Nicola Mining Inc. (TSX.V: NIM) is a very unique junior mining company as it provides investors with exposure to three key commodities, copper, silver, and gold, as well as generating positive cash flow. Unlike many exploration companies, we maintain three mine and mill permits.
Just as important as is assets is the realization that Nicola generative positive operational cash flow that is used towards funding exploration activities.
Key Assets are the following:
- New Craigmont Copper (Green Metal – Copper):
Nicola maintains 100% ownership of the historic Craigmont Copper Mine, which is located in southern British Columbia, and is the highest-grade major copper mine in the history of North America. The wholly-owned New Craigmont is more than a brownfield exploration project, it maintains Mine Permit M-68, is adjacent to the largest copper mine in Canada, is the site of one of North America’s highest grade historic copper mines, and is largely unexplored.
- Merritt Mill Facility: Fully permitted mill on 900 acres of free-hold owned land
The Company acquired the 900-acre land parcel for $8.0 MM in 2011 and has invested over $30.0 MM to construct a modern processing and fully-lined tailings facility, which is British Columbia’s only permitted mill capable of receiving gold and silver mill feed from throughout the province. The entire tailings facility is industrial zoned and is bolstered by environmentally friendly infrastructure. CAPEX expenditure of $30.0 MM plus does not, as Nicola sees, fully capture the facility’s intrinsic value as this would require adding on costs associated with a decade of consultation, environmental impact studies, and economic impact studies.
- Treasure Mountain (High Grade Silver Mine): Mine Permit M-239: 51 mineral tenures, over 2,850 hectares
Like New Craigmont, Treasure Mountain is a permitted mine site and holds Mine Permit M-239, which allows the Company to mine up to 60,000 tonnes per year of silver/lead/zinc mill feed. The high-grade silver project maintains 4 fully developed portals, in-situ National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) compliant resource estimate between portals 1 and 2. There are four fully developed portals, but the true value of the project lies in its exploration upside. There are three zones of particular interest: the MB Zone, the Easter Zone (JK Zone) and the Jensen Portal.
Summary, Strategy, and Liquidity
The Company’s strategy is clear, and we believe our crown asset, New Craigmont, will be the main valuation driver. The key targets generated from the ZTEM survey will be the basis of a diamond drilling exploration program that doesn’t require a full resource estimate, but, rather, a “proof of concept” in the existence / discovery of a porphyry system. There are two key points here that require clarity: the first is that we shouldn’t limit our targets to one porphyry target because, as highlighted by our neighbor Highland Valley Copper, multiple porphyry(s) often co-exist; the second is that, unlike peers that hold exploration projects, our copper project that holds Mine Permit M-68, Holding permits expedites projects by over a decade and augments NAV.
The Company is able to use its positive operational cash flow to help fund exploration activities.