Is The Market’s Best Inflation Hedge a Little-Known Junior Exploration Drilling Company in Argentina?
With 250+% of Potential Upside and a Mineral-Rich Project, Can International Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. (TSXV:ICON) Have A Generational Breakout Into 2022?
The worse inflation gets, the better it gets for gold. The powers that be continue moving the goalpost on inflation projections, and whether or not you think they’re competent, they’re indeed helping gold’s bullish catalysts. The outlook for gold arguably hasn’t been this strong since maybe August 2020, when it last touched a record high.
Gold’s had its ups and downs in 2021. Still, it’s as if the more that people like Janet Yellen and Jay Powell continue revising inflation estimates, the stronger its case looks for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
Remember back in April when Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell called inflation “transitory”? Remember when he said that clogged supply chains won’t affect Fed policy because “they’re temporary and expected to resolve themselves?”
Now he’s “frustrated” with a giant egg on his head. Suddenly inflationary pressures are expected to run well into 2022 along with a supply chain disaster that’s nowhere near resolving itself. According to Goldman Sachs, about 77 ships with $24 billion worth of goods are stuck outside the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. About 40% of U.S. imports enter through these ports.
It’s so bad that even Santa may not be able to get coal for bad children this Christmas.
Until this gets fixed, inflation will not improve.
In the usual fashion, the goal post is being moved again. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that Americans haven’t experienced the current inflation rate “in a long time” and that inflation likely won’t improve until the latter half of 2022.
The Fed is potentially weeks away from ending its stimulus and asset purchase program. Interest rates are projected to remain low well into 2022, multiple trillions in federal spending packages are on the table, and the albatross of a debt ceiling is expanded through December. Inflation isn’t going anywhere. Pricing catalysts for gold will remain hot.
The last time inflation was this bad in 1971, gold nearly tripled in one day from $42 to $120. We could very well be seeing the same type of upside momentum happen now. After an up and down 2021, gold has once again crossed the $1800 threshold. It has rallied 7.81% between its early August low of $1675.90 and Oct 25 price of $1806.80. (Source 2)
Yet, there’s an inflation hedge beyond physical gold that may be an even more lucrative and profitable hedge. And it’s simpler than you think.
When gold’s price rises, junior mining stocks traditionally have more amplified upside moves and break out. That’s usually how it works with a raw commodity and those that mine or produce a said commodity.
Look how the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF performed relative to physical gold, for example, between Sept 29 and Oct 25. It outperformed it by nearly 5x.
That shouldn’t be much of a shock. According to a research note from John Corcoran, a senior client portfolio manager for Invesco, “Gold and precious metals equities have historically outperformed the price of gold by twofold to threefold when both bullion and precious metals mining stocks are rising.”
What sets International Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. (TSXV:ICON) apart from other exploration companies though, is its San Roque Gold Project. Icon has the ability to become the sole owner of this project in northeastern Patagonia, Argentina. There are several billion-dollar mining operations in Patagonia, but there are none in the Province of Rio Negro at this time. Iconic could have a generational opportunity at hand. Especially with its executive management team boasting proven success in the San Roque Project with advanced stages of exploration completed, alongside a diversified technical team full of proven winners with records of vaulting junior miners into success.
Is it any wonder why the stock’s latest twelve months upside (analyst target) could be as astronomical as 255.6%?
Who Exactly Is International Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. (TSXV:ICON)?
International Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. is a Vancouver-based junior gold exploration company engaged in acquiring, exploring, and evaluating mineral resource properties in Argentina. Iconic is in the process of divesting itself of nickel, copper, platinum, and lithium properties to hyper-focus on the core precious metal… GOLD.
More On San Roque’s Mouthwatering Potential
The San Roque property in northeastern Patagonia, Argentina, is its flagship property. Located in the Province of Rio Negro, Argentina, it consists of 14 mineral tenures covering an area of 9,449 hectares.
International Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. owns the full rights to the San Roque Gold Project and has several exploration objectives.
- High-quality gold exploration romance 2 km NW of drilled deposits underpinned by substantial surface and trench assay results.
- Continue northward prospecting following gold in soil anomalies.
- Explore the outlying NW Gold Vein System with drilling.
- Gold-bearing silica hill potentially capping a large gold deposit.
Iconic has targeted San Roque for intermediate sulfidation gold mineralization. It is also in the advanced stages of exploration in the province of Rio Negro, Argentina. A gold, silver, and base metals resource assessment released in July 2019 shows an Inferred Mineral Resource of 32.9 million tonnes grading 1.42 g/t gold equivalent (“AuEq”) for 1,499,900 AuEq ounces at a 0.6 g/t AuEq cut-off grade. Included within this gold equivalent are 486,600 ounces of Au, 12,770,700 ounces Ag, 279,788,900 pounds Pb, 566,930,300 pounds Zn, and 12,586,000 ounces in with average grades of 0.46 g/t Au, 12.08 g/t Ag, 0.39% Pb, 0.78% Zn, and 11.90 g/t in respectively.
Beyond this, San Roque has a rich drilling history. Identified by MIM Exploraciones SA in 1998, San Roque was first explored based on quartz vein and stockwork showings. By 2002, MIM had mapped, conducted soil and rock geochemistry studies.
Magnetic (42 km) and IP (70 km) surveys were completed, and MIM and drilled 19 holes. Iconic started working on the property in 2006, reinterpreted magnetic data, conducted two trenching programs, and had 55 diamond drill core holes.
Marifil S.A., the forerunner to ICON, resumed exploration work on San Roque in 2006, completing geochemical sampling, trenching, geophysics, geological mapping, and two drilling campaigns during 2007. NovaGold, Marifil’s JV Partner at San Roque in 2010 and 2011, completed 34 drill holes in 2011, and additional drilling was taken on by Iconic.
San Roque’s Mineralization and Drilled Zones Look Immensely Promising
Gold, silver, lead, zinc, and indium mineralization are hosted within two styles of vein systems. These zones are relatively broad and gently dipping.
Associated with this mineralization are pyrite, galena, sphalerite in veins. Veinlets and breccia-related dissemination are associated as well. These sulfides carry gold mineralization. They also occur as seams and linings in quartz-adularia veins often of stockwork character, as cementing matrix in volcanic breccias, and as disseminations speckled within the rocks surrounding the veins and breccias.
Extended intervals of drilling return grades of gold (0.1-0.5 gpt), silver (1-20 gpt), Pb (0.1- 0.3 %) and Zn (0.1-0.5%) with indium varying from nil to 600 gpt.
Until recently, the importance of low-grade disseminated or fine stockwork mineralization has been under-appreciated. As a result, most drill holes were terminated in mineralization. To date, mineralization is open in every direction and at depth.
Four bodies or zones of mineralization have been encountered by drilling. All are open to expansion by continued drill testing.
These zones typically contain an oxidized component near the surface and an unoxidized sulfide component at deeper levels.
Inferred tonnage and grade resources and contained quantities of metals have been calculated. These are summarized as: being about 33 million tonnes of 1.42 g/t AuEQ (gold equivalent) at a cut-off grade of 0.58 g/t Au EQ, in all containing about ½ million ounces of gold and 13 million ounces of silver plus other valuable elements.
Beyond Its Robust Resources, San Roque Boasts Several Game-Changing Characteristics
San Roque is situated roughly 85 kilometers west of San Antonio Oeste’s deep seaport in Rio Negro Argentina. San Roque is also accessible by high-volume highway and rail crossing the property. Close to water and a nearby labor force, the property also boasts hydroelectric power.
The location covers a coastal desert of relatively flat topography with an elevation of 100 to 300 meters. This open, low, and flat terrain could support a large-surface mining project infrastructure, which we will detail further. Windmills on the property produce enough water for the coastal desert sheep grazing in the valleys, with a private land access agreement in place.
Most of all, don’t overlook the climate. San Roque has a semi-arid climate tailor-made for year-round mineral exploration and mining operations should a deposit prove to be of economic quality.
Excellent local infrastructure exists at the San Roque property. The project includes the following features:
- High tension power lines
- Natural gas pipeline
- Standard gauge railway
- Modern high-volume highway
The road and rail networks lead to deep water ports on the close-by Atlantic coast. Within 100 kilometers of the site are local airports, lodging and health care facilities, and the main population and commercial centers of the Rio Negro province.
The natural gas pipeline and an electrical powerline cross the property at its Aguada Cecilio village entrance where Iconic donated a children’s play yard in the village park.
San Roque lies within the Somuncura Massif. The Somuncura Massif is a crustal-scale geomorphologic unit. It consists of Precambrian to Cambrian metamorphic, Paleozoic plutonic intrusive, and Mesozoic to Cenozoic volcanic and sub-volcanic rocks.
More than 25 epithermal gold and silver exploration and development projects are ongoing within the Somuncura Massif. Two of the most significant are Navidad, with a Measured & Indicated resource of 532 million ounces of silver, and Calcatreu, with a Measured & Indicated resource of 676 thousand ounces of gold.
With Little Debt and Massive Upside, The Stock Is Lying in Wait for an Explosive Breakout
The ICON stock is a stock that has moved relatively sideways over the last 6-months.
Yet, based on catalysts for junior gold miners and how inflation is trending, it’s safe to say that the stock could just be lying in wait for an explosive breakout. Especially when you consider that the stock’s latest twelve-month upside (analyst target) could show 255.6% of potential room to run according to data from Finbox.
With a float of 86.57M and 12.17% of shares held by insiders, the stock is also tightly held. It can break out rapidly and explosively in a matter of days and on any inkling of positive drivers and news. With all of these drivers, this stock could heat up at the snap of a finger.
Helping fundamentally is the company’s balance sheet and leadership. It holds more cash than debt on its balance sheet and appears to have a quality executive and technical team running the show.
1. Junior Miners – High Risk, High Reward
Junior gold miners are levered to gold’s pricing upside. Yet there’s a catch. They can also potentially be levered to gold’s downside. In other words? Whatever gold does, junior miners will do it on a more amplified and volatile level. Despite the massive catalysts for junior miners these days, this is a considerable risk that you should always be mindful of.
2. Penny Stock Risks
No matter the sector or the company, if it’s a penny stock, it’s a different kind of animal than a typical large or mid-cap stock. These are instruments with extreme volatility. Depending on how much unpredictability you can stomach and your risk tolerance, enter at will. Penny stocks, if you can get in at the right time, can give you life-changing returns. But, if you enter at the top and/or at the wrong time, beware of catching a falling knife and potentially losing it all. Coupling a penny stock investment with a junior gold miner amplifies your risk/reward potential. Just be cautious and aware.
3. Nobody Can Predict the Future in 2021 and Beyond
Nothing is a guarantee, especially in this day and age. The signs show that gold is rallying and could have even more room to run with inflation and supply chain issues appearing to be here for the long haul. That means good things for gold and junior miners. The ICON stock is mainly at a potentially very buyable level. But nobody can predict the future. Say inflation somehow levels off, or the Fed tightens monetary policy sooner than we realize? Or say that the government’s spending packages don’t pass, and we don’t have the inflationary catalysts that we thought? There is a chance, albeit remote, that gold could see more downside pressure and negatively affect junior mining stocks.
Meet the Team Leading Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. (TSXV:ICON)
Iconic is led by an iconic team (no pun intended). Its executive management team has proven success in the San Roque Project, with advanced stages of exploration completed. It also has a diversified technical team made up of proven winners with records of vaulting junior miners into success, along with a high-quality board.
Robert Abenante, President, CEO, Director
Robert Abenante is a seasoned executive with extensive private and public company experience. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) who also holds a master’s in professional accounting. After his tenures with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, Robert founded and/or held several senior executive roles in various industries, ranging from green energy and mining to technology and life sciences. Robert has lectured at Simon Fraser University (SFU), teaching Advanced Management Accounting and Executive MBA Accounting courses. He also taught Entrepreneurship and Venture Finance, where he both developed the curriculum and taught the classes. For his service in academics, Robert has been accredited as a student mentor by SFU. Robert also founded the Eco Foundation, which focuses on investing in and assisting green energy and green tech companies through the start-up phase of their development.
Daniel Buffone, President of Argentina Operations, Director
Mr. Buffone is a geologist with 30 years of mineral exploration experience in Argentina and is a thriving independent Argentinean cattle rancher. He is the original founder of Marafil S.A., and his background includes dealings in oil and mining properties, acquisitions of hydrological rights, and training in agricultural engineering.
Richard (Dick) R. Walters, Executive Vice President
Mr. Walters is certified by the American Association of Professional Geologists. He is licensed to practice geology in two states of the U.S. and is a Qualified Person by definition in Canadian NI 43-101. Mr. Walters has worked for nearly 50 years in the mining industry as a mineral deposit explorer and developer worldwide, particularly in Southeast Asia and North and South America. He has held various field and management positions in Cominco Ltd., Kennecott Copper Corp., St. Joe Minerals Co., Sunshine Mining Co., and others. He has been regularly active in Argentina’s mining scene since 1990. In 1994 his private Argentinean company, Compania Minera Polimet S.A., birthed Yamana Resources Inc. via a shares exchange, gaining a listing on the Canadian stock exchange. In addition to being a co-founder of Yamana Resources, he was a director and its COO and President for several years. Yamana Resources was the forerunner to Yamana Gold – a significant gold producer listed on the NYSE. Mr. Walters has supported and ran the Company’s wholly-owned Argentinean subsidiary, Marifil S.A., since 2000 and remains responsible for its mineral property acquisition and exploration activities. At least eight notable mineral deposits for copper, tungsten, uranium, silver, and gold have been discovered under his direction. This includes two that have become active mines, Mina Martha and Chandalar. Mina Martha in Argentina is one of the richest silver mines globally, and Chandalar in Alaska is the most prominent gold placer mine in North America.
Alex McAulay, CFO
Alex McAulay CPA, CA is an entrepreneur and experienced public company CFO. Following his articling at MNP LLP, Alex founded the successful Naked Brand Group Inc. and led the company as its COO and CFO during its initial listing process in 2012. Following a period as CFO of an apparel/ textile company, Alex co-founded a start-up accounting firm called Assent Advisory Partners. In 2017, Alex took sole ownership of the firm, renaming it ACM Management Inc. As the firm’s owner, Alex has served as CFO of several public companies- Bow Energy Ltd., GreenStar Biosciences Corp., CAVU Mining Corp., RYU Apparel Inc., and Tiidal Gaming Group Inc. In addition to all his endeavors with ACM Management Inc, Alex has held several board positions over his career, including school boards, social service agencies, and notably the University of the Fraser Valley’s Board of Governors. Alex is the founder of several companies across many sectors. They include Kosan Travel Company Ltd., Fiscal Talent Inc., and a bookkeeping practice called Statement.co. In September 2016, Alex was appointed the CFO of Iconic Gold.
Taryn Stemp, Corporate Secretary
Taryn Stemp is an internationally experienced professional, having worked in various industries, including Oil & Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, and Technology. After beginning her career as an accounting professional, Taryn moved into Marketing roles, followed by becoming a Communications Manager in London. Taryn has gained a wealth of knowledge from working with several serial entrepreneurs in both the private and public sectors and now leads all administrative functions and marketing initiatives in various companies. She currently serves as a Director and Corporate Secretary at public companies within the Technology sector.
Greg Burnett, Director
Mr. Burnett is a partner and Director of Tryton Management Corporation. He has more than 25 years of capital markets experience providing consulting and advisory services for emerging businesses, specializing in structuring public transactions in Canada, the USA, and Europe. He has broad experience in mining, oil and gas, green energy, biotech, technology, manufacturing, and consumer products sectors.
He has served on the board of directors of 16 public companies and currently serves on three public company boards. He is an active advisor to several other public companies. Mr. Burnett holds MBA and Engineering degrees from the University of British Columbia.
James (Jim) M. Carter, Director
James M. Carter CPA, CA is a senior executive with extensive domestic and international experience and expertise in emerging markets and natural resources.
James spent several years in Europe overseeing the acquisition and restructuring of two major corporate groups; a physical commodities trading company, the third-largest industrial design engineering and fabrication group in the cement industry.
Upon his return to Canada, he was Vice President of an NYSE-listed company focused on merchant banking activities. His focus was designing and implementing debt restructuring and risk management programs.
James has served as an Officer and Director on several boards in North America and Europe during his career.
The Key Takeaway
If you think inflation is still transitory, there’s a beach house for sale in Idaho with your name on it.
If you saw through what the Fed was trying to sell you in April, congratulations. Here we are. No signs are in place that it could get better well into 2022. The Fed still hasn’t tapered yet, despite their chatter. Roughly $5 trillion in spending packages are on the table. The supply chain is in crisis. Interest rates are still at 0%.
If this persists, Iconic Gold Exploration Corp. (TSXV:ICON) could be in an advantageous position. Gold is a top inflation hedge, the junior miners are amplified to its upside, and the stock could have 250+% of upside potential.
It has all the ingredients necessary. It holds the right to buy out its partner on San Roque, Nova Gold, a mineral-rich project that historically and recently has shown robust resources. It has the infrastructure, geology, and an advantageous location in Argentina, surrounded by billion-dollar mining projects.
Not all miners can offer what this company offers, and it could very well be at the right place at the right time with catalysts mounting by the day.