It's been a wild ride since I started following Bell Copper (TSXV:BCU) in January, 2018 (https://ceo.ca/@Newton/a-looming-copper-discovery-in-arizona-with-bell-copper-bcu). I'd still say the discovery is looming, even though some may be getting impatient. As CEO Dr. Tim Marsh said in our first interview, "Within the first 4 holes, it was clear that there was a porphyry. It had been moved further than I expected, but it was there. That was around 17 years ago when I first put my boots on the ground at Kabba." Amazing.
There are a lot of stories to those 17 years at Kabba and the most recent chapter started when Kennecott gave the project back to Bell Copper. They had spent several million dollars on exploration but hadn't found what they were looking for. Thankfully, Tim made sure that they left all the data.
This new data has been important in the evolution of the Kabba story over the last few years. In a recent interview, Tim told me that:
"Geophysical data has a good use and in this case it was fantastically successful in demonstrating the extent of chargeable rocks. It shows the kilometers-wide anomaly that we needed to see out there. That is the scale of the target that we've been chasing for years." -- Tim Marsh (https://www.scribd.com/document/375066315/Newton-Interviews-Bell-Copper-New-Maps-of-Kabba).
Geophysical data is great, but it can be tricky.
There's often a lot of debate around everything in geology -- that's how the science progresses -- but geophysics can be particular contentious. For example, that chargeability low covers Tim's Ovoid Target. There are kilometers of chargeability highs around it, as in the quote above, but the point he wants to drill next actually registers as a chargeability low and that raises some eyebrows.
I asked Tim about this in an interview and he said it's possible that,
" ... those lows may in fact relate to the electrode that was pounded into the ground at the surface doing a poor job making the electrical connection with the deep subsurface... just failed to plug into that system and left us with a couple of spurious data points". -- Tim Marsh (https://www.scribd.com/document/375066315/Newton-Interviews-Bell-Copper-New-Maps-of-Kabba)
Hear it yourself in the company's YouTube video here.
This is a tough one because one of the most pressing questions recently has been, "Why did Kennecott give Kabba back?" Kennecott drilled the chargeability highs in several different areas, but never tested Tim's Ovoid Target. It's amazing to think that they may have passed on his target simply because a couple electrodes didn't quite deliver the charge they were supposed to.
We've already seen evidence that Tim was more careful than Kennecott in exploration at Kabba, as he found native copper in "unassayed gravel and basalt" that was previously un-identified in a hole drilled by Kennecott (https://www.bellcopper.net/single-post/2018/04/25/BELL-COPPER-MOBILIZES-FOR-DRILLING-PROVIDES-KABBA-PROJECT-UPDATE). It's possible they missed something with the geophysics, too.
All this speaks to the value of care & attention in an exploration program. Bell Copper shareholders can be confident that Tim Marsh is acting like an owner of the company and the project.
And it's an example of how important it is to have someone who knows how to use the tools of mineral exploration and when to disregard the results. This isn't an example of an executive recklessly disregarding the results and heading off in some strange direction because the Ovoid Target is supported by several pieces of evidence. One is a magnetic survey showing the vector of local feature cut by the same fault as the Kabba porphyry and another is certain rocks he's found at surface kilometers apart that represent the top and bottom parts of the porphyry system.
I'm not a geologist and don't pretend to judge technical merits of Tim's ideas, but a big part of speculating in the junior mining markets is laying out an explorationist's story and looking for holes. Easier said than done and Tim's certainly made it difficult for me to find any gaps in his thesis for Kabba. It's exciting to think what the mining world might think of this story with all of it's fortuitous twists and turns.
There is a lot of anticipation around Bell Copper right now with so much at stake, but the story I'm describing here just shows how important it is to be careful and diligent in your work. Rest assured that Tim's out there making sure the work gets done the right way for this next drill hole K-20.
Visit the company website for more info: https://www.bellcopper.net/
Please note that I have been compensated to prepare and distribute the interviews mentioned herein.