Scott Moore, Sulliden’s VP of Corporate Development at the Cambridge House Investment Resource Conference in Vancouver, Canada
When a mining company transitions into the development phase, investors like to see all the right pieces in place for the company to successfully move forward so that they can get involved with confidence.
Sulliden Gold Corp (TSX: SUE, OTCQX: SDDDF, BVL: SUE) is a company that appears to have all the right pieces in place. Sulliden is focused on the exploration and development of the Shahuindo Gold and Silver Project, located in northern Peru. Production from this property is expected in late 2013, early 2014. The Company also owns the East Sullivan property in the Val-d'Or gold district in Quebec.
We wanted to learn more about their projects and what the future held for Sulliden so at the recent Cambridge House Vancouver Resource Investment Conference this past January, we met up with Scott Moore, VP of Corporate Development at Sulliden.
We spent most of the time talking about Shahuindo and how the company is moving forward on development there. "Sulliden is currently focused on the Shahuindo Gold Project in northern Peru," said Mr. Moore. The project covers approximately 8,000 hectares in the Cajabamba Province and (according to Sulliden's website) is in one of the world’s most prospective gold belts, neighbouring world-class gold mines like Barrick Gold’s Lagunas Norte Mine and Newmont Mining Company's Yanacocha Mine.
In June 2011, Sulliden issued a new National Instrument 43-101 for the Shahuindo property. This new mineral resource estimate grew the Indicated gold resources by 221% (from 890,000 ounces to 1,971,000 ounces) and the Inferred gold resources by 497% (from 290,000 ounces to 1,436,000 ounces). Since then, they have been conducting extensive exploration drilling on their property and will continue to do so throughout 2012. Mr. Moore said: "The property has a current resource of about 3.4 million ounces. In 2012, we are rapidly advancing toward a production decision. We expect to be filing our bankable Feasibility Study, our new resource statement, and our environmental impact assessment for a mine construction permit by mid-2012."
Along with an excellent resource in a gold-rich region, Sulliden has a skilled team to help them accomplish their goals: "Our President is Peter Tagliamonte. He has extensive experience in South America. He was the former head of Eldorado's South American operations. He built the Jacobina mine, which is now owned by Yamana Gold Inc. He's a mine builder and long-time mining construction team leader, and will be leading the team in Peru to build this mine in 2013."
Rounding out the team are other experienced industry professionals: Joe Milbourne, the VP of Operations and Technical Services who brings 30 years of industry experience as a metallurgist, and Stéphane Amireault, the VP of Exploration who brings 20 years of industry experience. Both have many years of experience working in South America.
Next, we talked about the financials – another key ingredient that Sulliden has in place to help propel them forward in development.
Mr. Moore said: "There are 250 million shares outstanding, fully diluted. Our current share price is about $1.50. We have a very strong institutional shareholder base as evidenced by our recent financing."
Going forward, the company is ready for the next steps: "The Company is fully financed for 2012, right up through a construction decision on the mine. We hope to have our mine permit in hand by the end of 2012. Typically the mine go-ahead decision will be made by the board prior to that."
And Mr. Moore offered up a reason that investors would be interested in the stock: "We're currently trading at about half of where our stock was trading last February. We think there is a lot of value to be created going forward in this project as we come up the other side of the hill of putting a mine into production."
Next, we talked about their expenses and what they still needed to invest in the project. According to their website, the region has good infrastructure and access to power and water, and many of the other successful mines in the area are low-cost operations. Mr. Moore agreed: "It looks like we have a robust project and a manageable Capital Expenditure (CapEx) budget to deal with. We're expecting about $200 million in capital expenditures for 150,000 (or more) ounces of production." Going into more detail about their expenditures and future financing, Mr. Moore said: "About a third of the $200 million would be a mobile fleet since the project is expected to be an owner-operated operation. We already have a term sheet from Caterpillar so we are looking for debt financing for that side of the business. That leaves about $150 million to finance, from a combination of debt and equity to raise that $150 million. In today's gold environment, that's a pretty low CapEx for 150,000 (or more) ounces of production."
The company also estimates their cost-per-gold-ounce to be in the mid $400's. (A previous Preliminary Assessment estimated it at $403/ounce but Mr. Moore thought it could be slightly higher in the upcoming Feasibility Study).
What many resource investors want is a company with a good project, a good team, and sound financials – a company that has a plan and is executing on that plan consistently. Sulliden fits the bill. They have the Shahuindo project in the gold-producing district of northern Peru, they have a team who can get the job done, and they have financing to continue on their plan for this year. Investors should keep an eye on Sulliden, particularly for the results of the upcoming mineral resource estimate and Feasibility Study, and see if Sulliden is right for their portfolio.
Sulliden Gold Corp
Corporate Office (Montreal, Canada)
1250 René Levesque Blvd. West
Montréal, Québec, H3B 5E9
Corporate Office (Toronto, Canada)
65 Queen Street West, Suite 800
P.O. Box 75
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2M5
Telephone: (416) 861-5805