Transcript of Question and Answer Session with John Franklin Huguet of Altair Resources (TSXV:AVX)
Can you please give our readers a brief overview of the Crepulje project and why you decided to get involved?
The Crepulje Zinc Prospect has a recently completed and filed 43 101 report. This property is, in geological terms, contiguous to the largest Zinc mine from the old Union of Soviet Socialists. It was never developed back then as they were mining all their needs just adjacent to this property. These are very early days but the 43 101 report is able to bring the historical work into perspective and more importantly, demonstrate the near surface zinc values. What we recognized is the value of a high grade potential near surface and the low cost associated with bringing cubic measurements into the prospect’s knowledge base at a relatively low cost.
Also, I like the company’s structure, although I would be the first to say it needs many improvements. The company has spent a lot of its capital searching for a Property of Merit and now needs to raise capital to be able to answer the obvious questions and bring definition to the prospect. This is not to say that we have a commercially viable project yet. BUT rather, we have a prospect with the ingredients to be further investigated and defined. Also, the commodity (zinc) has been beaten up pretty good and the contrarian in me recognizes the cycle will come back just based on how zinc inventories are working out on a global basis.
What gets you most excited about the potential of Crepulje and where do you see the biggest upside from here?
Right now this is almost a Green fields prospect. It is however, in a low cost, historically productive mining jurisdiction in a part of the world that has almost been forgotten. The small sample size of high grade zinc running near 40% is intoxicating. However, it really just says GO TO WORK. Do you realize that zinc concentrates typically run around 55 to 60%? With a high grade possibility we can commercialize IF and again I say this is very early, IF our work program finds more of it. What is the probability the high grade continues? Our work programs will start to answer those questions soon. We don’t know more than the few samples we have in hand but are encouraged to make the next steps. We need a lot of filling out as a company to accomplish these next steps. The likelihood is this high grade will not continue, however the historical results from the neighboring properties would also be very welcome.
Can you please give us short summary of your team, their expertise and why you think they’re best suited to drive value for shareholders?
My experience in mine development comes from my years with the Atkinson corporation and the teams I had the privilege to work with. Going way back to the development of the Newfoundland zinc mine for the Teck Corporation and drawing on old experiences and friendships from the Gibraltar Copper mine. During my 33 plus years with the Atkinson group we helped put together 86 major mining projects. I personally was part of the project teams on many. It’s in my blood. Most recently, I have focused more on Peru and the mining opportunities on a smaller scale. We are able to draw on the relationships built over the years to bring some outstanding people to this team. That will occur If the work programs find what we are looking for. We want to know where the zinc comes from and how the formations really occur on this property.
What is the company’s plan in the short-term and what are some catalysts investors can look forward to?
Going forward Altair intends to secure the property by paying for the option payments. We will start a work program in the coming weeks. The temptation just to focus on High grade is intoxicating however we need to do solid geological work to answer some of our bigger questions. It is still very early stage but very promising. If there is exciting news to come out, or if there is disappointing news to come out, we will find out from the work programs.
Why should investors consider Altair as a potential addition to their speculative portfolio?
The potential of the Crepulje prospect is in front of us. The possibility to direct ship High Grade Zinc may get people ahead of themselves. That shouldn’t happen. It is far too early to qualify or quantify outcomes. We will get results from our work programs and make good decisions based on those results. That is the process we will follow and we look forward to that process.