CEO.CA caught up with Paul Sobie, CEO of Churchill Resources (TSXV: $CRI) in an AMA session on the 18th May to discuss their recent NI 43-101 at Florence Lake, upcoming financing & exploration plans, catalysts for the business and much more. Learn more about Churchill Resources at https://www.churchillresources.com/. The following is the AMA:
Question: Is Churchill Resources still focused on diamonds?
Hi everyone. The answer is we are not focused on diamonds and haven't been for 3 years. Totally focused on Ni sulphides in Newfoundland and Labrador. We do have 2 great diamond projects which are dormant.
You just announced the NI 43-101 at Florence Lake - what does the publication of the 43-101 mean & what new information does it show?
Yes the FL 43-101 is an important document because it's the first on this project, such that all historical and CRI data is now in the public domain. AS well, our research and historical data processing has led to a whole new understanding of the volcanic history there...and where nickel deposits should be found. In essence we now know that other parts of the belt are more prospective than Baikie where Falconbridge had some success in the 90's. We'll still go back to Baikie, but are enlarging our areas of focus and priority.
If anyone wants to learn more about the 43-101, you can see the news release here: https://ceo.ca/@GlobeNewswire/churchill-resources-inc-florence-lake-ni-43-101-report
What is the size & value of the deposit at Florence Lake & what are the costs of operating there?
So right now there's no deposit at Florence Lake, but the Baikie Showing does have some potential for perhaps a small (<1Mt) deposit. What we are excited about is that Baikie doesn't look like it's alone, nor is it the best based on our work. So we have many targets to chase which could result in multiple deposits. That's how it is in Western Australia, Raglan, Timmins etc. and we're the only one at Florence Lake. Opex and Capex would likely be similar to Voisey's Bay, ie. not bad at all because we're close to tidewater.
In an interview you previously mentioned interest from majors in Churchill - does the 43-101 open the door to any future deals?
Yes it is a necessary step, both for majors and for all investors. The Taylor Brook 43-101 update is coming along and we hope to have that out in a few weeks - it too is needed by all potential investors to see everyhting in the public domain. In terms of majors, we are experiencing interest and this is an important box for them to check.
Will you need to raise capital for exploration?
Yes we will, with a staged approach such that we can get both projects going full tilt in the next few weeks. So we anticipate a modest PP in the short term, followed by a second in a couple of months.
What will that money be used for - can you give us some more detail on exploration goals?
Sure...so at Taylor Brook we'll use the funds for a drilling program at Layden, where we'll go beneath all of our shallow, high grade intersections. As well at Taylor we'll be trenching and prospecting the new TBS-1 target which will hopefully quickly get upgraded to a drilling target. Geochemically it looks better than Layden did. Continued soil sampling down to the south along the Layden trend will also take place. At Florence Lake the funds will allow us to get the camp built and operational, and get geological and geophysical crews active following up the 43 targets. A number of these will be upgraded to drill targets for September.
What are the timelines for these plans - when can investors expect more news?
Right so the first technical phase will be drilling at Layden, which should commence mid-late June. After that regular updates on both projects. For the first capital raise we'll be speaking with our advisors next week.
What are some additional catalysts for the business?
Well of course there's commodity markets and macroeconomic factors that might filter down to exploration companies, but really we just have to keep our head down and keep doing good work advancing these two projects. I'm busy signing contracts for drills, helicopters, field crews etc and we do anticipate getting fieldwork started mid-June at TB with the drilling. At FL the key is getting the camp operational asap, as that allows for everything else to get going. Anticipate boots on the ground by the end of June there.....and then quietly in the background we are engaged with certain majors and hope that their interest can be transformed into project participation.
Do you plan to build a mine at Florence Lake yourselves or are you looking for a partner?
Right so both ourselves, and our largest shareholder Altius, are not mine builders or operators. So at both FL and TB we see ourselves as vending these once we've demonstrated their value..so get them to PFS or FS such that analysts can properly value the potential mine, and at that point look for a capable partner to build out the operation.
Is there anything else you want to share with investors who are following the Churchill story?
Thanks everyone...I guess I'd just reiterate that CRI has two great projects that may hold potential for mining districts, not single deposits. They've not been in the public domain, not been promoted before - it's true exploration in a great jurisdiction (#4 in the world) in the perfect geological environment for nickel deposits. So if you invest in CRI you're investing in the team, the projects and the jurisdiction and we're on to something new in both cases. Enormous potential, but it does take systematic, comprehensive work, which we are doing. I thank you all for your interest, and welcome any questions or queries you may have. Cheers, Paul