Triumph Gold Corp (CVE:TIG) (OTCMKTS:TIGCF) (FRA:8N61) CEO John Anderson shares how the company’s restructuring in 2015 has positioned it to provide shareholder value as gold rebounds. Anderson acknowledges that Goldcorp’s 20 percent purchase of Triumph Gold in 2017 provided the company with the financial resources to drill 13,000 metres last year. Anderson provides an update on Triumph Gold’s 2018 drilling projects; the company is still waiting for the results from two-thirds of the more than 70 holes drilled this year. In addition to Triumph Gold’s exploratory drilling, the company has a large-scale project with placer operations, high-grade scarrings, and epithermal veins of gold, which it is ready to extract once gold and copper prices rebound.
James West: My good friend John Anderson, who is Executive Chairman of Triumph Gold Corporation, trading on the TSX Venture under the symbol TIG, has graced us with his presence on short notice. So, John, thanks for coming.
John Anderson: Great, thanks for having me, James. Nice to see you again.
James West: Yeah, you too, it’s been a while.
John Anderson: Professionally, too.
James West: Exactly! Triumph Gold has had a long and storied history, however, not under the name Triumph Gold; it used to be called Northern Free Gold. I followed it and I made some money, but I lost more than I made, so ultimately it was a painful experience for me. And then lo and behold, here it is, almost a decade later; you have rewound it and it’s now, how much did you roll it back?
John Anderson: It was rolled back 10 for 1 before I took control of it.
James West: Wau. So it’s now trading at $0.50, so compared to the old days, that would be $5.00.
John Anderson: I’m almost breakeven from my first purchase.
James West: And your press releases suggest you’ve taken a different tack and you’re not actually drilling the old deposit, you’re drilling some new targets.
John Anderson: Correct. So back in 2015 when we reorganized the company and took it over, what the company had was a very substantial low-grade resource. We’ve experienced that before. So the project had a very large near-surface resource that we knew, at $1,500, $1,600, would be worth a lot more want the trading – the value of the company was at. So we took a long-term approach, said let’s get control of the asset; it doesn’t have any payments, had very little debt on the company. We cleaned up the debt and looked at it, so when gold actually started to come back again, where I think it’s going, the project was going to have a lot of value.
And we really cut the burn rate down to almost nothing, and really we were going to sit there. And we’d probably be sitting there today in that same situation if it hadn’t been for Goldcorp showing up in the Yukon and giving the whole region a credibility bump.
James West: Right. And so we’re talking the Yukon here, which is where there’s been several major discoveries over the last decade. So then, how – you’ve got drilling underway right now?
John Anderson: Yes, correct. So just about a year and a half ago, Goldcorp came in, bought 20 percent of the company at a premium to the value of what the company was trading at at that time, and they gave us $6.5 million to do 15,000 metres. So we ended up doing that, close to 15,000 metres last year, and it was based not on going after the old resource or upgrading the resource, it was based on our Vice-President of Exploration, Tony Barresi, came up with new geological concepts on the property well outside that resource. And it was, again, not trying to look at a $1,500, $1,600 gold project, something that was relevant right now.
So we spent Goldcorp’s money, half of Goldcorp’s money; still had $3 million when we finished the program, and tested five of Tony’s ideas. And then really excited by what he came up with last year.
James West: Right. So you put out one hole on the 31st of July; 72 metres, 1.3 grams per tonne. Now, this being, or then particularly being the absolute bear market, we don’t care if you drill through Fort Knox, we’re not buying the stock – that, in normal times, would send the stock on a serious value appreciation curve.
John Anderson: Yeah, again, exploration, as you know, it’s a process. And last year’s process, what Tony developed was, come up with these ideas, test these ideas, and we successfully hit on four of his five ideas. The one that didn’t work out, we’ll joke about afterwards with Tony, but they were really successful. But they weren’t things that rock the market. Things in the Yukon were a little difficult last year; it took forever to get ice assays back, our stock had gone up to $0.57, $0.58 during that period, and unfortunately it took a couple of months to get the assays back. However, when we had those assays, we knew we were onto something, but they weren’t something that was going to rock the market, like, the, you know, the recent results of Golden Ridge, or the SIC or anything that’s going on right now. But it was a process, and Tony knew we had something. And so this year’s program was, vector in off that success from last year and try to target exploration results for this year.
James West: Sure. So you’re going to have results coming out from this year’s drill program at some point in the near future?
John Anderson: Yeah, correct. We started in early April, a winter program. It was a little slow, just because as we were having global freezing over in the east coast, we were actually having an early thaw up in the Yukon. So drilling was a little slow off the start, but we came up with the first results for just about 25 percent of what our exploration program was for this year. So that’s what you’re referring to. We’ve still got two-thirds of the results to come out, and I think it’s about 73, 74 holes that we’re drilling this year, on six different targets.
James West: Wow, okay. So there’s good gold values, good copper values, this is looking like a porphyry, I guess?
John Anderson: The Wau Breccia is what we’re calling it; that’s this discovery that you’re referring to. It’s –
James West: We met under a breccia, as I recall.
John Anderson: That’s right. [laughter] Those 12-ounce ones. But the Wau Breccia is outside the resource, and it’s again based on Tony’s theory, and we plugged a couple holes in it this year and it was really successful. And it came down to Tony’s theory that all the ages of mineralization we had on the property, you had something that superimposed the original age rock of 140 million years. Won’t want to bore a lot of the, you know, neophytes in this, but you had a mineralized event that happened 60 million years ago that created the fracture of that breccia, and that’s where some you’d see a lot of the high-grade gold come through. So that’s what the Wau Breccia, Wau, Breccia as well.
James West: Okay, so then, this current, the holes that are going to be released in due course here are from that Wau Breccia zone, or is this from –
John Anderson: No, it’s going to be from different areas. So we finished the Wau Breccia; we also finished the Kirsten Zone, which was a very large step-out, last year, and it was successful technically. We announced the results from Kirsten this year; they weren’t anything spectacular, but again, it’s just like last year’s drilling – we had technical success, we didn’t have great success. So we’ll evaluate those results from Kirsten and try to vector in.
James West: So when you say technical success, you mean you found the structures where you theorized they would be, but you just didn’t hit the high-grade portion of that structure?
John Anderson: Correct, and we didn’t hit a lot of great mineralized rock – well, we hit mineralized rock, but there was not a lot of ore-grade material in it. So what we’re focusing on for the rest of the program is, again, Tony’s success last year is focusing in on those technical successes and vectoring in and try to figure out where the source for this is. And that’s what we’re working on right now.
James West: Okay. So now the resource that was developed throughout the 2000s, that resource is completely set aside for now pending higher gold price to make it more interesting?
John Anderson: Yeah. So that resource was done, it was formally with a PEA that was attached back in 2012, 2013.
James West: And what were the metrics there, again?
John Anderson: It was done at $1,260 gold – sorry, 265 copper and 1260 gold. And it was positive, but again, we’re scratching the surface for this exploration property.
James West: What was the size, again?
John Anderson: I was 88 million tonnes from the nucleus and the revenue deposit. Again: we know that’s there, and it’s a great call option on higher gold.
James West: Well, that’s the point I’m trying to make: you’ve already got one deposit.
John Anderson: So, you know, we’ll call that, that’s in our back pocket. So we know at a higher gold price, higher copper price, these things will be valid again. And again, we were going to sit there and do nothing; it wasn’t till Goldcorp showed up and bought Kaminak up the street from us before we decided to go back and do some exploration on the project. And so in 2016, what we did is we hired Tony independently, he didn’t work for us, and Tony is a specialist in western cordillera porphyry systems and economic geology, and told us what is the potential outside of that resource. So he spent four weeks on the property and worked afterwards and came back and said ‘there’s gold everywhere; you’ve got a lot of placer operations on the project that are running successfully to this day, you’ve got high-grade scarrings, you’ve got epithermal veins, you’ve got mesothermal, you’ve got a polymetallic deposit which is very much like Rockhaven’s deposit, the south – and literally everywhere you go, there’s gold.
And to stress the magnitude of what the project is, it’s not just a big land staking package; it was strategically put together by the original prospector, Bill Harris, who you’ve met, and his wife, Sue Craig, at the bottom of the market in 2003. And they put together this property, and the real reason they put it together was not just the historical work that was done on it, but it was one of the only properties in the Yukon that had, at that time, government infrastructure access, not only to the property, but right through the property. So it’s one of those rare properties in a remote area that’s actually blessed with great infrastructure.
James West: Wow.
John Anderson: And so that’s why we were able to be so, you know, cost-efficient last year in our exploration program.
James West: Sure. So from an investment speculative perspective, the catalysts in the near term are lots of drill results coming from the lab?
John Anderson: Yeah, we’ve got, again, we’ve drilled 72, 73 holes this year, 18,000 metres. We did 13,000 metres last year. We’ve got 50,000 metres of historical data that Northern Free Gold/now Triumph Gold has, let alone all the old data that was put together, you know, through 80 years and different owners. So it’s pretty exciting.
James West: Awesome. Okay, John, well, we’re going to keep an eye on it. Thanks so much for joining me today.
John Anderson: Great. Thanks for having me, and it’s really good to see you again.
James West: You too.
John Anderson: Okay.
More Mining Discoveries:
Midas Letter is provided as a source of information only, and is in no way to be construed as investment advice. James West, the author and publisher of the Midas Letter, is not authorized to provide investor advice, and provides this information only to readers who are interested in knowing what he is investing in and how he reaches such decisions.
Investing in emerging public companies involves a high degree of risk and investors in such companies could lose all their money. Always consult a duly accredited investment professional in your jurisdiction prior to making any investment decision.
Midas Letter occasionally accepts fees for advertising and sponsorship from public companies featured on this site. James West and/or Midas Letter may also receive compensation from companies affiliated with companies featured on this site. James West and/or Midas Letter also invests in companies on this site and so readers should view all information on this site as biased.