Explore & Discover // Issue 8 // Spring 2020

Page 1


IN THIS ISSUE

FEATURED

06 CONCEPT TO DISCOVERY: THE LOAD ROAD TO SUCCESSFUL EXPLORATION

2


NOTE FROM THE CORNER OFFICE

Building Culture & Momentum

The Engaged & Driven People Behind Big Client Wins In 2019, 2020 Potential The most important part of Big Rock is our team. More specifically, the individuals that work together as a team to solve complex scientific problems, communicate highly technical information, and deliver valuable products to our clients to help them win. This dynamic requires dedicated, focused, and intentional efforts to continue to nurture and grow Team Big Rock. One of the strongest ways we can express our commitment to staff growth is by investing in their well-being and professional development. Whether it’s actively placing them on projects that ignite their passions, or opening doors for continuing education opportunities like conferences, trainings and short courses, we believe that if we create value for our team, they will in turn help create exceptional value for our clients. “Big Rock believes a strong growth culture is one that is dedicated to honest and thorough self-assessment with a continuous effort to refine, develop and improve. This isn’t just an organizational quality, it is an essential characteristic we look for when recruiting the next generation of explorers.” At Big Rock, we don’t just talk about it, we put it into action. At right are just a few of our staff development highlights from this past year.

DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

5 GUEST TECHNICAL TA L KS

35 STA F F CONFERENCE PA R T I C I PAT I O N

IN THIS ISSUE Gold is a fascinating mineral with numerous important and unique characteristics; from technology, finance, rarity, unique crystallography, jewelry and even into outer space, gold is unlike any other metal available to humanity. Since early civilizations such as the Egyptians, gold was highly sought after as a priceless and rare treasure. Today gold is a unique technology metal with advanced scientific qualities that few, if any, other metal elements possess. In this issue, we feature gold as a metal, a mineral, and an element; a key ingredient to many facets of today’s society. We explore how it’s found, how it’s used, what it looks like, and why it is such a key component for modern technology including aerospace and medical devices. From the microscope to the museum, gold is everywhere. You just need to know where to look. Come Explore & Discover with us!

ROB BERGMANN President

200 COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER HOURS


Minerals are the Future Why The Green Energy Economy Will Create More Mining BY BRIAN LENTZ, CPG

s we enter a new decade, we are faced with a variety of scientific and environmental challenges. The demand for a safer and cleaner environment coupled with population growth presents society with obstacles on a scale we haven’t faced before. One of our defining problems is a rapidly warming climate; a consequence of enormous increases in emissions, especially carbon. Any complex problem requires equally complex solutions - one of these complex solutions is green energy. Green energy technology presents innovative ways of thinking about our global economies and social environments to understand the way businesses and people interact with the environment and with one another. But the cornerstone of green energy and the ability to use it rests upon the availability of minerals. Simply put, green energy is driving an unprecedented demand for minerals…and this demand is just getting warmed-up. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “estimates for the global capacity of solar photovolatics will be greater than the current power capacity of India and Japan combined within five years...(which) brings demand for minerals in the technology, including aluminum, cadmium, copper, gallium, indium, iron, lead, nickel, silica, silver, tellurium, tin and zinc.” As Big Rock highlighted in Explore & Discover Issue #7, metals such as nickel are becoming a driving force behind green energy feasibility and economics.

Minerals are a critical part of our response to climate change. They are a pivotal resource driving the revolutionary green energy movement; and ultimately how mining and minerals will propel the green energy economy across the world. - Brian Lentz

Principal and Vice President

Numerous indicators, such as a special report from The Economist in March 2018, raise the issue that “America produces few of the commodities it needs” in order to meet the growing demand for green energy and to reach the global scale for emissions-reduction targets. This has sparked an international conversation about the substantial impacts to global supply of the minerals needed for clean energy production. Riccardo Puliti, Sr. Director and Head of Energy and Extractive Industries Global Practice at the World Bank predicts “Countries with capacity and infrastructure to supply the minerals and metals required for cleaner technologies have a unique opportunity to grow their economies if they develop their mining sectors in a sustainable way.” This discussion is finally moving beyond the political corners of pro-mining vs. pro-environment. Minerals are a critical part of our response to climate change. They are a pivotal resource driving the revolutionary green energy movement and ultimately will propel the world toward a green energy economy.

D I G D E E P E R : EXPLORE & DISCOVER ISSUE 7

How we can sustainably supply the minerals critical to the green energy revolution


Gold

Tech

Yesterday’s Status Symbol Is Tomorrow’s Most Critical Technology Component Gold is more than a status symbol. Gold is an important material that multiple industries rely on and it continues to be a critical mineral for technology and innovation. On top of its rarity, gold’s unique physical properties enhance its material value and significance beyond that of a currency or investment-based asset. Gold is a key ingredient in nearly all of the critical technology sectors in the U.S. economy.

SATELLITE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS

$1.9T

2020 U.S. MARKET

TOP U.S. FIRM

AEROSPACE & DEFENSE SYSTEMS

$1.46T 2020 U.S. MARKET

TOP U.S. FIRM

Technological Innovation Is Key To Meeting Future Challenges Gold is a key element, mineral, and commodity for the future! Big Rock is involved in a wide variety of gold projects, ranging from inception to production. As a key element in new age technology, gold presents a new type of value beyond standard currency backing and commodity hedging. While gold continues to be rare and beautiful, it is also a key ingredient of our future. Gold has historically been desired throughout the world as a luxurious status symbol, but its status is now mission critical for tomorrow’s technical innovations that will shape human life and modern society. Gold is also very rare, found at a relative abundance of only 0.004 parts per million in Earth’s crust. With the combination of gold’s rarity, a lack of recycling, and the amount of gold required for the critical components necessary for future technology and innovations, gold is becoming a key ingredient for the future of our society.

ROBOTICS & NANOTECHNOLOGY

$225B

2020 U.S. MARKET

TOP U.S. FIRM


CONCEPT CONCEPT TO DISCOVERY: TO DISCOVERY:

The LongThe Road Long To Road Successful To Successful Exploration Exploration

B Y B R A N D O N I SB AY K SBORNA N D O N I S A K S O N Director of OperationsDirector of Operations

1 The first step 1to The exploring first step is knowing to exploring whatisto knowing look for,what to look for, most importantly most to identify importantly the key to factors identifynecessary the key factors to necessary to G DEEPER DIG DEEPER develop favorable develop criteria. favorable Essentially, criteria. this phase Essentially, is about this phase D is Iabout building a “hypothesis”, buildingor a technical “hypothesis”, criteria or technical to be able criteria to to be able to WITH WITH go look for. For example, go look for. to find For example, a lode gold to find deposit, a lode one gold deposit, one would look for the would favorable look for criteria the favorable that indicates criteriaprosthat indicates pros- Esri’s ArcGIS By utilizing By utilizing and Survey123 Esri’s ArcGIS applications, and Survey123 the Big applications, Rock techni- the Big Ro pects for lode gold pects mineralization. for lode gold mineralization. cal team is more efficient cal team and is efficacious more efficient while and field efficacious mapping,while which field mapp

Making The Digital MakingLeap The Digital Leap

CRITERIA MO CD R EI TL EFRO IA R MODEL FOR LODE GOLD L DO ED PO E SGI O T SL D D E P O S I T S

reduces operational reduces and opportunity operational costs and across opportunity the board. costs With across these the board. W gains in time and productivity, gains in time theand team productivity, can dedicate thetheir teamfocus can dedicate to the their fo most high-value steps most in their high-value process. steps in their process.

R E A D T H E B L O G P OR ES AT D T H E B L O G P O S T Anomalous gold in rock Anomalous or soils gold in rock or soils Proximity to shear zones Proximity to shear zones Hydrothermal alteration Hydrothermal alteration Metal pathfinder elements Metal pathfinder (As, Se, Cu,elements Zn, Bi, Mo,(As, Sb,Se, etc.) Cu, Zn, Bi, Mo, Sb, etc.)

3 After creating3 aAfter central creating database a central we’re database ready to put we’re ready boots on the ground. boots on Essentially, the ground. this Essentially, step is the this pros-step is th pecting phase. Geologists pecting phase. go out Geologists into the field go out to collect into the field to mapping data, rock mapping or soildata, samples rock and or soil other samples technical and other te 2 With relevant2criteria With defined, relevant criteria we nextdefined, start compiling we next start compiling the AOI. to Data testcollection the AOI. in Data thecollection field is a in the fi all relevant dataallinto relevant a central datadatabase. into a central Often database. geoloOftenevidence geolo- to testevidence criticalofstep to verify critical if the step AOI to passes verify ifthe theCriteria AOI passes Model. the Criteria gists use a spatial, gists oruse GIS adatabase. spatial, orAGIS large database. amountAoflarge amount geology, land use, geology, historical, land public use, historical, government, publicand government, and types of data The collected types ofindata the collected field include in the geology field include academic data is academic organized data andis digitized organized into and a digitized usable into aThe usable mapping, structures measuring or features structures in the orrocks, features in th format. This allows format. the explorer This allows to filter the explorer the datato accordfilter the data mapping, accord- measuring collecting rock or collecting soil samples, rock taking or soil samples, photographs, taking and photograp ing to their Criteria ing to Model theirand Criteria use computer Model andmodeling use computer modeling sometimes using sometimes special technology using special tools technology to obtain tools to to identify which to areas identify might which beareas worthmight sending be worth out sending out data. geophysical All of the data data.collected All of theindata this collected phase in thi some boots-on-the-ground. some boots-on-the-ground. Often these are Often called, these aregeophysical called, is critical to determine is critical if the to determine AOI is worth if the pursuing. AOI is worth pursuin areas-of-interest,areas-of-interest, or AOI. or AOI. Chemically favorableChemically host rocks favorable host rocks

1 | CRITERIA MODEL 1 | CRITERIA MODEL 2 | Desktop Analysis 2 | Desktop Analysis 3 | Boots-on-the-Ground 3 | Boots-on-the-Ground4

EXPLORATION FRAMEWORK EXPLORATION FRAMEWORK

KEY: 6

TIME

KEY:

TIME

COST

COST

RISK

RISK

6


discrete4areas-of-interest With discrete areas-of-interest identified, the acquisiidentified, the 6 acquisiPermitting is6the Permitting next crucial is the andnext nuanced crucial phase and nuanced of phase of ase focuses tionon phase obtaining focuses mineral on obtaining rights. Ownermineral rights. the Ownerexplorationthe process. exploration This step process. varies This drastically step varies drastically the mineral ship of rights the is mineral generally rights obtained is generally by 1) obtained depending by 1) upon depending the type upon of land thejurisdictions type of land your jurisdictions your a mining staking claim, a2)mining obtaining claim, a State 2) obtaining lease, ora3)State lease, project or 3) is located project within. is located Some within. permitting Some takes permitting a takes a ting a deal negotiating with a private a deal owner. with a Within privatethe owner. US, Withincouple the US,months couple and costs months tens of and thousands costs tensofofdollars; thousands of dollars; rights can mineral be very rights simple, can be or very very complicated simple, or very complicated other permitting other takes permitting years andtakes costsyears hundreds and costs of hundreds of ing on which depending state you on which are in. state For example, you are in. claim For example, thousands claim of dollars. thousands It is always of dollars. important It is always to access important the to access the only exists staking in states only west existsofinthe states Mississippi; west of but the Mississippi; permitting but jurisdiction permitting during jurisdiction Desktop during (Step 2)Desktop to prop-(Step 2) to propesn’t include this all doesn’t statesinclude west ofall the states Mississippi. west of The the Mississippi. erly plan The ahead and erly plan prepare. ahead In and the US, prepare. there In arethe generUS, there are generacquisition correct is a critical acquisition step in is a securing critical step the rights in securing the ally rights some permitting ally some considerations permitting considerations as the Federal,as the Federal, minerals. to It the is very minerals. important It is to very secure important the rights to secure the State rights and often County State and or often Municipality Countylevels. or Municipality The greatlevels. The greatminerals to tobe theable minerals to advance to be able the project to advance further. the projectest further. risk to permitting est risk is to not permitting doing your is homework not doing your earlyhomework early ise, it would Otherwise, be likeittrying wouldtobe build like atrying house toon build a house on. on on. ighbors property…it your neighbors just property…it doesn’t work! just doesn’t work! FROM THE INFOGR FA RP OH MI CT H LE I B IRNAFROYG R A P H I C L I B R A R Y

process of 5 defining The process a drill oftarget defining takes a drill systematic target takes systematic OWNLOAD DOWNLOAD Exploratory Explained Drilling DExplained tion steps. exploration There aresteps. a variety There of steps are a variety to refine of steps to refine Exploratory Drilling d targetsdetailed to be able targets to test toat bedepth able to with test drilling. at depth with drilling. f these steps Someinclude of these 1) detailed steps include geological 1) detailed map-geological mapd sampling, ping2)and various sampling, geophysics 2) various methods geophysics and methods and modeling. 3) 3D In order modeling. to have In better order to chance have at better chance 7 Once at all the7 groundwork Once all the has groundwork been laid and has been due laid and due ring a mineral discovering deposit, a mineral extensive deposit, systematic extensive systematic diligence completed, diligence the completed, exploration the team exploration is ready to team is ready to tion is required. exploration Theiscost required. of drilling Theiscost oneof ofdrilling the is one of the test their thesistest withtheir corethesis drilling. with This core is arguably drilling. This the is arguably the xpensivemost stepsexpensive in a discovery, steps and in a making discovery, sure and making sure most importantmost step, important but often itstep, is rushed but often into it without is rushed into without drilling inyou’re the best drilling spotinwill thehelp bestto spot lower willyour help to lower properly your completing properly the completing other steps of the the other process. stepsThis of the process. This nd ultimately costs and lowerultimately your risklower of missing your risk the of missing thedrilling even makes makes more drilling of a even risk. Drilling, more ofoften a risk.called Drilling, often called target! the “truth machine”, the “truth is an extremely machine”,low is animpact extremely method low impact method to provide evidence to provide of what evidence lies in the of what ground lies underin the ground underneath. There are neath. manyThere drilling are methods many drilling and each methods one and each one has a unique way has to adrill unique into the waysubsurface to drill intoand the provide subsurface and provide THE AR FR CO H IMV ET H/ /E I S AS RU CE H I6V E / / I S S U E 6 material back tomaterial the surface backfor tothe thegeologist surface for tothe sample geologist to sample and analyze. and analyze.

TIONALOPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE DRIVES EXCELLENCE DISCOVERY DRIVES DISCOVERY

For a geologist,For drilling a geologist, is exciting drilling because is exciting it finally because it finally s exploration Grassroots strategies, exploration mastering strategies, logistics mastering of mobilization, logistics of mobilization, the opportunity provides the to opportunity test your hypothesis, to test your or hypothesis, or mer on exploratory and a primer drilling oninexploratory Minnesotadrilling - Issue 6 inhas Minnesota it all! - Issue 6 hasprovides it all!

O A D I S S U E D6O W N L O A D I S S U E 6

n4 | Acquisition

criteria model (Step criteria 1). As model a scientist, (Step 1).the Asability a scientist, to prove the ability to prove your hypothesisyour correct hypothesis or wrong, correct is what or continues wrong, is what to continues to advance scienceadvance and innovation. science and For innovation. the geologist, Forit the is geologist, it is no different. no different.

5 | Drill Targeting 5 | Drill Targeting 6 | Permitting6 | Permitting 7 | Drilling 7 | Drilling


Exploratory Core Drilling:

An Infographic Explainer On A Critical Exploration Tool

WHY DO GEOLOGISTS USE CORE DRILLING? Geologists are essentially Earth detectives, using science to uncover the story of how our planet was formed over billions of years, from stardust to the modern world we know today. One of their tools for gathering clues is exploratory core drilling. This precision sampling technique enables them to study rocks that are buried deep in the Earth and otherwise inaccessible to humans, with no excavation required. K E Y FAC T S COLLECT SCIENTIFIC DATA

LOW-IMPACT PRECISION TECHNIQUE

SHORT-TERM TEMPORARY FOOTPRINT

POTENTIAL ECONOMIC DISCOVERY

H OW D O E S I T WO R K? Exploratory drilling, also known as diamond core drilling, uses a cylindrical bit with embedded industrial diamonds, which rotates at the end of drill rod (or pipe). The opening at the end of the diamond bit allows a solid column of rock to move up into the drill pipe and be recovered at the surface without invasive digging. K E Y FAC T S COMPARABLE TO DRILLING A WATER WELL

LOW NOISE & DUST EFFECTS

NO TOXIC OR HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

RECLAMATED TO ORIGINAL CONDITION

B Y T H E N U M B E R S : H I G H - P R E C I S I O N R E S U LT S F R O M A L O W - I M P A C T F O O T P R I N T

DRILL PAD SIZE

A drill core sample is approximately the diameter of a baseball.

B I G

1,000 FEET AVG. DEPTH OF TARGET

8

D A T A

I N

A

1000’s

Of DATA POINTS CO N TA I N E D I N E AC H CORE SAMPLE

S M A L L

P A C K A G E

Lithology Alteration Rock quality (RQD) Geochemistry Mineralization Structure Geometry Fluorescence


B I G

R O C K

E X P L O R A T I O N ’ S

old (Au) occurs in rocks in a multitude of textures, sizes, and concentrations and with a variety of mineral associations. Understanding where and how gold occurs within mineralized areas is an important and often overlooked aspect in exploring for and ultimately mining Au-rich ore deposits. By employing in-house petrographic analysis of mineralized samples, we can identify textural, mineralogical, and paragenetic controls on gold mineralization. GOLD’S VISUAL PROPERTIES UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

COLOR

REFLECTANCE

BIREFLECTANCE

ANISOTROPY

CLEAVAGE

POLISHED HARDNESS

Bright Yellow

Very High

None

Isotropic

None

Low

Gold is easily distinguished in polished section based on its high reflectance, bright yellow color, and scratches indicative of its low polishing hardness. Explorationists can add value early in the process through visually identifying direct controls on gold mineralization. Early petrographic analysis helps filter through the noise of initial datasets before programs undertake more advanced stage geometallurgical studies. Gold occurs in ore deposits principally as grains of the native element (its pure form) often alloyed with native silver to form electrum. Native gold refers to grains with >80% Au, while electrum refers to grains with 50-80% Au. Under reflected light, a trained eye may be able to identify small differences in reflectance and color to distinguish relative abundances of gold and silver in electrum grains. However, for quantitative compositions of electrum grains, more sophisticated analyses like SEM or EMPA are required.

A

~15 micron, rough grain of Au with Boulangerite in quartz-carbonate vein. Reflected Light, PPL, 20x

B

~15 micron, rough grain of Au with Pyrrhotite within Arsenopyrite grain

C

Au along Pyrrhotite and Arsenopyrite grain margins.

D

Backscatter Electron Image of sub-micron microfracture controlled gold (bright) in Arsenopyrite grain (grey)

In other cases, especially in large-tonnage Carlin type deposits, gold can occur as invisible gold, wherein small amounts of the element are incorporated into the crystal structure of sulfide minerals such as As-Sb-rich pyrite or galena through coupled substitution. This type of mineralization is more difficult to identify in polished section, but optical zonation and anomalous optical properties are often indicative of Au-Ag-bearing sulfides. Gold can also occur as a primary component of bismuth and telluride minerals like calaverite (AuTe2), sylvanite ((Ag, Au)Te2), and maldonite (Au2Bi). Simply observing minerals that host gold and other associated ore minerals can provide important information as to the paragenesis (relative timing) and geochemical signature of gold mineralization. Such mineral associations can identify first-order controls on mineralization that can drive early-stage exploration. One of the most important aspects of exploration and metallurgy of gold-rich deposits is the texture of the gold grains. Gold and electrum grains range in morphology, size and host mineral. Although gold and electrum grains do not have a consistent cleavage or crystal structure, the morphology of each grain is often inherited from the host minerals or host fractures. For instance, free-milling gold occurs in coarse, roughly shaped grains along mineral grain margins and in fractures. Conversely, ores that contain invisible gold and fine grains of native gold that are completely enveloped by individual minerals are referred to refractory gold which may require more sophisticated processing. Not only can ore microscopy help delineate ore genesis through geochemical and mineralogical associations, it can render valuable information on the processing of the ores.


FINDING Gold: N E W

M O D E L

Case Studies B I G R O C K STA F F Senior Explorationists

S P O T L I G H T

F3 Gold is a private gold exploration company developing district-scale gold projects in the world-famous, Black Hills, South Dakota. Home to one of the largest gold mines in global history, the Homestake Mine, which produced over 40M ounces during its 137 year tenure, the Black Hills Region is ripe for another world-class discovery. Big Rock has worked with F3 Gold to develop a ‘new eyes on old rocks’ approach to gold exploration in the hills. F3 has developed a new model for gold endowment for the region which could result in a major new gold discovery in the USA. Historically, other exploration companies have looked for new discoveries in the black hills by trying to find a direct Homestake analog, and rightfully so with its size and scale. F3 Gold has taken a different approach some may know as the mineral systems approach. By assessing the entire region from an outside looking in approach and utilizing a broad orogenic gold model, F3 has begun to home in on vastly overlooked regions and strong, district-scale gold endowment indicators. After 8+ years of systematic scientific exploration F3 Gold is now ready to test its theories at depth. Big Rock has provided turnkey project management since the beginning to allow F3 the ability to execute their project effectively with fiscal efficiency. Big Rock has permitted the project and is undergoing an EA with the USFS drill permit expected to be granted in Q4 2020.

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S T R A T E G I C

P A R T N E R

S P O T L I G H T

Alianza is a project generator and early stage exploration company, working to find and develop economic base and precious metal deposits through the Americas. With projects in Peru, Nevada, British Columbia and the Yukon, Big Rock is able to help provide turnkey management in servicing their portfolio of projects. We have worked with Alianza to progress their Nevada portfolio towards discovery and are scheduled to drill the Horsethief project outside of Pioche, NV in Q2 2020. We are excited to continue delivering high-quality results and stress-free management for Alianza. Alianza provides a fresh new generator-explorer hybrid model that combined with Big Rock execution may result in substantial new discoveries. We are excited to have such a good partnership with Alianza and the ability to provide them with tailored project solutions.

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Gold Is the New Green:

Leading The Industry Forward On Sustainability Performance B I G R O C K STA F F Research Analytics

or over 5,000 years, gold has been valued for emotional, cultural, and financial reasons. It is one of only seven metals used by humans since antiquity. Gold’s unique properties; scarcity, malleability, ductility, resistance to corrosion, inert to most chemical reactions, and high electrical conductivity, make it highly valuable and the most common sought-after element. If represented as a solid cube, all gold mined in human history is dwarfed by the average parking garage found in any metro downtown area. This footprint is significantly small compared to the land footprint required to mine the rock from which the gold is extracted. Given the demand for gold and land disturbance required to obtain it, is gold a sustainable mineral? What is a sustainable mineral? A sustainable mineral is a way to evaluate the entire life cycle of how a mineral is mined, processed, used in finished products, and to its recycling and/or disposal. Sustainable minerals or sustainable mining are relatively new terms. Given the supply chain pressures of green energy and technological innovations requiring more diverse minerals, mining companies need to maintain sustainable principles. The International Council of Mining & Metals (ICMM) outlines these objectives related to the environment, society, and governance for which their members commit themselves to follow. The gold mining industry is a leader in establishing and following sustainable mining guidelines. The World Gold Council (WGC) is a market development organization for the gold industry. Following similar principles established by the ICMM and other multinational groups, the WGC established the Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMP).

D I G

D E E P E R :

ENVIRONMENTAL

SOCIAL

GOVERNANCE

STEWARDSHIP BIODIVERSITY WATER, ENERGY, & CLIMATE CHANGE

SAFETY & HEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS & CONFLICT LABOR RIGHTS & COMMUNITIES

ETHICAL CONDUCT UNDERSTANDING IMPACT SUPPLY CHAIN

S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y

I N S I G H T S

Responsible Gold Mining Principles

READ THE FULL REPORT

Sustainable Metals & Minerals Guidance

READ THE FULL REPORT

LEADING THE WAY FORWARD One example of how gold mining follows these principles and are managing the impact of its operations is by using the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC). The ICMC focuses exclusively on the safe management of cyanide and cyanidation mill tailings and leach solutions. Companies that use cyanide for gold and/or silver recovery and adopt the Cyanide Code must have their operations independently audited by a third party. If a company meets the ICMC specifications, the audit results are made public to inform stakeholders that a company is a certified operation. Gold is a strategic and sustainable mineral. Mining will continue to navigate an uphill public perception battle to counter the historical environmental problems of the past. Through responsible recycling and mining, a reliable supply can be maintained for all end users.

Sources: International Cyanide Management Code https://www.cyanidecode.org/ World Gold Council: https://www.gold.org/about-gold/gold-supply/responsible-gold/responsible-gold-mining-principles


Crystallography Crystallography of Gold of Gold

A BeautifulAElement Beautiful InElement All Of It’sInCountless All Of It’s Forms Countless AndForms Shapes And Shapes

old is a unique substance old is a unique with substance extraordinary with properties. extraordinary An element, properties. a mineral An element, and aametal, mineral gold and occurs a metal, in nature gold occurs in alloyed commonly alloyed with commonly silver but also with with silver palladium, but also with mercury, palladium, and copper. mercury, Adding and copper. to it’s allure, Adding gold toisit’s one allure, of only gold is one nine elements that nineoccur elements in nature that in occur its native in nature or uncombined in its native or form. uncombined form.

Because it’s so soft, Because goldit’s can socollect soft, gold and can formcollect nuggets andinform fluvial nuggets beds and in fluvial even beds be absorbed and even bybe trees. absorbed Though bygold trees. Thoug nuggets as big nuggets as severalasfeet bigin asdiameter several feet have in been diameter discovered, have been single discovered, crystals are single quite crystals rare and aresmall. quite Native rare and gold small. Nati crystals usually crystals form skeletal usuallyrounded form skeletal octahedrons, roundedcubes, octahedrons, and dodecahedrons. cubes, and dodecahedrons. Sometimes theySometimes are elongated they in are elong specific crystallographic specific crystallographic directions forming directions herringbone forming or herringbone dendritic twins. or dendritic Others may twins. be Others flattened may with beoctahedral, flattened with oct cubic, or triangular cubic, faces. or triangular faces.

G O L D AT T H E GO MLODL E AC T UTLHAER ML O EV LEC L ULAR LEVEL Gold’s crystal Gold’s structure crystal is close-packed, structure is close-packed, face-centered cubic face-centered – imagine cubic an atom – imagine of gold an atom of gold at each corner of at aeach cubecorner and inofthe a cube middle andofin the middle of each face. Usingeach up 74% face. of Using the space, up 74% thisof isthe onespace, this is one of the most efficient of theways mostfor efficient spheresways to pack for spheres to pack together. Gold shares together. its Gold face-centered shares itscubic face-centered cubic crystal structurecrystal with copper, structure nickel, withplatinum, copper, nickel, platinum, and lead. and lead.

The crystallography, The crystallography, metallography, metallography, and composition and of composition gold directlyofinform gold directly its remarkable inform its remarkable properties – how properties it reacts –tohow pressure, it reacts temperature, to pressure,and temperature, fluids, and and evenfluids, its color. and Quantum even its color. Quantum chemistry tells us chemistry that gold’s tells electrons us that gold’s move so electrons rapidly move that they so rapidly shift the that wavelength they shift the of absorbed wavelength of absorbed light to blue andlight reflect to blue the opposite and reflect color: thelustrous opposite metallic color: lustrous yellow. metallic yellow. Gold’s other properties Gold’s other include properties resistance include to corrosion, resistance electrical to corrosion, conductivity, electrical and conductivity, malleability.and malleability. Gold is quite soft Gold – one is quite gramsoft of gold – onecan gram be flattened of gold can into bea flattened one-meter into square a one-meter sheet! It square keeps sheet! It keeps astronauts cool and astronauts protected coolfrom and the protected sun and from looks the fancy sun and on French looks fancy desserts. on French desserts.

Cubic crystals withinCu a

F U N F A C T S AFB UO NUFTAG CO TS L DA B O U T G O L D THE RAREST TYPE O TH F EG O RA LD R EI S ST. . . T Y P E O F G O L D I S . . .

Gold” “Wire Gold” FiliforM, “WireFiliforM, Largest known specimen: Largest known specimen:

The Ram’s Horn The Ram’s Horn WORLD’S LARGESTW S IONRGLLDE’ SC L RA YR ST GAELS.T. . S I N G L E C R Y S T A L . . .

217.78 G 217.78 G

Unearthed in Venezuela, the trapezohedron specimen is stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Unearthed in Venezuela, the trapezohedron specimen is stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

G O L D H A S E X T R E MG E OMLA DL H L EAASBEI L X ITTRYE. .M . E M A L L E A B I L I TY. . .

1 Gram = 1 Meter1 Gram Square = 1sheet! Meter Square sheet! Large trapezohedronLarge crystal trapezohedron (Side A) crystal (Side A)

12

12


Elongated skeletal dodecahedron Elongated skeletal with small dodecahedron rounded dodecahedron with small rounded crystal dodecahedron crystal

e trapezohedronLarge crystal trapezohedron crystal

skeletal cubic form

ohedronLarge crystal trapezohedron (Side B) crystal (Side B)

Truth, like gold, Truth,islike to be gold, obtained is to benot obtained by its not by its growth, but growth, by washing but byaway washing f romaway it all f rom it all that is not that gold.is not gold. - Leo Tolstoy,- War Leo and Tolstoy, Peace War and Peace

C R Y S T A L L O GCRRAYPSH TY A:L M LO OG RR EARPEHAYD : IM NO G R&E RREESAODUI N RC G E&S R E S O U R C E S For more about gold’s For classification, more aboutphysical gold’s classification, properties, chemical physical properties, chemical properties, and a database properties, of remarkable and a database specimens of remarkable from across specimens from across the world - check outthe theworld Mineral - check Database out the online! Mineral Database online!

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ince we spend a lot ince of we ourspend time away a lot of f rom ourthe time office, awayBig f rom Rockers the office, like to Big take Rockers every like to take every opportunity we can opportunity to spend we time can together to spend and time with together our community. and with In our 2019, community. Big In 2019, Big Rock planned and Rock participated planned and in events participated to connect in events with to others connect in our with industry, others in our industry, engage in community engage outreach, in community and have outreach, some good and have old-fashioned some good fun. old-fashioned All of us fun. All of us were able to attend were our able week-long to attend annual our week-long summit inannual December summit during in December which we during which we had various team-building had variousevents team-building and tours,events synopsized and tours, our year, synopsized and pivoted our year, as aand pivoted as a group to the upcoming group to year. theWe upcoming also tookyear. the opportunity We also tookto the recognize opportunity the outstanding to recognize the outstanding achievements of achievements some of Big Rock’s of some finest of Big through Rock’sour finest Golden through Nugget our awards. Golden The Nugget awards. The summit is a greatsummit way forisBig a great Rock way to promote for Big Rock our culture to promote of support our culture and inspiration, of support and inspiration, celebrate our successes, celebrate and our energize successes, the and team energize for a new theyear. team for a new year. Earlier in the year, Earlier Big Rock in therewarded year, Bigstaff Rockwith rewarded fun events staff like withball fun games events and like golf ball games and golf outings. Amanda,outings. our HSE Amanda, ace, attended our HSE a women’s ace, attended retreat a women’s where she retreat left the where coldshe left the cold north to explore north mineral to explore specimen mineral mines specimen in New Mexico. mines Some in NewofMexico. our community Some of our community engagements this engagements year included this theyear MPS included STEM expo, the MPS the UMN STEMEarth expo,Sciences the UMNcareer Earth Sciences career fair, and a pie social! fair, and At Big a pie Rock, social! we look At Big forward Rock, to weinvesting look forward in our to community investing inand our community and celebrating morecelebrating triumphs inmore 2020.triumphs in 2020.

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T O P G O L F T E A1 MT B OU PI L GD OILNFGT E A M B U I L D I N G

With the arrival of warmer With weather the arrival Brianofsurprises warmer weather Brian surprises the crew with an afternoon the out crew ofwith the office an afternoon to chat out of the office to chat about projects over some about friendly projects golf games. over some friendly golf games.

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F O U R S E A S O N2 TFEO AU MR CSUERALSI O NN G TEAM CURLING

The coach looks on as Liz The and coach Aubrey looks sweep on as their Liz and Aubrey sweep their curling stone down the ice. curling Curling stone was down a highlight the ice. Curling was a highlight during the annual summit. during the annual summit.

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M P L S F E D E R A3L M RE PSLESRFVEEDTEO RU AR L RESERVE TOUR

A tour of the federal reserve A tour bank of the offered federal a historical reserve bank offered a historical perspective on law and economy perspective and ona law view and of their economy and a view of their enormous vault. enormous vault.

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M I L L C I T Y M U4S EM U IM L LT O C IUTR Y MUSEUM TOUR

We toured Minneapolis’ We historic toured MillMinneapolis’ City Museum historic Mill City Museum with spectacular views of with thespectacular city from the views top of of the the city from the top of the Gold Medal Flour building. Gold Medal Flour building.

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M N G E O L O G I C5A LM S NUGREVO ELYOTGOI C UA RL S U R VE Y TO U R

Director Harvey Thorliefson Director engages Harvey BigThorliefson engages Big Rockers in a discussion of Rockers the vast in map, a discussion data, of the vast map, data, and document collection and at our document state geological collection at our state geological survey. survey.

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ESCAPE ROOM 6 TEESACM A PBEU R I LODOI N MGT E A M B U I L D I N G

A smart group of Big Rockers A smart escaped group from of Bigthe Rockers escaped from the Gold Rush room with plenty Goldof Rush timeroom to spare with–plenty of time to spare – perhaps the theme was perhaps an unfairthe advantage. theme was an unfair advantage.

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WOMEN’S MIN 7E R WAOLMREENT’RSEM A ITN E R A L R E T R E A T

Amanda (second from left) Amanda gets down (second andfrom dirtyleft) gets down and dirty in New Mexico searchinginfor New (which Mexico mineral?) searching for (which mineral?) specimens. specimens.

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M P S S T E M E X8 P OMD PA SYS T E M E X P O D A Y

Michael organizes a table Michael of geological organizes tools a table of geological tools and equipment to display and forequipment youngstersto atdisplay the for youngsters at the STEM expo – good thingSTEM he’s wearing expo – good his PPE. thing he’s wearing his PPE.

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A I P G M N G O L9F FAUI P NG D RMANI SGEO RL F F U N D R A I S E R

Brandon looks on as RobBrandon executeslooks a perfect on as Rob executes a perfect fairway 9 swing in his flip-flops! fairway swing in his flip-flops!

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2019 GOLDEN 2019 NUGGET GOLDEN AWARDS NUGGET AWARDS “MVP”

“MVP”

BEN KEUTE

BEN KEUTE

7 field projects across 5 states; 7 field LOTS projects of gold! across 5 states; LOTS of gold!

Big Rock’s Golden Big Rock’s Golden Nugget awards Nugget awards celebrate the achievecelebrate the achieveLIZ ROEPKE LIZ ROEPKE ments of our brightest ments of our brightest Developed and led new educational Developed outreach and led new & QAQC educational programs outreach & QAQC programs and bravest. and bravest.

“Visionary” “Visionary”

Ben, Liz, Jay and Dan Ben, Liz, Jay and Dan JAY R O B B I E JAY R O B B I E were all crucial to Big were all crucial to Big Rock’s success in 2019 Rock’s success in 2019 Explorationist extraordinaire: Explorationist 250+ days on extraordinaire: field projects! 250+ days on field projects! and we honored them and we honored them with a gift of rare with a gift of rare mineral specimens.mineral specimens. DAN GOETTSCH DAN GOETTSCH Hooray for the 3-letter Hooray for the 3-letter name brigade! name brigade! Established new marketing Established division atnew Big marketing Rock division at Big Rock

“Indiana Jones” “Indiana Jones”

“Rookie of the“Rookie year” of the year”


Bridging The GAP: MPS STEM EXPO Connecting With The Next Generation Of Explorer-Scientists

n February 5, Big Rock staff members spent the day in full field gear at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Along with 92 other exhibitors, we participated in the Minneapolis Public Schools STEM & Career Exploration Expo for 8th graders. Throughout the day, over 2,000 8th graders from around the city explored career pathways in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

BY THE NUMBERS

At the Big Rock booth, we talked to students about what it's like to be an exploration geologist: days spent outdoors hiking around collecting soil and rock samples, conducting geophysical surveys, taking notes and making maps, and using geological tools like rock hammers, hand lenses, and compasses. The students also got to see examples of actual ore rocks and guess where the metals from those samples were used in the components of a laptop circuit board. A Tesla Model X parked at a nearby booth provided another example of modern technologies use of mineral resources. Students were able to connect mineral resources to our own state with samples of iron ore and taconite pellets provided by the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota.

8TH GRADE STUDENTS

Most 8th graders in Minneapolis public schools are enrolled in an Earth Sciences class this spring semester, which gave us an opportunity to connect our work with their school curriculum. We gave them examples of how we use the scientific method to ask questions, form hypotheses, test predictions, and analyze our results. We also discussed the process of making observations, inferences, and drawing conclusions. Many students chose to take home activity booklets about exploration geology that were created by MineralsEd, a Canadian education organization. We at Big Rock had a wonderful time talking to curious students as well as a few curious teachers and chaperones. Many thanks to all our partners and we hope to see you again next year!

2,000 92 STEM CAREER EXHIBITORS

6 BIG ROCK STA F F

E VE N T PA R T N E R S

Big Rock geologists Leif Johnson, Matt Matko, and Liz Roepke meet with inquisitive young minds at the MPS STEM Expo on February 5th, 2020.

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DECEMBER 2019

EXAMINING THE OVERLOOKED Big Rock Exploration Senior Geologist Gabe Sweet on a reconnaisance mission to ďŹ nd overlooked and underexplored Cu & Au prospects in Nevada.

NEW EYES ON OLD ROCKS Big Rock Exploration Director of Operations Brandon Isakson doing some advanced scouting in the remote Nevada high desert.


Why Big Why RockBig Industries Rock Industries Is PoisedIsTo Poised Lead The To Lead NextThe Generation Next Genera

rom the early rom days the as geology early days classmates as geology at Winona classmates State at University Winona State to today’s University challenge to today’s of guiding challenge their of guidin entrepreneurial entrepreneurial ventures through ventures a globalthrough pandemic, a global co-founders pandemic, Robco-founders Bergmann and Rob Brian Bergmann Lentz and haveBrian always Lentz been have alwa focused on creating focused value on for creating societyvalue by solving for society complex by solving resource complex problems. resource Eachproblems. of Big Rock Each Industries’ of Big Rock (BRI)Industrie constituent business constituent modelsbusiness is built on models Rob and is built Brian’s on Rob “Newand Eyes Brian’s On Old “New Rocks” Eyesapproach; On Old Rocks” a fresh, approach; forward-thinking a fresh, forward-t perspective, diverse perspective, technical diverse expertise, technical modern expertise, data-driven modern science, data-driven and passionate science, and people passionate to deliver people exceptional to deliver exce outcomes for their outcomes clients and for their stakeholders. clients and stakeholders.

B.R.I.

A

B.R.I.

S N A P S HAO TS NOAF P A S H N O ET X O C IF T IANNG E FXI CR I ST TI NDGE CF A I RD SE T

5

565%

NEW VENTURES LAUNCHED

65% 40+

40+ 30+

OR VEESR - Y E A R Y E A R - S OU VSETRA- Y IN EA AB RL E N E W YVEEANRT-U VC EH NE UD E G R O W T HR E V E N U E C GL RIO EW N TT H L ARUEN PROJECTS

SU TS E TCAHIN NIACBALLE CSLTI A EN FF T PROJECTS

30+ 9 T EACCHT N I VI C EAL I N DSUTSATFRFI E S

D E C A D E

300+ 9

300+ 0

H OLUORSST OTFI M E AHCO TU I VRES O F A ND NU USATLRSI E ESR V I C E A N N U A IN L CSIE DREV NITCSE IN IN COMMUNITIES IN COMMUNITIES

LO IN

B.R.I. Is AN Innovative B.R.I. Is ANEcosystem InnovativeBuilt Ecosystem to solve Built complex to solve resource complex Problems resourceOFProblems THE FUTURE. OF THE FU

A fundamental component A fundamental of ourcomponent entrepreneurial of ourstrategy entrepreneurial is building strategy an understanding is building an of understanding the ‘interconnectivity of the ‘interconnectivity of things’ - how aof things multitude of dynamic multitude systems of that dynamic comprise systems modern that comprise society interact modern and society impact interact one another. and impact Creating one another. value in the Creating time of value coronavirus in the time of cor and climate change and means climate not change only confronting means not challenges only confronting with disruptive challenges and with forward-thinking disruptive and ideas, forward-thinking but identifying ideas, synergies but identifying and syner collaborative partnerships collaborative to create partnerships value-adding to create solutions. value-adding solutions.

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P R SOOBLLUE TMI O N

&

I M P A C T

R E P A T R I A T E RCERPIAT TI C RA I AL T R E ECS R OIU TR I CCAELS R E S O U R C

Ex. Net import reliance,Ex. black Netswan import events reliance, black swan events

Responsible domestic exploration Responsibleand domestic sustainable exploration development and sustainable developm

R E S O U R C E SRCEASROCUI TRYC E S C A R C I T Y

E N A B L I N G CE I RNCAUBLLAI N R GE C O I RNCOUM LY AR ECONOMY

Ex. Waste and degradation Ex. Waste and degradation

Recycling captured waste Recycling and converting capturedto waste high-value and converting metals to high-value met

POOR HUMAP N OROI R G HHTUSM A N R I G H T S

A C T I V E S T A KAECHTO I VL E D ES R T AEKNEGHAOGLEDMEERN E TN G A G E M

Ex. Workers’ and communities’ Ex. Workers’ health and communities’ health

Ensure safety, stewardship, Ensure andsafety, development stewardship, for all and stakeholders development for all stakeho

CLIMATE CHA CL NIGMEA T E C H A N G E

P O W E R I N G GPROEW EN E RTI E NC GHG R R EE V EO N L TUETCI O H NR E V O L U

Ex. Carbon emissions, pollution Ex. Carbon emissions, pollution

Support renewable energy Support and renewable tech-enabling energy minerals and tech-enabling & metals minerals & m

U P S T R E A M

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S O L M UA TT I EORNI A L I T YM & A T I EMRPI A AC LT I T Y

S U P P L Y C H A SI N U PRPI L SY K CHAIN RISK

D O W N S T R E A M

D O W N S T R E A M

U P S T R E A M

O B B R I R e s i l i e n c yB RF RI AR Me sE iWl iOeRnKc y F R A PMRE W O RL KE M

ECONOMIC IE NC EO QN UO AM L IITCY I N E Q U A L I T Y

S U S T A I N A B L SEUBS U TA SINE A SBSL EM B OU D SE ILN E S S M O D E L

Ex. Poor wages and labor Ex.laws Poor wages and labor laws

Empowering and protecting Empowering workers, and ensuring protecting secure workers, livelihoods ensuring secure livelih

C O R R U P T I O NC O & RFRRUAPUTD ION & FRAUD

F A I R & T R A NFSAPI A R R&E N TT R APN R SAPCAT R IC EE NST P R A C T I C E

Ex. Black market, illicit trade, Ex. Black forced market, laborillicit trade, forced labor

Responsible sourcing, regulatory Responsible framework sourcing, and regulatory compliance framework and complianc


R.I.

F O U NTDHEER SF O U N D E R S B.R.I.

T H E

With their ability Withto their develop ability new to develop talent for new talent for

Brian Lentz, CPG Brian Lentz, Rob Bergmann CPG VICE PRESIDENT

V I C E P R E SP ID REEN S ITD E N T

Rob Bergmann PRESIDENT

the industry, the build industry, strategic build partnerships, strategic partnerships, and create synergies and create within synergies B.R.I. [Big within Rock B.R.I. [Big Rock Industries], they’re Industries], in a good they’re position in a good for the position for the future of the future sustainable of the mineral sustainable exploration mineral exploration and development and development in North America. in North TheAmerica. The emergence ofemergence a low-carbon of aeconomy low-carbon andeconomy and green technologies green technologies will continuewill driving continue a driving a huge demand huge for minerals demand into for minerals the future. into the future.

M A R C H 2 0 2 0 | B UM S IANRECSH S 2 P0R2O0F I|L EB U S I N E S S P R O F I L E

ck Industries Big RockPORTFOLIo Industries PORTFOLIo & S P O KAE H MUOBD E & LS P O K E M O D E L

BIG ROCK EXPLORATION BIG ROCK EXPLORATION Think Tank, Technical Consultancy Think Tank, Technical Consultancy

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EXSOLVE

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EXSOLVE

F3 GOLD

Strategic Metal Recycling Strategic Technologies Metal Recycling Technologies

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F3 GOLD

Gold Prospecting & Exploration Gold Prospecting & Exploration

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DIAGENESIS

DIAGENESIS

BRI BRI RELEVANT RESOURCES RELEVANT RESOURCES

Strategic Resource Developer Strategic Resource Developer

Prospect Generator, Mineral Prospect Exploration Generator, Mineral Exploration

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BIG ROCK MINERALS BIG ROCK MINERALS World-class mineral collector World-class and dealer mineral collector and dealer

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To the layman, the definition of exploration geology could be described as "scientific prospecting". It is the pursuit of finding, identifying, and quantifying a mineral deposit with economic value or, as geologists would call it, economic geology. Traditionally, economic geology has focused on precious or base metals deposits, such as gold, copper, or zinc. However, the same techniques used to locate an economic metal deposit are applicable to locating an economic industrial mineral deposit. Industrial minerals generally are non-metallic, non-fuel minerals that are used for their physical or chemical properties without significant processing requirements. So, why are industrial minerals important? The first reason is their economic impact. In 2018, the USGS estimated that the U.S. produced about $82.2 billion of non-fuel minerals, of which nearly 70% ($56.3 billion) could be classified as industrial minerals. The second reason is their strategic value and usage in many modern societal applications, from construction to agriculture to green energy. The strategies to achieve a successful exploration program follow similar guidelines for any targeted mineral resource; be it metal or non-metal. This talk presents examples from industrial minerals projects where a successful outcome was guided by strategic exploration investments.

M A R C H 1 7, 2 0 2 0

A 5,000 Year Old Record - Broken. Unprecedented Market Volatility Sends Gold/Silver Ratio To Highest Level In Millennia “We have data for this series going back a long, long time – during Pharaoh Menes’ time (circa 3100 BCE) for example the ratio was 2½x, whereas in King Hammurabi’s day (circa 1750 BCE) it was 6x. The legendary Greek king Croesus (circa 560 BCE), who supposedly invented gold and silver coins, was more of a gold bug – he used a 13.33x ratio. Emperor Constantine I (280-337 CE) was less so at 10.5x... Yesterday the gold/silver ratio was the highest ever, peaking at at 123.78.”

Looking Ahead As always, the Big Rock team is excited to enter the summer field season. In this momentous year, characterized by a surge in working-from-home, the opportunity to get out into the field seems more appealing than ever before. Big Rock has been closely monitoring and adhering to COVID-19 updates, recommendations, and requirements. In response, we’ve updated our HSE management systems to ensure that all current and upcoming programs can be executed safely and responsibly. Although the COVID-19 situation has created challenges for nearly every work environment, Big Rock recognizes the importance of adhering to local and federal guidelines and we are fully committed to doing our part in flattening the curve. With the upcoming field season, we look forward to returning to the communities we’ve become engrained in and we’re excited by the opportunity to explore new areas. Be well,