"Our strategy is to stay in North America, maintain the project portfolio that sustains our business model and take projects to the development stage."
Can you give a brief introduction to Copper Fox Metals and an overview of the company’s project portfolio in Canada and Arizona?
Copper Fox is a North American focused copper exploration and development company with projects in British Columbia and Arizona. Van Dyke and our interest in the Schaft Creek project are our two development stage projects with NI 43-101 technical reports. We also have three exploration stage projects, two in Arizona, and one in British Columbia. Our focus is only copper, and all our projects except the Van Dyke project contain variable concentrations of gold, molybdenum and silver, which potentially could be classified as by-product credits. Our strategy is to stay in North America, maintain the project portfolio that sustains our business model and take projects to the development stage, after which a board decision would be made to monetize the project into the industry.
Can you elaborate on the updated PEA for the Van Dyke project in 2020?
Van Dyke is in the Miami-Inspiration mining trend in Arizona. Due to the current mining activities, this area has excellent infrastructure and a skilled labor force. This project does not fit into our model, but the project was a past copper producer, was twice permitted for in-situ copper recovery (ISCR), and the purchase price was very attractive. Van Dyke is an advanced ISCR project, very similar to the one Taseko Mines is developing at Florence Copper. In 2018/2019, we conducted an updated resource estimate, and we were able to upgrade the resource classification from 100% inferred to about 1/3 indicated and 2/3 inferred. The updated resource estimate led to an updated PEA in 2020, which increased the after-tax net present value of the project from US$149 million to US$645 million. The economic analysis is based on US$3.15 a pound copper at a discount rate of 7.5%, annual production of 85 million pounds of copper cathode per year, an increase in the mine life from 11 to 17 years and increased metal sales.
What is Copper Fox’s strategy to move the Van Dyke project forward?
I can say that Copper Fox is open to partnering possibilities as we are always assessing risk/reward scenarios related our projects. We are currently advancing the Van Dyke project to the pre-feasibility stage, and in doing that, advance the permitting process as well.
Could you elaborate on the potential Copper Fox saw at Sombrero Butte and Mineral Mountain?
Both projects are in the Laramide copper province in Arizona, one of the largest copper provinces in the world. The Sombrero Butte project was purchased as part of the Van Dyke project transaction. The mineral claims covering the Mineral Mountain project were located by Copper Fox in 2015.
Copper Fox considers these projects to have excellent potential to host porphyry copper deposits. For example, at Mineral Mountain the porphyry target is approximately 4,500 m long by up to 2,000 m wide, and at Sombrero, the target is approximately 3,000 m long by at least 800 m wide.
Could you provide an overview of the Eaglehead project?
Eaglehead is our most advanced exploration stage porphyry copper project located in the Liard Mining District of British Columbia. The project hosts polymetallic porphyry copper style mineralization with appreciable concentrations of molybdenum-gold-silver, like what we see at Schaft Creek. The work to date indicates the five zones of porphyry mineralization occur within an 8,000 m long by 3,000-m-wide area located in proximity to the surface trace of a regional scale fault system. Of the 126 drill holes (36,000 m) completed on the property, 120 drill holes intersected porphyry style mineralization over core intervals up to 540 m in length. Preliminary metallurgical test work indicates the mineralization responds well to standard flotation methods with high percentage metal recovery to a clean copper concentrate. Our 2022 plan was to complete a drilling program with the view to determining if we could move the project to a resource estimation, a major milestone in the development of a resource project. The Notice of Work for the drilling program is pending and due to changing weather conditions, the drilling has been delayed until mid-2023.