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Chris Taylor: The Geo Series – Making a $1.8 Billion Discovery

Tom welcomes geologist and Chairman of Kodiak Copper, Chris Taylor to the show. Chris discusses his family background in minerals and how that lead him to become interested in geology.

Chris explains the differences between structural geology and exploration. Structural geology tries to unravel how rock layers formed while exploration is more of a search for new deposits. The two fields have a natural relationship.

Chris describes the history of Great Bear and his twelve years of developing the project. He became CEO and did a lot of restructuring. Then they found the Dixie project and the rest is history. They purchased the project in 2015 for $200k and we’re able to develop it into a 1.8 billion dollar asset. 3D modeling of the data was key to understanding the site and they were able to determine that it had excellent potential.

Keeping the company afloat was difficult but buying when the market was quite weak helped. Those shareholders that invested early saw huge returns. First, they were looking for a project in the right location where a mine could be practical. Second, they wanted the correct types of geology and a site with significant historical data. They had enough data to realize that the site had been misunderstood geologically.

One key thing they did was utilize oriented drill cores which helped in targeting the resource. Projects with too much drill activity can be risky because it may indicate poor management and capital allocation.

For explorers, transparency is vital when it comes to drilling results. Great Bear’s open approach differed from many other companies.

He discusses the importance of analyzing drill results and some of the potential red flags in the industry. Look for companies with detailed cross-sections where you can understand the grades and complexities of a site.

Chris discusses how the discovery of the ‘hinge zone’ brought a lot of investor interest but also skepticism. When they reached around a hundred drill holes the interest levels became very high.

He describes how the royalty mechanism helped to unlock the potential of the project in the eyes of financiers.

It’s important to have a team that you can easily work with who are self-motivated, independent-minded, professional, and competent. The incentives are important for success.

Lastly, Chris discusses his history with Kodiak Copper and where that project may be heading. He enjoys the exploration business because you can make value out of almost nothing.

Time Stamp References:
0:00 – Introduction
2:38 – Efficiency & Regulations
3:24 – Geology & Exploration
4:57 – Mentors
6:17 – Great Bear & Lessons
10:25 – Timing
12:08 – Dixie Lake Features
15:12 – Size, Grade & Depth
16:48 – Drill Targets
20:15 – Understanding Results
23:23 – Major Investor Interest
24:50 – Project Offers
25:37 – Royalty Creation
30:03 – Herding Cats & Dogs
32:03 – Shared Vision
33:10 – Kodiak Copper Plans
34:57 – Advice for Geologists
36:06 – Wrap Up

Talking Points From This Episode

  • Chris’s background in minerals, mining, and geology.
  • What is required to find and build a successful explorer.
  • Things to look for when evaluating junior resource companies.
  • Importance of management and the need for dedicated employees.

Guest Links:

Chris Taylor is a structural and economic geologist and mining entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience with both producers and exploration companies. He was President and Director of Great Bear Resources Ltd from December 2010. He is currently Chairman of TSX.V listed Kodiak Copper Corp. and formerly a geologist with Imperial Metals, Inc., a TSXV company from 2004 to 2009. Mr. Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Earth Sciences in 2000, and a Master of Science degree in Structural Geology from Carleton University in 2003.

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