The New Empire – Part II
“…We’ve landed. We’ve dug ourselves in and we’re building a strong base from which we can launch Empire Metals into a much bigger and much broader pipeline of projects…”
After our first article earlier this week covering Empire Metals, we now expand further and explore the Company in greater detail with this exclusive interview with Shaun Bunn. The new Managing Director of Empire Metals Limited is grounded. Not just emotionally, not just metaphorically, but literally.
He’s served time as a senior metallurgist across the globe including the very troubled Mali. He’s worked alongside the likes of Hummingbird Resource’s Dan Betts and Cora Gold’s Bert Munro so he totally gets the quirky, hard working posh chief executives who are his peers, and he knows about the idiosyncrasies of the AIM market and its many followers.
More importantly Shaun Bunn, appointed as MD of Empire back in May, knows his geology and he likes getting dirty in the field.
He’s grounded because he’s back at home, he’s back where his career started and he couldn’t be happier because he knows that Empire’s projects are sitting on the proven and the prospective.
“I’m an hour’s flight out of Kalgoorlie. I’m sitting in Perth, Western Australia It’s probably the capital of the world when it comes to having mining and geological and technical people particularly in the gold and nickel industries.
The mining people are here, the networks are here, the support bases are here. This is where Empire really needs to be if it’s really going to turn around and operate in a new field.”
The story about Empire’s assets in Georgia has played out and Bunn believes there’s all to play for in Australia. He says he and the soon-to-be announced team are “very strong believers” in the Eclipse project which looks “very prospective” and team he’s referring to will help him understand the project more before they grow and then decide how best to exploit the asset.
Shareholders were disappointed by the most recent update about Eclipse as Bunn and the board agreed an open pit operation isn’t viable for now.
“The strategy was focused on a quick short term production target but the economics don’t stack up at the moment. I think if we can continue to add to the resource at depth and along strike within the fresh rock we’ll be able to present a completely different story which shows we might be able to get a production line going.”
The disappointment overshadowed the story about what lies beneath the surface at Eclipse.
“I think the ore body extends along strike,” enthuses Bunn. “We just have to drill a little bit deeper. There’s a hell of a lot of this mineralised load that’s yet to be discovered.
The major difference about this is those holes that we drill at depth have a much greater chance of hitting grade mineralisation. We will be hitting the shear zone that carries the gold.”
And then there’s the Central Menzies Gold Project which is just 90 km north-west of Eclipse and even though they’re very close as the crow flies they’re in completely different geological terrains.
Menzies sits in the Greenstone belt that has been a company maker for many of the large gold explorers, but Bunn stresses “It doesn’t mean that Eclipse is less prospective. It just remains underexplored.” This though is unlikely to remain the case on Bunn’s watch.
Listen to Shaun explain to Sarah Lowther why the Australia assets are an excellent base for Empire to grow a new gold camp with not just two but more projects “kicking away,” which is an appropriate expression for a man with a muskateering d’Artagnan-esque look and demeanour.
Watch Shaun, Finance Director Greg Kuenzel and NED Mike Struthers talk about Empire’s projects
View the most recent corporate presentation here
Follow the company on Twitter – @EmpireMetalsLtd
The author was remunerated but does not hold shares in the company