TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / May 25, 2020 / AurCrest Gold Inc. (the “Company” or “AurCrest“) (TSX-V: AGO) wishes to provide the following update with respect to its recent press releases. AurCrest has been in business since 2001 and, although it has been publicly trading for approximately 20 years, management believes there has never been a better time to consider taking an equity position – one reason for this is the potential for a moderate to rapidly growing income stream with respect to developments in the carbon offset markets as described below.
THE CARBON OFFSET MARKET
AurCrest established a long-term relationship with Blue Source Canada ULC (“Bluesource“), a North American leader in the substantial albeit largely unrecognized carbon offset business. Pursuing its long-term goal to integrate its business with First Nations, AurCrest now acts as a partnership bridge to connect capital markets with Forest Carbon Offset opportunities amongst Indigenous communities.
Entities such as power plants, cement plants and airlines (“Emitters“) emit greenhouse gasses (“GHGs“), mainly carbon dioxide (“CO2“), and others, such as forests (“Users“), reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The carbon offset market and its attendant programs and regulations were designed and put in place by the governments of countries, states and provinces to assist in reducing GHG levels by placing an imposition on Emitters and rewarding the Users. The EU, South Korea and, in particular, the State of California, are among those who mandated what are referred to as “Cap and Trade” programs/policies. Certain large identified and regulated emitters are obliged to ‘offset’ their gas emissions by purchasing, in the carbon offset market, an equivalent level of CO2 that has been deemed captured and/or sequestered by qualified forests.
The ‘California Cap and Trade Program’ (“CATP”), initiated and enforced by the powerful California Air Resource Board, is important and of particular interest in this context for reasons that include:
- It was the first ‘multi-sector’ program of its type in North America.
- It is directly linked with similar programs in the Provinces of Ontario (cancelled – new rewrite pending) and Quebec.
- Offsets can be traded between respective related jurisdictions.
A ‘carbon forest’ offset and conversely a carbon ‘emissions’ offset, a.k.a. an Emission Reduction Benefit (“ERB“), are both defined as being either the emission or reduction of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide ‘equivalent’ (CO2). Emitters are large entities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2 per year – by definition, necessitating the purchase of a minimum of 25,000 ‘carbon offsets.’
Since trees absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and store/sequester it in their trunks, bark and roots etc. the determination of the number of ERBs that they can sell is a matter of some complexity and subject to what, to the uninitiated, is a detailed set of rules and standards. Comprehensive audits of the forest management plan and commitments are among necessary prerequisites.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AURCREST’S PRESS RELEASES (May 11 & 15, 2020)
The significance of the agreements recently reported between AurCrest, Lac Seul First Nation (“Lac Seul“), Blue Source and Star Royalties Ltd. (“Star Royalties“) may be summarized as follows:
- The signing of the subject agreements are the culmination of extensive preliminary research, detailed time-consuming disclosures and negotiations required to put together a compatible executive group whose respective interests are equitably reflected.
- The subject agreements are testimony to the fact that the aforesaid assessments and groundwork have been completed and judged positive. (Bluesource has, for example, gone to considerable pains and expense in applying its extensive expertise to qualify the project as one likely to succeed and as such worthy of proceeding to full development).
- Extensive work having been completed, and found highly prospective, the subsequent development work and marketing of expected carbon forest offsets are cleared to move forward.
- The receipt of an upfront payment for CAD$155,000 from Star Royalties is the clearest confirmation that the project is viable and a harbinger of potential future income – particularly as the market price of ERBs is expected to rise substantially, both in the regulated markets (legislated) and the free market exchanges.
- The agreements, entities and related circumstances described in the recent Press Releases summarize the status of an initiative, engineered by the Company and its associates, that was designed to a) make the best use of the respective expertise and connections of the participants; and b) result in the future generation of a moderate to potentially rapidly growing income stream for those involved.
It is expected that AGO will be the first, and for the foreseeable future, be the only publicly traded company in North America in which one may participate in the as yet little understood but burgeoning forest carbon offset opportunities.
CORPORATE HISTORY SUMMARY
(Some background and pathology of how AGO arrived at this specific juncture)
Incorporated as Tribute Minerals Inc., the name was changed to AurCrest in 2011. The Company has primarily been a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition and exploration of mineral properties and, to that end raised and spent approximately $20 million – with several quality projects to its credit. The Richardson Lake Gold Project is one of the premier exploration properties in the Red Lake Gold camp. However, a number of extraneous geopolitical and socio-economic trends have progressively informed the mining industry. AurCrest has reacted to those trends and has made timely adjustments to reflect evolving circumstances to potentially benefit therefrom. The trends in question are:
- Global and specific environmental issues and new regulations with respect to the amelioration of these issues.
- General market conditions affecting the junior capital markets.
- The growing interest and actions by First Nations regarding their exploration and development rights.
- Most recently – COVID-19.
Reflecting the above circumstances, some of the steps taken by AurCrest include:
1. The establishment of Wiigwaasaatig Energy Inc. (Birch Tree Energy), a subsidiary of AurCrest, with the vision to build renewable, sustainable and responsible green energy opportunities in northern Ontario aboriginal communities for local use and expansion of community energy needs, leading to the capacity to export green energy onto the larger regional grid and beyond. This effort is ongoing and a real opportunity to meet the resource objectives locally and regionally from an energy perspective.
2. The establishment of the Carbon Forest Offset business through partnership with Lac Seul First Nation and the access of internationally recognized leaders, Bluesource, and the financial markets through relationships such as that established with Star Royalties and the financial arrangement press released May 15th.
3. AurCrest is committed to the inclusion and participation of local First Nations regarding its mining and energy activities in their traditional territories, it:
a) Sold Lac Seul First Nation an equity stake in AurCrest Gold Inc. (LSFN invested $500,000 into AGO March 2011 and a further $75,000 in December 2012.)
b) Invited Lac Seul to nominate a member to the executive and the Board of AurCrest, with a view that this individual may one day serve as President and CEO.
c) On March 3rd, 2017, AurCrest Directors named Christopher C.J. Angeconeb, a member of the Lac Seul First Nation, as its President & C.E.O.
4. As previously mentioned, AurCrest established the long-term relationship with Blue Source, the leader in North America in the substantial albeit unrecognized, carbon offsets business. Following its long-term goal to integrate its business with First Nations, AurCrest now acts as the introduction and relationship builder between capital markets and the Forest Carbon Offset opportunity amongst Ojibway communities.
5. We are now embracing the current decision to move ahead, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the carbon offset initiative and its near and long term potential. Although proceeding with the carbon offset opportunities, it should be noted that the Company still maintains its interest in the Richardson Lake Gold Project which is 100% owned by AurCrest totalling 1,700 hectares in Northwestern Ontario’s Red Lake Gold Camp adjacent and on strike to the Argosy Gold Mine. Reference is made to the Company’s Press Releases dated April 30, 2012 and November 4, 2014.
6. Taking the opportune moment to expand into another sector of the lands and resources business by building on the Company’s long-standing relations with First Nations in Northwestern Ontario for the benefit of these communities, AurCrest finds itself at the forefront of the about to boom carbon forest offset opportunity.
ABOUT AURCREST GOLD INC.
AurCrest Gold Inc. (AGO:TSXV), based in Ontario, Canada has evolved over the years from a predominantly mineral exploration model to a multi-faceted company that bridges a current geopolitical gap between commodity, environment and culture. Historically, AurCrest has focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral resources and currently holds a portfolio of gold prospects in Ontario including the Richardson Lake and Bridget Lake properties. These are excellent targets from an exploration perspective, however, our persistence to change the ideology of “find the rock in the ground” to invoking a greater awareness of the lacking balance between taking from the land versus sustainability and reciprocation defines the spirit of AurCrest. Recent carbon offset monetization policy, fiscal and management agreements with First Nations representatives and other constituents, as well as continuing mineral exploration have successfully allowed AurCrest to solidify a diverse and uniquely strategic operating position. AurCrest embraces an environmental and cultural mandate to assist the international business communities need to integrate climate change in its markets, structures and banking systems.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
AurCrest Gold Inc.
President and C.E.O
Director of Business Development
Forward Looking Statement:
Some of the statements contained herein may be forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Without limitation, statements regarding potential mineralization and resources, exploration results, possible income from the carbon offset market and future plans and objectives of the Company are forward looking statements that involve various risks. The following are important factors that could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements: changes in the world wide price of mineral commodities, general market conditions, risks inherent in mineral exploration, risks associated with development, construction and mining operations, risks associated with the legislation governing and the development of the carbon offset market in Canada, the uncertainty of future profitability and the uncertainty of access to additional capital. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events may differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. AurCrest undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law, if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE: AurCrest Gold Inc.
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