Mineral Investors Claim Huge Northern Stake

Prince George Citizen, Saturday, January 22, 2005

by GORDON HOEKSTRA Citizen staff

A trio of Vancouver-based investors has staked a huge swath of land in north-central B.C., using the province’s new on-line mineral claim staking program, in the hopes of discovering a new gold and copper find.

The land was staked by geologist Clinton Smyth, who is involved in the exploration venture with Bill Rand and Brian Edgar, long-time investors and securities lawyers in the mining business who run Rand Edgar Capital Corp.

Although the consortium has not formed a company, they are calling their venture the Alkalic Gold Syndicate.

The day the on-line mineral staking program was launched on Jan. 12, they laid claim to more than 100,000 hectares of land north of the Nation Lakes, about 200 kilometres northwest of Prince George. It’s an area about 1,200 square kilometres in size, with similar geology to the Mount Milligan mine project, in the same region, which Placer Dome is re-examining.

It was rare to be able to stake this large amount of land in B.C. before the on-line staking program was launched, in part, because staking had to be done in the field, said Smyth, who had a 22-year career with Anglo American Corp. of South Africa before moving to B.C. four years ago.

He said it’s more common in other countries like Australia and Chile.

“I think what’s rather special about the claims that we’ve made is it’s a single large land package, and so it lends itself to the application of modern exploration techniques in a way that lots of little postage stamp (parcels of land) don’t,” said Smyth.

The investors expect to conduct airborne geological surveys and dirt and rock sampling in the first year. They must invest money each year to retain the mineral rights.

The investors hope to attract a large multi-national mining company, perhaps one based in B.C., as a partner, said Edgar, one of Smyth’s other two partners.

“This is grassroots exploration, and if anything is going to come of it in terms of a commercial deposit, it’s years into the future, but you have to start somewhere,” said Edgar.

The province’s junior mining minister, Pat Bell, welcomed news of the interest in north-central B.C.

He said more minerals claims have been staked in the first three weeks of 2005 -- since the release of the on-line mineral program -- than in 2004.

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