Is there an untapped market opportunity around premium mineral exploration ground in the USA covered by patented claims? I understand the fact that good land can be staked or optioned for cheap, but I wonder if some premium land is worth the premium?

For example, Northern Vertex (TSXV:NEE) launched Phase 1 operations at the Moss Mine on a package of patented claims in Arizona approximately 100 hectares in size. They are planning to produce for approximately 5 years at approximately +35Koz Au per year on that ground, with an open pit and heap leach all fit snugly onto that 100 hectare footprint.

See my interview with Bill Martinich, Mine Manager, where we discuss all this looking at an aerial photo of the site.

What is that package of patented group where NEE launched Phase 1 worth?

I suggest that patented claims in mining-friendly states like Arizona are a particular class of mineral exploration assets that deserve a premium. The devil’s in the details for exploration properties, but the Silver Nickel Mining Company have assembled such a portfolio and it’s worth a close look.

The Silver Nickel Company is not a prospect generator for the Howe Street public markets, but they have assembled a portfolio of patented claims in Arizona, USA. This is a great place for mining, as with the example of the Moss Mine.

What’s more, Silver Nickel has some interesting ideas about acquiring land that could be resold residential development. That raises some questions about the ability to build a mine there in the future, but it’s an interesting idea that makes me think bold real estate investment companies could take an interest here. However, I am thinking primarily about people who understand and invest in mine exploration and development when I talk to the Silver Nickel guys, as in our interview here,

I’ve introduced Silver Nickel to several public companies and the answer is consistently the same: the claims are too small and expensive. I understand the person who said, “The million $ price tag for exploration ground is probably something we would not take on.” but I wonder why? Surely there’s exploration ground in Arizona that’s worth millions of dollars? Maybe people are scared off by the large amount of data-verification that would be required to get these projects ready for prime-time? Maybe I haven’t found the right buyer yet.

There must be investors out there who can imagine the potential of what Silver Nickel Company has and are willing to bring expertise necessary to determine if that potential is something worth exploring? It’s a long and winding road, but some people are keen to strike out on it.

If you dig even deeper into the Silver Nickel story, then you will find that they have developed a sleuthing process to pick good patented claims off the garbage pile. They know how to navigate tax offices and the foreclosure process in a way that takes years of time and effort, but allows them to secure ownership of things like the Moss Mine for very little cost. The intellectual property in that and their geological understanding of Arizona alone could be very valuable to the right group who seeks to understand and help the John Rothermel and Neal Hawkins.

Watch our interview above for more.

John and Neal said in the interview that they’ve run the Silver Nickel Company as if it was their own money, because it was. I think they’ve built something special here and see great potential to use what they’ve done to seed public companies with great exploration projects. Easier said than done!

Please contact me on CEO.CA if you would like to discuss all this further and watch for some field footage from an intrepid young geologist I met who may make the trek to run around a few of the prospects with John in Arizona this summer.