Gold has always fascinated humanity. A solid yet soft metal, with its astonishing electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion, gold molds to the fancies of human wish and will. Gold never loses its shine nor its worth. Apart from being a major investment commodity used in ornaments and jewelry, it is also a major component in electrical and technology applications. Today, each of our phones carries 0.034 grams of gold in it.
Extracting gold resources from earthen ores, called mining, is supposed by historians to be at least 7000 years old. Though nobody knows the exact era or the date of it, the entire Bronze Age was full of gold objects, and mining was all the rage then.
Starting as a manual separation process, today, gold mining has expanded into more complex extraction methods like cyanidation and carbon adsorption/desorption.
Gold is Canada’s most valuable mined commodity. Currently mined in nine Canadian provinces and territories, Ontario and Quebec together form 71% share of the total mined gold production. Mining companies are advancing gold production to meet future demands.
Maple Gold Mines Ltd. is one of the fastest-emerging gold exploration companies in Canada (the world’s fifth-largest gold producer). With its recent partnership with Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (the world’s third-largest gold mining company by output), Maple Gold Mines has entered the big league.
Led by Matthew Hornor, President & CEO, Maple Gold is carrying out exploration and drill programs to grow resources, make new discoveries, and establish an exciting new gold district in the heart of Quebec’s prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt. Mr. Hornor came out of the Ivanhoe world, where he learned from and worked closely with mining hall-of-famer Robert Friedland and is himself a disciplined entrepreneur and dealmaker.
Under his leadership, Maple Gold de-risked its flagship Douay gold project through focused exploration. It further entered into a transformative strategic and JV partnership with Canada’s largest gold producer, Agnico, who has invested significant capital at both the project and corporate levels.
The company has consolidated 400 km of highly prospective ground with a current 2.8 Moz gold resource at Douay that remains open for expansion laterally and at depth, as well as Agnico’s under-explored, historic Joutel mining complex, which produced over 1.1 Moz of gold between 1974-1993. It is an exceptionally strong foundation for future value creation.
Rediscovering Canadian Gold
Maple Gold is actively exploring the multi-million-ounce Douay and past-producing, high-grade Joutel gold projects in a 50/50 Joint Venture with Agnico. It also holds an exclusive option to acquire 100% of the Eagle Mine Property. The company is well-capitalized with $24M in treasury and $14M in remaining JV funding from Agnico.
In addition to controlling one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in one of the world’s largest mineral-rich greenstone belts, Maple Gold has also assembled a technically strong and financially savvy management team and a Board of Directors comprised of mining industry veterans with significant Abitibi expertise.”
According to Mr. Hornor, people are one of the company’s most valuable resources. When you add the technical horsepower that Agnico brings based on its successful track record of profitable and responsible mining in Quebec and a strong balance sheet with additional strategic funding available, Maple Gold maintains several critical advantages over its peers.
Conquering the Pandemic Hurdle
Speaking about the pandemic, Mr. Hornor says that the health and safety of his people and their communities remain the company’s highest priority. The pandemic has led to adverse impacts on the Canadian and global economies, disruptions of financial markets, and created uncertainty regarding potential impacts to Maple Gold’s supply chain and operations. Yet despite these negative effects, Maple Gold has achieved excellent operational performance by implementing strict health and safety protocols for its personnel/contractors and fostering a supportive and team-oriented culture that can adapt to rapidly changing working conditions.
Treasuring the Future
Mr. Hornor feels that artificial intelligence that is being used to develop new exploration concepts from historical data and the continued automation of mining operations are among several technological advancements that will propel mining into the future.
Offering advice to the budding entrepreneurs who wish to enter into the mining space, he says that it is an incredibly rewarding career path that is not for the faint of heart. One really has to love this business in order to absorb the inevitable ups and downs of the commodity cycle. As the saying goes, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
As for Maple Gold’s future plans, they have already announced that the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 drill programs at Douay and a Phase I drill program at Eagle will be completed by the end of Q1 2022, with additional success-based follow-up drilling planned for later this year.
Finally, Mr. Hornor concludes on a strategic note, “With the gold industry’s declining reserves and a dearth of higher-quality multi-million-ounce projects, our strategy is to continue to grow our gold resources and make new discoveries to establish an exciting new gold district in the heart of the Abitibi.”