A Critical Q&A with Gianni Kovacevic, CEO of CopperBank Resources

 

There is no way getting around one particular person when you attend most large resource investment conferences the last few years, and that is Gianni Kovacevic. As an entrepreneur, speaker, author, mining executive traveling all over the world, he must be one of the busiest and best connected persons I know, but he is also one of the most friendly and enthusiastic characters you can possibly meet in this industry.

Gianni Kovacevic (far right) with Ross Beaty (Source CEO.CA)

Although we had many discussions about his highly unusual approach to build the CopperBank story, his junior copper mining venture, to the point where the adjectives "stubborn" and even "crazy" come to mind at times, we always keep in touch about each others businesses and investment opportunities. As I like him as a person, I do want him to succeed with his venture as much as anything. As I view CopperBank as a leveraged copper play, the much earlier than expected and fairly persistent upswing in copper prices brings Copperbank's projects significantly closer to economic viability. This made us agree, after meeting again during the last Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, on doing an interview together, providing Gianni with another platform to showcase, and in this particular case also defend, CopperBank against my critical questioning.

All pictures are company material, unless stated otherwise.

All currencies are in US Dollars, unless stated otherwise.

TCI: Welcome Gianni, great to have you here for doing this interview. Let's start with some subjects of possible interest. About 2 and half years ago, you and a group of investors launched CopperBank, to acquire out of the money copper projects.  In this launch process you obtained the Contact Copper project located in Nevada, and the Pyramid project and San Diego Bay prospect in Alaska.  First question is, why did you acquire such far out of the money copper projects at the time, and second if you feel these projects have merit, why was there a seller in the first place, and how did you acquire them?

GK: Thank you, the pleasure is all mine. Good question to open up - how did we acquire the projects.  For Nevada, the previous owner, Intl Enexco, did not sell, they partnered with us. In fact the shareholders of Enexco were the biggest holders of CopperBank at IPO, including the patriarch of their group, well respected Vancouver lawyer Arnold Armstrong who is retiring was the single largest shareholder on IPO day. As for the Alaska portfolio, it was a JV where the large copper miner Antofagasta had satisfied an original earn-in by spending over $5 M USD, however, in 2013 they decided to drop most of the their global JV programs, not just Pyramid.

We made a deal with Full Metals Minerals (the previous holder) and Anto to acquire the entire district by giving Anto 5% of the shares of CBK and issuing all the FMM holders CBK shares.  Project was seemingly too small for Anto and perfect for us, our team knows the project very well. As for out of the money? Contact surely needs $3 /lb copper - most projects do. Pyramid, under the right circumstances, in my opinion, and especially due to its strategic location, would be wanted by numerous Asian or mid-tier copper miners if it was advanced enough, that is exactly our plan, move it forward on a strategic basis.

TCI: Can you tell more about dilution/restructuring for old shareholders of Enexco, and weren't the Anto projects not just too small but not economic enough too?

GK:  When we created CopperBank there were two questions, 1., what should the total value of this package be, that is: team, 3 individual, and totally different projects, and the strategy for limited dilution with the aim to acquire more projects accretively. The answer to this first question was a $13 M market cap out of the gate where we, The CopperBank Group, raised $1.6 M at 0.10 per share, FMM holders would get $2.9 M worth of the shares and Enexco holders would get $8.5 M.  Then each individual shareholder, we had over 1,500 at IPO, could buy or sell.  The value proposition offered about 20 lbs of all category copper per share (note we have reserves, M&I and inferred resources) for each share that was issued, and that has remained in tact for the most part due to limited dilution.  So to be clear, it did not matter how many shares were issued, or to be issued, as long as each share or new share represented about 20 lbs of copper per share.

This should be abundantly clear to you and any other observer - please compare that value offering to any other copper Jr.  Later, when the timing presents itself, we would execute the next step of value in this business model, by having each project in its own company.  Coincidently, that is exactly what Ross Beaty did with his Lumina Copper franchise.  All that being said, at the IPO we witnessed immense selling pressure from those tired and beaten up holders who received free trading shares. CopperBank, which we financed at 0.10 per share for a $13M market cap, opened up at 0.04 per share or a $5M market cap!  Me and my team and key new shareholders obviously were happy to pay this price and as such we have had the most insider buying of any listed company in Canada two years in a row (2015 & 2016).  In my opinion it may well prove to be one of the best investments of my career - the millions of shares I personally acquired at those levels. That is why we all work so hard.

TCI:You talked about US Global as a high profile investor in CopperBank, but otherwise you are very hesitant to mention any big names, which are assembled according to you. Could you explain to the audience why this is? Usually a junior is proud to mention well-known funds or investors, to give their story instant credibility.

GK: Well, first of all many of these same top-tier investors are my friends, it’s not very polite to use their names.  And do not forget, my team of 8 high profile technical advisors don't mind having their names attached to the CopperBank story.  None of them has drawn $1 of salary to this point, they are all aligned with shareholders in the long term value proposition in our individual assets appreciating - most likely in stand-alone companies.

TCI: How did you manage to attract such experienced and high quality people for management/directors/advisors, and how are they paid for their services? I met a few of them at different occasions, and was impressed by their knowledge, reputation and experience.

GK: The team has tremendous incentive in the equity appreciation in our various assets by various option packages, ownership of shares with our low market valuation. Too, they see each project with its own merits and in the scenario they are each an independent company with our group accretively working them forward, and I cannot underline the word accretive enough as we work hard to see the value of the total at a significant level higher than current prices.  Not to mention the commodity price of copper if it should go higher, and what that could do to the value of our portfolio of assets. Their interests are aligned with the shareholders, and as anyone in this business knows, the real wealth is created not with modest salaries, but with real asset value appreciation - we have three significant assets as I hope to spotlight with you as we fortify our relationship.TCI: You stated that you wanted to acquire a portfolio of additional projects, why would you pursue that after already 3 projects, not much cash left and heavy dilution?

GK: We looked, trust me, at over 200 opportunities.  Nothing made sense, or was way too expensive.  As for financing, we self-finance - I always have and I always will since 15 years now - I have demonstrated that.  We do not have expenses with our projects and our G&A is about $50,000 per year.  If we move the projects forward, we would spin them out and then raise modest cash in the spin Co., NOT CopperBank, for example the Contact Copper project needs about $500k for our ideas, and Pyramid ~$2.5M to $3.0 M, so modest indeed.

As for new projects, we would only take on something new if it met our criteria, not the least of which was feeling comfortable that a bigger concern would want/need the project. Why buy something that was recycled 4 or 5 times already in past cycles and had a near ZERO % chance of being needed by a major.  We started to really scrutinize what we already owned, and we are very happy with our current portfolio of 3 projects.

CopperBank has been one of the cheapest listed Copper juniors since IPO and still is.  We would not issue shares unless it was accretive. To issue shares to buy whatever mediocre project doesn't make any sense. So in the meantime we bought our own shares and worked as a team to better understand what we already own at Contact, Pyramid and San Diego Bay.

TCI: Your team buying shares is in fact so much that it is the vast majority of buying > would you call this a healthy market situation for CBK and don't you want to change this? 

GK: Yes it has been, and investors can chose to participate with our team or not - I cannot control that.  However, in the event we spin 1 or 2 of the projects that could be interesting as well. 

TCI: Copperbank is listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE), and as you surely know, many global investors are not inclined to invest on this platform, or are even not allowed. If you want to attract lots of serious investors, which is what you definitely will need to grow the story into serious share price appreciation, why are you not planning an uplisting to the TSX Venture? 

GK: CSE has shown to be fine for any serious institutional investors, US Global bought ~8.5 M shares with ease, or for any serious retail investor anywhere in the world - we have 100’s of followers at this point. To assist global investors, we have a very important cross-listing on main board Frankfurt and OTC for US investors, and both with reasonable bid/ask spread and liquidity.  We are a low cost strategy and the CSE listing has been fine for us, very few people have said they would not buy, however, to be fair, it has held a few serious folks back for whatever reason.  Personally, I will buy shares on the Zimbabwe exchange if I felt it was a good opportunity - people need to establish the value proposition for themselves.

CopperBank is an incubator, and as such it should be lean and limit dilution. We’ve done that, and being on the CSE has helped.  In the future, however, if and when we contemplate individual spin-outs, that would make sense to be on the best exchange for each individual project moving forward. CopperBank is numerous businesses under one name - we could easily diversify them into specific company’s, at the right time. I cannot be presumptuous and claim that all will be listed to the TSX.V, that would be an aim, and obviously where we would work to have a spin out if such a spin out happened, not on the CSE again.  So to be clear, yes we would aim to have all our spin ideas on the TSX.v, remember all the assets once rested there already.

TCI: One of the key criteria for junior mining investors is the possible significant upside per share. CopperBank already has 145M shares outstanding, which is quite a high number for a junior that is only 2 and half years old, and needs to do a lot of work on its projects. How did this happen, what will you do to prevent more dilution capping future gains, and how can a retail investor hope to see outsized gains, no matter what happens to future copper prices if this is case?

GK: We issued shares to buy established projects. We own 2 advanced projects and one of the most interesting copper/gold prospects anywhere in the world.  The key metric for anyone that looks at CopperBank is:  if I obtain a share, what is in it for me, and more importantly, how much dilution will I suffer in the next 12, 24, 36 months?  We have demonstrated almost zero dilution with our established assets and 8 man strong technical team - they are aligned with the shareholders and assets as we advance them. That means they own shares, that they don't get paid with hard dollars, and they also have option packages with CopperBank and it would be envisaged that they would have a strong option compensation package with any spin idea.

Think about how many pounds of copper in the ground an investor has exposure to with each CopperBank share?  Who cares how many shares are there, as long as the shareholders value per share remains true, on a pounds in the ground basis, and most importantly, limited dilution occurs to preserve that, AND, they are confident there will be accretive progress, on a per share basis - meaning our team can accretively move the projects forward and/or spin them into own vehicles thus doubling or tripling each shareholders position.  We issued shares to obtain three projects.  Now what will we do with these projects?

TCI:  As you know pounds of copper in the ground don't mean much if you can't extract those pounds economically. And your pounds in the ground are still not economic at the moment. Peers like Nevada Copper (post-tax IRR of 21% @$2.75/lb Cu),  Western Copper&Gold (post tax IRR of 20.6% @$2.60/lb Cu) do better in this regard, and have a project size that's attractive to buyers. Why do you keep pounding the table on this in itself almost useless metric as a major selling point? 

GK: Contact isn't that far away from those economics. I encourage you to carefully review the sensitivity scale of Contact, completed with oil was $100 per barrel.  The project has a  post-tax IRR of 21% at $3 copper, assuming a mining fleet. Imagine what some enhanced engineering can do to improve this — please compare our Cap-Ex, location, and sensitivity scale to many other companies.  As for Pyramid, it is one of of the best situated copper porphyry projects in the world, at least 2 days closer to Asian smelters, directly on tide water, with a progressive partner that would explore the idea of creating power and port as businesses, thus removing them from cap-ex.  I encourage you to show me a better situated copper project that has these fundamentals. 

TCI: And what about future dilution?  Surely there is some coming?

GK: We don’t imagine too much dilution in CopperBank, moreover, and as per our October 2016 press release, we envisage to enhance shareholder value by contemplating strategic spin-outs.  Imagine, if we spun out Contact into its own company, as a dividend to CBK holders, ie, almost all of the dividend value went to them.  Now imagine doing in-expensive strategic, in-house engineering enhancements to the project and maybe some important extension drilling - talking 10-15 interesting RC holes just West of the current reserves. 

What is this company worth, and, imagine that if someone owned 1% of CopperBank, then they would own, near 1% of the New Co?  We don’t need much cash for this idea as I would personally manage the company under a similar owner operator philosophy like CopperBank, thus negligible dilution after spin-out. Recall the project sits on private property. We do not issue shares unless it is accretive to the existing shareholder, after 2 years of demonstration, we can now talk about that fundamental.  Remember, our projects are fully committed so we do not must need to do dilutive initiatives, only sensible ones.  Other companies have dilution guns to their heads.

TCI: Again, at some point you have to raise hard cash to advance any project. What about this?

GK: Of course. We will self-finance about C$200k to do tax payments in August, and are working on a SDB JV, selling the SX plant, and looking to raise money in case we can do a good spin-out deal with the right party. We don't have any exploration expense obligations going on, so we can be selective on everything.

TCI: JVs are a way not to have to fund exploration programs, studies etc yourself but you also give up a lot of interest in projects, and in my view the prospector model is dead at the moment, as hardly any investor sees real value appreciation as the junior's interest gets diluted and it is never clear what the exact value of the entire JV is, and what the major will do with it. Investors don't like this situation very much. And besides this, very rarely a JV results in something big like Reservoir Minerals with Cukaru Peki. Why pursuing this model any further with San Diego Bay? If you have high expectations here, why JV and not hold them in your own hand and raise cash to advance them yourself?

GK: A JV at SDB is a good idea in our view as the project scale is simply humongous. The project area is district scale, and only has surface samples when two people walked around for 5 days. However, the massive colour alteration is 60 sq km, a simply breathtaking geologic profile according to our geologists.

San Diego Bay; alterations

This project is not for small companies, and should be a group that could spend significant capital and man power to fully understand the opportunity. We could work together by sharing camp (Pyramid is ~5km from camp and SDB about the same), helicopters and all other services.  If we do a JV at SDB it would be very fair and leave significant catalyst value in CopperBank.

TCI: Fair enough. Let me scrutinize the assets, starting with Alaska. This state has been known as not the most easy and mining friendly state to permit projects. What do you expect in this regard for Pyramid and San Diego?  Besides this, both projects are located at the Aleutian Islands which is a very remote area, which means it will be expensive to move anything forward there. Every person has to be flown in, maybe fuel, drill rigs and equipment could be shipped? Is there a winterbreak, and if so how many months per year?  When I look at the Pyramid resource estimate from 2014, a recommended 5,000m drill program would cost $3.67M, of which $1.8M would be transport costs. This would result in a pretty expensive $735/m a few years ago. How can you possibly attract sufficient capital to this place?

Pyramid project; location

GK: First of all, our project is on 100% private property, totally different than for example the Bureau of Land Management situation which Northern Dynasty's Pebble deposit is on. Notwithstanding this, it looks like the Trump election could make a big difference in permitting, period. Second, our project is remote, but very accessable, in fact it is one of the best situated copper porphyry’s in the world being only 4km from deep tide water and the closest to Asian Smelters of any Western Hemisphere project.  Bringing a drill rig here is as easy as placing it on a barge in Seattle and receiving it in Sand Point at the project area. Ships come up each week and drop off at local towns - $5,000 for a container for example. The SRK suggestions of $3.7M for 5,000 m assumes a major doing the work and you are doing it alone. Red Star Gold is drilling at Unga this Summer, so perhaps we organize with them and share a rig? Plus, if a major is assisting at SDB we could share many costs, and between the three groups we could share 1 helicopter. The idea is to show what another 3,000m to 5,000m of drilling can do to the resource. About winterbreak: the location is not very nordic but in a remote ocean area where it gets very rainy, cloudy and windy during the most part of the year, so yes we have a substantial winterbreak of about 8 months per year.

Barge at Pyramid

We will also showcase this location by doing some rough order of magnitude studies which do not cost a lot of money, but do show what power and port could/would look like. Once that is done, local partners can explore the idea of running those infrastructure ideas like businesses, all we have to do is consider what a 50MW - 100MW of power, a multi-use port and a ~50K tpd milling facility would look like. So, actually, the location is very strategic and a huge positive for Pyramid and San Diego Bay.  This is the sleeper in this story, it is accessible albeit remote.  Imagine what other companies have to do once the barge arrives from Seattle?  Our ore body is just 4km from tide water, and our local town of SanPoint, 1 hour by boat from the camp, has a landing strip, and we have various other companies working in the area.

Landing strip close to Pyramid/San Diego Bay

TCI: Ok, so the remoteness doesn't have to be an issue, depending on sharing equipment/helicopters in this case to bring costs down. Let's talk about the resource for a moment. Pyramid’s size and grade don't really stand out for copper-moly-gold porphyry systems  when compared to a global scale. The latest resource estimate contains 1.09B lbs @0.41%Cu  (0.574%CuEq). Where does this fit into the global pecking order, and what is the potential? Furthermore I noticed that these numbers are based on fairly high metal prices for pit outline (if I'm correct copper $3.56/lb Cu, gold $1450/oz Au). When using current price decks, what would be the impact?

GK:  Well global head grade is now about 0.6% copper.  This is a sleeper at Pyramid, as we have lots of 0.8% and 1.0% copper on the project.  Just go to our website and scrutinize hole 11PY16 2011 - this hole bottoms in 1.0% copper, with no follow-up around or near it. That is where we would do more drilling.  Most people don’t know this about Pyramid.  With ~170 Mts of inferred resource, the question is can we get it closer to 300 Mts with hopefully some higher grades?  Well look at the data yourself, the deposit is still open in many directions, so that is what we want to look at if we did a 3,000m to 5,000 m program there, and with all of our continuity in the team, it won’t cost as much as some people budget, we’d do it ourselves and aim to do it cost effectively.   Imagine spending $2.0M (worse case) to $3.0 Million to accomplish all of the above, to have those results, with one of the best situated copper porphyry’s in the world, with a progressive private property owner that has taken an equity stake in CopperBank…. what is the market cap of that idea?  That is an excellent way to allocate $2.0 Million in cash to have tremendous accretive benefit.  Question is, do we do that too, in a spin out company? 

TCI: If you, after adjusting your pit constrained resource to current metal prices, would also raise the cut-off to a degree that your average grade would be 0.8% copper, what would globally be the size of your remaining resource in pounds of copper?

GK: I actually cannot answer this question as it is to hypothetical, and we do not have this data available. 

TCI: Let's switch to the Contact Copper project. Nevada is a top 3 global gold mining and exploration area. Copper in Nevada? Is there enough understanding to move the Contact Copper project forward?

GK: Yes, there is copper knowledge in Nevada, Robinson, Pumpkin Hollow.  One of the great geological brain trusts in the world is there and we have two of the Sr. fellows in that culture on our team with Ken Cunningham and Bill Willoughby. Ken is the ex-President of the Geologic Society of Nevada, he knows everyone in the state. In fact I am speaking at the GSN on Friday, March 17th. Many of the brains of global exploration are based out of Nevada.  Bill is critical to Contact as he was the engineer that worked the project forward for seven years, did 50,000 m of drilling and completed the pre-feasibility study.  As we enhance this project and/or move it forward, with or without a new partner, his brain on the project is immensely valuable.

Contact Copper project; location

TCI: What about the low grades at Contact according to the pre-feasibility study, despite this project being designed as heap leach?  I noticed reserves of 612M lbs @0.23%Cu, at an equally low cut-off of 0.07%, and constrained by a pit shell based on $3.2/lb Cu, which is a bit high as we are trading at an already lofty $2.70/lb Cu at the moment. What impact would a more conservative copper price have on reserves? At what copper price would Contact actually work?

GK: Remember that is the diluted leach grade.  They mined 5.8 Million pounds of copper at Contact from 1909 to the 1940s, and they were mining multi % copper.  Over 86,000 meters has been drilled here.  The keys to Contact is re-jigging the engineering to use a higher cut-off, say 0.15% , a smaller daily throughput, say 15k tpd and perhaps contract mining.  What about moving an old SX plant here?  This project is on private property, we own it, so permitting is easier.  No matter how you slice it, what is the NPV of this project at $3 per pound copper. 

Very little in the world gets built at sub $3 copper, so one has to be a little optimistic that that eventually happens. Oh, and it would take over $40 Million to duplicate all the work done at pre-feasibility level Contact, and, the land just 1km West of Contact PFS pit has never been drilled. Lots of exploration upside and development upside - what would the market cap of this project be in its own company? What is the royalty at Contact worth in a $3 per pound of copper life of mine scenario. Answer, the royalty alone, in that scenario, is worth more than the entire market cap of CopperBank with all three projects to give some proportionality.

TCI: I agree not many copper projects will be built sub $3.00/lb Cu. However, I'm intrigued by your downsizing concept for Contact. Looking at the PFS numbers, at $2.90/lb Cu the post-tax NPV8 comes in at $45M, and the IRR at 15.9%, whereas the capex stands at $188.9M. A healthy ratio between capex and NPV for a relatively small copper project like this is estimated by me at 1.4:1 to 1:1, preferably the NPV is higher than capex. Contact clearly surpasses this based on the current PFS with over a 4:1 ratio, which would seemingly render the project not interesting for financiers at this moment. Usually with these kind of base metal operations, economies of scale kick in, although maybe not as much here as this is already a relatively fairly small copper project.

When you are downsizing, my fear is it will only get more expensive for opex/capex, and contract mining eats into the IRR. Do you have some back of the envelope numbers for me that indicate this project might work downsized at for starters $2.90/lb Cu, with a better capex/NPV ratio?

GK: Your 4:1 ratio is related to the PFS, that's correct. If we did a 10k - 15k tpd idea, and we envisaged a used SX plant, the capex is a power of magnitude lower than $188M. Too, contract mining in this case is a much smaller fleet, and contingency would be so too. Too early to tell, however, for our investment thesis, we as investors, feel one should invest in a strategy such as CopperBank for a world where copper could be $3.50 /lb or higher. That is the impetus for this strategy, although one could squeeze the orange on enhancing engineering to see what the project looks like at $3.00 copper and $60 oil. 

TCI: I scanned the PFS, and noticed high grade quartz copper veins besides the overall low grade ore. However, processing didn't use a mill, just crushers. Don't you need a mill for this vein type material?

GK: The veins are leachable, you would heap them, and obviously an operator would never model 15%, and 20% copper, such as we’ve encountered at Contact, you would simply wait to get there in the mine plan, or as you see it, anticipate higher copper recoveries in the process.

TCI: One of the PFS recommendations is to evaluate a run-of-mine leaching. To my knowledge, this can only be done with relatively high grade ore. Are you contemplating run-of-mine leaching? If so, this would cost a lot of metallurgic testwork, how to find the budget for this? 

GK: This is not something we are banking on.    

TCI: You mentioned a royalty or royalty opportunity in your presentation on the Contact project. Could you explain exactly what the status on this royalty or royalty opportunity is? In case of no existing royalty, a new one would impact economics, and in case of an existing royalty, with a downsized project this royalty becomes less valuable, what would be the impact and don't you have to renegotiate this, probably at a cost?

GK: There is no royalty at Contact, that is the point, CopperBank owns the project. If we printed a royalty, and left it in CopperBank in the event of a spin out, it would encapsulate the entire 5,900 acre project area. Yes, it’s true that the economics of a project can be make-or-break due to a royalty, thus it is important that CopperBank controls it so we can always deliver that if a development group came in and wanted to partner, merge, take-over Contact or the Spin Co., CopperBank would be glad to establish a value for it and monetize it.  The point is what is it worth, more then zero obviously. So by isolating it, at lease investors can make their own decision what it is worth at $2.50 copper, $3.00 copper or a higher price. 

TCI: I noticed you wanted to monetize the SX-EW plant, what are your plans with this? For a moment it seemed that it could be useful for Contact?

GK: Simple, we sell, partner or allow another group utilize it.  Replacement cost is ~USD $3M and about a year to build for someone that needs/wants it. We would be fair in a deal to move the plant. The plant isn't useful for Contact as we are not the party that will build it, and it will probably not be a good fit anyway. It was an asset we acquired in the Enexco deal.

TCI: A lot of work needs to be done to high grade and resize Contact Copper, and redo the PFS. What are your plans with this, how much money do you need for this and what is your timeline?

GK: Actually we’re aiming to do more in-house optimization and understanding. The actual money to be spent would be to drill just West of the reserves, an area with 1% to 12% outcropping copper rock samples. The area is still permitted with about 2 acres of disturbance, so we could do up 20 holes there for very little cost - thinking ~100m RC holes.

TCI: After these in-depth questions on the projects, I'm going to let you off the hook here, and I would like to finish off with the copper macro situation. Where are we on global supply and demand according to you? I see CopperBank as a leveraged play on copper prices so this is even more important.

GK:  Copper will eventually decouple from oil prices, it has too, as each time you take fossil fuels out of the energy mix it takes 3, 4, 5 X more copper each time. And, oil comes from 4.7 Million wells around the world, whereas 50% of primary copper production, 19.9 Mts in 2016, comes from 22 or so mines.  Copper supply and demand are far more precarious than any other commodities, especially the invisible hand in supply that is the green energy pivot.  I like copper as an out-performer of any commodity in the coming years, and for this reason I love the out of the money torque per share in CopperBank!

TCI: One last question Gianni: could you mention upcoming catalysts and a time schedule to go with this? If you have anything else to add be my guest.

GK: I would say that 2015 and 2016 were years to consolidate and understand.  2017 is a year to structure and get ready. As I mentioned earlier on your question about financing, a lot depends on the deals we will be able to make, I can't put a firm timeline on this as negotiations can take quite a period of time, and we are in no hurry. The exploration programs will cost about C$2.5M, so the moment we have this in the treasury there will be action.  2018 & 2019 are years to advance and reap what we have sowed.  :-)

TCI: Thanks Gianni for answering these critical questions, I will keep monitoring the CopperBank story as it is unique as a leveraged play, and I believe, like you, that copper prices eventually will go higher and likely surpass the $3.00 threshold again in the not too distant future, probably in 1-2 years.

GK: Critical interviews are always warranted, I have no problem with this as you know, it shows even better what Copperbank is all about.That being said, one must be open to receive the critical answers and see the value proposition. If this industry was easy it wouldn't have such volatility, and there is always the cyclical underlying commodity prices. For many reasons I personally see copper as a sound investment opportunity irrespective of commodity due to its unique utility in almost every application in the future of energy. Future resources and reserves that will surely be needed to satisfy current and future demand are only possible with much higher copper prices. In this environment, what happens to solid copper projects? That is our focus, and CopperBank's reason of being. Our job is to vehemently control needless dilution until then and strategically move the portfolio forward.

This concludes our interview. I am not a shareholder yet but I am looking for a convenient entry point, just for some speculative fun on a leveraged copper play for now. If Gianni and his team succeed in lifting the Contact Copper project out of the realm of still being uneconomic, which doesn't seem unrealistic altogether in my view, things change could get interesting very quickly all of a sudden from a fundamental point of view, surely on the back of a rising copper price.

I hope you will find this article interesting and useful, and will have further interest in my upcoming articles on mining. To never miss a thing, please subscribe to my free newsletter in order to get an email notice of my new articles soon after they are published.

Disclaimer:

The author is not a registered investment advisor, and currently has no position in this stock, but might initiate one in due time.

All facts are to be checked by the reader. For more information go to www.copperbankcorp.com and read the company’s profile and official documents on www.sedar.com, also for important risk disclosures. This article is provided for information purposes only, and is not intended to be investment advice of any kind, and all readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and talk to their own licensed investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions.

Contact Copper project; location

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