(Kitco News) - Being a cash generating business has definite benefits, said Victoria Gold President and CEO John McConnell.
McConnell spoke to Kitco in mid-November at the Deutsche Goldmesse fall 2023 show.
Victoria Gold (TSX:VGCX ) operates the Eagle Gold Mine, the largest gold mine in Yukon history. Eagle has 2.6 million ounces of gold (124 m tonnes grading 0.65 g/t). In full production, the Eagle Gold Mine will produce over 200,000 ounces of gold per year for over a decade.
The mine is throwing off cash. McConnell estimates that the company generated $25 million in free cash flow in the third quarter alone. With the cash generated from Eagle, McConnell is looking to turn Victoria into a multi-asset miner. If Victoria Gold does acquire another company, a late-stage operation is a better fit, said McConnell.
"I am at the stage in my career where I don't want to bang my head against a wall trying to permit a project," said McConnell. "I am quite happy to let others do that. When a project gets very close or has permits, that's when I'd be interested in acquiring."
McConnell likes operations. He said it is more of a fit, personally.
"It's been fun," he said. "I am an operations guy. Operating a mining company is more suited to my skill set."
Post-COVID, McConnell said Victoria Gold had problems keeping good workers, but improvements to salary and benefits increased retention. He also put more emphasis on recruiting.
"We are retaining people now. For the first time we have a full workforce, and I think that's what's making the difference in terms of production", said McConnell.
McConnell said operating in a remote location is not an issue.
"Everybody wants to be in the Yukon," he said. "It's a great jurisdiction to visit and live in."
Coverage of Deutsche Goldmesse fall 2023 show is sponsored by Victoria Gold (TSX:VGCX).
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