Junior Hits Highest-Grade Interval at Colo. Project

Metallic Minerals Corp. says it has intercepted its longest and highest-grade interval ever at its La Plata copper-silver-gold-platinum group element project in southwestern Colorado.

Metallic Minerals Corp. (MMG:TSX.V; MMNGF:OTCQB) announced it had intercepted its longest and highest-grade interval ever at its La Plata copper-silver-gold-platinum group element project in southwestern Colorado.

Two holes totaling 1,730 meters drilled to test lateral extensions to the existing resource hit 816 meters of 0.41% recovered copper equivalent (Cu eq).

The company claimed it was “one of the top intersections for any North American project for the past several years.”

“We have had no doubt about the strength of the mineralized system in the La Plata district,” Metallic Minerals President Scott Petsel said. “The intensity of alteration and mineralization in this drilling indicates we are vectoring to a higher-grade portion of the La Plata porphyry system with overlapping mineralization styles and a transition to high-grade bornite-rich copper mineralization with associated high precious metals values.”

The company said significant high-grade gold-platinum-palladium (Au+PGE) mineralization associated with copper and silver is a new style of mineralization in the resource area.

A market analysis by RFC Ambrian issued in 2022 said, “more investment is required in greenfield and brownfield production, which will likely require higher copper prices (relative to history).”

The last sample was taken from hole LAP22-04, and the deepest material, graded 5.42% CU with 47 grams per tonne silver (g/t Ag) and 11 g/t Au+PGE for a total of 11.54% Cu eq.

Mineralization also remained open outward from the drill hole, Metallic Minerals said.

Copper is essential for the new green economy, as electric vehicles (EVs) use at least three times as much of it as gas-burning cars.

However, according to a report last summer by S&P Global, a looming mismatch between copper demand and supply “will put pressure on the goal of Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 and will likely slow the pace of energy transition,” the report said.

The demand is expected to double from about 25 million metric tons (Mmt) in 2021 to about 50 Mmt by 2035, according to the report. EVs, their charging infrastructure, solar panels, wind, and batteries all require much more copper than fossil fuel-based technology.

A market analysis by RFC Ambrian issued in 2022 said, “more investment is required in greenfield and brownfield production, which will likely require higher copper prices (relative to history).”

“Based on industry-wide capital intensity data, we calculate that some US$196 billion of investment will be required,” that report said. “Of this, US$80 billion is for greenfield projects, and US$116 billion is for brownfield projects, of which US$71 billion is simply for replacement capacity. A further US$35 billion of investment will be required to close the supply gap.”

The Catalyst: Updated Resource Estimate

Metallic said it is working on modeling work for an updated resource estimate incorporating the 2022 drilling, anticipated by mid-2023.

Metallic’s inaugural National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource last year for La Plata was 889 million pounds Cu and 14.975 Moz Ag at an average grade of 0.39% Cu Eq, 0.35% Cu, and 4.02 4.02 g/t Ag, using a 0.25% Cu Eq cutoff grade.

La Plata, or “the Silver,” was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1700s. Metallic acquired it in an equity-based transaction in 2019. It has been explored by Rio Tinto Plc (RIO:NYSE; RIO:ASX; RIO:LSE; RTPPF:OTCPK) and Phelps Dodge, now Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX:NYSE).

From the 1950s until now, a total of 58 holes reaching more than 16,000 meters have been drilled on the property. That exploration work demonstrated the presence of a large multi-phase porphyry system with copper, silver, and gold, and more recent discoveries highlighting the potential for significant PGEs, rare earth minerals, and tellurium, the company said.

‘Gold Rush’ Is on in Yukon

The company also has projects in the Yukon, including the high-grade flagship Keno Hill property.

In January, Metallic signed a production royalty agreement with Little Flake Mining, a company owned and operated by Parker Schnabel of the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush” program, on 5 miles of alluvial gold claims at Australia Creek in the Klondike Gold District of the Yukon.

Schnabel was granted exclusive rights to extract gold from the property while giving Metallic Minerals a percentage of the production as a royalty.

The company said Schnabel was a “highly experienced miner.”

“We plan to hit the ground running on Australia Creek,” Schnabel said at the time. “Planning is underway for a 400-hole drill program this winter on the property, and we anticipate beginning mining operations this spring.”

Ownership and Share Structure

About 19% of Metallic Minerals is owned by management and insiders, including Chief Executive Officer Greg Johnson with 4.67% or 7.05 million shares, Independent Director Gregor Hamilton with 0.91% or 1.37 million shares, and the president, Petsel, with 0.56% or 850,000 shares.

About 30% is owned by strategic investors, including mining financier Eric Sprott, who owns 14%.

About 29% is owned institutionally. The rest, 20%, is retail.

Its market cap is CA$39.91 million, with 150.9 million shares outstanding, 120 million of them free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.49 and CA$0.195.

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