In a wide-ranging interview, we talked with Eclipse Gold Mining President & CEO Michael G. Allen on the new company’s formation, what makes Nevada unique and the untapped discovery potential at Hercules, the company’s flagship project. Part 3 of 3.
Q: Nevada has a long, rich gold history. What makes for a bright, fresh outlook?
Michael: In 2019 Nevada was rated the No. 3 mining jurisdiction on the planet, according to the Fraser Institute. That’s a reflection of how things can get done there and the raw geological potential, especially now.
Hercules was worked on in the ’80s when gold was below $400 an ounce. Today, it’s above $1,500. The equipment and methods are far more efficient. What makes for good grade now in terms of economics is substantially different. Another Nevada positive, especially for Hercules as it is located an hour outside of Reno, is the availability of A-grade technical talent. Nevada is a hub of mining expertise. It’s incredibly unique in our industry to have people work on site during the day and be home for dinner at 6:00 pm. I’ve spent the first 15 years of my career in mining camps in Hope Bay (Nunavut) and Red Lake (Northern Ontario), many months away from home.
Q: Is there a premium placed on exploration success in Nevada?
Michael: Yes. There’s a saying that a million ounces in Nevada is worth as much as two or three million ounces in other jurisdictions. If you can get an open-pit, heap leach, technically simple, low CapEx operation with a bit of scale – which is all of the things that Nevada is known for – it’s very attractive and does carry a premium as a Tier 1 jurisdiction. In terms of potentially growing into a producer, we’ll have access to all the technical expertise that Nevada has to offer. And with regards to a potential suitor, there isn’t a mining company on the planet that is uncomfortable with Nevada.