Banyan Gold Corp.
- TSX-V: BYN
- Shares Outstanding: 134M
- Share price C$0.27 (02.06.2020)
- Market Cap: C$36M
Interview with Tara Christie, President & CEO of Banyan Gold (TSX-V: BYN).
When a share price climbs almost vertically, it’s time to pay attention. Christie is well-spoken and extremely smart. This is an encouraging junior gold story, but what makes it stand out from the densely packed crowd of junior gold explorers?
Banyan Gold Corp., founded in 2010, is a Yukon-based gold explorer and developer. The company’s focus in on advancing 2 gold properties, the Hyland Gold Project and the Aurex-McQuesten Gold Project.
Let’s start with Hyland. Christie inherited this project when she joined in 2016. And she tried to make it work. With hindsight, possibly her only bad call. The 43-101 Technical Report, announced on May 25th, indicates a mineral resource of 8.6Mt at a grade of 0.85g/t Au eq for 236,000oz gold equivalent with an inferred mineral Resource of 10.8Mt at a grade of 0.83g/t gold equivalent: 288,000oz Au eq at a 0.3g/t Au eq cut-off. The Resource is open at depth and in all directions. The majority of Hyland’s potential is derived from the appositely named ‘Main Zone.’ The issue with Hyland is that the market was expecting more and did not react well when the numbers came out. Christie says the changing gold environment may mean that Hyland becomes interesting again at some point, and they are looking at ways to sell or off-load it. They have minimal obligations on the project. I’d suggest for now that investors attribute no value to this for now.
Matthew Gordon talks to Tara Christie, 2nd July 2020
However, the main focus going forward will be the 9,230 ha Aurex-McQuesten Property, is situated in the Mayo Mining District in close proximity to both Victoria Gold’s Eagle Project and Alexco Resources’ Keno Hill Silver District. That’s some favourable geological potential right there. Banyan Gold believes that Aurex-McQuesten is highly prospective (we’re used to hearing that word from every gold junior on the planet by now though). The orebody appears to contain structurally controlled, ‘intrusion-related’ gold-silver mineralisation, which is in relation to the ‘Tombstone intrusive suite.’ There are numerous gold targets at the property, including the ‘Airstrip’ Gold Target, which Banyan has developed a mineralisation model for. The transportation infrastructure around this target is strong; it is located adjacent to the main Yukon highway and is just off the main access road to the Victoria Gold open-pit. Moreover, the power infrastructure is equally strong, with a 3-phase powerline and Yukon Energy Corp. switching power station providing all the energy the company needs to push forward. There’s even good cell phone coverage… For a location like Yukon, which is often viewed as remote, this infrastructure appears to be quite unique.
Banyan Gold Corp. has C$1.1M in cash, but it has also issued a variety of warrants that investors have indicated they will be exercising. This should be another C$300,000 coming into the treasury. A further C$1.6M could come in if ALL of the warrants were to be exercised. The uptick in the last few weeks is attributed to Christie’s marketing efforts; the company has been getting the story out there to new investors while reminding existing investors of the value proposition. Many CEOs could learn a thing from the storytelling strategies of Christie because they’re working. While junior exploration investment isn’t necessarily attractive right now, Banyan Gold is an attractive proposition in its own right and investors are realising this, with trading volumes reaching 15M shares in 3-weeks: a remarkable figure considering only c. 131M shares have been issued, Moreover, institutional investors, such as Sprott, hold large stakes in Banyan Gold, further emphasising the amount of retail interest in this stock for such volumes to be achieved with less of the pie.
Banyan Gold has announced a 1,500m phase 1 diamond drilling exploration programme on the Aurex-McQuesten Property. The company has a “very low” overhead and the majority of the company’s money will go into the ground. If additional funds are to come in, it would see Banyan Gold through to September with an upsized drill programme. The company has no problem drilling 10,000m this year.
Christie is the daughter of a PhD-holding structural geologist. She has spent most of her life conducting exploration work, sitting on an environmental assessment board, running a consultant business and running a large-scale mining operation in the Yukon. Remarkably, in her 20s, she took charge of the entire operation, helping the company through some very “lean” gold years. She has certainly earned her stripes and is an expert on the Yukon permitting process. These are safe hands. A private-sector background has enabled Christie to learn the importance of frugality.
The company stands out from the crowd because of the favourable mining jurisdiction, strong management track record, large institutional ownership, existing infrastructure, and, above all else, a promising gold deposit. I’ll be keeping my eye on this year’s exploration programme, hoping for favourable results.
What did you make of Tara Christie?
Company Website: https://www.banyangold.com/
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