Franco-Nevada grows but still tied to Nevada

Franco-Nevada Corp. is worldwide, but the company still has royalties on gold produced at major mines in Nevada.

“Nevada is our middle name,” said Franco-Nevada CEO David Harquail, who described Nevada’s mining industry as “rock solid. It’s been the bedrock of the gold industry. You can make mines in Nevada you can’t anywhere else.”

He predicts Nevada will continue to be a preferred jurisdiction for the industry. Harquail pointed to Barrick Gold Corp.’s Goldrush and Fourmile projects and Newmont Mining Corp.’s operations as examples of why Nevada will still be a mining stronghold.

Franco-Nevada doesn’t have royalties or assets tied with Barrick’s latest projects, but the company does have a royalty on the South Arturo Mine Barrick operates near the Goldstrike Mine north of Carlin. Barrick is 60 percent owner of South Arturo, and Premier Gold Mines Ltd. owns 40 percent.

The Phase I open pit project and the El Nino underground project at South Arturo are slated to begin production in the second half of 2019.

“We’re very excited about that,” Harquail said in a phone interview.

According to Franco-Nevada’s third-quarter earnings report, additional work is planned at South Arturo to assess the potential of new opportunities that could include a Phase 3 pit and processing of heap leach material from all the pits.

Franco-Nevada’s interests in Nevada also include Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine, Newmont’s Gold Quarry Mine, Kinross Gold Corp.’s Bald Mountain Mine, SSR Mining’s Marigold Mine at Valmy and the Midas, Hollister and Fire Creek underground mines Hecla Mining Co. acquired from Klondex Mines Ltd. in July.

“Nevada’s properties are very promising,” Harquail said. “Great ore bodies keep on giving. Companies want to extend mines long enough to be there for the next commodity upcycle.”

Outside Nevada but in the United States, the company has a royalty interest in New Gold Inc.’s Mesquite Mine in California and the Stillwater platinum mine in Montana.

Franco-Nevada also has royalties on future potential producing properties in Nevada, such as Pinson, a project owned by Osgood Mining Co. LLC and Barrick, Newmont’s Sandman property, and Northern Empire Resource Corp.’s Sterling exploration project near Beatty.

Additionally, U.S. potential producers include Midas Gold Corp.’s Stibnite property in Idaho and Equinox Gold Corp.’s Castle Mountain property in California, and Harquail said Franco-Nevada has interest in 31 “pure exploration properties” in the U.S.

Midas Mine

Franco-Nevada in its earlier form developed the Midas Mine, then called the Ken Snyder Mine, in Elko County with sister company Euro-Nevada that later became part of Franco-Nevada. The first gold pour at Ken Snyder was in December 1998.

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