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success is based on a management team that does not wait for deals to come to them, going
to local owners in Peru, Canada and Alaska to find the best property to increase
Century Mining Corporation
441 Peace Portal Drive
Blaine, WA, USA 98230
Margaret M. Kent, B.Sc., M.Sc.
Chairman, President and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published December 21, 2006
Margaret M. Kent, B.Sc., M.Sc.
Chairman, President & CEO
Margaret Kent has founded, financed and operated two publicly traded mining companies and
four private companies, and has completed over 40 mergers and acquisitions. She has raised
over $2 billion in the U.S. and Canadian public and private equity and debt markets to
fund the acquisition and development of mining projects in Canada and Latin America. As
Chairman, President & CEO of Royal Oak Mines she started the company and grew it into
an intermediate gold producer with annual production of approximately 500,000 ounces. In
1994, Ms Kent launched Royal Oak Mines $2.0 billion offer to purchase Lac Minerals,
a major Canadian gold producer. Ms. Kent has received many professional and business
awards in recognition of her achievements in the mining industry. She was a board member
of Talisman Energy, TransCanada Pipelines and Nova Chemicals, among Canadas largest
CEOCFO: Ms. Kent, what was your vision when the company
started and where are you today?
Ms. Kent: The company started in May
2003. I started the company by taking over a Vancouver junior shell company that had a
market cap of about $50,000 dollars. The vision was to grow another major gold company. As
you know my background, this is the third public company venture I have done where I have
grown two other large gold companies. Because we had a big rally in the precious metal
market, I felt that now was the time. Therefore, I rolled the shares back in the little
junior I bought and issued some equity, and at that point in time we were on the road to
starting out growing another gold company. My background has always been production
oriented, not exploration oriented, so we immediately went out to look for some
production. By September of 2004, we bought our first production, which was about 85,000
ounces annually and we were productive in the Sigma, Lamaque mines in Val d Or,
What did you see in the mines that made you want those particular properties?
Ms. Kent: The mines were there for us
to want because the previous owner, when gold was $250.00 an ounce, had to file the
company into receivership, because they couldnt raise enough money in the public
markets at that time. They couldnt find enough bullish gold investors to continue to
support the company while they got their feet on the ground. The reason I wanted the
Sigma, Lamaque mines was that the two mines that we got were very old producers and had
produced nine million ounces of gold previously. They had remaining resources in the
ground of about 4 million ounces and as the price of gold now approximately $600 dollars
an ounce, we looked at this situation from a technical standpoint and we said this mine is
going to make money for us. To have access to 4 million ounces in the ground for $26
million, which is basically $5.00 an ounce of gold in the ground, was just unheard of at
the time. Therefore, we jumped on it and bought 4 million ounces for $26 million.
Furthermore we ended up buying, with the acquisition, a brand new 5,000 tonne per day
milling facility that on the open market today would be worth between $150 and $175
million. We think that given the fact that we were there and were very creative in idea
structuring, we got the deal of a lifetime.
What is happening there today?
Ms. Kent: We are producing 85000
ounces of gold a year. Our cash cost of production is about US$390.00 an ounce so we are
making about $200.00 an ounce. We are cash flow positive of about $3,000,000 a quarter. We
are just going underground with the Lamaque mine, which is going to add additional
production. At this point our investment has paid off in less than two years. We
have fifty square kilometers in one of the most prolific gold belts in Canada and we have
formally announced it is in the ground and we believe we will be in operation for the next
Where are your other properties?
Ms. Kent: I am calling you from Peru;
we made a strategic decision in January of this year that we would go offshore from the United
States and Canada. This is my first time going offshore out of the US and Canada. We
selected Peru because Peru was not as advanced as Chile and we felt there was more
opportunity, but Peru has similar mining laws and regulations to that of the US.
Therefore, we felt comfortable operating here. We came down here in January and within 30
days, we had acquired our first concessions, called Colina Dorada, which could hold
several million ounces of gold. We then by May of this year acquired an operating gold
mine down here for about US$5.5 million, which is producing about 12 thousand ounces of
gold a year. With that operating gold mine, we acquired 4 large new gold deposits and
20,000 hectors in a very undeveloped gold belt. As recently as Monday of this week, we
acquired a 38% interest in a very large, well established, locally owned gold mine down
here called Compaņia Minera Poderosa S.A. (CMPSA), producing 105 thousand ounces of gold
a year at a cash cost of US$200.00 dollars an ounce. We are going to be supplementing our
higher cost of US$390.00 dollar an ounce production with lower cost $205.00 dollar an
ounce production. We are here in Peru to stay and we have close to 400 employees here in Peru,
and 400 in Sigma, and the company is on the road to becoming a major worldwide gold
What are some of your challenges going forward and how are you ready?
Ms. Kent: The market place to a
certain extent does not understand that we are very solid producers. We have gone through
the last few years in our mining industry where there has been what I call a lot of pump
and dump. That is where people get a property, promote the heck out of it, get the stock
up to $3.00 or $4.00, then the owners and the controlling shareholders dump all their
stock, their stock is now a quarter and there is no long-term vision. Here is our vision.
We started with nothing; we started with $200,000.00 of market cap and we have been as
high as about $140 million of market cap. With the transaction we announced on Monday, we
are now sitting at about $180 million worth of market cap. I am not going to be satisfied
until we are a billion and a half or $2 billion in market cap. Given that, there is going
to be a time, when our stock has gone from 5 cents to $1.80 and now we are sitting at
about 85 cents as the gold price came back off again. Now we have announced this recent
deal and we think there is going to be a good rise in the stock price again. However, my
vision is not today, tomorrow and the next day, my vision is where we are going to be 5
years from now, and 5 years from now I want to be producing a million ounces a year, we
want to be solidly positioned in South America, and we want the stock price at $5.00 a
share. The type of investor that I want investing in us is somebody who is investing in
management for growth, not investing in management because they are taking advantage of
the recent rise in gold prices to $700.00. You get in, you get out, and if you dont
happen to get out at the right time, well then you have lost everything. It is a really
different scenario for the mining community. We are one of five or six small emerging
producers out there that are actually producing the metal, making enough cash flow to pay
our salaries, pay our head office costs, our exploration costs, and that is how you start
a company and grow a major company.
Do you have a loyal following of investors?
Ms. Kent: Yes, I have had a number of
good investors that have followed me through the past two companies and they have been
primarily European, because the Europeans have a different perspective on long-term growth
than a lot of the North Americans. The Europeans usually take a share position in a
company; they put it away for three to five years. They say ok we have invested in
management, and we know this management is going to be able to grow another company; I
started at Neptune at a quarter and Neptune went to $8.00 before we were taken out and I
started Royal Oak Mines Inc. (OTC: ROAKF) at a quarter; Royal Oak Mines hit a high of
$8.00. Now we are in Century, and Century started at a nickel, the stock is now at 85
cents; it has been as high as $1.80 in two short years. I find that our following of
investors has been primarily European in nature where they pick up the stock at 20, 30,
40, 50, 60, 70 cents and they just sit on it for a period of time because they know that
ultimately what we are doing is going to create shareholder value.
You have some property in Alaska as well?
Ms. Kent: Yes, we do; we have a number
of concessions and claims on the Alaska Juneau Gold Belt. We own the claims that are the
old Treadwell Gold Mine, which has produced several million ounces of gold in the past as
well as the Alaska Empire Mine. Right now those are not our focus because looking at a
huge exploration potential of the company, which we have maybe 120,000 hectors, we have to
prioritize. This is because our cash flow and our money and work is on the ones that we
think are the ones that will be most immediate in getting us production.
How are you still able to find good properties?
Ms. Kent: Because people like me and
my management team are on the ground talking to local owners and out doing deals; we are
not sitting in our ivory towers and offices in big cities. We just bought the interest in
this big mine in Peru because I am here. The deals dont come to you, you have to go
make the deals. If you want to buy an exquisite piece of real estate and you do not want
to pay top dollar for it, you do not look in the multiple listings. You go out and find
great places in the world to buy real estate. You choose the right address and then you go
out and you talk to the local owners. You find the local owners that maybe are at a time
in their life when they want to sell or divest themselves of part of it and that is
exactly what we are doing here. We bought the interest in the Poderosa mine on Monday from
local ownership that has decided that they want to sell. This deal did not come to us;
this property was not on the market. We are here, sitting in restaurants having meetings
and learning who the people are, and learning who the owners are and getting friendly with
them and making them understand what the upside of our company is going to be and
basically convincing them that now is the time to sell.
What should people remember most about Century Mines?
Ms. Kent: I think they should remember
that we are not here for the short-term, we are not here for a good time, we are here for
the long-term and we are creating real shareholder value. We will continue to increase the
market capitalization of the company. There is going to be a time here when we have had a
situation where the market cap is $175 million or $200 million and we will be
spending enough capital where we wont have to issue any more shares and at that
point in time, I think you will see the stock price appreciate three or four times. You
have to get the momentum going where the world realizes you are going to be a significant
company to deal with, where you have institutional following, banking following and then
the shareholders are going to reap the rewards. If you are in the mining resource
business, you buy one day and sell two days later; we are not the stock and I do not want
you to be a shareholder on that basis. If you want to be in here for the long-term and you
want to be in a situation, where your share prices appreciate five-fold in the next five
years; those kinds of investors we want to see. We are not here for the short-term, we are
here for the long-term and we are here to build another major mining company.
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