Red Pine Exploration President Mia Boiridy joined the Investing News Network to discuss Red Pine’s progress developing its Wawa gold project in Ontario.
Red Pine spent 2019 conducting a drill program designed to extend the resource on the property. In June 2019, Red Pine released an updated NI 43-101 resource estimate on the property that updated both the Minto Mine South and Surlaga deposits. The technical report included 230,000 ounces of gold in the indicated category, in addition to 471,000 ounces of gold in the inferred category. Over 95 percent of both deposits are located between the surface and approximately 350 meters below ground.
According to Boiridy, Red Pine intends to continue exploration on the property to prove that the deposits at both Minto South and Surlaga extend at depth. Based on recent results at the nearby Island Gold mine, the company is confident that the mineralization will extend at depth and allow the company to further update its resource estimate moving forward. Red Pine raised C3.7 million in December in order to fund its latest round of exploration, bringing on Alamos Gold (TSX:AGI,NYSE:AGI) as a strategic partner in the process.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Red Pine Exploration President Mia Boiridy. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
INN: Before we get started, what is the name of your company, what is your symbol and what exchange can they find you on?
MB: It’s Red Pine Exploration. It’s on the TSX Venture and the symbol is RPX.
INN: You are exploring in the gold belt of Ontario central, correct?
MB: We are. We are getting good results and there’s lots of activity in that part of the world. It’s a greenstone belt that historically was a little bit underexplored but has produced multimillion ounce deposits of late. The biggest one and the one that is in the news lately is Island Gold, which is owned by Alamos Gold. They keep on getting great intersections with grades that are getting better with depth. They’re our closest neighbor. When we started working on this project in 2014, there was already an inferred resource on the land package. It had a million ounces at 1.7 grams per tonne, but the model was an open pit and wasn’t very economical; it had a huge strip ratio.
There had been 10 past-producing mines on the land package that operated in the late 1800s, beginning of the 1900s. They were small operations doing artisanal mining. They didn’t produce much, but they produced 120,000 ounces of gold at a grade of over 9 grams per tonne. So we knew that there was an opportunity for us to find better mineralization and that’s what we did. So we started drilling past these historical operations, and we intersected some high-grade gold. So for the past two years, our focus was bringing this low-grade, open-pit resource to a higher grade, underground and economical resource. That’s what we did last summer.
INN: And the results have proven that out?
MB: They’ve proven that out, yes. We issued a new 43-101 so now we sit at 700,000 ounces at a grade above 5 grams per tonne between the surface and 350 meters depth. So it’s very shallow and accessible using existing underground infrastructure that is there leftover from the 1980s. So all of a sudden it’s become very economical and looks really promising with great grades. The fact that gold is now trending at US$1,600 is fabulous for us as well. There’s no doubt in our minds that this will become an operating mine. Now we’re just going to show that mineralization extends at depth because the results that we have so far are very shallow.
Island Gold, which is our neighbor, is drilling above a kilometer depth. There’s no reason why our mineralization doesn’t extend at depth as well. So our 2020 program is going to set out to prove that.
INN: So you just raised some money and now it’s all going back into the ground. When do you start drilling again?
MB: The drills are going to start turning next week. We have our staff back in Wawa getting everything ready. We raised C$3.7 million in December and that will go to our 2020 program, which probably includes another 15,000 meters. Again our focus will be on showing that the mineralization continues beyond the 350 meters.
INN: Is the plan to then prove out the resource and turn it over to be acquired by a major? Or do you foresee being able to work this mine?
MB: I think that’s the plan. That’s the dream of all of the juniors, for somebody else to come in and take it over. As part of our financing in December, Alamos came in at 11 percent, which is great. They believe, they have done their due diligence, and they know that this project has legs. They see the future in it and wanted to be involved. Of course, we’re in their neighborhood, so it’s great for them to put their hands on something that is close to them. They certainly see the value and we’ll be working with them, using their expertise in order to move this project forward.
We want to keep on adding ounces to the ground and then have somebody take it over. Last year we really stocked up our board of directors. We brought in two guys that have experience bringing advanced exploration projects onboard. One is Drew Anwyll, who came from Detour Gold (TSX:DGC,OTC Pink:DRGDF), where he brought it from advanced exploration to a working mine. He’s a mining engineer and has done this in the past. We also brought on Andrew Baumen, who worked at Hemlo and Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) for many years. These are two mining engineers who have looked at what we have and devised the operational plan including how we optimize the stopes and what the mining operation will look like. So we’re open to all sorts of opportunities.
INN: How important is it to know that you have the infrastructure in place and that it’s going to be relatively inexpensive?
MB: The OpEx will be quite small. We’re right in Wawa; we pay property taxes because we bought up against the airport in Wawa. The infrastructure is all there and we’re right next to the Trans-Canada Highway with Sault Ste. Marie and the port not far away. Looking at the modeling, it would be toll milled so it could go to Sudbury, it could go to Timmins, the concentrate could go wherever. There’s also a skilled labor force there. It’s just a perfect jurisdiction. I think that’s why there’s lots of interest in the area. A lot of people have set up shop in the Wawa camp.
INN: How do you explain to somebody that Ontario is the right place for you to be mining gold right now?
MB: I think a lot of people are seeing it. We all hear the horror stories that are happening in Africa and South America.
INN: That’s just one of the considerations, isn’t it?
MB: Yes, it is. We’ve seen a lot of mid-tiers and majors divest themselves of some projects because they can’t mine them and after having to confront all these issues, they’re not willing to take that risk anymore. So we’re seeing a lot more attention being paid to Ontario. Case in point, Alamos. Alamos did not have any assets in Canada before they bought Island Gold in 2017. So here’s a company who didn’t necessarily think that it was an interesting jurisdiction, but now they’ve moved in and invested in us. They’ve invested in other junior exploration companies in that same camp too, so they obviously see the benefit of having their properties in a secure jurisdiction. For investors and for the retail investor, yes, Ontario is a great place to invest in. We have great relationships with the First Nations, we have great relationships with the government and things are pretty stable.
INN: As an investor, what’s the opportunity that exists right now?
MB: Right now, we trade at 4 cents so there is great upswing potential here. We have 700,000 ounces right now, both inferred and indicated. There’s an opportunity having Alamos come onboard. It really shows that snap of approval, that it’s come from a major. We’re going to keep on doing what we’ve done so far in terms of proving up the resource. We said that we were going to up the resource and show that it was a high-grade and we did that. We said we were going to bring somebody in that was a big stakeholder and we did. Now we’re just going to continue on with our program.
This interview is sponsored by Red Pine Exploration (TSXV:RPX). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Red Pine Exploration in order to help investors learn more about the company. Red Pine Exploration 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 Red Pine Exploration 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.