"We want to mine a lot more on a daily basis than would traditionally be expected. This is thanks to the adoption of a digital mine site design from the onset and from combining technologies that have not been used in unison before."
Can you provide a brief overview of Rockcliff Metals Corp?
The Rockcliff that is being traded today on the CSE is very different to the one that was traded on the TSX.V. In May 2019, there was a three-way tie up between Greenstone Resources, a private equity investor; Norvista, a capital merchant bank from Toronto with strategic property interests; and the Rockcliff exploration company run by Ken Lapierre. The outcome of the three parties coming together was a clear strategy of moving into copper production. The initial work is to bring three of the company’s resources, Tower, Talbot and Rail, to an indicated level of between 3% and 4% copper equivalent, with a target size of approximately 2.5 million mt each. Additionally, we are continuing to explore other narrow vein steeply dipping ore bodies to add to the pipeline of our first three projects. The beauty of the tie up is that we obtained access to a fully permitted mill that was originally a nickel processing facility that can be easily permitted for copper treatment. We have a seven year lease on the Bucko Mill and have completed the necessary test work to allow us to file a notice of alteration to transition the mill from a nickel to a copper processor.
Can you comment on the Flin Flon District in terms of its geology and infrastructure?
The Flin Flon-Snow Lake District is on the border with Saskatchewan and stretches significantly into Manitoba and is one of the most prolific greenstone belts in the world.
The infrastructure is excellent with existing rail and road networks. The rail line that feeds Thompson has been heavily invested in by Vale and the owner.
How do you view Manitoba as a mining jurisdiction?
Manitoba is excellent for permitting matters and assistance with logistics. We have met with the Conservation and Climate, and the Agricultural and Resource Development Ministries. The ability to meet first hand at a ministry level is special. When we expressed our time frame for permitting, they were collaborative and enthusiastic. The exploration work permits were granted in a timely manner and with constructive consultation processes with First Nations.
How is Rockcliff integrating technological solutions into its operations?
Our whole approach is to change the way people see narrow veined, steeply dipping ore bodies. We want to mine a lot more on a daily basis than would traditionally be expected. This is thanks to the adoption of a digital mine site design from the onset and from combining technologies that have not been used in unison before. It could be possible produce at a mining rate of 2,000 mt/d. This is more than double the traditional rate and would turn the seven-year project into a three-year project. Finally, we will have a fully electric mobile fleet underground. No diesel underground makes a big difference to the health of on-site workers and to the environment.
What are your projections on how the market for copper will evolve?
I believe there will be a copper price of around US$3. We are targeting a mining method that will allow us to generate a positive cash flow even at the low parts of the cycle. The adoption of electric vehicles in the world automobile fleets will represent increased copper demand because the copper requirements in electric vehicles are four to five times those in cars with diesel or gas engines.
What are Rockcliff’s main targets for the next two years?
In the next three to four months we will have Preliminary Economic Analyses completed for the Rail, Talbot and Tower Deposits. We will then begin a bankable feasibility study on one of those in the second quarter of 2020, for completion by end of 2020, including any work needed in the Bucko Mill. They are near-surface deposits that do not require expensive shafts or complicated engineering – the rock characteristics are known due to the long history of mining in the area. Concurrently, we will finalize our financing plan and our permit applications. The construction of the mine and work on the mill will then be able to commence in 2021.