Bullfrog Gold CEO Dave Beling explains why Nevada remains one of North America’s hottest destinations for gold mining and exploration.
After working in the mining business for over 50 years, Beling brings veteran leadership and depth of experience to the Bullfrog team. In the interview below, Beling explains why Nevada remains one of North America’s hottest destinations for gold mining and exploration. Following active mining in the late ’80s and ’90s, the price of gold caused mines in Nevada to close; however, the resurgence of global gold prices has provided Beling and his company with a new opportunity.
Thanks to improvements in new mining technologies like heap leaching, Beling believes the company can maintain a higher cut-off grade on its property, ensuring a proper return for the company and its investors. Bullfrog recently secured over US$835,000 in private placement equity financing. The subscriptions were priced at US$0.05 per unit, and consisted of one share of the company’s common stock and a two-year warrant to purchase a one-half share at a price of US$0.10 per share.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Bullfrog CEO Dave Beling. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Joining me now is Dave Beling of Bullfrog Gold. What exchange are you on and what’s your symbol?
Bullfrog Gold CEO Dave Beling: We’re OTCQB in the US and our symbol is BFGC.
INN: So, tell me a little bit about this project. You came to it in an interesting way, because it wasn’t what you were looking for, but here you are now. What is it about this that made you say, “this is where I’m going to be devoting my energy at this point”?
DB: Seven years ago, we actually started the company as we started trading. And we had this asset, a strategic land position, that was adjacent to Barrick [Gold] (NYSE:GOLD,TSX:ABX) in the Bullfrog mining district of Nevada. Barrick had produced about 2.3 million ounces of gold in the late ’80s and through the ’90s, and so we had picked up this position, and since then, we have expounded on that tremendously. I did a deal with Barrick. I staked more claims. I leased more claims. I purchased more lands. So now, we have actually enhanced that land position where we have a solid resource as well as having a nucleus of management. So, this thing has actually grown. When we first went out there, there was zero ounces on our properties, and now we have got about 624,000 ounces that average about seven-tenths of a gram. It’s all open pit, heap leachable.
And bear in mind, when Barrick mined this and then shut it down, the price of gold in 1999 was well under US$300 an ounce, and they were using conventional milling, whereas we’ll be using heap leaching, which I have done extensively in the past. We can run a lower cut-off grade and that’s why we actually have a resource that’s been well established. We actually have a 43-101 on that. Plus, we have great exploration upside. This district, or this area, which is 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is now one of the hottest exploration areas in North America.
INN: Why? What’s made it so hot recently?
DB: Well, there’s several other companies that have done drilling in there like Corvus Gold (TSX:KOR,OTCQX:CORVF). Coeur Mining (NYSE:CDE) has just bought out Northern Empire late last year for US$90 million. AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) has moved in there and done a lot of staking. They have staked next to me as well as around other people. So, there’s a tremendous amount of exploration effort going into the area. And plus, we have an established resource. The pits are already in. The infrastructure is there. It’s only four miles away from the town of Beatty. The power is onsite. There is a paved highway right up to the project, which is an unusual occurrence for me.
INN: Just unlock the door, go through and walk in.
DB: The list of the attributes on this thing are quite long and they’re quite positive, and the downsides are quite limited. So, we have a lot of enthusiasm about developing this project and moving it forward.
INN: And you are in Nevada.
DB: We are in Nevada.
INN: What are the unique advantages of being in Nevada when you are in the mining business?
DB: Well, the state laws are conducive to mining. The Bureau of Land Management is well versed on doing permits. Nevada has a strong history of mining over the past 150-somewhat years and longer. It’s a good venue for mining. It’s one of the best in the world, maybe the best. So, all of these things contribute. Plus, you’re in an area that, actually, mining started in Beatty, Nevada. So, the local people, that town has been depressed ever since Barrick Gold shut the property down. They are looking for taxes, commerce, training, employment, all of the things that you can bring with this. So, the whole district has a lot of momentum, and we are right in the center of that.
INN: You gave me a little bit of history of the company, now tell me about yourself and the team. What experience do you bring?
DB: Well, I have been in this business for 55 years. The first mine I worked in was 57 years ago. So, I have had a lot of broad experience, open pit, underground, processing. But just as importantly, developing several corporations and building them. I have done IPOs, all kinds of commercial transactions, joint ventures, offtake agreements and so forth. So, I’m well versed, I’ve actually run a heap leach operation in Nevada, a 16,000-ton-a-day operation that I did back in the late ’80s. So, I have got a lot of experience precisely in what we are doing. Plus, we have two other board members, Alan Lindsay and Kjeld Thygesen. The three of us have known each other for 27 years. So, you have a solid nucleus of a board, plus I have several consultants and people that I have drawn on to go ahead and do metallurgical testing, geologic examinations, everything that we needed. Plus, as we move forward and gain more financing, we are going to be able to expand teams just like I have done many times in the past.
INN: For somebody who’s looking to invest right at this moment, can you tell me exactly where you are right now and what your plans are moving forward?
DB: I use this term, “where the rubber meets the road.” We are trading at about less than US$20 an ounce of market cap whereas a lot of other companies are trading US$50 or US$100. So, we are way undervalued, [and] we have a solid asset. The drill database that I have on this project, that I obtained from Barrick, is 155 miles of drilling.
I mean, [that] is a lot of drill holes.
INN: That’s a lot of drill holes.
DB: Yes. It was already mined out, the stuff that was economic in the late ’90s.
INN: But as you pointed out, the price was considerably lower then.
DB: That’s right, and they had to use a higher cut-off grade because they were open-pit mining and underground mining. There is an underground cutoff at 3 grams per ton and a pit cut off, an ultimate pit cut off, of half a gram per ton. So, now, in today’s economics, with gold over US$1,300 plus the economics of heap leaching, there is a better margin today with heap leaching than there was back in 1999 when they shut her down.
INN: No wonder you can’t leave the business when you see something like this. After having had such a long and successful career, there could be a tendency to say, “okay, I have done enough.” But this obviously called you back.
DB: Well, I have got a lot of skin in this game. I’m the largest creditor and the largest shareholder in this company, and if I didn’t believe in it, that wouldn’t have occurred. So yes, I want to see this thing move forward, either produce it or sell it or do whatever is in the best interest of the shareholder. Being undervalued, there lies the opportunity.
INN: So it’s an interesting time, and you’re a company definitely worth watching.
DB: Well, it is and I think we have a lot of momentum here. Just a few weeks ago, we raised US$800,000, and we are embarking on several programs that I think are going to bring us a lot of attention, and I think people will then recognize what the inherent values of our assets and our hard assets as well as management and say, “hey. This company is primed to move forward.”
INN: So when can we expect to hear some more news from you?
DB: Well, we have programs in progress. In fact, last year when I was here, we had started some metallurgical programs using some updated technologies on heap leaching. I have done the initial test and we are into additional testing and I think this can help our recovery. As a result, as that test work is completed, we’ll be announcing that plus any other results. We have done an extensive amount of evaluation of all of this data and generated several exploration targets. In fact, just last year, we generated another exploration target that I really have a lot of enthusiasm with. But you’ve got to put holes in it, and I’m in the process of getting the permits, both from the state as well as the federal government so that we can drill the holes that we need to on a priority basis and drill where and when and how we want, and that is going to add resources. We just don’t know how much. But this does have great potential to expand to the 600,000 ounces we already have.
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This interview is sponsored by Bullfrog Gold (OTCQB:BFGC). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Bullfrog Gold , in order to help investors learn more about the company.Bullfrog Gold is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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