XL: Ron and Bob, thank you for agreeing to this interview-it's great to have Hunter-Dickinson join the Explorer's League.
BD: We're delighted to be included.
XL: Everyone knows a little about Bob and Bob, the two men who gave Hunter Dickinson its name, but not so many know about Ron. Bob Hunter is retired, Bob Dickinson is here to answer our questions, and so is Ron. Let's start with a brief look at Ron's role in HD.
Detour Gold (T.DGC) reported some nice gold intercepts at their Detour Lake project in Ontario. Drills hit 7.88 g/t over 31 meters, and 1.33 g/t over 85 meters in the Calcite zone. This completes ’09 drilling, which totaled a whopping 101,074 meters, and the 2010 program has already drilled 32,756 meters. Management is proceeding with a feasibility study on the project due out later this quarter.
Northern Dynasty Minerals (T.NDM; Amex: NAK) received an updated 43-101 Preliminary Assessment on the Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum project in southwest Alaska. The independent report called it “one of the most important metal producers of the 21st century.” Three cases were outlined – 25, 45 and 78 years, with the 45-year “reference” case showing Pebble producing 31 billion pounds of copper, 30 million ounces of gold, 1.4 billion pounds of molybdenum, 140 million ounces of silver, 1.2 million kilograms of rhenium, and 907,000 ounces of palladium. This scenario yields a 14.2% pre-tax IRR, a 6.2-year payback on initial capital investment of $4.7 billion, and a $6.1 billion pre-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate. Northern Dynasty owns 50% of the project.
Farallon Mining (T.FAN) got a friendly takeover bid from Nyrstar (a multi-metals company based in Belgium) last month, offering to buy FAN for C$0.80 per share. The offer represented a 32% premium to the 20-day average share price, and a 23% premium to the closing price on November 12, the last day of trading before the offer.
Hunter Dickinson Companies:
Heatherdale Resources Ltd. | Curis Resources Ltd. | Northcliff Resources Ltd. | Rathdowney Resources Ltd. | Constantia Resources Ltd.
Robert Dickinson is the Chairman and co-founder of Hunter Dickinson Inc., a Canadian corporation, which since 1985 has grown to become one of the largest and most successful mine development groups in North America.
HDI operates publicly-traded mineral exploration and development companies with projects in countries around the world. Each HDI Company is focused on delivering superior returns to its shareholders. HDI's record of successfully identifying, delineating, developing, permitting and marketing global mineral deposits has attracted a solid base of international investment support. Through the leadership of Bob and his business partners, the HDI team is recognized for its technical excellence and its commitment to developing environmentally and socially responsible projects.Robert Dickinson & Ronald W. Thiessen
Past companies successfully operated by HDI include: El Condor Resources, which discovered, developed, permitted and sold the Kemess gold-copper porphyry deposit in north-central British Columbia in 1996; Continental Gold Corp., which found and advanced the Mt. Milligan gold-copper deposit from the permitting stage prior to its sale in 1990; and North American Metals which acquired 50% of the Golden Bear project in 1986 and brought the project to the mine-construction stage before the company was taken over in 1988.
In his role as Chairman of HDI and most of its companies, Bob is actively involved in guiding several firms including: Taseko Mines, presently bringing its 35,000 tonne per day Gibraltar Copper Mine back on-stream; Great Basin Gold, holding two advanced-stage projects: the Ivanhoe Gold Project on the Carlin Trend of Nevada, and the Burnstone Gold Project in the Witwatersrand Goldfield of South Africa; Anooraq Resources, developing the bulk tonnage Platreef PGM Project, and completing a transaction to acquire the advanced stage Ga-Phasha PGM Project, both in the Bushveld Complex of South Africa; Northern Dynasty Minerals, developing the huge Pebble gold-copper porphyry deposit in Alaska; Farallon Resources, initiating multi-rig drilling to advance its district-scale polymetallic Campo Morado Project in Guerrero, Mexico toward feasibility and production; Amarc Resources, focused on making the next major mineral discovery in BC; and Continental Minerals acquiring the Xietongmen gold-copper porphyry project in Tibet, China. Bob's efforts are directed particularly toward the activities of Northern Dynasty, Amarc and Continental, due to his extensive experience in the discovery and development of large-scale copper-gold porphyry deposits in British Columbia.
Bob is an alumnus of the University of British Columbia, from which he holds a B.Sc. in Economic Geology and a M.Sc. in Business Administration. He is a Director of the Mining Association of British Columbia and the BC Mining Museum, and a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada. In 1990, he received the Mine Developer of the Year Award for Canada and was British Columbia's Mining Industry Person of the Year in 2000.
He was raised in West Vancouver, British Columbia, and resides in nearby Lion's Bay with his wife Carmen and their two children, Crystal and Matthew. He enjoys boating, fishing, skiing, hiking and the theatre.
Ronald W. Thiessen is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hunter Dickinson Inc.
Ron was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1974, and obtained a Chartered Accountant designation in British Columbia in 1977. He articled with, and worked for Thorne Riddell (predecessor to KPMG LLP) from 1974 until 1981, specializing in taxation and corporate structuring, re-structuring and financing. In the 1980's, Ron re-concentrated his efforts toward the development of venture capital financing for emerging public and private companies, including mineral exploration companies. During this time, he and his business partners acquired controlling interests in the Mt Milligan and Kemess mineral exploration projects in British Columbia, guiding the work at these properties before Hunter Dickinson companies Continental Gold and El Condor Resources gained an interest in them. Ron maintained an active role in both projects as they advanced through the exploration and engineering stages and were finally sold to Placer Dome Inc. and Royal Oak Mines Ltd., respectively, in 1990 and 1996.
Formally joining Hunter Dickinson Inc. in 1994 as Director of Corporate Development, Ron focused on creative acquisition opportunities and financing arrangements. In August 2000, he became President of the Hunter Dickinson group of companies. His skill in raising substantive financings has been instrumental in building HDI into the enterprise it is today. During Ron's time at HDI, he and his associates have completed in excess of 20 property or project acquisitions and $450 million in exploration financings, building an impressive portfolio of advanced mineral exploration and development projects.
Another of Ron's specialties is structuring creative deals and developing strategic alliances. Through his efforts, and those of his colleagues, Great Basin Gold has evolved from a pure exploration company to the point where it is now on the threshold of realizing gold production from two advanced stage properties. Under his leadership, Anooraq Resources is working with South African firms to meet the requirements of new mining laws and create development opportunities. In 2002, Anooraq initiated an ongoing relationship with Anglo American Platinum Corporation through which Anooraq gained new PGM exploration properties. This innovative approach to business partnerships is further demonstrated through the 2004 transaction between Anooraq and Pelawan Investments (Pty) Limited, a Black Economic Empowerment Company with extensive technical and South African operational experience. Through this transaction, Anooraq acquired a 50% interest in the advanced stage Ga-Phasha PGM Project and became a Black Empowerment entity. The company now combines significant North American and South African expertise, substantial PGM assets and a strong connection to North American capital markets.
Ron lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife Shannon and their two daughters. He enjoys golfing, skiing and collecting automobiles.