I have been covering the RNC Minerals story and it’s no secret that I am a huge supporter. I spend most days trying to catch up on DD and answering questions on social media but last Tuesday, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an RSVP from Basset Events to attend the Private event being held at the Royal Ontario Museum. I was ecstatic to say the least and excited to meet all the people I had conversed with through email over the last few months and to finally have a chance to see the stones that caught my imagination back in September.
I arrived at the event fashionably early, only to be greeted by the most fantastic fossil of what looked to be a Brachiosaurus towering over the venue. For a moment I got distracted as to why I was there and to be honest I might have enjoyed that moment for a bit longer if I hadn’t heard them call for the stones to be brought out. Nervously, I made my way towards them but quickly got asked to stay back until the display was set up. So I leisurely toured my way around the room cataloging the venue and admiring the fossils and artifacts. The bar was Oval and in the center of the room, sitting under a beautiful arched glass ceiling, only about 30 people were present, consisting of security, event planners, senior management and supporting staff. While waiting for an opportunity to be among the first in Canada to see the stones, Mark just happened to walk past me. I made sure to introduce myself and after a brief but pleasant introduction he was kind enough to let me approach the display and finally see King Henry and Warren along with the other 4 stones.
I had seen these specimens in countless pictures but words cannot describe what was laid out in front of me. They were enormous and littered with gold which seemed to be weaved into the quartz in such a way that let your imagination take hold and make you wonder as to what they might look like if the quartz was taken away. I can only imagine the excitement of Henry and his partner the day they walked into their heading for a hard day of work only to find this amazing discovery. Lost in the beauty before me, I hadn’t realized that people were starting to come in and that there was a crowd gathering behind me. As much as I didn’t want to, I stepped aside and allowed others to get their first glance.
It wasn’t long before I ran into John Leddy (Vice-President, Business Development)who promptly started introducing me to other people within the company, starting with Rob Buchanan (Investor Relations). They were all very kind and happy to speak about their perspective roles. To be honest I was a bit nervous, but their outgoing and engaging approach made it easy to settle in and have very good conversations with them. Johnna Muinonen (Vice President of Operations) was by far the most outgoing and fun loving of the bunch, she had such passion for her job, you could almost feel her excitement as she shared her views and opinions On the Dumont and Qiqavik projects. She was kind enough to introduce me to Christian Brosseau (Project Director), Christian and I got along quiet well as I am very familiar with the area that he lives and works out of. I suggested that I might like to go and see the Dumont property next year sometime, to which he said that fall would probably be the best time but there wasn’t much to see other than moose and partridge. When he said partridge I smiled, and he asked me if I hunted. Turns out he likes to hunt too, so in the fall we will tour the property in search of birds on my quest for good information. A pleasant surprise for me was meeting Michelle Sciortino (Senior Project Geologist), Listening to her accounts of the Qiqavik property was fascinating to say the least and look forward to further developing a relationship with her.
As I made my way around the room looking for Kevin Small (Director of Mining Operation), the venue had filled out and people started recognizing me and striking up conversations. It was rather humbling to have people approach me but it was very welcomed and validated all of my efforts. When I couldn’t seem to track down Kevin, John was kind enough to steer me in the right direction but by the time I made it to him to introduce myself, Mark started his speech. It was a quick handshake and I began to record the presentation. Mark made it a point to thank Kevin for his part in not only the discovery but the entire process to getting to the point where they are today. I will never forget the look of pride on Kevin’s face when Mark was giving him credit for his role within the company, I was genuinely happy for him and standing next to him during that moment was surreal, because of all people I wanted to meet, Kevin was certainly at the top of my list (No offence to anyone else). I’m not sure who enjoyed the moment of acknowledgement more, him or me.
Over the course of the night I was able to ask many questions; to my surprise they were all very happy to answer them in great detail. I will now share with you some of my findings from the event… NOTE: some of the following statements are forward looking statements and should be treated as such
-As per my last article, I very much wanted to follow up on the status of the ASX listing… I am rather pleased to say they are pursuing this option and taking meaningful steps towards making it happen. I am not sure when they will finalize the process or announce it in a news release but I am going to assume its public knowledge and report on it as such, given that they announced this just after the discovery.
-I will say I was a bit disappointed to find out that assay’s won’t be ready until the new year but in all honesty I wasn’t surprised. The process can take weeks and will naturally experience delays during the Christmas holidays. Although, I caught whispers of strikes in the first round of drilling but cannot confirm/deny or give any numbers as to what may have been found. Having said that, historical drilling will show you that almost anywhere they have drilled they have hit mid to high grade intersects so it’s not much of a surprise. The first drill has completed phase one of drilling and is now being re-located to commence in another area which will allow them to regain access to the FDV more efficiently.
-Regarding the FDV… maybe my favourite statement of the night and just as I have been saying all along… they are still on the vein and there is visible gold still above their heads. So our total of 25,533 ounce total is sure to grow as they continue to mine the area and target high grade areas.
-The forward looking statements with regards to the overall resource were very intriguing… I was told by many involved that there was potential for 3-5 million ounces if the model proves to be correct and have a production rate anywhere from 200,000-300,000 ounces per year once the mine is in full production. If you truly want to understand the structure I was advised to read the 1987 geological model and explore other geology reports on Holt and Macassa mines as they both have cross over features similar to what they expect to find at Beta hunt.
-With regards to Qiqavik, I was blown away to learn that they are finding visible gold while breaking apart rocks on the surface of the property. I know they hit some impressive intersects while drilling but to hear firsthand accounts of the ongoing process was very exciting. The enthusiasm around the project has definitely prompted me to keep a closer eye on this project.
-Dumont, while the company admits that waiting on nickel to increase in value is not an ideal business model, I still get a sense of optimism from those more closely involved. If and when the project does in fact get underway it will almost indefinitely be more focused on the stainless steel industry as it would offer the company the highest profit margins. Not to say that the EV market will be ignored but the opportunity to maximize gains is far more alluring. The feasibility study is ongoing and should be completed by the middle of next year. Maybe the most interesting aspect of Dumont is that they are considering spinning it out to become a separate entity from RNC Minerals but no decisions have been made as of yet.
-Maybe the most exciting bit of news that I was given was conformation that they are in fact planning a visitor’s tour at Beta Hunt in the new-year and I will have the opportunity to visit the mine. I meet with Mark next week for lunch to further discuss the matter and to throw around some ideas on how to utilize it as a marketing opportunity.
-I asked about news and all I got was devilish smiles, to which I offered some suggestions as to what the retail market would appreciate incorporated into future news releases. I was well received and look forward to future updates.
-I had been under the impression that the open pits on the Beta Hunt property were not in operation. However, I was wrong in my assumption and they are currently being mined in the neighborhood of 3 g/t by St. Ives since they still maintain the surface lease. The invincible mine just off the property, is also on top of another shear coming off of the alpha fault which is part of the beta hunt geological feature.
-Finally I asked about the golden book, Kevin himself told me that there are hundreds of photos that the public has not seen and will be in the book. Many pictures were taken last night that I hope will be incorporated because I am in some of them lol(wink,wink)
By the end of the night things had settled and most had gone home as I waited for my chance to speak with both Kevin and Mark directly without all the distractions. I watched the specimens get rolled away one by one until it was just Mark and I wrapping up our conversation. The event was over and it was time to leave. Truth is, I didn’t want it to end but I will take this experience with me and cherish the memories of what has been such an incredible journey so far. It was such an honor to be able to attend this event and very much look forward to taking a trip half way around the world to see where this story first began.