- Gold-enriched copper deposits
- Low geopolitical risk
- Advantaged by having its own drill rig
What Pacific Empire Minerals does:
The group boasts a large portfolio of projects, which mitigates exploration risk and increases the chance of making a discovery. Having its own drill rig reduces costs and means the explorer can advance prospects rapidly, to see if they are worth partnering on.
The aim is that larger companies, preferably copper majors, will come in and advance the group's projects with more expensive diamond drilling, while Pacific Empire retains the largest possible interest in the property for as long as possible.
Pacific Empire Minerals believes copper, used in wiring, cars, and cell phones, is in the early stages of a significant long-term upward run, yet grades are declining and there is a lack of new mines coming on-stream.
The group's flagship is the Jean Marie project, a large copper property 50 kilometres (km) west of Centerra Gold's Mt. Milligan copper-gold mine in central British Columbia.
In June last year, the company expanded its footprint at Jean Marie having staked over 1,000 hectares of prospective mineral tenure, contiguous to and immediately east of the site. In all, the project now spans 7,355 hectares and boasts multiple mineralized zones open for expansion, along with several additional exploration targets. The new ground includes historical geochemical anomalies with values up to 4,400 parts per million (ppm) copper-in-soil and 655 ppm copper-in-stream sediment.
The company also holds Worldstock, a 1,700 hectare asset 95 km north of Kamloops, and 25 km west of Taseko Mines Ltd's Yellowhead copper project, which has an 820 million tonne reserve with an average grade of 0.28% copper.
Elsewhere, the firm's 2,630 hectare Weedon property is an early exploration stage porphyry copper-gold prospect, with one priority target.
Meanwhile, the firm's Pinnacle Porphyry project covers 14,040 hectares and incorporates the firm's NWT and Pinnacle Reef properties into one contiguous land position. All necessary permits here have been submitted and reverse circulation (RC) drilling is intended for the fall and winter.
The group also has four so-called pipeline projects waiting in the wings.
How is it doing:
Pacific Empire had a busy close to last year. On December 21, 2020, the company revealed that it had inked a binding agreement to partner up on the Pinnacle copper-gold project in north-central British Columbia.
The deal, first reported in August 2020, will see 111 Acquisition Corp receive an exclusive option to earn up to a 70% interest in the 14,040 hectare asset. Under the terms, 1111 Acquisition can earn 70% interest by spending C$5.7 million on exploration, paying Pacific Empire a total of C$375,000 in cash and issuing 3.5 million shares by the fourth anniversary of the signing of the definitive deal.
Pacific Empire will retain a 30% free-carried interest in the project up until 1111 Acquisition publishes a NI 43-101 pre-feasibility study. After that, the pair will form a joint venture, with 1111 Acquisition holding a 70% stake and PEMC holding 30%.
Earlier in December, Pacific Empire also announced the signing of a definitive agreement with CAVU Mining Corp, granting the company an exclusive option to earn up to a 100% interest in Pacific Empire’s 3,070-hectare Kitimat Copper-Gold Project in British Columbia.
Under the terms of that agreement, CAVU can earn a 100% interest in the project by completing C$1.0 million in exploration expenditures on the project, as well as paying Pacific Empire Minerals C$390,000 in cash plus 1.325 million CAVU common shares by the third anniversary of the signing of the agreement.
The Kitimat Copper-Gold Project is an exploration stage porphyry copper-gold prospect with previous work that consisted of 38 diamond drill holes totaling over 6,000 meters, soil, rock and silt surveys, airborne Mag-EM and IP surveys, trenching, and detailed mapping of over 1,000 rock exposures. Historic drill results at Kitimat included 105 metres grading 0.60% copper and 1.15 grams per tonne (g/t ) gold.
In November, the company had updated on the year's exploration programme, which at its flagship Jean Marie project in British Columbia, saw the potential for gold-enriched copper mineralization confirmed.
In all, 27 reverse circulation (RC) holes were sunk across all three properties this year, with assays expected from Jean Marie before the end of 2020. Rock sample assays at Jean Marie, however, have included 8.79 grams g/t gold, 86.6 g/t silver and 1.74% copper at the newly identified Leap target.
A high-resolution airborne magnetic survey was also carried out at Jean Marie covering the majority of the property. The survey expanded upon the existing historical ground magnetic survey completed in 1973 and gave greater detail on the known areas of copper mineralization. It also highlighted additional target areas in the southern portion of the property where historical soil sampling identified copper-molybdenum in-soil anomalies.
Pacific Empire also updated on explorartion at its Worldstock and Weedon projects. At Worldstock, ten RC drill holes totaling 1,027 metres (m) were completed during the year's field season, with one hole (starting from surface) hitting an interval of 121.92m at 0.108% copper and 0.04 g/t gold.
At the Weedon property, three RC drill holes, focused on the T1 target area, were attempted, two of which intersected bedrock. A preliminary analysis of chip samples was completed on-site using the firm's portable XRF analyzer. No significant values were observed and therefore none of the chip samples were sent to the lab.
In its boardroom, in August, Pacific Empire said it had hired Peter Schloo as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect, adding that Keith Henderson has resigned from the board. Schloo has more than eight years' experience in capital markets, operations, and assurance across various industries, including natural resources and real estate. He has led over C$80 million in capital raising opportunities for public and private companies, mostly in the junior natural resource sector, the group noted.
And on the financing front, at the end of July, Pacific Empire closed a C$1.1 million private placement that saw the issue of 16 million units at C$0.05 each and around 4.2 million flow-through shares at C$0.07 each, for total gross proceeds of up to C$1.1 million.
The junior miner noted that Stichting Depositary Plethora Precious Metals Fund subscribed for 2.8 million units in the placement. The fund took its holding in the company to 8.3 million shares on an undiluted basis and 13.7 million shares on a diluted basis, representing approximately 12.1% and 18.5% of the company's issued and outstanding shares on an undiluted and diluted basis, respectively.
- More news on partnership deals
- Exploration updates on projects
What the boss says:
"We are excited to have a very strong technical team advancing the Pinnacle property during a period of resurgent copper prices and increasing activity in this area," said Brad Peters, Pacific Empire's CEO, in a statement accompanying the 11 Acquisition partnership deal.
"With the recent merger of Serengeti Resources and Sun Metals, in addition to the arrival of Australian miner South 32 to this mining camp, it looks as though this will be a busy area over the coming months and years."
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