What drew you to Conquest Resources and the Belfast Teck-Mag project?
I was a prospector in Kirkland Lake and a small mine discovered on Temagami Island caught my attention. It was known as the Copperfield’s Mine and was discovered by Dr. Norman Keevil Sr., founder of Teck Resources. It hosted unusual mineralization and resembled a Noranda-style deposit, but it was more like a Sudbury-style deposit. The historic mine sits above the Temagami Magnetic Anomaly, which is one of the largest positive magnetic anomalies on the Earth. I have been accumulating land in the area for approximately 20 years under my private company and the last piece I needed was owned by Conquest Resources, so it was agreed with John Kearney, Chairman of Conquest, to merge both companies. We had ambitions for a large regional exploration project, which we undertook, and Conquest now controls over 350 sq.km. of land in this highly prospective area. We always thought that the former-producing Golden Rose Mine on our property was perhaps related to a VMS deposit. It was thought that the area had the potential to host magmatic nickel-copper deposits similar to what they had on Temagami island, VMS deposits and IOCG deposits similar to the Olympic Dam deposit in Australia. Our plan is to find one of the biggest Canadian deposits ever.
What is the relationship of the project to the Sudbury Igneous Complex?
The Sudbury Igneous Complex was responsible for the formation of the second-largest nickel camp in the world and produced billions worth of metals. In 2014, my private company set out to study the relationship, if any, between the Sudbury Igneous Complex and the Temagami Magnetic Anomaly. Therefore, a 2.2 km hole was drilled and after examining it for four years and a PhD study, Sudbury aged rocks were discovered at 1,989 meters deep into this anomaly. This led us to believe that the Temagami Magnetic Anomaly could be related to the Sudbury Igneous Complex. In fact, from a magnetic spatial point of view the two anomalies are a mirror image of each other. Inventus, a company we are associated with, recently made some significant discoveries in the Rathburn area finding nickel, cobalt and gold deposits in and around the area east of us and west of Sudbury.
Can you elaborate on the financing strategy to execute all your plans?
When the company went public over a year ago, approximately US$4 million was raised between flow through shares and hard dollar financing. We also had an institutional investor who was fascinated with the project and was interested in high-risk, high-reward projects. Kirkland Lake Gold invested US$1.3 million for exploration. In total, we had just over US$5 million, which we are spending carefully on preliminary exploration. Our phase one drilling is about a three-million-dollar program and we are coming to a point where we have 24 of the 34 targets drilled. We isolated an area that we believe is prospective, where we will be drilling an additional 10 holes. We also have a Nickel-Copper-PGE target with a large anomaly that we had drilled in parallel to the conductor. A bore hole EM survey indicated the target is about 150m south of our hole. In addition to that, we plan to drill two IOCG targets during Q2 of 2022.
Which are the greatest challenges faced by the industry as we enter the era of electrification?
As copper grades get lower in Chile, the worlds’ largest supplier, and companies face water scarcity issues coupled with social and economic challenges, copper supply will not be able to keep up with the increased demand due to electrification. The rate of new mines to replace depleted production is lagging metal demand. Ignorance and a lack of understanding of the mining process and environmental standards we adhere to in the industry are also challenges facing are industry. Companies like Patagonia and Arcteryx refuse to sell their products to extraction companies, even though the equipment they use to make their clothes are certainly not made of granola, they rely on metals at every stage of manufacturing. Their communication equipment, shipping systems, and warehouses also rely on mined products. This anti-mining corporate attitude is not very well thought out. Mining sites around the world take up less surface area than Walmart parking lots.
Is the green revolution truly as clean as we want it to be?
There are 5.8 million BTU’s or 1,700 Kwhrs in one barrel of oil. It takes a lot of solar panels to produce that kind of energy. Producing the metals required for EVs will also lead to increased greenhouse gases. It is unrealistic and naive to assume that we will somehow eradicate fossil fuels. What can be done however is to manage the exhaust of fossil fuels, using better technologies to recover carbon from the exhaust fumes. It is only if the world disintegrates that mining will cease to be relevant. The world cannot operate without mining as it is crucial in everyday life - electronics, talc, clay, gravel, oil, even breast implants are made of mined silicon.