How Aston Bay is gearing for growth

Aston Bay Holdings Ltd. is a publicly traded mineral exploration company exploring for large, high-grade, sediment-hosted copper and zinc deposits in North America. Aston Bay is 100% owner of the 1,024,345-acre (414,537-hectare) Aston Bay Property located on western Somerset Island, Nunavut. The Aston Bay Property hosts the Storm Copper Project and the Seal Zinc Prospect, with historical drilling confirming the presence of sediment-hosted copper and zinc mineralization. The Company has also entered into an agreement to acquire exclusive rights to an integrated geophysical, geochemical and geological dataset over a 1.2 million-acre (0.5 million-hectare) area located in central Virginia, USA. The Company’s public disclosure documents are available on

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Mines and Money London

Thomas Ullrich, CEO, Aston Bay Holdings

Interviewed by

Andrew Thake, Mines and Money

05 /09/ 2018


Mines and Money (MM): Tell us a little about your mining company?

Thomas Ullrich (TU): We are a copper and zinc exploration play.

The great investment thesis for copper and zinc is that they are metals that are both in demand. There is a lack of supply; there are little new discoveries; and current grades in production are decreasing.

For copper we’re also helping by the electrification going on in society. You look at countries like India and think of the how the population and economy is growing. All of this will lead to demand for electrification.

I think we’ll also see EVs leading to people wanting to have a battery charging station in their own house. This will lead to a high demand for copper.

All this additional demand for copper plays very well with investors, who understand it’s need and role in our industrial development.

MM: How have the last 12 months been for you?

TU: We’ve had three significant developments.

Firstly, David Broughton has joined us as Chief Geologist, Storm and Seal Projects. He is one of the world’s premier experts in sediment-hosted copper deposits with over 30 years’ experience in mineral exploration. He is most famous for being Executive Vice President Exploration Ivanhoe Mines. During his tenure, the world-class Kamoa (Central African Copperbelt) and Flatreef (Bushveld Complex) deposits were discovered.

Secondly, we’ve entered into a merger agreement with Jack’s Fork Exploration. Through the JFE acquisition, Aston Bay will own exclusive rights to an integrated geophysical, geochemical and geological dataset over the Blue Ridge Project area located in central Virginia, USA. The Project is located within a copper-lead-zinc-gold-silver mineralized sedimentary and volcanic belt prospective for sedimentary exhalative or Broken Hill type deposits.

This has led to Don Taylor, President of JFE, joining the Aston Bay team in the position of Technical Advisor for the Blue Ridge Project. Don used to be the former COO of Arizona Mining. Of course, Arizona Mining was recently bought out by South 32.

MM :  What makes Aston Bay stand out from the similar companies?

TU: We operate in safe jurisdictions, focusing just on North America i.e. the US and Canada. We have a great management team. We are now up and running and primed for additional discoveries.

MM: Has Trump had an impact on Aston Bay in terms of deregulation?

TU: At our stage of exploration no. However, there is certainly less permitting risk under a Trump administration.

MM: What are the key risks and challenges that Aston Bay face?

TU: Raising money to invest in exploring and developing new properties. However, we don’t have a large staff and salaries to pay so as soon as we get money in, we put it in exploration.

MM:  What’s the one thing the mining industry needs to do to improve its reputation?

TU:  The mining industry needs to make people aware of its critical role in their existence. Metals mined powers technology, powers the Internet, it powers the way we live.

MM:  What are the three books that have greatly influenced your life?

TU: The Miracle of Mindfulness by Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. Marcus Aurelius on Stoicism. For an investment book, the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

Andrew Thake

Head of Content, Mines and Money