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Why Mining Legend Rick Rule Owns This Stock

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See why Rick Rule owns this stock, why three newsletter writers are bullish on this company's exploration at its Nevada flagship project, and what catalysts are expected this year.

Ridgeline Minerals Corp. (RDG:TSX.V; RDGMF:OTCQB) is a mineral exploration company focused on the discovery of gold and copper deposits in the United States. 

Ridgeline is dedicated to exploring and developing mineral resources using advanced geological and geochemical techniques. The company focuses on identifying high-potential targets within mining-friendly jurisdictions and applying modern exploration methods to make new discoveries. 

Recently, the company announced it had entered into another agreement with Nevada Gold Mines LLC (NGM), a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX:TSX; GOLD:NYSE) and Newmont Corp. (NEM:NYSE), where NGM will have the right to earn-in to a controlling interest in Ridgeline's Carlin-East gold project

Carlin-East is a 19.5-square-kilometer land package, sitting on trend of NGM's Fallow discovery (inferred resource of 1.0 million ounces gold [Moz Au] grading 11.3 grams per tonne [g/t]). The project comprises 243 contiguous federal lode claims totaling 19.5 square kilometers of surface and mineral rights.

With this transaction, NGM will be able to complete a minimum of US$4.5 million (of which US$1.5 million is guaranteed) in qualifying work expenditures over an initial five-year term to earn an initial 60% interest in Carlin-East and will have further options to increase its interest to a total 75% interest. NGM will assume operatorship of the project immediately. 

Highlights of this deal include:

  • Reimbursement of Prior Expenditures: Within 15 days of signing the definitive agreement, NGM will reimburse a total of $100,000 to Ridgeline in consideration of recent overhead and work expenditures at Carlin-East.
  • Initial Earn-In Option: NGM will assume operatorship of the project and can earn-in to a 60% interest in the project by incurring a minimum of $4.5 million in qualifying work expenditures over five years, including.
    • US$1.5 million in guaranteed work expenditures before December 31, 2025.
    • US$3.0 million in work expenditures before July 14, 2028.
    • NGM and Ridgeline will each elect two representatives to a Carlin-East technical steering committee, which will meet quarterly to review budgets and exploration progress.
  • Second Earn-In Option: NGM will retain a one-time option to earn an additional 10% interest in the project by sole-funding an additional US$5.0 million in work expenditures before July 14, 2030.
  • Development Funding Option: Within 90 days of a joint venture decision to proceed with the development and construction of a mine and/or related processing facilities on Carlin-East, NGM will have a one-time option to elect to provide or arrange for third-party financing of Ridgeline's portion of debt financing required for the development in consideration, in either case, for an additional 5% interest in the project for a total of 75% (or 65% if the second option was not exercised).

In light of this news, Chief Executive Officer and Director Chad Peters stated, "We are delighted to add a second earn-in agreement to our growing partnership with Nevada Gold Mines. This deal validates our business model as we continue to exhibit our ability to find and advance exploration opportunities in Tier-1 districts."

Expert Opinions

While the news is compelling, Ridgeline has been attracting attention for a while. Legendary mining investor Rick Rule of Rule Investment Media acquired a significant stake in the company (about 3%) on its recent CA$4.5 million financing. Rule is a household name in the mining space and began working in securities in 1974, focusing primarily on natural resources.

Ridgeline is also followed by a few newsletter writers who have all shared positive reviews of the company. 

Technical Analyst Clive Maund recently provided an update on the company. While the price reacted back in a tight downtrend, it has been "advancing on strong volume but reacting back on light volume, which is definitely bullish," he wrote. "It won't take much buying to get it moving higher again."

Maund ended his newsletter by noting, "The conclusion is that Ridgeline Minerals is at a good entry point now with limited downside and big upside potential from here, and it is rated a Speculative Buy for all timeframes."

Lastly, at the start of the year, Gwen Preston of The Maven Letter wrote about Ridgeline in light of high-grade drilling results at the Chinchilla zone at its Selena project.

Technical Analyst Clive Maund recently provided an update on the company. While the price reacted back in a tight downtrend, it has been "advancing on strong volume but reacting back on light volume, which is definitely bullish," he wrote. "It won't take much buying to get it moving higher again."

"These holes are very important," Preston wrote. "Before this drill effort, Chinchilla was interesting. It had good but not great grades, and the geologic understanding (how mineralization relates to structures and rock types and, therefore, what additional opportunity remained to be found) was still early. These holes change all of that.”

She went on to say, "To be very forward-looking: with these holes, odds have increased that Chinchilla hosts mineralization of the kind of scale and grade to be very worth mining in a massive underground operation. If that indeed pans out, Selena would be a very, very valuable asset."

Ridgeline Minerals discovered the Selena property in 2020, which is a shallow-oxide deposit containing silver, gold, lead, and zinc. The property hosts a Carbonate Replacement Deposit (CRD) with the potential for both open-pit and underground mining of silver and gold at the Chinchilla, Juniper, Revival, and Broken Egg targets. The Company returned the highest grade intercepts ever drilled at Selena during last falls program with highlight results including 6.1 meters grading 480 g/t silver (Ag), 18.4% lead-zinc (Pb-Zn), and 0.1 g/t Au (about 1,200 g/t silver equivalent [AgEq]) within a 32.5-meter intercept of 153 g/t Ag, 4.2% Pb-Zn and 0.1 g/t Au.

Source: Ridgeline Minerals Corp.

The Golden Opportunities newsletter also shared its optimism about the stock in a February newsletter, saying, "While Ridgeline has a number of splashy, high-potential projects in its Nevada portfolio, Selena has developed into perhaps the company's most important and valuable property. Upcoming permitting approvals should allow for much more aggressive exploration of new zones and targets this year, so we're moving Ridgeline back to a Buy."

Additionally, the Chinchilla and CRD Zone offer the potential for high-grade mineralization at greater depths, which will be tested during this summer's program. Freeport McMoRan also began exploring the neighboring Butte Valley porphyry copper (Cu)  system in 2022 and is currently drilling on their side of the boundary chasing the deep porphyry Cu deposit that Ridgeline believes is also the source for their CRD discovery at Selena.

The Selena project is situated in the historic Limousine Butte district of the south Carlin-Trend in Nevada and encompasses 467 contiguous federal lode claims spanning 39 square kilometers. The surrounding area has a history of both historical and active mines, including Bald Mountain, Alligator Ridge, Yankee, Illipah, and Golden Butte deposits.


Ridgeline's other big exploration project is Swift. Swift is currently under option to Nevada Gold Mines under a US$30 million earn-in agreement where NGM can earn up to a 75% interest in Swift (the same structure as the Carlin-East deal) through a series of spending and development milestones. NGM has already spent US$5 million in the first 18 months of the deal and will be firing up the drills again in July to follow up on multiple encouraging gold intercepts from its 2022 drill program.  Between the Swift and Carlin-East deals, the company could now see up to US$40 million being spent by NGM in exploration across both projects, a compelling and low-risk opportunity for shareholders to participate in potential new discoveries in a world-class district.

For a bit of background, Swift is an exploration project focused on Carlin-Type gold deposits situated in Lander County, Nevada. It is located within the highly productive Cortez district of the Battle Mountain-Eureka Trend. The project consists of 785 BLM claims covering 14,651 acres, along with 3,697 acres of private fee ground, resulting in a total area of 18,348 acres or 75 square kilometers. Notably, the property encompasses the past producing Elder Creek open-pit gold mine (not owned by RDG) and is directly on-trend of the Pipeline open-pit mine (20+ Moz. Au mine owned by NGM).

Brien Lundin of The Gold Newsletter wrote, "While Ridgeline has a number of splashy, high-potential projects in its Nevada portfolio, Selena has developed into perhaps the company's most important and valuable property."

"Our singular focus as a company is to create value per share through discovery and we are delighted to partner with the Nevada Gold Mines team as they apply their proven track record of discovery to the Swift gold project," Peters said. "Through this partnership, Ridgeline will significantly reduce the exploration risk inherent with deep drilling in Nevada, while retaining meaningful upside at Swift across all levels of project development moving forward."

Swift benefits from its proximity to several significant gold mines, including the Pipeline, Cortez Hills, Fourmile, and Goldrush deposits, which have collectively produced millions of ounces of gold. These mines are situated downstream along the Cortez Structural Corridor, indicating the potential for substantial mineralization in the area. 

The company also has three pipeline-stage projects: Bell CreekRobber Gulch, and Big Blue, with Big Blue garnering shareholder attention this spring from surface trenching results that returned up to 15.5% Cu over 0.6 meters.

Two Catalysts

On the first of this month, Ridgeline released its 2023 exploration program and corporate strategy. You can view the full release here.

Gwen Preston of The Maven Letter wrote, "Before this drill effort, Chinchilla was interesting. It had good but not great grades, and the geologic understanding was still early. These holes change all of that."

This release showcased its portfolio of six projects in Nevada and Idaho, encompassing 192 square kilometers. In this update, the company noted it intends to spend CA$2 million on direct drilling and exploration.

Streetwise Ownership Overview*

Ridgeline Minerals Corp. (RDG:TSX.V; RDGMF:OTCQB)

*Share Structure as of 7/19/2023

"We anticipate multiple catalysts across the Ridgeline portfolio this year," Vice President of Exploration Mike Harp said.

The company will finish its proposed five-hole, 3,000-meter drilling program at its Selena Project, which is scheduled to start in early July. This drilling will target high-grade silver, gold, lead, and zinc mineralization at two known "chimney" targets at the Chinchilla zone.  Also, Nevada Gold Mines will begin the next phase of framework drilling at Ridgeline's Swift project in early Q3 of this year.

Ownership and Share Structure

About 10% of Ridgeline Minerals is held by insiders, according to the company. Holders include President and Chief Executive Officer Chad Peters with 4.2%, Chief Financial Officer and Director Duane Lo with 0.93%, and VP Harp with 0.41%, Reuters said. Peters founded this company out of his garage in 2018; this is his first venture as CEO and he is aligned with shareholders and motivated to make this one a success.

Approximately 10% of the company is institutional with notable names including Commodity Capital AG and Extract Capital. About 65% is retail.

Ridgeline Minerals has a market cap of CA$18.67 million with about 91 million shares outstanding, and 85 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.385 and CA$0.19.

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Important Disclosures:

  1. As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of Barrick Gold Corp.  
  2. Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an employee. 
  3. The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. This article is not a solicitation for investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company mentioned on Streetwise Reports.

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