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A New, Emerging Gold Discovery in Atlantic Canada

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
2 Comments| January 24, 2022

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Back in May 2021, Stockhouse Editorial introduced metals & mining investors to a company that was “Stalking Canada’s Next Great Gold Discovery.”

Puma Exploration Inc. (TSX-V.PUMA, OTCMKTS: PUXPF, Forum) is a Canadian-based mineral exploration company focusing its efforts on the discovery of precious metals ore bodies in the famous Bathurst Mining Camp in New Brunswick…home of more than 40 VMS deposits. Puma has remained a major player in this prolific underexplored gold terrane for many years.

Fast-forward to 2022 and Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson caught up, once again, with company President & CEO Marcel Robillard to get our investor audience reacquainted with this intriguing Maritime gold play.



SH: To start off with, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of the company?

MR: Yes, for sure. So basically, I'm geo as a background and I've been involved with Puma Exploration since about its listing at the stock exchange back in 2003. So basically Puma has been really active in the Bathurst mining camp for about 20 years now and we have really focused the exploration at the time on the base metal side, but there was a gem,a really hidden gem there -the gold potential of the Atlantic Canada jurisdictionSo since about two years now, we see a lot more activities in Atlantic Canada. So Puma is based in Rimouski, small town in Eastern Canada, about three hours drive only from the site. So paved road, so really nice access and it's a beauty to be here.

SH: Can you update our investor audience and your Puma Exploration shareholders on any new company developments, especially in the wake of COVID-19?

MR: Sure. So first some of you might have seen it, Puma just launched one of the major drilling program that we started. It's the biggest program so far, 10,000 meters. The drill is on site since today. So basically what you asked me is about the COVID situation but when do not have any impact so far because basically there's two real reasons. First half of the staff is coming from New Brunswick. So having people living in New Brunswick, that avoids some transportation and some issues about coming from some other provinces to work in New Brunswick but secondly, as well, Puma as his own houses and office in New Brunswick. So we are called a business bubble. So there's a house with people there. So we have not experienced any issue yet and fingers cross it is going stay calm on that side and I hope that everybody is going to get healthy and we're going to get through that situation.

SH: The Company made several gold discoveries at your flagship Williams Brook gold property in 2021. Can you expand on some the highlights for our investor audience?

MR: Oh, yes, for sure. So that's kind of a really great situation that we have at Williams Brook because most of the time exploration company goes somewhere that places that already mineralization has been found in the place in the past but now, we started two years ago with one grab sample grading 50 grams gold in it. So as you know grade is king. So having those 50 grams at surface, we said, there's something there. So with systematic exploration and effort, we have been able to do some trenching and stripping over the entire horizon, which is so far confirmed over 700 meters. So it's funny because every time it's like a strawberry field, every time we bend to take some sample, we have gold in it. So the mineralization has been found mainly by trenching and this is one of the big, big upsides about New Brunswick and the overburden at that place is really, really thin.

So instead of trying to do work and doing some drilling blind, you have access and have two boots on the ground to really find the mineralization but also to get some study. So basically the best way to do exploration, trenching and sampling, sampling, sampling because as gold is our special animal, we need to get a lot of samples to really define the best place to do some exploration and that's exactly what we've done. So basically, we start from one grab sample to trenching, stripping and in August this year in 2021, Puma within its inaugural drilling program with only 2000 meters of drilling, we've drilled a bust hole. I mean it's 5.5 grams over 50 meters, right from surface. So that drilling program was really designed, as I can say, go to school was like really close based drilling, really systematic to see where and how the veins and the gold mineralization is contained. So now launching our new 10,000-meter program, the task is not the same. We don't go to school now we're chasing for the high-grade shoot. So that will be really, really exciting because knowing how those veins are related together, then we can really direct to it the big higher grade gold shoot.

SH: You just launched your 2022 exploration program and announces up to 51.7 grams per ton gold in surface grab samples at Williams Brook. These are some exciting numbers!

MR: Oh yes, exactly but you know we're really, a bit disappointed because we’re used to have 100grams, 199grams, 240 grams. I'm joking here. It's always good because that was the first area that was not trenched or stripped last year. So what is so exciting? Those grab sample at surface, as I said earlier, going to school with the first drilling program, we've learned that everything found at surface, the grab sample, when you drill it, you hit the same similar grades at depth. So now we can save money and save time because what we're going to do is to go back drilling those high gradegrab samples. So finding 29 grams, 51 grams, 20 grams everywhere on the contact, gives us a lot of hope for the upcoming drilling program. So that is a beauty of be able to find those grabs at rugged surface.

SH: You’ve recently raised close to six-million dollars in private placements in just over a month. This may be news to many investors. What can they glean from this?

MR: I mean, basically that will provide Puma one of the biggest budgets for exploration for the last 20 years. So as people know and the investors sometime to market was not too good during the last 10 years. So when you have a limited budget, you always do a bit of work but you cannot do the real work to bring the property to the next level. So having that money in hand at least we have been able to program and plan the program for $5 million because a part of the private placement is flow-through. So that's for sure $5 million will be spent on exploration within the year. So that's gave us the opportunities to really work closely the O’Neil Gold Trend . So do a first 10,000 meters on that 700 meters long zone then doing also the property scale exploration because we want to bring another area of the property to the level where O’Neil Gold Trend is right now.

So we have a lot of room because it's over 20,000 hectares of property there and also, we are going to have about 10% of the budgetBJE that will be directed onwhat I'm calling the camp scale property. So, which means, we have other propertieslike Portage and Jonpol also. If we're looking to get some more acquisition, we will have the liquidity to do it and as well, a part of the million dollars that we've raised, hard dollars will be put into marketing and promotion because in the past, I'm a geo so I never really like to put too much money in marketing. I prefer to put it in in the ground but the thing as said, if you don't have any project, you’re not investing in marketing, now we have a story to get out and that's the reason why we are going to have enough for management, the marketing and the most important for Puma having a lot of work done on the ground. If you look compared to last year just on the drilling, we're going to have at least a minimum of four times what we've drilled. So just figuring out the amount of good holes that we can come up with those program it's really exciting.

SH: The Company looks set for strong growth in 2022. How are you placed to expand operations to meet demand?

MR: Basically having that budget already a plan, we have the staff and the people in house ready to do. So as long as we don't have any bad news about the COVID and people sick about that, we have all the labor and what we're going to do is just to extend the zone. So first of all, doing some trenching in some other parts and we're going to have enough employees to work and explore the entire area.

SH: For company shareholders and potential investors, what kind of future development and progress can we expect at Williams Brook?

MR: Basically right now, as I said in 2021, we went to school now we're ready. We're not teenagers anymore. We're like adults and we want to go further. So basically, it's based on building on the new discovery, a brand-new discovery. We want to increase the resources but always adding some other property or other part of the property to the next level. So as I said, the 700 meters of the O’Neil Gold Trend is kind of the resource definition phases there. So the only thing now needs to be done is drill, drill at surface, beginning at surface because there's some investor that ask me, oh, why you don't drill at depth? So why would I put a 500-meter long drill hole as long as I can find gold at surface? So we're going to go there once we understand a little bit more about the deposit and it's going to come because the first four months of the year, all the work that we've done back in 2021, the Geophysical Survey, the Geochem survey, the assay results are all going to be put together and what we would like to do is to show the investors the big picture because it's looked like last year we had many pieces of the puzzle that we have together but this year we want to find the cover of the box of the puzzle.

So having the cover, now we're going to know where all the pieces have to be done and that will show us the big model. What is the blue sky and what would be the size because a lot of people always say, you find a mine beside a mine but maybe Williams Brook can be the first one and then many more will come around. So to show that, we need to express the huge potential of the entire belt and as it sits just beside the Bathurst mining camp, it's funny because the only work done is from 2008 because everybody was looking for VMS in the Bathurst camp but we're just on the edge. So there was really little companies that went there. So basically what we want to do is to bring and understand what we found at surface and understand the depth of it and the 3d model of all the area that would be great in at the end of 2022, Puma knows all the blue-sky potential of the property and the camp.

SH: What separates Puma from the competition and makes your business model unique?

MR: I mean, I think the best advantage that we have is we've been the first mover in the area because when we did exploration on the base metal, we're focused on the Bathurst camp and then all the new stories, like Newfound Gold, Marathon Gold, all those companies that they found really great deposits in Newfoundland. So with my geo and as well myself, we understood that that bell is continuing to New Brunswick. So that's the reason why we've been able to collect and stake and do some deals over 18 months with the local prospector to acquire a huge land package. So to be a first mover, gives us the opportunity to select what we thought, we can be wrong, maybe, but by my point is we collect and make deals about 28 deals over 18 months to collect all that together and now we have control over 100% of that play.
Since then, there's three times more claim just surrounding Puma. So this is one thing and also for sure, I've been doing exploration for 20 years in New Brunswick. We have all the access to New Brunswick government. We know the rules, we know the policy, we know the prospector, we know the gossip, we know who to not talk to. So it's great to be there and it's a small province as well. So it's a friendly area to be working. I know the government by their first name, this is a huge upside to be doing some work in that small place New Brunswick.

SH: I have to mention your stock has had a very nice bump over the last 12 months…more than doubling in value since then. What can you tell our investor audience regarding the current valuation of your stock and why you think it’s still a good buy right now?

MR: The main reason is it's always to compare the others in the area. So, I have few big brothers that around, which are mainly Marathon Gold Company with their Valentine Lake. So for sure they're further away but as I said, this is the same favorable unit. So now what we're doing, we save costs, money, and time because we use the same consultant as them. So for sure they are a lot more advanced and I call them big, brother not because we have a special relationship but because everything they do now, I look what they're doing and I copy paste what they're doing. So it's really great to have somebody like this, doing this. They have about 250,000 meters of drilling but their market cap is above like $750 million market cap. So if we compare Puma with 40 million market cap, there's a lot of room for sure there is going to be a lot of work to get there but this is kind of the expectation but you were talking about the beginning of the year at 15 cents.

If you go back 18 months, that was 5 cents. So there's people now where they do 8 to 10 times their investment and I will try to keep that speed and basically always having good news, constant news flow because we're for sure, it's never, always big news to move the stock to 10 cents but one of the objectives of Puma is to keep our investor as much informed as we can. So sometimes it's going be just a quick news, something like this, but at least we have a lot of activities on ground and that's going to probably be turned into really great discovery. As you know, this is all what I can control. I can control the work done, to way to announce the news and manage my marketing but there's some other stuff that I do not control general market, the gold price, all the rest I cannot control but what I can say, the things that I'm saying and I'm telling to people we're doing it. So, you have a pretty clear path of what we want to do and it's never too late to get on board.

SH: What’s the long-term strategy for the company moving forward and what should retail and institutional investors be looking out for visa vis Puma?

MR: The long term is just building resources. What we want to do is to make sure that we do the proper work to bring Puma to the next level with less dilution as possible. So we launched back in 2019, what we call the DEAR strategy. It's funny because now people call me DEAR Marcel but there was development, exploration, acquisition, and royalty. So this is what the main long-term plan is for Puma. A part of that plan is because we've been working 18 years in Bathurst camp. We had access to really great copper play and because I want that Puma is really, really focused on gold and have only one thing to think about is the gold. Puma is now doing a spinoff of the copper asset. So instead of having some great copper play and everybody knows that copper should have a really, really great forecast for the next few years.

So instead of having those plays sleeping, we would distribute some of the shares of Melius to the shareholder who has a dividend and it's going to happen pretty soon. So right now for the long term, we have a view of Puma doing some exploration and as we speak, I'm really excited about exploration. If there's some mining it won't be me myself because I don't mind that somebody else is better than I am at doing the job. I don't care about title. I want that the investors get a really good return on their investment. So Puma’s goal is doing some resource, adding resource, finding more and then at the same time, having a leverage on the copper, having ownership about between 10 and 20 percent of the copper new listed company and that's the way that I would like to always return to my shareholders forthe faith they had in Puma and also the money they invested in Puma.

SH: Can you tell our audience a little bit about your corporate management and board teams, along with the experience and innovative ideas they bring to the gold exploration space?

MR: Yes, exactly. That was a long way since 2019 and having those great assets in hand brought a lot of high class, high level like individuals to join the group and in the past, my VP and I were almost two people that did all the jobs. So now we had to have a bigger team. One of the best things to happen is having a new director, which is Réjean Gosselin who is now is the Chairman of the Board. Réjean has, I don't think he would like that I say this but 40 years of experience, maybe he would like or not like it too much, as a CEO of many different public company for mining. So he is a geologist, he's from Quebec and has a lot of experience in exploration basically. We also have two representative from New Brunswick, which was really important for us because even if the head office is in Quebec, we only have plays and exploration properties in New Brunswick.

So, we have two individuals. One is Rick Thibault. He used to be a CEO of Antioquia Gold. He has about again, 40 years experience and he's a mining engineer. So his best task and objective in the past was to put mines into production. The other representative is Laura Araneda. A famous businesswoman from New Brunswick. She used to be a director and CEO of a drilling company. So once again, it's business but related to exploration, so mainly drilling. Also we have Michel Fontaine. He used to be the CEO at the beginning Diagnos, Windfall Geotek recently and his business used to be artificial intelligence, so AI, so that helped as well to finding more target over the entire land package and myself. So we're five of us but mainly right now, it's all directed on the mining. So we would like maybe to have somebody a bit more in the finance and money side to help us a bit more because right now it's all good management but if we're raising like millions of dollars and change the size of the company then it's going to be really helpful to have somebody a bit more on the finance side for us.

SH: And finally, Marcel, if there’s anything I’ve overlooked please feel free to elaborate.

MR: Oh, thank you very much but no, I mean, basically, as you said, many times Puma is working in one of the best jurisdictions. It's all accessible preferable mining town. We have money in the treasury and this is really important because we do not plan to do any private placement in 2022.

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FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

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Nice to see Puma management is excited, the recent news (since this above interview was put out) had the best grades to date at surface, this is exciting since in 2021 they found 240 g/t at surface and when they drilled under that they found over 50 m of over 5 g/t gold discovery hole. Just imagine what is there under last weeks find of over 300 g/t at surface. a 10,000 m fully funded drill program is just starting this Jan.-2022 -- very exciting times. For those not up to speed see https://mini
January 29, 2022

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