The Gold Report: You have declared your goals as “developing positive cash flow from operations” and “growing Atna Resources Ltd. (ATN:TSX) into a low-cost, mid-tier gold producer.” What steps have you taken to achieve these goals since you became president and CEO six years ago?
James Hesketh: Atna and Canyon Resources merged in 2008. The new company had several development assets, including the Briggs gold mine in California, the Pinson gold mine in Nevada, the Reward project in Nevada and the Columbia project in Montana. But we had no production. Our first step was to put Briggs into production, which we accomplished in 2009 with our first gold pour occurring in May. Since then, we’ve produced about 160,000 ounces (160 Koz) of gold from Briggs.
“Pinson is an underground mine producing high-grade ore on the order of about 13–15 g/t.”
We then had to negotiate with Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX:TSX; ABX:NYSE) to consolidate our ownership in Pinson, which we accomplished in 2011. Development commenced in 2012. Unfortunately, the price of gold collapsed in 2013 and forced us to put off the start-up of operations until 2014. Today, Pinson is increasing its production rate as an underground mine.
We now have gold production from two mines in two different U.S. states, which is a strong step toward achieving our long stated goals.
TGR: Tell us about the other members of your management team and the strengths they bring to Atna.
JH: Rod Gloss, our CFO, has spent his career in the mining industry and is key to managing our finances and raising funds. Bill Stanley, our Vice President of Exploration, manages our geological efforts at Pinson as we continue to expand operations there, and he’s been instrumental in discovering and expanding gold resources at all our sites. His background includes a …read more