The story of mining sometimes comes in different ways and different angles.The 1990’s had tv shows that romanticized getting away from the city and exploring the beautiful expanse of nature. The Canadian show North of 60 is based in Decho, Northwest territories and explored the distant northern subarctic land but also focused on human stories like native alcoholism, poverty, abuse but also native cultural preservation in an isolated part of Canada. This area of Decho is host to Yellowknife a Canadian government city which serves as a trucking depot and mining hub. This is a city of rich history and is also known as the city is known as Sǫ̀mbak’è (Som-ba Kay) (“where the money is”) in the Dogrib language, one of nine tribal languages. It has been the economic heart of the vast expansive north since 1934.
During the 1990’s the US show Northern Exposure explored life in Alaska, in the show ‘the hipster’ pseudo intellectual town DJ Chris decides to read the complete works of Walt Whitman and although the history and culture are vastly different in both series we get a sense of what it is like living so far away from what so many call civilization. Whitman is known for his beautiful prose of the original settlers and the heroic struggles of exploration. It is a driving theme in the Western spirit. These poems are not as relevant today regarding the safety of the people but certainly in the spirit and beautiful imagery. That same spirit draws people to these remote locations to help develop resources that drive civilization forward. Without these treasure hunters, adventure seekers, prospectors and pioneers we remain stagnant. That pioneer spirit, rugged adventuring spirit and lure of gold brought many seeking their riches in both Alaska and the NWT. That spirit is still alive today.
oday though people are drawn to the area not by drama or comedy but of the real life excitement and dangerous exhilaration of the practical job of Ice Road Trucker, a show that explores the dangerous job trucking routes of the frozen north over lakes and rivers. This region has a record low of -64 degrees Celsius, a number too cold for most to fathom. In fact, there are two main ice roads created in the NWT one of them is just 10km from a site owned by a company named 60 North Gold Mining. The idea of driving a 16,000lb to 33,000 lb truck on a frozen lake is terrifying. I am fascinated about the gruelling conditions and have been drawn to the isolation or distance from major cities. That led me to that idea of it being isolated.
I was curious about how long it would take for me to get to Yellowknife and found out within minutes that I could leave at 6:30am on Air Canada and arrive at Yellowknife airport at (keep the hour change in mind!) That is a flight of 2 hours and 39 minutes roughly equivalent of a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles!
It seems that Yellowknife is not remote at all and industry has built up the region not only for truckers, uranium, and diamond mines but also gold mines like the Con and Giant. These are historic mines that Terrax Minerals has brought back to attention and literally neighbors to 60 North Gold Mining. The Con mine was the first in NWT and produced 5,000,000 oz of gold before closing in 2003; while the Giant mine produced 7,000,000 oz of gold closing one year later in 2004. The scope and size of these past producing mines is immense, and though many other mines had to shut down in the 1990 during commodity cycles there is little doubt that there are riches hidden in the NWT. That idea of economic cycles is important in a resource-based country like Canada. Having a firm grasp of these cycles is critical because we are in the early stages of another mining growth period.
The fascinating thing about 60 North Gold Mining is that they are a junior mining company that is looking to change the current junior market model by actually mining, actually producing revenue! This many sound absurd to a generalist but the current model for exploration is drilling for a significant economic resource and sell it to a major producer. This is a challenging feat and more often then not the amount of drilling required is hard for investors to take’ other times decent discoveries or resources are left on the table, or rather in the ground or in the natural locked gold vault. Some say resources not developed are undeveloped for a reason but plenty of companies are reviving old historic mines like Skeena and 60 North. What if there was a company that had permits, had a historical data and a resource that although small in scale at first blush could generate revenue. We all know getting permits is a lengthy, and costly process. Getting the blueprint of the structure of the mine, the They are convinced because they have done it before, installing the original mine and mill on the Mon Gold Property, as well as the recent underground development down the road at Discovery mine Investors are tentative about these all or nothing plays and if you can show them a workable business that pays for ‘G and A’ with the optionality of a massive upside they are more interested.
60 North has permits, and past producing mine that is 40 km from Yellowknife, which is 2 hours from Vancouver. We know trucks are roaring around there all year round, as well. We know this is elephant country as they say. The potential for massive discoveries is possible but do they have the team and the numbers or is this another ode to pioneers from Walt Whitman?
Securities Disclosure: I was paid for this article and have bought stock in the market.
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