Why is White Rock turning to Alaska?
White Rock is an Australian listed minerals resources exploration and development company with activities focused in Alaska and New South Wales. White Rock owns 100% of the globally significant Red Mountain polymetallic volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) project in central Alaska. This zinc-silver-lead-gold project, with a recent maiden JORC 2012 Resource of 9Mt grading 13% ZnEq, provides White Rock with a quality advanced exploration project centred on an established VMS district where there is significant potential to discover several new large zinc-silver-lead-gold-copper deposits in addition to extending the known zinc-silver-lead-gold deposits at Dry Creek and West Tundra Flats. White Rock also owns 100% of the Mt Carrington gold-silver project in New South Wales, Australia. This project is underpinned by a JORC Resource estimate containing over 300,000 ounces of gold and 23 million ounces of silver, and with a maiden Ore Reserve released in late 2017. The resources are situated in seven surface deposits, and located on granted Mining Leases with developed infrastructure. White Rock is progressing its advanced Scoping Study to Definitive Feasibility Study and permitting stage, and has already available to it a construction and commissioning finance package, subject to certain conditions.
Matt Gill, CEO, White Rock Minerals
Andrew Thake, Mines and Money
Mines and Money (MM): How have the last 12 months been for White Rock Minerals?
Matt McGill (MG): All juniors in the resources sector need to continually move forward with their strategy and in advancing their projects, and White Rock has been very busy in this regard.
MM: Can you tell us a little about how the Mt Carrington project is progressing?
MG: We commenced 2017 by closing out our over-subscribed capital raising and moved straight into the Mt Carrington Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement studies in parallel. By year-end, we had successfully demonstrated the technical and financial robust of the Mt Carrington gold and silver Project with the delivery of the Gold-First PFS.
MM: You’ve recently acquired and are exploring the Red Mountain project in Alaska – any updates?
MG: During the year, we released the maiden JORC Resource for our Red Mountain zinc VMS Project in Alaska. This resource, with a high-grade of 9Mt @ 12.9% ZnEq, immediately placed Red Mountain in the top quartile of undeveloped zinc projects in the world.
MM: If you were pitching investors to invest in White Rock Minerals what would your pitch be? Some people I have spoken to feel that the potential of the Red Mountain project hasn’t been factored into the share price
MG: It is a matter of some frustration that the significance of the Red Mountain asset is not really reflected in our share price. The asset had been in private hands for over 15 years, and the maiden JORC resource less than a year old. Some investors may also not yet appreciate that zinc is one of the best performing metals currently, at 10-year highs. My objective over the last six months has been to get this story out there, to explain to shareholders and potential investors the significance of what we have and what we plan to do.
MM: What opportunities do you see for the next 12 months? How is your company positioned to take advantage of them?
MG: Our main focus for 2018 is to get on the ground in Alaska and advance the globally significant Red Mountain zinc VMS project. This will be done through a combination of drilling to extend the two known deposits, conduct regional exploration on the already identified 30 lookalike targets, then drill the best of them also.
We will also progress the Mt Carrington gold and silver project by working to add the 8M ounces of JORC Indicated silver into the already financially robust Gold First Mine Plan, and to continue to advance the EIS permitting requirements.
MM: What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?
MG: Having two 100% owned projects with significant potential to add value for shareholders, and ensuring the best allocation of capital to achieve this objective, is our biggest challenge. We have opted to give our primary focus to the significant zinc VMS project in Alaska for 2018 (although we do of course love both of our children equally).
MM: How has the mining investment landscape changed over the last few years?
MG: I sense we are well past the worst of the recent investment winter, and off the bottom, especially base metals. I worry about “hot” money chasing returns where the underlying fundamentals might be questionable – e.g. nuggets in the Pilbara, over-hype in the EV scene, cryptocurrencies etc. But having said that, at least people are having a go.
MM: What do you think the industry needs to do to improve its reputation?
MG: Do what it says, do not over-promise, deliver, and focus on returns for its shareholders.
MM: What will be the impact if any of blockchain in the mining industry?
MG: Current commentary on block chain and cryptocurrencies is sucking oxygen from having a more informed conversation about the mining and investment opportunities. Like when ETFs first surfaced, this new disruptive technology will not be the death of gold, but it does draw investment dollars away from the industry.