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Big Ridge Gold Corp. (TSXV: BRAU: Acquiring 80% Interest in Hope Brook Gold Project, Former High-Grade Gold Producer in Newfoundland; Mike Bandrowski, President/CEO Interviewed

on 7/6/2021
We spoke with Mike Bandrowski, President/CEO of Big Ridge Gold Corp. (TSX-V: BRAU). Big Ridge Gold is in the process of acquiring 80% interest in First Mining Gold’s Hope Brook Gold Project, located in Newfoundland and Labrador. The project is a former high-grade gold producer (1987-1997), with the existing resource of indicated 844,000 oz Au, grading 4.77 g/t, inferred 110,000 oz Au at 4.11 g/t. Near-term plans include expanding the resource, which is one of the highest-grade resources in Newfoundland. In addition, Big Ridge owns 100% interest, in the highly prospective Oxford Gold Project, located in Manitoba, and 100% interest in the Destiny Gold Project, in Quebec, where Clarity Gold Corp. (CLAR – CSE) is earning up to a 100% interest and is exploring in the Beardmore-Geraldton gold belt, in Ontario.

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, interviewing Mike Bandrowski, who is President/CEO of Big Ridge Gold Corp. Mike, could you give our readers/investors an overview of your Company and what differentiates your Company from others?

Mike Bandrowski: We're a Canadian gold Exploration Company. We have several assets in Canada, but most recently, we announced an earnings agreement, with First Mining Gold, to earn up to 80% in the past producing Hope Brook Gold project, which is in Newfoundland. Newfoundland's extremely hot right now for exploration and we are earning into a past producing project with, 10 years of production history.

There's been a lot of success with Marathon Gold, Newfound Gold and several other companies. I think we're very fortunate to be there, in Newfoundland, working at this particular point in time. we are starting our Phase 1 exploration program on a project that already has a resource of about 950,000 ounces, which is based on $1,200 gold and a 3 g/t cut-off grade.

We are very excited. We hope to close the transaction in the coming days and then get to work on the Hope Brook property and expand the current resource, which is, right now, one of the largest and highest-grade resources in Newfoundland. So, we have a bit of a head start in that respect, and we know that we can continue to expand the resource and hopefully generate positive project economics over time.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds exciting, a great time for Big Ridge Gold Corp investors and stakeholders.

Mike Bandrowski: Yeah! It's great! And Hope Brook is a past producer. It produced from 1987 to 1997, about 750,000 ounces. So, we have a production history. We know the metallurgy works and the grades that they mined at the time, are the same as the grades that are in resource today. So, it's pretty exciting!

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that's great! I know you have like three other properties too and deposits, could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about those?

Mike Bandrowski: Absolutely. The first property is called the Destiny Gold project and it is just Northeast of Val d'Or. There's a little over a 600,000 ounce resource there. We recently optioned the property to Clarity Gold. they've started to explore the property and they'll be earning in, over the next three years, to 100% of the project. Over that time, they'll be paying us cash and stock of 8.5 million dollars to earn-in to the 100% and then we'll retain 1% precious metal royalty that is subject to a $1 million buyback.

Next, we have several properties in Beardmore, Ontario, around the Brookbank gold deposit, partially owned by Equinox and Orion Mine Finance. In September 2020, we announced the Beardmore properties are going to be going into another vehicle, called Bling Gold, which we expect to be trading on the CSE in Q3 of this year. We are taking an equity interest in Blingold and hope to participate in their success.

Our last project is called the Oxford Gold project. It's located in Manitoba. It is a 36,000-hectare land package. There is a small, non-compliant resource that was drilled in 1989 and '90 by Noranda, about 150,000 ounces, at six grams per ton. And there really hasn't been much work done on the property since then. We know that there are several very interesting targets there. There are gold showings, drill holes and channel samples, across the entire 30-kilometer land package. It is a large system but very early stage, but it's a very exciting property and we are happy it is in our inventory. We own it 100% and we have a long-term exploration agreement, with the Bunibonibee Cree Nation that will take us up to the point of a feasibility study.

Due to COVID-19 , we haven't been able to work on the property because we need to fly into Oxford Lake, which is the First Nation. And they've asked us to remain off the property until we get COVID under control. So, that's the last land package we have. Unfortunately, we're not working there right now. We're just respecting the First Nation and their wishes, but we will get up there at some point and continue to expand on the work that Noranda did, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, those are very nice properties that you own and excellent locations. Could you tell our readers/ investors, your primary plans for 2021, going into 2022?

Mike Bandrowski: What we're hoping to do first, in the next couple of days, is to get TSX approval and close the Hope Brook Gold Project earn-in agreement. When that's closed, we will look to get on the property and start a drill program, sometime in mid to late summer. And we hope to expand the resource there and ideally put an updated resource out to the market in early 2022. That'll be based on previous work and our 2021 work program, and updated metal prices. The resource assumes a $1,200 gold price. So, we'll use something that's a little more realistic, probably around the $1,500 mark. Then hopefully that resource will form the basis for an economic study, late in 2022.

Dr. Allen Alper: Sounds like excellent plans! It sounds like an excellent property and it's in a great neighborhood, at an exciting time for explorers in Newfoundland. So that's excellent!

Mike Bandrowski: Yeah. We're extremely excited to get on the ground here. The last Company to really do any meaningful work on the project was Coastal Gold. Coastal Gold was acquired by First Mining in 2015, while they have maintained the property and had people there working, they never did any significant exploration. So, it's been almost 7 years since anyone has had a meaningful work program at Hope Brook. We're pretty excited to be the group that's going to be running with it, going forward.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's great. Mike, could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about yourself, your Team and your Board?

Mike Bandrowski: Sure. I have spent the better part of the last 20 years, as a sell-side research analyst and investment banker, in Toronto, and I covered precious metals and base metals during my career. I got involved with Alto Ventures last year, in 2020. I was announced CEO on July 7th, 2020. We changed the name, rolled back the stock and did a small financing, about $2.2 million. Since then, we have made sone significant changes to the Board. We brought in Nick Tintor, Nick is a geologist from Toronto, with a lot of experience in the junior mining space. He's a huge addition to the Team because he actually built and permitted one of the only operating gold mines in Newfoundland, which is Pine Cove. It's owned by Anaconda.

So, he has significant experience in Newfoundland. We brought in Jim Kirk as the CFO. Jim spent the better part of his career at Marathon Gold, which is also in Newfoundland. He has quite a bit of experience, on the financial side and knows his way around Newfoundland really well. Another Director that we brought on, in the new year, was Bill Williams. Bill was Head of a Phelps Dodge, South American exploration for years. Bill ran Orvana Minerals and we put him in place to run Detour Gold, prior to it being taken out by Kirkland Lake. So, he has a lot of experience. He has permitted mines. He's built mines and he's operated mines. He's a wealth of knowledge and a great addition to our Board. Lastly, Rick Mazer. Rick Mazer is the last remaining Board Member, from Alto Ventures, Rick's also another geologist, Vancouver based, and he runs Forum Energy Metals, which is a copper nickel play in Saskatchewan. He's also on several other Boards of TSX junior mining companies.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, it sounds like you have a great background and you have put together an excellent Team and Board, diverse and with great experience. So, that sounds excellent.

Mike Bandrowski: Yeah! I think we have a great Team and we'll be announcing another Board Member from First Mining, as part of the transaction.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that sounds great! Could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about your share and capital structure?

Mike Bandrowski: Sure. Right now, we have 46.4 million shares outstanding. We have about a little over two million options and we have 33 million warrants outstanding. Fully diluted, we have roughly 93 million shares outstanding and that would include the 11.5 million shares that we'll be issuing to First Mining. First Mining will be our biggest shareholder at 19.9%. We do have 22 million warrants at 20 cents that were issued as part of our recapitalization last summer on the 10-cent round. Those do have an accelerator on them at 25 cents. On closing Hope Brook and on the back of some positive news, we're hoping that we might be able to accelerate those warrants, which would bring another $4.4 million into the treasury at that time. As far as working capital, we have roughly 4 million in working capital right now.

Dr. Allen Alper: It sounds like your Company is in excellent position to carry out your exploration plans.

Mike Bandrowski: Yeah, 100%. With the cash we have in the bank right now, money coming in from the Beardmore and Destiny Earn in agreements that we've done and the possibility of exercising this warrant, we're really in great shape to get a lot of work done here and start to bring a bunch of news flow to the market.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent, Mike! Could you tell our readers/investors the primary reasons they should consider investing in your Company?

Mike Bandrowski: We have a fantastic project! We're probably in one of the hottest exploration areas in the country right now. We have a strong treasury and our valuation, on an ounce in the ground basis, is under $10. Comparables on the island are anywhere from $70 up to $150 an ounce. So, I think we're trading at a significant discount. We have a fantastic Team and a fantastic project.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, those sound like extremely excellent reasons for our readers/investors to consider investing in Big Ridge Gold Corp. Mike, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Mike Bandrowski: No, I think, those are all the salient points for sure!

Dr. Allen Alper: Great! We’ll publish your press releases, as they come out, so our readers/investors can follow your progress.

Mike Bandrowski,
President & CEO

1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON, M5E 1W7
Tel: 416-540-5480

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