Tag Archives: Public Entrepreneur

Northstar Gold: The new face shining brightly in the Kirkland Lake gold camp

When you’re a new name in exploration on the market, it helps to have an established project with a proven team at the helm.

This statement certainly holds true for recently listed Northstar Gold (CSE:NSG), a company that is working on advancing the Miller Gold Project in Ontario’s famous Kirkland Lake Gold District. This region has historically delivered more than 25 million ounces of gold from seven mines.

Northstar is led by Chief Executive Officer Brian Fowler, a seasoned mining executive with over 38 years of experience in mineral exploration under his belt. Behind Fowler is a veteran team of mining and capital markets experts with decades of insight and success advancing resource companies and projects.

Miller is a 1,100 hectare property just south of the town of Kirkland Lake, central to a district that has been producing gold for more than a hundred years.

In the early 1900s, the historic Miller Independence Mine saw a number of shallow shafts and three levels of development on the high-grade gold No. 1 Vein, with limited success. Exploration by Northstar and others since then has defined additional shallow high-grade gold veins, with a historic estimate of 270,000 ounces of gold at 11.5 grams per ton, and a lower-grade bulk tonnage gold exploration target at Planet Syenite that may contain up to 500,000 ounces of near-surface gold ranging in grade from 1 to 3  grams per ton. None of these targets has been tested at depth.

It’s the geology, however, that excites Northstar’s CEO the most. “The Miller Gold Property has very compelling geological similarities to the Macassa SMC (South Mine Complex) and other Kirkland Lake gold deposits,” explains Fowler. “Miller has the same style of vertical and flat, high-grade gold-telluride veins that are a unique feature of the Kirkland Lake District. Furthermore, gold mineralization on the Miller Property is controlled by a ‘first order’ fault structure (the Catharine Fault) that joins the regional Kirkland Larder Break and similar first order structures within the Kirkland Gold District. These fault structures acted as channels and traps for gold deposition.”

Fowler goes on to explain that it has been determined that gold mineralization at Miller was emplaced at the same time as that at the Kirkland Camp gold deposits, some 2.6 billion years ago. These similarities and geological features suggest Miller could be tapping the same gold source as the Kirkland Gold District.  The Macassa mine has been in production since the 1930s and owner Kirkland Gold continues to find and produce high-grade gold more than 2 kilometres below surface. The Miller Property, on the other hand, is essentially unexplored below 300 metres.

“We’re really excited [to have] both Kirkland-style high grade gold-telluride veins and broad low-grade intrusion-related gold mineralization in significant quantities on the Miller Property,” Fowler says, “Our main job now is to do some drilling on these targets and bring them to 43-101 status. If you stand back and look at it, we could be knocking on the door of around 700,000 to 800,000 ounces here.”

Since Northstar picked up Miller in 2012, the company has spent around $2 million on exploration. Including the use of  ground magnetics, 3D IP surveying, and nearly 6,000 metres of diamond drilling in 27 holes. Those holes returned multiple high-grade and broad low-grade intersections with abundant visible gold. In 2016, the company mined and processed a 932 ton bulk sample from the historic No. 1 vein that averaged 5.1 grams per ton gold.

Most of the past drilling done at Miller has been vertical in nature.  Subsequent surface stripping and sampling by Northstar has defined numerous vertical high-grade gold veins and structures, which cannot be assessed, let alone discovered, by vertical drilling. This year’s drill program will see Northstar utilize angled holes to properly test these new targets.

“We’re very confident that we’re going to make new discoveries at Miller, possibly within the Catherine Fault zone itself, which amazingly has never been drilled,” Fowler says. “It’s comparable to Kirkland Lake Gold’s Amalgamated Break where they’ve found an incredible amount of high-grade gold mineralization that remains open at depth. These structures can be incredibly rich and with kilometre-scale strike and depth continuity. We believe we have all the makings of a Macassa SMC-like gold mineralizing system at Miller and we’re really anxious to get the drill spinning.”

At 3,000 metres, the Phase 1 drill program is scheduled to commence in late February. This will have a preliminary focus on confirming and expanding portions of the near-surface Miller Independence historic estimate and the Planet Syenite bulk tonnage gold exploration target. Drilling will also follow up other known near-surface, high-grade and intrusion-hosted gold targets, including Allied Syenite.

Having a few million dollars on hand to support exploration doesn’t hurt – Northstar closed its $3 million initial public offering on December 31st of last year at $0.30.

“Everyone thinks we either definitely have a gold market or we’re heading into a solid gold market,” Fowler says of the company’s healthy IPO. “We believe our timing was perfect.”

There’s even more to Northstar Gold than Miller, though. The explorer also has the Bryce Gold Property and the Milestone copper-nickel-cobalt claims. These could add value at the drill bit or through farm-out opportunities.

The task ahead for Northstar is to prove up the claims at Miller. “We’re going to do it through a concerted and robust exploration effort, which we are now permitted and funded to complete,” Fowler concludes. “I really believe there is excellent potential to make some significant gold discoveries at the Miller Gold Property this year.”

This story was featured in the Public Entrepreneur magazine.

Learn more about Northstar Gold at https://www.northstargoldmining.com/.

Anthony Sandler on Building a Pandemic-Ready Portfolio

CSE’s Anna Serin was joined for a Friday edition of “Westcoast Wednesday” with Anthony Sandler, Investment Advisor at Mackie Research Capital Corporation.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Anthony shares his market insights including the economic and market impacts of not knowing how long the Coronavirus pandemic will last (3:12), specific advice for investing in SMEs (10:24), and his prospects for the cannabis space during these uncertain times (12:20).

Listen until the end to hear Anthony’s advice on how to watch the market and gather information, and his predictions for growth sectors during the “next” economic cycle.

Disclaimer
The information provided on this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific financial, investment legal, tax or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as such. The contents of this podcast are not a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Mackie Research Capital Corp. is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and is a member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

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Sean Kingsley on How to Prepare for the Roaring 20s

CSE’s Anna Serin and Sean Kingsley sat down in the Vancouver #HashtagFinance studio before this year’s PDAC to discuss Sean’s insights into the mining exploration market and his perspectives from the frontline of investor relations.

In this discussion, Sean shares what makes the Golden Triangle in BC so special (5:48), why collaboration with First Nations will be the biggest development in the mining industry over the next 10 years (10:34), and the key benchmarks for investing in a junior resource company (12:38).

Listen until the end to hear some of the best investment advice that Sean ever received and about the “30 things” project that was developed by the Mining Association of Canada.

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Talisker Resources: Shorter timelines to discovery are the goal with prime BC projects

Terry Harbort, Chief Executive Officer of Talisker Resources Ltd. (CSE:TSK), is convinced that he and his team have found the perfect gold project to catapult their junior resource company into the big leagues.

This past December, the Toronto-based explorer purchased 100 percent of the Bralorne Gold Project in south-central British Columbia from Avino Silver & Gold Mines in a multimillion-dollar cash and stock deal.

Consisting of three main mines, Bralorne was one of the longest producing high-grade gold deposits in British Columbia, operating from 1929 to 1971. Though some 4.2 million ounces were pulled from the earth at a recovered grade of 17.7 grams per ton, the mining operation was eventually shut down due to depressed gold prices.

When mining in the area came to a halt, gold was at $200 per ounce, adjusted for modern inflation. With gold now selling for nearly $1,600 USD per ounce, Harbort says Talisker is eager to get at “that $200 rock still left in the ground” at Bralorne.

“We looked all throughout that region of south-central BC and we came across the Bralorne project, which initially was something that was probably bigger than what we were searching for,” explains Harbort, a veteran geologist who’s worked for major miners such as AngloGold Ashanti. “But we were able to do what became a transformational transaction for the company.”

For Talisker, which Harbort formed alongside some close industry colleagues, greenfield exploration was the plan when trading commenced on the Canadian Securities Exchange in spring of 2019. However, the acquisition of Bralorne advances the company into the next stage in one fell swoop.

Bolstered by $25 million in financing and royalty sales, the company kicked off 2020 by firing up the first drill rig at Bralorne in early February.

Harbort says Talisker will drill 3,000 metres along strike extensions of existing veins with plans of further drilling 6,000 to 7,000 metres in April, with results expected around the middle of the year.

The company has 45,000 samples from Bralorne and plenty of other data that, according to Harbort, is enough to give the company confidence that significant gold deposits remain in the ground.

“We can actually see where the samples intersected veins, and we can wireframe these into vein models and calculate what an approximate potential grade would be,” he says.

“We know, historically from the production, that the continuity was very high. So, it means as we go to depth and along strike we’ve got a pretty good chance of the veins continuing at a very high grade. We believe that’s what we’ll be targeting, as opposed to drilling and hoping we hit veins. We’re drilling the way we already know where the veins are. That really reduces our risk.”

Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, Harbort says Talisker is “working toward defining what the footprint is and how many millions of ounces are potentially there” as part of a crucial resource statement expected for release in early 2021.

In addition to Bralorne, Talisker also holds 85 percent of the gold belt at Spences Bridge, another exciting gold project in British Columbia. The claim stands as one of the largest land stakes in the province’s history.

At Spences Bridge, Talisker has formed a strategic alliance with Westhaven Ventures, which owns the Shovelnose high-grade epithermal discovery contiguous to Talisker’s claims.

“Initially, the Spences Bridge gold belt was what was called a frontier gold belt where people see indications of a certain style of mineralization but deposits there have never been discovered,” he explains.

But in September 2018, that all changed when Westhaven discovered a high-grade vein deposit, promoting the project from frontier status to emerging. Subsequently, “the whole belt could host a number of discoveries.”

Harbort says Talisker “aggressively” explored Spences Bridge in the last field season, when it was just starting up as a new company. During that time, Talisker had 23 geologists at the site who collected more than 3,000 stream sediment samples and defined eight drill targets. For 2020, the company has budgeted $3.5 million for 20 geologists working on five projects.

While Bralorne and Spences Bridge are Talisker’s most important projects in British Columbia, the company has several more in its portfolio, ranging from early stage projects to advanced ones. All told, Talisker’s properties comprise 270,605 hectares over 288 claims, three leases and 154 crown grant claims, making the company a dominant exploration player in south-central British Columbia.

Harbort says Talisker was attracted to the region in the first place not only because of the geology and celebrated mining history, but also the abundance of scientific theory.

“We believe that there are a number of belts in that part of British Columbia that haven’t been well explored simply because there’s not a large number of low sulphidation epithermal gold deposits or mines,” he explains. “What we noticed very quickly was that there was a knowledge gap in the exploration techniques for these types of deposits, and the textural and alteration interpretation, to tell where a deposit’s stratigraphy was.”

However, gold mining isn’t only about geology, science, or the data. Logistics, Mother Nature, and minding the bottom line for investors also play a crucial role as well. That’s why Harbort loves “the latitude and the weather” in south-central BC, not to mention a developed infrastructure, unlike some colder, more inaccessible regions of the province.

“The field stage is very short and access can be problematic in other parts of BC. You often have to fly in with helicopters and fly them to a base. You’ve got to build camps. It becomes very expensive,” he says.

“The areas that we’re exploring are just a couple of hours drive from Vancouver. We don’t have to build camps; our geologists can stay in hotels in local towns. We don’t have cooks and kitchens. We don’t have any helicopter support.”

As a result, Talisker is much freer to capitalize on positive outcomes and to channel the savings back into the project. This makes it possible for them to work longer during the year, and shorten exploration timeframes.

“That means we can do a lot more with our investors’ money and hopefully give them a short discovery timeline so they can get a return a lot quicker than on projects in more northern areas,” Harbort explains.

When it comes to investors, current or prospective, Harbort points out that most of the company’s financing comes from deep-pocketed institutional investors who embraced Talisker in its early period. So, retail investors might want to take notice.

“They know they’re not backing us because of luck. They are backing us because of the management team, because of the assets that we have and our ability to get access to capital and then to successfully execute the plan.”

This story was featured in the Public Entrepreneur magazine.

Learn more about Talisker Resources Ltd. at https://taliskerresources.com/.

Cameron Chell on the Race to Deploy An Epidemic-Tracking System

CSE’s James Black was recently joined by Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly Inc. (CSE:DFLY), to reflect on the new realities of operating a business during a quarantine and the opportunities being presented to his company during these challenging times.

In this conversation, Chell reflects on the ominous feelings he had during his trip through the Vancouver airport before the lock-down (1:15), how his company is working with the University of South Australia to deploy an epidemic-tracking system (3:50), and the “new normal” that will emerge as a result of COVID-19 (7:31).

Listen until the end to hear Cameron’s thoughts on how the pandemic will permanently change the way teams work together, the advantages of working from home, and his reflection on the opportunities that came from the last “black swan”.

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Live from Davos: Jason Paltrowitz & Richard Carleton on Innovations in Cannabis

CSE’s James Black was joined by Jason Paltrowitz, EVP of Corporate Services at OTC Markets, and CSE CEO, Richard Carleton, at the Cannatech Davos Cannabis House for the second installment of a live episode of #HashtagFinance.

In this discussion, Paltrowitz and Carleton talk about the advantages of transparency in the public markets (3:30), how public markets might recapture investor trust in the cannabis industry (7:45), the macro trends that might help lift the market (10:30), and how, instead of sweeping government action, it’s been innovators and entrepreneurs that have been driving the cannabis industry forward (15:30).

Listen until the end to hear about the impressive pace of innovation within this space (22:00) and how some companies are successfully grasping what it means to be a public company (24:30).

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Live From Davos: Jason Paltrowitz & Richard Carleton on Cannabis in Public Markets

CSE’s James Black was joined by Jason Paltrowitz, EVP of Corporate Services at OTC Markets, and CSE CEO, Richard Carleton, at the Cannatech Davos Cannabis House for a very special live episode of #HashtagFinance.

In this interactive discussion Paltrowitz and Carleton explain the advantages of being a publicly traded company and the importance of that funding in the cannabis industry (2:30), the lessons we can learn (again) from this burgeoning industry (12:00), why the US government is the worst weed dealer possible (17:30), and how the entrance of international biotech companies into the industry is helping to legitimize it on a governmental level (20:00).

Listen until the end to hear about the incredible potential of hemp to solve big problems the world is facing (27:00), and why North America continues to be the best place for cannabis companies to go public (36:00).

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Rockcliff Metals: CEO Alistair Ross is bullish on copper as everything goes electric

Rockcliff Metals (CSE:RCLF) is a Canadian near-term copper producer and active explorer in the Snow Lake greenstone belt of Manitoba.

The company has one of the largest land parcels in the Snow Lake mining belt, a region home to copper, zinc, gold, and silver deposits – the portfolio spans more than 4,500 square kilometres. Also key to the plan is the Bucko Mill, a facility that Rockliff will convert to process copper (it was originally built to handle nickel).

Rockcliff’s growth outlook is simple to grasp, with near-term annual copper production projected at 20,000 tonnes and rising gradually to over 50,000 tonnes.

Chief Executive Officer Alistair Ross spoke with Public Entrepreneur about the realities of taking a mine into production in the current environment, and what shareholders can expect from his team in 2020.

You are a seasoned mining veteran who has lived in many different parts of the world, including England and Africa. What drew you to Rockcliff’s project in Manitoba?

The opportunity to build a mining company from scratch was something I had been contemplating for a while. When the Rockcliff opportunity presented itself, I was asked to take the company from an explorer to a producer, from essentially a one-person company directing exploration activities to a company that would find its way into the mid-tier ranks of copper producers.

I jumped out of my second retirement when I saw the resource base it already had. The fact that some of the heavy lifting had already been done with Greenstone Resources providing the capital to get us through the study phase, and Norvista providing the cornerstone asset of the Bucko Mill lease as well as an important mineral resource in the Tower project, is really important.

Rockcliff’s portfolio of properties is extensive.  Walk us through the highlights.

The bulk of the properties are similar in a couple of ways. One, the deposits are at or near surface, and that would allow for rapid access via ramp and portal rather than shaft. Secondly, they are typically narrow veins and steeply dipping in nature. This has allowed us to focus on designing a mining method that could fit multiple ore bodies and allow the transfer of capital equipment from one mine to the next.

Tell us how you transform a junior explorer into a high-grade copper-zinc producer.

Our strategy is to focus on our copper-rich deposits initially due to our belief that, of all metals needed for the next phase of greening our planet, copper is virtually a core part of almost all solutions currently being contemplated and pursued.

Battery-powered electric vehicles, renewable power generation, storage of energy – all of these require copper in differing amounts. BHP put out a forecast in May 2019 suggesting that at the mid-point of forecast EV penetration, approximately 1 million tonnes per annum of extra copper would be required.

How we are aiming to position ourselves to deliver some of that extra production is by selecting three of our more promising projects (Rail, Tower, and Talbot) for drilling with an eye to preliminary economic analyses. We would then select the best looking project to advance to a bankable feasibility study (BFS) that would include defining the work required to recommission the Bucko Mill.

We would concurrently permit the mining property and the mill to become a copper producer and have a financing plan in place so that – upon board approval of a construction decision at the end of 2020 – we could begin to mobilize in early 2021. That would all be with a view to producing our first concentrate for sale in early to mid 2022.

Outline your work program for 2020 and tell us if you expect it to be a busy summer.

The whole year will be busy. We intend on having updated resource statements for Tower, Rail, and Talbot by the end of February, and our preliminary economic analyses of those three properties should be ready by early May.

From there, we would go into a bankable feasibility study on the chosen property for completion by year-end. In parallel, our permitting for the mine property and the mill will be proceeding, and our financing plan will be completed based on the preliminary economics.

While we are waiting for the BFS project selection, we are drilling our secondary properties at Copperman, Free Beth and Tramping. As soon as we have made our decision for the BFS property, we will then launch an intensive drill program to further upgrade our knowledge and allow for BFS-level work on the resource, mining, and metallurgical factors.

Can you shed some light on Rockcliff’s status regarding production permits, environmental permits, and road access to the Snow Lake properties?

We have taken all the samples and completed our studies on the Tower and Talbot properties. At Rail, we are just short of our spring study samples to be in a similar position.

We have completed our studies on the implications of placing copper tailings in the tailing area at Bucko and found no impact. We are therefore ready to file for a Notice of Alteration for the mill once we have completed our mining studies to understand what throughput may be required to match the mine output.

Roads are only contemplated for the Talbot and Rail properties, and studies are underway to assess both environmental permit applications and engineering design implications.

How much cash do you have on hand and how far does it get you?

We currently have sufficient funding to complete our required exploration program with approximately $12 million in our flow-through account, and we are on track to complete our studies for a board construction decision in December. We have about $5 million in our hard dollar account to support us until then. We would require a raise to begin construction in 2021.

What are the prospects for subsidiary Goldpath Resources, which has five highly prospective lode-gold properties within the Snow Lake area?

We are pleased that Kinross Gold has agreed to continue its earn-in option at Laguna and Lucky Jack, and we look forward to seeing their continued success. The rest of the properties are of secondary interest at the moment and we will be undertaking a strategic review of their role in our company during 2020.

Given your advanced work, has the company signed any preliminary offtake agreements?

We have not signed any offtake agreements but we have been approached with expressions of interest to talk as our studies develop. Our very early review of the ores suggests that our concentrate will be clean and of reasonable to high grade. So with current knowledge, I do not anticipate any issues placing these concentrates on the market at competitive rates.

This story was featured in the Public Entrepreneur magazine.

Learn more about Rockcliff Metals Corp. at https://rockcliffmetals.com/.

Dr. Raza Bokhari on the Real Promise of CBD

CSE’s Barrington Miller was recently joined in the studio by Dr. Raza Bokhari, CEO of FSD Pharma (CSE:HUGE), whose company recently celebrated their market open at the Canadian Securities Exchange.

In this discussion Dr. Bokhari shares what it’s like to be the first company to be dual-listed on the CSE and NASDAQ (1:35), the importance for companies in the capital markets to be in “the big ocean” (5:25), the groundbreaking clinical trials FSD Pharma is conducting with a synthetic compound that acts like CBD (6:30), and the “HUGE” importance of their ticker symbol (11:00).

Listen until the end to hear Dr. Bokhari’s personal path towards becoming a serial, “eccentric”, entrepreneur (12:30).

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Cerro de Pasco Resources: A new generation breathes life into an old mine with benefits that reach far and wide

Cerro de Pasco is a centuries-old community nestled high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, but after nearly 400 years, a local mine that once brought prosperity must rethink a path forward in alliance with the nearly 50,000 people who now live there.

What began as an underground operation became an open pit at the centre of a growing population of miners and their families. Outdated mining technology resulted in inefficient yields. Tailings and stockpiles grew, and contaminated dust and water crept into surrounding areas.

There’s a huge economic opportunity in the tailings and stockpile at the site, though, not to mention known in-situ resources, 11,000 hectares of concessions, and unexplored areas.

But Cerro de Pasco Resources (CSE:CDPR) wants to do more than make money.

Chief Executive Officer Guy Goulet and Executive Chairman Steven Zadka have a vision that, if everything goes right, will see parts of the population relocate away from certain areas to new locations with clean drinking water, heat in their homes, and well-paying jobs – for the benefit of all stakeholders.

The company bought the mineral rights to the tailings and stockpile in 2012 and in November, inked a deal to acquire the mine itself and all accompanying infrastructure. Public Entrepreneur caught up with Goulet and Zadka as they began transitioning the company into production, initiating a multi-decade plan to revitalize a mine and restore a city.

Tell me about your background in the mining industry and how Cerro de Pasco came to be.

Zadka: In 2011, through my capacity as an investment banker, I came across the opportunity to buy the mineral rights on the tailings and stockpile in Cerro de Pasco and decided to jump on it.

Guy was running a company called Maya Gold & Silver in the early 2010s, and I was one of the bankers. He closed a very difficult client of mine and had incredible energy, so I said, “This guy knows how to do things.” He left that company in 2017 and I reached out.

Goulet: I was working in Morocco, and Steven approached me while I was on my way out, following the restart of a silver mine there.

We teamed up to accelerate the development of the project and list the company on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

I’m also attracted to pro-environmental projects. In 2000, I co-founded H2O Innovation, which is the largest water treatment company in Canada as of today.

What are we looking at here in terms of metals? What’s the game plan on the mining side?

Zadka: I knew that there was silver, lead, and zinc. And I discovered that there was also copper and gold in the tailings. The grades are pretty good, both because they’re old and they come from one of the richest mines in the world.

You’ve got material, metals literally sitting on top of the ground, which is much less expensive than traditional exploration.

We’re buying two subsidiaries that are producing and permitted. For 2019, we estimate their revenues were about $120 million combined.

Permitted capacity is about 20,000 tonnes per day on sulfides and right now, it’s doing 7,000 tonnes a day, and once we bring these tailings into production, the annual revenue starts getting into the $250 million to $300 million range.

With all the resources we have and what we’re acquiring, we have a 17 year mine life. But the reality is that the mine is going to go for much longer because there’s 11,000 hectares of concessions and areas that are largely unexplored.

Goulet: Post-acquisition combined, Cerro de Pasco will be the largest holder of silver in one single site. There is a need to increase the current production capacity up to its permitted level of 20,000 tonnes per day.  We estimate this will require about $35 million of capital. Once production levels are up, cash flow will start to generate rapidly.

We’re in the process of raising the capital required for the first phase, which is $65 million USD.

You’ve called Cerro de Pasco a resource management company. What does that mean?

Zadka: A traditional mining company is only focused on extracting metals from the ground. That’s what mining is; it’s going into the ground, digging up dirt, and putting the waste somewhere.

We call ourselves a resource management company because we plan to do more than just mining. There are some aspects of mining at Cerro, but there’s other aspects involved.

For one, we’re reprocessing the materials that are sitting on top of the ground, which is not theoretically mining. There’s also storage of waste.

If you can return clean water to the environment, you’re managing a resource. If you can turn your waste into building products, or turn pyrite into heat to generate hot water, you’re managing a resource.

With that in mind, how is resource management going to help the people of Cerro de Pasco?

Zadka: We’ve been completely open and transparent with the community and the local government. We’ve told them the truth, and the truth is that this is a mess that can be turned into an opportunity with some reorganization, planning, and support from the local authorities and community.

The government acknowledges that Cerro de Pasco is laden with lead, and they have a plan to relocate sections of the city 30 kilometres away from the mine. What they need in order to do that, amongst other important factors, is support from the most important economic driver in town. That’s us.

Peru has a program called “Obras por Impuestos,” or taxes for works, that enables a company to use taxes generated from operations to fund infrastructure projects for the benefit of society. You can fund roads, sewer lines, hospitals, and schools.  One of our main objectives is to do just that.

We also want to take it a step further. None of the cities in the Andes Mountains have heat, and it’s freezing every night. We have so much pyrite, which produces heat on its own, that we can harness to produce hot water and we could pump that hot water through the city.

Goulet: We want to do more water treatment systems and educate the young people to wash their hands before they eat. We want them to play in parks where we’re going to renew the topsoil.

I come from Thetford Mines in Quebec, which was the world capital of asbestos. You know what I was doing as a kid? I was going with my bike and playing in the dumps. In Cerro de Pasco, we want to avoid that.

There is a problem of contamination in Cerro de Pasco, but just as important is the problem of poverty. That mine used to employ 7,000 people.  Some 1,200 work there now in some capacity. In an area that is 4,400 metres high, what else is there to do for work besides mining?

Let’s recall that the problem of contamination is not mainly due to mining activities. The old city is located on a geological natural accident: a massive intrusion of lead, zinc, copper, silver, and gold. A “mine” is what it’s called today! And the population has been living from that operation over the past 400 years.

We want to help solve that problem of poverty and restore prosperity in the community.

The company is listed in North America, but what does your management team look like in Peru?

Zadka: I’m based in New York, and Guy’s based in Canada, but the heart of the management team is in Lima and Cerro de Pasco.

We employ several Spanish speaking expat VPs, who are specialists in different areas like mining, geology, metallurgy, environment, health, and safety.

Everybody that works with us has a very special drive, and I don’t think you find that at other mining companies because this isn’t only about making money. Here, we’re trying to make a difference.

Goulet: We’re going to spend $58 million over the next four years on HSEC (Health, Environmental, Social and Communities). We have a social license, which is essentially a vote of confidence from a key component of the population that agrees with our business plan. That’s an important asset in Peru. We received positive signals from the Minister of Energy and Mines, the local government, and the President himself.

Can an environmental restoration project like this also be profitable?

Zadka: There are multiple benefits to the local population and the environment, but at the end of the day we believe this is a very compelling investment.

Not surprisingly, investors are cautious about tailings and stockpiles because they tend to be a finite resource. They would not normally offer the opportunity to find something above and beyond expectation that could make the stock go up by 10 times overnight.

However, Cerro de Pasco not only has 170 million tonnes of reserves in the tailings and stockpiles, but also 140 million tonnes of material in the ground and 11,000 hectares of concessions in one of the most prolific mining districts in the world, which has never been properly explored.

We’re talking about almost 1.6 billion ounces of silver equivalent.  That would be the biggest amount of silver in one location on the entire planet. Nobody else has that.

What does the long-term picture look like?

Seventeen years from now, a large portion of the population won’t be living in Cerro de Pasco anymore. They’ll no longer be affected by the hazards of the area.  They’ll have access to clean water and live in proper homes.

There are still two approaches to mining. There are companies that try to skirt ESG-related issues, and there are those that see the opportunity to deal with these issues head on.

We aspire to be a leading example of why you shouldn’t run away from these problems. If you’re innovative and you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’re going to have a much better impact on the outcome. Cerro de Pasco needs that outcome.

This story was featured in the Public Entrepreneur magazine.

Learn more about Cerro de Pasco Resources Inc. at https://pascoresources.com/.