Tectonic Metals - CEO Year End Review 2021
December 30, 2021
To the Shareholders of Tectonic Metals Inc.:
2021 began much as 2020 ended with Covid still at the front of mind; kinda feels like Groundhog Day. Though we can’t control the development of the virus, we can control how we respond to it; we must learn to live with this reality. Easier said than done, I know!
The new normal appears to be, as a recent article in The Economist stated, “predictable unpredictability.” When I read this, the first thing that crossed my mind is “Isn’t that life?!” The only thing constant in life is change. In a similar vein, when I look ahead to 2022, I ask my team to continue embracing change and encouraging them to reflect on the past year and identify what worked, what did not work, and what can we do better. If we want a better outcome, then, in theory, we must do things differently and better. Is that not the definition of insanity, i.e., doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? That being said, the one word for me that defines our 2021 year at Tectonic is “adaptability”, and I am proud of how we repeatedly did that throughout the year.
Though Covid has changed the way we interact socially, working remotely and meeting over virtual platforms, the Tectonic team recently had the opportunity to come together to celebrate the holiday season and, in some cases, meet fellow team members in person for the first time. This experience reminded us of how much we appreciate each other and the importance of personal interaction towards building a high-performance team. We look forward to more of these events in 2022. Meanwhile, we will continue building our team and nurturing our collective passion for gold exploration.
Despite Covid’s continuing presence, along with physical distancing, masking, and other familiar pandemic rituals, we are optimistic as we head into the New Year. We have shown that we are up for the challenge and can continue to execute at a high level regardless of circumstances. Ultimately it is people – our directors, managers, employees, shareholders and stakeholders - who continue to make Tectonic a success, and I am grateful every day for their contributions to Tectonic’s success.
Year in Review
Early in the 2021 season, we elected to focus our resources on our property at Tibbs and build on our Phase I results that suggested we were on the right track. We approached the season with the energy, commitment, and resilience Tectonic brings to all of its activities and, after raising the necessary funds to expand on our previous work, Tectonic turned to focus on delivering a comprehensive and illuminating drill program that ultimately ran over 5,000m and included the first oriented diamond core drilling across five promising targets at Tibbs.
There are very few gold exploration properties that exhibit the rich range of promising characteristics found at our Tibbs Gold Project: extensive gold-in-soil anomalies adjacent to Pogo-style mineralization and bearing the same geochemical signature as Pogo; gold at surface and at depth; multiple targets with kilometer-long potential, open at depth and along strike, three distinct types of gold mineralization – all within just 35km of the multi-million ounce, high-grade gold Pogo Mine itself. Tibbs has everything an explorer could ask for, and Tectonic is excited to be working on such a high potential property.
Our exploration program was divided into Phase I and II, with the latter being driven by the promising findings of the former. As I write towards the end of December, we are still waiting on Phase II results, 85% of our assay results from the past season. “Assays pending” has become one of the least popular phrases around the industry this year, given the painfully slow turnaround time at the labs. In some ways, the Tectonic team feels like kids eagerly anticipating Christmas as we wait for assays. We understand you share our impatience to see the results of our efforts, and we appreciate your patience. We will report to our investors as soon as assays are available. Please stay tuned!
After launching our financing in May with the backing of renowned geologist Quinton Hennigh and the team at Crescat Capital, we quickly found demand was significantly greater than anticipated and ended up closing on $7.1m, more than double our original target. We were excited to welcome new shareholders to the registry as well as valued long-term retail and institutional holders, including participation from our largest shareholder, Doyon, Limited and a number of Tectonic insiders. We were humbled by investors’ enthusiastic support for our projects and invigorated by the opportunity provided by this capital injection to conduct an aggressive, expansive diamond and RC drill campaign at Tibbs. The proceeds from this raise went into the ground, funding soil and rock sampling, mapping, prospecting, and drilling.
Flat Gold Project Acquisition
The acquisition of the Flat Gold Project, only 40km north of the massive Donlin Gold Project, reflects Tectonic’s focus on identifying promising projects that will enhance shareholder value. Scale and grade/high-margin ounce potential drives our acquisition decisions, and the ~92,000-acre intrusion-hosted gold system at Flat meets our criteria in this regard. Flat is one of those rare gems with significant proven historical returns, compelling geology and considerable future potential. The acquisition itself was made possible through our close partnership with our largest shareholder, Doyon, Limited, on whose lands Flat is primarily located on. We are ever grateful for their confidence in us and their willingness to entrust us with exploration on their ancestral lands. Our next steps are slightly different than what most companies would do as we are going to start with metallurgical testing of existing drill core in an effort to reinforce our belief that Flat could be a free milling gold extraction opportunity, and if so, de-risking the project, adding value quickly and informing us how to best advance this exciting project.
Tectonic Chairman Mel Benson passes; Allison Rippin-Armstrong appointed Chair
In September, we faced the devastating personal and professional loss of our much loved and esteemed Chairman, Mel Benson. Mel was respected and admired by many as a leader, a friend and a mentor. At Tectonic, he set the tone, always encouraging us to push forward and pursue our convictions in life and exploration. Mel led with courage, wisdom, dignity and integrity, and his legacy remains a strong positive influence in the daily life of Tectonic. As we gather to celebrate the holidays, our thoughts are with all of Mel’s friends and family who will miss his presence but give thanks for having had the privilege of knowing such a great man.
Mel’s successor as Chair, Allison Rippin-Armstrong, was already a vital part of our board before taking on her new role. Her influence has been greatly felt at Tectonic, and her elevation to Chair provides leadership, continuity, and a unique perspective on our industry. As an environmental biologist, who has been involved in the permitting of 9 mines, worked extensively with Indigenous people, governments and the private sector, Alison is a huge asset to the team and her accomplishments, professional acumen and vision are a competitive advantage to Tectonic as we grow.
Sharing the Tectonic Message
Tectonic is conscious that, in an age with so many competing investment opportunities and so much information swirling about, getting investors’ attention is not easy – this is even more true since the world has gone predominantly online during the pandemic. We use a variety of distribution channels to ensure our message is heard, including traditional media, social media, news releases, our website and ad hoc outreach to individuals, investment advisors, institutions, and corporates. We are also active participants in the most prominent industry and investment conferences and host webinars throughout the year. The best way to stay informed about what we are up to is by signing up to our email distribution list, which can be done here. We will keep you informed of where we are presenting and hope that, if we have not done so already, we have a chance to meet and talk either in person or virtually. Connecting with our shareholders is of the utmost importance to us. As always, please reach out to me or investor relations, Bill Stormont, if you want to talk.
Our 2021 exploration program reflected Tectonic’s attention to detail, methodical targeting, and fundamental reliance on a scientific approach to advancing our projects, all of which are key components in our drive to be “The Shift in the Game”. How we do things is as important as what we do, and we always strive for excellence in everything we undertake. But while 2021 was no exception to this rule and we end the year proud of our team’s accomplishments, we are not satisfied as we recognize that achieving our goal of finding a gold mine is a journey that requires perseverance and an unwavering commitment to delivering on behalf of our shareholders. Our determination to accomplish this is stronger than ever, and we are eager to build on this year’s progress in 2022.
On behalf of the Tectonic team, I want to thank you for your continued support and share our best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year. We look forward to continuing our journey with you in 2022.
President & CEO