With breathtaking geography and bountiful geology, the Rock and neighbouring Labrador hold potential for Kapuskasing.
Isabel: I would like to introduce Jon Armes, the president and CEO of Kapuskasing Gold TSXV:KAP. Jon, good to see you again. Tell us something about your background to start with.
Jon: Hi Isabel, good to see you too. I started in the mineral exploration business back in 1993 as an investor relations consultant. I spent the better part of 10 years working for various companies exploring for gold and precious metals as well as base metals and diamonds.
In the mid-2000s I ended up working in the field alongside a couple of different geologists and spent time managing drill programs, splitting drill core, prospecting and assisting in the staking of claims. I also helped structure some companies—bringing project opportunities and public companies together.
In 2010 I was given the opportunity to run a junior exploration company called Lakeland Resources. That company merged with Alpha Exploration in late 2015 and became ALX Uranium [TSXV:AL]. I remained as president until October of 2016 after concluding a transaction with Denison [TSX:DML] on behalf of ALX.
I was appointed president of Kapuskasing Gold in February of 2016. We carried out some drilling last summer on a gold project in Timmins, Ontario, but unfortunately did not intersect anything of significance in that campaign. Since that time I have been looking for the right opportunity or opportunities to bring in to the Kapuskasing property portfolio. The Newfoundland property package seemed like the right fit, and since then we have done some consolidating to the original acquisitions announced on March 1, 2017, and then more recently added the Daniel’s Harbour zinc property to the property portfolio. The copper-cobalt projects are the Lady Pond property and the King’s Court property. The lack of systematic testing for cobalt gave rise to these properties being so interesting because, the few times cobalt was tested for, there were several anomalous values. I particularly like the short- and longer-term outlook for both copper and zinc, and these copper-cobalt projects also provide a polymetallic exposure that includes cobalt, gold and silver.
Isabel: Congratulations on your recent zinc property acquisition in Newfoundland, the Daniel’s Harbour property. What intrigued you about this project?
Jon: The opportunity to acquire a project that was a past-producer is always an interesting one. There is an old saying in the mining business that the best place to look for a mine or a deposit is in the “shadow of a headframe.” The Mississippi Valley-type nature of these zinc deposits is also intriguing because of the difficulty in finding them. Typically they are found in an outcrop as was the case for the majority of the lenses that were mined out between 1975 and 1990. I am of the belief that there is an opportunity to find more of these lenses within the boundary of the current Daniel’s Harbour zinc property. The fact that Altius [TSX:ALS] has acquired a significant land position within the immediate area of this project only helps to reaffirm my belief. We will do some compilation of the historic work and more recent exploration on the property and incorporate some out-of-the-box thinking on how to employ some geophysics that have either not been used before or perhaps some re-interpretation. Another aspect could be a ground prospecting program that may identify an outcrop or showing on the property that has yet to be found.
Isabel: What are your exploration plans for the coming months?
Jon: Kapuskasing is currently undertaking a small financing to assist in getting things going both on the Daniel’s Harbour property and the Lady Pond copper-cobalt project. As mentioned, the first things for Daniel’s Harbour would be some data compilation and to identify some geophysical techniques to help identify some drill targets.
The Lady Pond copper-cobalt property has a drill-ready target area called the Twin Pond prospect, recently acquired to complete the consolidation of the original Lady Pond property package. We have also staked several claims to cover additional historic showings of copper-cobalt-gold and silver. The Twin Pond prospect has a non-43-101 resource of approximately one million tonnes grading 1% copper, and looks to be open in all directions. [We hope to increase this resource] with a properly designed drill program—ideally in the coming months with the right funding and availability of service companies to carry out the work.
In the immediate area of Lady Pond, there are several past-producing mines and undeveloped prospects that could turn into economic deposits…. Rambler Metals [TSXV:RAB] has several projects and properties in this area, including the Little Deer project contiguous to our Lady Pond property. There is potential with the right combination of funding and exploration success for Kapuskasing to find more than one of these deposits within the Lady Pond property, having had a good start with the Twin Pond prospect.
Isabel: How much of Kapuskasing is held by the management?
Jon: Currently insiders and parties close to the company own approximately 20% of the issued and outstanding shares. Typically the insiders participate in the financings, as will be the case in this one. We are currently looking to raise up to $750,000 in a combination of flow-through and common shares. We hope to close a first tranche financing in the coming weeks to begin deploying exploration capital.
Isabel: What is your favourite commodity besides the ones in your company?
Jon: I do like both copper and zinc, as evidenced by the recent acquisitions. The battery technology metals are also interesting—with cobalt and lithium leading the latest charge. People forget that electricity needs copper. Wires transport the electricity from batteries and generators to the tool or outlet. I consider copper to be the most important metal for the energy metal sector. We have cobalt as a possible byproduct of the two main polymetallic projects in the Lady Pond and King’s Court projects, along with gold, silver and zinc. Kapuskasing will be in a great position to take advantage of not just one but several commodity price spikes, the first of which I think will be in both copper and zinc.
Isabel: What do you like most about your job?
Jon: I like the multifaceted aspects of running a junior exploration program; there never seems to be a dull moment. I get to meet a lot of different people in the mining and finance industry, the prospectors that generate the project ideas, and the service people that ultimately carry out the exploration of the projects with our team of geologists and technicians. The most exciting times are when we are actually carrying out a drill program. It is drilling that ultimately leads to discovery.
Isabel: That is right. Good talking to you Jon, and good luck with the drill program.
Jon: Thank you.
My hobbies: Fishing, hockey and music
Sources of news I use: News apps on my phone
My favourite airport: Vancouver
My favourite commodities: Copper, gold, zinc, cobalt
My favourite tradeshow: PDAC
With this person I would like to have dinner: Warren Buffet (talking about philanthropy, investing and life)
If I could have a superpower, it would be: Seeing into the future