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Copper Explorer Gathers Experts for 'Untapped' Ariz. Project

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A Canadian copper company is putting together a team of experts to meet the challenge of providing the red metal needed for the energy transition. Find out which research firm has rated the stock a top performer.

As copper prices continue to rise on fears of shortages, one Canadian copper company is putting together a team of experts to meet the challenge of providing the red metal needed for the energy transition.

Vancouver-based World Copper Ltd. (WCU:TSX.V;WCUFF:OTCQX; 7LY0:FRA) is focused on the exploration and development of its coppery porphyry projects in Arizona and Chile.

The Technical Advisory Committee announced Monday will work on the development of the Zonia project in Arizona to guide development issues such as permitting, construction, and ramp-up of the project.

Two committee members, mining executives Joe Phillips and Derek White, have been appointed, the company said.

"The copper market is in desperate need of lower cost, faster to market copper oxide projects like Zonia," said World Copper Chief Executive Officer Gord Neal. "Mr. White and Mr. Phillips both understand the outstanding value proposition this asset offers and they bring a great deal of knowledge and experience in developing and building mines effectively."

A Top-5 Performer

Copper has climbed above US$10,000 a ton on the predictions of tighter supplies and rising consumption for use in electric vehicles (EVs) and power grides.

"Prices of copper have risen 17% this year on fears of shortages, with aging mines forecast to struggle to keep pace with demand," reported.

ANZ Group Holdings Ltd. analysts, including Daniel Hynes, told the site that supply growth is stagnating.

Taylor Combaluzier of Red Cloud Securities has noted that Zonia "has lots of untapped potential" for copper.

Taylor Combaluzier of Red Cloud Securities has noted that Zonia "has lots of untapped potential" for copper.

"It could either be rapidly developed for nearer-term production or potentially be expanded through exploration to increase the scale of the project," Combaluzier wrote.

In March, WCU was named among Fundamental Research Corp.'s (FRC) Top five performers of the week, the equity research firm reported in its March 4 note, taking the fifth spot after a week-over-week (WOW) return of 17%.

An updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) filed for Zonia by World Copper increased total resources by about 90% to about 198 million tonnes from a 2017 estimate, with contained copper increasing by 55% to about 1.03 billion pounds.

Escalones is about 100 kilometers from Santiago. Its PEA (preliminary economic assessment) estimates an inferred resource of 426 million tonnes of 0.367% copper, containing 3,447 pounds of copper. A coming catalyst includes a preliminary

feasibility study (PFS) of Zonia's main deposit.

The Catalyst: An 'Underappreciated' Critical Mineral

EVs use more than three times as much copper, a preferred material for electrical conductors, as gas-burning cars. New copper production — and investment in exploration — will be needed to fuel the supply of those vehicles in the long term, analysts have said.

BMI analysts believe copper deficits could grow at an extreme pace over the coming decade as the clean energy revolution takes hold, predicting prices of US$11,500 per ton by 2032.

"In the longer term, we expect the copper market to remain in deficit as the green transition accelerates along with the demand for 'green' metals, including copper," BMI's analysts said, according to Stockhead.

"Based on industry-wide capital intensity data, we calculate that some US$196 billion of investment will be required," a market analysis issued by RFC Ambrian said. "Of this, US$80 billion is for greenfield projects, and US$116 billion is for brownfield projects, of which US$71 billion is simply for replacement capacity. A further US$35 billion of investment will be required to close the supply gap."

An S&P report called copper "one of the most underappreciated critical minerals."

"Deeper electrification requires wires, and wires are primarily made from copper," the report said.

Billionaire Robert Friedland, founder and executive co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., has told Bloomberg that he feared copper prices could jump tenfold eventually.

"We're heading for a train wreck here," he said.

New Committee Members

According to the company, Joe Phillips has a "distinguished track record in achieving revenue, profit, and business growth objectives for mining and manufacturing companies in the U.S. and 10 other countries globally. He has successfully built 14 mining projects in 11 different jurisdictions."

He was chief operating officer of Minera Tres Valles in Chile, where he designed and implemented the upgrade and expansion of its SX-EW copper operation, and has held senior management roles at Pan American Silver, Coeur Mining, and Carpathian Gold.

Streetwise Ownership Overview*

World Copper Ltd. (WCU:TSX.V; WCUFF:OTCQB)

*Share Structure as of 4/20/2023

Phillips holds an undergraduate degree from the Colorado School of Mines and graduate studies in engineering management at the University of South Florida.

Derek White has more than three decades of experience in the mining and metals industry, World Copper said. Currently, he is president and CEO of Ascot Resources Ltd. Highlights of his career include the development and construction of the Carlota copper oxide mine in Arizona, Premier gold mine in British Columbia, and the world-class Sierra Gorda mine in Chile.

He has an undergraduate degree in Geological Engineering from the University of British Columbia and is also a chartered accountant, the company said.

Ownership and Share Structure

Wealth Minerals Ltd. (WML:TSX.V; WMLLF:OTCQB) owns about 11.51% of World Copper. About 27% is owned by management and insiders, including Director Robert Kopple with 8.37% and Board Chairman Hendrik van Alphen with 1.14% or 3.25 million shares. CEO Neal holds about 0.96%. The rest is retail.

Its market cap is CA$26.88 million. It has 178 million shares outstanding, including 126 million of them free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.20 and CA$0.055.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. World Copper Ltd. is a billboard sponsor of Streetwise Reports and pays SWR a monthly sponsorship fee between US$4,000 and US$5,000.
  2. As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of World Copper Ltd.
  3. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee.
  4.  This article does not constitute investment advice and is not a solicitation for any investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her personal financial adviser and perform their own comprehensive investment research. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company. 

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