Cross River Ventures (CSE: CRVC) CEO Alex Klenman on the Technical Team and Exploration in Canada
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Cross River Ventures, Mr. Alex Klenman. Alex, how are you this morning?
Alex Klenman: I'm good. Thanks for having me, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks for coming on. Anytime that we introduce a story to our audience, I of course want to make sure that I vet the story before doing so. And so, I usually go through my obvious checklist of criteria, which is the team, the assets, the share structure, and whether or not there's upcoming catalysts that are going to provide that rerating, that don't just depend on a higher commodity price. And I have to say, Cross River checks every single one of those boxes. And I want to get into that, but before we do, I would love for you to provide a bit of your background, and then let's get into the excellent teams, multiple teams that you've been able to put together here.
Alex Klenman: Absolutely. I'm a market guy. I've been involved, I hate to tell you this, in the public markets since the dot com days. After the dot com days, I did move into private sector stuff, but came back into the markets right around the big crash in 2008, which I figured was a bottom and maybe a good time to do it. But I'm primarily a gold exploration CEO. I've been involved in, and am still involved with multiple companies. I'm on the boards of several other companies. My strengths are really on the marketing side, on the messaging, and narrative. I put together teams. I try to work with others in a good environment to create value, and I've been a fairly successful. I've done some good deals and I'm good at raising money with a good team. It's never a one-trick pony. You need support people around you to make things happen. But I'm a workaholic. I worked 60, 70 hour work weeks, and I'm a bit of a driver. So, that helps as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into the team and the technical teams that you've managed to put together, because frankly, it's an impressive set of names that includes Rob Carpenter, Alan Wainwright. I'll let you go ahead and fill in the blanks with the rest of them. You had an addition this morning. But very, very impressive, and a group that doesn't lend itself to just any asset, right?
Alex Klenman: No, 100% correct. And we were lucky to fall into place. All these things fell into place since we IPOed in July. So, without getting... Won't go too deep. We made a couple of acquisitions over the last couple of months, and these are the geologists that were involved with those. But since we've been aggressive on those acquisitions, we've managed to make it official. Today, we put out a news release that this is our technical team.
And basically, the team is made up of Laurie Paslawski. She's the exploration manager. She's got a master's degree, she's done a lot of work around the planet. She was very much involved with the West Haven discovery at Shovelnose. And you mentioned Dr. Rob Carpenter. He's a PhD. Rob is best known for leading the team that found the Coffee deposit in the Yukon that ended up being 5 million ounces. He was the founder, one of the founders and the CEO of Kaminak. And Kaminak sold to Goldcorp in 2016 for $500 million.
Part of his team also is another PhD, Alan Wainwright, Great guy, who was also involved with the Coffee gold discovery. And then Dan MacNeil, who's got his master's. Has been around, has worked all over the planet for some big companies. And they come as a team. And it's interesting when you see the dynamic of having the technical expertise of two PhDs and two master's, as being the people who are going to direct the exploration efforts for Cross River. I think we're in really good hands.
Gerardo Del Real: Those meetings must be interesting. As a non-geologist myself, I'm often amazed at the wealth of information that even a non-technical person like myself can gather, right?
Alex Klenman: Oh, I can echo that 100%. I spent three, almost four hours on a Zoom call with nine geologists yesterday and me. And it was like Christmas morning, honestly, because some of the things that I learned in that call... I mean, I was excited about Cross River and the projects, but when you hear these people talk about what we're going to do and what they think is there and how they think they're going to find it, it just relayed a remarkable amount of confidence to me, that not only are we in good hands, but we're really lucky at the same time. And sometimes the stars align, they just do. And I think that might be the case here.
Gerardo Del Real: Tell me a bit about the projects, Alex. Obviously, again, Dr. Carpenter doesn't come over just to earn a paycheck. This is a team that has serial success, multiple multi-million ounce discoveries. And so, tell me a bit about the assets that have you and them so excited.
Alex Klenman: Yeah, absolutely. It started with a portfolio that was held in a private company called Northern Dominion Metals. And that was Carpenter and Wainwright and MacNeil, and some others, who had put this private company together. I think their original intention was to take it public. But the way that things worked, it kind of came together that we would be a good place for that portfolio. So we cut a deal. We grabbed these. There's a total of eight projects in Northwestern Ontario. All are contained within the Archean Superior province, which is a massive belt. And if you look at these belts, you're going along the lines of... From the East, you got Rice Lake, and then you get into Ontario where you have Red Lake, which is obviously well-known, and then you hit the Birch-Uchi belt, and then the Lang Lake belt, and then Pickle Lake belt. So, between all of these belts, I mean, it's one of the best, if not the best place on the planet to find large economic gold deposits. And the portfolio that we acquired is primarily in the Uchi belt and the Lang Lake belt.
There was a second part of this acquisition that we just closed, with a company called Argo Gold. One of the projects we got from Northern Dominion is called McVicar. We had the Eastern portion of McVicar through Northern Dominion. We just acquired the rest of McVicar from Argo. So, we basically have a district-scale project in McVicar that eats up almost the entire Lang Lake belt. So, when you talk about a district-sized play with multiple, multiple opportunities to have big discovery, it's all sitting right there. And most of these belts have been underexplored. Red Lake being the exception. And Lang Lake just hasn't been. There was some work done in the early '90s by companies like BHP, but there was a couple of episodes in Canada in the '90s that really caused an exodus of these big multinationals.
One was, the BC government grabbed a large swath of land in British Columbia that had a lot of gold on it. That scared a lot of people. They turned it into park land. And then, of course, there was Bre-X. So, between all of those things, there are actually places that haven't been pin cushioned to death within these great belts, that are so prolific and so giving, and that's what we've got here.
Gerardo Del Real: You recently raised close to $2 million here in October. I believe it was $1.75 million, if I'm not mistaken. I have to believe that with the technical team in place and the projects, that you're putting that capital to work in the ground immediately?
Alex Klenman: Yeah, we are. And it's great, because one of the things I've learned from this group is we're not going to make the same... It's important that you understand that, not only do you need to know what to do, you need to know what not to do. And that's what you get with this group. They're very much focused on how we're going to get to where we want to get to. So, we're going to be very much data-driven and using leading edge techniques. There's something called LiDAR technology, which is an airborne geophysical survey, that hasn't been applied to any of the ground here. But this is relatively new technology that wasn't even available to the companies that were working in these areas in the '90s.
So, we're going to do that. We're going to do that through Q1, 2021. We're going to delineate the breaks, the folds, the structural things we need to seek, and then we're going to look to drill. But we want to be methodical. We don't want to waste money. We want to put money into the right areas to drill. And that's where these guys are going to make the right decisions based on the data that we have, we're accumulating, we're going through. And that will generate from these airborne surveys.
Gerardo Del Real: Can you walk me through the share structure? You're trading here near the $0.40 level, I believe, fully diluted. You only have 19.1 million shares, correct?
Alex Klenman: Right, right. It'll be just around 21 million when all of the exchange approvals come in for the two acquisitions. But 21 million shares out. We IPOed in July. We've been basically cycling through some of the IPO stock and market. But very tight. Listen, the way we want to do this, we'd like to be at the point of major discovery or impactful discovery with 30, 35 million shares out. And that really sets up for a nice springboard when you bring a significant haul to the market. And we think we can do that here in 2021 with a tight structure. We have cash. We're going to raise money a couple of times throughout 2021, maybe sooner. But these will be non-diluted.
And one of the things I think we also have going for us is, listen, we've got 10 projects. We aren't going to work all 10 projects the same way. In fact, we're going to concentrate on two, three, or maybe four of the best projects. But we're going to put requisite work into all of the projects, so we can now maybe become a bit of a project generator as well with that portfolio. So, we can be in a situation a year, year and a half down the line where we're making a little bit of an income from JV deals from outright selling, from earn-ins, that allow us to place less emphasis on dilutive equity raises. So we can be a bit of a revenue-generating explorer, if you will. And I think that's well within our reach, particularly when you look at the portfolio that we've assembled. There's projects there that we'll find partners for, and we'll be able to monetize over time. And I think that'll help us avoid the old rinse, repeat, dilutive cycle that many juniors find themselves in.
Gerardo Del Real: There's a lot to like, Alex. It sounds like 2021 is going to be a pivotal year for the company. Is there anything else that you'd like to add? I want to thank you for your time, obviously. It's a very, very, very compelling story.
Alex Klenman: Yeah. Thank you. And I think I want to use an analogy, and I just want people to understand it in these types of terms. If you go to see a good movie, for example, let's just say James Bond, the first 30 seconds or two minutes when you sit in your seat, is going to be Daniel Craig driving a motorcycle up a building while shooting at the bad guys. And you're going to be riveted to your seats for the first couple of minutes. And that's the teaser. We just did that with these acquisitions, and particularly with the announcement of the technical team today.
So, now you've got the opening credits. The opening credits for Cross River are now blasting across the screen. So, I'm telling people, Sit down, grab your popcorn, take a position, and let the movie play out here. And don't leave 20 minutes into the film. This is a three-act play, and we're in act one. We're in act one here. And let the story unfold, because there's some phenomenal people involved and we're in the best place on the planet to find big economic deposits. So, I just want people to see it and frame it in those terms. And maybe you can tuck some of this stock away and let us do our thing in 2021. But it sets up quite well.
Gerardo Del Real: I'll be watching with popcorn in hand, Alex. Thank you so much.
Alex Klenman: I appreciate it. Thanks so much.