Gold Bull Resources (TSX-V: GBRC) CEO Cherie Leeden on Progress and Process for 5 Million Gold Ounces by Year-End
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Gold Bull Resources — Ms. Cherie Leeden. How are you, Cherie?
Cherie Leeden: Very well, thank you. Thanks for having me.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you so much. You know, this is a new story for our audience and one that I am really excited about introducing. I tend to gravitate towards the exploration plays with management teams that have a history of serial success.
Gold Bull has a very publicly stated goal in 2021 of defining a resource inventory of 5 million gold ounces by the end of this year. And the way that the company plans on achieving that is through a combination of acquisitions and exploration success.
I want to make sure that everybody understands that can't happen without the kind of background and network that you have. So before we talk about the team and the assets and the catalysts… I would love for you to be not so modest and give us a good overview of your background — because it's pretty impressive!
Cherie Leeden: Thank you. I'm a geologist by background. I've got about 20 years of experience in geology. I'm from Australia originally. I went to school at the Curtin University WA School of Mines. And my first job was with LionOre… had exposure to some awesome mine finders, and LionOre did very well and was eventually taken over by Norilsk.
After LionOre, I worked for Rio Tinto. And it's at Rio Tinto where I actually met our chairman, Craig Parry. So Craig and I go back quite a while. As do Dave Johnson, our VP of Exploration, and I; we worked together at LionOre 20 years ago.
So I had some wonderful training… was involved with a couple of discoveries working for those different outfits. And then went on to do a bit of project generation and was working for a couple of private companies looking for world-class assets and essentially packaging them up. Got a little bit of CEO experience as well. I founded a company called Metals of Africa that went on to become Battery Minerals on the ASX.
And since then, I've been back to doing what I love — which is project generation; matching world-class assets with companies that are interested in a particular commodity.
And it was during the course of that project generation for my company, NV Resources, that I came across the sweetest gold projects located in Nevada… I just thought, well, they were just too good to pass on to someone else.
So Craig and I got talking just over a year ago… and contemplating what we'd like to do with these assets… and the first one is now in the company. The first one of those assets is Sandman, which is 300,000 ounces, which we were able to purchase from Newmont recently. And there's a whole bunch of other assets that I've appraised and my team knows quite well that we certainly have our eyes on.
We're under CA with a suite of projects, and I guess that's where our ambitious goal of 5 million ounces comes from. That really presumes a couple of additional acquisitions this year — which is what we're striving and aiming for.
Gerardo Del Real: You currently have a market cap of approximately C$33 million, and, I believe, just a tad bit under C$50 million [fully diluted]. If you're anywhere close to achieving that goal of 5 million ounces — that's not going to last very long!
I have to ask you, Cherie, how did you come across or how were you able to execute on Sandman? Because I know, privately, that's an asset that a lot of teams were coveting and one that you just don't call Newmont and say, "Hey, we'd like that for us!"
Cherie Leeden: Right. You know, it was a process. And I can only presume that it came down largely to our values and our commitment to safety and the environment. Most of our team is locally based, so we have relationships based locally in the USA. We don't fly in and fly out.
We know the legislators and the communities where these projects are located. And I think that was quite important to Newmont to know that the project wasn't going to get flipped and it was going to end up with a group that puts the environment and safety as core priorities.
And again, that probably stems from our ex-Rio Tinto kind of schooling. Our board and management have come from the big companies… and we're really looking for world-class assets without this bureaucracy of a big company now.
We're very agile and we’re really aligned with our shareholders that we really want to make this company a success based on either discovering more ounces or acquiring more ounces.
Gerardo Del Real: And just to be clear, Sandman is 100%-owned by Gold Bull, correct?
Cherie Leeden: Yes. We have already purchased 100% of the asset for cash from Newmont. So we're in the process of transferring all of the permits and the various licenses from Newmont's name to our name… and we anticipate that all will be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the 309,000 ounces per the 43-101 back in 2007. But since then, there's been 364 drill holes. So this isn't a greenfields project that you're hoping to make a discovery on.
I have to believe that the team is confident in the geology and the approach moving forward. Can you walk me through what that exploration upside looks like and when we can expect to see a drill bit or two turning out there?
Cherie Leeden: Absolutely. So the initial upside is actually just crunching the data contained in those drill holes that have been completed by Newmont since that 2007 43-101. So we've had a resource geologist going over this data for the last couple of months, and we're anticipating that we'll have a revised resource in late-January.
So I'm hopeful that there's going to be more ounces to come just from that additional work that's already been done that has never been captured in that 43-101. So that's something to look forward to.
And then subsequent to that, as soon as the permits have been transferred from Newmont's name to our name – which is also probably likely to be late-January – that's when we can actually hit the ground and start our ground survey work such as the drill program.
So February, the drilling will start with, between now and then, I'm expecting an updated 43-101 resource. And I'd be very surprised if that didn't grow just based on all of that additional drilling that's been done.
And we've also got ground geophysics underway right now. As we speak, we've got a team of 3DIP geophysicists on-site; it's basically like an x-ray of the earth which picks up sulfides. And we've seen great success with the gold mineralization at Sandman correlating to chargeability or basically red-hot spots on a geophysical map at Sandman.
So I'm looking forward to testing some of these IP targets. And our VP of Exploration is a geophysicist, and he's planning some really interesting areas that have never seen a drill hole at our Sandman project.
Gerardo Del Real: Sandman is the flagship right now but you also have other properties in the portfolio. You mentioned at the start of the interview that you're under CA on other properties, and there's obviously going to be further acquisitions.
Can you walk me through the company's approach and your approach as it relates to jurisdiction? Because when I see Utah and I see Nevada… I can tell that the company is focused on making sure that – if you are able, obviously, to get to that 5 million ounce threshold – that these ounces are in good jurisdictions, right?
Cherie Leeden: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's critical in the US. You’ve gotta be in mining-friendly states. We really like Nevada but we're also open to Utah and Arizona. If we can find undervalued projects in those jurisdictions that have ounces in the ground, then we'll certainly be amenable to them.
I would say there's probably only… there's less than a handful of states that we're actually open to in the US but we're very comfortable operating in those three and, in particular, in Nevada. So I think it's a good place to be based. The economy right now needs more mines to really generate income for the state. And I think the state, in general, has a pro-mining mentality — so it's a great place to be based.
And we've got a two-pronged approach to increasing our ounces. So the first is by our exploration success. And that's what the majority of my team are focused on… finding ounces in our existing assets. And that's Sandman. But we also have Coyote and Big Balds.
And most of my time is spent looking at these new opportunities and trying to essentially buy ounces cheaper than we can define them using a drill rig and exploring for them because exploration is not cheap. And, occasionally, if you can find a non-core asset where it doesn't fit the company for whatever reason, you can really negotiate favorable terms and it works out to be more profitable to acquire than to explore.
Gerardo Del Real: I mentioned the market cap was approximately C$33 million. I believe almost C$7 million of that is backed by cash. Is that accurate?
Cherie Leeden: That's correct, yes. The rest of what we raised went to purchase Sandman and then to pay for the associated bond with Sandman.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. And then, walk me through the share structure a little bit. I believe you have just over 96 million shares outstanding fully diluted. But 22.6 million of those are warrants at an average cost of C$0.55, right?
Cherie Leeden: That's correct. And the bulk of those are actually at C$0.75. And there was an attaching warrant to our last capital raise that was done at C$0.50. And all out, we have 67 million shares currently issued. And then there's the 22 million-odd warrants but with an average price of C$0.55 and the majority at C$0.75.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. So you're cashed-up. You're working on acquisitions. We have a 43-101 estimate that'll be published soon. And then we get to see some drilling here in a little bit. It sounds like a lot of catalysts moving forward.
Cherie Leeden: Yeah. We've got a lot of news flow coming up. Again, as we speak, I've got two of my geologists currently at the Coyote Project in western Utah where we've got high-grade gold sticking out of the ground. And that's another project that's one to watch.
We'll probably drill Sandman first and then move the drill rig onto Coyote just to test the legs of this gold mineralization that we're seeing at-surface… which is pretty high-grade gold mineralization for something that's never really been systematically explored.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking forward to it. I want to thank you so much for your time today. I'm really looking forward to having you back on as the news flow picks up here. And I think it's going to be… well no, it's not “going to be”... it's “already” been an interesting 2021!
But let's hope that the geology is as favorable as the volatility in the current climate, right?
Cherie Leeden: Oh yeah, right! It's looking good for gold!
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you so much, Cherie.
Cherie Leeden: Thank you. Bye.
Gerardo Del Real: All right. You take care. Bye now.