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Company Reports - Metals Creek Resources  


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Metals Creek Resources

Strong prospects for success

Written by Peter Henderson & Produced by Cory Challoner

For Alexander (Sandy) Stares, President and CEO of the Canadian mining and exploration group Metals Creek Resources, prospecting is in the blood.
Strong prospects for success

For Alexander (Sandy) Stares, President and CEO of the Canadian mining and exploration group Metals Creek Resources, prospecting is in the blood. Stares is the descendant of a mining family, the third generation in an extended network of prospectors who have worked the land in Newfoundland and across Canada and internationally.

Stares' grandfather and father were prospectors, and his brothers Stephen and Michael run an exploration company called Benton Resources Corp., not to mention the numerous cousins and uncles who take part in a business that seems to be a part of the family's genetic makeup.

"I come from a family of prospectors," says Stares. "I'm a third generation prospector. There's about 27 of us altogether from the family that are working in the exploration industry."

In 2007, the family was recognized for its long history of contributions to the exploration industry and given the Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada. Stares' son Shane is the first in the fourth generation of prospectors for the family, and Stares couldn't be happier about the work his family has chosen.

"This is what we love to do," Stares says. "It's nice when you wake up in the morning and you can't wait to go to work. There's just that much passion there for the industry."

Metals Creek Resources was founded by Stares in 2006 and had a RTO in March 2007 (TSX-V:MEK). Stares, a 15-year veteran of the Air Force, decided to strike out on his own after working with companies like Rubicon Minerals Corporation and Freewest Resources of Canada. Metals Creek currently has six exploration projects , including three in Newfoundland and three in Ontario.

Their Ontario holdings include their flagship joint venture with Goldcorp Canada Ltd. and Goldcorp Inc. on the Timmins West property in Ogden Township; a claim on the Currie-Bowman property west of Timmins that was acquired from Kinross Gold Corp.; and a gold project at Dogpaw Lake in the Kenora mining district. The company's main focus is gold exploration, but it has interests in sites with potential for platinum-group elements and other valuable minerals.

Metals Creek uses a combination of old-fashioned grunt work and new technologies to survey their land. They use advanced geophysics techniques and invest in the latest technology, but Stares' long pedigree as a prospector has taught him that it's always best to have a person on the ground whenever possible.

"That's an area where Metals Creek has an advantage, with our prospectors and geologists and their ability to identify something in a property that someone else might have missed," explains Stares. "A lot of the stuff we do is just boot-and-hammer prospecting. We identify a ground that has potential [and] we send our prospectors and geologist in there to see what they can find. If they come up with anything, then we go in [and] survey."

The eight full-time employees of Metals Creek make it a small operation, but that doesn't mean the communication and management is any easier. Stares believes in open and honest communication, and he makes a point of hiring experienced people who are right for the job.

"These guys are top-notch guys," he says. "They've been involved with exploration and mining, so they know what it takes to move a property along through the various stages from exploration right through to production. They know how to get the job done."

The global financial slowdown has hit the commodities markets hard, as demand for raw materials has dropped due to the huge cuts in worldwide industrial production. Exploration and mining companies depend on patient, long-term strategies for growth and development, yet the turmoil in the world markets over the short term last year caused problems for the share prices of many companies in the industry. Metals Creek Resources wasn't immune to the tumult, but Stares thinks that the calmer markets in 2009 reflect a reasonable reinvestment by those who were scared off during the late months of 2008.

"Last season, I don't think it would've mattered what you put out in a news release," jokes Stares. "It wouldn't have done any good for anybody's stock, no matter what it was. But I believe it's starting to come back, slowly. Of course, investors are very cautious in what they're doing; they want to know the properties, they want to know the management. You don't blame them."

Though certain commodity prices remain low, including copper and platinum, Stares is optimistic about the future and thinks that the strong position of Metals Creek Resources in the one commodity that investors rushed to put their money in during last year's market fluctuations gives the company a sound footing for further exploration.

"Of course, the price of commodities is a big problem," Stares says. "But right now, the price of gold isn't a problem, and we're primarily a gold company. The price of gold right now is a big plus for any exploration company."

Stares points to their properties around Timmins as a rich source of potential growth for the company. He singles out the location of their Timmins West property in Ogden Township as a great asset. "It's a world-renowned gold camp," he says. "We're right smack dab between [two successful sites], so that's a big plus for us right now. The targets that we have on the Ogden property are really good targets in and around porphyries, and we think that we have a good chance of a discovery there."

The company is working on developing its properties towards drill-ready projects and has received a $100,000 grant for exploration on one of their properties from the Newfoundland government. As part of the Junior Company Exploration Assistance Program, Newfoundland provides up to $100,000 per project for exploration companies working in the province. Despite this, Stares says that the firm's properties in Ontario will be the ones getting the most attention over the short term.

"Ogden is going to be our main focus," says Stares. "We know where we're going to get the best bang for our buck, and by far it's in Timmins.

Having survived the rough markets of the past year, Stares is optimistic for the future of Metals Creek. "We're a new company, and we think we're going to be one to watch."

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