Trilogy Metals – Strong Management, High Grade, Solid Partners, Located In The World’s Friendliest Mining Jurisdictions
Company: Trilogy Metals Inc. (TSX, NYSE American: TMQ)
President, CEO and Director: Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse
Education: Candidature degree in Science from the Université de Louvain, Belgium. Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Arizona
Headquarters: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Number of locations: 1 – Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, Alaska
Founded in 2012
Previous position: Founder, President, CEO and Director, NovaGold Resources
Canada’s top think-tank, the Fraser Institute, has dubbed Alaska the 5th largest mining district in the world. Located in a safe, environmentally conscious and mineral rich region, Alaska is home to the Ambler Copper District, owned by Canadian mining company, Trilogy Metals Inc. (Trilogy). “Trilogy is developing the Ambler Mining District to produce Copper, Zinc, Lead, Gold, Silver and Cobalt,” says the company’s President, CEO and Director Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse. These are all metals that are needed in order to support our modern way of life.”
While southern Africa and Chile produce the majority of the world’s mined copper, with a total of 70% coming from these regions, neither have the combined appeal offered by Alaska’s Trilogy Metals – who’s high-grade assets are located within a friendly jurisdiction. “Alaska is highly supportive of mining. This is particularly important given that geopolitical risk has been growing significantly in many other copper mining jurisdictions in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.” Van Nieuwenhuyse goes on to explain the unique proposition that lays in the asset’s location. “Most of the global copper projects are low-grade bulk tonnage operations that require billions of dollars for development. The average grade of copper projects today is less than 1% whereas Trilogy’s Arctic Project has an average reserve grade of 5% copper equivalent. Even in a weak copper price environment, the Arctic Project’s economics are still highly compelling.”
In addition, Trilogy has strong financial backing. “We have an option agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture with South32 Ltd. (South32) which has a current capitalization of approximately USD$13 billion.” As part of the agreement between the two companies, South32 paid Trilogy USD$30 million over three years, with the last payment having already been made in January 2019. “South32 now has until the end of January 2020 to exercise its option. Once the option is exercised, South32 must contribute approximately USD$150 million to the joint venture.”
Another significant partnership is between Trilogy Metals and NANA Regional Corporation (NANA), one of thirteen regional native corporations. “This partnership has benefited us tremendously. NANA is a multibillion-dollar entity that derives a significant amount of its revenue from mining and mining related services. Having an indigenous group as a partner that has benefited from mining is a huge advantage for us.”
Prior to joining Trilogy, Van Nieuwenhuyse was the head of NOVAGOLD RESOURCES INC. (“NOVAGOLD”). “We took the 40 million-ounce Donlin Gold project up the value chain to a feasibility level of study. The assets that form the basis of Trilogy were spun out of NOVAGOLD to form a copper focused exploration company.”
While market conditions have impacted most companies across the board, Trilogy Metals’ stock has managed to perform quite well. Van Nieuwenhuyse attributes this success to a strong shareholder base. “Our shareholders have always been very supportive of the company. In addition, Trilogy is well capitalized, and has a very supportive partner in South32. Finally, medium and long-term copper fundamentals are very robust and the company is poised to take advantage of this situation.”
According to Van Nieuwenhuyse, 2019 will be a big year for the copper mining company. “We have budgeted USD$18.2 million for our projects in the Ambler Mining District. We are also spending USD$2 million on a regional exploration program at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects.” In addition, by the end of 2019, it’s expected that permitting for a 210-mile road that will provide easy access to the mine will be completed.
In summary, Van Nieuwenhuyse cites three reasons why investors should be purchasing Trilogy stock now:
- The Company’s Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects (UKMP) contain some of the highest-grade base metal (copper and zinc) mineral deposits in the world.
- Trilogy has an option agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture with South32. Should South32 decide to exercise the option, it will contribute USD$150 million to the joint venture.
- The team at the helm of Trilogy brings years of geological and mine management experience with a notable track record.