In a wide-ranging interview, we talked with Eclipse Gold Mining President & CEO Michael G. Allen on the new company’s formation, what makes Nevada unique and the untapped discovery potential at Hercules, the company’s flagship project. Part 1 of 3.
Q: What are the unique building blocks making up Eclipse?
Michael: Team and asset are the two key ingredients for any company in this space. Quality is the key determinant. We’ve assembled a proven team and acquired an asset with significant value to unlock in Nevada, a Tier 1 jurisdiction.
Our team is one of complementary strengths. Eclipse is really a combination of Northern Empire Resources, Pathway Capital and Sandstorm Gold Royalties. The Northern group brings the real Nevada working expertise – we sold our Sterling project in Nevada’s Walker Lane Trend to Coeur Mining for $117 million in 2018. That was an accretive deal for our shareholders. Pathway brings in real capital markets strength. Our chair Marcel de Groot is the president of Pathway and has financed and helped build many quality companies from the ground up, including Peru Copper and Equinox Gold. Sandstorm, which Pathway helped create alongside Nolan Watson and David Awram, is a fantastic evaluator of assets and has become a billion-dollar gold streaming company. Together, we’re all in alignment that our flagship Hercules project is a truly exciting and impressive opportunity.
Q: On first impression, what attracted you to Hercules?
Michael: What attracted us upon first stepping foot on the property was the immediate raw potential. It’s just off the scale of what it could or should be. To have surface expression of mineralization as large as it is, given its location in Nevada and proximity to Reno, we were shocked at how underexplored it was. All the historic drilling barely made a scratch in unlocking its true potential. This is a complete untested system of significant scale in Nevada. It just slipped through the cracks for essentially a century. When we brought our directors to site, some of whom have reviewed hundreds of projects all over the world, they were truly excited. That’s a big endorsement for what we’re doing.
Q: If Hercules has high potential for discovery, why was it sold to you at this stage?
Michael: In Nevada, many early stage projects are overlooked, ignored or dropped owing to historic low gold prices or lack of funds. I’ve done two transactions where a company needed to liquidate an asset, the first was Hasbrouck with West Kirkland Mining, the second was Sterling with Northern Empire. The acquisition of Hercules was another example of a company looking to raise cash for their primary asset.