When it comes to success in the gold exploration business, speed is often the name of the game. How quickly a junior explorer can acquire and advance a project, get drills in the ground, and expand their resource into something desirable for their shareholders, can often be the difference between success and failure in this incredibly competitive industry.
One junior explorer that has figured out the speed game and is thriving because of it, is Banyan Gold, an exploration company focused on advancing Yukon-based gold projects with the geological potential to become future mines.
Banyan has shown tremendous growth since acquiring the AurMac Gold Deposit in central Yukon’s Mayo Mining District in 2017. They’ve moved the project forward at lightning speed, from no resources to an inferred resource of 900,000 ounces in 2020, to a planned 2022 resource upgrade – which Banyan CEO Tara Christie projects will be in the multimillion-ounce range – and ultimately to a preliminary economic assessment by the end of 2023.
Banyan’s growth is coming in a region that Christie speculates will have multiple major gold mines in the future, adding “It’s quite remarkable how prolific the mineralization is in the Mayo mining district of Yukon, and, yet, it’s underexplored. I truly believe that this is the next mining district that will produce gold for the next 30 or 40 years with all that’s being discovered now.”
The AurMac Project, Banyan’s 173 square kilometer, highly prospective flagship property, sits in an enviable geographic position near two producing mines – Victoria Gold’s Eagle Project, about 30km away, and Alexco Resource’s Keno Hill Silver District, right next door. AurMac’s current 900,000-ounce resource is split between two near/on surface deposits, known as Airstrip and Powerline. The Airstrip deposit currently holds 774,000 ounces, and the Powerline deposit holds 129,000, and both are expected to grow significantly with the upcoming resource update. Declared Christie, “Powerline was a brand-new discovery in May of 2019, and we drilled it out in October and November for the May 2020 resource. We were only 14 holes into it. Since then, we’ve drilled over 135 more holes on the Powerline side, and we’ve got a great track record for success in our drill holes.”
Banyan is nearly 9000 metres into their planned 30,000 metre drill program for 2022. The company has three diamond drill rigs on the ground at Powerline, building on what they discovered during their step-out drilling in 2021, a near or on-surface gold trend, thought to have a grade continuity over two kilometers. Explains Christie, “What’s interesting is that it seems to be continuing in all directions. We haven’t yet found the edge. We suspect that’s it’s bound by a specific resistive unit that we can see in some of the geophysics, but right now we’re still expanding it in all directions.”
With Banyan’s huge land package, access to infrastructure, and enormous potential for a significant multimillion ounce discovery in a Tier One location, Christie believes that the company could eventually be an attractive buy target for a major, “I’m really comfortable taking this all the way through to a feasibility study and permitting. I honestly think with the amount of activity, the number of majors out there looking for projects, many of whom haven’t been successful in replenishing their resources and reserves…once we get above three million ounces, I think we become a very compelling story for a takeover try. We do have Victoria Gold, our neighboring mine, who are a 13% shareholder so that’s one potential acquirer.”
Tara Christie isn’t merely an ardent and enthusiastic CEO championing her project, she’s a shareholder herself. With a 5.5% stake in the company, she’s got serious skin in the game. She even ponied up $900,000 of her own money in the company’s financings over the last 2 years. “I’m a 5.5% personal shareholder, and I’m the third CEO. I didn’t get any half cent stock. I purchased all my position in the market and in every financing since I’ve become CEO, demonstrating my commitment and belief in Banyan’s future.”
When it comes to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), Christie believes that Banyan is a true next generation gold company. The company is passionate about making a difference in their local communities, while ensuring a high rate of Nacho Nyak Dunn First Nations employment. Christie serves as president of Victoria Gold’s Yukon Encouragement Society, whose Every Student, Every Day initiative has distributed over $1.5 million to fund projects that help address student attendance across the Yukon.
While Banyan does have competition in Yukon, there are not many other projects with million-ounce deposits. Victoria Gold (TSX: VGCX), is a more advanced operation with a producing mine (and a major stake in Banyan) but has similar mineralization at the same grade as Banyan. White Gold Corp (TSX.V: WGO), shares a similar average market cap per ounce, but without the infrastructure of Banyan. Banyan’s updated resource is likely to put it out front.
What it all boils down to for Tara Christie is creating shareholder value, “As a shareholder you can look at our track record and our share chart and see that we’ve consistently added shareholder value. AND we have tremendous potential. We believe that we have multimillion ounce potential on our property, and we’re out there demonstrating it with our drilling. We just have a significant deposit in a great location with great infrastructure, and we’re continuing to grow the resource.”
And if Banyan finds as much gold as they suspect in 2022, their shareholders are going to be very happy indeed.
For more information on Banyan Gold Corp. (TSX.V: BYN, OTCQB: BYAGF) please click the investor request info button.
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