|David Coffin||Peter McNeil/Gerald Rayner||Rick Langer|
I went on the trip with David Coffin of The Hard Rock Analyst and Gerald Rayner, one of Vancouver's most experienced geologists. South Pacific's Peter McNeil and my old, favorite traveling mate, Rick Langer of Canaccord Capital, completed our crew. To say that PNG took me off guard would be an understatement. Peter had been anxious to get in a complete drilling season and began in May with an aggressive program to expand the known resource. The local community scheduled the formal luau and official celebration and greeting for July 21st.
American Airlines did their very best to fulfill the motto, "We're not happy until you're not happy" by being 4-1/2hrs late leaving Miami, making me miss my Sydney flight from LA, I had to wait in LA a day, and then I went from LA to Sydney to Brisbane to Port Moresby in one constant blur of airplanes and immigration agents, but our group somehow managed to all get there on time.
|The Hotel||"There it is!"||Our transport|
|Note: The villagers had to walk to the celebration, a 2-hr journey that would have taken us 4-5 hours.|
The next day we got out to the airport early and headed NE for about 25 miles to the Mt. Bini project where we were greeted by a crowd of about 300 villagers who proceeded to hang leis around our neck and sang a wonderful, and obviously just-written greeting, to welcome us to their homeland. I was overwhelmed. And all I could think was thank God for the Mormons. Because if the Mormons hadn't converted them, the women would have all been nekked.
The original plan called for us to airlift in a live cow which would be promptly sacrificed and cooked but wiser heads and the chopper pilot nixed that bright idea. We did carry in a cow cut up and in boxes which seemed to do just fine for the BBQ.
|BBQ - a fire in the ground covered with rocks and banana leaves||BBQ - preparation||BBQ|
PNG is one of those areas of the world where a stranger is not coming in and setting up shop immediately. To operate there requires a keen sense of local history and a sense of how things get done in PNG. As part of the deal to vend in the 10 properties from TasGold to South Pacific which created the company in the first place, veteran Peter McNeil agreed to step in as President and CEO. With over 20 years of exploration experience in Australia and Papua New Guinea he is just the person to get the company moving.
This first year's program is about half verifying the results from prior drilling and half stepping out to expand the resource. With gold grades of .6g/t and .4% copper, you need a massive deposit to make a senior mining company sit up and bark. A four million ounce gold equivalent resource isn't going to do it. But given the cursory view than you can make with a day in the field and a few hours of briefing, the Mt. Bini project certainly has blue sky of a several times higher resource and that will get majors sniffing around.
South Pacific's deal with TasGold called for issuance of 3 million shares of stock and TasGold gets a 15% free carried interest on all 10 projects until South Pacific completes a Bankable Feasibility Study. At that point TasGold would be required to begin contribution of 15% of expenses.
|The drill shack||The Core||The drill site|
|The Drill rig||Drill rig close-up||Panning in the stream|
Mt. Bini isn't a world class project. Yet. It's a massive low grade gold/copper porphyry system with excellent expansion potential. We saw the core, it was mineralized, it will take months to get all the results but drilling looks good so far. Management has a giant (3 million share) vested interest in success and all the necessary local experience required to be successful in PNG. Peter McNeil will find Canadian companies are run in a different way from Australian companies but South Pacific is very strong in Canadian management and IR support in Vancouver as well and that is just as important as local experience in PNG.
We own shares, we are happy with the direction of management and status to date. South Pacific offers a low risk perpetual call on both copper and gold. They do advertise with 321gold and naturally I am biased. I like management, the project and the potential, what can I say?
By the time you read this I will be far, far away, again. This time to Baffin Island (with my fur-lined underwear) looking at a sapphire property, and then on to Greenland to look at a fabulously-rich ruby property. I have a 4hr 'cold for hot-weather bag swap' turnaround in Miami a week later, and then I'm straight off to Peru to seek my Fortuna. I'll be back at the end of the month.
South Pacific Minerals Corp.
SPZ-V $.40 Canadian; 17 million shares issued, 27 million shares fully diluted.
President: 321gold Inc