Rob McEwen is so confident in the quality of his namesake company and its deposits he's put $160 million of his own capital into their development, and is taking a salary of just $1 per year, without a bonus or options.
"So why such a big commitment?" he asked during a Sept. 7 mid-year web-cast report to investors. "I'm a big believer in our future, the potential of our properties, the skill of our team, and the power of mining to make a meaningful contribution to society at large."
McEwen is the founder, chair, and chief shareholder of McEwen Mining, which owns a number of gold and base metals properties in the Timmins area, in addition to the El Gallo Mine in Mexico, the San Jose Mine in Argentina, the Gold Bar property in Nevada, Project Fenix in Mexico, and the Los Azules property in Argentina.
McEwen Mining acquired the Black Fox Complex, located in Black River-Matheson east of Timmins, from Primero Mining in October, 2017. It includes the Black Fox Mine, which has produced 835,000 ounces of gold to date, and the Froome, Grey Fox and Tamarack deposits, along with the Stock Mill and the former Stock Mine.
The company is currently in the midst of a $15-million drill program at Black Fox, drilling more than 80,000 metres to date. At the program's conclusion, 100,000 metres in total will be completed.
The Lexam package, which includes the previously operating mines Buffalo-Ankerite, Fuller, Paymaster, and Davidson Tisdale, are all located within a few kilometres of Timmins. McEwen acquired Lexam VG Gold in a friendly takeover in February, 2017. Buffalo-Ankerite, Fuller and Davidson Tisdale are 100 per cent owned by McEwen Mining, while the Paymaster property is a joint venture with Goldcorp (61 per cent McEwen Mining, 39 per cent Goldcorp).
Chris Price, the business manager at the Black Fox Mine site, said the company has struggled to extend the life of the Black Fox Mine beyond two years, but the company has a "huge opportunity" to convert the complex's indicated resource into reserves.
Black Fox Mine has 576,000 ounces, Froome has 181,000 ounces, Tamarack has 126,000 ounces of gold equivalent, and Grey Fox has 465,000 ounces, while exploration continues around the former Stock Mine.
"The strategic plan for the Ontario operations is to bring four to five mines into operation to fill the capacity of the centrally located mill," Price said.
"How are we doing this? Convert more of the current Black Fox resource to reserve...