Cross River Ventures (CSE: CRVC)(OTC: CSRVF) CEO Alex Klenman on Exploration for 2021 & Compelling Risk/Reward Proposition at Current Levels
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Cross River Ventures, Mr. Alex Klenman. Alex, how are you today? It's been a bit.
Alex Klenman: I'm doing well, sir. Thanks for having me. I'm doing okay. We're dealing with the pandemic, but we're getting lots of work done and that's a good reason for you and I to talk.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. I thought the timing was very, very, very opportunistic for people out there that are looking for quality exploration stories that are trading at... Well, frankly, I mean, Cross River Ventures right now is trading at its lowest since its IPO, if I'm not mistaken, despite the fact that you have a top-notch exploration team, top-notch technical team. And given the news this week, you're expanding projects. You're updating exploration plans. But let's start with just the macro take of gold and precious metals finding their footing here right around the $1,800 level. Then let's get into the opportunity, because what's the Cross River Ventures market cap right now?
Alex Klenman: Good question. It's been eroded. We've got 29 million shares out. We're trading at 17, 18 cents, so do the math. It's low.
Gerardo Del Real: Sub five, right? I recall a time where the technical team that you have on board would command a market cap alone of $40 and $50 million without assets, just based on the strength of the technical acumen and the fact that you knew they were going to be able to leverage that network to go get quality assets, and here you are. But let's talk gold. Where do you see the gold space right now? Where do you see it going? And then let's get right into Cross River.
Alex Klenman: Absolutely. Well, what we've seen here is just gold has struggled. We can see that. We know that. The charts are telling us this. But it's begun to break out a little bit. Today it's trending downward a little bit, but it looks like we found the footing that we were after. All things that contributed to those record prices in 2020 are really still in play. You and I were talking about the variants in the pandemic. I mean, we've got global tensions now between what's going on with Russia and Ukraine and the saber rattling going on. Typically, these things would be enough to drive gold up in significant or impactful ways. It just hasn't done so.
I hear all these, "Oh, it's cryptocurrency," or it's this, or it's that. We know it's like holding a cork underwater. At some point you're not going to be able to do that any longer and gold will return to those 2020 levels. But in the meantime, there's a ton of buying opportunities out there. And I'd like to think that Cross River fills one of those spots well.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. It's funny, we talk about gold struggling a bit. It's 20% off it's all-time highs, right?
Alex Klenman: Right. No, it's funny. You look at a ten-year chart and you realize we are in rarefied air, but it's such a world where, what have you done for me lately? I mean, it's ridiculous to think. It's funny, the way you approach a price point is really how it works. If you're on the ascension and you finally break $1,700, it's a big deal and everybody's piling into gold. If you reach $1,700 and you're on a slight down tick, it has the opposite effect. So, it's funny, but it's really just a matter of perspective. As you mentioned, you really look at it from a wider lens and you realize we're absolutely fine. We really should be in a more robust market. But everything revolves around sentiment. And so when sentiment comes, we'll be there, but right now it's still sort of on the sidelines.
Gerardo Del Real: You and I know that the key to getting through these consolidations is adding value and doing quality work that you can take advantage of when the sentiment returns, right? And to that end, you had two pieces of news this week. You updated your exploration plans on your multi-project portfolio in Ontario. And you also expanded a gold project. You just announced that this morning. I'd love for some context on each piece of news there.
Alex Klenman: Absolutely. The first news release, it's really just an update as to what we've been doing. It's been quiet, which has also led to the share price peel back. I mean, I think people are so conditioned now to fast, instant gratification that if you do a methodical approach to your exploration like we have, and you're not drilling in the next two or three weeks, it's sort of the back of the mind situation. But that update was really just about what we've been doing, the historical data compilation. The technical team that you mentioned, Dr. Rob Carpenter and the others, have been digging into these projects and really scouring every available report that's ever been done. It goes back about a hundred years. We found all sorts of great stuff. So really what we want here by accumulating the data is to begin to identify high-priority drill target areas. So that we've done.
The next step here, which we've announced in that news release, is the LiDAR surveys. These geophysical surveys, airborne surveys, allows us to see the folds, the brakes, the fault zones contained in these properties, because that's where you're going to get your gold depositions, typically, in Northwestern Ontario, in these faults, where the fluids will break the surface and come closer. That's really what we're after. Then you go from LiDAR, we get into some groundwork in May, June and July, where we're on the ground. We're doing recon. We're actually going and doing sampling and trenching and some till work, again, to refine drill targets. We'll get to drilling in Q3, Q4.
The reason we're not pushing that forward is we really want to make sure, and we do believe 100%, the best tact for impactful discovery is a methodical, detailed approach. For those people who are wanting instant gratification, it's not a great fit. But here we are six months later where the share price is down. We've done that much more work on the projects. We're getting close to groundwork. So it is really a really good opportunity here, honestly, to be able to pick up the shares at 17, 18 cents Canadian. It's a good deal.
Gerardo Del Real: Listen the last financing, I believe, you closed at was 37 cents. It was a flow through, right? And this was back at the end of December, if I'm not mistaken.
Alex Klenman: We just did a very small 20 cent financing. So even at this, again, it was at a premium to the market price. We just topped up the treasury, but we're not going to do another raise until later in the year. We'll raise some drill money closer to the drill programs. But the $1.3 million that we're putting into the prep work is in the bank. And that's what we're spending to get to the drill target, which is quite a commitment, because we feel we're onto something, particularly McVicar. It's a big project. It's got district scale. It's got lots of historic work done on it, which just gives you enough of a tease to say, "Wow, there's something there." But not so much work where you're going, "Well, how'd they miss the big hit?" So we're right in the middle there. There's some great grades. We're looking forward to getting on the ground at McVicar. Personally, I think that's really going to be a key project for Cross River.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, you got the right team on it in the junior space. A $5 million market cap can turn into a $50 million market cap really, really quickly. I encourage everybody to go to the website. Get familiar with the team. Get familiar with the projects. I think it's a heck of a speculation at these levels. It may require a bit more patience depending on the sentiment, but fortune favors the bold. I can tell you, I've been writing checks left and right here recently, in the past several months, to be perfectly frank with you, because of the opportunity. It's not one I thought would last this long, but I'm happy to keep doing it. And looking forward to things turning around. Anything else to add to that, Alex?
Alex Klenman: No, just like you say, I think if anybody is unfamiliar with Cross River, go to the website, crossriverventures.com. Have a look at the technical team, the accomplishments of the technical team. Have a look at the projects that we have and a little bit of historical work that's been done. Look at the size. Look at the locations. And I think we'd tick off a lot of boxes, especially for a high-level explorer. So, appreciate the opportunity once again, Gerardo. Thank you.
Gerardo Del Real: Agreed. Alex, thanks for coming on. We'll chat again soon.
Alex Klenman: Cheers. Thanks.
Gerardo Del Real: Bye now. Be safe.