"Our goal is to become a plus 100,000 ounce per year producer and we believe that Newfoundland has the mineral potential for us to achieve this goal."
Can you give an overview of Maritime Resources?
Maritime Resources is a mining company focused in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our Hammerdown gold project is our primary focus, and we completed a PEA in March 2020 with the aim to restart the historic Hammerdown mine. Hammerdown was the highest grade gold mine ever to operate in Newfoundland’s history, at roughly 15 g/t. The asset was operated by Richmont Mines between the years 2000 and 2004 while gold prices averaged US$325/oz. Mining concluded in 2004 due to a significant decrease in gold prices.
Part of our business plan was to look for a low capital, high margin opportunity to get to cash flow quickly, utilizing what was available locally. Locally we had a brownfield mine site and a processing facility in the vicinity that had treated ore from Hammerdown once before. We went through the motions to put it all back together and did a technical study that looked at a 70,000 ounce per year operation for the first five years. We are now following up with all the technical work to advance the project to the next stage of feasibility. The fact that there is already an existing mill and permitted tailings pond contributed to us getting through the permitting process quickly, and we submitted our project for registration in July 2020. Subsequently we received approval for our EIA in May 2021. We have a compact, low capital, high grade, high margin starter operation to get us to cash flow, which we will then use to grow the company from there.
For the past two years we have been consolidating our land package around Hammerdown mine site and have identified various drilling targets. Our 40,000 m drilling program is already fully financed and we aim to have this program as well as a feasibility study completed by the end of 2021. Up until recently, we have been focused on updating the resource at the Hammerdown deposit, but have already branched out, and we are halfway through our extended drilling program.
How do you see the geological potential of the area Maritime Resources operates in, and why was this historically ignored by Richmont?
Richmont was a well-known mining company which would mine a deposit and move on to the next. With the decrease in gold prices, the remaining mineralization at the Hammerdown deposit was not economically feasible to continue to mine. The Orion gold deposit was identified after Richmont left and is located approximately 2 km to the southwest of the mine. The Orion deposit consists of two main vein systems, both of which are open along strike, up and down plunge. We believe there is potential at depth as well as along the trend and will be exploring this potential in 2021.
What are the capital requirements to advance the Hammerdown gold project into production?
Our PEA study in 2020 identified a capital cost of approximately C$ 57 million to put everything back into operation. At the mine site itself we would have to do a pre-stripping of the open pit, setting up drainage and site preparation. Secondly, we will have to integrate innovative technologies into the ore sorting plant as we are hauling the ore quite a distance to the processing plant. Leaving the waste at the mine site is beneficial from both a cost and environmental point of view. Lastly, we will have to refurbish the Nugget Pond mill as the last time it ran was in 2012. We will run the gold circuit and Rambler Metals the copper circuit and, in order to separate them completely, we will add a ball mill to feed the leach circuit. Maritime Resources and Rambler Metals will share the same tailings pond.
What makes Maritime Resources attractive to potential shareholders?
Maritime Resources currently has a market cap of approximately C$ 70 million. We have a clear path to production and investors looking for cash flow should put their attention on us. Our goal is to become a plus 100,000 ounce per year producer and we believe that Newfoundland has the mineral potential for us to achieve this goal. We will continue to branch out, explore, and test new targets as to grow the company towards becoming a large gold producer in the region.