Today I’m talking with Peter Ball, President and COO of NV Gold Corp. (TSX.V:NVX, US:NVGLF). NVX, with its highly skilled and Nevada experienced technical team, is focused on gold exploration in Nevada.
Rick Mills Ahead of the Herd (AOTH): Peter could you provide us with a brief summary of your industry experience and how you became involved with NV Gold Corp (TSX.V:NVX, US:NVGLF)?
I joined the company in September of last year as President and COO, but I’ve been a director of NV Gold since 2016 after I sold the assets into NV Gold from another Company where I was CEO.
My mining career started in the late 1980s when I worked as a mining engineer, having graduated from the Haileybury School of Mines in Ontario. Since then I’ve held various senior executive roles at mining and exploration companies including Redstar Gold, Columbus Gold, Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting, Echo Bay Mines, Eldorado Gold, Adriana Resources and Argentex Mining. My functions in those positions have spanned corporate finance, securities trading, mine engineering, business development, corporate communications, public relations and marketing.
AOTH: Please give readers the latest snapshot of NV Gold.
NV Gold Corporation (TSX.V:NVX, US-NVGLF) is a tightly held Canadian junior exploration company focused on the discovery of gold deposits in Nevada. With under 38 million shares outstanding, and renowned gold investor Eric Sprott plus management or insiders controlling almost 50% of the company, we manage our treasury closely to ensure that shareholders’ dollars are maximized at the drill bit. We control a large portfolio of 15 gold projects in the right locations or trends throughout Nevada, and own two extensive geological databases, where our goal is to systematically evaluate and execute focused exploration projects with two to three drill programs per year. Our management team and board of directors consists of a highly respected team that brings an extensive geological knowledge base which has specifically focused on discoveries, exploration, development and production in Nevada over the past 30+ years.
AOTH: 15 projects? Which ones are your top prospects?
Most of the projects we currently control were selected from the geological database we acquired a couple years ago, and they are all within the Carlin, Battle Mountain and Walker Lane gold trends. Our portfolio of projects, when combined with two incredibly valuable geological databases that we now control, continue to look more interesting.
A number of our properties within our portfolio are either drill-ready or continue to become more interesting as we review them and reference our databases. The Projects are ATV, SW Pipe, Seven Devils, Painted Hills and Richmond Summit, to name a few. Additional projects such as Queens, Long Island and Larus/Gold Cloud are also under the radar with information we continue to discover with our team.
But the one that tops out is our Frazier Dome Project.
Frazier Dome is an interesting property, based on a small drill program we completed in the fall of 2018. Initial results yielded notable runs of detectable gold across altered and mineralized zones up to 150 meters in width. Five of the eight widely spaced holes delivered gold intersections greater than 0.10 g/t, and up to 1.035 g/t, pointing to what we believe could be a robust gold system at depth. Over the winter we continued to model the project, and the Company is currently evaluating a potential deeper drill program at Frazier to test this concept, and also to accelerate testing of an additional five known target zones on the property.
AOTH: Can you expand a bit more on Frazier Dome? Has it seen much historical exploration?
The project is a low-sulfidation, volcanic-hosted epithermal gold system with high-grade mineralization in three settings. It’s located about 13 km north of the Tonopah gold district, which historically produced 174 million ounces of silver and 1.9 million ounces of gold.
Drilling between 1980 and 1991 intersected significant gold mineralization, but it was shallow – under 150m. Not all the outcroppings or mineralized areas under ground cover were tested. Our primary target is the gold mineralization adjacent to an intrusive rhyolite dome, especially at the basement contact, known to be a setting conducive to the development of high-grade epithermal mineralization elsewhere in Nevada.
AOTH: Are you looking to divest any non-core assets?
As we push forward, we will be looking to divest ourselves of certain projects, as we are not a prospector generator. Interest in Nevada has significantly increased since Barrick and Newmont started discussing their expansion strategy in Nevada, and their recent partnership has really heated up the market for all properties in Nevada, specifically interest in drill programs to discover and develop new ounces for the larger-cap producers. At PDAC I spoke to several mid-tier companies that are gearing up their western US exploration teams to focus on Nevada. That’s great for NV Gold.
AOTH: I think that many readers might recognize one or two members of your management and board. Can you describe your team?
We have a great team made up of Nevada-experienced geologists, an ex-head of corporate compliance from the old Vancouver Stock Exchange, who is also an investment banker and broker, and an engineer-broker-finance executive.
John Watson, our Chairman, CEO and NVX’s largest shareholder, has over 40 years of experience in the mineral resource industry. John was President of Pan-Nevada Gold, and CEO of Horizon Gold, which built and operated two open-pit, heap-leach mines in Nevada. John is also a director of Prospero Silver.
Director Quinton Hennigh, a PhD in geology, is the CEO of Novo Resources (CNS:NVO), which is developing a conglomerate gold play in Western Australia. Quinton was the Chief Geologist of Evolving Gold where he is credited with discovering the Rattlesnake Hills deposit and a gold discovery three miles north of the ATV Project I mentioned as one of ours.
Director Odin Christensen, PhD, is another long-time geologist with over 35 years of experience in the industry. He was with Newmont Mining for 21 years. Between 1985 and 89, Odin was Exploration Manager for Newmont and Carlin Gold Mining in northeastern Nevada until he retired as their head geo.
Director Alf Stewart has an extensive career spanning over 40 years in the resource and investment industries. Alf has had stints as a geologist, stock exchange regulator, investment banker, analyst and investment advisor. He’s worked for Bank of Montreal, Esso Minerals, Erickson Gold Mining, Canaccord Capital, Haywood Securities, Golden Capital and Raymond James. Alf has been involved in financing mining companies for over two decades, including discoveries in base and precious metals.
Our latest addition to the board of directors is Dr. Marcus Johnston, a PhD in economic geology, who joined the company in January as VP Exploration. Marcus brings more than 20 years of experience in exploration and mining, with an emphasis on mineral systems in Nevada. Over the last four years he’s consulted to a number of private groups, including NV Gold. Before that he worked with Renaissance Gold, Victoria Gold up in the Yukon, and Newmont. Marcus began his research on Carlin-type deposits in 1997, which led to the discovery of the Helen Zone near the old Cove open pit in north-central Nevada. It’s got a current resource of 713,000 oz gold and 237,000 oz silver.
He also revitalized the entire McCoy mining district, now owned by Premier Gold Mines. Marcus has evaluated over 500 properties in Nevada and played a key role in advancing numerous exploration projects and active mines.
AOTH: Why would such seasoned professionals, six gentlemen with over 125 years of combined experience in Nevada, be involved in a tiny company with a market cap of just US$4 million?
Our team has known each other for many years, and after having worked for larger companies such as Newmont in Nevada, I believe the entrepreneurial spirit drives great executives to join forces with industry colleagues with one goal – make a discovery again. Our team has an extensive background in exploration and making discoveries in Nevada. We see this as an opportunity to build something together, with a number of quality drill-ready projects, and extensive geological databases. Should be a lot of fun.
AOTH: Can you talk about the geological databases you’ve acquired? What do they do for NV Gold? Could you potentially monetize them?
Well, our goal is to minimize dilution and to put dollars into the ground, so yes, monetizing some of the assets is part of the strategy. The databases are very valuable to other groups looking to explore in Nevada. They were developed in the 1970s and 80s by USMX, which explored Nevada and built a wealth of information, and AngloGold in the 1990s and 2000s.
The combination of these databases brings a new level of exploration modeling and “Nevada 2.0” thinking about the multiple layers of opportunity that remain buried in Nevada.
AOTH: NV Gold has a tight capital structure, under 38 million shares outstanding at the moment. Do you plan on keeping the share count low?
Yes absolutely, corporate share structure is key to ensuring we can maximize shareholder returns. We are focused on executing exploration programs, completing the right-size financings when we need to top up the treasury, while minimizing the share count. We are all shareholders, so it starts from within the company.
AOTH: I see you announced on March 21, 2019 that you upsized and oversubscribed your financing? And it looks like you are keeping it small?
Yes, with just under $900,000 in the treasury, we wanted to ensure we could head into the season armed with a stronger cash balance. The placement was quickly oversubscribed so we capped it at $1M to ensure we minimize dilution at this level. We wanted to raise the bare minimum to be ready for the season and watch out for unnecessary dilution.
AOTH: What’s always good to see if management participation in a financing. Is management putting some money in the financing?
Great question and yes, I am personally taking 15% of the PP, and management in total will be participating likely close to 30% of the entire funds raised. We will also see a group buy up to 9.9% of the company in the PP, and upon closing the week of March 25-29th, we would have around 46 million shares outstanding and cashed up for the year.
AOTH: How about acquisitions, what metals and what jurisdictions might your team be interested in?
We are focused on Nevada, but always keeping our eyes open. Our team, with their extensive contacts, are often presented with opportunities so if we see something of merit, we’ll go after it. Other than Nevada, we like Canada, and Australia.
AOTH: Interest in Nevada has gone up recently. First there was the Newmont-Goldcorp merger, then the Fraser Institute named Nevada as the number one mining investment jurisdiction in the world. Has NV Gold been approached by prospective acquirers or JV/earn-in partners?
Investment Attractiveness Index, Fraser Institute 2018
Absolutely. As I mentioned, the Newmont-Barrick discussions have really opened the eyes of the market and opportunities in Nevada. This year’s PDAC was a reversal of what I’ve seen in previous years. The optimism was palpable. We were very busy with a lot of groups wanting to talk about our project’s portfolio.
AOTH: How much drilling do you plan to do in 2019?
We are just putting together our exploration budget for a solid drill program or potentially two this year. The market will be advised soon on our next steps, and we look forward to building momentum. It also helps that the market appears to be headed in the right direction. I listen to the street, the herd, boardrooms, and the experts. It appears that they’re all mostly aligned for a positive gold sector once again. As a fifth generation mining guy, these swings come and go and looks good for a potential bull run in the metals sector.
AOTH: How does your cash position look?
We have roughly C$900,000 in the treasury, and just announced a C$750,000 (upsized to $1M) private placement that will be oversubscribed as discussed. The placement will be at $0.12 per unit, with a half-warrant exercisable at 20 cents a share up to 30 months from the issue date. Shares currently are trading at $0.12, as of Monday’s close.
AOTH: Are there some near-term catalysts for readers to watch out for?
Right, as a shareholder of any company, you want to see action, catalysts, news flow and milestones reached. NVX will have a very busy year regarding news flow, specifically related our drill programs, assay results, geophysics and potentially, some accretive acquisitions over the next few months if something catches our technical team’s eye. We expect the momentum to heat up starting in April.
AOTH: Why should readers consider buying shares of NV Gold?
I believe the market should take a look at NVX based on the investment checkmarks that I personally use when evaluating a resource company to invest in micro-cap grouping, and apply it to NV Gold… First is our tight share structure, and management and insiders should have skin in the game. In our case, we own about 30% of the shares. In addition, NVX has quality shareholders like Eric Sprott, who owns close to 20% of NVX, including warrants, along with US Global Investors and Redstar Gold.
Second and nearly a close tie with structure is the management team and a board that participates in the over all strategy. Our team has directly related, extensive experience in the jurisdiction we are operating in…key is that intimate knowledge of Nevada our team brings. Third is jurisdiction. Nevada is the top jurisdiction in the world for gold exploration right now…need I say more.
I also like to see a low burn rate, as my fifth checkmark. We’re focused on discovery, allocating as much money into the ground for exploration as possible.
And finally, transparency. It’s important for shareholders to know they can easily reach management to have their questions answered. Our door is always open to investors. As a matter of fact here is direct access to myself, Peter Ball, President and COO of NVGold, at 1.888.363.9883 (links directly to my cell phone), or email me anytime at email@example.com.
AOTH: Thank you Peter
Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd Twitter
Ahead of the Herd FaceBook
Legal Notice / Disclaimer
This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified. Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. Furthermore, I, Richard Mills, assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information provided within this Report.
NV Gold Corp (TSX.V:NVX), is an advertiser on Richard’s site aheadoftheherd.com. Richard owns shares of NVX