In my discussions with various people whenever the question comes up over who will partner up on Schaft Creek a sudden silence takes over. The only words of wisdom that I can remember are that we should just look at the facts as they are. Xstrata has a stake hold and so does Royal Gold. This leaves little doubt about the strength of the money behind the project should it be given the go ahead.
Several times the subject of how to proceed has come up and the usual answer is more drilling should all else fail. We've been discussing the contract in detail because there are clauses that require an answer regarding the "Bankability" and the required JV that is supposed to occur within 60 days of the declaration.
Currently, the 30 days to notify have lapsed and we've heard nothing so the FS is automatically deemed Bankable. It's expected that the JV period will go by without a word too. At this point investors will get really hostile towards management. There's been a lot of rumbling about being kept in the dark. The thing is, there are underlying agreements that require certain information to be held in trust and cannot be disclosed to the public. It's entirely possible that this is why we have not been given an answer from Teck. They may also be under wraps by a sub agreement with Liard.
What I do know for certain. Teck is going to build projects while other companies sit idle. Look at Tumble Ridge. All that's needed there is the enviro permit and they are off to the races. If you speak to the small handful of employees there you will see the enthusiasm. It rubs off on you right away. Everyone there is stoked. In speaking with past employees of the project you get the sense that everyone loved working there and many will return.
I've met Teck people from Trail BC to Prince George and no one has anything bad to say about working there. This to me is a very big positive indicator about the stewardship Teck takes and the pride the employees have in their work.
My take away this week is that Schaft Creek needs to get on the Boards docket so a vote can be put to it. I'm pretty sure that they will vote to go ahead with the JV.
Given the timelines for lead purchases we should expect a notice before the months end. Incidentally, if you are looking at the share price as an indicator you could easily come to the wrong conclusion. I'm expecting an attack on the sp tomorrow because the people behind the curtain know that news is coming. Whether it's the drilling plan or results from the Arizona properties it will have a small effect on the sp. We are due for our yearly plan and the company returns from holidays next week.
I would not be surprised to hear a major announcement soon and I suspect the holidays were timed with the submission of the key report that goes before the Board. I highly doubt they would book holidays if the report was not ready. But with that said, Teck's Copper Board is pretty busy these days. You don't just drop in. You have to get in the line.
A quick look through the Careers at Teck page shows there's a lot of activity happening. As for Xstrata and Royal Gold, I have not been able to get anything meaningful out of them. Both are focused on other initiatives or they are just keeping mum on the subject.