As the clean energy sector continues to drive copper demand, new sources of supply are being increasingly sought, and Canadian companies are leading the hunt to find more of the metal at home.
Ontario-based project generator Rich Copper Exploration is one of these, and is focussing on projects in the northern part of the province, as well as on Canada’s east coast. The privately held junior’s holdings include seven properties in Ontario and two in New Brunswick, with the majority in the Algoma district of northern Ontario.
All of the company’s assets are located in areas with past production and known copper occurrences, as well as existing local infrastructure and site access, which will facilitate their development.
The company’s interest in Algoma stems from extensive research into the historical work done in the region, which has hosted copper projects for over a century. But as Jim Atkinson, Rich Copper’s vice-president, points out, they are bringing a new perspective to the region’s potential.
“Copper has been neglected in Ontario as well as a lot of Eastern Canada,” says Atkinson. “In the rush for gold, everybody's been looking for gold for the last ten years. But we thought we should look at what can be done on the copper side. And I have always had a thing about the Algoma area, because there's lots of mineralization there and it's been mined for a long time, but hasn't been looked at for a while.”
Atkinson says that the company began its research into sites in Algoma by sifting through archival sources, provincial ministry assessment reports and old maps. What the team discovered was a number of copper occurrences in the region that showed diamond drill intersections strong enough to merit possible acquisition.
“People have to understand that this area is the first place copper was ever mined in Canada,” says Atkinson. “So, if you’re looking for copper properties, a good place to start is by looking where it’s been mined before, which is what we’ve done. We updated the historical information we’ve amassed using more modern technology in order to further assess and move these properties forward.”
Rich Copper’s Algoma assets include the Island Copper property, a 62-hectare site located about 20 km northeast of Sault Ste. Marie near the community of Heyden. The site was explored almost two decades ago by Falconbridge, which reported a series of copper-bearing fault structures and breccia zones but did no follow-up drilling. Other Ontario assets include the 480-hectare Abbican site northwest of Blind River, the 200-hectare Christy Lake property south of Elliot Lake, and the Copper Prince property 30 km north of Iron Bridge.
In New Brunswick, Rich Copper’s assets include its 530-hectare Dorchester property, a past-producing copper mine located about 10 km northwest of Sackville and 30 km east of Moncton.
“Our goals looking ahead are simple: We want to update the information on our assets, prepare 43-101s where we can, and then prepare to begin the listing process to go public,” CEO David McDonald says. “That means consolidating our properties into a nice package that appeals to partners we want to work with. And we know that going public will help that process. So, we are working towards being listed by the second half of 2022.”
Both Atkinson and McDonald say that as Covid restrictions are being lifted in Ontario, they are preparing to head back to Algoma in the months ahead.
“I can’t wait to get back in the bush,” says McDonald. “These properties are the tip of the iceberg, if you ask me. It’s certain that we will continue to grow our properties in the years ahead, engage with investors, joint venture partners and others. We are absolutely committed to finding assets that open a new page in the Canadian copper story.”
The preceding Joint Venture article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by Rich Copper Exploration and produced in cooperation with The Northern Miner. Visit richcopper.ca for more information.