Palisade Mine Tour IV – Jamaican us crazy for copper, mon
In Jamaica there is a special fern that grows specifically around copper showings, there’s a solid scientific explanation for this and the correlation is very real. This plays a big part in the field mapping and identification of potential mineralization and trench location.
Behold! An outcrop covered in said ferns:
For those who follow Palisade Research, you know that our portfolio is currently weighted heavily towards gold. However, we believe the bottom for copper is getting close, if not already there, and as such we have scoured the globe for opportunities to play this very special metal and to diversify our holdings.
Our search this week brings us to Caribbean, to the island of Jamaica to be exact… Yeah mon!
Unfortunately, what we thought was going to be a beach filled week of rum with scents of cannabis turned out to be a flea-infested trek through a very hot and damp jungle… We do this, so you don’t have to!
So sit back, put up your feet, pour yourself a cold Red Stripe, and watch one of our few copper investments, Carube Copper (TSXV:CUC) sprout up like a little weed in the copper junior space. Or so we hope. Here’s our trip:
After an exquisite ride aboard an Air Jamaica flight to Kingston, we were pleasantly greeted by Carube Copper’s President and CEO, Jeffrey Ackert, and Country Manager, Trevor McCain (former local university geology professor).
We proceeded to downtown Kingston, which appeared to have a bustling business district. And as we were soon to discover at the Pegasus Hotel, a formidable international presence. Even though we arrived mid-week, the banquet halls and conference rooms were at max capacity with Health and Energy Conventions. From an outside perspective, it appeared as though Jamaica was a hot spot for international commerce.
As described thoroughly by Jeff and Trevor, Jamaica is in fact quite open for business and incredibly mining savvy. The country has a long history of bauxite production (aluminum), and a modern and complete mining policy in place. It’s a pretty attractive place to build a mine in.
See for yourself ( http://www.carubecopper.com/projects/jamaica/mining-in-jamaica.htm)
Jeff proceeded to fill us in on the past history of the formation of this exploration/project-generation company and how its core assets came about.
Carube’s Jamaican assets were first discovered and identified as projects of merit through a Canadian subsidized prospecting initiative during the 1980-90’s, beginning with stream sediment samples and mapping.
This exercise yielded zones of gold and copper mineralization among other things. Many years later, the topic of Jamaica came up again in a discussion among friends who originally conducted the work, and the idea of putting the potential mineralization in a company was put forth. The wheels were in motion.
After acquiring some of the main assets from some private parties, Carube proceeded to assess the opportunities starting with the well-known anomalous, Bellas Gate Project.
Within Bellas Gate, they drilled out the Camel Hill Zone and made a big splash; then the copper market tanked…
This is where Carube made a very smart and prudent move. In January 2014, they partnered with Australian-based Oz Minerals, a US$1.24 billion company, to joint venture (JV) off roughly half of their 260 square kilometer land package. Carube is currently enjoying 30% of whatever Oz finds, free of cost.
“When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you” -Oz Minerals to Carube Copper
Back to the site tour. The next day we drove for a couple hours on the road towards Bellas Gate to meet up with the Oz crew. Inner Jamaica is not to be confused with beach country. It was green, humid, and difficult to maneuver because of the steep sloping countryside. The landscape was littered with switchback roads and houses half on stilts with near vertical pastures. Brutal bush to the unfit foreigner.
When we got to the field office we met up with the Oz crew for a presentation on the project technicals. The team and calibre of personnel was top notch, they were very informative and we could tell they were very excited about Bellas Gate, and the recently JV’ed, Above Rocks Project.
We counted four Oz expat geo’s and two drills turning full time. They provided us with a great presentation on each of the targets that they were evaluating, why they saw potential, and what style of mineralization they were targeting. This is truly the definition of a JV, where both companies are playing together in the sandbox with a transparent flow of information. Really refreshing!
Before we dive further into the details, as a bit of big picture for reference, Carube Copper is a copper exploration company with more of a project generator spin than most. Carube is one of the largest landholders in Jamaica and the island on a regional scale belongs to a very prolific regional plate subduction zone, which has provided a significant amount of mineral via island arc volcanism and pluton emplacement. For the non-technical investor; it’s a porphyry belt with some notable deposits of size shown below. Porphyries + copper + Gold = Moola in the coola.
Bellas Gate And The Connors Discovery
In addition to Camel Hill, the preliminary staged exploration approach led to the discovery of the Connors porphyry in the Bellas Gate concession. The widths were in excess of 290 meters averaging 0.56% Cu Eq. (combination of gold and copper) and the intercepts yielded a virtually homogenous grade for both gold and copper distributed across massive widths. We were shown this on site, hole after hole, comparing the core to the assays. Textbook!
The only problem is, Connors by itself is not quite big enough to build a mine around. As we mentioned earlier, Carube’s timing on the discovery was a bit off with the price of copper heading off a cliff. Needing further funds to continue exploration, in comes an Australian juggernaut, Oz Minerals, to take the reins from our little Carube.
According to Oz, the Connors discovery was crucial because it showed that economic potential does exists with size and fertility (gold-rich porphyry), and is excellent proof of prospectively (good hunting) for a much larger, more complex land package with a wealth and variety of targets.
One of our more important take-aways is what we saw in the field team – a group of passionate individuals with a strong mix of skill sets, working together to form a staged and systematic exploration program. This is in contrast of what sometimes happens when big companies step in, sending a couple of geos that want to rush and drill every showing in wildcat fashion and walk away. This was a real testament to Oz’s personnel and expertise, hats off to those guys!
FYI, Team Palisade was defeated by the terrane and was very appreciative of the earthen steps Oz built:
Now let’s take a closer look at the two joint ventured initiatives that we were thoroughly educated about on our trip to get a sense of size and potential for discovery:
Why We Like Carube Copper
Without getting into the details and all the ins and outs of what makes each target a worthy one… you’ll have to take our word for that part or contact the company for your own personal detailed presentation.
The big picture here is that Carube Copper has exposure to 30% of two potentially world-class properties, which are currently being evaluated and systematically tested at the expense of another company. In fact, Oz Minerals has already spent CA$8.3 million to earn their 70%, and are currently working towards a feasibility study, which will bump their interest up another 10%, to 80%.
Oz Minerals has completed airborne geophysical surveys over Carube’s three other projects in Jamaica and recently JV’ed the 104 square kilometer Above Rocks Project. Oz Minerals will spend a minimum of CA$500,000 in exploration by December 7, 2016 and is required to spend CA$6.5 million in exploration and make payments to Carube of $275,000 over five years to earn a 70% interest. Similar to Bellas Gate, Oz can earn a further 10% interest by financing all work to a feasibility study.
The last of Carube’s Jamaican assets include the Main Ridge Project and Hungry Gully Project.
Main Ridge has multiple targets and a two kilometer gold zone that is virtually unexplored. Two drill holes at end of the gold zone yielded historic intersections of 7.7 g/t Au over 3 meters and 22.9 g/t Au over 2 meters, and there is also a small inactive mine on adjacent ground whose head grades run 5-15 g/t Au.
Carube has begun exploration work at Main Ridge to prioritize gold and copper drill targets. Hungry Gully holds at least three underexplored areas that are highly prospective for copper-gold porphyry and epithermal gold mineralization.
Lastly, Carube Copper holds three road accessible properties totaling 547 square kilometres in a rapidly emerging copper-gold porphyry belt in southwestern BC’s Cascade Magmatic Arc, where Amarc Resources (TSXV:AHR) newly discovered IKE deposits (592 meters of 0.44% Cu Eq.) has been optioned to Thompson Creek Metals (TSX:TCM). Two of the properties showing signs of copper-gold mineralization lie on-strike with the IKE deposit, one being adjacent. The company is currently looking for a partner for these assets.
As investors in this prospect generator, we have front row seats to the news reel, with our paper suffering little to no dilution aside from what is required to keep the “lights on”. More importantly, we stand to benefit from potential catalyst after potential catalyst, on someone else’s dime… what’s not to like about that?
Carube Copper is a CA$7.5 million company, carried by a billion dollar producer that has already spent CA$8.3 million, and we expect will spend much more than that in the future.
So if you are looking for an optimal copper explorer at the market bottom, here we have a low cost, potentially high value play in Carube. The company comes with a strong and passionate, well-funded team. For a company operating in a relaxed, tropical paradise, expect a lot of high-octane, exciting news on the horizon.
Off to the next country.
Palisade Global Investments Limited holds shares of Carube Copper. We receive either monetary or securities compensation for our services. We stand to benefit from any volume this write-up may generate. The information contained in such write-ups is not intended as individual investment advice and is not designed to meet your personal financial situation. Information contained in this report is obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this report are those of Palisade Global Investments and are subject to change without notice. The information in this report may become outdated and there is no obligation to update any such information.Do your own due diligence.