Monday, February 14, 2011

Industry Watch: Exclusive interview with Silver Quest CEO about large Yukon gold/silver project

January 25, 2011: Silver Quest CEO Randy Turner discusses his company’s huge property in a prime location in the Yukon, as well as their other project.

Silver Quest Resources Ltd. (TSX.V:SQI) is a mineral exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. With current projects located across Canada, and a portfolio of projects that range from early stage grassroots exploration to advanced-stage resource expansion, the Company is positioned to add shareholder value through systematic project advancement. At the same time, management continues to evaluate additional advanced-stage silver and gold projects for possible acquisition.

Interview Transcript:

Al: Hey, I’m Al Korelin, thanks very much for joining me. We are winding down our video shoots up here in Vancouver, British Colombia which we started a couple of days ago at the Cambridge House Investment Conference. I want to say once more for the last time – I promise I won’t say this again: that is one of the best venues out there for people who want to increase their exposure and increase their knowledge of the resource industry. Joe Martin and his crew really do a good job. So if you’re ever in the area of one of these conferences, you really need to attend. One of the joys of coming to these conferences for me is that I get to sit down one-on-one with some of our clients and really some of our friends. The gentleman who I’m about to chat with falls into the category of being a friend. Even though I haven’t known him for a long time, I’ve known of him for a long time- Randy Turner. Randy is the president of Silver Quest, one of our newest sponsors. Great to have you with us.

Randy: Thank you Al.

Al: How about an overview of Silver Quest. You’ve been on our site now for just a couple of weeks, so lets tell the folks out there what you’re all about.

Randy: Okay, well Silver Quest is actually one of the oldest companies on the exchange. It’s been around over 50 years, and ironically the original property that took the company public is still in the company- it’s in the Yukon, a major silver property. I took the company over about a year and a half ago as President and CEO, although I had been a long term Director and shareholder- since the early 90's. Our main focus is in Western Canada, both in the Yukon and British Colombia, and we do have a project in Northern Ontario. Gold / silver focus, with several major projects in BC where there are resources. Yukon is more exploration, grassroots, so we had a very extensive program this past year- we spent over $5 million both in central BC and the Yukon in land acquisition, geochemistry, and drilling. This year is going to be even more active, so the company has basically moved from the 10-15 cent level up to the dollar level. It’s now pulled back to around the 50-cent level, but we’re all geared up, well financed, and ready to go for this year.

Al: Randy, I want to talk about all three of the areas where your assets are located but I really want to start out with the Yukon. The reason I want to do that is that I think that area play is going to be huge this year- I really do. You’ve got a host of companies up there very, very active, and a lot of the companies that are very active up there don’t have the management that Silver Quest does- you guys have been around a long time, you’re veterans in the area for lack of a better term. Let’s talk about your assets in the Yukon first of all. Describe the assets, the size of the assets, and what you plan to do during 2011.

Randy: Silver Quest is actually the 3rd largest landholder within the white-gold area, which is where the original discovery was made about 3 years ago that got the attention focused back on the Yukon. We’ve concentrated on, in this area, up to the Alaska border, we have over 6,000 claims.

Al: That’s a big area.

Randy: Yeah. All these claims that were acquired were based on work that we did through geochemistry, through sampling, through technical ideas that we had, and we built up this portfolio of properties. We have done some acquisitions from other companies, from other prospectors, and for all the properties there’s a reason for having them. We joined a company called Kaminak, which has made a very significant discovery last year. We’re just immediately west of Underworld, which is now owned by Kinross, Kinross bought them out last year in March for about $160 million. So we did this basically over the last year and a half, this land acquisition. We also went in and did a tremendous amount of sampling. This past year we did over 15,000 soil samples, which is really one of the major tools that you use for exploration. It’s not glaciated in the Yukon, so what you get on the surface is generally what you get below. We did just under 5,000 metres of drilling, and we got sniffs of gold, and arsenic, and copper, and silver in some of the holes. Basically, we’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg. I think that all of us who have been in the business for many years will say that this Yukon is one of the big frontiers, the last frontiers, and is probably going to be one of the most exciting places for the next 3-5 years.

Al: I don’t think there’s any question about that, I really don’t. Now, I find it interesting being a shareholder of Silver Quest, which I have to disclose, among other things, but I do own some stock in Silver Quest, which I bought out of the market. So don’t construe what I’m saying as necessarily being arm’s-length information, because Big Al is a shareholder, so I’m highly biased in this particular case. Randy, you are the 3rd largest land holder in the Yukon. Now does that mean that the efforts of Silver Quest in 2011 will probably be focused on the Yukon as opposed to the property in B.C. and the other one?

Randy: I will say that three quarters of the work will be orientated to the Yukon, and a quarter will be orientated to B.C., budget-wise. The difference is that in the Yukon, we can’t get up there until about the first of May, and you have about a 6 month window of exploration- by Canadian thanksgiving time, you’ve got to be out of there. The snow is flying. Whereas our project in B.C., you can start in March, so we’ve got a jump in there. But certainly the focus will be on the Yukon. A lot of it has to do with the short window of exploration- so we’ve already applied for permits for our exploration camps which we will be getting in the next few weeks, we’ve already started community consultations with the First Nations groups, and we’ve laid out our basic exploration plans already for this upcoming season. So again a major sampling program, some additional drilling, some geophysics, so it’s going to be a fun, exciting year.

Al: Let’s talk about the technical people you have working with Silver Quest.

Randy: We have a technical group that I’ve assembled over the years, but I think it really starts at the Board of Directors. We have some very key board of directors who are very well known in the business. We can start with Rob McLeod who was the Vice-President of Underworld, which was the original discoverer of the white gold and was taken out by Kinross. We have Yale Simpson, and Yale’s been around. He’s the chairman of Extorre and Exeter Resources, very successful company in South America.

Al: I’ve only known Yale for about 27 years. Good guy- competent guy.

Randy: John Macdonald has been with me for over 30 years as a colleague. We worked together at Esso, we worked together at our previous company Winspear Diamonds, so he brings a lot to the table both as an academic and as a technical person. We also have Michael McPhie. Michael McPhie runs one of the companies for Hunter-Dickinson, so we’ve got a very strong technical board. We’ve put together a strong exploration team too. Some of the people we’ve recruited out of the universities, they’re doing their masters and PhDs and have been focusing on the Yukon for the last several years, so when we get ready to roll this summer, we’ve got a very good technical team out there in the field.

Al: Let’s talk about the other 25% of your effort that’s going to be going into your property in British Colombia. Let’s just touch on it lightly, if you would. Describe the property and describe what you’re going to be doing there.

Randy: We have 2 major assets in central B.C., both 3 hour drives outside of Prince George. One is called the Capoose deposit, and we just announced a resource there of about 1.8 million gold equivalent, made up of almost 900,000 ounces of gold and 51 million ounces of silver. That 43-101 was announced last week, and we’ll be putting out the final report within the next 45 days. We did 10,000 metres of drilling- it’s an open pit situation. We also announced the metallurgy, there’s almost 90% recovery in the gold, so that’s another positive for the project. We also have a 25% interest in a project called the Davidson. Davidson is again a porphyry style gold/silver project 30kms to the East. The operator of that project is going to be called Richfield Ventures. They even announced today a major hole just south of our property which adjoins a major deposit that we have, so we’re going to be in there this winter on a major drill program, so that’s where our efforts are going to go. So we’re contributing 25% to that project, and the Capoose Project we have 100%, so far for the plans for this year for Capoose there’ll be additional drilling too, to find out the extent of the deposit at depth and along strike.

Al: These guys are really well diversified geographically. We’ve talked about the 3 areas that Silver Quest is active in right now, and it’s a bit of an endorsement on my part. Don’t construe this as being investment advice because it’s not. I’m not a registered investment advisor - I’m not telling you what to buy or what to sell if you’re at all involved in the market, I’m simply saying that these are companies that we are involved in, and these are companies that I’m personally active in. That’s not to say that you should be, so you have to do your own due diligence. If you want more information on Silver Quest, all you have to do is click on the banner on the site and you can get a host of information that’ll allow you to make your own individual decisions. What I want to say is that Randy Turner’s been around for a long time in the business, fortunately as I have. This guy has got a huge track record of successes, and I don’t see any reason why that will stop in the near future or long term future for that matter. Randy, always a pleasure buddy, thank you.

Randy: Thank you very much Al.

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