Canadian-Japanese partners eye promising copper project in western Nunavut – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 15, 2015)

“We think we have a great start at building something terrific”

There’s something a little different about a new copper-silver project near Kugluktuk. This doesn’t come as a surprise because Matthew Hornor, president and CEO of a company called Kaizen Discovery, confided “our dream was to do things different” during an April 14 presentation to the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit.

“Kaizen,” by the way, means continuous improvement in Japanese, a language that Hornor, who has a long-time relationship with Japan, speaks fluently.

Kaizen Discovery’s Coppermine project is one of two Nunavut mining projects with Japanese partners — the other being Areva Resources Canada’s Kiggavik uranium project whose minority partners include Japan-Canada Uranium Co. Ltd. and Daewoo International Corp.

Kaizen’s Coppermine copper-silver project, acquired last November, is also a newcomer to the western Nunavut mining scene. Hornor said he’s reluctant to make promises until the company is sure the resources are there to support a large copper-silver mine project.

But this fledgling project has a few things that make it stand out among the slow-starting, stalled or failed mining projects in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region.

Those include MMG’s ambitious Izok corridor project, now in limbo because it couldn’t find partners, especially government ones, to help pay for a port, airport, road, and microwave broadband system.

The Coppermine project, in contrast, has access to money — enough to build the $270-million port and most of the other basic infrastructure it would need for a future mine.

That’s because of the connection between Tundra Copper Corp. and Kaizen Discovery.

Kaizen’s partners include Itochu Corp. in Japan, a major trading house company worth $20 billion which is always on the lookout for resources to feed Japan’s hungry automotive and electronic industries.

Second, the Coppermine project’s property looks great with high-grade, large tonnage potential copper-silver deposits — and it’s located only five kilometres from a possible port and close to the town of Kugluktuk, which lies only 35 km from the centre of the claim.

“We think we have a great start at building something terrific,” Hornor told Nunatsiaq News.

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