Jan 2017 | StockHouse | Bob Thast is a good man to be running a mining deal over the previous five years. It hasn’t been easy for the majority of junior mining execs.
This BC native was brought in to clear a path to funding for New Carolin Gold Corp (TSX.V: LAD). After doing so and then inside the tent at New Carolin, Thast saw what key moves the company had to make, he pulled the strings that needed to be pulled, and found himself gratefully appointed as the new President and CEO in March of 2013.
When he joined Venture listed $LAD, he never contemplated the mess he’d be cleaning up over the next five years. “It was trial by fire” he says over the battle for ownership between New Carolin, Deutsche Bank and the Receivers of the former owners of the Ladner Gold Project, 175 km northeast of Vancouver BC. He fought hard to keep the lights on, the project going, and the creditors at bay. By the 10th round, they own 100% of the Ladner property. Enter Advil.
Despite the headache, the CEO as money-guy scenario means the CEO is now that much more vested in the situation. Do or die? No other option for someone loyal to his shareholders. New Carolin clawed its way back from the brink more than once along the way.
But why dwell on the past. Fast forward to today, where New Carolin sits proudly with a permitted mine, a combined inferred resource with 691,540 ounces of gold and a mere $15 million market cap fully diluted. Unbelievable really. When the wind in the gold market begins to blow, perhaps second or third quarter next year, stand aside as this gold developer leverages onwards and upwards.
Under-Explored BC Gold Belt
The Ladner property is located in the Coquihalla Gold Belt, which has seen little exploration over the last century. The belt shares many similarities to the Mother Lode district of California and the Bridge River district of southwestern BC. The Bralorne Mine, 128 km west of Lillooet, is a gold, silver, base metals mine, and one of the deepest mines in Canada. From the late 1920’s to the early 1970’s Bralorne produced over 4 million ounces of gold from almost 8 million tonnes of ore at an average of over half an ounce per tonne.
Ladner consists of five small former mines. The Carolin Mine produced gold between 1982 to 1984 as a 1,300 ton per day underground operation. Approximately 45,000 oz of gold were produced from 900,000 tons milled. The Emancipation Mine operated intermittently from 1913 to 1941 and produced a reported 2,897 oz of gold. The Pipestem Mine was in operation from 1935 to 1937 and produced 248 oz of gold.
At the Carolin Mine in the 80’s, recoveries were not great, and half of the gold ended up in the tailings. Then the price of gold plummeted, followed by a period where Ladner was tied up by a series of ownership battles and issues.
Big Gold Opportunity
The opportunity for this new New Carolin team, is that no one had previously modeled the geology of the Ladner project. This time around, the understanding runs much deeper on the property’s geology and metallurgy. The Ladner property also has 24 other noted gold occurrences trending parallel along a most interesting structure called the West Hozameen fault. Ladner gold prospects lie within 400 metres of the fault and over a strike length of 20+ km along the trend. All of the findings and gold production came from the east side of the fault and New Carolin now has a commanding land position. A geophysical survey indicates a major magnetic linear structure, traced for over 28 km, that encompasses the Company’s contiguous claim block. The list of gold prospects and showings all occur along this magnetic trend, and all known gold zones are associated with the ultramafic contact on the Hozameen Fault. Folding at the Carolin mine suggests the potential for repeated or stacked gold zones, and high grade gold in the hinges of the folds, which is supported by historical workings, drilling and new geological data. Bralorne is along the exact same trend just north of Carolin, and both are ocean sedimentary based systems.
Looking Ahead to a Busy 2017
Thast and team have a few rabbits under the hat— 2017 should be a very interesting year for investors. They now control this 144 km2 land package 15 minutes from Hope BC. Major highways, a network of roads, power running through the property, valid water license with multiple access points, equipment and infrastructure amounting to, let’s say back of envelope, $90-$100 million in capital to replace. The mill foundation is intact with coarse ore bin, and the underground crusher, ball mill, rod mill and regrind mill could be rehabbed, and on the asset list. Did I mention they have a valid mining permit? They do. And a yearly-inspected, approved tailings storage facility with further capacity, 10 kilometers of underground development, and perhaps most importantly, a new take on what is geologically, structurally going on at Ladner.
New Carolin has a full team buzzing on site, with year-round access through the underground development. $LAD has newsflow catalysts galore upcoming, with Phase Two on the horizon, and now that they have overcome the ownership issues, time to let the dogs go. Some items pending from the Company:
- Updated 3D model ongoing
- Results from 250 Underground channel samples
- Phase 2 Drill Program commencing upon receipt of permit
- Updated NI 43-101 resource estimate
This district gold play stands out bigtime amongst others in North America. Not only is there an existing resource with real potential to improve the grade, ounces and indicated columns (no guarantees in this life though), but the property has attracted the likes of Mr. Bob Singh P.Geo., a technical expert in the world’s best-shot, gold shale projects. He has been to and modeled most of them. This is a very good sign for the retail investor. High calibre technical talent in the mining space tend to settle in at those real mining companies. The ones that end up being takeover targets, you’d hope, eh! Singh was brought in on a contract basis to access and model the project, and afterward planted his roots as Project and Exploration Manager, and the QP. I guess he likes the project.
What Singh was able to do at Ladner was combine his knowledge of shale systems with all the drill data (50,000 meters of it), sampling, mapping, and surveying to actually understand, thus far, the structural controls around the gold mineralization. He impressed Thast and the fellows at Snowden, the authors of the 2012 Technical report on McMaster and Carolin, and he showed management and shareholders the significance of developing this property. Time for modern day technology to do its thing.
Inferred Mineral Resource: that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes. Numbers are generally rounded off. CIM definitions were followed for Mineral Resources. Mineral Resources are undiluted. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that all or any part of the Mineral Resource will be converted into Mineral Reserves.
Recent Drill Results
Nov 17, 2016
Dec 15, 2016
Historical Assay Results
The permitted tailings storage facility is well-maintained, easily accessible, and offers a nice bonus if you can stop the automatic twitch from the phrase “tailings pond” in BC. But a permitted tailings storage facility with capacity is a huge plus for a good project with this much potential. Besides the mine permit and tailings facility, Ladner is close to towns, workforce, supplies, power, rail, roads…
You see companies pitch quick cashflow through potential tailings production, but Thast did not go that route. He focused on all the factors that aren’t on book for $LAD, plus the resource upside. Plus the team’s confidence in this resource’s upside.
A Boston analyst following the Company commented on the Ladner project and New Carolin’s potential: “The opportunity here is tremendous. There is a fine line between dreaming and realistic appraisal of great opportunities. Where is the challenge? What information can we garner to identify the magnitude of the opportunity and not be dreamers? Our nature is to shy away from everything, or to move towards things exciting. We have to put our nature aside and evaluate to the best of our ability, what is the realistic potential for properties like these, and what’s the realistic potential of the management? So far it’s looking pretty good.” Stay tuned. For more, check out their site visit video at this link.
This company has a solid shot at upgrading the current resource and of fine tuning the metallurgy and structural model of this beast, Ladner. It’s very exciting to envision a pin on the mine map for this property. Having grown up in BC, and with mining running through the blood, it would be encouraging to see this cross the line and bring jobs and economic lift to the area. Thast is aiming to cross each hurdle in due course, until his phone doesn’t stop ringing with offers. A very good plan once some achievable and hefty milestones are scratched off the list. “Why sell when you are at the 10 yard line? I want to bring all the assets into play and have the whole package reflected in New Carolin’s value.”
I suggest you start your DD on New Carolin Gold Corp. The Company has experienced people running the show. They have a massively prospective land position in a mining-friendly area. They have a comprehensive database, infrastructure in place, and district potential in a province with a rich mining history. Ladner certainly has a clear Brownfield path to blue sky.
Read more at https://stockhouse.com/opinion/independent-reports/2017/01/19/from-headache-to-heavyweight-here-comes-new-carolin-gold-$lad-v-$ladff#3pAXLhQYDz8JDPUK.99