(Financial Press - Sept 26, 2013) - Newly producing mines tend to have a positive ripple effect among their neighbors. Once an area is officially productive, development on adjacent lands tend to pick up the pace significantly. Producers are breeding grounds for investment activity among their surroundings.
One of British Columbia's most recent examples of this is that of Copper Mountain [TSX: CUM]. Thanks to the major's Copper Mountain Mine, the overall feasibility of more mining activity in the region was enhanced greatly. Also known as the "Superpit," Copper Mountain's success has enabled nearby projects to ramp up.
Much smaller junior companies near producers become much more enticing, when the label of potential takeout target is attached.
At a market cap of only $2 million, adjacent landowners Anglo-Canadian Mining Corp. [TSXV: URA] are drilling again. Their fully owned and highly prospective Princeton copper-gold property borders Copper Mountain’s, and only needs to prove mineralization in the range of 0.3% to match their neighbor's grades. Assays from the first hole of its 2013 program are due out any day now.
"We have claims for copper, gold, silver and palladium values right next to Copper Mountain's mine," says Len Harris, President and CEO of Anglo-Canadian. "We're currently drilling on our 2,200 hectares only 4km away from their mill."
Anglo-Canadian is permitted to drill 10,000 more meters this year. With talks already underway with some international partners, the focus on raising what’s needed to drill out those 10,000 meters has been key.
"Through a 3D IP mag survey, we have identified 4 targets," says Harris. "One is quite a large high chargeability target that's over 900 meters long. The other zone we're drilling is called the Combination Zone, which has a surface showing and an old historic shaft with a lot of copper in it."
"We think we have somewhere between 20 and 25 million tonnes already. If we can extend on this zone over the entire 350 meters to the historic shaft, I think there is a possibility for copper in the system all the way. In that case, if we're lucky enough to have that entire 350m strike length, we could hopefully end up with 100 million tonnes of mineable grades. The cut-off grade is about 0.15% and the average grade at Copper Mountain is about 0.31%."
With metal prices on the rise expectations are much higher than last year making this year's drilling campaign is more crucial than ever. With an equity financing underway at the current low price of $0.05 for a maximum raise of $200,000, investors are presented with an opportunity to assist in the campaign's success.
Upon completion of the drilling results, Anglo-Canadian inches closer to a newfound merger, sale or JV opportunity. As metals prices begin to rise again, an aggressive drill program might be just what Anglo-Canadian needs to prove it's chasing something serious.
Neighbouring Copper Mountain was given a huge boost when it signed a deal with foreign investors. Japanese giant Mitsubishi owns 25% of the Copper Mountain Mine.
In the eyes of a Copper Mountain or its partners, Anglo-Canadian represents a very easy takeover decision, should they prove up the grades and quantities that Harris believes are possible.
Any entity looking to takeover Anglo-Canadian would not only get it's Princeton copper property, but also its gold projects near Lillooet as well. In particular, its Stirrup Gold and Zeus projects are of note for potential acquisitions.
While Princeton is the flagship, Stirrup is also a high-priority property in a prolific copper-gold producing area.
Stirrup covers 1182 hectares over 38 contiguous claims at the headwaters for Stirrup Creek. This creek bed has been placer mined for the last couple years by a geologist getting as much as 2-3 ounces daily.
"All the gold in Stirrup Creek comes from our property, because we've got the headwaters and all the claims around it," says Harris. "We've drilled it twice and hit some pretty good values."
"Back when we drilled it in 2005, we had our highest grades, which were approximately 9.7g/t over a meter and 17.4 g/t over a meter. As well we had 10s of meters in between 0.5-2.0 g/t. At the time you wouldn't say that was economic, but now with metal prices where they are, it's a different story."
The property is a former asset of Chevron, which owned many claims in the region. However, an unfavourable political environment for mining at the time made companies like Chevron head for the hills. Today, it’s a different regime, with different expectations for success.
Along with Stirrup as a sleeper project is the Zeus property, which is very nearby. The company believes it has approximately 200,000 tonnes of 0.94% copper with 8 g/t gold already drilled on the property. Much of the results came near the surface, with the deepest holes being 100m on a 65 degree angle. Thus, the company looks forward to increase drilling at deeper depths in order to increase the tonnage.
Going forward, the market appears to be more receptive than last year at the same time for a junior on the move. With the aggressive drilling campaign necessary at Princeton, and equity financing in advance of more drilling, the Anglo-Canadian story gets more interesting as new developments from both the Princeton property, and the Copper Mountain property hit the newswire.
"I think the market has bottomed, and there is a lot more interest now in this market," says Harris.
The company has drilled two holes so far this year, and is finishing its third. With a permit to drill 10,000 more metres, interest in the project increases, and viability for new investment from outside becomes more of a real possibility.
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