I had a chance to speak with Heatherdale Resources CEO Mr. Pat Smith about what now has to be one of the more undervalued speculations in the junior resource market, HTR (My questions are in bold and Mr. Smith’s responses follow):
For those who are not familiar with Heatherdale Resources Ltd., can you provide a brief description of the company and its main assets?
Heatherdale is a mineral exploration and development company based in Vancouver, Canada, focused on mineral projects in Alaska.
The flagship Niblack Project is an advanced exploration stage project with high values of copper, gold, zinc and silver. Given the successful exploration progress, geological endowment and favourable location, Niblack has excellent potential to support an important high-grade underground mining operation in the near future.
Heatherdale has a strong pipeline for future growth with the mid-stage exploration opportunity at its Delta Zinc-Gold-Silver-Copper-Lead Project. The Delta Project encompasses a district scale property position with demonstrated resource potential that provides a great asset for the future growth of the company.
What were the significant milestones that Heatherdale achieved over the past year?
In 2011, Heatherdale reached a number of significant corporate and project milestones.
In October 2011, Heatherdale and Niblack Mineral Development Inc. announced an agreement for a friendly takeover of Niblack by Heatherdale and the transaction was successfully closed on January 18, 2012. Heatherdale now holds 100% interest in Niblack Project LLC, which holds 6,200 acres of federal and state mineral claims that make up the Niblack Copper-Gold-Zinc-Silver Project.
Drilling over the past two years, with 76,054 feet completed in 2011, has affirmed the potential of the Niblack Project. In November 2011, Heatherdale announced a further 31% increase to total mineral resource tonnage over its March 2011 estimate providing a strong base to advance the project. In addition, the results from drilling show exceptional potential exists to build on the mineral resources already established. We have achieved a more refined understanding of the geometry and grade of the Niblack deposit that has significantly enhanced the accuracy of the resource and mine planning models currently being developed. We completed due diligence studies on more than five potential mill site locations and refined the selection to three priority locations offsite from the Niblack property. Furthermore, the studies established the economic benefits support direct shipping of Niblack ore to an offsite mill facility.
An exploration drilling program was completed at Heatherdale’s 60%-owned Delta Zinc-Gold-Silver-Copper-Lead Project in 2011. Last year’s drill program tested high priority targets, intersecting significant mineralization at the MID zone. Although earlier stage, Delta is an exciting exploration project that returned some excellent – particularly silver – grades. These high grade targets will be the focus of further exploration in 2012.
What type of investment has Heatherdale made in the Niblack and Delta projects?
Since 2009, Heatherdale has raised over $35.75 million and used the funds to drill 183,500 feet of core and for technical studies at the Niblack Project. As a result, the Indicated resource has grown from 1.7 Mt to 3.4 Mt, and the Inferred resource from 2.6 Mt to 5.6 Mt. Heatherdale has also completed advanced engineering studies in support of a draft Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Heatherdale has the option to earn 100% of the Delta Property from Grayd Resources (now Agnico Eagle). We have completed expenditures of approximately $1.6 million that can be applied toward the completion of the initial contribution of $3 million to secure 60% ownership. We have completed surface mapping, rock and boulder sampling, and 2742 feet of core drilling in 2011. This work has identified excellent drill ready targets focused on significantly expanding the Inferred resource estimate in the MID area.
What are Heatherdale’s plans for the rest of 2012?
Heatherdale is focused on advancing the Niblack and Delta projects. At Niblack, the first priority is to build on the resources at Lookout, Lookout West and Trio that are very much open to expansion. Additionally, the known mineralized zones at Dama, Niblack Mine and Lindsy zones will be enhanced by further drilling. We are also focused on securing a location for milling and processing ore from the Niblack Project.
At the Delta Project, Heatherdale will focus on drill ready targets in the MID area to significantly expand the resource.
Looking out longer term, what is the development timeline for the Niblack Project?
Work on the Pre-feasibility and Feasibility Studies is targeted for completion over the next few years with project construction to follow. We will continue with exploration and resource expansion drilling throughout the project development phase.
Why is Heatherdale focused on developing mineral projects in Alaska?
In general, Alaska is a great place to explore and develop mineral resources. Heatherdale is focused on properties that show exceptionally high quality resource potential and that are reasonably close to access and infrastructure.
The Niblack Project has security of title in a stable jurisdiction within the Ketchikan Mining District that has a long tradition of supporting and understanding hard rock mining. The project is located in Southeast Alaska on Prince of Wales Island and very near tidewater. It enjoys year-around access by boat and floatplane, and is well served by existing site infrastructure.
The Delta Project is on Alaska State Mining Claims and enjoys very good access and infrastructure. The security of title, the jurisdiction, and the location afford Heatherdale with the opportunity to develop the resource as the exploration shows success and the economics bear out positively.
Are the local communities and stakeholders supportive of Heatherdale?
Heatherdale has received overwhelming support from the communities in Southeast Alaska especially those on Prince of Wales Island and in and around Ketchikan, population 12,000. The Southeast Alaska legislative delegation has visited the site and has been very supportive. Governor Parnell has spoken expansively in support of Heatherdale and responsible mineral development of the Niblack Project. And, Heatherdale has received bipartisan support from the Alaska delegation. In March of this year, the Prince of Wales Community Advisory Council passed Resolution No. 11-02 supporting development of road access to the Niblack Property.
What role does Hunter Dickinson Inc. (HDI) have in Heatherdale’s management and operations?
HDI provides management and technical services to Heatherdale via a cost-efficient system through access to a shared team of mining and financial professionals with worldwide experience in exploration, development, permitting, construction and operations. HDI is a leader in the global mining industry with a proven track record of mineral development success.
Thank you Mr. Smith!
I like to suggest readers contact Sean Thompson at HTR for a more detailed review of HTR:
Hunter Dickinson Inc. | 15th Floor – 1040 W. Georgia St. Vancouver BC V6E 4H8 Canada
Dir +1-778-373-6727 T +1-604-684-6365 F +1-604-639-9209 TF 800-667-2114
E SeanThompson@hdimining.com Web hdimining.com