First Mining Gold Corp. [FF-TSX; FFMGF-OTCQX; FMG-FSE] reports Big Ridge Gold Corp. [BRAU-TSXV; ALVLF-OTC] received final approval from the TSX Venture Exchange for an earn-in transaction between the companies regarding the Hope Brook gold project in Newfoundland. Accordingly, the transaction has now closed and Big Ridge has commenced its earn-in of up to an 80% interest in Hope Brook.
Under the earn-in agreement, Big Ridge paid $500,000 in cash and issued 11.5 million shares of Big Ridge to First Mining upon closing. Big Ridge can earn an 80% interest in the project through a two-stage earn-in over five years by incurring a total of $20-million of qualifying expenditures, and issuing up to a further 25 million shares of Big Ridge to First Mining over five years.
“We are extremely pleased with the addition of Big Ridge to our partnership portfolio and look forward to seeing the Big Ridge team unlock the value of our Hope Brook project and the surrounding highly prospective land package,” stated Dan Wilton, CEO of First Mining. “Hope Brook has one of the largest existing resource endowments in Newfoundland, which has become one of the hottest exploration jurisdictions on the planet. First Mining shareholders will retain significant exposure to Hope Brook through an initial 19% equity interest in Big Ridge, a retained 20% project interest, milestone share and cash payments, and a highly attractive NSR royalty. We are confident that the team at Big Ridge, with their deep development and operating experience, will unlock value for our shareholders through their $20-million investment in Hope Brook.”
First Mining exercised its right to nominate one individual to the Big Ridge board (Ken Engquist, chief operating officer of First Mining, has been nominated). First Mining will be free carried to a feasibility study; $2-million cash payable to First Mining upon the declaration of commercial production at Hope Brook. Once formed, the JV will pay First Mining a royalty of US$1 per tonne for any aggregate material sold from the Hope Brook property.
Hope Brook hosts Indicated Resources of 844,000 ounces of gold and 110,000 ounces Inferred.
First Mining’s portfolio of gold projects in Eastern Canada includes the Pickle Crow (being advanced in partnership with Auteco Minerals Ltd.), Cameron, Hope Brook, Duparquet, Duquesne and Pitt gold projects.
First Mining’s joint venture partner, Auteco Minerals Ltd. [MNXMF-OTC], completed the first stage of its earn-in on the Pickle Crow gold project Northwestern Ontario. In connection with the completion of Stage 1 of the earn-in, Auteco issued 100,000,000 shares to First Mining. As a result of completing Stage 1 of the earn-in, Auteco (through one of its subsidiaries) now owns a 51% interest in PC Gold Inc., First Mining’s wholly-owned subsidiary that owns Pickle Crow. The parties also executed a joint venture shareholders agreement regarding PC Gold. Auteco has a two-year follow-on period, commencing June 4, 2021, within which to acquire an additional 19% interest in PC Gold (the “Stage 2 Earn-In”).