One of the most difficult balancing acts for a junior gold explorer to manage is to weigh the junior’s need for constant news flow against more senior joint venture partner’s less urgent news demands. TomaGold’s (V.LOT) David Grondin sees the solution as being a “project generator”.

“In 2016 we did four acquisitions,” said Grondin. “Now we are adding value by exploring and drilling.”

A good example of this strategy is TomaGold’s recently acquired and 100% owned Obalski property 2 km south of Chibougamau, Quebec. In a press release dated March 16, 2017 TomaGold intersected semi-massive sulphides grading 15.0 g/t Au, 46.8 g/t Ag and 10.4% Cu over 2.0 metres, including 21.3 g/t Au, 52.3 g/t Ag and 8.6% Cu over one metre, at a vertical depth of 95 metres. In that release, Grondin is quoted as saying, “We are excited about these initial results on Obalski. According to the old Obalski mine plans and sections, we believe that Hole OB-17-02 could be the eastern extension of Zone A, which produced 90,000 tonnes at grades of 3.0 g/t Au, 6.2 g/t Ag and 1.52% Cu between 1964 and 1972. However, more drilling will be required to confirm this hypothesis. As mentioned previously, we are also aiming to assess the property’s gold potential at depth, because although over 60,000 metres of drilling has been done on the property in the past, most of it was in shallow holes.”

For Grondin, Obalski is a perfect exploration project for TomaGold to add value to. “There is a shaft sunk.  There are 60,000 meters of historic drill results to put together into a database. There is plenty of room to drill.” said Grondin. “We are starting with great potential.”

As TomaGold proceeds to add value to its wholly owned projects it is also in the enviable position of having joint venture agreements with major Iamgold on three projects and Goldcorp on one.  The Iamgold joint ventures had TomaGold selling a 50% interest and Iamgold having the option to acquire an additional 25% interest on the completion of a program of work. Essentially, TomaGold retains an interest in the properties without having to spend any more money on drilling or development. It is a model Grondin finds attractive.

It is also a model which investors seem to understand. “I go to the Far East three times a year. TomaGold works with a number of Canadians who are based in Asia,” said Grondin. “We find that Chinese investors like gold but they also like momentum. When gold is moving up they like to buy.  And we have investors in Singapore and in Bangkok.”

“We also have a number of big investors in Canada,” said Grondin. “It is a good following.”

To keep that following and to ensure a steady news flow, TomaGold is literally drilling for news. “We need to be drilling and bringing our results to market,” said Grondin. At the same time, with four new properties to explore, TomaGold wants to balance the sorts of projects it is working on.

“With a low grade property there has to be big tonnage to justify the high capital costs,” explained Grondin. “With higher grade there are lower capital costs. You can make a good margin. So you go for grade and not mine life.”

Different majors have different mining models and want to see a particular project profile. “For example,” said Grondin, “With Goldcorp you need to see a larger resource.”

As an explorer and project generator TomaGold is always on the lookout for new properties. And the company is not confined to Canada. “We were looking closely at a property in Chile last year. It didn’t go forward but we are looking for new assets this year.”

Grondin is committed to adding value with the drill. “The cost of the work is still relatively low.” said Grondin. “We can valorize projects and then move them to joint ventures. And that drilling means we have a steady stream of results and news.”

In fact, TomaGold has created a portfolio of high and low-grade projects and advantageous joint ventures which let Grondin deploy investment to situations where the drill will add the maximum value and create the most attractive joint venture situations. However, like any other gold related stock, the lowish price of gold has kept TomaGold’s share price down. The drop from the 2011 $1800 an ounce price of gold to today’s $1200-1280 prices hit Toma just as it hit the rest of the gold sector.

Grondin’s strategy of finding, developing and piecing out gold projects has created a company which represents a low cost “call on gold”. If the gold price rises, as many expect it will, TomaGold’s gold asset mix will put its shareholders into the ideal position to ride that rise.

At time of writing TomaGold was trading at $0.08 with 106,816,000 shares outstanding for a market cap of  $8.85 million.