Dual-listed Australian-Canadian Tempus Resources (TSX-v: TMRR) / (ASX: TMR) owns the Elizabeth-Blackdome [“E-B”] project consisting of a southern block, Elizabeth, and a past-producing northern block, Blackdome, in south-central B.C.

Tempus owns 100% of the permitted Blackdome mill & tailings site that produced ~230,000 oz. of gold at ~22 g/t head grade. A detailed restart report has been done and will be released after a maiden resource estimate in April or May.

The Company also owns promising early-stage copper-gold properties in Ecuador that will be farmed out. I believe the Ecuador assets are worth over $5M today and potentially a lot more if successfully advanced by a strategic partner.

E-B has very high-grade gold in 1 to 5 meter wide vein sets. Exploration agreements are in place with the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem & Xwisten First Nations on the Blackdome & Elizabeth properties, respectively. Since November 2020, Tempus has drilled 80 holes for 19,500 meters.

I spoke with President & CEO Jason Bahnsen at the annual PDAC conference in Toronto where he was meeting with investors & prospective strategic partners.

Billion dollar producer New Gold’s New Afton mine is ~300 km to the east and New Gold owns 13% of Talisker Resources. Teck Resources’ giant Highland Valley copper complex is even closer.

A few hundred km north of Tempus’ E-B project is the world-famous Golden Triangle (“GT“). Newmont, Newcrest, Barrick, Teck, BHP, Agnico Eagle, Freeport McMoran, Pan American Silver, Kinross, Hecla Mining, Seabridge, Centerra Gold & Skeena Resources have interests in the GT.

I don’t know which companies Tempus is speaking with, but Newmont is trying to acquire Newcrest, Pan American Silver & Agnico are taking out Yamana, and B2Gold is grabbing Sabina Gold & Silver, so clearly there’s a lot of talking going on!

These and others should want to partner with, or acquire, Tempus. Access to the Blackdome mill would facilitate a roll up other assets. The entire area is covered by high-grade gold. Blockbuster holes have been reported by Tempus, Talisker, Endurance Gold, Westhaven & Blackstone Minerals.

Please see new March corp. presentation.

When Tempus acquired their B.C. assets from Skeena, there were three known veins, with just one the primary contributor to an historic 12.3 g/t, 206k oz. (to ~200 m depth) resource done by SRK in 2009. Today, the Company has mapped 6-7 veins, and they think there are more. The veins are open to depth & along strike.

Tempus invests several million dollars each year on exploration, so they will likely need to issue flow through shares in the coming months. A 10,000 m drill program is planned, following up on a spectacular interval; 28.1 g/t gold over 28.5 m from 84.4 m, ( incl. 167.1 g/t over 1.4 m & 175.2 g/t over 1.1 m) reported on Jan. 9th.

This [grade x meter] figure of 801 is the fourth best of any project in N. America year-to-date! The three stronger intervals are from; New Found Gold $1B, Dolly Varden $220M & Moneta Gold $140M. By contrast, Tempus has an enterprise value {market cap + debt – cash} of $11M.

On the day of the big announcement, shares of Tempus doubled to $0.10 before closing at $0.08. Since then, gold is up 3% to $1,925/oz., yet Tempus has drifted lower to $0.045.

Am I making too big a deal over a single blockbuster interval? No! Tempus has several other top-decile intercepts well into the hundreds of gram-meters; 71.3 g/t gold over 5.5 m, 61.3 g/t / 5.0 m, 33.8 g/t / 12.4 m and 54.9 g/t / 5.0 m on the SW vein, and 311 g/t gold over 1.1 m on the Blue vein.

I track pre-production gold juniors with high-grade resource estimates. Of over a thousand gold juniors listed in Canada, the U.S. & Australia, I’m aware of ~30 with a NI 43-101 or JORC resource grade of 5.0+ g/t gold.

I’m watching another 20 (including Tempus) expected to make my high-grade list upon reporting maiden resources. Therefore, < 5% of the world’s gold juniors have (or will soon report) seriously high-grade resources.

Yet, among those 50 projects, some may never grow to sufficient size to justify becoming a standalone mine, and others are already valued in the $100’s of millions.

A maiden mineral resource estimate is expected in April or May. It won’t be large, perhaps 300k ounces, but the grade is expected to be very high {see historical resource estimates below, avg. 10.8 g/t}. Ten to 12 g/t would be 3-4x that of Kinross/Great Bear at 3.0 g/t, or Skeena Resources at 3.5 g/t or Wallbridge Mining at 3.0 g/t.

Since the historical (SRK 2009) resource of 206k oz. was mainly from a single vein down to ~200 m, there’s real potential for six (or more) veins — drilled well below 200 m — to deliver a million high-grade ounces. E-B covers 315 sq. km, mineralization identified to date is a small fraction of that land package.

Historical (non-JORC or NI 43-101 compliant) resources estimates

How much are high-grade ounces worth? Kinross acquired Great Bear Resources for ~$1.45 billion. At the time there was no maiden resource estimate.

Recently a resource estimate of 5M ounces at ~3 g/t gold was announced. The size of this resource will certainly grow. Assuming it doubles, Kinross effectively paid $144/oz. for 10M ounces.

I’m not suggesting that Tempus should trade at $144/oz., but if it traded at a third of that figure, $48/oz., 300k ounces would be worth $14.4M. Hold on, the Company’s enterprise value is $11M, what’s so exciting about $14.4M?

Please continue reading, there’s much more to the story. The maiden resource will allow the Company to release results of a detailed optimization study of the permitted, past-producing, 300 tonne per day (“tpd“) Blackdome mill & tailings site.

Note: nameplate capacity is 300 tpd, but management uses 200 tpd for planning purposes.

The Blackdome mill is 30 km from the Elizabeth zone, so operating margins have the potential to be strong. Assuming 95% capacity utilization & 94% gold recoveries, the chart above shows the number of annual ounces at various production rates. For example, 9 g/t ore would generate ~23.6k oz./yr. at 250 tpd.

Assuming a US$900/oz. margin, capturing 100% of the economics on 23.6k ounces/yr. would be a run-rate of ~$29m/yr. in cash flow. A Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA“) is planned for 1q 2024.

I include higher operating levels as the payback on invested capital to double mill capacity could be under a year. In speaking with CEO Bahnsen, I’m pleased that he doesn’t overplay his hand regarding the milling complex, a complex with a replacement value of $60+M.

Although management could have it running again within a year, the board plans to prudently wait until it can feed Blackdome with its own high-grade ore.

Another nearby (much larger & well known) historic mine — not part of Tempus’s projects — is the Bralorne Mine Complex, that produced a total of 4.2M ounces at an average grade of 17.7 g/t.

Although the Blackdome mill & tailings site are on care & maintenance, they are permitted and the assets are in good standing. Importantly, drilling at E-B has focused on shallow mineralization (to ~200 m depth). However, the Bralorne Gold mine reached a depth of 1,900 m.

On Feb. 20th Tempus released final 2022 drill results on the Elizabeth gold project. The seven holes included intersections of the No. 9 & Blue veins, and the newly discovered West Hanging Wall vein. The high-grade zone has now been extended to > 250 m & > 285 m at the No. 9 & Blue veins, respectively.

During last year’s drill program, Tempus completed 10 holes targeting a potential strike extension from historical workings to the southwest. Several No. 9 vein intervals intersected wide zones of quartz veining, including three that had visible gold.

There are dozens of high-quality gold juniors in Canada & Australia, but only a small handful have 1) a permitted mill & tailings site, 2) very high-grade mineralization, and 3) a very cheap valuation.

Upon the release of a 10+ g/t gold maiden resource and the details of a comprehensive mill restart report in April or May, — not to mention a robust drill program and the potential for more blockbuster intervals — Tempus Resources (TSX-v: TMRR) / (ASX: TMR) is positioned for an exciting year ahead.

Please see new March corp. presentation.

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