O3 Mining released two PEA’s over the past year. How do you intend to build on this momentum in 2021?
Our vision is to become a best-in-class gold producer by 2026, which we intend to achieve by focusing on our projects where there is the most fundamental value and building on our corporate strategy implemented a few years ago, which is to convert and expand our resources while making new discoveries. Part of this strategy is converting our knowledge of ounces and grade from exploration into positive economics. It is critical to define the monetary value of our mineral resource, and we accomplished it through the execution of two Preliminary Economic Assessments (PEA). We were very efficient in completing a PEA with an after-tax net present value (NPV5%) of C$423 million and a CAPEX of C$256 million in five months for Marban, and subsequently for Garrison, which is now part of a strategic partnership with Moneta Porcupine where O3 Mining has approximately 27% ownership. Our decision to reallocate the Garrison project in Ontario enabled us to consolidate our focus on our projects in Val-d’Or, which host 3.7 million oz of gold, and advance our exploration projects, all while maintaining exposure in the Timmins camp.
O3 currently has one of the largest drill campaigns in North America. What makes you bullish about being on the Cadillac Fault?
Our strategy is focused on Val-d'Or, where our Marban and Alpha projects cover important segments of the Cadillac Fault or its subsidiary structures. The Cadillac Fault is an extremely important geological feature. It is a deep-running fold separating two kinds of rocks dramatically and prepares the ground. The Val-d'Or region benefits from the entry of a lot of fluid in the fault resulting in the replication of mineralization every one and a half to two kilometers. From west to east there are several mine sites along the Cadillac Fault including Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake, Lapa, Canadian Malartic and Sigma-Lamaque. There are also many mine sites along its Marbenite and Norbenite subsidiary faults such as Marban, Kiena and Goldex. The repetition of mineralization is on a horizontal basis, but it is also fascinating at depth.
There is much more to be discovered in Québec at depth. An illustration of this unrealized potential has been at Lamaque they were able to find Triangle, a parallel structure that is now the future of Sigma-Lamaque. The next parallel structure along the belt is at Omega, within our Alpha project, and we are very excited about that.
How is O3 Mining leveraging AI to identify exploration targets?
Mira Geoscience’s brings a valuable systematic approach. Their technology enhances our targeting in areas covered by overburden by tying together the drilling, geophysical, geochemical, and geological information into a dynamic 3D model. Used as a tool, targeting is done more effectively.
How have mentors influenced your approach to management?
The best gift that I ever received was the ability to spend as much time as possible with my grandfather. He was kind enough to allow me to go with him to the office every Saturday when he had his meetings with his geologists, engineers, and metallurgists. Seeing him interact made me realize that he spoke very little. He always listened first and then asked informed questions. Because of this, he had very loyal employees and always had a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges within the company. This promoted a culture that led to a lot of success. Seeing him in action makes me cognizant of the fact that I must listen closely to my team on an ongoing basis.
What is the value of looking internally at potential economic material (PEM), and according to this measure what is the size of resource you anticipate?
Internally, we look into a category called potential economic material (PEM). If you see how CIM works, they give you inferred resources, indicated resources, and measured resources. The inferred category is the one with the wider drill spacing (in the range of 60 to 80 meters, depending on the deposit). We use one more category that we call PEM, which is below inferred. For every intercept drilled with a spacing of 100 to 150 meters, we note that it is an area that will potentially be economic. Therefore, it deserves to be drilled further. We expect by the end of the year to have around 400,000 oz according to our PEM category. By 2022, we expect to convert that into an inferred resource, which means a new resource for Alpha and by 2023, allowing us to move towards a PEA.