An email from Frank O’Kelly, Chairman and Interim CEO of Latin American junior gold miner/developer, Minera IRL suggests that he, and his colleagues, now anticipate that the Ontario Securities Commission will shortly allow trading to resume in MIRL stock. Trading was suspended when the company failed to file its 2015 financials, a situation precipitated by the untimely death of the then Chairman and CEO, Courtney Chamberlain, and a subsequent internal struggle for control of the company.
Since that time much has changed with regard to the executive management of the company: The former directors have been replaced and legal disputes resolved pursuant to an extraordinary meeting of the shareholders and the appointment of long term consultant to the company, O’Kelly, as Chairman and interim CEO. Mr. O’Kelly is a seasoned professional with many years of experience of mining in South America.
The company is now completely up to date with its filings and the Board has been reconstituted with high profile individuals including most recent addition, Robert Schafer, President of Canada’s Prospectors and Developers Association.
The company has an operating gold mine in Peru in Corihuarmi, which is close to the end of its operating life. But its flagship project is a major advanced new gold mine development, Ollachea, located in Puno in the South of Peru. This project is fully funded by a Peruvian State Development Bank ($240 million facility of which $70 million has been advanced). The mine is fully permitted and has subscribed a 30 year social license with the local community. The mineral resource exceeds 2.40 million ounces Au and M+I reserves of 1 million ounces, which will sustain a production of 100,000 ounces of gold per annum for a decade. The company is presently drilling off an already constructed 1.2 km access tunnel with a target of adding an additional 600,000 ounces to the resource. The down dip extension which is currently being drilled reports intersections up to 20 m with grades from the only 3 holes for which so far have assays reporting 5 g/t Au, some 40% better grade than the main ore body which was delineated with 82,000 m of drilling. AMEC has filed a NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study.
In anticipation of production by the end of 2018 the company has negotiated a fixed price turnkey EPC contract with Peru’s largest mine construction company, Graña y Montero, and is currently assembling what it describes as a first class owner’s management team. MIRL is in the process of commencing detailed design and placing orders for long lead capital items of equipment.
The company reckons that there are only a handful of advanced gold projects in the condition of Ollachea and there should be enthusiastic acceptance from investors.
This is a situation where prior controversy has depressed the share price to levels of an order of magnitude of what other less advanced gold project are commanding. There is a capacity for a very substantial increase in the share price.
When trading opens, MIRL shares will be able to be traded on the Lima Stock Exchange and as a temporary measure on the Canadian CSE Exchange, whilst the company’s application for reinstatement on the TSX is being processed.
O’Kelly himself comments that he is anticipating the lifting of the OSC “cease trade order” any day now and that some shareholders may see this as an opportunity to dump the stock whilst others may recognize this as a unique opportunity to make a killing. His personal view, and he is not one prone to hyperbole, is that the stock is chronically undervalued. The writer has known O’Kelly off and on for over 50 years so writes with personal experience of his character.
O’Kelly goes on to note that companies like Dalradian command a market cap ten times that of MIRL, whilst possessing comparable resources but still have permitting and financing challenges ahead. Meanwhile MIRL has a producing gold mine, a fully funded project with all the permits in place, a 1.2 km access tunnel, an EPC fixed price contract with Peru’s largest mine construction company and a 30 year social license for the local community. One can count on one hand, he says, the number of gold projects as advanced as Ollachea. His short term target is to get the stock price over CAD $0.30.