Newmont’s President Says BC’s Golden Triangle Is A Fabulous District To Be In

Share this article

By Staff Writer

“BC (Golden Triangle) is a district that we will be operating in for literally the next century,” says Newmont’s (NYSE: NEM) president & CEO Tom Palmer when sharing his vision of where Newmont is headed at the BMO Global Metals, Mining & Critical Minerals Conference 2024 in Hollywood, Florida.  Mr. Palmer recently released a “go-forward” plan for Newmont, the world’s largest gold producer.  He is focusing on a value proposition centered around three areas: the ability to further strengthen Newmont’s portfolio with Tier 1 acquisitions, the opportunity to consolidate assets to three jurisdictionally safe countries, and exposure to copper.

Tier 1

“In announcing our go-forward portfolio, it’s exclusively Tier-1.  Those operations are either Tier-1 today, or they have a pathway to get to Tier-1, and a key part of that go-forward portfolio is British Columbia.  It’s a Tier-1 district that we’ll be operating in for the next century,” states Palmer.

While the definition may vary between companies a Tier One Gold Asset is an asset with a reserve potential to deliver a minimum 10-year life, annual production of at least 500,000 ounces of gold, and total cash costs per ounce over the mine life that are in the lower half of the industry cost curve allowing it to generate positive free cash flow through the commodity cycle.  There are less than 20 such mines in the world today and potential candidates are extremely scarce.


The second criterion for Newmont is to consolidate in the United States, Canada, or Australia.  Palmer explained, “A Key part of that go-forward portfolio is British Columbia. It’s a district that we will be operating in for literally the next century.”


The third criterion is Newmont’s ability to increase their exposure to copper.

“A significant proportion of the metal that we’ll produce out of British Columbia will be copper from the Red Chris block cave, it’ll be copper from Galore Creek, our partnership with Teck [Resources] (TSX:TECK), and we’ll have a nice amount of gold from Brucejack as well as Red Chris and Galore Creek…A Fabulous district to be in,” said Palmer, referring to B.C.’s Golden Triangle.”

If the Golden Triangle is where Newmont wants to focus, it’s worth looking at what opportunities are there for them.

Within the Newmont Stable

The Red Chris Mine (JV with Imperial Metals [TSX: III]) is a copper – gold project with an open pit operation and has an underground block cave currently being developed to take it up to Tier-1 scale.  The Galore Creek copper – gold project (JV with Teck) has the potential to become a Tier-1 operation and is in feasibility stage.  The Tatogga project is notably smaller than the other two and still in exploration stage.

Outside the Newmont Stable

Mr. Palmer spoke about strengthening Newmont’s portfolio with Tier-1 acquisitions “because we believe we have the capability to run very large open pit or underground mines as well as or better than anyone else.  So, if we have the ability to bring Tier-1 assists into our portfolio, we’d look at that.”  Therefore, it’s worth considering what’s outside their stable as well.

The Golden Triangle hosts two of the three largest gold deposits in the world not already associated with a producer: the KSM deposits and Treaty Creek.  They are part of the same geological system, the Sulphurets Hydrothermal System, which primarily consists of a series of large porphyry deposits.  Ken Konkin, President of Tudor Gold (TSX-V: TUD), refers to them as “a string of pearls…just really big pearls!”

The Kerr, Sulphurets, Mitchell, Mitchell East, and Ironcap (KSM) deposits owned by Seabridge Gold (NSYE: SA, TSX: SEA) have had decades of development and represent the largest undeveloped gold deposit in the world, by reserves.  A significant part of the value, however, comes from copper: 7.3 billion pounds of it in Proven and Probable reserves!

The Calm Before the Storm, Goldstorm, Perfectstorm, and Eureka zones at Treaty Creek have had far less exploration, but the geology, geophysics, and initial drilling indicate there is similar potential to the KSM.  Only the Goldstorm deposit has had sufficient drilling to provide a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 27.87 million ounces (Moz) of AuEQ Indicated at a grade of 1.19 g/t AuEQ with an additional 6.03 Moz of AuEQ Inferred Mineral Resource at a grade of 1.25 g/t AuEQ.  This equates to 26.5 Moz gold, 157.7 Moz silver, and 3.37 billion pounds (Blbs) of Copper all categories included. 

Overall, the Goldstorm has the highest gold equivalent grades of any of the “string of pearls” and the best logistics, especially once it’s connected with Highway 37 by the end of this year.  There is also a recent high-grade discovery within the Goldstorm (Supercell-One), which is not accounted for in the current MRE.  After the 2024 drilling program, the MRE will be updated, and the information will be used towards a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), which Tudor Gold (operator) is currently working towards.

How do these projects align with Newmont’s go-forward plan?  The KSM’s feasibility study shows that it could be a Tier-1 producer.  Treaty Creek has the scale and the potential to be a Tier-1 producer, which will become more clear once the PEA is published.  Both are located beside Newmont’s Brucejack mine and much closer to the shipping ports than the Red Chris mine and the Galore Creek project.  Also, they both contain billions of pounds of copper.

It’s clear that both projects align perfectly with Mr. Palmer’s new vision for Newmont.  He stated that BC (Golden Triangle) is a critical part of Newmont’s go-forward portfolio.  Once Newmont sheds six of its current operations and two non-core projects that don’t align with the go-forward plan, it will have billions of dollars to deploy within the scope of its new focus.

Mark Bistro, president of Barrick (NSYE: GOLD), has more of an internal growth mentality.  However, at the same conference, he noted that to achieve a meaningful increase in production, they need to look to large porphyry deposits, and stated “we need something for the north American team to chew on and ideally…it will more than likely be Canada.”

Another critical consideration for Newmont is its goal to become a carbon-neutral company.  BC’s Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) already provides clean hydroelectric power to Newmont’s Red Chris mine at some of the cheapest rates in the world.  Seabridge is currently spending over $300 million to reach a “substantially started” designation on the KSM and has commissioned BC Hydro to build a substation off the NTL to run cheap, clean hydroelectric power through Treaty Creek to the future location of their processing plant.  They are also building a fishery, along with bridges and roads into Treaty Creek.  This gives both projects exceptional logistics, access to cheap power, and aligns with the environmental goals of companies like Newmont.  Seabridge president Rudi Fronk has stated that he is close to finding a JV partner to develop the KSM project jointly.

Whether it’s Newmont, Barrick, or some other large producer, it’s apparent these projects are in the crosshairs of large companies needing to expand production. As Newmont expands its existing Golden Triangle operations and as projects like these are acquired and developed, it will encourage even more growth in the already thriving area.  The area is so rich, and there is so much unexplored territory that there is no doubt that companies like Newmont will be producing gold, silver, and copper for the next century in BC’s Goden Triangle – a fabulous district indeed!

The Treaty Creek project is a Joint Venture, with Tudor Gold being the operator and holding a 60% interest.  American Creek Resources (TSX-V: AMK / OTCQB: ACKRF), and Teuton Resources (TSX-V: TUO), hold fully carried 20% interests until a notice of production is given, which means these companies incur no development costs until a production notice is issued.  Tudor Gold has built strong relations with the Tahltan, Nisga’a, and Skii Km Lax Ha First Nations and has the support of the local community.

Tudor has stated that they have enough money to start the 2024 drilling program and have established an “at-the-market” equity distribution program through Research Capital Corporation, acting as the agent, to raise any additional funds needed.  On March 1st American Creek Resources announced a $780,000 financing at 13 cents with a half warrant at 15 cents.  They are currently trading in the 16-cent range, making the financing very appealing, especially when the warrants are already in the money.

Mr. Palmer’s full interview:

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *