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Co. Exploring Historic Gold District Issues Sustainability Report

Source: Streetwise Reports


June 7, 2023 ( Newswire) This company exploring the historic Black Hills of South Dakota issues a report on the sustainability of its projects in the area.

Dakota Gold Corp. (DC:NYSE American), which has acquired and is exploring 46,000 acres surrounding the historic Homestake Mine in South Dakota, has released its first sustainability report for 2022.

In it, the company lays out how important gold is to the new economy and energy transition, but also how the surrounding areas in the Black Hills are "a special place that must be protected," President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Awde wrote in the report.

The company expanded its sustainability team in 2022 by hiring Chief Sustainability Officer Patrick Malone.

"The District has been in near continuous production since gold was first discovered in 1876. Mining has occurred in the northern Black Hills around the Lead area for more than 145 years, coexisting with and enhancing tourism, logging, agriculture, and local communities," Malone wrote.

"Given this history, local communities are rightly concerned that any new operations will be good stewards of the land as well as protecting regional water and air quality in the region."

Awde and Robert Quartermain head the company, which is also backed by industry heavyweight Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX:TSX; GOLD:NYSE)

"Dakota Gold is now seeking to revitalize this legendary district in hopes of making a material discovery on its land package proximal to the mine," Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Fairbairn wrote earlier this month.

The Catalyst: No Reportable Environmental Incidents

In the report, Dakota Gold said its environmental policy, which ensures impacts are minimized in a way that "utilizes previously disturbed areas, protects clean water, and minimizes carbon emissions," was reviewed and adopted in February. It said there were no reportable environmental incidents in 2022.

"We know what we do, and how we do it matters," Chief Operations Officer Gerald Aberle wrote in the report.

The company said that as part of the policy, it had established a cooperative inspection program with the state's Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, reclaimed all 24 test holes drilled in 2022, and established a Chance Find Procedure to protect cultural and biological resources in the area. It also created a weed management plan and a timber management program for fire management.

The company also has begun tracking water use and fuel consumption, and emissions for the 2023 Sustainability Report.

Dakota Gold also noted it had hosted 17 community engagement events on its activities and created a Community Investment Committee.

According to the report, in 2022, the company invested more than US$25.5 million in the state, including US$5.7 million in payroll, US$13.6 in payments to vendors and contracts, and US$6.2 million in purchases of land and buildings. Dakota Gold also said it donated more than US$70,000 to local charities.

Four Drills Turning at Homestake Properties

Last month, the company said it was exploring two overlapping high-grade gold discoveries at its Maitland Gold project.

One of them, the JB Gold Zone, was found drilling hole MA23C-017, which intersected 12.51 grams per tonne gold (g/t Au) over 4.7 meters in the same mineralization style as the Homestake Mine, which produced more than 40 million ounces (Moz) Au over its lifetime.

Fairbairn wrote that Dakota Gold could advance the JB discovery to a "substantial, high-grade deposit" if additional drilling demonstrates it as a new "ledge."

"The majority of the production from the historic Homestake Mine came from long tube-like structures running along iron-formation hinges that the miners named 'Ledges,'" Fairbairn wrote. "Once high-grade mineralization was found in a hinge (or Ledge), the miners were able to follow it down plunge, often extracting material amounts of gold."

The JB Gold Zone could be Dakota Gold's "most significant discovery to date," wrote Fairbairn.

A total of four drills are operating on Dakota Gold's Homestake properties in the Homestake District, two at its Richmond Hill project and two at Maitland Gold.

Earlier this year, the company announced it had outlined an extensive gold system more than a mile long from north to south, with mineralization open in all directions, at the Richmond Hill project, which is 2.3 miles west of Maitland.

"Results to date bode well for the next resource update, with indications that Richmond Hill hosts a substantial high-grade gold orebody," Fairbairn wrote.

Ownership and Share Structure

According to the company, approximately 30% of its shares are with management and insiders. Outside of management, Co-Chairman Robert Quartermain holds the most shares at 10% or 7.34 million shares. President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Awde is next at 8.4% or 6.2 million shares, while Chief Operating Officer Jerry Aberle holds 6% or 4.2 million shares. The remainder of the 30% is held by other members of management and the board of directors.

According to Reuters, about 26.6% of the shares are with institutional investors, including Van Eck Associates with 3.8%, BlackRock Fund Advisors with 3.6%, CI Investments with 3.6%, Fidelity Management with 3.5%, The Vanguard Group with 3.2%, Barrick Gold Corporation with 3%, Medalist Capital with 2.4%, Delbrook Capital with 2%, and Sprott Asset Management with 2%.

About 27.4% is with strategic investors, Reuters said. The largest holding is with Marin Katusa + KCR LLC, which owns 4.9%.

Dakota Gold has a market cap of US$244.02 million, with 75.3 million shares outstanding and 56 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of US$4.69 and US$2.61.

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