Hercules Metals exploration making headway

Hercules Metals Corp. hosted a townhall meeting on Wednesday, June 26 to discuss exploratory drilling at sites north of Cambridge. The company hopes to develop a silver/copper mine. Above, left, Chris Longton and, right Chris Paul gave a presentation and answered questions from the community. Phoro by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series involving mineral exploration under way north of Cambridge.
 CAMBRIDGE – Representatives of Hercules Metals Corp. hosted a townhall meeting on Wednesday, June 26 at the Washington County Fairgrounds exhibit hall in Cambridge.
 Over a hundred individuals attended the meeting, which was led by Vice President of Exploration Chris Longton and CEO/Director Chris Paul. Both are geologists. The company is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
 The discussion involved details surrounding exploration of land located north of Cambridge on state land.
 Initially, the corporation was targeting silver, but during the exploration process discovered what Longton described as a “mysterious anomaly at depth” following initial exploratory drilling.
 “So, last year, we came out and did our maiden drill program and by the time we got to the fifth hole, we decided it was time to find out what this mysterious anomaly was.”
 Crews used modern geophysical IP (induced polarization) to inject a current into the ground, acting similar to a giant metal detector, up to 3,000 feet beneath the surface.
 What they found was something they did not expect.
 “We ended up hitting a very long intercept of very high-grade copper and it was a complete, utter, and amazing surprise for us,” Paul explained. “That’s what sparked all the mania that we saw last fall and all through winter with all the other companies coming in and staking claims and picking up more land.” 
 Since last year, a handful of companies have made over 6,000 claims in the area, 800 of them belonging to Hercules Metals Corp. Claims are still coming, according to Washington County administrators.
 Last year, a member of the Weiser Airport board of directors approached the Signal American about investigating helicopters, loaded with stakes, arriving at, and departing from, the airport on a daily basis, for weeks. It is still not clear for which company or companies the helicopters were operating.
 What is clear is that Hercules is the only company to approach the community directly and have open discussions in the form of townhall meetings. The first was held last December.
 The reason, in part, is that there is a lot at stake.
 Hercules’ discovery of copper has even triggered a name change.
 “We have historically been Hercules Silver Corp.; we are now Hercules Metals,” Longton said. “We changed our name because we are not only looking for silver, but we are also looking for copper as well, and who knows what else is down there. We just hedged our bets to call ourselves ‘Metals.’”
 The history of mining in the area goes back to 1870.
 “They went after high-grade, kind of easy, low hanging fruit; these pockets of high-grade silver all over the place, a 40-mile belt,” Paul said. “They got mined out and by about 1920 there wasn’t much left. In 1965, an exploration company, which is sort of our predecessor company, came here. They signed an option agreement with a ranch called Nixon Ranch. Basically, the deal was a bunch of cash payments and they committed to doing all kinds of exploration, earning mineral rights that the ranch owned, the right to use the surface to do exploration drilling.”
 For about 20 years, between 1965 and 1984, the company drilled about 308 holes, with things really taking off around 1979 or 1980, according to Paul who said the silver prices eventually fell through the floor, ending the company’s dreams of building a silver mine.
 “It just didn’t work because silver crashed to about $4 and it stayed there for a long time,” he said. “It didn’t really recover until the late 2000s. By then, all of the historical operators sort of left. We learned about it in 2020 and essentially picked up the project. We bought the project in 2021 with the idea that … silver prices were much better. All metal prices have been doing really well lately with all the chaos that’s happening in the world, all the inflation. With everything going on, gold and silver has been moving up, so we picked this up for that reason.”
 Shortly thereafter, while drilling the initial five holes, they discovered the anomaly, which turned out to be copper, which is used heavily in construction, electrical grids, electronic products, transportation equipment, home appliances, and even renewable energy sources. 
 It is also a key component in producing alloys for different industries and has antimicrobial properties said to be beneficial for health applications.
 Be sure to keep a look out for the second part of this ongoing story.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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