Vince Sorace, the president and CEO of Kutcho Copper Corp., tells Resource Stock Digest about the company’s plan of attack for the 2018 field program, which he believes will generate substantial news flow over the coming months.
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me is president and CEO of Kutcho Copper Corp. (KC:TSX.V), Mr. Vince Sorace.
You know it’s been quiet as far as the share price goes, until recently. And it’s not a coincidence that news flow is really picking up. You had some news yesterday. And it’s an important piece of news because you’ve now commenced field mobilization, and this includes the mobilization of heavy equipment, camp facilities, and as important as anything, the drill rigs. Let’s talk about the 2018 field program and what you’re trying to accomplish, Vince.
Vince Sorace: We’re getting to work. There’s been a lot of planning going on in the last four months. And so at this point we are going to start executing on everything that we said we were going to. That’s going to involve a number of exciting aspects with respect to the project. As we’ve talked to you in the past, the real potential behind this project is that it’s already a very highly economic, high-margin project with a manageable capex. We see the potential to expand the size of this and make it even more robust.
That’ll be our plan of attack this year and what we’re going to capture during this field season. The drill rigs will be looking to capture a lot of upside potential and that resides in converting a bunch of the inferred resources—there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit there—and potentially some new stuff on the exploration side. All this will feed into the feasibility study in Q2/2019. But the results of that will be apparent coming throughout the summer. There’ll be lots of news flow this summer with respect to the drilling that we’re doing, with respect to optimized metallurgical programs that we’re advancing, with respect to restating our resources in the fall. As a result of this field season, we’re targeting a 65–70% increase in reserves heading into the feasibility study. And all this will have a significant positive impact on the already robust economics of the project.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned how robust those economics are, and let me just provide a bit on context. The base case estimate of the last prefeasibility study gives an after-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of CA$265 million and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 27.6%. And that’s using metal prices way below where they’re at right now. That’s using metal prices of $2.75/pound copper, $1.10/pound zinc, $17/ounce silver, and $1,250/ounce gold.
Also, you’re basing that on reserves from a Measured and Indicated resource that is 49% smaller than what’s currently stated in the 2017 preliminary feasibility study. So I think that should provide some context as to what the upside is. You are starting this drilling program with two diamond drill rigs. Is that correct, Vince?
Vince Sorace: Yes, that’s correct.
And just to add to that previous comment. It doesn’t take much. We’ve done a lot of this work at $3.10 copper and with some higher zinc prices—you can see this in our presentation—it already has a $100 million impact to NPV. So very sensitive to copper prices. I think the sentiment out there is very bullish on copper, now and in the coming years. So just the commodity price alone has a substantial impact on what the project economics are going to look like. And I’ll also say we’ve identified a lot of opportunities, even in opex and a few other areas, that I think we’ll be capturing in the feasibility study that can also help feed into the project economics as well.
Gerardo Del Real:Excellent. Who do you have leading the feasibility study?
Vince Sorace: We chose Ausenco Engineering. A great outfit, they’ve got lots of experience in doing this, a very practical shop. We believe the guys are very good at what they do and we think they’re going to deliver a great product to us at the end of this that will recognize the potential of the project.
Gerardo Del Real: You executed a deal in 2017 with Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM:TSX; WPM:NYSE) that I think was one of the best, if not the best deals in the junior space. How is the support from the Wheaton group coming along?
Vince Sorace:Wheaton’s commitment is firm and strong. They are very big supporters of this project. They believe and want to see this project into production. They’ve just been an outstanding, and will continue to be a great partner for us. We recently received the first tranche of the upfront money that they committed to us, that was US$3.5 million, I guess about a month ago. And we’re expecting to receive the second tranche of that, similar amount, in the coming couple of months. I’m in constant communication with them. They are an outstanding group of individuals and fully supportive of our efforts moving forward.
Gerardo Del Real: You also recently signed an Exploration and Communication Agreement with the First Nations group. Can we talk about that? Because we know how important the social license is.
Vince Sorace: We have put a lot of emphasis with respect to the social license and this project moving forward. That’s reflected in the permitting team we’ve put together on this project. We have, and we will continue to, put a lot of emphasis on that. I would say that the relationships that we’ve formed already with respect to the First Nations are fantastic. At this point we’re all on the same page. It seems like it’s going to be a joint effort for all parties …read more
From:: The Gold Report