"Just the camp where we have our projects in is a 50-million ounce camp within an 80-km radius, and the minimum deposit to date is 2 million ounces grading almost 2 g/mt, so that clearly stands out. In other words, the endowment factor is a no-brainer, that is why the best miners are in the region: Barrick, Iamgold, B2Gold, Endeavour – and there are many other companies looking at the district."
What is the story behind Roscan Gold?
Roscan Gold was established by Greg Isenor, who, prior to that, had been very successful picking good ground in West Africa that always ended up in the hands of majors. He was associated with Jilbey Gold Exploration and the Bissa discovery in Burkina Faso, a company eventually acquired by High River. He also put Merrex together, that would end up with Iamgold. After that, he picked up this prolific 250 square-km piece of property in Mali, in between Fekola (B2Gold), Iamgold and Barrick. We believe we are on the path to replicating past successes again, as majors are depleting assets within an 80 km radius. We are definitely taking Roscan to a different phase, which could even include putting the project into production ourselves.
What work have you done on the Kandiolé project so far?
We started on the Kandiolé project about 18 months ago, and we were very successful to hit major intercepts in the first drilling campaign. Then, we had the Mankouke discovery and identified a 7-km mineralized corridor which we have continued to test, with some spectacular holes to the south. One intersection spans over 80 meters with an average of 4 g/mt, and this zone seems to be open at depth and to the north. Southern Mankouke seems to be the smallest of eight primary targets, and we are working very diligently to go over the rest of the targets as soon as possible.
What are the next steps?
We started with an initial 10,000 meters campaign to the south and the goal was to test that target. Considering the excellent results at this target, we think we need to keep our drill rig there and increase the drilling rate, so we have tripled our budget to 30,000 meters in 2020, including another rig to test other targets. The goal is to delineate a resource, but it is early in the game to provide deadlines around that. We clearly identify that we are in the discovery phase in the mine equity cycle, and being in a prolific camp, we expect to have more than one major discovery. This should have a big impact on our valuation.
How do investors perceive West Africa in terms of geological potential and in terms of the recent security issues?
In terms of gold production, I have not seen any other region that is better endowed than West Africa. Just the camp where we have our projects in is a 50-million ounce camp within an 80-km radius, and the minimum deposit to date is 2 million ounces grading almost 2 g/mt, so that clearly stands out. In other words, the endowment factor is a no-brainer, that is why the best miners are in the region: Barrick, Iamgold, B2Gold, Endeavour – and there are many other companies looking at the district.
We have had a significant challenge with the jihadist movement that has hit certain countries hard: Burkina Faso in particular, and also northern Mali. We are quite isolated from that noise, because we are 700 km away from the hotspots. Where we are we have not seen any jihadist incident. Having said that, we take security very seriously, and we have former French intelligence personnel as part of our team, while we also have periodic meetings with the senior miners in the region and share intelligence with them. What comforts me is that the West recognizes that funding is a key part of the problem and funds have started to come in to the West African leaders to boost their armies as well as the ECOWAS military wing.
What is Roscan Gold’s positioning in the market at this moment?
If you look at some of our peers at a similar stage to us, they are trading at four times our value, so we are still undervalued considering the ounce potential in our camp. What is unique about Roscan Gold is the team we have put together. Our chairman, Samuel Jonah, has been very successful in the past helping develop junior companies into medium-sized or senior producers, so investors recognize that our skillset and experience raise the chances for discovery success to add value for shareholders.