Commander Resources CEO Robert Cameron: Prospect Generator Positioning for Return of the Metals Bull Market
Commander Resources CEO and President Robert Cameron joined INN at VRIC 2020 to discuss his company’s prospect generator business model, the three key active joint venture projects in Commander’s portfolio and its current pipeline of projects ready for partners.
Commander Resources (TSXV:CMD) CEO and President Robert Cameron joined the Investing News Network at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference to discuss his company’s prospect generator business model, the three key active joint venture projects in Commander’s portfolio and its current pipeline of projects ready for partners.
Fjordland Exploration (TSXV:FEX) and High Power Exploration continue to fund ongoing exploration work at Commander Resources’ South Voisey’s Bay joint venture project. The company also has an earn-in agreement allowing Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) subsidiary Freeport-McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada to earn a 75 percent interest in the Burn copper–gold project in British Columbia.
Commander also recently inked a partnership deal with Imperial Metals (TSX:III) in which Imperial has the option to earn a 100 percent interest in seven mineral claims adjacent to the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia. Commander Resources is looking for joint venture partnerships for its Sabin gold project in Ontario, the Pedro epithermal gold project in Mexico and its Flume property in Yukon’s White Gold district.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Commander Resources CEO Robert Cameron. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Tell us the name of your company, your symbol and which markets we can find you on.
Commander Resources CEO Robert Cameron: We’re on the Toronto Venture Exchange, Commander Resources. Our symbol is CMD.
INN: You’re a prospect generator. What is the change in the mix of offerings that you have this year versus last year?
RC: The last time we talked at the Prospector’s Convention we talked about our portfolio and the business model. Prospect generators basically act as a property bank. We have a portfolio of eight projects now that are ready to find partners. We build up our assets, we sell them off to the marketplace and do joint venture deals. That way our partners spend all the exploration dollars and we turn around and start a new generation of projects.
The metric for a prospect generator is deal flow. We had one joint venture active in March when we talked and that was on our South Voisey’s Bay nickel project with Fjordland Exploration and HP Exploration funding that. Since then, we’ve added two new partners. We have Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest copper mining company, who took on our Burn copper-gold project in BC. That’s been running since mid-summer and we did a major field program on that this year. We’ll probably be into drilling next year.
Then late in the season in November, we did a transaction with Imperial Metals on some land we had around their Mount Polley mine in British Columbia as well. That’s now three active joint ventures. Meanwhile, we worked up our portfolio to the stage where we’re actively seeking partners for the rest of our portfolio as well. So we’re quite focused on marketing our projects. We have copper projects, gold projects and a couple of zinc projects as well that are looking for homes.
INN: What’s changed for you as far as the prospects right now?
RC: Well, we’re quite optimistic we’ll find some additional joint venture partners on our portfolio going forward. We tool up in the downturns because that’s when properties are available, so we were able to pick up land positions. We picked up the projects and then we worked them up slowly to the stage where they can go out the door. Now that the rest of the market is picking up and money is flowing into the sector, our marketplace has improved because our marketplace is other juniors that have a treasury that need new projects. It’s also new listings. The initial public offering market needs projects to list, so our properties are suitable for that.
Even the majors in the last downturn curtailed their exploration activities just as much as the junior market did. So their exploration groups are looking for product as well as we come into a bull market, which I hope we’re coming into. It certainly feels like it. That’s the perfect ideal for us to capitalize on our business model by bringing in the joint venture partners, and we also have to get active and replace them as well, so it’s easy on all fronts.
INN: That’s the interesting thing. You’re moving one project off, but you need to bring something else in.
RC: Yes. I mean, that’s a geology-intensive exercise. So we have a good team that’s always looking, compiling and assembling new land positions and bringing them up to the target stage. You can’t neglect that. But meanwhile, the ones that are ready to go are bundled up and looking for homes.
INN: What are the top two or three prospects that you believe you’ll be moving on in the next few months?
RC: Two of our projects have risen to the top and I think the first one would be our Sabin project in Ontario. It’s surprisingly a project the company has held for 30 years, but we dusted it off, readdressed it and did some additional modern exploration work on it. We did an airborne geophysical survey, which we talked about last time and we came up with a bunch of really new good targets. We did some groundwork on them. Traditionally, it is a copper-zinc target, but our groundwork identified some real high gold and silver contents in some of the rocks as well. So, it’s transitioning at the right time into more of a precious metal-rich target, and with the new geophysics we did, there’s a lot of brand-new targets on this property. I hope to get that out the door pretty soon.
INN: And right now Ontario is an attractive region.
RC: Unlike some of the regions in the world, you can drive a car right up to the main showing. There is highway and railway access. It’s swampy and bush-covered, but there are highways as well so it makes it easy to explore. It’s an old mining district, so it’s got some built-in expertise locally that you could draw on.
The other project I’m really excited about is our epithermal gold project in Mexico. So, we’re targeting a heap leach, sub gram kind of a project in Mexico and it’s called our Pedro project. It’s a project we’ve had for a couple of years now. We’ve blocked out the surface expression of it in soil geochemistry and with some rock sampling, but we finally got the third dimension. We did a big extensive geophysical survey this fall. We’re still putting the final touches to that database, and we’re starting to image it in the third dimension. We’re detailing some of the key target horizons that we need to go after. The feeder structure, so to speak. We’ve increased the number of targets because half of the property is undercover. We’re seeing some undercover targets that mimic the ones that are exposed. It’s really shaping up nicely, so it’s a good gold target. Hopefully, we’ll find a nice partner for that one as well.
INN: Do you have additional projects that you’re ready to move on?
RC: Oh, yes. The next gold one I’m excited about is our Flume project in the White Gold District in the Yukon. As we all know, White Gold is a hot area. It’s only a 10 year old discovery, that entire mineral belt, and already there are three major discoveries: the Coffee project which we’re all familiar with, which was sold off to Newmont Goldcorp (TSX:NGT,NYSE:NEM) for C$500 million; the original gold Saddle deposit was sold off to Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC) for C$130 million; and White Gold’s had a lot of exploration success in the belt, and we’re right in the heart of that play. The Flume project is a 10 kilometer long gold soil anomaly. We got anomalous gold rocks wherever the bedrock is exposed, because there’s no bedrock in that particular area. It’s right in a hot place, so we’re optimistic we can find a partner on that one as well.
INN: Where are you at in terms of those new properties that you want to bring into your portfolio?
RC: We’ve got a shortlist of things we want to acquire, so we’re in the compilation phase putting together historical government data. We have some proprietary data we could put together because Commander was built around acquiring the assets of Union Minière back in the 1980s when the company was first created. We have a warehouse of banker boxes full of data that we draw on every now and then, and that’s mostly an eastern-based database that’s not in the public domain. It lives in rolled-up maps in banker boxes. So, we’re slowly going through that, digitizing it and building up stories. We dig into that periodically to generate new ideas, plus we do our own stuff with the public domain databases and our personal knowledge with our team to work. So, we’ve got a shortlist of stuff that we’ll start to acquire that will require some fieldwork to get on the ground and bring it up to the target stage.
INN: In every cycle that we’re in, there’s a different opportunity for investors. What is the opportunity right now with Commander as an investor?
RC: I think we’re right on the cusp of a new cycle that’s going to demand our products, so I think prospect generators are going to come to the forefront in this market because as a property bank the demand is for our projects. All the other prospect generators are going to benefit as well, and we’ll feed that market going forward. So it’s a good time to get into prospect generators right now. I’m bullish on copper and always have been because I’m a copper guy. I’ve been working for Freeport-McMoRan and Phelps Dodge, so I understand copper well. Gold is a near term catalyst, but the longs are seeing the copper space as something to be in as well. It’s a good place to be. I mean, copper will see its time. It’s a green metal. Everyone talks about nickel, cobalt and lithium from the battery perspective. But every battery has a lot of copper attached to it and I think copper really is the green metal.
INN: Thanks for coming in and bringing us up to date.
This interview is sponsored by Commander Resources (TSXV:CMD). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Commander Resources in order to help investors learn more about the company. Commander Resources is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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