Hawthorne Gold Corp.
Building British Columbia's Next Gold Producer
Hawthorne Gold Corp. operates out of Vancouver, British Columbia, and currently has gold exploration and development projects in British Columbia, Canada. They are the Table Mountain and Taurus Projects in north central part of the province and the Frasergold Project located in the central interior of the province.
The Table Mountain and Taurus Projects in the Cassiar Mining District in northern B.C. are located in an area where significant gold production and exploration has taken place since the 1960s. Patrick McGrath, Chief Financial Officer for the company explains that although the company plans to potentially explore other exploration and development stage projects outside B.C. in the future, Hawthorne’s focus is on projects “in their backyard right in British Columbia”.
The company is working towards production at Table Mountain Gold Mine in late 2009, and is planning to continue development on the Taurus Deposit.
The Frasergold property has been explored since the 1970s and Hawthorne just recently completed its summer work program at the site. The program involved a 58-hole drill program on the Main Zone and step-out drilling along strike. The B.C. projects are expected to provide the company an opportunity to become a junior gold producer in the short term while offering upside potential for gold discoveries and development opportunities
The key to Hawthorne’s success
The management team at Hawthorne has a combined history in mining development that rivals many other gold producers in Canada.
Richard Barclay is the President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Hawthorne and has held those positions since the company was private in 2006. He has worked with other resource companies since the early ‘70s, and his experience shows through the exceptional management of Hawthorne.
Michael Beley has been the chairman of Hawthorne since 2006 and is a member of the Company's Audit Committee. He has experience managing reso-urce enterprises that goes back to the ‘70s, and with Barclay has managed to create several successful initia-tives in the sector.
McGrath says that “Beley and Barclay have been partners in business for over 30 years, which is the key to Hawthorne’s success story. They were co-founders of Bema Gold and also started and managed Eldorado Gold together. These were successful gold producing enterprises and they show how powerful our management team is – being consistently entrepreneurial, building companies and growing them.”
Dealing with industry fallout
When it comes to the crash of commodity prices in the past few months, McGrath asserts that although there may be fallouts in the industry, there will also be opportunities.
“There have been a lot of cuts across the industry. All the major and junior commodity producers have felt the effects of falling prices. However, most have plans to recover. Hawthorne is going to be conservative with its cash, and focus on putting each dollar into the ground to build their resource portfolio and work towards production. Everyone has to be on the lookout for the next few months. Hawthorne has multiple projects that will be affected – but it just means that we’re going to have to allocate funds as per our resources, as opposed to what a project needs in terms of cash flow. But the sector is still strong; other juniors are having cash flow problems as well, so you may see a consolidation of junior commodities companies.”
Hawthorne has an advantage in these hard times: the Table Mountain project. McGrath says that “there are no permitting or building risks at Table Mountain. The plan is to go into production in late 2009, and to create cash flow. We have an advantage where our Table Mountain project is in the pre-production stage, whereas many juniors have cash going out but none coming in. And without cash, juniors can’t do much”.
Licence to operate in local communities
Hawthorne has not cut any of its operational programs to accommodate a stunted economy. Marlin Murphy, Manager of Environmental and Government Affairs says that sustainability is crucial for Hawthorne. “You need a social license to operate. You need to liaise with the public and First Nations people at the outset of any project, and as it develops. We’re always in contact with our local communities.”
He adds: “Where possible, we attempt to employ local First Nations personnel. We purchase wood locally, and try to use local knowledge and resources. This is much easier for the company, more economical, and definitely more sustainable in the long run.”
Hawthorne also monitors the land they work on. Marlin says: “We have water quality monitoring programs at Table Mountain. We do flow monitoring to gather data from the receiving environment, both downstream and upstream at the mine site. We also operate a weather station to evaluate water flows.”
It’s no wonder Hawthorne is so committed, they’ve seen tremendous returns for working so hard on sustainability issues. “You have to be proactive. Otherwise, it will be much harder to mine, and much more expensive. If you are an environmentally responsible company, you can go for a permit and are able to anticipate some of the questions and concerns that might arise.” Hawthorne is equally concerned with on-site safety, employing emergency response stations and sites.
McGrath and Murphy both agree that Hawthorne is well positioned to capitalize on a sometimes unpredictable market, due to a responsible local presence, and continued commitment to expert management and strategy.
The company intends to ensure long-term success by attracting and retaining “the best management and front line team that together will build the foundation for long term success through entrepreneurial spirit, integrity, communication, passion, trust and hard work”.