Darwin's President and CEO, Dr. Graham Carman at the Hard Assets Investment Conference in New York
When a brand new junior resource company starts up, investors watch carefully – and even skeptically – to see how it will survive in the dog-eat-dog world of exploration and mining. Many of those companies fail. But companies that start with a little something extra have a competitive advantage, which gives them an edge on surviving… and even thriving.
Darwin Resources Corp (TSX-V: DAR) – a gold and copper play in Peru – has a few competitive advantages that investors will love, making the company worthy of a second look to see if it fits into an investor's portfolio.
At the recent Hard Assets Investment Conference in New York, we spoke to Darwin's President and CEO, Dr. Graham Carman. He started by introducing us to himself and then the company: "I'm a geologist in the industry for 25 years. I've worked on the Lihir gold deposit, a 40-million ounce in Papua New Guinea and I've been involved in discoveries in Peru. I'm excited to be back in South America again."
The company's first competitive advantage is a proven team that works well together: In the mid-1990's, Dr. Carman worked with a team in South America to find gold deposits. That team has reunited to work on Darwin. "We just reformed the team, as if we got the band back together again," said Dr. Carman.
The company's second competitive advantage is its properties. Unlike other juniors that find a promising property and go to the market for money, Darwin was spun off from another company. The company was spun off from Mawson Resources (TSX-V: MAW), a company that wanted to focus exclusively on its gold deposit in Finland. The Peru-based properties were put in Darwin's portfolio. "We're at a really exciting stage of asset growth," said Dr. Carman.
Darwin's third competitive advantage is direction. "We've got a board of directors that is largely based on the Mawson and Tasman (TSX-V: TSM) group of companies." They're very successful companies in their own right.
And, the company's fourth competitive advantage is financing. "We've got money," said Dr. Carman. "We're funded for the next two years."
Next, we talked about the company's properties. They have a total of 7 properties in Peru. Running from north to south, their properties are: Colquiloma, Rurimarac, Vicuñas, Arcapampa, Huatiapa, Alto Quemado, and Cojines.
Their flagship property is Alto Quemado, an early-stage porphyry copper gold project in the southern Peru belt. "It's never been drilled," said Dr. Carman. "We're finalizing drill permits at the moment and hope to be drilling there in the next 2 to 3 months. We're planning a 2000 meter program and we've got a porphyry target so we're going to put half a dozen holes in the target. There are some gold veins we're going to put some holes into, also."
The property is in an ideal location in a great mining jurisdiction. Dr. Carman told us why he felt Peru was so good to mine in: "Peru is a phenomenal place to mine. There have been many, many projects in the last 10 to 15 years that have started and become operating mines today." He admitted that not everything is perfect but Peru is a good place to operate: "There is the occasional blip on the permitting side," he said, "but it's a very pro-mining country. It's based on the Canadian and Australian mining system so it has very good security and tenure."
Dr. Carman doesn't foresee any problems with permitting, particularly because the Alto Quemado property is not close to any communities. "Where we are, there are no communities," he explained. "The nearest village is 30 to 40 kilometers away." And, along with the positive aspect of not having any community issues to work through, the site also has good infrastructure: "Infrastructure in Peru is very good. It's close to the Pacific Ocean and there are several deep-sea ports on the coast. In our project, we have excellent infrastructure. It's a 3-hour drive from Peru's third largest city. There's good road access to the project."
Although their focus is currently on the Alto Quemado project, the company is moving the other projects forward as well. "We've got some epithermal gold properties. We're working those up. I am confident that we will come out with some interesting early-stage results from those projects quite soon. We're also looking for new opportunities. It's a wonderful time for us," Dr. Carman concluded.
Investors will also like that the company has enough money in the next two years to operate, since money isn't always easy to acquire in this soft economy. "Exploration budget for the next two years is $4 million. We've got $4.0 million in the kitty at the moment," said Dr. Carman.
Dr. Carman also believed that the share structure would be attractive to investors: "We've got 26 million shares and fifty percent of the shares are held by insiders and institutions." Investors might like the fact that shares are tightly held and the insiders are motivated to increase shareholder value. The company has been listed for approximately a month. Within that time, shares have ranged between $0.12 and $0.42 per share. Currently, shares are about $0.20 and $0.22 per share.
"Darwin is in an early stage. It has some great people. It's well-backed," said Dr. Carman. Investors who like participating in early stage companies with a lot of competitive advantages will find Darwin Resources might be worth a closer look to determine if it fits within their portfolio.
Darwin Resources Corp
Suite 1305 - 1090 West Georgia St.
Vancouver, BC V6E 3V7 CANADA
1 (604) 685 9316