Robert Giustra Set for “Biggest Win” Since 1993

Issue 182, April 2017

Continued from Page 1 ➤

...highest levels of French government. We're moving forward Montagne d'Ore to put the project into production, but Columbus is a public company. If the right offer were to come along...”

Montagne d'Ore is co-owned by Russia-based Nordgold, which recently upped its stake in the project to 55 per cent. Gold giant Newmont Mining owns the neighbouring property and recently spent close to $1bn on its Merian mine across the river in Suriname.

“French Guiana's completely untouched,” Giustra says. “It's 35,000 square kilometres of untouched greenstone belts, and the prize in French Guiana clearly is our project.” Nordgold is “going to do what's best for them.”

From Giustra, that's a compliment. Last year he launched a proxy battle against Quebec-based Eastmain Resources, referring to its board as a “blockage”. “We ran a number of different acquisition due diligence initiatives with different bankers and internally and Eastmain kept popping up on our radar. It kept coming up on every single list, but everyone told us, you'll never get a deal done. We wanted to have a closer look.”

Giustra immediately went hostile. “We knew it was moot to actually contact them,” he says. “It was obvious that the board and the CEO had to go.” They did.

Robert Giustra, who sits on a committee that sets policy for the TSX Venture Exchange, is the youngest member of the Giustra mining clan. His first cousins are Vancouver-based stockbroker Enrico Giustra and mine-promoter Frank Giustra, one of the largest investors in Canada, with companies spanning everything from films to gold mining in Mexico and the “best-tasting soup you can buy in a pouch.”

Originally from Italy, the family landed in Sudbury and became nickel miners, branching out into banking and broking. “Frank led the way,” Robert Giustra says. “We're all in the same business. I don't know a lot of other businesses in the world where you can be smart, work hard and make extravagant amounts of money... Junior mining comes right to the front.”

What about the Clinton scandal, which the Giustras are famously fed-up of being asked about? “The Clintons are family friends, I just want to leave it at that.”

“The Clintons are family friends, I just want to leave it at that.”

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