Back to the future to find the source of the Klondike Gold Rush

A Klondike mining camp circa 1899.

My friend Peter Tallman is president CEO of Klondike Gold Corp (TSXV:KG), a company that today holds the key claims in the heart of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush region near Dawson City, Yukon, where some 20 million ounces of placer gold was recovered at surface, with the hard rock source of the gold never found.

The property has been called the greatest gold anomaly on the planet after the Witwatersrand.

Klondike was promoted aggressively during the 20th century. Twice in the last 30 years it had a greater than $100 million market capitalization, while today’s it’s just under $5 million.

The problem, frankly, is that some of its managers squandered many millions of investor dollars on non-core academic studies, stock promotion and related party transactions, lining their own pockets with the promise of a new gold rush, without ever coming up with substantial exploration results (these are my personal opinions, and do not reflect the views of the company). Klondike Gold Corp had become somewhat of a joke in Dawson City, Yukon for this reason.

Decades of bad history in the Klondike came to an end last year with the appointment of Peter Tallman to the President and CEO position of the company.

Tallman was formerly “Vice President of Everything” for Murray Pezim, one of Canada’s best-known and most colourful mining promoters. Tallman has multiple discoveries to his credit and significant experience in the Yukon.

In his first year on the Klondike Gold job, Tallman settled all of the company’s debts, disposed of its non-core assets, consolidated 100% ownership of the key claims for the first time in many years, rolled back the stock and finally Klondike Gold has some money in the bank (approx $1 million today).

The company has the most unique promotional plan I have ever seen for a junior explorer. Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush program has optioned one of Klondike Gold’s properties, giving it at least the cash equivalent of 100 ounces of gold in 2014, which is likely to be increased this year and the next. Klondike Gold and CEO Peter Tallman also get free exposure to approximately 4 million viewers of that television series per week, not to mention the online exposure.

While 2014 was a year of corporate cleanup, the company did manage to generate some positive field results. A news release out this morning says that during summer 2014, Klondike Gold found a fault system not previously imagined. Prospecting around it located veins with assay grades up to kilograms per tonne gold (1766 g/t Au is 51.5 oz/ton Au). These are uber high grades.

Read: Klondike Gold Reports Lone Star Property Rock Sample Assays

CEO Peter Tallman is not promising a drill program this summer at Klondike, however the field work will continue and he tells me that he’s very excited for the 2015 exploration season there.

Tallman oversaw a massive gold exploration program for Ethos Gold a couple of years ago not far from the Klondike area. The work was hailed as a methodical exploration program at scale. Ethos walked away when results weren’t encouraging enough.

Klondike Gold has another thing going for it. Successful mining financier Frank Giustra, who founded countless successful natural resources ventures, owns just under 20% of the company. Giustra also founded Lionsgate Films and his entertainment connections helped Klondike land its television joint venture. The Klondike property is something of a curiosity for Giustra. He thinks it’s a long shot, but he’s had success in a similar setting twenty years ago. In the early 1990s, Giustra backed Robert Friedland’s Fairbanks Gold which brought a new exploration approach to the Fairbanks Gold Rush region of Alaska. A deposit was quickly proven up, sold for US $152 million, and today is operated by Kinross.

We recently taped an interview with Klondike Gold CEO Peter Tallman which will be live on shortly.

Please note we are not independent in our coverage of Klondike Gold. We helped to find Mr. Tallman for the job (thank you Fred Leigh). Klondike Gold is a a sponsor and author holds a share position.

With that said I am very proud to have this conflict of interest with Klondike Gold Corp.

Now if they can just find the hard-rock source of the Klondike, Discovery Channel and will be watching.

Read Klondike’s latest news release: Klondike Gold Reports Lone Star Property Rock Sample Assays

By Tommy Humphreys

Tommy Humphreys is a writer and web producer. He is the founder of CEO.CA and also serves as an advisor to executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

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