How $2 million became $500 million in mining — interview with Bryan Slusarchuk
B.C. business leader Bryan Slusarchuk worked his way up from a golf caddy to a financier of major mining deals.
His biggest triumph began in the mining downturn of 2014, when Bryan and partners advanced $2 million (of an ultimate $15 million purchase price) for a gold mine in Papua New Guinea worth ~$500 million today. And there’s more – Bryan sees K92 Mining (TSXV:KNT) growing its high-grade gold resource to big leagues: 5 million ounces plus and annual production of 300,000-400,000 ounces, while maintaining industry leading costs.
When asked if he expects to ever find such good fortune again, Bryan’s response reflected an optimism that is common among successful resource executives. “I believe everyone gets 5 to 10 ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities in their career,” he said in a recent CEO.CA Mentors Podcast that covered his career and portfolio of mining ventures.
As a teen during Expo ‘86 in Vancouver, Bryan brought home a full-size cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan that inspired considerable teasing from his family. This unusual early interest in politics and also golf exposed Bryan to different careers in Canada’s resource industry. A few hard lessons as a young broker at Canaccord financing “Iguana’s” (entrepreneurs who say “I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that,” without ever executing) led him to start building his own companies.
Bryan is working to repeat the success of K92 in two new early stage ventures that he plans to list on the TSX-Venture exchange. These are:
- Fosterville South Exploration Ltd, focused on high-grade gold projects in Australia nearby and adjacent to Kirkland Lake’s Fosterville, the world’s highest grade and lowest cost gold mine (Approx $18 million valuation);
- Turmalina Metals Corp, building a high-grade copper gold portfolio in South America (Approx $25 million valuation).
Podcast topics include:
- K92 Mining inception, struggle, and future plans (00:01-18:07)
- Bryan’s youth and early career as a lumber trader and stock broker (18:07-29:09)
- Advice to young people considering careers in mining finance (27:27-30:32)
- The public venture capital industry and its challenges (30:33-36:03)
- How to be an effective promoter and handling criticism (36:26-44:54)
- New ventures he’s involved with (47:43-54:15)
- The Jim Slusarchuk Memorial Golf Tournament, honoring his late father, who passed away when Brian was 17 (57:00)
- Plus much more
Beyond his success as a venture capitalist, Bryan is an approachable entrepreneur with a big heart who has helped support CEO.CA from its earliest days. I appreciate him for these reasons and for sharing his story with us.
Disclaimer: Expectations discussed, especially those for K92 Mining, New Fosterville Exploration, and Turmalina Metals may not materialize. Bryan Slusarchuk is a shareholder in K92 Mining, and shareholder and officer in New Fosterville Exploration and Turmalina Metals. Tommy Humphreys is a shareholder in New Fosterville Exploration and Turmalina Metals. K92 Mining was an advertiser on CEO.CA in 2016.