Friday 28th February 2020

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Posts tagged ‘Treasury Metals Inc (TML)’

‘Everyone’s hiring again’

May 24th, 2017

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting presages a wave of M&A

by Greg Klein

As an executive search firm, the Mining Recruitment Group might serve as a bellwether for the industry. Founder and self-described mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says, “I put together management teams for companies, I connect people with opportunities and opportunities with people.” In that role, he experienced the upturn well before many industry players did.

To most of them, the long-awaited resurgence arrived late last year. Pollard saw it several months earlier.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

“The market came back in a huge way, at least in the hiring side, early last year when my phone started ringing a hell of a lot more,” he explains. “There was a huge volume. And what I’ve found is that the available talent pool for executives shrank in a period of about six months. In January 2016, for example, I was working on a search and there was almost a lineup out the door of some really big-name people. What I’m finding now, a year and a half later, is that the available talent has almost evaporated. It’s much harder to recruit for senior positions.”

Lately his work suggests another industry development. “The major upturn I’m seeing in the market now is a huge demand for corporate development people who can do technical due diligence on projects. Over the last few years large mining companies and investment banks cut staff almost to the bone in that regard because no one was interested in doing deals or looking at acquisitions.”

Just completed, his most recent placement was for Sprott. “They had me looking for someone with a technical background who can do due diligence for their investments. In doing so I spoke with everyone on the street, from investment banks to some big name corporate development people and they all said the same thing: Everyone’s hiring again. These are people who couldn’t get job offers a year ago, now every single candidate on the short list for this last search has multiple offers from companies looking to get them. I haven’t seen that in five years.

“So that leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams. I see that as a major sign that you’re going to see M&A pick up in a huge, huge way, probably over the next three to six months.”

An early example would be last week’s Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD buyout of Integra Gold TSXV:ICG—“one of my best clients over the years”—in a deal valued at $590 million.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

Andrew Pollard: Executive recruiting “leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams.”

“I think there’s leverage for other companies to start pulling the trigger faster because they’re adding the expertise to get these things done.”

Having founded the Mining Recruitment Group over a decade ago at the age of 20, “a snotty kid” with only a single year of related experience, he’s placed people in companies with market caps ranging from $5 million to well over $200 million. Now in a position to pick and choose his assignments, Pollard’s business concentrates on “the roles that will have the most impact on a company’s future.” That tends to be CEO, president, COO and board appointments.

Last year he placed five CEOs, as well as other positions. Among those assignments, Pollard worked with Frank Giustra on a CEO search for Fiore Exploration TSXV:F and filled another vacancy for Treasury Metals TSX:TML as it advances Goliath toward production.

But the hiring surge coincides with an industry-wide recruitment challenge. Pollard attributes that to a demographic predicament complicated by mining’s notorious cyclicality.

During the 1990s, he points out, fewer people chose mining careers, resulting in a shortage of staffers who’d now be in their 40s and 50s. Greater numbers joined up during the more promising mid-2000s, only to “get spat out” when markets went south. Now Pollard gets a lot of calls to replace baby boomers who want to retire. Too many of those retirements are coming around the same time, he says, because stock losses during the downturn had forced executives to postpone their exit.

Now, with a wave of retirements coinciding with a demographic gap, Pollard sees a “perfect storm to identify the next batch of young leaders.”

But he also sees promise in a new generation. That inspired him to assemble Young Leaders, one of two panel discussions he’ll present at the International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver on May 28 and 29.

“By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.”

By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.

Well, it’s either talent or a precocious Midas touch that distinguishes these panel members. Maverix Metals TSXV:MMX CEO Dan O’Flaherty co-founded the royalty/streaming company just last year, already accumulating assets in 10 countries and a $200-million market cap.

As president/CEO of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Jordan Trimble proved adept at fundraising and deal-making while building a 250,000-hectare uranium-thorium exploration portfolio in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Integra president/CEO Steve de Jong raised the company from a $10-million market cap in 2012 to last week’s $590-million takeout.

And, demographic gap notwithstanding, Pollard’s second panel features three other success stories, just a bit older but with lots of potential left after guiding three of last year’s biggest M&A deals. They’ll take part in the Vision to Exit discussion, which closes the conference on May 29.

Eira Thomas burst into prominence at the Lac de Gras diamond fields where she discovered Diavik at age 24. Her most recent major coup took place last year on the Klondike gold fields with Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) $520-million buyout of Kaminak Gold.

Featherstone Capital president/CEO Doug Forster founded and led Newmarket Gold, producing over 225,000 ounces a year from three Australian mines and enticing Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX:KL) billion-dollar offer.

Now chairperson of Liberty Gold TSX:LGD and a director of NexGen Energy TSX:NXE, Mark O’Dea co-founded and chaired True Gold Mining, acquired in April 2016 by Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV. Three other companies that O’Dea co-founded, led and sold were Fronteer Gold, picked up by Newmont Mining NYSE:NEM in 2011; Aurora Energy, sold to Paladin Energy TSX:PDN in 2011; and True North Nickel, in which Royal Nickel TSX:RNX bought a majority interest in 2014.

“We’ll be looking at how they go into deals, what their philosophy is, what’s their current reading of the market and what they’re going to do next. They each have a big future ahead of them.”

Pollard’s two panel discussions take place at the International Metal Writers Conference on May 28 and 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Pre-register for free or pay $20 at the door.

In all, the conference brings generations of talent, expertise and insight to an audience of industry insiders and investors alike.

Read more about the International Metal Writers Conference.

Program could cut Group Ten Metals’ Ontario exploration costs by 33%

July 12th, 2016

by Greg Klein | July 12, 2016

A rebate could save Group Ten Metals TSXV:PGE up to a third of its exploration spending on the Drayton-Black Lake gold project in northwestern Ontario. On July 12 the company announced the Junior Exploration Assistance Program approved a maximum $100,000 rebate. The provincial government’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and the Ontario Prospectors Association sponsor the program.

Program could cut Group Ten Metals’ Ontario exploration costs by 33%

The company proposed a 20-hole, 2,000-metre drill campaign for the project’s Moretti area where historic, non-43-101 results averaged 18.65 grams per tonne gold in a 4,087-kilogram bulk sample and 14.1 g/t for an 8,069-kilo sample.

The property, partly staked and partly under option, sits 10 kilometres south of the town of Sioux Lookout in the vicinity of First Mining Finance’s (TSXV:FF) Goldlund project and Treasury Metals’ (TSX:TML) Goliath project.

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is a provincial Crown corporation that invests in regional businesses. The Ontario Prospectors Association approves JEAP funding following a review of expenses submitted after early exploration work has been completed.

In the Yukon, Group Ten has Phase II exploration planned for its Catalyst PGM-nickel-copper project adjacent to Wellgreen Platinum TSX:WG. Group Ten holds three Yukon projects with the dominant land position in the Kluane Ultramafic Belt. The company’s portfolio also includes the Duke Island copper-nickel-PGE project on the Alaska Panhandle.

Group Ten selects tightly spaced drill targets for its Ontario gold project

March 7th, 2016

by Greg Klein | March 7, 2016

One week after expanding its Yukon PGM-nickel-copper property, Group Ten Metals TSXV:PGE updated its Drayton-Black Lake gold project in northwestern Ontario. Following a review of historic results, the company has chosen targets for a recommended 20-hole 2,000-metre drill campaign.

Group Ten selects tightly spaced drill targets for its Ontario gold project

Located in the same belt hosting Treasury Metals’ (TSX:TML) Goliath, Tamaka Gold’s Goldlund and New Gold’s (TSX:NGD) Rainy River projects, Group Ten’s 7,968-hectare property includes an historic database with multiple high-grade bulk samples and over 120 drill holes, as well as geological, geochemical and geophysical data, the company states. “While 43% of past drill holes intercepted gold or copper mineralization, they did not adequately test the mineralized zones, which are now better understood in the area.”

Trench mapping and surface sampling in the property’s Moretti area indicate higher-grade mineralization occurs within steeply plunging shoots averaging less than 30 metres long and 10 metres thick, Group Ten found. While historic drilling was too widely spaced to effectively test the shoots, the company’s recommended 20 holes would be collared about 20 metres apart.

“The dimensions of these shoots are similar in size to those delineated by closely spaced drilling at the Goliath project, where shoots have been traced down plunge for as much as several hundred metres,” Group Ten added.

The company also proposes additional mapping and sampling on the property’s Bonanza, Dragfold and Clamshell areas.

Group Ten CEO Michael Rowley credited Max Baker, Drayton-Black Lake’s new project manager, with confirming that “the geological model seen at the adjacent Goliath and Goldlund projects applies to our Drayton-Black Lake project.”

Last week the company announced completion of a field program on its Spy project in southwestern Yukon. The company staked an additional 1,250 hectares, bringing the property up to 3,135 hectares. Results are pending from silt and rock sampling, prospecting, mapping and reinterpretation of previous geophysics. Historic, non-43-101 grab samples have assayed as high as 75.8 grams per tonne platinum, 7.9 g/t palladium, 7 g/t gold, 2.6% nickel and 10.45% copper.

Martin Walter, president/CEO of Treasury Metals, on the Goliath gold project in northwestern Ontario

March 26th, 2013

…Read More

Goliath looms large

March 18th, 2013

Treasury Metals maintains high grades at its Ontario gold project

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

The principle is simple enough—high gold grades make good business sense. But actually finding those grades isn’t so simple. Nevertheless infill drilling brings reassurance to Treasury Metals’ TSX:TML Goliath project in the Kenora-Dryden region of northwestern Ontario. Assays released March 18 came from within the proposed open pit for the Main zone and its C zone counterpart, around 30 to 50 metres away.

Treasury Metals maintains high grades at its Ontario gold project

Infill drilling, environmental permitting and a feasibility study
are among Treasury Metals’ 2013 plans.

C zone results show:

  • 3.13 grams per tonne gold over 13 metres
  • 0.78 g/t over 16 metres
  • 1.58 g/t over 7.5 metres.

Main zone results show:

  • 14.6 g/t over 1 metre
  • 1.13 g/t over 16.4 metres
  • 430 g/t over 1 metre.

True widths weren’t provided. The top-most intercept started at a down-hole depth of 16.7 metres in the Main zone, while the deepest ended at 207.6 metres down hole in the C zone.

A topcut will be applied to the results later, president/CEO Martin Walter tells ResourceClips. The interval of 430 g/t over 1 metre “demonstrates there is a nugget effect to the deposit,” he says. “We think the nugget effect is going to go with us at the end of the day. The good thing is those nuggets are in the pit, in the top part. But I wouldn’t read too much into it. The same thing could be five grams.”

Treasury is now performing “a gap analysis of the infill drilling to see if we’ve missed areas. Then we’d go back and re-drill them,” Walter explains. After infill drilling’s complete “there’ll be a new resource update that’ll lead to the feasibility. At the same time we have the EIS [federal environmental impact statement] moving forward.”

Walter expects to see the EIS and feasibility study “coming together at the same time late Q3 or early Q4.”

But while he hopes to go straight to full feasibility, he doesn’t rule out a pre-feas first. “I don’t think it would slow us down,” Walter adds. “We fully expect to get positive results from that feasibility or pre-feasibility because we’re maintaining grade.”

He emphasizes, “There are a lot of projects in Canada and around the world that are considered massive low-grade deposits, under one gram. We have a different model. We want to keep the grade from two and a half grams to three grams, in that range. It just makes good business sense. When it comes to processing, you still have to pay for the same amount of tonnage. It’s the same cost to process a 0.6-gram or a five-gram.”

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Out Of Many, Goliath

September 6th, 2011

Treasury Moves Toward Feasibility in Ontario

By Greg Klein

It began as a case of fragmented ownership, explains Treasury Metals President/CEO Martin Walter. Teck Resources made the discovery in the early 1990s while exploring Ontario’s Kenora Mining District. Corona Gold came in as a JV partner. Then Laramide Resources staked the down-dip portion of the project. “Corona Gold and Laramide decided to put both parts of the project together, and that’s what constitutes Treasury Metals today,” Walter says. And, as if completing an Old Testament genealogy, Treasury begat Goliath.

The Goliath Gold Project, that is. Once the properties were assembled into a single 49-square-kilometre entity, Treasury began drilling in earnest. A resource estimate came out in 2009 and a PEA in 2010. An updated resource is scheduled for November with full feasibility to follow.

Treasury Moves Toward Feasibility in Ontario

Despite a mining history dating to the 19th century, the Kenora Mining District remains underexplored, the company maintains. Walter calls the local infrastructure “perfect—probably among the best in the world.”

Goliath’s 2009 43-101 estimated 3.4 million tonnes grading 2.5 grams per tonne for 270,000 gold ounces indicated and 10.6 million tonnes grading 2.7 g/t for 930,000 ounces inferred.

Based on that resource and a gold price of $1,200 per ounce, the July 2010 PEA projected a combined open-pit/underground operation with an initial CAPEX of $76 million, an after-tax net present value at 5% of $91 million and a 43% internal rate of return.

Goliath assays released August 26 included 8.1 g/t gold over 6.4 metres (including 11.6 g/t over 4.4 metres), 3.1 g/t over 13.4 metres (including 6.2 g/t over 3.7 metres), 2.3 g/t over 13.5 metres (including 4.4 g/t over 3.6 metres) and 2.9 g/t over 10.5 metres (including 8.2 g/t over 2.6 metres). On August 30 Treasury released one additional result: 22.3 g/t over 6 metres.

“We still have two machines turning on site,” Walter reports. “We started off talking about a program of 20,000 metres. But the results have been so encouraging, our knowledge of the deposit has increased so much and the targeting is getting much better, so we’re starting to really understand the geometry of the ore body. Because of that, the program has just been ongoing. Now we’re touching 45,000 to 50,000 metres. There was some drilling late last year too, so we’ll have something like 60,000 or 65,000 metres to add to the resource.”

The updated estimate is scheduled for early November, with feasibility beginning late this year or 1Q 2012.
Walter also hopes to get an advance exploration permit by January. “When Teck had the project they actually put a portal and a decline into the footwall of the project, down to 75 metres. We need to get that permit, reopen the decline and extend it down to 400 metres. That’s going to be a big part of next year.”

Last July the company finished a heli-borne EM survey over Goliath and Goldcliff, Treasury’s early-stage project 40 kilometres away. “We’re expecting those results to come in very shortly,” Walter says. “That will further drive exploration on both properties.”

Everything is looking positive and, as long as we keep up the good work, we’ll make that decision in the next eight to 12 months. And yes, the plan is to put it into production ourselves —Martin Walter

Although Goliath is the company’s flagship, negotiations are underway to pick up another gold property that’s closer to production. Pico Machay in Peru could open as early as late 2012. A simple open-pit dump-leach operation, it would require a very low CAPEX of $15 million to $20 million, Walter says. Once in production, it’s projected to produce 50,000 gold ounces a year. Negotiations with Pan American Silver Corp include Treasury issuing Pan Am 11.5 million common shares, paying US$21 million and turning over Treasury’s 3% NSR from Goldgroup’s Cerro Colorado Gold Project in Mexico.

In early August, Treasury filed a preliminary prospectus for a $16-million share offering to help finance the deal. On August 31, the two parties extended the closing date to September 21, their second extension since July 31.

Pico Machay became Pan Am property in 2009 when the company bought Aquiline Resources. Walter, Treasury chairman Marc Henderson and CFO Dennis Gibson are all former Aquiline alumni—hence their interest.

“Over the past six to eight years we’ve been involved in all the drilling, all the metallurgy and all the engineering work that has been completed on that project. So we know it very, very well,” Walter says.

Pico Machay has a 2011 resource estimate of 10.6 million tonnes grading 0.78 g/t for 270,000 gold ounces measured and indicated and 23.9 million tonnes grading 0.58 g/t for 450,000 ounces inferred.

“We want to put that into production and use the cash flow to further the development of Goliath,” Walter says.

As for Peru’s mining outlook, “I think it’s business as usual. The new government [of President Ollanta Humala] has given out positive signs that the mining industry will continue as it did under the previous government. There may be some minor changes, but nothing earth shattering.”

Back to Goliath, “We’re still probably about eight to 12 months from a production decision,” Walter says. “Everything is looking positive and, as long as we keep up the good work, we’ll make that decision in the next eight to 12 months. And yes, the plan is to put it into production ourselves.”

At press time Treasury had 47.71 million shares trading at $1.11 each for a $53.9 million market cap. About 54% of shares are held by retail, 35% by institutions and 11% by management. Top shareholders are Laramide and Corona with 11% each.

Treasury Metals CEO Martin Walter on Ontario assays of 23.22 g/t gold over 5.1m

March 29th, 2011

“The history of the property goes this way: it used to be owned by three individual parties. One called Teck Corona—they found it and then of course gold prices went off the edge so they didn’t go any further. Then, on the down dip portion, a company called Laramide owned that. And on the up dip portion there was a local owner who owned the surface rights which we’ve just purchased, and we’re closing on that March 31. So we’ve now just consolidated the whole project. We paid $18 million in cash for it to Corona and also gave them about another $7 million in shares.

“The company floundered for awhile. But now, I’ve put a team together with Andrew Cheatle—who’s a VP Exploration up there now—and Greg Ferron. That’s where the opportunity’s come, because we’ve changed the whole management and direction of the company. Cheatle is a former Chief Geologist for the Musselwhite Mine and he’s very good. For the first time we’ve got a guy that’s come on staff and he’s 100% on the project. And we’re starting to really understand the whole geology of the deposit, the way it’s dipping and trending, for the first time. Before this it was just consultants. Now we’ve got our own full time, top geological staff. Which leads to way better targetting, which is now providing us with a higher quality of result. We’re starting to see a consistent array of thicker widths. That’s been the real change in the project.

“The resource estimate was done last year, and it was 1.2 million ounces, about 80% of which is in the inferred category. The change in management has allowed the company to get properly positioned in the capital markets. We’re properly funded now. We just closed another $6 million about a week ago. And we have two rigs drilling on the project for the first time. So we’re really starting to move this thing along.

“For sure the plan is for Treasury to take it to production. It’s a project that Treasury can afford to do. We did a preliminary economic study last year and that returned pretty healthy numbers. The capex was around about $47 million to build it. And that was looking at a production scenario of 75,000 to 100,000 ounces a year. So it’s a project that is well inside the limits of a junior project like ours to build and finance. The job now is to get back in and get that inferred resource into the indicated categories, then come back and do the feasibility again on those numbers and see what we come up with. These thicker widths that we’re getting are increasing. They’re going to be very important when we put a new resource together.

“We’re a third of the way through a 20,000-metre drill program. We’re meant to have that completed, I would think, in the next two to three months. So, we’re looking at fall 2011 to get a new resource. Then we’ll follow that up with some sort of feasibility to be completed on the back of that this year. And we’ve got things like the baseline and environmental studies already underway, as well as metallurgical samples. We just hired a very good metallurgist. So all those things are running in the background.

“When we first joined in December we were a little worried because it’s all in the inferred categories. But the drilling has certainly come back without any surprises. If anything it’s getting better. It looks like we’ve got a very good project here. My gut feeling right now is that the project is looking pretty positive. There’s a lot of hard work to be done, but we’re getting the job done.”

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Treasury Metals CEO Martin Walter on Ontario gold assays of 11.43 g/t over 6m

February 24th, 2011

“The Goliath project is in the Dryden area—an area which is very close to the Trans-Canada highway, close to infrastructure, close to all those sorts of things that are needed to advance a project. Two years ago, perhaps three, Laramide Resources—which is a uranium company—decided that it would spin-off all its non-uranium core assets, and the Goliath project was one of those. It spun them off into Treasury Metals. Then Treasury proceeded to do a deal with Corona Gold and consolidated the whole property. The result of that was to have around 1.2 million ounces in the inferred category. Then we proceeded to put the drills back up because the project had sat there for a long time not being drilled. Once the consolidation happened that allowed for work to move forward.

“In 2010, we completed a preliminary economic assessment across the project. That was received positively and gave the company a lot of confidence in terms of moving forward. The scoping study was completed on inferred resources—if you want to move to feasibility or to move a project further towards a production decision, then the idea is you have to convert a lot of those inferred resources to the indicated and measured categories.

“The two interesting things about the results today are, one, we are now starting to see the deposit get a little thicker. Typically it’s been a high-grade deposit, but we’ve seen those high-grade intersections only over a few metres. Now we’re starting to really understand where the deposit’s trending. We’re getting much thicker widths—five, six and seven metres—and very good grades. So that’s great. The second interesting thing is that there were six holes reported, and perhaps three or four of those holes are right down the eastern edge of the resource calculation. So when you look at the long section you can understand the way this thing is now trending and dipping and striking. We can see that we’ve got a lot of up-dip and a lot of area east of the deposit that’s clearly open. And that’s very encouraging.

“The plans for 2011 are to rapidly move the deposit along. Two focuses here: on exploration and on bringing the necessary components of feasibility along. What we’ve done is we’ve initiated a 20,000-metre drill program which we’re about a tenth of the way through. We have two drilling machines on the property. One machine is concentrating on a step-out program that, because of our better knowledge of the deposit, is going to be following up the holes that were reported today. The other machine is drilling into the centre part of the deposit, moving that confidence level up, moving the ounces we have from the inferred to the indicated categories. On top of that, we have a number of programs going to commence the baseline and environmental impact statements and that sort of thing. We commenced that work back in the middle of 2010. We’re pushing forward as we speak with metallurgical samples that we’ve gathered in certain parts of the deposit; they are on their way out to the labs in BC.

“We absolutely intend to take this to production. We’re taking it step by step in a professional manner. We have to move in stages. Right now we’ve got positive economics backing the company. So we have to do the necessary things—advanced baseline studies, updated metallurgy, increasing the confidence in the resource, increasing the resource—and that will all go towards a feasibility study. As long as that feasibility study is positive—and we expect it will be, as we’ve had a positive economic study on the same resource shell—from there we move towards a production decision.”

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