Chairman’s Address – 7th AGM – June 2016
In the 2016 Annual Report we detailed the activities of the Company. Since the end of the 2016 financial year, our focus has been on the securing of the funds required to advance the Mt Carrington gold and silver project in northern New South Wales, and the commencement of the next stage of work at our Red Mountain VMS zinc-silver-lead-gold project in Alaska. We have two terrific assets that are based on metals that are currently capturing strong market attention – gold, silver and zinc!
To re-cap on the 2016 year highlights:
- White rock completed the acquisition of the Red Mountain project in May 2016. Assessment of the available project data encouraged White Rock to expand its strategic land holding 10-fold, to some 143km2. This expansion was as a result of geochemistry and geophysics work that has defined a number of high priority targets that will be the focus of exploration work in the year ahead.
- On the basis of the March 2016 Scoping Study results, the Company entered into a transformational financing package with Cartesian Royalty Holdings Pte Ltd, an affiliate of USA-based Cartesian Capital Group. The proposed two-phase financing package contemplates a $1M equity investment (of which the first $0.5M tranche has been completed) and a future streaming financing of US$19M for the construction and commissioning of the Mt Carrington project. The streaming financing is contingent upon a number of matters including White Rock completing the project’s definitive feasibility study and obtaining the necessary permits as well as various conditions including the completion of due diligence by Cartesian and the entry into definitive documentation as set out in more detail in the Company’s ASX announcement dated 27 June 2016.
Since taking on the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in August, Matt Gill’s efforts have been directed towards securing the funding required to complete the Mt Carrington project feasibility study and permitting, and to commence our first serious exploration work at Red Mountain.
In what continues to be a difficult market for non-producing explorers, Matt has been remarkably successful. A placement of $1.6M was completed in early October. A one-for-two Entitlement Offer at 1.5 cents per share closed on 11 November, raising an additional $0.7M. I can report that each of your non-executive directors participated in the Entitlement Offer. As a director of the Company, approval of shareholders is required for Matt Gill to participate in a placement at the same price as under the Entitlement Offer; this is the subject of resolution 4 to be addressed at this meeting.
And so, fellow shareholders, assuming that our funding can be completed in the immediate future as planned, we will commence the next stage in the Company’s evolution as a producer of gold and silver. A feasibility study and permitting period at Mt Carrington of 12 to 18 months is contemplated, followed by 12 months to complete construction and commissioning, and could see us producing gold by late 2018/early 2019. In parallel, we will be unlocking the potential of the Red Mountain zinc and silver project, seeking to define further zinc-silver-lead-gold resources that would lead to project feasibility assessment.
As shareholders will be aware, the Company’s corporate base is in Ballarat, Victoria. To undertake the planned work programs in the year ahead, essential technical and professional services will be managed from the Ballarat base. It is not expected that staff numbers will need to be significantly increased, rather inputs will be secured on an as-required basis, thus maintaining the lowest possible corporate cost.
Successful completion of the current funding process sets the scene for an eventful and exciting 2017. On your behalf, I thank Matt and his small support group of advisors and consultants that have worked to secure what I believe will be the emergence of White Rock as a successful, low cost mineral producer.
WRM Business Strategy 2017
- Advance the current Mt Carrington Scoping Study to DFS level, through the identification and execution of critical tasks necessary to further de-risk the Mt Carrington project.
- Advance the Environmental Approvals for the Mt Carrington Project, through the commencement of community consultation and the preparation and submission of a preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) and subsequent Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
- Advance the Red Mountain VMS Project in Alaska through the targeted application of funds to better understand and add value to this asset.
- Maintain proper corporate governance, accounting, cost control and operational standards (safety, environment, human resources) and engage with our community, local and state government, shareholders and other stakeholders, commensurate with a company our size.