Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley outlines how her company first got started, and why Fiji is the optimal mining jurisdiction.
In the interview below, Bradley recounts the early days at Thunderstruck with partner Brien Lundin. Her co-founder and partner are the largest shareholders of Thunderstruck, and together the pair have decades of experience in mining and adjacent industries. Bradley began in investment banking, raising capital for other people’s exploration companies. After years of working for others, Bradley and Lundin joined together to form Thunderstruck Resources, which they have grown as directors since the beginning.
Thunderstruck is currently in pursuit of a collection of properties in Fiji, a mining-friendly jurisdiction with a history of successful development projects. The company recently announced a joint venture with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”) on its Wainaleka VMS prospect, which grants JOGMEC the option to earn a 70 percent ownership interest by providing C$3.5 million in funding for exploration. Wainaleka is one of Thunderstruck’s four projects in Fiji. The company aims to continue to develop its Rama copper-gold porphyry, Nakora VMS project and Liwa gold project in the near future. To reflect JOGMEC’s investment in the property, Thunderstruck has announced the Wainaleka property will be renamed “Korokayiu” moving forward.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
INN: Joining us is Bryce Bradley from Thunderstruck. Bryce, before we get started, what’s your symbol and what exchange are you on?
BB: Our symbol is AWE on the Venture Exchange, TSX Venture. We’re also trading in the US, OTCQB under the symbol THURF, T-H-U-R-F.
INN: Thunderstruck. Tell me about Thunderstruck.
BB: Thunderstruck started six years ago with Brien Lundin. He’s a co-founder and one of the largest shareholders as am I. He runs the New Orleans Investment Conference, very well-respected in the industry. He has the Gold Newsletter that he writes as well. We just decided since we’ve been in the industry for such a long time, why don’t we start from scratch? Then we’d have control over sourcing the best projects that we can and the best team that we can to see if we can make gold rich.
INN: And your project, you’re in Fiji?
BB: All in Fiji. It’s not like we targeted that country because it’s more– you know a lot of Australians and New Zealanders are working in Fiji, a lot of Asians but it’s not as popular a country to mine in for Canadians in the United States.
INN: Well, partly because we’re unfamiliar with it. We don’t know much about it. We hear more about Africa.
BB: Right. Surprisingly.
INN: Surprisingly. Tell me what’s the jurisdiction like for mining in Fiji.
BB: It’s really good, a safe jurisdiction. They’ve been mining for over 80 years. They have a gold mine to the north of ours that has mined over 7 million ounces of gold so far and there are several million ounces left as well. So, the Mineral Resource Department, they adhere to the British mining root law from back in the colonial days. So, they’re extremely mining-savvy and they have a very educated workforce, a skilled labor force coming out of that gold mine. There’s another mine that’s in development called Lion One that’s going to be producing in the next couple of years, also very close to ours. So, it’s a favorable jurisdiction.
INN: Well, that also speaks to the fact that there will be infrastructure in place. So, you’re not going to build that as well.
BB: Yeah. All the infrastructure’s there. They have a deepwater port. They have a hydro-electric dam, paved roads throughout the country. So, that’s been taken cared of too as well in the last like 40 years or so I think it’s been improved.
INN: This project is a combination of zinc, copper, and gold?
BB: Right. So, we have four projects. One is copper-gold. One is pure gold and two are VMS zinc-copper, high-grade zinc and copper. On the one, we just announced a joint venture with JOGMEC.
INN: And this is big?
BB: This is huge for us.
INN: Tell me about that deal. How did it come together?
BB: We’re just a little company.
INN: Yeah. How did you manage to attract that kind of attention?
BB: Yeah. They’re an 11 billion dollar Japanese entity of an exploration company. We’ve been in negotiations with them for exactly a year today. I believe I met them here at PDAC for the first time and they’ve been doing due diligence on the country, on management, and on our assets ever since then, and we just signed the deal a couple of days ago for them to earn in 70% over three years for $3.5 million just on our one zinc-copper asset.
INN: So what does that say? What does that say to you? What does that say about this project? What does it say about the company?
BB: It’s wonderful I know it– it de-risks investment for any investors who are somewhat reluctant to invest in a country like Fiji where they just maybe don’t know much about it. It de-risks anyone’s questions or concerns around management because JOGMEC has allowed us to be the operator while we’re in the country. So, that gives a nod to current management and our time on the ground in Fiji. Overall, I just think the Mineral Resource Department, the government of Fiji is highly supportive of this joint venture. JOGMEC is very well-respected. They’ve been in the country before. It just puts us on the map for other joint ventures on our other assets. We’re currently in discussions with other groups on those assets. It just makes due diligence for them a lot easier going forward.
INN: Well, part of that due diligence is you, and I’m sure a lot of people are going to say, “Well. Okay. Every team is lead by somebody.” Tell me about you. How did you wind up in this situation where you’ve attracted this incredible deal and this joint venture partner.
BB: It’s a zigzag path to where we are now. My background is in investment banking and I was raising capital for other people’s exploration companies. But after you raise the capital, you don’t always know what they’re going to do with it and you can’t control how they’re spending their money. So, this is where Brien Lundin and I came up with this genius idea that we would just start our own company, be directors, and be all the way along the process to build the team from the inside, raise the capital ourselves, etc. and get it to this stage. We want a joint venture. We want to find a mine in Fiji, one or more mines in Fiji. It’s a lofty ambition.
BB: A little bit harder than I thought it might be but that’s good.
INN: But clearly, that doesn’t stop you.
BB: No. It hasn’t. We just learn along the way. This is my first publicly traded company that I’ve ever started. Everyone who’s been successful in our industry has, has a first obviously, and I just worked that much harder to make sure that this is going to work. We have a great relationship with the landowners, all the way up through governments, and it’s a very strong relationship with our shareholders. They’re extremely supportive. They know that this might take time. JOGMEC is just our first big nod to success.
INN: Okay. I know you’re just settling down and catching your breath from having signed this deal. But where do we go from here? What are the next steps?
BB: So, I meet with them tomorrow. We’re going to hopefully sign off on the exploration program for 2019. We want to map the entire property. It’s 30 square kilometers of high-grade zinc.
INN: It’s a fair size. Yeah.
BB: It’s a fair size. Angle already drilled back in the late 70s. They had done a small resource with 8% zinc and 2% copper high-grade. Almost all of it where they drilled is at surface or very shallow depth, 200 meters of oxidization. That’s it. So most likely, it’s going to be an open pit. So, we’re going to map the entire property, do some ground geophysics, and then we intend to drill twinning some of the old Angle holes so we can get some fresh core out of the ground. They want to make a production decision within three years. So, it’s very aggressive.
INN: Wow. That is moving incredibly fast.
BB: They’re going to be a good partner.
INN: Very good partner. And what else do you have on tap as far as the company is concerned that investors are going to want to know?
BB: So, while we have this program going on with JOGMEC, we’ve just done some ground geophysics on our gold asset and our copper porphyry. So, investors can expect to see news flow on that. They leave the ground sometime next week so they have to get the details and get the results back. So, investors can expect that. And we’re going to get back on the ground and hope to do some drilling on the gold asset and the copper this year. That’s the hope, not entirely sure.
INN: You are busy.
BB: Yes. It’s going to be a busy day, busy day for the year.
INN: There are people who have never met you. They’re watching this for the first time and they’re saying, “Okay. Maybe I want to put my money with you.” What’s your pitch to them?
BB: The pitch?
INN: The pitch.
BB: Our marketing cap is nearly $5 million. JOGMEC alone is putting $3.5 million into just one of our assets. We have four assets. Zinc prices are very strong and in demand. Copper prices are still strong. We own the other assets 100%. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Exploration deals take time but so far, we’ve played this correctly.
INN: Well, in that world, you’re moving at lightning speed.
BB: Right. Not geologic speed.
INN: Yeah. I know. Thunderstruck speed, maybe that.
BB: That’s why we named it that.
INN: Is it really?
INN: Because you just went– you were thunderstruck?
BB: We want people to be thunderstruck. In the last few years when things were a bit slow, it’s like oh, this might have been a misnomer because no ones going to be thunderstruck quite yet. But hopefully, times have changed and we’ve finally arrived.
INN: Well, they probably are now especially with the announcement of your joint venture partner.
BB: And they’re going to be a very good partner. Thank you, Stu.
INN: Thank you. Pleasure meeting you.
BB: Nice to meet you too.
INN: All the best for this project.
BB: Thank you.
This video interview is sponsored by Thunderstruck Resources (TSXV:AWE, OTC:THURF). This video interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Thunderstruck Resources, in order to help investors learn more about the company. Thunderstruck Resources is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this video interview.
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This interview may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, receipt of property titles, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The issuer relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements. Investing in companies comes with uncertainties as market values can fluctuate.