Could you give us an overview of Pardo and Sudbury 2.0?
Pardo is the largest and most advanced paleoplacer gold project in North America. The question becomes where to process it, since we do not have a mill. We are fairly close to Sudbury, but those mines are typically producing nickel-copper. We are currently conducting test trial mining at Pardo, which will be processed in Timmins, and we hope to develop a maiden resource estimate in 2022 and continue mining and producing cash flow at a small scale, if possible.
Our second project is called Sudbury 2.0 because our work has really identified hitherto unknown exploration opportunities right to the East of the Sudbury mining district. Our projects are situated above one of the largest positive magnetic and conductive geophysical anomalies in the world, the Temagami Magnetic Anomaly. We have multiple polymetallic showings ranging from super high-grade palladium-platinum-gold-copper with samples grades up to 31% copper equivalent, and another area with a 44 m mineralized intersection of gold-cobalt-nickel in drilling.
Will Inventus Mining shift its focus towards base and battery metals?
Our focus remains on precious metals, but in some of our drilling, cobalt, copper and nickel contribute a significant portion of the metal value. We also recently acquired a property specifically because of a cobalt occurrence, where one of our samples returned 1.2% cobalt, which is equivalent to 12 g/t of gold or more. We are going to conduct more cobalt-focused exploration given the strong demand and because few North American companies are exploring for it. This property is early stage, but what we see on surface is analogous to the Cobalt Hill property that we drilled in 2021, and we are going to drill again in January 2022.
A number of companies are advancing quite low-grade green metal opportunities, which require a large operation and high capex. Inventus is targeting high-grade deposits. Cobalt is usually a byproduct, but in our case, gold and cobalt seem to be the dominant metals in the system. We are also exploring for palladium and platinum, which are both very good catalysts. We see their demand growing in the decades to come because of their important applications in the hydrogen economy.
How are you currently funding your operations and when will you need another raise?
When I became CEO in 2016, Rob McEwen and Eric Sprott were already large holders of Inventus. Since that time, Rob has increased his stake to over 20%, and Eric is still there with 10%. We have also added a third mining magnate with 7% and a handful of high-net-worth individuals as shareholders. Management and advisors hold about 5% and have been consistently buying in the market. The unique nature of our projects with large risk/reward, coupled with our efficiency at using their capital attracts this type of investor. We have not done a financing since the beginning of 2020 and expect to do another raise at the appropriate time in H2 2022.
What is your outlook for the mining sector?
My thesis has always been that it will be challenging for mining and metals whenever the broad market is performing extremely well. The generalist capital ignores the resource space when you have the NASDAQ and S&P at all-time highs, allowing for very little risk with a diversified approach. If central banks continue to print money and pump it into the system, we could see even higher highs, however, history shows that it will invert eventually, at which point investors will pile into undervalued assets, and that is when the mining industry really shines.