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Riley Gold (TSX-V: RLYG)(OTC: RLYGF) CEO Todd Hilditch on Current Drilling & Upcoming Geophysics at Multiple Nevada Gold Projects
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Riley Gold — Mr. Todd Hilditch. Todd, how are you today? Great to have you on.
Todd Hilditch: Gerardo, thanks for having me on; really appreciate it!
Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, Riley Gold… I joke often that the best stories in our space tend to be simple ones, right? You look for share structure, you look for teams, you look for great assets in good jurisdictions. And then, you hope that mother nature cooperates. And, of course, it's not that simple.
But a lot of the really, really great stories really end up being set up properly. And I think with Riley Gold, what really intrigued me outside of the team — and we'll get into that and your background in a second — is the patience that you've had in setting Riley Gold up and making sure that you brought it to market and put it in front of people at a time that was opportune, right?
Todd Hilditch: Yeah, you're dead-on there. I've been in this space for 20 - 25 years and this will be my fifth company, I guess. And when we started this, the concept was, Okay, let's start with an extremely tight structure.
And, of course, over time and financings and all that fun stuff — that will loosen up. But we wanted to start really, really, really tight. And we did. We've got 25 million shares issued-and-out that included a C$3 million financing we did in October of last year.
And so amongst our team and amongst the financing, I think, of the first round, about 93% of the financing came from folks I've done business with in the last 5 to 10 years. So a really tight structure.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent! And so just to be clear, you have approximately 25.7 million [shares] outstanding. I believe that number is just shy of 36 million; it's 35.6 [million] fully diluted, correct?
Todd Hilditch: Yeah, that's exactly right.
Gerardo Del Real: Wonderful. And then treasury — you mentioned the C$3 million raise. What does that look like right now?
Todd Hilditch: Well, we're drilling down at our Tokop project which I'm sure we'll delve into. But we're, give or take, about C$1.3 - C$1.4 million in the treasury. We've got enough to certainly finish our first round of drilling.
And then, at some given point, anytime in the next month, two, three, four, or five will come a moment where it makes sense to raise some additional capital to keep the drill rig going and then start to explore our second property.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned your over-two-decades of experience. You're being a bit modest there. You not only have been in the space for over two decades but you've successfully sold three companies within the last decade, which, if you're a shareholder or considering to be a shareholder, you always want to see that, right?
Todd Hilditch: Yeah, thanks for the thought on being modest. But in the end, I think the way we look at our companies is… We tell it like it is; we do what we say we're going to do; we don't over-promise!
And in the cases of the situations you've discussed… and we've had three or four companies in the last 10 years that have had success… and they're not always a home run… they're not always a triple. But we've managed to eek out a pretty good track record… maybe eek is modest too… of just making sure that we build them properly: and that's people, money, projects.
And then, with a little bit of love and mother nature, as you mentioned, if we can get some early success. I'm here for the shareholders, and I have skin in the game. I'm a shareholder, whether it be Terraco Gold, which I started in '96, my gosh, and sold it in 2019. I mean, it's older than my kids’ combined ages together. Solares Lithium, and then, URZ Energy.
So we do these things, and our motto has always been… If you're going to sell the company — we don't usually joint venture. I've never been a joint venture guy, personally, but it's always been on the basis of… Don't do a deal with anybody unless they know more about the project than you do… they have more financial capability to move the project along. Otherwise, why would you ever do that?
And in all of those cases, we moved in with somebody that was bigger, stronger, faster — and it worked well for our shareholders. And we've been really successful at getting those, like we say, single, double, triples with folks. I'm not promising home runs. I never have, never will. One day. Maybe Riley is it… I don't know!
Gerardo Del Real: Well, you're in the right part of the world for it. You're Nevada-based. I want to talk about the flagship here in just a second and the ongoing drilling.
But I want to talk about the team a bit that you've been able to put together because, as you know, next to share structure — the team always, always, always tends to either outperform repeatedly or underperform repeatedly. It's the way the business works! And you've put together a good one.
Todd Hilditch: Sure. Yeah, we're really lucky… and I'd like to say ‘smart’ at the same time… for putting this group together. But this group is not a new group to us. In fact, most of the folks that are on our leadership group have either come through our Solares Lithium days or our Terraco Gold days.
And because we're focused, as you say, in a good jurisdiction down in Nevada on our projects, it was really easy to pull the Terraco group over. William Lamb, who's our chair; former CEO of Lucara Diamonds under the Lundin Mining Group moniker, which is, obviously, very successful. William found one of the largest diamonds in the history of finding a diamond down in his Botswana mine. And so… wonderful person, metallurgist by background, consider him a friend, and happy to have him as our leader.
And the rest of the group is really rounded out with permitting expert in Nevada, Rich DeLong. Cindy Laval is a securities attorney; known her for, gosh, 35 - 40 years.
And then, most importantly, relative to an investor is, “Okay, great, you've got some decent people here… you've got some money… you've got what looks like good projects… but who's able to maneuver around those projects?”
And Charlie Sulfrian… who I've been together with almost as long as my wife… and Charlie spent 22 - 23 years with Barrick. And he's been involved in everything from sampling the original sample program with Larry Kornze and Keith Bettles on Betze-Post, which turned into Goldstrike for Barrick. So he's done everything; he's seen it all. He's excited about our properties. So that makes sense.
And then, rounding it out is Bryan McKenzie, our CFO. And same thing; we've been together a long time and done all of our deals together. I'm not going to say it's a tried, tested, and proven team. But it's probably pretty as close as you can get to keeping the team together, if you will.
Gerardo Del Real: You have a great team. You have skin in the game. Management owns nearly 20% of outstanding shares. You're in Nevada. And we're seeing more and more jurisdiction become increasingly important, right?
And I think, obviously, there's already a premium that's baked in when you make a significant discovery in Nevada. I think that'll accelerate. Walk me through the portfolio and the flagship because there's a lot to look forward to there.
Todd Hilditch: Yeah, it's a pretty cool story. And as you say with Nevada — you can't get a better postage stamp than that! And I'm sure most folks understand it. I won't bother wasting their time with filling in how much it produces and all of that fun stuff.
But with regards to our two projects, we — and I'm going to say ‘stumbled’ — but I think it comes down to relationships. Our attorney in the US, who I've dealt with for 25 years, called one day and said, “Geez, I've got this project that sits on a client's books and it's kind of not been doing anything for about 10 years and they’ve moved in a different direction — but it looks neat. Do you want to look at it?”
So long story, fast forward, it was a property that had been sitting for 10 years doing nothing. And yet, we looked at it, and back in 2011, there was 12 meters of 2.5 grams per tonne gold; 30 meters of three quarter gram.
Well, back then, that might not have ticked the box of what a major was looking for. But that's a different market and a different time. So we got more and more excited… found out that some of the samples at-surface were almost one ounce per tonne. And so we put the deal together.
Another thing I'm proud of — we didn't issue stock. We did a very frugal deal to pick up the land on a private basis and on a public basis. But then, when we really got in and started digging in and doing our own sampling, we had up to 19 grams per tonne gold at-surface.
Obviously, that comes from underground… artisanal miners that would pull it out of these portals. So it came from below, it didn't come from the sky — so that was exciting! We've had up to 970 grams per tonne silver.
So really cool high-grade stuff… and down in a district that is — I'm not going to say it's ‘ignored’ — it's in the Walker Lane Trench so it's not ignored. But it's not far out of probably 70 to 100 kilometers out of Beatty and out of Tonopah where you've got lots of activity.
But this is a project that had some drill results. We were looking at the sampling, going… “Oh my gosh, we just might have stumbled onto something cool!” And once you put that package together and you start putting your drill program together and look at how little work — there was 20 holes done — but sort of changed the thought process on how you would drill it… it became even more exciting.
We've got two or three guys that we've talked to and met with that know these systems extremely well. Ted Wilton, we just brought on as a technical advisor. He worked at what this project is somewhat akin to — this intrusive-style gold system with Kinross. He worked with Victoria Gold. He worked at the two mines that we were trying to compare the geology to. So he was a great addition. Super person as well.
And then Dick Sillitoe, who's in England, but has a massive history of successes. And he also compares the situation we have geologically with the two mines that we just mentioned that Ted Wilton worked at. So we are now drilling that project. We're maybe a half a dozen holes in, just about.
Results should start coming in the next two to three weeks. So hopefully, by the end of June, we'll be close to having them out, if not already out. And that'll be on probably two or three holes. And then, we'll continue to drill. And as they say… The truth serum is in the drill bit! So we're going to plug along on that one. That's project 1A.
And project 1B — as exciting as it is, and we actually adjoin a property boundary with the Newmont-Barrick Nevada mines joint venture out in Battle Mountain — we haven't even got there yet.
So I don't want anybody listening to think that we've got a bandwidth of hundreds of geologists ready to work. We're working on 1A, Tokop. And then, in the summertime here, we expect to start running some geophysics and start spending some time and attention.
The good news is that particular area with Gold Acres, Pipeline, the Cortez, Four Mile, all of this stretch of Nevada gold mines — they've got 50 million ounces of past and proven and probable reserves on their books now; past production and proven-probable. So the rocks aren't going anywhere!
We just can't rush to get down there too quickly until we have the bandwidth. But we are, literally, with our new property package — we just recently adjusted it or acquired additional property — we run right up to about 600 meters. So what's that… 1,000 feet-ish… from the Gold Acres deposit and open pit, which is part of their complex.
They've got a million ounces right there at 2.77 grams per tonne gold. So we're going to get there but we know the gold's not going anywhere. So it'll be up to Charlie and his team to fit, sort of, doing an analysis of how we're going to get in and drill Pipeline West.
We do know that this property… we're not the only property owners here historically… there has been some work on the north part of our Pipeline West. Mostly silver hits, Gerardo; not a ton of gold.
But the gold snippets that they did receive — we've got a couple holes — is on the southern part of the boundary, which is where we'll spend most of our time and in one particular formation which is called the Wenban. And that's where all of the production in the Cortez complex comes from is the Wenban formation.
So if you have it on your property — there's a good chance you've got some mineralization!
And that'll be our next step, is… “Okay, how do we find out if there’s gold in the Wenban?” That will be part of a drill program that I don't really see happening until, if late-fall, maybe, but most likely the beginning of the next year while we're finishing up Tokop.
Gerardo Del Real: Todd, that was great! In the gold market I see developing, I think time is on your side. Let's see if mother nature is on your side. You mentioned the truth serum being in the drill bit. We'll know soon initially. And I'm looking forward to having you back on to talk about it.
Todd Hilditch: I really appreciate it! Thanks for the time today.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks again, Todd.
Todd Hilditch: You bet.Click here to see more from Riley Gold Corp.