Saturday, November 27 2021


What Should You Look For In An Exploration Company? The simple answer is management. Consider that many upstarts look the same in their faces, all trumpeting a large chunk of land in a friendly mining district with nearby mines known to harbor millions of ounces of gold or uranium or whatever metal they are in. choice. After all, it wouldn’t be really smart to try and raise capital under a business mantra that “we know no one has ever found anything remotely near here and there is no sign of mineralization or infrastructure, but we are hopeful ”.

This does not mean that there is not a different geology for each project; there is absolutely. There are also differentiators related to development costs, time to market, all-in sustaining costs, potential mine life, etc. Making all of these judgments is the responsibility of management, which comes back to the original question.

At Idaho Champion Gold Mines Canada Inc. (CSE: ITKO) (OTCQB: GLDRF), all the boxes are checked for projects with huge upside potential, which is not a huge surprise considering the quality of the management at the head of the company. The Idaho Champion portfolio is divided into gold and cobalt assets in Idaho, with an initial focus on the Baner and Champagne gold projects in Idaho and Butte counties, respectively.

Idaho’s gold projects are in the region of one of North America’s most prolific historic gold rushes, with all the required infrastructure nearby in one of the world’s leading mining jurisdictions. Hundreds of drill holes indicate mineral expansion laterally and at depth to validate and add to a historic resource (not NI 43-101 compliant) of 2.3 million tonnes of 1.2 grams / tonne equivalent gold.

That’s not to say that the company’s four cobalt properties in the Lemhi County Cobalt Belt couldn’t be prioritized for the metal’s value in electric vehicles in the near term, but the strategy is now focused on gold, especially because of the short-term potential of Champagne, which was producing gold as recently as 1993.

Even the quickest look at Idaho Champion’s management team indicates that this company stands out from its peers with a wealth of experience in resources and capital markets.

Bruce Reid is Chairman of the Board of Directors and owns 11.19 million shares of ITKO, or 10.7% of the issued and outstanding shares of the company. Reid is the epitome of a well-rounded mining leadership experience, with degrees in geology and finance and over 40 years of industry experience, most notably as President and CEO of Carlisle Goldfields during six years prior to the acquisition by Alamos Gold (TSX: AGI) (NYSE: AGI) in 2016. Prior to that, Reid was intimately involved in the start-up and successful creation and sale of numerous mining companies, such as Western Goldfields , Patricia Mining and High Plains Uranium, while building up her vast business. investment experience working with companies such as Nesbitt Thomson, Loewen Ondaatje McCutcheon and Yorkton Securities.

As detailed in this article, CEO Jonathan Buick and CFO Julio DiGiralamo have been regular buyers of the stock. Much like Reid, the two bring a strong combination of finance and resource management to Idaho Champ. Buick owns 7.39 million shares of ITKO and DiGiralamo owns 2.13 million.

Equally impressive are the rest of the C-suite, the board and technical advisers. Rob Kell became Chief Geologist in March, bringing over 40 years of experience to the team gained from mining pillars including South American Mining and Exploration Corp., BHP Minerals, Homestake Exploration, Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT) and Anaconda Mining Inc. (TSX: ANX) (OTCQX: ANXGF).

What would attract a venerable expert like Kell to a small business like Idaho Champion? This may be the occasion for a multi-million ounce discovery in Champagne, for which Kell called the most exciting drill targets he has seen in his career.

Other pillars of management include Director Greg Schifrin, with a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Idaho, College of Mines, and a history of successful exploration in the region. During his career spanning more than 35 years, Schifrin was CEO and Director of Blackrock Gold Corp. Schifrin owns 2.22 million issued and outstanding ITKO shares.

Another veteran, Patrick Highsmith, is a professional geologist and mining executive with 29 years of experience in exploration, operations, business development and leadership roles for companies including: Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO) , BHP Billiton, Newmont, Lithium One, Pure Energy Minerals (TSX-Venture: PE) (OTCQB: PEMIF) and Fortescue Metals Group. Highsmith has worked on over 250 projects around the world, leading teams on creative deals, new discoveries, scoping and pre-feasibility studies. He has experience in the capital markets, having been involved in all kinds of finance and transactions.

Richard Leveille and Dr. Craig Bow serve as technical advisers to Idaho Champ. When you’re looking at data and making decisions, these are the kind of people to have around your corner.

Leveille is world renowned for his discoveries and research and currently a consulting geologist on mineral exploration projects worldwide. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Exploration for Freeport Copper & Gold and led the team that added 54 billion pounds of copper to reserves and made the Chukarui Peki discovery in Serbia, which shared the PDAC Thayer Lindsley International Mineral Discovery Award 2016. He has also held senior vice president and geologist positions at Phelps Dodge in South America and Kennecott Exploration in the United States.

Bow, who earned a doctorate. in Geology from the University of Oregon and Fulbright Fellow from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a consulting geologist specializing in precious metals with over 40 years of experience in national and international exploration. He contributed to the evolution of the Stillwater PGE project from the initial exploration phase to a positive production decision. He held a senior exploration position at Gold Fields Exploration Inc, where he led gold exploration programs in Central America and Canada and was the catalyst for Gold Field’s entry into the Arctic Platinum partnership with Outokumpu. . He was also director of gold exploration for Newcrest Resources in South America.

Sportingly, sometimes punters have to decide whether they want to bet on horse or jockey. On these rare occasions, they can get the best of both worlds. In the case of ITKO, management and insiders see it, as evidenced by the ownership of over 30% of the outstanding shares, effectively proving that they believe in themselves and in leading the company’s plans. .


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