Don Morris Chairman and CEO of Bullion Monarch Mining Company at the Hard Assets Resource Investment Conference in NYC
Metals News had the opportunity to talk to Don Morris Chairman and CEO of Bullion Monarch Mining Company at the Hard Assets Resource Investment Conference in NYC in May. Don knows the mining business. He has a excellent geological background and a family tradition in gold and mineral exploration and development. When we talked to him he gave us strong confidence in him and his company. They know what they are doing.
Approximately a year and a half ago a decidedly unique and rare specimen bloomed in the field of junior exploration and mining after a period of dormancy. This entity, Bullion Monarch Mining, Incorporated, sprang forth from a lineage dense with its roots spanning several generations in the incredibly lucrative business of capitalizing on Nevada’s famous Carlin and Battle Mountain/Cortez Trends. Today, not only is this idiosyncratic venture branching out for gold into places such as Brazil, it has expanded its stateside operations into the recovery and production of oil shale, effectively bolstering current efforts to potentially clinch United States independence from foreign fuel sources. As recapitulated to Metalsnews.com by none other than Chairman and CEO Don Morris during a recent engagement, the story behind Bullion Monarch is sturdily framed by this company’s dedication to determination and the true spirit of American enterprise.
“I’ve been in the mining business since before I was born,” explained Morris, whose grandfather toiled the hills and father pioneered the Carlin gold area in Nevada, not to mention was present in California for the “motherlode” at the North Star and Empire mines and actually played a fundamental role in introducing the world’s largest producer of gold, Newmont. “My father worked for them and brought them into the properties in the late ‘50’s, early ‘60’s. We’ve been in there ever since that time.”
It is estimated that the Carlin Trend furnishes around 70 percent of the gold that is produced in the United States. Also in this area is the largest and deepest underground mine in the U.S., the Leeville Mine, a property which, although owned by mining behemoth Newmont, provides significant royalties for Bullion Monarch. The Leeville Mine and East Ore Body 1% NSR Royalty from Newmont provided Bullion Monarch with $2,662,399 in fiscal year 2008, and that number increased in FY 2009 and is expected to continue for many years. As Morris attested, this incomparable advantage, among its numerous bountiful assets, has his recently revived company coming across as a serious player in the junior world ready for some serious business
“We’ve got a good, little company sitting on 11 straight quarters of profits. On top of this, we’re profitable, debt-free, self-financing our projects and, ultimately, we haven’t gone to the public for any money at this point. So, right now it seems like cash is pretty keen. There’re some really good deals out there. We’re looking at different mining properties and different opportunities that are available, and we’re out there trying to pick those off with the cash that’s being generated from our royalties from Newmont Mining and the Leeville Mine.”
The Leeville Mine and East Ore Body
Aside from profiting very efficiently in the heart of gold country, and certainly not a company that waits around for good fortune to hum an obscure tune, Bullion Monarch took its experience, skill and expertise and proliferated out into the arena of oil shale.
As claimed by current statistics and prevailing data, there’s twice the world’s known repository of oil in the shale of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, the state now home to Enshale, Bullion Monarch’s present campaign to extract and take into production this curious yet profitable source of fuel.
According to its website, Bullion Monarch owns 80% of Enshale, Inc., and, touting itself as a much more environmentally conscious alternative to the majors currently operating oil shale production facilities, stands to establish itself as a serious contender once its operation gets underway. A recently completed 600-page study was made by the Department of Energy. The Idaho National Labs (INL) and the DOE gave EnShale chemistry and other scientific values from their computer modeling which suggest that EnShale estimated of $30 per barrel figure is a reasonable production goal.
Enshale Oil Shale Property and Operation
At this moment, the United States is in a very unique position to distance itself from reliance upon foreign oil. Since the mid-eighties, especially following the signing of the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation act of 1985, which abolished the United States' Synthetic Liquid Fuels Program, the cost of oil production hasn’t warranted the option of harvesting oil shale, until now.
Morris sees the unique fuel source as a mining project the fundamentals of which have eluded the sufficient grasp of oil companies who in the past have repeatedly attempted and failed to approach their operation appropriately.
“I think the past mistakes were made by the oil companies trying to make it an oil deal where they have to drill and pump it out. In reality, this is essentially a mining project — you have to mine it and then you have to process it. To ensure our distinctive approach to the project, we’ve taken our patent and expanded on it significantly. We’re putting into effect right now a pre-production plant with which we’re going to initiate a 5,000-ton test. It’s the second generation of our oil shale.”
Morris added that his excellent Enshale team is comprised of “some of the best chemical engineers in the world.” Bullion Monarch has a very talented board and management members which include Rex Franson, the former COO of Chrysler Financial and Dr. Larry Anderson who is an incredible distinguished PhD of fuels science from the University of Utah, , Also, in keeping with tradition, Don Morris has the help of his four sons as well, who are business-savvy and up for any challenge
Oil Shale Layers
In conjunction with this exciting news for those keeping an eye on oil shale, Bullion Monarch’s website lists its North Pipeline, Maggie Creek, Ophir and Gold Mountain properties as its additional and highly capable stateside sources of gold- and silver-generated revenue. “We’re basically precious metal miners,” Morris quipped, going on to remark that his company should appeal wonderfully to the market once word spreads regarding its potential.
“Our market cap is extremely low, somewhere around $12 million. For example, due to accounting rules and because of the time we’ve held that property, our Leeville Mine property we have listed on the books for $300. Its current market value is so much more than that, probably in the $30 million-plus range. We’ve compared ourselves with a lot of other companies out there [in the same league as us] and we think we’re tremendously undervalued at this time. So, we’re out doing what we probably should do: thorough PR work to see that to it our shareholders get a good shake on the properties.”
Morris, a geologist by profession, is also understandably stoked about two recent first-rate acquisitions in Brazil, Bom Jesus and Bom Jardine, which, although quite a distance from being operational, are partnerships being run by former mining industry professionals who seceded into their own conglomerate, Dourave Brazil, owned by Dourave Mining and Exploration, Inc. “We joined with them on two properties and bought a third interest in each of those properties, and we’re looking forward to some really good results coming from those properties,” noted Morris.
When asked how having family in the mix is tantamount to exercising all the advantages crucial to operating a successful endeavor, Morris hinted at a perhaps often-overlooked not-so-secret secret to his entrepreneurial ideology.
“Most of my sons were in business and one of them is in mining, but they’re all college graduates, all smarter than I am, and so hopefully when they get ready to take over, they can do an even better job than myself. I think that’s the way the world works. Hopefully, we don’t do our job unless we make our kids smarter than us and progress. That makes them progress a lot.”
It is this philosophy exactly that Morris admits encourages a value system exclusive to good business practice and American innovation that can be traced to the determination of a few who go the extra mile to keep things fresh and dynamic in a realm sometimes corrupted by a lack of ambition when the market isn’t so straightforward.
“You know, my father had a philosophy always that the only place new wealth is ever created, you grow it or you mine it. Everything else is a trade in dollars and a by-product of that.”
For more information, visit www.bullionmm.com
Bullion Monarch Mining Inc.
299 East 950 South
Orem, UT 84058
(801) 426-8555 (fax)