TMAC’s high-grade Hope Bay gold project in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut is nearing start up. Beyond the focus on getting the processing plant running and reaching commercial production in the first quarter of 2017, the company has its sights set on an even more ambitious goal: making the region Canada’s next gold-mining district.
In many ways Hope Bay is evidence of new market confidence. When TMAC went public in July 2015, it was the first mining IPO on the TSX since 2012. When Hope Bay’s previous owner, Newmont, approached Terry MacGibbon (now TMAC’s executive chairman) with the project in late August 2012, MacGibbon was immediately interested – the site came with three known deposits, plenty of previous exploratory drilling, and a huge amount of infrastructure already in place.
MacGibbon recruited Catharine Farrow (TMAC’s CEO) and Gord Morrison (president and chief technology officer) – former team members from FNX, the Sudbury-based mining company MacGibbon started in 1997. “We sort of put the old band back together,” he said. By December, Newmont and the newly formed TMAC had an agreement in principal, and a final agreement in January 2013.
“We knew those types of deposits, and had done a lot of high-grade underground mining at FNX,” said MacGibbon. “We saw that the potential was immense, and moved fairly quickly. We thought, this is like buying Timmins in 1910 – but with a billion dollars of infrastructure already on it.” TMAC raised $50 million in private financing and purchased the property in March 2013.
TMAC adopted a management approach that they believed would make Hope Bay a success this time around: “We understand the concept of bootstrapping and just doing things a little smaller with a highly-focused management group,” said Farrow. “Our VPs were very much involved in the technical analysis of the project.
I go to site a lot more than you probably have ever heard of a CEO going to site. That’s part of our success. In our opinion, as a small company, we have to be able to do that to ensure that we keep the numbers of consultants and that kind of thing down.”
For the rest of this article, click here: http://magazine.cim.org/en/2016/November/cover-story/Hope-for-the-future.aspx