Millrock was able to take advantage of the downtime to acquire properties in BC and elsewhere to set up a strong platform for an expected revival.
How did Millrock fare during the mining downturn and in what position did it emerge?
Downturns are actually really good times for generator companies like ours and we were able to take advantage of the bearish market. In a down cycle, mining companies and prospectors are forced to drop their claims. We are able to stake mining claims that otherwise would not be available. Additionally, we were able to purchase claims with very good prospects from other companies that were downsizing or in trouble. In some cases we were able to buy mineral rights a lot cheaper than actually staking them from scratch. Some claims came with millions of dollars worth of exploration information. We were very aggressive, took chances and bought properties over the past two years. We are emerging in a very good shape, with an enviable portfolio, partnerships with major mining companies and more to come soon.
Can you talk about the status of your British Columbia projects?
We very recently acquired mining tenures in the Stewart, Golden Triangle area in British Columbia. BC is a new move for us. This is a hot exploration and mining area; there have been some wonderful discoveries and a lot of exploration activity in the district. We acquired large district-scale land packages by consolidating lands owned by individuals or companies that could not afford to keep going. We were aggressive and were fortunate to accomplish that. This could not have happened in market conditions other than those that existed in late 2015. We amassed all exploration information and plugged it into our database and geographical information system. We have now begun to do some geophysical work on the properties ourselves. At this point, the properties are ready to drill but we are going to stick to our model. We always get a partner before we drill. We can show a compelling case for the drill targets that exist on the tenures and we are looking for partnerships.
Have you encountered interest from potential partners?
Yes, we are anticipating being able to announce something really soon. We are ideally looking for a partner to fund exploration on all four of our BC properties. We would subdivide in certain cases. Each property has its own merits and previous stages of exploration. There is potential for gold-silver epithermal deposits, polymetallic precious metal enriched base metal deposits, and copper – gold porphyry deposits.
How have your capital raising efforts gone over the past year?
We were pleased that our company was supported by our long-standing investor base at such a dire time in the mining cycle, but it came at a cost. We had to give up full warrants in the equity financing and these were done at a fairly low price but at the end, it is what made this possible. We do not have to raise money very often because most of our exploration funding comes from other companies that want to join our projects. In the course of nine years of operations, about 85% of the money that we have spent on exploration has come from other companies rather than by selling stock. We sell just enough stock to develop the projects to the point where another company is willing to finance the exploration phases.
How is your relationship with shareholders?
Our shareholders are very satisfied I think. We experienced a substantial gain in share prices over the last year. Yesterday, we were honored by the OTCQX marketplace, where our shares trade in the US, as we ranked 8th out of 50 companies for increase in share value.
What are your expectations for the year ahead?
I hope that we can accomplish a similar share price performance or even better in the coming year. In a rising market, and with Millrock continuing to do sound technical exploration work, our shares should rise. If we make a groundbreaking discovery then the sky is the limit. Right now we have several funding partnerships in place, which will mean drilling. Our goal is to have a drill turning on one project or another, be it in Sonora, British Columbia or Alaska, continuously through the coming bull market that we believe has arrived. We are hoping to make this groundbreaking discovery.
How does Millrock differentiate from other project generators?
We differentiate ourselves by virtue of the fact that we operate in a variety of jurisdictions. We are able to explore on a year round basis. In Alaska and BC our work is constrained from spring to fall, whereas in Mexico we can explore year round. It helps being diversified across those jurisdictions. Another thing that differentiates us is how well-rounded our company is. We put a lot of attention to social responsibility and how we interact with local stakeholders. Our technical team is the first ambassador in the field and we always want to start with the right foot. We make special emphasis on operating under very high safety standards. Finally, with a deep portfolio and more partners, we are exploring on more projects, and therefore have a better chance of making a transformative discovery.