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Timothy Froude, P.Geo., President and CEO, Sokoman Minerals Corp. (TSXV: SIC, OTCQB: SICNF), Discusses Its Portfolio of Gold Projects, over 150,000 Hectares in Newfoundland

on 8/15/2021
We spoke with Timothy Froude, a professional geologist, who is President and CEO of Sokoman Minerals Corp. (TSXV: SIC, OTCQB: SICNF) - a discovery-oriented junior explorer, with a portfolio of gold projects, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Sokoman's flagship project is the high-grade-gold Moosehead Project that consists of 98 claims totaling 2,450 hectares, adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway, with five drilling programs, completed to date and an ongoing Phase 6 program. In addition, Sokoman has recently entered into a strategic alliance, with Benton Resources Inc., through three large-scale joint-venture properties, including Grey River, Golden Hope and Kepenkeck, in Newfoundland. With around $14 million in the bank and strong backing from Eric Sprott, who owns 26.1% of Sokoman, the Company's near-term plans include an $8 million aggressive exploration program over several projects.

Visible gold in the interval of Hole 141

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, talking with Timothy Froude, who is a professional geologist, President and CEO of Sokoman Minerals Corp. Tim, could you give our readers/investors an overview on your Company? I know your Company has done a fantastic job, assembling, and exploring, in Newfoundland and getting a dominant land position. I wonder if you could give us an overview, and tell us what differentiates your Company from others?

Timothy Froude: Well, thank you for the opportunity, Dr. Alper. It's a pleasure to be here with you today. Sokoman is a junior explorer, based exclusively in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. We have a portfolio of gold properties, focused on a couple of target types. Our flagship project, which is the Moosehead Project, has been our bread-and-butter project for the better part of three years, targeting high-grade, Fosterville-type gold mineralization. Fosterville, for those not familiar, is a very lucrative and profitable gold mine, operated by Kirkland Lake Gold in Australia. We share many geological, structural and geochemical similarities to Fosterville. I’ve actually been to the mine, so I know a little bit about what I’m saying, although a lot of times you hear these things from people who really are just cherry picking. But no, we're confident in what we're chasing here at Moosehead.

And in addition to Moosehead, more recently, as you pointed out at the beginning, we have amassed a larger portfolio of properties. Newfoundland is certainly a go-to destination for gold exploration right now. There're a lot of Companies here and there's a lot of money chasing these Companies, in fact fellows you may have heard of. Eric Sprott and Rob McEwen, both very prominent in the gold space, are investing in the Province. Mr. Sprott is our largest shareholder. He holds about a quarter of our shares currently, but he's been involved in a number of companies, maybe 15 or so. So, he's really betting on this and he's very vocal in his assertion that Newfoundland is certainly the place to be right now.

I think, with the results that we've been posting at Moosehead for several years, as well as companies like New Found Gold Corp., clearly the biggest market cap, I think, of probably any junior in Canada at this time, certainly speaks to the gold potential, completely unrealized for so many years, and now this opportunity is before us. So, we're firmly planted here. We have a half a dozen high-quality properties. I won't have time to discuss them all, but certainly the Moosehead, I think, is what most people are familiar with, when they think of Sokoman.

We're moving forward. We have three drills currently working there. We're just waiting for a final water resource permit, from a government department, in order to start drilling from the barge, and we are looking at adding the fourth drill rig too.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that sounds fantastic. Could you tell our readers/investors about your recent joint venture purchase, with Benton Resources, and some of those properties?

Timothy Froude: Yes. Thank you for bringing this up. We're very proud of our relationship with Benton, a very, very high-quality, and I might add, undervalued junior. Steve Stares, President and CEO of Benton, is a very good friend of mine. Also going back, he was a co-founder of Sokoman, in its original form. We have a long-standing relationship, and Steve is a very, very savvy property and company builder. So, we decided, after seeing all the activity going on, mostly in Central Newfoundland, that there is more to Newfoundland than just Central. All of Newfoundland's current gold production doesn't even come from Central Newfoundland. It comes from the Bay de Verde Peninsula area, which is on a parallel structure, but no one talks about it.

But the joint ventures we have with Benton include three projects, Grey River, Golden Hope and Kepenkeck. Grey River is targeting high-grade Pogo-type gold deposits. Pogo is a very lucrative mine operated by, I think, Northern Star in Alaska. I believe it has past production and reserves of about 10 million ounces of gold at, I think, 10-plus grams, so a very attractive target. We've been down there, at Grey River. We've found visible gold, the first noted occurrence of visible gold on the property just in the recent weeks, on our first visit there. And we're now applying for drill permits.

Golden is our largest project. It's over 800 square kilometers, a very large property in southwestern Newfoundland. Basically, it's focused on the strike extension of structures that host a past-producing gold mine, the Hope Brook mine, which I think produced just under a million ounces. Big Ridge Mining is now moving forward, I believe with a resource of over a million ounces. Golden Hope covers the strike extension of the same structure that hosts Matador Mining's Cape Ray Project, which is just to the west of us. And that has a resource, I recall, of over a million ounces. And they're moving that forward; I think doing a prefeasibility study. So those two are the ones I'm most familiar with.

Kepenkeck is the property that Benton added to our portfolio of joint ventures. It's actually directly on trend with Canstar Resources' Golden Baie Project, here in Newfoundland. And someone told me something the other day that I thought, "Wow, I didn't realize that." It was that the largest holding that Eric Sprott has, I think, in any junior is actually Canstar. So, he's obviously a big fan of this area as well. And it's just to the southeast of the Queensway property of New Found Gold. So again, chasing gold on a parallel structure, we have grab samples there, I think, several grams already, still very early days. We will probably only drill Grey River this year and won't drill Kepenkeck or Golden Hope in 2021, resources and logistics probably won't allow it.

But Grey River certainly will be the one we'll be drilling later this fall. And yeah, there's a lot of potential there. In fact, there's an eight-kilometer-long-trend of a quartz-rich zone that has gold associated along almost its entire length, locally up to 225 grams, that has never been drill tested. So, we'll be the first to drill down there for gold and I'm quite excited about our prospects down there, Dr. Alper.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds fantastic. Could you tell our readers/investors the primary goals for this year and going into 2022?

Timothy Froude: Well, we kicked off a 50,000-meter Phase 6 drill program at Moosehead, going back ten months now. Our goal is to finish that prior to year-end. Our current treasury, which is just around CAD$14 million cash, will be more than enough to facilitate completion of the remaining approximately 27,000 meters at Moosehead, as well as spending probably a combined million or two on the three joint venture properties that I mentioned.

Our other 100%-owned project, Fleur de Lys is in Newfoundland, not on the New Found Gold trend, if you want to call it that. It's on a parallel trend, in an area where currently all of Newfoundland's gold production is coming from. It's a large property, almost 500 square kilometers, with no previous drilling. But the geology is identical. You can trace it directly over to the United Kingdom, where three gold projects are being advanced, in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the largest being the Curraghinalt that was owned by Dalradian Resources, which was taken over for almost $600 million, several years ago. This is a six–million-ounce gold deposit, and we have rocks on the Fleur de Lys Project that look identical.

We also have soil, till and rock geochemical anomalies in gold. We're exploring it now through a contractor, who's collecting almost a thousand C-horizon till samples. Till is what the glaciers left, after they melted, leaving these big piles of gravel and dirt that they pushed around. So, we're sampling that, because that's the medium that seems to work best for identifying, at least trenching targets, and ultimately drilling targets on this project. We’re working towards hopefully, finishing that program by the end of the year.

A long story short, our goals are to finish the 50,000 meters at Moosehead, to complete the till sampling at Fleur de Lys, drill probably several-thousand-meters at Grey River, and move Golden Hope and Kepenkeck forward, this year. All out, I'm looking at maybe $8 million budgeted for the rest of the year, which will still leave us with a treasury of about $6 million, starting the new year. We'll be pretty healthy.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that sounds fantastic. It's great to be in such a gold-rich area and have so many great targets to explore and drill, and to have the funds to do the work and have such strong backing, like Eric Sprott.

Timothy Froude: Absolutely, and we do speak with him. He does reach out to all his holdings. I don't know where he finds the time, Dr. Alper, but he's been a very loyal shareholder. We prize his position and his support of our stock. It's up to us now to put the money to good use. Moosehead is our flagship project and will remain so. We expect, with the next 20-odd-thousand meters, to further the discoveries we've made. We've had some pretty high-grade intersections ourselves, in the 500 - 800 gram-meters. Basically, when you multiply a grade by the thickness, such as 12 meters of 45 grams, you get 540 gram-meters. So that's how that works. We have multiple holes like that, so we're clearly onto something here at Moosehead and we're determined to see where it leads us.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent, Tim. Could you tell our readers/investors about your background, your Team and your Board?

Timothy Froude: We're an exploration Company first and foremost. We're not a development Company. So, our Board is heavily weighted towards exploration. Our direct Management is made up of all explorers. We come from diverse backgrounds. We have a banker from New York City on our Board, and we also have a former broker, who runs a capital markets firm, as part of our Management, Cathy Hume, who is our VP Corporate Development.

And our geological Team are explorers, I'm very proud of them. I can't do this all on my own. Dan Lee, our VP Exploration, as well as Ryan Newman and myself are working, like crazy, to get things done. It's very hard right now, Dr. Alper, to find good people available here in Newfoundland, not just geologists, but everything, drills and drillers. In fact, it's a bit of a bottleneck right now, finding drills and people to run them. I know the contractor that we have has turned down bidding on a half a dozen or more jobs in the past few months, because they just don't have the rigs or the personnel. We're fortunate to have what we have, and we look forward to holding onto what we have, clearly. Once the drill enters our property, it doesn't leave, so that's one way to ensure you get the job done.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, it's great to be in such a booming exploration area.

Timothy Froude: Myself, I'm a professional geologist, born and raised here in Newfoundland. The Moosehead Project is a 15-minute drive from my hometown. So, I’ve kind of come full circle. And I've been with this Company since about 2007 or so, 15 years now. I'm the longest serving member. I'm not a founder, but I am clearly very long in the tooth now, with this Company, and times have never been better.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that's fantastic. All your hard work is paying off, so that's fantastic. And you'll have all kinds of opportunities going forward, so you're in a very enviable position, compared to many other juniors.

Timothy Froude: You know what? The jurisdiction here is very open to mining. In fact, the government stated publicly, when they were reelected a few years ago, that one of their platforms was five new mines in five years. And we're going to do our best to help them get there, as they will.

The costs to explore here are also really cheap. The Trans-Canada Highway runs through Moosehead. What more do I need to say? So, transportation costs are down to nothing. The drilling Company is based an hour drive west of the property. The assay lab we use, that everybody uses here, is an accredited lab, Eastern Analytical, they're also an hour drive to the west of us. So up until COVID added extra costs, for obvious reasons, to our program, we were looking at all-in expenditures, including assay per meter, of about $150. So that's pretty cheap, when you compare it to other areas in Canada, like the Golden Triangle in BC, which is also a popular area for explorers, and it is over $400 per meter, I've heard in some cases, maybe more. But yeah, your money goes a long way here. We're able to leverage that, along with our local expertise, very well.

Dr. Allen Alper: That's fantastic. You mentioned a little bit about your share structure. I wonder if you could tell us more details about your share, capital structure.

Timothy Froude: Fully diluted right now, I think we're about 190 million, give or take, with about 12 million warrants between 5 cents and 40 cents. So, everything is in the money, a lot of them could come home to roost at any time. And our treasury was sitting at just under $14 million as of a couple of weeks ago. Eric Sprott is our largest shareholder. Eric has 26.1% right now. If he exercised all of his warrants, I think he'd be closer to 29%, so that's a very significant holding.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that's excellent. And it's great to see someone like Eric Sprott have confidence in your Company. He knows the business.

Timothy Froude: Yeah, he's certainly done well by the gold business and clearly has a nose and an eye for success. And we hope to help them in that venture.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that's great! I'm sure you're going to. Could you tell our readers/investors the primary reasons they should consider investing in Sokoman Minerals?

Timothy Froude: I think, obviously, our management certainly gets a pat on the back. I've been in the business now for more than 30 years and certainly, with my VP Exploration, between the two of us we've been involved in some pretty significant discoveries. In fact, the Valentine Lake Project of Marathon Gold was a discovery of mine. A number of years ago, I found the first gold there. My VP, Dan Lee, knows almost everything there is to know about Voisey's Bay. He was one of the first geos up there on the drills and basically took it from a raw prospect to a mine development.

So, we're proven. Another reason is we're cashed up. We have lots of cash right now. We have three or four robust projects on the go. So, we're going to be making a lot of news, on a lot of good fronts, as time goes forward, over the next four-to-six months. I think the potential of Newfoundland speaks for itself and it's finally being recognized. And at our Moosehead Project, clearly, we're on to something. I mean, we've now drilled over 40,000 meters in total with a large number of very, very good intersections. We don't have a resource yet. It's still too early, but any of our other projects could deliver. Most of them have not seen a drill hole. I think there's a lot of excitement coming forward for people who like that sort of thing, lots of news, lots of activity and high grades. And that's the big thing in Newfoundland, high grades.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, it sounds fantastic. Those are very compelling reasons for our readers/investors to consider investing in Sokoman. Sounds like this year is going to be a particularly exciting year, as you keep on reporting results of your drilling and the huge amount of drilling that you're doing, so that's excellent.

Timothy Froude: Yes, sir.

Dr. Allen Alper: Tim, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Timothy Froude: I think that if people just put us on their radar screens, the stock has settled back a bit from the highs in the past few months. So, there could be a period of consolidation here before we move on with the second half of our program at Moosehead. And of course, we're just starting to generate news on our other projects. So now may be a good time to just watch us and see. If you like what you're hearing, maybe you can look at the stock as an opportunity. But I always advise contacting your financial advisor before buying any stock.

And that's what I always tell everybody because I'm not the one to say, "You should buy our stock." I mean, you should find that out for yourself and just let the facts speak for themselves. I think we've done a great job so far with the shareholder money. Over the past year, we have probably returned 200% for those long-serving and patient investors we have, but I don't think we're finished. So, if that's a forward-looking statement, so be it. But I do like what we have in front of us and I'm very excited about our future.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds like you have an exciting future, with all of those great properties and all of the drilling you're doing, and backed by a great team, and also financially backed. So that's excellent!

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