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Navarre Minerals Ltd. (ASX: NML): Discovering and Developing Large, Long-Life and High-Grade Gold Deposits, in Underexplored Areas of Victoria, AU; Ian Holland, Managing Director Interviewed

on 7/22/2021
Navarre Minerals Limited (ASX: NML) is an advanced gold exploration Company, focused on discovering and developing large, long-life and high-grade gold deposits, in underexplored areas of Victoria, Australia. We learned from Ian Holland, who is Managing Director of Navarre Minerals, that they have a high-quality portfolio of projects, assembled before the spotlight was shone on Victoria's prospectivity. The Company's flagships are Stawell Corridor Gold and St Arnaud Gold Projects. The Stawell Corridor Gold project is the most significant new greenfield gold resource in Victoria, in decades. The drilling is underway to upgrade known extensions to resource. The Company is targeting +1Moz. The updated resource is due in March of 2022.

Navarre Minerals Limited

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, talking with Ian Holland, who is Managing Director of Navarre Minerals. Ian, could you give our readers/investors an overview of your Company and what differentiates your Company from others? We know you are exploring in a very exciting area in Australia, so maybe you could tell us all about that?

Ian Holland: Thanks, Allen. Navarre Minerals is a Victorian-focused explorer, predominantly gold. And yes, Victoria is quite an exciting destination at the moment, and really over the last number of years, the success of the Fosterville Gold Mine, as the world's highest grade, highest margin, underground gold mining operation, has shone a light on Victoria and its prospectivity.

The exciting part about Navarre Minerals, from my perspective, is that the portfolio is a really high quality one, and was assembled before that spotlight was shone. What that means is that the Founding Managing Director, Geoff McDermott and Team, were able to assemble the pieces in a less competitive environment, which means large tenement holdings, in really prospective areas, a significant base to start production from. I'll talk about each of these areas. It's really quite exciting!

Navarre itself was listed a little over 10 years ago. The Founding Managing Director is still on the Board, Technical Director now. I joined last year and became the Managing Director in September, after previously having more than 10 years’ experience, with the Fosterville Gold Mine itself. So, I'm used to working and operating in Victoria and have a track record of success in building and developing a substantial operation in this jurisdiction.

With respect to the portfolio itself, the flagship project is the Stawell Corridor Gold Project. This is a 70-kilometer belt, south of the Stawell town and mine, which is still operating. We really view this as having a multi-million-ounce camp scale potential. We've delivered a first installment on that. In March this year, we announced a maiden resource, 300,000 ounces, combination of open pit and underground, but very much a first installment, and we expect this to grow significantly.

The second large project that we have is the St Arnaud Gold Project, about 80 kilometers by road to the Northeast of Stawell. Really significant holdings, 1600 square kilometers or there about, centered on an old gold field at St Arnaud, which produced about 400,000 ounces at high grades, so about 15 grams per ton, historically. It hasn't seen a great deal of modern exploration. We've consolidated the whole field here. The final piece of that was the old gold field itself, and that was only secured late last year, and we've hit the ground running. We've undertaken an air core drilling program. We've announced some pretty good results, including some high grades on a number of trends. Following that, we're undertaking a diamond drilling program that's in progress at the moment. A high conviction play for us, where we certainly see a high likelihood that we'll be able to find a resource. We've outlined that publicly, saying we're targeting one, within the next 12 months.

They're the two major core pieces. We have a really interesting, rapidly emerging, discovery, at what we will call our Glenlyle project, which is just west of Stawell, close by the other projects. The geology is a bit different here, and we've made an interesting discovery at a prospect we call Morning Bill. This is actually in the volcanic belt, so it is different geology. It's polymetallic. But we've defined, through initially geophysics and then drilling, quite a substantial gold silver anomaly, with associated base metals as well. The initial discovery was in 2018, through air-core drilling. We've now mapped out a one kilometer by 400-meters footprint of gold silver anomalism.

We've just recently undertaken a maiden diamond drilling program, eight holes in total. We've released results from the first three. All three of the first three holes hit high-grade gold, up to 16 grams, plus associated silver and base metals. Remarkable, for a maiden diamond drilling program. It's blind as well, covered by veneer of layered basalt, so pretty remarkable. We look forward to putting out the remaining five holes and then following up with an aggressive program.

There are a couple of other pieces that we have, as well, within the portfolio. A project called Jubilee, which is near the historic gold mining center, of Ballarat. Ballarat was a 13-million-ounce field. Jubilee is about 25 kilometers away. It saw historic production itself, a hundred thousand ounces plus of production before World War One. It has seen no modern exploration. We've done a geophysics and air-core program and it's awaiting diamond drilling.

The final piece for us, is a joint venture, with a Company called Catalyst Metals, on a property called Tandarra, to the north of Bendigo. What we're looking for there, in tandem with Catalyst, is the next Bendigo, under cover and to the north, under a veneer of Murray basin cover, sediment in this case. Bendigo was a terrific field, produced 22 million ounces at about half an ounce per ton, so a world-class field in anyone's measure, so quite a prize.

So, it's a mix of things. Very much focused on advancing our flagship projects, with a few other options as well. So an exciting portfolio, Allen.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that's great. You're in a great area for exploration. You have great projects and you're discovering very substantial grades and you seem like you're well on the path for a million-ounce inventory.

Ian Holland: Yeah, we certainly believe so!

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds great. Could you tell our readers/investors about your background? I know it's very impressive and also your Board and Team?

Ian Holland: We have a three-person Board. The Founding Managing Director is Geoff McDermott, now the Technical Director. The Founding Chairman is still Chairman, Kevin Wilson. Each of those bring a great deal of history and corporate knowledge, of what Navarre has been doing over the last 10 years, but significant history before that as well. We have an excellent Exploration Manager, Shane Mele, who has 20 plus years’ experience, operating in Victoria. He has been the Managing Director of companies previously, so he has a really good corporate track record as well. He was the MD of Kidman Resources at one point. And recently, we brought on board, a Chief Financial Officer, Paul Hissey, who brings that capital markets aspect to us. A geologist by background, but he, for the last 10 years, has been a very highly rated mining equity analyst, initially, with Goldman Sachs in Australia, Melbourne based, then later, with RBC. So, we're really pleased to have him on board as well.

I'm a geologist by background, but prior to joining Navarre, for the last dozen years or so, I was associated with the Fosterville Gold Mine. I was the General Manager from 2010 through to 2017, which saw the first solidifying of Fosterville as a sustainable producer. Then came the discovery of the high-grade Swan and Eagle deposits at depth. From 2017 through to 2020, I was the Vice President of Australian operations, for Kirkland Lake Gold. With responsibility for the Fosterville Gold Mine, but in addition, all of our other activities in Australia, including our advanced project in the Northern Territory. I finished with Kirkland Lake in March 2020, joined the Board of Navarre in May and then became the Managing Director in September last year. I've been formally associated, with the Company, for a little over a year and really enjoying the opportunity.

Dr. Allen Alper: It looks like you have an excellent Company and excellent Board and Team. That's fantastic. Could you tell our readers\investors a little bit about your capital and share structure?

Ian Holland: We have just a little under 700 million shares on issue. We're trading at about 10 cents a share on the ASX currently. We just recently undertook a capital raising, structured as a $10 million placement, plus a nearly $5 million purchase in SPP for our retail shareholders. So, we are well financed. We finished our last quarter in excess of $14 million cash in bank. So, we're well-funded to undertake our activities over the next 12 to 24 months and really deliver on the milestones that we've outlined.

In terms of our register, really interesting. We have three significant shareholders. We have two strategic corporate shareholders. One of those is Kirkland Lake Gold, at about 8.2% of the Company. They are the owner/operator of Fosterville Gold Mine, here in Victoria. In addition, we have the Victor Smorgon Group, who are at about 6.1% of the Company. They're the owner/operator of the Stawell Gold Mine, within our region in Western Victoria. So, you can consider each of those to be strategic holdings, plus we have a very supportive private investor, Dr. Stephen Nordstrom, with about 6.9% of the Company as well. So those three, plus the Board, we have combined holdings in excess of 4%, a decent chunk of the register and we think that's a pretty strong feature as well.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's excellent. You have some very strong backing, great properties and great financial support, with some excellent investment people and companies. So, that's great.

Ian Holland: Yes, we believe so.

Dr. Allen Alper: Could you tell our readers/investors, the primary reasons they should consider investing in Navarre Minerals?

Ian Holland: For sure, I think, from a Victorian and indeed an Australian exploration perspective, we have close to unrivaled prospectivity, given these significant gold holdings in multi-million-ounce potential fields. From our perspective, I think we've shown that we are delivering on that. The maiden resource was a key part of that, and we see the potential for the Stawell Corridor to be essentially a camp-scale series of deposits. The Stawell Gold Mine itself, the Magdala mine, consists of a five-million-ounce deposit. We think that we could have a number of these, given the geology and given the drilling and what we've seen to date. So, we think we're underappreciated in the market. And we think given the successful capital raise that we did, we're well funded. We're going to hit this hard; we're going to show the results and we're going to deliver a resource upgrade and really move it forward. I think we're on the cusp of transforming the Company, from greenfields Explorer, to advanced Explorer, to Developer. There's a tipping point or an inflection point, and I would flag Navarre as an exceptional investment because of that.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that's outstanding. Those are very compelling reasons for our readers/investors to consider investing in Navarre Minerals. Ian, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Ian Holland: We've been able to operate continually throughout the last 15 months, through the pandemic. It hasn't slowed our activities at all, here in regional Victoria. Access to people, access to drilling rigs has been able to continue, and we've managed that scenario quite well. So, I think I would want to recognize that, given the importance of being able to continue to deliver on results.

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

Ian Holland
Managing Director
Navarre Minerals Limited
T: +61 (0)3 5358 8625

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