Maurice: Joining us for a conversation is Peter Ball, the CEO of NV Gold Corp. (NVX:TSX.V; NVGLF:OTC).
Always a pleasure to have you join us, sir. We brought you on to discuss NV Gold's current exploration activities in Nevada and British Columbia, which shareholders, including myself, have been anxiously anticipating. But before we begin, sir, please introduce us to NV Gold.
Peter Ball: NV Gold is a well-financed exploration company that has a large portfolio of drill-ready gold targets in Nevada, and also a recently optioned project, or high-grade gold project, in British Columbia, Canada, which is a new venture for us. We also have what we consider one of the best technical teams on the street, specifically focused on the history of gold exploration, finds, or experience.
Maurice: Speaking of that technical team, all too often speculators, in my opinion, focus just on the tangibles and they overlook those intangibles that you're referring to. I know you're a very modest person, but NV Gold has some of the most prominent, successful names as advisors and shareholders. Who are they and what does that say to the person listening?
Peter Ball: Great question, Maurice. I think with any junior exploration company, it's good to have money, or it's good to have capital to advance your projects. I think as a small company, our goal is to, with a market cap of maybe of $CA20–25 million ($20–25M), you need to have the technical team. You need to have members assisting you advance a project.
So, specifically with NV Gold, a few of our names would be Dr. Quinton Hennigh, who is one of our lead technical directors. He's one of the founding members of our board. Quinton is globally as one of the most highly regarded geologists. Dr. Hennigh is the chairman of Novo Resources Corp. (NVO:TSX.V; NSRPF:OTCQX), which is a three-quarters-of-a-billion-plus company focused in Australia. But he's also one of the lead technical directors for Irving Resources Inc. (IRV:CSE; IRVRF:OTC) and Lion One Metals Ltd. (LIO:TSX.V; LOMLF:OTCQX) and New Found Gold Corp. (NFG:TSX.V). And one of the names on the street to follow, to Google and to learn a little bit more about his successes. A great addition to our team.
In addition to Quinton, for new listeners, we also have another gentleman named Dr. Odin Christensen. He used to be the chief geologist of Newmont Corp. (NEM:NYSE) globally. I call him Mr. Nevada, or probably a lot of people call him Mr. Nevada, or Mr. Carlin. He's been around the industry for many years. He's done lots of work globally and more specifically in Nevada.
And of course, we have a couple of other members on our team. Our chairman, John Watson, also our largest shareholder, is also a geologist with a masters in mineral economics from Colorado School of Mines. He's known in Nevada and also Colorado for many years of putting together mineral projects, helping in discoveries, buying net smelter returns (NSRs), selling in NSRs, a very valuable team member. And he has bought a lot of stock in our company and is the largest shareholder.
And our newest addition is Al Stewart. I want to highlight Al: he was a top broker investment banker and also was head of corporate compliance for the Vancouver stock exchange. So he's great for helping us manage our corporate governance.
The other key part of our team is they all take ownership. They're accessible. They look at what we're doing, they participate and they're not just sitting on the board collecting fees. We don't have board fees. So it's a great team and great to have working and assisting me to push the project forward.
Maurice: Those are some intangibles you just can't put any kind of valuation on when you have successful names and they're in it to win it. They're not in it for a paycheck. They're shareholders. They have some skin in the game.
Now let's fast forward. Since July, the company is currently conducting three aggressive drill programs in pursuit of discovering high-grade gold in Nevada. You're drilling on the Slumber and Sandy projects, respectively, and then in British Columbia on the Exodus Gold Project.
Beginning with the latter, take us to British Columbia, to your maiden Exodus Gold Project, and get us up to date, sir.
Peter Ball: It's an exciting time here at NV Gold. When we last spoke, NV Gold was preparing and putting together three programs. We were pushing forward on the permitting, pushing forward on the geological models. . .this is probably going to be the busiest fall in NV Gold history with three projects, chasing three high-grade gold projects in Nevada, two in Nevada, one in British Columbia.
So to touch on British Columbia. Again, I mentioned we shouldn't have accessed or been able to option this project because the vendor, who I ran into at PDAC, was looking for somebody with a much bigger name than me. We acquired it or optioned it on July 21.
So far, since July 21, we've completed property-wide geophysics; we've done a two-square-kilometer soil grid. We've done trenching, we've done channel samples. We've also recently—just a week and a half ago—just had a site visit from the senior geologists at GoldSpot Discoveries Corp., which is also one of our key shareholders. They have a very solid technical team.
We were able to push forward for a complete overview look at what we thought it was and what it may be. And we're just in the midst of, first of all, waiting for assays to come in from the soil grid, waiting for assays from the trenching and channel samples, putting together a new model, reviewing that and correlating it with the geophysics program we completed. And it's starting to look very interesting.
Also, we're completing an early engagement agreement with the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, which has been fabulous to work with. An amazing group that looks to be very supportive of what we're doing.
And also we're in the midst of permitting and putting all this information together. It's going to be pretty busy at Exodus over the next, I would say, the next month, leading to a drill program. For our maiden drill program we are testing the high-grade gold assays that were received on the project before us receiving it, putting all the assays together, drilling approximately 1,500 meters in eight or 10 holes in sometime in November this year.
Maurice: You referenced assay results. When should we expect those?
Peter Ball: Well, I would suspect probably by the end of October, the first week in November. . .So first of all, they're still flowing in, and as we get them in, for me, I don't like to put out assays until we understand how they're working, and when we have them all, because they work together to create a model. This will ensure we don't mislead the investor or new investors or listeners. We put that together and then we apply it to a model, and then it makes sense. And then we'll have some really good updates near the end of October, the first week in November.
Maurice: Mr. Ball, that is very, very responsible, because I see the opposite occurring so often. It's misleading. You get focused just on one great result, but what does the rest of the picture look like? Well, we're just focusing on that one good result. It's a mischaracterization of the project and it's disappointing to shareholders because they get spoofed basically. And here you're taking a very proactive and responsible approach, and I have to commend you on that, sir.
Peter Ball: No, absolutely. I mean, one hole, one assay, one soil, one channel sample, it doesn't mean anything when you need a model. Our team is known as being very responsible regarding how we discuss or share or highlight results. And we're large shareholders ourselves. I'm in the top five shareholders of the company; the chairman is the largest. It's key: accuracy and responsibility to shareholders. And that's why an NI 43-101 one was built many years ago.
Maurice: Let's move south to the second drill program in Nevada. Take us to the Sandy Gold Project, which you're doing some follow-up drilling on from the 1990s. Is that correct?
Peter Ball: The Sandy Project was acquired for $2,000 with its staking from our database. It was the first box we opened out of the USMX database, which is a large database that we purchased a couple of years ago for pennies on the dollar. I think we spent about $30,000 on the entire hundreds of boxes of data.
So back in the 1990s it was drilled, had 17 drill holes. And anytime you find a project in Nevada with greater than one gram of gold over several meters, you'd better grab it. So we staked it. And the very same day I've mentioned this a few times, the very same day we staked this project that afternoon, a company called Eclipse Gold Mining staked the entire valley, right over the top of us and has raised $20 million advancing their project in and around us.
So here we are looking at some historical holes. We did a site visit this summer. COVID kind of pushed us off by a couple of months but everything's going ahead full steam now. . .We recently just completed property-wide geophysics, [electromagnetic and] radiometric survey.
And again the experts from GoldSpot Discoveries—their senior geophysicists working with our technical team in Nevada—assisted our team in putting together a multi-hole reverse circulation drill program. And we're going to be starting that very soon. And that's exciting for our shareholders. And it's our first program on the project since the 1990s. And it's our first program out of the three from Sandy, Slumber and Exodus.
Maurice: Oh, that's good stuff. Moving on to the third and final drill program, let's visit the Slumber Gold Project, where things looked very promising in 2019, when NV Gold may have just been short of a potential discovery.
Peter Ball: The Slumber Gold Project is an interesting project. A little quick history again—Slumber was brought to us by Dr. Quinton Hennigh. He knew of this project in another life about 20 years ago. He noticed in 2019 that he knew the vendors. He reached out to them on behalf of NV Gold. And we were able to purchase the project through a lease agreement. So we control now 100% of the project.
So last year we went in, following up again from some drilling conducting in the 1990s. Good lengths of low-grade mineralization from nearly 20 years ago. But Quinton always thought, and also our technical team, after reviewing it together, believed that maybe we were on top of something. So we decided to do a very focused, small budget, because we like to ensure we maximize the capital. And we put about six holes into the project after doing a quick surface mag geophysical survey.
This project is geologically similar to the project Sleeper, which was one of the highest-grade gold projects ever drilled or discovered or mined in the state of Nevada, just west of Winnemucca. The first few thousands of tons mined from the Sleeper was 15.7 ounces of gold per ton. So here we are just west same rock—same age rocks, same alteration, a lot of the very same geological similarities in the mag low in the center. So we did the five holes and the market didn't care last year, a bunch of low grade hits over long lengths.
But if you go back to a release we had back in the fall of 2019, where Quinton Hennigh put out a quotation and a press release stating that we believe based on what we're seeing. We're on top of what we believe a potential robust gold system at depth.
So, it's very interesting people don't like low grade. We think we're on top of something that just may be similar to Sleeper, which is exciting at any level, noting Sleeper's grade that I just mentioned.
So again, we were delayed by a couple of months from the COVID. We were able to complete what is called a CSAMT geophysical survey, which just gives, in layman's words, a vertical view of potential opportunities at depth beneath the surface up to 500 meters in depth. . .If anybody wants to visit our site under www.nvgoldcorp.com, go to the presentation section, look for Slumber. And you'll see some historical holes from the 1990s, which has the vertical hole and one of the slides. And you'll see some angled holes and you'll see that we appeared to just have stopped the program, a few meters—we're not sure how many meters it is, might be 50, might be a hundred—from a potential large system immediately below our holes.
So, long story short, we're just waiting for permitting, which we expect to happen quickly here. We're going to be at the site probably by the end of October, prepping the pads, and we're putting down a plan right now, nine holes of about a thousand feet each. It looks really exciting and it's always good to see when all your team agrees on what may lay beneath historical holes. So again, a historical hole is making a discovery. This might be the one. So we'll see, we'll cross our fingers.
Maurice: And that's not just any name we're talking about. Dr. Quinton Hennigh. I was like to say: "The Dr. Quinton Hennigh." That's a lot of credibility there, and hopefully, things will come out very favorable. And you said it kind of—again, modestly: Sleeper isn't part of NV Gold, but how many ounces was that, again? You didn't say grams. Did you say ounces; is that correct?
Peter Ball: That is correct, that was 15.7 ounces. So if you times that by 31.1, how many grams it was. So the math is pretty easy. I let people do it.
So it's exciting. It's a model that we've been looking at for a year. And we had one of the top geophysicists who runs the CSAMT surveys, with his many years of experience. When everyone's looking around the table and somewhat excited on the telephone about what could be beneath, again this is exploration. We're here to test these opportunities and we're going to test Slumber in November. That's our goal.
Maurice: That's why we're so glad to have you. You can't get this in a press release. All right. Switching gears, looking at numbers, Mr. Ball, what is the current capital structure for NV Gold?
Peter Ball: The capital structure is we're just sub $65M. I think we have 64.5 million shares outstanding. We have 9 million $0.20 warrants, nearly a hundred percent in the money, which will bring in about $1.7 million when executed over the next year or so. Which is always advantageous to our treasury.
And a special note on the options, if anybody wants to do some due diligence on how we price options here at NV Gold, an example is what we did last Friday. About a week ago, we were trading and dipped down to $0.26. We priced our options at a 43% premium to the market because we like to align ourselves with shareholders who happened to purchase the stock a little higher. So we priced the options at $0.40. I think in the previous option allotments, we did it at 50% and 35% premiums also. So we don't take advantage of dips. We're aiming not for pennies, we're aiming for dollars here. So let's make sure that we price them high.
Maurice: Sticking with the capital structure, the company upgraded to the OTCQB, is that correct?
Peter Ball: Yeah, we are in the midst, and finalizing the application. We expect to be on the OTCQB. We have a lot of great new shareholders from the United States, especially some high-profile funds, institutions and high net worth investors that have been getting into the company from the last financing, which we just completed on August 21, where we raised very quickly over $3 million, which we stopped. We had a lot of interest above that, but again, managing dilution is key. So yeah, OTCQB is coming soon.
Maurice: And talking about the treasury, looking at the burn rate, how's the treasury being impacted by the drilling programs?
Peter Ball: So we're looking at the budget, which we try to take a close look at weekly and biweekly with our budget committee.
First of all, we have no debt. We pay every bill, usually within the week, to ensure that we carry a zero balance on that side, as we push forward with approximately just under $3M; I think it's about $2.9M as of a couple of days ago.
I would suspect after we've completed all the three drill programs—which are going to commence in October, November, assays out in January is our best guess—after we do the model, review the assays, we should have the 1.7 million of warrants fully in the money, we probably have about $1.6M to 1.8M in the bank. If we run the budget the way we hope to, it will probably give us a lot of extra money to complete second rounds on any of these projects
In British Columbia (BC), the BC project, we're right next to a highway, right next to the power grid, right next to the city, you can drive and get your Tim Horton's and stay at an Airbnb and head to the site at the Exodus Gold Project. We're not like the Golden Triangle, we can drill all year. So we could be drilling right again in BC.
Maurice: In closing, sir, what keeps you up at night that we don't know about?
Peter Ball: Well, we're in a cycle that happens once in a lifetime. To be involved with such an amazing company, NV Gold, to be cashed up in a bull market, with gold prices rising, drilling three programs in two months, having one of the busiest exploration seasons at this company's history—I don't want to go to bed. I want the next day to come so we can get going on our projects.
It's all happening, really starting, immediately at Sandy, and then we're going straight up to Slumber, and we're going straight up or we'll be at the Exodus.
So nothing keeps me up at night. I don't get much sleep anyways. I love what we do. I'm going to capitalize on this market, and as a big shareholder of NV Gold, the key thing is I want to be accessible. I want to be transparent and I want to be available for our shareholders, new shareholders, people who just want to phone and ask what we're doing. So, [I'm] just pushing forward.
Maurice: Last question, sir, what did I forget to ask?
Peter Ball: You forgot to ask me how can new shareholders, existing shareholders, get a hold of me. And really, if anybody wants to phone me at (888)363-9883, this goes directly to my cell phone. I answer everybody back within an hour, if I'm not in a meeting or on a Zoom call. Or just email me at [email protected]. I'd like to be the most accessible and transparent CEO in the mining industry. I want to be there for the shareholders, because I know what it's like. I'm a big shareholder too.
Maurice: Mr. Ball, it's always a pleasure to have you on the program, wishing you and NV Gold the absolute best, sir.
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