We spoke with Nick Luksha, who is Executive VP of Prospect Ridge Resources Corporation (CSE: PRR, OTC: PRRSF, FRA: OED) a Canadian mining company with two properties in British Columbia: the flagship district-scale Knauss Creek and the Holy Grail properties. The Holy Grail Property claim block has 12 past-producing high-grade gold and silver hard rock mines, within a 15km radius. In addition, several placer-gold bearing creeks that have been historically mined include the active operations of Douglas Creek, which has produced the coarsest placer gold, in the region, with gold nuggets up to 10 ounces. Recent exploration, in 2020 has discovered multiple outcrops, with exceptional gold values, showing gold grades in 10 to 70 grams per tonne, over a 3.5km by 6.5km area. Heavy mineral sampling produced gold bearing gravel on multiple drainages, cutting the property. The Knauss Creek property creates a contiguous block, with existing mineral claims, in the Holy Grail. Near-term plans include exploration programs on both properties this summer.
Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, talking with Nick Luksha, who is Executive VP of Prospect Ridge Resources Corporation. Nick, could you give our readers/investors an overview of your Company and what differentiates it from others?
Nick Luksha: We are a gold exploration company, located just north of Terrace British Columbia, in Canada. We are focusing on the exploration of high-grade gold and silver. Our Team is headed by the legendary Michael Iverson, former Chairman, CEO and President of Fortuna Silver Mines. Mike also has started a couple of other very successful mining companies, including NioGold and Volcanic Gold Corp. Mike was in retirement, when these projects, that we are working on now, came along to him at Knauss Creek and the Holy Grail.
After seeing the geology of what we had, out on this ground, he decided to bring in some third-party opinions, to make sure that what he was seeing was correct, and they agreed. Mike couldn’t help himself and got into this project. Since then, we’ve done quite a lot of field work, prospecting. We’ve had lots of extremely high grades of gold, silver, copper, zinc and some other minerals come back, but our focus is on gold.
Right on the cusp of summer, we have a handful of targets drill ready. We’re expected to have our drilling permits, in the next few weeks. We have the pad builders on standby, helicopter on standby, drillers on standby and we also have a couple of prospecting crews that have just started going back out in the field, to pick up where we left off last year. Right now, we’re in a very exciting situation, with the field operation starting.
We also brought on an amazing fellow named Yan Ducharme, he’s a guy that’s worked with Mike in the past, another homerun hitter like Mike, who’s had great success. Also, he worked at NioGold with Mike, on the Marban Project. He proved up a 2.1 million ounces of gold deposit and he was the VP there, when they were sold to Osisko. He also was Exploration Manager, for Canadian Malartic, before the buyout by Agnico Eagle.
Most recently Yan was the Exploration Manager for Wesdome. When a guy like Yan leaves those big operations, to come to a smaller company like this, it’s for a reason, and it’s the same reason Mike Iverson came out of retirement for this. It’s because all signs point to a massive gold resource. We have a pretty good idea of where we can start poking our drill, to start proving that up, in the immediate future here. We’re really looking forward to Teams getting out there and drilling and getting those results back.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds great. What you said about Mike Iverson and Yan is really true. I worked with them in the past and they are fantastic fellows. Mike is a mine builder. He knows the mining industry. He’s been around. He’s had a successful career. And Yan is a great geologist, so very experienced and so very knowledgeable. So that’s a great Team. And with your background, Nick, I could see you really know your way around capital and the capital markets.
Nick Luksha: Exactly. So those guys, Mike, obviously he oversees it all. He has a vast amount of knowledge when it comes to field operations. That’s another reason why it also speaks volumes that, despite the fact that Mike could probably run the field himself, he decides to bring in Yan, because Yan gives him a ton of confidence. Yan’s come in, obviously due to their relationship, but also because of what he sees, as a potential, on this property.
Between them as well as our geologists, it’s very, very exciting. Obviously, there are certain things I can’t share at this point, with the public, but it’s very exciting to listen to these guys all talk. From a corporate standpoint, I spend the vast majority of the time in the office and take care of all that corporate kind of stuff. I, myself, have a huge amount of confidence knowing that those are the guys, who are out there running the field.
I’ve been up to the project a bunch of times, usually it’s for anywhere from 3 to 4 days, each trip. Getting out there, with the guys, in the helicopter or going up the logging roads, in the trucks, and getting to go and see gold outcroppings, getting to see visible gold come out of the ground, when the geologist you’re with strikes an outcrop, with the hammer, and can turn around and show you a bit of gold, that is so cool. Just to be able to see that here, on this property. We have visible gold like that, in numerous locations.
I love geologists explaining it to me because, obviously, these guys are scientists. It’s not like its wishful thinking on their part. They use science to figure out what’s in the ground and they believe that we’re on to some major resources. We all are very happy that the drilling is about to start, and the prospecting is continuing. I think it will be very exciting for the next several months, as drilling turns into results, starting to roll in from the field work.
Dr. Allen Alper: Maybe you could say a few words about the Holy Grail that has some rather nice grades and tell us a little bit about that. Nick Luksha: The Holy Grail is a vast property, it’s roughly 70,000 hectares. Across the Holy Grail, there are currently six zones that we’ve gotten results on, so far, that are showing high grades of gold and are looking-like potential mines. Now, the legendary prospector, Tom Morgan believes the zone, we call Fore Shore, has a mine there. Obviously, we have to do some more work to start drilling there. But the Holy Grail seemingly extends the Golden Triangle’s border farther south. Our geology is the same as in the southern part of the Golden Triangle.
Our geologists believe that that continues right through our property, and that’s why we’re seeing such high grades in so many different places. We’re going to keep prospecting here this summer. We’re using the Lidar. We have a couple of locations to do some drilling.
Dr. Allen Alper: From the data I see on the Holy Grail, you had some samples that were 9.30 grams per ton of gold, and some 57.35 grams per ton of gold. Also, some that were 67.3 grams per ton of gold, a very high-grade area.
Nick Luksha: Yeah. To go back to the Holy Grail, on grades. We’ve had a lot of great grades come off there. There are dozens and dozens that range from one, two, three, four, five to ten grams per tonne of gold. And there are another several dozen that run up to 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and a couple of them 70s.
There’s lots and lots of high-grade stuff out there, and they’re spread across six different zones. When Mike Iverson looks at this property, he thinks we probably have one mine here, or we might have six, and he intends to go out there and find out how many mines we really do have and the amount of resources we actually have.
Dr. Allen Alper: This is, from my understanding, a huge property. Is that correct?
Nick Luksha: Huge. Yeah. 70,000 hectares, it’s massive and that’s wilderness. We have our logging roads, and we have our easy access helicopter points. But even with that, it’s huge.
Dr. Allen Alper: And as you were saying, it borders on the Golden Triangle of British Columbia.
Nick Luksha: It borders on the southern tip. Our in-house geologists believe that once we’re said and done with this property, we’re going to extend the southern border of the Golden Triangle.
Dr. Allen Alper: That’s fantastic, that’s a great opportunity. I think I interrupted you, you were about to talk a little bit about Knauss Creek property.
Nick Luksha: Yes. Knauss Creek is very exciting. In terms of drill targets, it’s our primary one for the summer. There’s the historic Dorreen Mine that was bringing out high-grade, back in the day, when it wasn’t worth it to mine low-grade. We know that there is a significant vein that runs right through the historic Dorreen Mine area and our geologists know the way it strikes and dips, and where they’re going to go poke the drill into it. We are anticipating some pretty great results out of there.
There are also a few other zones on the Knauss Creek property that are showing high grades of gold in grams per ton. We have a whole bunch more results pending, which we are expecting to also be producing high-grades of gold in grams per ton. Another thing to understand, about Knauss Creek, is that it’s also, despite being greatly wilderness, very highly accessible, just like the Holy Grail, with logging roads and easy access in and out, with a helicopter.
We’ve set up our program for drilling there, and we’re ready to go as soon as the permit comes. In the next few weeks, our guys will be out there building pads and then setting up the drill to start poking in the ground.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. It sounds like this summer and this year will be a very exciting time for shareholders and stakeholders.
Nick Luksha: Absolutely. Obviously, we’re going through rough times with the markets right now. But gold should see its day in the coming months and years, and we want to help assist that. I think that this, right now, is an amazing time for shareholders to hang on and watch because we’re just getting to work here after months of preparation, over the winter. Finally, the nice weather is here, and the snow has either melted or it’s still melting and we’re going to get to this and start working on proving this up.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you say a few words about the region and the notable mines and properties that are nearby?
Nick Luksha: Yeah, absolutely. The region, being just north of Terrace British Columbia, is great for services and amenities. There’s a rail line, we’re close to a deep-water sea port. We have high tension power that crisscrosses the properties. We have logging roads. There’s a smelting operation, just down the highway. We have a lot of things that will make our lives easier, that people didn’t have 70 years ago, when they were working on a historic gold mine. In terms of the region, it really is the southern tip of the Golden Triangle. When you look into the Golden Triangle, and you see who’s out there, it’s astonishing and what they’re working on.
Dr. Allen Alper: Yes. From what I see, there’s Seabridge Gold, Pretium Resources, Ascot Gold, Tudor Gold and Skeena Resources, it’s really a great region for gold exploration, discovery and mining.
Nick Luksha: When you look at the Golden Triangle, just north of us, our region of gold, as we like to call it, you have Seabridge Gold, they have the KSM mine, the Company has a $1.7 billion market cap. They have a 30-million-ounce gold resource, in the ground there. You have Pretium Resources, Inc. The Brucejack Mine is north of us and they have a $2.25 billion market cap. They’re producing 350,000 ounces of gold a year. Newcrest Mining completed acquisition of Pretium Resources.
You mentioned Ascot Gold Corp., the Premier and Red Mountain Mines. That Company has a $450 million market cap and they’re producing 2,500 tons of ore a day. Then you have Tudor Gold Corp, with their Treaty Creek mine, $420 million market cap and they have a 19.4-million-ounce resource. GT Gold Corp. sold out to Newmont in 2021 for $393 million. We all know who Newmont is these days, because they’re rocking and rolling.
Skeena Resources has an almost billion-dollar market cap, and they have the Snip and the Eskay Creek mines. Newcrest Mining is another current rock star in the mining world. They purchased 70% of the Red Chris Mine for $840 million in 2019. There are a lot of big guys, doing big things, not too far away from us.
Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that’s an outstanding region for gold mining, so that’s fantastic! Prospect Ridge has such a huge land package, with many potential mines. That’s really outstanding!
Nick Luksha: It is. You factor in that we have the same geology and a lot of the names we just read out do too. Then you factor in all the high grades of gold we’re seeing and it’s just like, we’re on to something here. All these bright minds, experienced geologists, guys like Mike Iverson and Yan Ducharme, when they’re all thinking and saying the same thing and we have all of these results and we’re seeing we’re not wrong, it’s there and we’re going to go find it.
Dr. Allen Alper: Well, this summer will be a very exciting time of discovery and it’ll be fun for your geologists and your exploration Team. That’s excellent!
Nick Luksha: Absolutely. I totally agree!
Dr. Allen Alper: Nick, could you tell us a few words about your capital structure?
Nick Luksha: We have a very tight capital structure. A big percentage of the shares are held by friendly family investor groups, one of them being my own family and friends. Then a couple of families of billionaires, some have been with Mike Iverson, for the last 30 years. He made these guys literally hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 30 years and so they have utmost faith in his ability to go out to do the next one. Mike knows how to find, build and sell them and who in their right mind wouldn’t want a part of that?
Dr. Allen Alper: Excellent!
Nick Luksha: Yeah, absolutely!
Dr. Allen Alper: Could you tell our readers/investors the primary reasons they should consider investing in Prospect Ridge Resources?
Nick Luksha: I’d be happy to! First of all, I would say read the bio of Michael Iverson that’s on our website, because he’s a huge part of that. Read the bio of Yan Ducharme, on our website, because he’s another big piece of that puzzle. Then I’d say, just get to know the area a little bit, read our news releases, look at all the high-grade gold results that we have, all over our property. Then hop on and look at the page that’s called “Our Region of Gold” and just look at all the action, all the big players that you and I just discussed, all the amazing mining that’s being done up there, with huge resources of gold and extraction that’s coming out of the ground.
The guys running the show for us, what we’ve found so far, on this property, all the results, high-grades, gold, silver and the fact that these big mining operations are our neighbors. This is a recipe for success. We have all the pieces of the puzzle. We just need to put them together properly. That’s what Mike and Yan are doing out there in the field.
Dr. Allen Alper: Well, I would say, those are very compelling reasons to consider investing in Prospect Ridge Resources. You are in a fantastic area, you have a huge package, you’re right next to one of the richest gold regions in the world and proven large mining companies. You have a great Team, an experienced Team, a Team that knows how to discover properties and develop them, to the point where larger companies are interested in purchasing them. You are in a very safe, excellent location, stable and safe.
Nick Luksha: Absolutely. And if I were to add anything to that, I’d say, with the market at the low that it is, bringing the prices of all stock’s way down. Cash is king. If you have some money and can pick up some shares, you know there’s no better time to buy than during a low. Especially when you know that there should be some great things ahead.