Q&A interview with Banks Island Gold Ltd. President, Director and CEO, Benjamin Mossman
We are here today with Ben Mossman, President & CEO of Banks Island Gold (TSX: V.BOZ, Stock Forum)
who recently drilled 6.3 gpt Au over 52.5 meters at Red Mountain Gold Property.
For investors new to this story can you explain your objectives for this drill program which led to these promising results at Red Mountain?
We are investigating different mining scenarios to bring the Red Mountain project into production as soon as possible. This drilling was designed to provide information for detailed mine engineering over the winter in order to commence construction at Red Mountain in the summer of 2014.
Are you validating historic data or expanding on the current resource?
The drilling was within the current resource and was drilled with the purpose of defining the high grade core so that this subset of the resource can be calculated for mine planning purposes.
How advanced is Red Mountain towards a production decision?
Over $40,000,000 has been spent on the Red Mountain Project by previous operators. The majority of the mineral resource is in the Measured Category and the project has an advanced engineering and environmental database. There is also a fleet of underground equipment and a production sized decline at site.
Tell us about your flagship property which is rapidly approaching production?
Our other project, Yellow Giant, is under construction right now. We will commence underground development this month and be shipping concentrate before the end of the year. We also have a Company owned diamond drill and crew which are achieving over 3,000m of exploration drilling per month.
Since 2011 when you acquired the Yellow Giant Gold Property from Imperial Metals (TSX: T.III, Stock Forum) the company now has 2 separate high grade gold projects in BC. In this tough market how have you been able to finance both?
Our Company is focused on gold production which brings interest from a different type of investor. We were able to get a relatively low interest loan as part of our concentrate sales contract. These types of investors focus on hard assets and physical metal rather than speculation.
Why did you choose Northern British Columbia? What is the opportunity?
All of directors and most of our employees are from British Columbia. We know this area well and it is a very good place to do business. The focus in my career has been on underground mining. In the recent past the market has been overall focused on large scale, low grade, open-pit style mining. This has created very attractive opportunities for acquiring high grade deposits that must be mined from underground. In these cases we are acquiring assets for fractions of what it cost to discovery and explore them.
As a mining engineer is there something unique about these properties which attracted you?
As a production focused Company, our primary concern is with potential profit margin rather than simply ounces of gold. Yellow Giant is unique for its high grades and mineralogy which allows the use of pre-concentration through Dense Media Separation. Red Mountain has advantageous geometry and mining widths which allow low cost mining. Red Mountain is unique for its uniform grade distribution, which allows the consideration of progressively increasing the scale of operation. This is ideal from a return on investment criteria.
What are the main challenges you face in operating your business?
Like most start-up ventures our main challenge is access to capital. As we establish a profitable business we will be entering a new phase in the Company’s growth.
What differentiates your management team?
Our management team is primarily made up of engineers with a lot of experience is producing mines. We are very hands on and involved in every aspect of running our business. All of our employees are versatile and fill multiple roles which is essential for a small company.
What does the recent addition of Wolf Nickel as chairman mean to the company? What drew him out of retirement?
Wolf has been a director of the Company since the beginning and has provided us an advantage with his contacts in the senior mining industry and many years of high level management experience. As the Company transitions to a producer, Wolf was the obvious choice to become chairman of the board of directors and we are pleased he was willing to take on this role.
Why should investors look at acquiring your stock today?
Our Company is going into production very quickly and is, in our opinion, undervalued in the market. We have a competitive edge in this market and expect to gain recognition of this as we continue to deliver results to our shareholders.
What milestones can we expect from the company over the next 6-12 months?
We will be commencing underground mine development and commission the plant at Yellow Giant by the end of September, concentrate shipments before the end of 2013 from Yellow Giant, a continuous stream of exploration drilling results from Yellow Giant, and updates to our plans to putting Red Mountain into production in 2014.
Mr. Mossman is an accomplished leader and highly skilled engineer. Benjamin has diverse experience in underground mining having worked at eight underground producing mines with production rates ranging from 250tpd to 3,000tpd mining precious and base metals, diamonds, and uranium. Mr. Mossman was Chief Engineer at Alexco Resource Corp's high grade Bellekeno Mine during the successful construction and commissioning of that mine in 2010.
Disclosure: Banks Island Gold Ltd. is a Stockhouse client.