On August 24 Renforth (RFR.C) put out a news release detailing “positive assay results from the 2021 portion of the >15,000m drilled into the wholly owned Parbec surface gold deposit in Malartic, Quebec, contiguous to the Canadian Malartic Mine.”
Nicole Brewster, Renforth’s CEO, is a very straightforward, no-nonsense person. Where other companies would be touting 9.5 meters of 4.66 gpt gold as a “game-changer”, Brewster called them “positive”. Understated is one way to describe the release. But that is how Brewster wants to present Renforth and the Parbec results.
“There was not a lot of traction from retail,” said Brewster in a phone interview. “Right now the retail market is pretty dead. In time the value will be recognized.”
Part of the value in the Parbec property is the gold values it contains, but another value element is where the property is actually located. Right on the property line of the Canadian Malartic gold mine, Canada’s largest open pit gold mine operated jointly by Agnico Eagle Mines Limited and Yamana Gold Inc. The Canadian Malartic mine has an estimated mine life extending to 2039. However, large gold mining companies are always on the lookout for additional gold resources to extend the life of their mine but also to improve grade and throughput for their processing facilities. A well-defined gold deposit right next door is obviously very attractive.
Brewster’s strategy is to define that deposit. “So far we have not gone down very far,” said Brewster. “Our program had 3 goals for the drilling and we’ve had good results across the board. We successfully filled in some gaps in our model with new drill holes and, as we drill deeper we’ve been getting good results. We’ve also drilled twinning holes so that we can validate historic drill results and incorporate them into our model.”
“This is the first larger scale deposit that I have ever done,” said Brewster. “Parbec has never been modelled structurally, we have been working on grade alone. Our success in this program leaves lots of targets and work to do at Parbec”
Like a lot of mining CEOs, Brewster is frustrated at the COVID impacted pace at the assaying labs. “So far our holes have been delivering high metal values, but we still have 10 holes to be assayed. The lab is very slow and I expect we’ll get those results later in September.”
Brewster is looking forward to the remaining assay results and additional modelling work. I suspect that geos at Agnico Eagle and Yamana are also eager to see the results. Making a bid for Parbec before the market realizes what Renforth actually has there would make a lot of sense to a major. Say thirty million now versus three hundred million when the property is completely derisked. However, it might also make a lot of sense to a mid-tier developer. Lots of potential suitors.
Renforth is in the happy position of having cash in the bank (as well as marketable securities) as the result of the prior sale of the New Alger property to Radisson Resources back in 2020. While Brewster is eager to get results, Renforth does not face the cash pressure many junior explorers experience.
Which means that Renforth can also advance its Surimeau District Battery Metals Prospect a little to the west of Parbec and adjacent to the Malartic West property.
“Right now, we have perhaps 30% of the results from 15 drill holes in a 3,456m maiden drill program, completed in April 2021, drilling off 2.2kms of strike within the ~5km long Victoria West Target area,” said Brewster. “We want to evaluate all the data from the holes we drilled. But we also want to fly a detailed magnetic survey. We know there are sulphides in the magnetic anomaly,” said Brewster. “We’ll fly it tight with a purpose-built drone which will also be taking very detailed pictures as it flies.”
“The drone is amazing,” said Brewster. “It has proprietary programming and it knows when its batteries are getting low. When that happens, it flies back to base, has its batteries hot swapped out, and then flies back to exactly where it left off. The operator brings lots and lots of batteries. The advantage of the drone over a helicopter is that the drone flies to exact headings at exactly the same altitude. Which means we get much cleaner data much faster, with less environmental impact.”
Surimeau is interesting as it has, within the 260 km2 property, both a gold element and nickel, zinc and copper present, plus a few more minerals. Looking for the battery metals add another dimension to the property. A battery metals deposit with gold credits is a potentially more attractive property than a smallish gold deposit on its own.
For Brewster it is not about the promotion, it is about the work.
The market has not quite realized what Renforth has. The company is trading at $0.07-$0.085 for a market cap of around 18.3 million dollars. A good hole or two could double that overnight.
Disclosure: I hold shares in Renforth bought in the open market and I may add to my position, or trade some of it, at any time.