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Interview with Ioannis Tsitos, President and CEO of Eagle Mountain Gold Corp.

Eagle Mountain Gold Corp. is a junior resource company headquartered in Vancouver, BC. Developing its advanced Eagle Mountain gold project in central Guyana in joint venture with IAMGOLD, the company is working towards the commencement of initial production, projected for 2014. The company also maintains an interest in the Tucuma Property, a gold /copper project in Brazil, in the form of a net smelter returns royalty on production.
Mr. Ioannis Tsitos, President and CEO of Eagle Mountain Gold Corp., took a moment to speak with Asian Metal and elaborate on the company’s Eagle Mountain Project in Guyana. With more than 25 years’ experience in the mining industry...
Ioannis Tsitos: Eagle Mountain Gold Corp. poised to advance exploration efforts in Guyana
----Interview with Ioannis Tsitos, President and CEO of Eagle Mountain Gold Corp.

Asian Metal: Mr. Tsitos, would you please start by giving us a brief overview of Eagle Mountain Gold Corp's current project underway in Guyana?

Ioannis: Eagle Mountain Gold Corp is working on an advanced, 5,050-hectare gold project in Guyana with near-term production potential. As of today, there have a total of 281 holes drilled representing 35,993 meters. The project has a compliant NI 43-101 mineral resource.

Asian Metal: Please tell us a bit more about the strategic partnership with IAMGOLD

Ioannis: Creating a mutually-beneficial relationship with IAMGOLD made sense for several reasons. IAMGOLD is considered one of the most knowledgeable companies out there with regard to gold exploration in Guyana. Additionally, IAMGOLD currently owns 50% of the property while Eagle Mountain Gold Corp. holds the other 50%. It is our intention to eventually acquire IAMGOLD’s share of the property and working with them as we transition into becoming the principle property owners. This process will be completed in the coming three months.
Our operating team on the ground [of the Eagle Mountain gold project] is the same team that was previously used by IAMGOLD. This helped considerably as we were able to avoid having to build a new expatriate team, spend extra time familiarizing them with the land, etc. I believe that this has sped-up our operating plan by at least one-and-a-half years.

Asian Metal: How much progress has been thus far on the Eagle Mountain?

Ioannis: Firstly, we have benefitted greatly from the fact that this area has been sporadically explored for several decades. Because of this, there is an abundance of very accurate, historical data. Having detailed information regarding geophysics of the area, a significant drill hole database, accessible adits, extensive sampling, and auger drilling information, among other advantages, has allowed our exploration efforts to move along efficiently.
Since starting exploration about four years ago, Eagle Mountain itself has completed the drilling of 78 holes to add to the 203 that had already been drilled at the site. One of the firms responsible for the previous drilling was IAMGOLD.
I would add that the currently known gold deposit covers an area of 250 hectares within the 5,500 total hectares on the property. Clearly, there will be some impressive opportunities for continued exploration of the area for many years to come.

Asian Metal: What are Eagle Mountain Gold Corp’s current resource figures for the property?

Ioannis: We were very pleased to see that our newest NI 43-101 Technical Report, announced in November 2012 and published in January 2013, actually revealed a 34% increase in resources, compared with a previous assessment done two years earlier. At present, we are reporting an indicated resource of 188,000oz of gold at 1.49g/t (0.5g/t cut off) and an inferred resource of 792,000oz of gold at 1.19g/t (0.5g/t cut off).

Asian Metal: What are your goals for 2013?

Ioannis: Our mineralogical, metallurgical, and engineering studies will continue for the rest of Q1. In Q1, we are commencing an environmental base study. For the second quarter of the year, we plan to complete an independent scoping study and preliminary economic assessment report (PEA) with the intention of creating a mine plan and therefore an economic model for the initial 35,000-45,000oz that will be produced annually. Further drilling to support the engineering studies is expected as well. We would also like to use Q2 to begin a full Feasibility Study, which will be based on our scoping study results. Into Q3, our primary goal will be to begin discussing the issue of mining permits and minerals agreements with Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment. Our Q4 objective is to complete our feasibility study and subsequently obtain approval for a mining permit and minerals agreement. We also expect to deliver our complete Environmental Impact Assessment by the end of this year.

Asian Metal: Where does your current production outlook stand?

Ioannis: We have broken-down our production goals into three distinct phases: Phase 1A, Phase 1B, and Phase 2. For Phase 1A, we are currently in a place where we can plan for an initial production level of 35,000-45,000oz. Phase 1B, which will require limited additional capital investment, will elevate output to approximately 60,000-75,000oz. We strongly believe that these initial phases will provide enough cash flow to begin Phase 2, in which we will aim to have production figures upwards of 120,000oz.

Asian Metal: There are many opportunities for gold exploration in South America. Why was this project a particularly attractive option?

Ioannis: Guyana has a rich history in gold and bauxite mining and we have been able to draw valuable lessons from past explorations that have taken place here. The Omai gold mine produced over 3.7Moz grading around 1.4g/t from 1993-2005. Guyana Goldfields’ Aurora project has indicated in Feasibility Studies an output that measures 6.54Moz, using both open pit and underground mines. At present, there are approximately 20-25 Canadian, American and Australian juniors exploring for different commodities here. In short, this country has a rich past in extraction, both gold and other minerals, and we look to continue to expand on this legacy.

Asian Metal: In general, how do mining and extraction efforts in Guyana differ from other countries in this part of the world?

Ioannis: I have worked in this industry for more than 25 years and I have always found this country to be a great place to conduct business. It is a small, secular democracy and with a high level of political and economic stability. There are very few problems with regard to corruption and security and foreign investors can operate with peace of mind. Furthermore, the country is very open and accepting to foreign companies that want to set-up shop here as it is widely understood that a significant part of the economy relies on the extractions industry. Population-wise, Guyana has just over 700,000 inhabitants living in a land mass the size of United Kingdom. The populace is well-educated and hard-working, and communication issues are minimized as English is the country’s official language. From a logistics point of view, Eagle Mountain is located only 45 km from the Omai Mine and can be reached from the capital by car or airplane, while waterways are close by.

Asian Metal: Given all of the advantages Guyana has to offer, are you looking to expand into other extraction-related ventures?

Ioannis: For the moment, all of our attention is focused exclusively on making Eagle Mountain as efficient and profitable as it can be. It is important to always be aware of what opportunities are out there, but you also do not want to divide your eggs into too many baskets when you need to start cooking. I like to have an open mind and that applies to expanding to other possible ventures, if and when a good opportunity arises. For now, however, the primary objective is to get this project up and running.