COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho, November 17, 2022 (ACCESSWIRE) – Idaho Strategic Resources (NYSE American: IDR) (“IDR” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide the following President’s Letter to Stakeholders:
To the Stakeholders of Idaho Strategic Resources,
In times like these, there is a tendency both as an investor and employee of an operating company to place a disproportional level of importance on macro events, which can cause one to lose sight of the fact that the ensuing opportunities only prove valuable to the prepositioned companies that possess the ability to capitalize on the dislocations – and that we planned well ahead and sit exactly where we want to be.
At this point in the United States’ decarbonization and deglobalization plan, the market is beginning to sort out which companies (and management teams) possess those abilities – and which do not. And now more than ever I personally think it comes down to the people involved, their motives and established personnel, and their business and community track records. The goal with this President’s Letter is not to discredit other projects and/or businesses, but more so to focus on the qualities of Idaho Strategic that will allow us to maximize the full value of the potential opportunities ahead, especially as the awareness of our industry widens amongst investors.
It has become clear that the plan the U.S. Government has decided to take toward decarbonization and deglobalization is one that began with domestic end products (i.e., electric vehicle production, domestic renewable energy production, etc…), and then works its way upstream to domestic mineral processing and finally to domestic mining (which is the reverse direction of how the industry works, but at least it is finally happening). In the U.S.’ latest round of funding announced as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, approximately $2.8 billion dollars was distributed amongst many different battery minerals processing plants around the country. While this is a positive step in the right direction, the natural follow-on step is to invest in domestic sources and domestic mining to feed these newly funded processing plants. This is where I see a significant opportunity for our company and ultimately our stakeholders.
Besides the fact that we control three of the top ten domestic rare earth elements properties and the number one thorium property in the country, as you well know we also own and operate the Golden Chest Mine and the New Jersey Mill. I know from speaking with many of our stakeholders that some place emphasis on the rare earth elements and thorium side of our business and some on the gold side of the business. But the truth is that I believe they are of equal importance. The rare earth elements and thorium side of our business serves as the nearly immeasurable blue-sky potential should our country follow through with its plans; while the gold production side of our business serves as our proof-of-concept that if/when we are successful defining mineable rare earth elements resource(s), we have the team and the knowledge that has already proven its ability to responsibly turn a resource into an operation, or to evaluate if another group possesses the necessary qualifications. There was a saying back in the day amongst old promotor types that you should “never ruin a good deposit by mining it”. Over the many years of commodities cycles, I have witnessed numerous companies with great projects and plans that look good on paper, fail to ever produce an ounce of material simply because they are too focused on promotion and/or riding macro trends rather than doing the hard work. We are obviously not in that camp.
Additionally, I can tell from our recent conversations with state and local governments, next generation energy companies, and potential investors that the characteristic which helps de-risk our business plan and our rare earth elements/thorium properties the most, is the fact that we have proven ourselves capable of mining at the Golden Chest Mine and processing at the award-winning New Jersey Mill. We have also realized our own form of ESG – that our personal stories matter… most of us at IDR grew up in and near the mining and timber industries of N. Idaho and experienced firsthand what it was like when an industry shuts down and the ‘adults in the room’ had not invested or planned for life after mining or logging, etc. for the younger folks in the community. This experience is in our DNA and a part of our journey that cannot be taught or replaced by consultants. While mining different commodities may have unique challenges, the team we have and our motivation as an operating company has proven invaluable regardless of the commodity we are extracting and overall business approach we advance.
At Idaho Strategic, and as fellow shareholders, we have made a point that every dollar spent goes toward furthering our operations and creating value for all of us. The most obvious example of this is in our corporate compensation structure. Without divulging too much detail, I am not the highest paid employee in the company, that title is held by one of our mine engineers, however I am the largest stockholder of the company. I purchased my shares from a retiring founder and had to bet on myself (and others) to help build it. Out of our 55-employee base, the corporate office represents just 10% of our total annual salary expense, and our average corporate office employee makes around 70% of what our average underground miner makes. The reason our compensation structure is setup this way (including not having employment contracts) is because I have a philosophy that when times get tough, we should ‘jump in the lifeboat together rather than reach for individual life jackets’. This is something I learned from experience more than once and an approach that has already proven itself as we grew the company from its modest beginnings. It is also a way to make sure everybody understands the vision and basis for our culture and that the only way we succeed, is together.
In closing, as a country we have finally reached the point where those in charge (if only temporarily) see the err of their ways and are now telegraphing the willingness to look to domestic solutions and the ingenuity of the American spirit (regardless of where you are from). In due time, we will quickly grow beyond the backward logic of funding processing facilities first (while still importing raw materials and exporting environmental damage and poor labor conditions) because it’s easy and signals forward motion to voters and begin to focus efforts on the supply constraints of mass electrification and the inevitability of increasing the output of our domestic mining industry. At IDR we have secured our seat-at-the-table by owning the land, not only in quantity but also in quality. Now we simply need to continue growing our relationships and increase our public visibility. We are having conversations with folks today that I never dreamed possible only a couple short years ago – it is an exciting time for sure.
Thanks for your time,
About Idaho Strategic Resources, Inc.
Domiciled in Idaho and headquartered in the Panhandle of northern Idaho, Idaho Strategic Resources (IDR) is one of the few resource-based companies (public or private) possessing the combination of officially recognized U.S. domestic rare earth element properties (in Idaho), the largest known concentration of thorium resources in the U.S., and Idaho-based gold production located in an established mining community.
Idaho Strategic Resources produces gold at the Golden Chest Mine located in the Murray Gold Belt (MGB) area of the world-class Coeur d’Alene Mining District, north of the prolific Silver Valley. With over 7,000 acres of patented and unpatented land, the Company has the largest private land position in the area following its consolidation of the Murray Gold Belt for the first time in over 100-years.
In addition to gold and gold production, the Company maintains an important strategic presence in the U.S. Critical Minerals sector, specifically focused on the more “at-risk” Rare Earth Elements (REE’s) and Thorium. The Company’s Diamond Creek and Roberts REE properties are included the U.S. national REE inventory as listed in USGS, IGS and DOE publications. IDR’s Lemhi Pass Thorium-REE Project is recognized by the USGS and IGS as containing the largest concentration of thorium resources in the country. All three projects are located in central Idaho and participating in the USGS Earth MRI program.
With an impressive mix of experience and dedication, the folks at IDR maintain a long-standing “We Live Here” approach to corporate culture, land management, and historic preservation. Furthermore, it is our belief that successful operations begin with the heightened responsibility that only local oversight and a community mindset can provide. Its “everyone goes home at night” policy would not be possible without the multi-generational base of local exploration, drilling, mining, milling, and business professionals that reside in and near the communities of the Silver Valley and North Idaho.
Travis Swallow, Investor Relations & Corporate Development
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections. Not always, but often, forward-looking information can be identified by forward-looking words such as “assume”, “believe”, “expect”, “goal”, “estimate”, “intend”, “will’, “plans”, “may”, “anticipate” and “potential” or similar words suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions, or statements about future events or performance. Forward-looking information is not limited to, but includes Idaho Strategic Resources expectations, intentions, plans, assumptions, and beliefs with respect to, among other things, estimated and targeted production rates and results, the expected prices of gold, as well as the related costs, expenses and capital expenditures; the potential advancement of its rare earth elements and/or thorium resources, and the costs and capital expenditures and metals price assumptions related to those. Forward-looking statements are also inclusive of any and all assumptions including, but not limited to, the advancement, expansion, or addition of new mineral properties; the risk that the company never develops a rare earth element and/or thorium resource at any of its properties, the risk that the company is unable to access the capital necessary to advance its projects, the risk that the company’s rare earth element and/or thorium properties do not contain a resource that can be mined economically, the risk that the company does not receive any further support from state and local governments, the U.S. government, and/or next generation energy companies; and any and all statements regarding the overall equity market, and the general economy. Furthermore, Investors are cautioned not to interpret the information in this President’s Letter as investment advice. The statements made in this release are solely the beliefs of the Company’s management team and should not be relied upon while making investment decisions. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of Idaho Strategic Resources as of the date such information is provided and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance, or achievements of IDR to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. With respect to Idaho Strategic Resources, the business, these risks and uncertainties include risks relating to widespread epidemics or pandemic outbreak including the COVID-19 pandemic; the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce, suppliers and other essential resources and what effect those impacts, if they occur, would have on our business, including our ability to access goods and supplies, the ability to transport our products and impacts on employee productivity, the risks in connection with the operations, cash flow and results of the Company relating to the unknown duration and impact of the pandemic; interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information; unfavorable exploration results; inability to obtain permits required for future exploration, development or production; general economic conditions and conditions affecting the industries in which the Company operates; the ability to obtain necessary future financing on acceptable terms; the uncertainty of regulatory requirements and approvals; fluctuating mineral and commodity prices; the ability to operate the Company’s projects; and risks associated with the mining industry such as economic factors (including future commodity prices, and energy prices), ground conditions, failure of plant, equipment, processes and transportation services to operate as anticipated, environmental risks, government regulation, actual results of current exploration and production activities, possible variations in ore grade or recovery rates, permitting timelines, capital and construction expenditures, reclamation activities. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as intended, anticipated, or estimated. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such information. Additional information regarding the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from this forward‐looking information is available in Idaho Strategic Resources filings with the SEC on EDGAR. IDR does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.