I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alan Pangbourne to learn more about him and his aspirations for the Metates project. Alan is the CEO and President of Chesapeake Gold ($CKG). There is this problem in the gold industry and I am not going to pretend to talk like I am an expert in this space because I am not. But I know there are many intelligent individuals on CEO.ca and hopefully this article can create some further discussion.
Alan went in depth about his experience and how he developed in the industry. He worked around the world and had many "different seats at the table". He was in operations for about six years, then went and worked for his mentor in an engineering company. But he also worked at BHP and helped them build some significant projects. One of them was the Spence project in Chile, which was one of the largest sulfide heap leach projects in the copper industry. However, that is copper and the Metates project is a refractory gold deposit. Two different things but the team at Chesapeake believes their technology they acquired might be the solution.
The Metates project has been known for some time and before the plan was to use an autoclave to extract the gold. That however is extremely expensive to build and operate. It is doable, look at Barrick Gold's Pueblo Viejo project in the Dominican Republic, but the Metates project would not be economical with such a method. They did propose that in the past but Alan is focusing on a new solution of leaching the gold. But can you leach such an ore deposit?
I don't know and that's why I had Alan on the show. However we ran out of time and was not able to get into all the details. So I thought if someone reading this might have some insight.
Crux Investor did go through a more technical chat with Alan. Take a listen here: https://youtu.be/Z5EmCwtBJaU
And here is my conversation with Alan.
There needs to be early adopters for innovation. It's human nature and innovation is how all great things we know of today came to be. But being early or willing to try something new means you are putting your neck out on the line. The mining industry is already a risky business and can you justify taking on further risk with an unknown method?
However! If Alan can prove to solve such a problem it will be revolutionary for the industry. The greater the risk the greater the reward right? Alan claims to hold 11% of the shares in $CKG and believes this technology can work. But I am wondering your thoughts on such a proposal? Love to hear your thoughts and hope you enjoy the conversation!