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Canadian Copper Project Ready to Bloom

Stockhouse Editorial
0 Comments| August 8, 2019

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As Toronto-based Mining Company Power Ore Inc. (TSX: V.PORE, Forum) wraps up its Spring 2019 exploration program at its flagship Québec copper project, plans are being drafted that could transform the project.

The Company has been releasing results from its flagship asset, the Opemiska Copper Complex, located near the town of Chapais. Its campaign is aimed specifically at delineating disseminated copper and gold mineralization as well as twinning holes to validate historical drilling conducted by Falconbridge. Back in May 2019, PORE began drilling and a month later, results from the first three holes were released. It had intersected 1.41% CuEq over 58.1 metres near surface, while also confirming high grade disseminated copper.

(Click to enlarge.)

The good news kept rolling in; when results on holes four through seven came through, they reported 1.08% CuEq over 23.8 metres, starting at 7.2 metres, as well as 0.32% over 130.6 metres starting at nine metres and 0.90% over 12.6 metres starting at two metres.

This was followed by holes eight and nine, that drilled 295.6 metres to find 0.29% CuEq and 2.91%, starting at 25 metres, including 0.52% copper equivalent over 12.4 metres.

In July 2019, the Company reported results on holes 10 through 14, which went down to162 metres. Starting at three metres, 1.01% CuEq was intersected, as well as 0.35% over 137 metres starting and 0.73% over 14.8 metres starting at 19.2 metres.

Stockhouse Editorial met up with Power Ore CEO, Stephen Stewart to dig deeper into these numbers, as well as look at PORE's other assets and find out what the Company is planning to do with this information in tow.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Looking generally at these results, how do you feel overall about what you’ve found within these drill holes?

It’s clear we’re onto something very interesting. Intersections showing 1% copper equivalent over 160 metres, near surface, along with many other widely mineralized intersections for a project with rail, road and power in Quebec should get investor attention. This, especially considering copper producers are on the hunt for new, high quality deposits in safe and stable jurisdictions.

Going into the drill program, we believed that Opemiska has bulk tonnage potential, considering mineralization in the wall rock outside of the high-grade veins. Our maiden drill program has confirmed this, and has in fact, brought to light mineralization in areas which we previously thought was barren. Considering Opemiska already has well defined, high-grade veins showing up to 20% copper, the wide intersections that we see in our drill program throughout the host rock changes the interpretation of what is possible.

Can you speak to what these numbers mean and interpret their importance for investors?

The average grade for an open pit copper mine in Canada is 0.2-0.3%, considering majority of these are contained in large porphyry systems in British Columbia. The intersections that we see at Opemiska stack up well to project comparables in the context of an open pit. Of course, Opemiska is a vein-type deposit for which the geology is localized in the Chibougamau region. Even considering comparables within Chibougamau, Opemiska stacks up well because we see high-grade, long mineralization at surface—while typically throughout the Chibougamau, you have similar grades, but significantly deeper (conducive to underground mining).

We’ve had a phenomenal start with our maiden drill program. For context, 160 metres is about the size of a 40-story building. We’ve had another intersection, which was lower grade, but nearly 300 metres. In simple terms, mineralized intersections of this length are rare, and especially so if they are near surface and located with all of the civil infrastructure needed.

Intersection reports returned better results each time they came in, was this expected?

No. nothing like that was planned. Drill hole sequencing was planned for logistical purposes and we released the holes as we received the data.

But our shareholders and your readers should expect more holes being released very soon.

Could it indicate a deeper potential than initially thought?

Certainly. The drill results could indicate deeper, but also wider and within a larger envelope. It’s important to realize that this drill program is just the first of many ahead for Opemiska, so there’s still a lot of work to be done.

One of the conclusions from this drill program is that there is still plenty to learn about the geology and mineralization at Opemiska. For example, west of the contact between the rhyolite and the pyroxenite/gabbro, the rhyolite was found to be mineralized, while this was previously interpreted to be barren. We hit good mineralization in multiple holes within the rhyolite, including one hole with over 75 metres of mineralization.

Opemiska’s very high-grade veins are already understood. This drill program was specifically designed to investigate mineralization outside of those veins, which is critical to reinterpret Opemiska as an open-pitable deposit. Taking this into account, how much clearer is that plan, given these results?

There’s a lot more to learn about the high-grade vein systems, and particularly about those that run right to surface. This is the mineralization that would really enhance project economics given that high-grade material could be mined in the early years of the project, with the bulk tonnage mineralization outside of the veins giving the project a longer life and a lower strip ratio.

This drill program answered a lot of questions while posing new ones. What is clear is that the Opemiska requires more work in order to understand the extent of mineralization.

Was there anything about the layout of this deposit that stood out?

Infrastructure is often overlooked in the presence of good geology. Opemiska’s infrastructure is key in defining its economics. The bottom line is this—if you don’t have to spend hundreds of millions or billions of dollars on rail, road, powerlines, then the geological requirements for an economic project changes. Because of the existence of high-quality infrastructure, the geological requirements for Opemiska to develop into an economic project has reduced. For example, you might need 10 grams per tonne of gold for a project to be economic in Nunavut, where little infrastructure exists, but that same project may only need 5 grams per tonne to be economic if positioned in a location with favourable infrastructure.

Another stand-out feature of Opemiska is the near-surface nature of the mineralization. Without it being near-surface, our re-interpretation would be challenging from an engineering and economic standpoint.

What comes next for the Opemiska Copper Project, can you offer investors a timeline?

You can expect more drilling at Opemiska. We’re still waiting on the final batch of results, but given the results from our current drill program, there is certainly more drilling on the horizon.

Also note that the current drill program has focused on the Springer Zone, which is the open-pit potential at Opemiska. We have not touched the Perry Zone yet. So in addition to the high-grade veins, disseminated zones, rhyolite zone (previously thought to be barren) and Perry, it is clear there are plenty of targets to be drilled.

We want to understand the boundaries of this before we attempt to define it, and then we’ll move towards a resource estimate and subsequent assessments on economics and engineering. We’re working as quickly as possible to achieve these milestones while making sure all is done correctly to allow ourselves time to digest all of this new information.

Arguably the world’s best mining jurisdiction, Québec offers a lot of Government Funds to support mining in the province, and provides developers with favourable Flow Through Tax Incentives, how much easier has this fund made it for PORE to advance its operations in the province?

Quebec’s world class geology, support from communities, government and in general, the great mining culture is what makes it the world’s best mining jurisdiction. Additionally, the province has excellent support from quasi-public funds that are mandated to invest in and help develop quality natural resource projects—this is something every province and jurisdiction should implement. The flow through system in Canada is really the backbone of what built Canada into the world leader in mining, as well as transforming the Toronto Stock Exchanges as the global center for mining investment and capital raising. And in terms of flow through tax incentives, Quebec, again has the most generous benefits.

Two other assets the Company focuses on the are its projects in the Cobalt - Gowganda district of Ontario, the Mann silver-cobalt mine and the MacMurchy nickel property, is there anything to report on what they are producing?

We’ve been experiencing a tough market for some time now, and given the high potential we see at Opemiska, we are devoting all of our resources towards that project. Regardless, our Mann and MacMurchy projects still have value and are quite interesting—but focus is paramount in tough markets. Although we are constantly evaluating our general market thesis as well as considering creative ways to add value for our shareholders.

Anything else you wish to add for investors?

I encourage your readers to look at the facts and the comparables in the copper space. Our drill program has been overlooked because of the copper price downturn borne from the trade war rhetoric. But that will resolve itself and the market—both retail and the miners—will start to place premiums on quality copper projects in stable jurisdictions like ours. We’ve already seen the turnaround in the gold sector. I think gold leads and we’ll see a nice turnaround for copper in the near term as well.

My final point is that your readers should keep their eyes open for the rest of the drill hole results.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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