One of the Highest Grade Undeveloped Gold Projects

Permitted for Production

TSXV: BSR/OTC: BBSRF

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THE CALIBER OF THIS ASSET SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

  • Feasibility study outlines a rapid payback, high margin gold project
  • Permitted for production, underground mining project
  • Resource of 1.2 Moz at 10.2 g/t gold (indicated category)
  • Ultra low cost production
  • Low capex requirement

THE DEAL MAKER (May 31, 2017)

The acquisition of Cerro Blanco was truly transformative for Bluestone Resources. The former team behind Kaminak Gold established strong relations with Goldcorp thanks to the latter’s acquisition of the Coffee project for US$520 million in 2016. Cerro Blanco checked all the boxes as a permitted high-grade gold project with advanced infrastructure in place. Goldcorp had already invested US$230 million into developing the asset but at an average production rate of 138,000 oz per year, the project was deemed too small for the major to develop. When Goldcorp’s other producing mine in the country, Marlin was depleted, it underwent closure and reclamation in 2017 and thus they exited Guatemala. 

For a junior like Bluestone, however, Cerro Blanco was the perfect opportunity for the new company to start with a drastically derisked permitted, advanced high-grade gold project. Thanks to their many years of experience in identifying quality assets, John Robins and his team negotiated a deal to purchase Cerro Blanco for US$18 million, plus an extra $2 million to purchase mine equipment from Goldcorp’s nearby Marlin mine. Once the project goes into commercial production, Goldcorp will receive a US$15 million payment within six months, which is offset by a country VAT receivable of the same amount. Goldcorp will retain a 4.9% equity interest in Bluestone Resources. All told, US$35 million for a 1.2 million ounce project at such an advanced stage is a company-maker.

MANAGEMENT

John Robins, executive chairman, is the founder and Chairman of Kaminak Gold which was purchased for $520 million by Goldcorp Inc. in 2016. In 2008, Mr. Robins was recognized for his achievements in mining exploration by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia with the H.H. "Spud" Huestis Award. This is recognized as the highest awards given for mineral exploration. Mr. Robins has also been active in starting several successful public exploration and development companies culminating in 2005 with his co-founding of the Discovery Group of Companies. 

Darren Klinck, President and CEO, is a highly regarded mining executive with a broad range of international experience. Darren was most recently Executive Vice President & Head of Corporate Development for OceanaGold Corporation responsible for overseeing the capital markets as well as the mergers and acquisitions strategy. Over the past ten years at OceanaGold, Mr. Klinck was responsible for the oversight of project teams managing exploration, corporate social responsibility and community engagement programs as well as extensive government relations activities.

PROVEN LEADERSHIP

Board of Directors

John Robins, Executive Chairman
Kaminak, Stornoway, Grayd, Hunter Exploration

Zara Boldt, Director
Kaminak, Stornoway

Leo Hathaway, Director
Lumina Copper, Anfield Gold, Lumina Capital

William Lamb, Director
Lucara Diamonds, De Beers

Executive Team

Darren Klinck, President, CEO & Director
Previously EVP at OceanaGold

Peter Hemstead, CFO
Capstone Mining, Sherwood Copper, PwC Canada

David Cass, VP Exploration
+25 years of experience, previous Exploration Manager of North America for Anglo American

Paul McRae, Director
Lundin Mining, Lundin Gold, INCO, Dr Beers

James Peterson, Director
Kivalliq, Corsa Capital, Kaminak

Keith Peck, Director
Orezone, Centenario Copper, RBC, Haywood

David Gunning, VP Operations
+35 years of underground operational experience, previous Coo at Starcore International Mines

Jeff Reinson, VP Project Development
+25 years of project management, Goldcorp, AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont, Rio Tinto

Stephen Williams, VP Corporate Development & Investor Relations
Canaccord Genuity, Freeport MacMoran

HIGH QUALITY ASSET 

Indicated resource of 1.2 million oz. at an average grade of 10.2 g/t gold 

Cerro Blanco Feasibility Study (January 29, 2019)

*Average production 146 koz/year (first three years) All numbers in US dollars unless otherwise stated, base case shown at $1,250/oz gold and $18.00/oz Ag.

*Click this link to Watch webcast with Darren Klinck reviewing the positive feasibility study

Bluestone Resources is encouraged by the positive results and determined to leverage the extensive project development already in place before their acquisition of Cerro Blanco. Cerro Blanco will generate more free cash flow in the first year of production than its current enterprise value. 

Darren Klinck, President and CEO “The new mine plan supports the original conviction that Cerro Blanco can be developed into a low-cost, high-margin operation that will provide substantial free cash flow for the Company.“ 

CAPEX SAVINGS

Previous owners Goldcorp invested approximately US$230 million into the project, of which US$60 million went into the Mita Geothermal project. Existing infrastructure includes 2 portals, 2 declines, and multiple Alimak vent raises. Three kilometers of underground development has been completed including limited trial mining. There is also an operating water treatment facility and a secure explosives compound on the property. 

Select mining equipment was acquired from Goldcorp’s Marlin mine within the country as part of the acquisition, including a 12 MW CAT diesel generator set, scoop trams, jumbos, bolters and underground drills, an assay lab, and other various mobile equipment. Bluestone spent US$2.4 million to acquire the equipment as part of the acquisition of Cerro Blanco, a fraction of the value in the open market. 

EXPLORATION UPSIDE

The area surrounding Cerro Blanco has significant exploration potential. The current resource is confined to a 400 metre by 800 metre area. Outside those confines there are more highly prospective targets 1 kilometre north of the main deposit that remain underexplored. Gold bearing structures extend at least 2 kilometres northwest and 1 kilometre south of the deposit, and the resources are wide open at depth. 

A highly anticipated resource estimate is expected following positive results including

THE GEOTHERMAL DIFFERENTIATOR

A unique differentiator in Bluestone’s project package, the Mita Geothermal project, located east of the gold project, includes 19 geothermal wells that are fully permitted for 50 MW of production. What does this offer a junior miner? Bluestone could potentially generate its own power for the Cerro Blanco Gold mine. Bluestone is examining options to advance the commercialization of the project through a phased approach: Phase 1 would include the installation of a 2 to 3 MW geothermal turbine for power generation. This initial power would be used by the Cerro Blanco gold project for potential mine development, including dewatering and ventilation. Phase Two would include the development of a 12 MW geothermal power plant which could generate the balance of the power required for mining operations at Cerro Blanco. 

It is also possible that beneath the Mita geothermal concession there may be a deeper geothermal reservoir at 2000-3000 meters. Testing indicates that the water below is around 220+°C. The development of a deeper geothermal reservoir could provide additional power generation of up to 50 MW, feeding back into the Guatemalan grid and providing an additional source of revenue for Bluestone. 

Cerro Blanco is located in the Jutiapa province in southeast Guatemala, 7 kilometres from the Pan American highway in a sparsely populated area of the country. The current government, elected in January 2016, is pro-business and dedicated to maintaining positive trade relations with its North American neighbours. The country is home to four significant mining operations, including Goldcorp’s Marlin mine that processed 1.6 million tons per annum throughput before it was put into reclamation.

While operations have stalled at Tahoe’s Escobal mine due to conflict with the local community, it is important to note two significant differences: first, the Cerro Blanco project is located in a separate region of Guatemala in an area where land is focused on ranching and agriculture as opposed to areas surrounding the Escobal mine. What’s more, previous owners developed and maintained strong relationships with local communities at  Cerro Blanco. The project has been part of the Community for over a decade and well socialized in the area.  As part of the acquisition Bluestone brought over the CSR team that was with the project historically. This has carried over the strong relationships built over the past and will continue to help engagement with the local municipality in order to establish a successful operation for all stakeholders. 

MINING IN GUATEMALA

TRACK RECORD SINCE ACQUISITION 18 MONTHS AGO

GEOLOGY 

  • Review and update to the geology and structural controls
  • Detailed logging of 120 historic drill holes
  • Underground geological and structural mapping
  • 12,000 m underground and surface drill program (5 rigs)
  • Underground channel sampling
  • Updated resource estimate

MINING

  • Mine plan completed
  • Mining activities undertaken in 2018

WATER MANAGEMENT

  • Detailed groundwater model
  • Flow testing program 

TEAM

  • Preparations for advancement beyond completion of the Feasibility Study 

SUMMARY

Bluestone Resources is an early investment opportunity in a company developing one of the world's highest grade advanced staged gold projects that is permitted for production.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Graham covers news and major events in the small and micro cap investment space. Visit TSXMedia for interviews with key players from the industry. As a senior writer I developed a deep base of knowledge and a network of contacts across the investment community, exactly what is needed to uncover stories and share new opportunities in the market.

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FINANCIALS 

Listing: TSXV: BSR 
MCAP: $86.2 million 
Shares outstanding: 63,815,560 Options: 5,930,000 

Warrants: 5,214,309 
Fully diluted: 74,959,869 
Cash: C$11.8 million 
Enterprise value: C$35 million

*Warrants: 3,679,162 @ $0.35 and 1,535,147 @ $2.00, Options @ $1.50 As of February 15, 2019

At 10.2 g/t gold, the high-grade Cerro Blanco will generate more free cash flow in the first year of production than its current enterprise value.

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