By Dr. Allen Alper, PhD Economic Geology and Petrology, Columbia University, NYC, USA
Interview with Darin Wagner, President, and CEO of Balmoral Resources Ltd. (TSX: BAR; OTCQX: BALMF): A Well-Funded, Canadian-Based Company with High Grade Gold and Nickel Assets in the Prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Quebec (PDAC Booth #2432)
Balmoral Resources Ltd. (TSX: BAR; OTCQX: BALMF) is a well-funded, Canadian-based company with assets in the prolific Abitibi greenstone belt in Quebec, Canada. Balmoral is currently delineating a series of high-grade gold deposits on its Martiniere Property, which is part of the company's wholly owned 1,000 km2 Detour Gold Trend Project. Employing an aggressive, drill focused exploration style in one of the world’s preeminent mining jurisdictions, Balmoral is following an established formula, with a goal of maximizing shareholder value through discovery and definition of high-grade, Canadian gold and base metal assets.
Darin Wagner, President, and CEO of Balmoral Resources, has an award-winning team that has successfully executed in this same area both on the discovery and shareholder value creation front. The area itself is one of the best jurisdictions on the planet in which to work and Balmoral’s deposits have an expanding profile in the market. The company plans two extensive drilling programs for 2017, preparing for an initial resource on their high-grade Bug Lake gold discoveries.
Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-chief of Metals News, interviewing Darin Wagner, who is President and CEO of Balmoral Resources. Could you remind our readers what differentiates Balmoral Resources from others?
Mr. Darin Wagner: The key elements for Balmoral are:
1) A management team that has successfully executed in this same area for its shareholders
2) The Province of Quebec in Canada, in the heart of the Abitibi greenstone belt, one of the best jurisdictions on the planet to explore and mine, both from a regulatory and financing point of view
3) The grade profile of the deposits that we're working. We have a series of closely spaced, high-grade gold deposits located proximal to two operating gold mines, including the massive Detour Gold Mine, which sits just west of our holdings. We currently have four gold deposits in active delineation. They all exhibit a similar, very high-grade core and then a broad halo of lower grade mineralization along a strike length of 3 and a half kilometers in total between the two trends that we're working. It's a very quickly growing story, it has a solid retail following and growing institutional following. The best part is, it's fully financed for our planned 25,000 metre 2017 drill program.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you tell our readers a bit more about some of your results?
Mr. Darin Wagner: We've been putting out a series of results of late from our summer/fall drill program, and we've just started the winter drill program. We've been pretty impressed with the results and evidently the market has been as well. The last couple of releases, in addition to showing significant expansion of the deposits, included the announcement of two brand new, near surface gold discoveries, both in the multi-gram range. These two new discovers are 1,000 metres apart and may be part of a third mineralized trend on the property.
The main focus though is on the Bug Lake Gold Trend, where we have been intersecting broad zones of near-surface gold mineralization in the 1 to 2 gram range over down hole widths of 50 to 115 meters. Within the heart of these wide intervals of gold mineralization, is a consistent high-grade core that'll be anywhere from about 2 meters to 45 meters wide, with values ranging between 3.5 and 12 grams, so underground type grades at open pit depths.
This is now a very well defined trend of gold mineralization, consisting of three deposits and several proximal occurrences, stretching for up to 2,000 metres. We are consistently hitting on over 90% of our drill holes. Over the course of the last few months, not only have we added two new deposits that are now in delineation, we've also more than doubled the depth extent and the long strike extent of the Bug Lake Trend. It's been a very, very busy few months, but clear, strong growth on multiple fronts up there at Martiniere.
Dr. Allen Alper: Fantastic results! Spectacular! Could you tell me some of your plans for 2017 going forward?
Mr. Darin Wagner: 2017 will be another busy year for us. We are just getting started. The winter drill program is well underway. There'll be two drills up there for the next two to three months drilling all winter.
Focus for the winter will be on both delineation work to prepare for an initial resource and on continued expansion of the deposits. All four of the Bug Lake deposits remain open down-plunge for expansion so we want to continue to push them out and down. In total, we'll probably do somewhere between 7 and 8 thousand meters this winter of drilling and we'll be back with a spring/summer program to take us to a minimum of 25,000 meter range for 2017. We may actually, given the recent results, look to increase that program, over what was initially planned, because we're extremely pleased with what we're seeing.
Dr. Allen Alper: That's excellent. Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your award-winning team?
Mr. Darin Wagner: We're very proud of our team. In recent years, they have twice been awarded the Discovery of the Year in the province of Quebec. It's a very, very solid technical team that is backed by a similarly experienced Board of Directors. I think they are some of the best guys in the Canadian exploration business.
I’ve been working in the Abitibi, in this region, for the better part of 25 years now. Most recently, I ran a company called West Timmins, which also found a high-grade gold deposit, now in the hands of Tahoe. I have been fortunate to have been part of or been around a number of exploration discoveries which turned into mines – including at least one that has now been mined out, so I guess that formally makes me a veteran of the business.
We're an exploration focused team, with a pretty sound record of making discoveries and making discoveries that eventually turn into mines. And this is pretty exciting for our shareholders, given the vast track of highly prospective land we have to explore. We think there's ample opportunity for additional discoveries similar to, or maybe even better than, Martiniere up under the swamps in Quebec.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds exciting. Really great! A very strong team and a great background of discovery and accomplishment! You all must be very proud of the work you're doing.
Mr. Darin Wagner: When we look at what we've been able to deliver to the shareholders over the course of the last three years, the nickel-copper-PGE discovery at Grasset, and the way the deposits are stacking up now at Martiniere and a number of other indications of mineralization, we are excited. We're very pleased with the way the work's gone on the ground, with the momentum we're starting to build back now into the stock.
While the markets have been cautious at best in our sector for the last few years, we are excited by what we see there as well. Combined I think there are a lot of reasons for our shareholders to be positive about what lays ahead for Balmoral.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you elaborate a little bit on your nickel deposit?
Mr. Darin Wagner: Yes, almost forgotten by the market I suspect in the excitement around the results coming out of Martiniere is our Grasset Ni-Cu-Co-PGE deposit. Grasset is now drilled out down to 500 vertical metres, below which it remains open for additional expansion. It carries an initial resource estimate of approx. 3.5 million tonnes at 1.8% Ni equivalent (for the details see the disclosure on our website). Overall there is roughly 18 million tonnes of sulphide mineralization within the deposit, which could grow with future drilling.
We've seen some positive signs in the nickel market and a partial recovery, but it is likely still too early in the recovery to go back to work at Grasset. We'll bide our time a little bit, see where the nickel market goes, and look for an opportunity to either find a partner to move that project forward or to ultimately sell it to somebody else, while we concentrate on our core business, which is really the gold side of things.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you tell me a little bit about your share and capital structure?
Mr. Darin Wagner: Yeah, Balmoral is currently sitting with about 125 million shares outstanding. There are no warrants outstanding on the company so there's no overhang. Our predominant holders are retail. We have historically dealt well with the retail market. We take pride in being a group that you can always call and get an answer to your question and this resonates well with retail shareholders, who are investing their hard earned money directly. There's a growing institutional presence in the story which we welcome as the market cap continues to increase.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds great. What are the primary reasons our high-net-worth readers/investors should consider investing in your company?
Mr. Darin Wagner: I think the reasons why high-net-worth readers/investors should consider investing in Balmoral starts with the quality of our assets, their location and the experience of our team.
Actual new discoveries in the gold space, in particular of grade and size, are increasingly rare. And to have discoveries like those at Martiniere in a location where you can sleep at night not having to worry about government attitudes, unrealistic regulations and all the other issues blocking mine development these days, is huge – both for our investors and for the major gold miners.
If you add in a well-funded and experienced management, which focusses on shareholder value creation and an exploration team that “keeps finding more”, we think that is a recipe for success
Dr. Allen Alper: Very compelling reasons our high-net-worth readers/investors should consider investing in Balmoral, an excellent team with a proven track record, an excellent property, excellent location. Fantastic. Is there anything else you would like to add, Darin?
Mr. Darin Wagner: I'll just give you the stock symbol, which is BAR in the TSX and BALMF on the OTCQX in the United States and invite your readers to give us a call or send an email through to us if they have any questions.
Dr. Allen Alper: Sounds great. Thank you.
Balmoral Resources Ltd.
Suite 1750-700 West Pender St
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6C 1G8
North American Toll-Free:
John Foulkes, Vice-President, Corporate Development
Tel: (604) 638-5815 / Toll Free: (877) 838-3664