During this Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a crash in the market and many junior mining and exploration companies have felt the effects with their market caps dropping substantially. Times like these, present opportunities for investors to position themselves accordingly but with so many companies up for sale right now, it’s hard to decide where to invest. The streams of information are slowing as social distancing becomes the norm and companies have seemingly gone quiet. We thought this would be a good time to submit Q&A’s in order to get some of the answers investors are looking for.
Newrange Gold Corp. is a Canadian based, publicly listed company on the TSX Venture exchange, listed under the ticker NRG. It has two ongoing projects, one newly acquired property in Red Lake and their flagship project just outside of Hawthorne, Nevada, known as Pamlico Ridge. Pamlico is the site of historical gold mining operations from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that reportedly produced significant gold grades while in operation.
We had the chance to go out to the property last fall and were pretty impressed to say the least. Touring the old mine workings is not something we will soon forget! Having said that, this is a project we are following closely which is why we wanted to reach out to Bob Archer, CEO of Newrange to get an update on what the company has been up to as of late. With new geophysics in hand and an upcoming drilling campaign, investors have questions which we forwarded through to Bob and he was kind enough to get back to us with the answers.
Mike: Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A, it’s greatly appreciated. So before we get into current activities, let’s talk about the Lidar mapping which you were doing while we were on site. I wanted to ask how that was going and will the information you gathered benefit your upcoming drilling campaign?
Bob: We have been systematically surveying the underground workings along Pamlico Ridge and, in the short term, this is providing base maps for the sampling crew. Going forward this allows us to generate 3D models of the underground workings such that we won’t drill into them once the drill program gets underway.
Mike: Will you be making the Lidar data available for investors? I think it would be great for people to see how extensive the old workings are.
Bob: To a large degree, that will depend upon the software. These surveys generate a massive amount of data and the files are huge. If there is a way to view this on screen in a way that people can easily view or interact with it, then we may be able to do that.
Mike: You recently completed some IP surveys and results sound encouraging, maybe you could give us some insight on what you are seeing?
Bob: An Induced Polarization (IP) geophysical survey detects fine grained sulphide minerals in the ground. At Pamlico, we have observed that gold mineralization appears to be associated with sulphide (probably pyrite) mineralization, notwithstanding the fact that most of the sulphides have been oxidized. This oxidation is variable in intensity and can locally reach depths of 300 metres, however, some remnant sulphides remain. We believe this is what the IP is detecting. Interestingly, we ran a line of IP across the area where our previous drilling had intersected significant gold mineralization, near the end of the Merritt Decline, and we detected a moderate anomaly. If this is truly related to the gold-pyrite mineralization, then it is possible that the other IP anomalies we are seeing could represent the same thing.
Mike: After seeing the IP surveys, you added more land to the Pamlico Ridge property… Talk to us about that decision?
Bob: When we ran a line of IP to the east, we were detecting a strong anomaly that went off the property. So we added more claims by staking and completed the line to make sure we had adequately covered enough ground. Three adjacent lines confirmed a large anomaly at approximately 300 metres depth that may be reflecting a buried intrusive body with disseminated sulphides. Our current thinking is that, if true, this could be the ‘heat engine’ and potential fluid source for mineralization ‘bleeding’ out along fractures and porous lithologies.
Mike: So if your assessment is correct about a heat source, would you be looking to go after more land to cover more area around this heat source or do you feel that what you have is sufficient for what you’re seeing in the IP?
Bob: For now, I think we are sufficiently covered. Given the cost of acquiring and holding more land, it would be prudent to test the anomaly first.
Mike: Over the last few months you have been wrapping up some sampling, planning your drilling campaign and applying for permits, can you elaborate on the permitting process and where you will be focusing your drilling efforts on the property?
Bob: We have some existing permits from previous drilling campaigns that we can use and can drill other holes from roads such that we can get started without any new permits. We are currently determining which additional sites will require permitting and then we will proceed to apply for those. Permits typically take about 30-45 days.
Mike: What parts of the property specifically will be the location of the first holes of the campaign?
Bob: We will be drilling Pamlico Ridge and testing some of the IP anomalies, including the Pediment and Skarn Zones.
Mike: Will you be diamond drilling or RC drilling? And how many metres/holes are you planning on drilling?
Bob: We will likely use both methods – RC along Pamlico Ridge and core where we are testing IP anomalies in order to get more geological information. We haven’t finished planning the program yet, but it will likely be at least 5,000 metres.
Mike: Are you fully funded for the drilling? I know you sold off some assets but what is the company’s current cash position currently and what is the outlook for the rest of the year?
Bob: We raised $1.5 million just before year end and are in the process of monetizing our Colombian assets. In addition, we hope to see some warrants and options get exercised before they expire later in the year, so we should be well funded for the drill program without going back to the market. At January 31, we had about CA$1 million in cash and another CA$1.8 million in marketable securities.
Mike: You recently acquired another land package near the Red Lake camp, talk to us about that deal and what prompted you to take an interest in the property?
Bob: This is an area at the north end of the Birch-Uchi greenstone belt, so in the Red Lake Mining Division but not in the camp itself. The target is a folded iron formation, which is a highly magnetic rock unit that is often a good host for gold mineralization. I have worked in this area previously and am very familiar with it. In fact, I staked this ground personally in 2002 but after optioning it off and then starting Great Panther the next year, my focus changed and the project was never drilled.
Mike: What exploration has been done on the property and what exploration do you have planned for this year?
Bob: There has been little ground work done on the property so it is quite early stage, however, there is gold there, as evidenced by several surface showings and a historic drill hole with 31 g/t Au over 1.5 metres to the south of the iron formation. We intend to conduct mapping and sampling, a bit of IP over the main target horizon and then drill as soon as possible.
Mike: What kind of potential are we talking about here? Are there any other mines in the region that are similar geologically you could draw a comparison to?
Bob: Iron formation hosted gold deposits occur in Precambrian greenstone belts throughout the world and the closest is Newmont-Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine, about 190km to the north. Musselwhite is about 7-8 million ounces of gold (past production & reserves) and has been in production since 1997. I worked on the pre-feasibility study there for Placer Dome and am very familiar with the model.
Mike: What kind of access do you have to the property and is there any nearby infrastructure?
Bob: The property is fly-in only but there are lots of lakes around for access. First Mining’s Springpole Project (4.7 Moz Au) is only about 10 km away and we are in discussions with them about sharing access.
Mike: Do they have a camp up there?
Bob: Yes, although they have had to demobilize during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Mike: Sounds like you’re going to have a busy year! Unfortunately Covid-19 broke out just as things were heating up at the end of last year. How is this pandemic affecting the Pamlico Ridge operations if at all and what are some of the things you are doing to overcome the challenges the situation has created.
Bob: We have kept a small crew sampling underground as they are based in nearby Hawthorne, however, all the hotels and restaurants there are closed so we can’t bring in a drill crew until the restrictions are lifted. We are using this time to prepare for the upcoming drilling campaign and will be looking to get crews drilling as soon as we can.
Mike: Obviously, this virus has had a profound effect on people and the markets… Yet, gold is looking stronger everyday. How will you capitalize on that as a company? Could we see a bulk sample in the near future?
Bob: As I mentioned, we want to start drilling as soon as we can and prove up the potential of the project. In this environment, with investor sentiment improving towards gold, that should be well received. We have shelved the idea of a bulk sample for now as the additional metallurgical and geo-technical information we would get isn’t really required at this stage of the project. As bulk sampling programs usually don’t make money, the gold price doesn’t really impact that decision.
Mike: On the topic of sampling, do you have any samples left to report from the sampling program you were doing while we were on site?
Bob: We have some data from the Gold Bar Mine but it has not all been compiled yet.
Mike: Are the labs still running in Reno?
Bob: For the time being labs are open, but could be closed or reduced due to Covid-19.
Mike: Finally, what would you say to shareholders about the company and why you feel that investing in Newrange gold is a good idea?
Bob: At current valuations, with the potential at both projects and a highly experienced management team and board, I think the Company is well positioned to take advantage of what I believe will be a strong bull market for gold and gold companies going forward. We are doing everything we can to keep the project in Nevada moving forward and will update shareholders as things develop on the property.
By our estimation, Newrange is in a good position to come out of this time of uncertainty quite well. With plenty of cash in the bank to drill, and a fairly remote site, Newrange could come out of the gate a little quicker than most. The crew lives right in town, negating the need for accommodations, so when the drills are ready to start turning the crew will be ready. With new geophysics in hand and plenty of targets to drill, this years exploration campaign is looking to be an exciting one indeed.
For an inside look at the inner workings of the old mines watch this video “Good Hope Mine Tour”.
For a look at some of the work being done on the property, check out the sampling video we produced with the crew.
For a historic overview of the property, check out our video with Robert Carrington at the old stamp mill at Pamlico Ridge.
Finally, a mountain top interview with Bob Archer while we were on site during the fall.
If you made it this far and you would like to go through some more content, then we invite you to check out the article we put together on the geological forces driving mineralization in Nevada…
Newrange gold is a Sponsor of Insidexploration however the thoughts and opinions expressed are the Author’s and do not represent that of the company. The Author does not currently hold a position but has bought and sold on several occasions and will do so without warning.
Insidexploration has prepared this document for general information purposes only. This document should not be considered a solicitation to purchase or sell securities or a recommendation to buy or sell securities. The information provided has been derived from sources believed to be accurate, but cannot be guaranteed. This document does not take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual recipients and other issues (e.g. prohibitions to investments due to law, jurisdiction issues, etc.) which may exist for certain persons. Always do your own due diligence and consult a licensed investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. Junior resource companies can easily lose 100% of their value so always reference www.SEDAR.com for important risk disclosures.