.5 million over three years.
Coincidentally, Green Technology also staked a significant amount of property just north of our claims. We are currently assessing options to maximize shareholder value on these claims.
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