Regulated under British mining law, the island nation has provided Thunderstruck Resources with vast opportunities in the form of zinc, copper porphyry and gold deposits across the company’s four assets.
In the interview below, Bradley discusses the history of the company she co-founded with Brien Lundin, the progress Thunderstruck has made within Fiji as well as the upcoming work to be conducted in 2018. She also highlights the key executives and members of the board that will help guide the company forward towards potential joint venture opportunities.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please give our investor audience an overview of Thunderstruck Resources and its projects in Fiji.
Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley: Five years ago, I co-founded Thunderstruck Resources with Brien Lundin, who writes Gold Newsletter and runs the New Orleans Investment Conference. Together we looked for high-quality assets, and found our current high-grade zinc-copper-gold properties in Fiji. We have spent several years tying them up and now own 100 percent of the properties. As well, we just finished our first exploration program.
INN: How does Fiji compare to other mining jurisdictions in the world?
BB: Fiji is an unconventional mining region, but it is one of the best jurisdictions to work in for several reasons. For one, it adheres to British mining law and has been mining for over 80 years. Before then, there was no mining because it was too remote. Now, however, it has a deep water port and roads around the island. It is rich in minerals and is one of the last underexplored countries in the world. I call it “Treasure Island.”
INN: Please tell our investors about your exploration activities and the recent announcement of gold found at Liwa Creek and copper at Rama Creek?
BB: We were able to conduct two exploration programs before the rainy season last fall, which ended in December. Liwa Creek had some prior work conducted on it historically, so we knew there was gold there. We went in and conducted trenching and sampling, which came back to show high-grade gold. It seems that we have a gold asset of at least 10 square kilometers.
Rama Creek is a copper porphyry deposit and we knew this due to the past drilling conducted by Anglo American (LSE:AAL). We had to go in to align the property with current methods and we were happy to find another gold discovery 1 kilometer to the south. Fiji is just filled with potential discoveries.
INN: What is next for the Thunderstruck Resources prospects and how does that fit into the company’s long-term plans?
BB: 2018 will be a good year for us, following a lot of quiet. We were in a bad market for the last several years and we were also working on acquiring the properties and the respective permitting, which we now have. We have also digitized 40 years of data, having amassed all the information relating to the work conducted by Anglo, Barringer and other companies. We now have a digitized data room, which prospective joint venture partners have access to.
Additionally, we have implemented an artificial technology in our data room that is using an algorithm that delineates targets for us. Even though we have plenty of targets already, it will be very efficient when we send in a crew to do geophysical work in a month or two. We have a fairly extensive land package, so this algorithm will be able to very specifically pinpoint where we should be focusing and where we should start drilling in 2018.
INN: Savvy investors know that a strong management team is key to the success of a company. Are there any executives you would like to highlight on your board and management team?
BB: I co-founded the company with Brien Lundin, and since we’ve acquired our assets we have strengthened our board and management team technically. We brought on Linnea von Hessert as a director. She’s a geologist that has worked across the US and Canada for over 20 years.
Lawrence Roulston is also a director. He used to write a newsletter called Resource Opportunities, and is very well versed in the venture capital scene. He has also recently become the president of Auramex Resource (TSXV:AUX) and is on the board of other companies as well.
We’ve considerably strengthened our technical team, with Morgan Poliquin as one of our strategic advisors. He runs Almaden Minerals (TSX:AMM,NYSEAMERICAN:AAU) and Almadex Minerals (TSXV:AMZ). He is a copper porphyry expert and provides guidance on our Rama Creek copper project. He also did his Master’s thesis in Fiji and spent a full year there, working in a gold mine just north of our properties. He is very familiar with the country, the culture and the mineralogy.
Kris Raffle is our qualified person and he has been to Fiji twice on our behalf. He will be managing our 2018 exploration program.
Lastly, on the capital market side, I am thrilled to have the assistance of Tookie Angus, who has done more things than I can possibly list. He has conducted up to $7 billion in mergers and acquisitions and sits on a number of boards. He will be of great assistance when we sit with potential joint venture partners and decide how to advance our four assets. We have a number of important decisions to make in the near future.
Then, there’s me. My history is in investment banking and I bring a skill set in assembling people that are highly experienced in their respective fields to help advance this company, Thunderstruck Resources, to make us all a boatload of money.
Watch Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley’s interview from PDAC 2018:
The interview below was originally posted in October 2016. Please scroll up for our most recent interview with Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley.
Investing News Network recently spoke with Thunderstruck Resources CEO Bryce Bradley, about how she and her team are working to build value for shareholders through its portfolio of high quality projects in Fiji.
Thunderstruck Resources (TSXV:AWE) has developed a diverse portfolio of VMS and precious metals projects on the main island of Viti Levu, Fiji. The island archipelago is located on the Pacific Ocean’s resource-rich Ring of Fire and is considered a politically safe and stable jurisdiction for mining.
The company’s two flagship properties are the Nakoro and Wainaleka zinc-copper projects and the portfolio also includes the prospective Liwa Creek Gold Project, and Rama Creek copper-gold porphyry.
Investing News Network: Mining obviously isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Fiji. But the island nation does have a mining history and a wealth of resources. Can you tell us more about what makes Fiji a great place for a company like Thunderstruck Resources?
Bryce Bradley: I agree, most people don’t think of mining when they think of Fiji, they think of palm trees and beautiful beaches. But Fiji is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, and the country is in a mineral-rich zone of seismic and volcanic activity along which lie some of the world’s largest copper/gold porphyries and epithermal gold mines.
Fiji has a very mining-friendly government, and the country features many on-going projects ranging from exploration through to large-scale production. Many geologists affirm that Fiji has vast potential as one of the last underexplored areas in the world.
While Thunderstruck is an exploration company, it’s important to note that it already controls two proven zinc/copper discoveries in Fiji, as well as a copper porphyry target and a high-grade gold target. Our assets total nearly 4 percent of the main island. Moreover, our two discoveries feature grades up to 12 percent zinc and 2 percent copper over mineable widths, and our identified targets have returned samples as high as 30 g/t gold.
Our neighbors to our north have been mining in Fiji for nearly 100 years. The Vatakoula gold mine is owned privately by a Chinese group, and has produced over 7 million ounces of gold so far, with another 4.2 million ounces left to mine.
Newcrest and Mitsubishi are in development on their Namosi massive copper porphyry to the east of our properties, and another Canadian company called Lion One is in development on their nearly one-million-ounce gold deposit.
As you can see, Thunderstruck is in the position to benefit from a long line of mining history with a knowledgeable work force in a safe, stable jurisdiction.
INN: It’s interesting to note that Chinese and Japanese companies are already mining gold, iron ore, and other resources in Fiji. How does this benefit Thunderstruck?
BB: Yes, there is significant Asian investment throughout multiple sectors in Fiji, including infrastructure, tourism, and of course, mining. They own or have significant holdings in mines and mining exploration projects in many commodities including copper, gold, bauxite and iron ore.
Thunderstruck welcomes Asian investment in its projects and is open to many different types of investment, including joint ventures and private equity arrangements. Asian partners are a natural fit for Thunderstruck, given their need for base and precious metals, and as indicated by the current heavy levels of Asian investments in the country. As well, China has many smelters that it needs to feed and the proximity of Fiji makes the country an ideal location to find materials. Thunderstruck anticipates Chinese interest and for this reason our website has been fully translated into Mandarin.
INN: New Orleans Investment Conference president and Gold Newsletter publisher Brien Lundin is a co-founder of Thunderstruck as well as a major shareholder. Can you give us some additional insight into your existing shareholder base and share structure?
BB: I‘m the largest shareholder at over 10 percent, and co-founder and newly appointed Chairman Brien Lundin is likely the second largest shareholder. Approximately 70 percent of the stock is held by about 15 high net worth individuals. Other key stakeholders include Adrian Day, Doug Casey, Thom Calandra and a handful of other private, wealthy individuals.
With only 31 million shares outstanding, we’ve managed to keep a very tight share structure despite the difficulties in the resource sector these last few years. Our shareholders have been very patient while we negotiated for these projects, and we expect that their loyalty will be handsomely rewarded.
INN: You just completed the 100 percent acquisition of your optioned base metals and gold properties land package in Fiji. Can you explain the significance of this for investors?
BB: This news is very significant for investors since we now own a spectacular land package of highly prospective zinc, copper and precious metal targets encompassing nearly 4 percent of the main island of Fiji, a feat that has taken us three years to accomplish.
Moreover, we’ve achieved this purchase on very favorable terms with minimal share dilution and in a very challenging resource market. We are now poised to begin our exploration program on our pipeline of promising targets coinciding with the positive turn in commodity prices.
INN: I understand Anglo American conducted $10 million (today’s dollars) worth of historical exploration on your properties during the 1970’s. Can you elaborate on the results?
BB: Anglo drilled 20 holes at Nakoro, hitting numerous ore-grade intercepts including 12 meters at 12.7 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper and 56 g/t silver, 23.2 meters at 5.1 percent zinc, 0.5 percent copper and 22 g/t silver, and 7.4 meters at 7.2 percent zinc, 0.3 percent copper and 54 g/t silver.
At Wainaleka, Anglo drilled 15 holes, returning ore-grade intercepts highlighted by 6 meters at 1.75 percent copper, 12.0 percent zinc and 25 g/t silver, 10 meters at 2.0 percent copper, 5.5 percent zinc and 47 g/t silver, and 15.5 meters at 1.4 percent copper, 1.3 percent zinc and 5.0 g/t silver.
Anglo also drilled a few holes in our Rama Creek copper gold porphyry target, with one hole returning over 244 meters grading 0.22 percent copper and 0.16 g/t gold, including 72 meters at 0.38 percent copper and 0.29 g/t gold.
We are lucky to be in possession of all of the Anglo drill data and core and, since commodity prices have appreciated significantly since the ’70s, it is our belief that we have a great opportunity to prove up mineable resources at one or more of our targets.
INN: Tell us more about the four key properties in Thunderstruck’s large land package and how you plan to develop all of these unique properties?
BB: Agreed, these are unique properties and each one deserves a fair bit of attention. They can essentially be divided into four projects: two zinc/copper, one copper porphyry and one gold epithermal. Now that we own 100-percent of them, we will commence exploration that includes mapping, geochemical and trenching programs to delineate drill targets.
Given the size of our land package, we will be seeking joint venture partners to avoid dilution to our shareholders on some or all of the assets, but in the meantime we can efficiently and affordably commence drilling operations with a man-portable drill rig that the company owns.
So we anticipate that, even at this early stage, we will be able to supply investors with significant and exciting news flow in the near term.
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