Granada Gold CEO Frank Basa: High-grade Gold Project on Quebec’s Cadillac Trend
Granada Gold Mine CEO and President Frank Basa joined INN at VRIC 2020 to discuss his company’s progress bringing the Granada gold project to production-ready status.
Granada Gold Mine (TSXV:GGM) CEO and President Frank Basa joined the Investing News Network at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference to discuss his company’s excellent progress in bringing the Granada gold project to production-ready status.
Granada Gold’s flagship asset is a high-grade gold property on the Cadillac Trend in the premier mining district of Quebec. The project features the historic Granada gold mine, which produced 51,476 ounces of gold from 181,744 tonnes of ore with an average grade of 9.7 grams per tonne gold and 1.5 grams per tonne silver.
Within as little as two years, Basa’s team managed to fully permit the project for open-pit mining and shipping ore to a local processing mill. Granada Gold has plans for further exploration and resource expansion on the property. Feasibility studies, including metallurgical test work and bulk sampling, are now underway to look at lowering capital and operating costs, providing processing options and further de-risking the Granada gold project.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Granada Gold CEO Frank Basa. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Frank Basa, welcome back.
Granada Gold CEO Frank Basa: Well, it’s a pleasure to be back. Thanks for having me.
INN: What is the name of your company, what is your symbol and what market are you trading in?
FB: Granada Gold Mines, the symbol is GGM and we trade on the TSX Venture.
INN: And you’re primarily working in Quebec, aren’t you?
FB: Yes. All our assets are in Quebec. At one time, we had a fairly large land position. We had about 11,000 hectares. Originally when we picked it up, we had 77. Then we struck a lot of gold and we decided because we didn’t know where the gold was, we’d stake everything. We staked up to 11,000 hectares and then we found out the structure is 5.5 kilometers long. So we only kept the structure and we’re down to about 1,400 hectares. Then we drilled that, spent about C$60 million in the last cycle and we produced our first open-pitable resource of about 1.2 million ounces — about 1.2 grams per tonne.
The real value to the asset is it’s a former high-grade mine that used to operate at about 9.7 grams per tonne, had two shafts and was very successful when it was operating. We’re looking at repeating that. We’re doing just a very small open pit, and then from the bottom of the pit we’d want to go underground by ramp and develop it as a high-grade mine. We did a lot of what we call “poking around” when the market was down. We found a lot of high-grade sections that were never discovered in the past. In essence, we’ve only explored 20 percent of the structure so far, so we feel fairly confident that we’ll find the high-grade that former operators had. We’re looking at probably 2 million ounces in all. So, it’ll be a very simple structure. We’re fully permitted. When the market was down, we actually went for permits. Getting permits now in Quebec is quite a challenge. We spent two years getting them.
INN: Why? What changed?
FB: They brought in a lot of legislation that was way overdue. In the old days, as with our property, it had only one permit and that’s all you needed. You could mine, mill and build a mill with one permit. The legislation changed, which was a really long time overdue, and now we need 26 permits and C$6 million of studies, but now we’re fully permitted. Quebec still has people knocking it around a little, but I’d rather be in Quebec than in some other provinces.
INN: When you go through that strict permitting process, when you reach the point where you’re going to go into full-scale development, what does it say to the investor about the security of this as a property?
FB: It does a lot of things. It tells the investor, look, the property is real. You can actually pour gold, we can actually produce. It’s quite a challenge to get to that level. Anybody can drill. But in Quebec, before they give you a permit, you have to go through a lot of steps and one of them is a pre-feasibility study (PFS). So the PFS has to indicate that you’re economically viable. Then they give you what they call a “lease” and once you get a lease, then you can get your permit. You can’t just say, “Oh, I want a permit.” They won’t give it to you. Just to get to that level, there’s a fair amount of work.
INN: And you’re through all that process, right?
FB: Yes. It took us two years.
INN: Considering it was a derelict site that somebody else had been operating before, why is it that you would go back there?
FB: Well, we’re on the Cadillac Trend. Our most famous neighbor is actually Osisko (TSX:OSK), which is to the east of us. They are below the trend like we are, but different geology. The fact that you’re on the Cadillac Trend, it’s like the best address in Quebec. If you’re on the Cadillac Trend, guaranteed you have a multimillion-ounce deposit. The other thing that happens there, is the deeper your gold, the better the grades. So, we’re still quite shallow for the Cadillac Trend. You look at Agnico Eagle (TSX:AEM,NYSE:AEM) with their LaRonde project. I think they’re down to 2 kilometers. We only looked at about maybe 600 meters, so we still have a long way to go.
We poked a few holes in there in what we call the Genesis target, and the grades were outrageous. So, I think in the next two to three years we’d like to drill another 100,000 meters. Right now we’re doing some small drilling. We changed our drill pattern. We had a pretty spectacular hole. We got about 33 meters of 11 or 12 grams per tonne. But we have what we call a very enhanced native gold component. The native gold, when you hit it, it gives you these high numbers, but actually we cut the high numbers down. So, we took that 11 and we cut it down. We were starting to get 60 grams per tonne, so we cut it down. The numbers even with the cutting down still come back quite high, but that’s the norm. Our property used to be mined at 9.7 grams per tonne, and I think we’ll find the rest of that resource.
INN: Where are you at as far as your financing is concerned?
FB: We do it in stages. We raised about C$1,000,000 a few months ago. We put it in the ground. We’ve moved the market a little bit. We got a pretty good drill hole. Most of our money that’s coming in actually comes out of Europe, so the Europeans were very good. We try to work with hard dollars. We used flowthrough for a while, but flowthrough has a lot of challenges so we like to work with hard dollars. That’s another thing about Quebec. It’s the only province where if you use hard dollars, I get 32 cents on a dollar back, minimizing dilution. To us, it’s like another financing. It’s the only province that does that.
INN: What is the infrastructure in the area like? When you get to the point that you’re going to develop the site, is there additional work to do?
FB: No, actually it’s kind of interesting. The road to our property, we’ve been maintaining it for years and we didn’t know it’s actually a provincial highway. So, we’ve been maintaining the road for the province of Quebec. The power is there and I tell you if you ever work or hire in Quebec, they’ve got to be the nicest people in the world. They go out of their way to make sure that you’re powered up so to speak. The community is actually quite nice. The town, the people are quite nice.
INN: Well, it’s resource-friendly.
FB: Yes. It makes a big difference, I tell you. We work with three different First Nations, who are wonderful. On our board of directors, we have a First Nations member. Her name is Dianne Tookenay and I tell you, it’s really wonderful working with the First Nations. They’re actually easy to work with. They have the equipment and we use them to do our work on our property with their equipment. You know what? Never have an issue, never have a problem. They show up, they do their job, they leave and then they thank me, and I thought, “I’m okay with that.”
INN: So, what’s your message to investors today?
FB: I think we’re going into a pretty good gold market. We have this property that originally, we took from a halted stock to 90 cents and a C$120 million market cap in 18 months. Our people are pretty good at driving it. I’m a very large investor. I buy my paper like everybody else. I do private placements and I think this cycle is real. We had pretty good drill results. One day we traded almost seven million shares and the stock kind of doubled. I think if people like to believe in the gold market, believe in Quebec and believe in the Cadillac trend, put some money into it.
INN: Yes, thanks for coming in and sharing this.
FB: Thanks a lot.
This interview is sponsored by Granada Gold Mine (TSXV:GGM). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Granada Gold Mine in order to help investors learn more about the company. Granada Gold Mine is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Granada Gold Mine and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.
This interview may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, receipt of property titles, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The issuer relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements. Investing in companies comes with uncertainties as market values can fluctuate.