"We will continue to develop the Marban Alliance project by focusing on win-win opportunities for our partners, host communities, and shareholders."
What are the main updates from O3 Mining so far in 2023?
The most important objective this year is to advance our Marban Alliance project intelligently. The key element will be capital allocation: we want to explore options to process our ore. This will allow us to focus on improving the economics of our project by finding more ore.
With this in mind, we recently announced a maiden resource at Malartic H located between the northwestern extensions of the Marbenite and Norbenite shears, which host most of the mineral resource estimate on the Marban Alliance project described in the Pre-feasibility Study back in October 2022. In summary, we will continue to highlight the potential in the area where we operate. We are still on track for production by 2027. One of the main objectives is to unlock synergies with neighboring producers to be able to process the ore, which will allow us to move fast.
Can you touch upon the latest news at the Alpha Property?
Alpha and Marban are both within the Cadillac break, which is a zone that separates metasedimentary rocks of the Pontiac Group on the south side from predominantly volcanic rocks in the north. The beauty of Alpha is that it has been demonstrated that at approximately every kilometer there is potential for a deposit to be found, demonstrated by a repetition (called periodicity) in terms of the nature of mineralizing fluids. Our focus in the coming months will be drilling the Bulldog and Akasaba targets.
How important is sustainability for O3 Mining?
Sustainability is extremely important to us. We believe in ESG, and most importantly, we believe there are better advancements by having diverse groups working together. That diversity is a huge strength: as an organization, we were not pushed for it, and it worked out in a very organic way. With Myrzah Bello, our VP of Sustainability, we have someone that has been ahead of the curve in her field, and this has helped us to move ESG in a better way. There is alignment and commitment from the top down.
What is your assessment of the funding and regulatory environment for Québec explorers?
With the demand for critical minerals, the increase in claims is not surprising. There has been a higher demand for lithium, and cobalt and people will be staking for those elements. One of the most important advantages of Québec is to access flow-through shares. There have been a lot of comments about this continuing, and I hope the government understands that the only way to develop Québec is through investments. Cutting flow-through shares financing would ultimately damage investment coming into the province.
How do you forecast the supply-demand fundamentals for gold in the short term?
Statistically, every time that there has been an economic downturn bringing inflation and a sense of economic depression where interest rates have gone up, (like the 1930s, the 1970s, the end of the 90s, and post-Covid), you push the market to the limit in an inflationary environment where it is too expensive to buy things. Money is now more expensive, and rates to borrow at about 7%. Banks have limited amounts of cash, so the only way to push the economy is by reducing interest rates, and every time that happens, gold prices go up. Interest rates will come down. The question is when? Gold has not been accounted for inflation yet. If you do so, gold could be at around US$ 2,300 /oz.
What are the key targets for O3 Mining in the coming months?
I would like to pass on the message that O3 Mining is part of the solution to make the Val-d’Or camp a sustainable area and we will continue to develop the Marban Alliance project by focusing on win-win opportunities for our partners, host communities, and shareholders. Our goal remains to be in production by early 2027, and we will be taking the steps necessary to get us to that goal in the most sustainable way possible.