Ethos Gold (TSX-V: ECC) President Alex Heath on the Hunt for District Scale Gold Properties in Stable Jurisdictions
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president of Ethos Gold, Mr. Alex Heath. Alex, it's a pleasure to have you on. How are you today?
Alex Heath: I'm doing fantastic. Thanks for having me.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, you had some news today that would be impressive in itself and I want to get to it, but before I get to it, I got to congratulate you and the Ethos team. We chatted off air a bit. I mentioned that I think 2021 is going to be a blockbuster year for the company and obviously it's on the heels of your shopping spree as I called it earlier, right? You've been on a district-scale gold project shopping spree that's been nothing short of impressive. So congratulations on that front.
Alex Heath: Yeah. Thank you. And that's one of the reasons that I got involved with this company is just the ability for this group to gather this level of project and district-scale opportunities, multiple areas. These are big district gold plays everywhere. So from Newfoundland to Nevada, to DC, Ontario, and Quebec, that's really one of the reasons that I'm attracted to joining Ethos Gold.
Gerardo Del Real: Can you, for people that aren't familiar with your background, can you share a bit of your background and your success?
Alex Heath: Absolutely. Yeah, so I started my career in 2005. I was working as an investment banker for a boutique investment bank in Vancouver and actually crossed paths with Craig Roberts back in 2005. We'd worked on a number of deals together. Fast forward a few years, I then joined a mid tier gold producer and last year around this time left after meeting with Jim Paterson and Rob Carpenter in New Orleans of all places. We got together, we had dinner and they decided hey, let's get you a spot. They knew that I had a great background and could be used within the discovery group, but it was kind of uncertain.
How do we slot your skillset? I'm not a geologist, I'm a charter financial analyst, but I have a lot of connections within the mining industry and 15 years experience. And they figured hey, you know what? We're at the beginning of a bull market here and we need strong people like you with our technical people, our access to capital, put that together it's a great recipe.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about the strategy for 2021 and I think you mentioned Rob Carpenter, and obviously, his track record speaks for itself. Him being a key technical advisor that's guiding the exploration effort has to feel like you're setting up for again, a blockbuster 2021. Given the scale of the projects and then we'll talk about the projects here in a bit, but given the scale and the quality of the projects you've been able to bring into the Ethos fold.
Alex Heath: Exactly. So we're relying on guys like Rob Carpenter who you mentioned. He was the CEO of Kaminak, big discovery at coffee, 5 million ounces sold that to Goldcorp, which is now Newmont. So we're relying on guys like that, they have the technical know-how the skill set, and frankly, they're going to be mercenary about what they're looking for. We're not looking for little deposits or little things that are butting up against area plays or what have you. We're looking for district scale and what I mean by that is you have the whole host rock where all the mineralization could potentially be and so we're looking for multi-million ounce deposits of gold.
Gerardo Del Real: I believe the company is up to what? Eight district scale projects now, last I checked?
Alex Heath: Absolutely. Yeah, exactly and counting.
Gerardo Del Real: And counting. So that was going to be my next question. You're still on the hunt, it sounds like.
Alex Heath: Well, we're always on the hunt. So what we're trying to do is if we find something, something comes across our table because they know the name Discovery Group, or Rob Carpenter, or Craig Roberts or Quentin Hennigh, we will look at it. Like I said, we're going to be mercenary about our projects. If we can't advance our projects to what we think is a company maker or a tier one asset, we'll either JV it or we'll sell it or we'll move on. So we're not in this for little gains, we're in it to hit a home run really.
Gerardo Del Real: There seems to be a clear emphasis on stable jurisdictions. Can you talk to that a bit?
Alex Heath: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we're in North America right now and we probably wouldn't go outside of that. Just it's our bailiwick and our strength. Rob Carpenter has worked in North America and most of his success is there. Quentin Hennigh, he's obviously got the skill set and the track record in Nevada. So he's kind of our technical advisor on Iron Point, which is a very big target for us. And part of that is if you find something and it gets expropriated or you can't get the permits for it, and it's just very difficult. Well, why bother? We look at it, what's our effort in and reward out. So that's part of the equation.
Gerardo Del Real: And that brings me to the news today. You announced that you've increased your Newfoundland project holdings to 115 square kilometers. Again, that's 115 square kilometers covering multiple gold targets over 28 kilometers of strike length. Can you speak to this project and what attracted you to it?
Alex Heath: Absolutely. Yeah. Again, this is district scale. So we wanted to get as much of the land as possible. We already had a foothold in there and we decided, listen, if we can tie up the rest of it, we don't know where the deposit might end up, but it's better to just stretch out, grab everything you can get. I mean, this area that we're interested in, there's visible gold on surface. There's only been a little bit of work done and our guys are very excited to get in there in 2021 and get the drill program. So that's what we're going to do in 2021, hit the ground running, advance the projects to the drill ready stage.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the potential to either go at it alone and drill for that discovery or joint venture the projects that you feel maybe aren't flagship potential, or frankly that you don't have the time given the fact that you're working to advance eight projects simultaneously. How do you prioritize Alex?
Alex Heath: It's a question of risk versus reward and some of these projects will require 10 plus million dollars a year of exploration. And so in those cases, we might go to a major and say, listen, this is probably too big for us and we need your assistance. So we would JV it or keep it NSR, what have you, and do that that way. But if we see something that we think we can hit a home run with and it's within our capacity... And look at our group that we've got there, Craig Roberts, and we've got a joint venture with Victory Metals, which is merging with Nevada King. It's Paul Matysek, Collin Kettell, these guys have access to capital. So we're not that worried about it, but it is something that we're going to do is balance risk versus reward and go from there.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the intent of developing drill targets. How soon can we anticipate seeing a rig on one or more of these projects?
Alex Heath: Yeah, so I think it would probably take three to six months for us to get our guys on the ground, do the initial legwork, analyze the data and then figure out what the budget is. And then you're up against seasonality as well, depending on where you are. If you're in BC and there's snow on the projects, maybe you're not working right away. So I would say probably mid year, you'd look at starting a drill program.
Gerardo Del Real: So we're thinking Q1 is going to be obviously very active, collecting a lot of the data, interpreting it, defining those targets. And then we're thinking hopefully towards the end of Q2, possibly drills turning.
Alex Heath: Yeah. In fact, even earlier, I mean, we're kind of ignoring Iron Point as being one that's drillable all year round. So with that one, that one could be ready to go ASAP here.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Excellent. Well, Alex, it's been a pleasure chatting. I get the sense that you and I will be chatting frequently in 2021. I want to wish you and everybody there a Merry Christmas and a great new year. I'm excited to get 2020 behind us. Is there anything else that you'd like to add to that, Alex?
Alex Heath: No, just repeat what you just said. We're looking forward to 2021. I think it will be a fantastic year and looking forward to chatting with you and keeping you up to date with all our advancements at Ethos.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic. I appreciate it. Thanks again.
Alex Heath: Yeah. Thanks a lot.