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Prophecy Platinum Appoints New President And CEO, Shares Rally

Prophecy Platinum (CVE:NKL) Monday announced the appointment of Greg Johnson as its president and CEO. Shares of the company shot up 5.26 per cent on the news, trading at $1.20 as at about 10:30 a.m. EDT.

The move comes just days after the company appointed professional engineer John Sagman as its senior vice president and chief operating officer, part of its plan to assemble a new leadership team with proven expertise in the operation of successful mining projects.

Johnson has over 25 years of experience in the exploration and development of large scale projects in the mining industry and, through his global network of contacts, has been involved in raising over $650 million in project financing, the company noted.

"We are excited to welcome Mr. Greg Johnson to lead the executive management team at Prophecy Platinum Corp. and to take the company through the next stages of development," said chairman John Lee - founder of the company through the initial spin-out from Prophecy Resource Corp.

"Johnson has the demonstrated experience, expertise and vision that we believe will allow the company to successfully advance its projects and maximize shareholder value going forward."

Prior to joining Prophecy, Johnson held the position of president and CEO at South American Silver (TSE:SAC), where he lead the "significant advancement" and expansion of two development stage projects in South America - including a "world class silver deposit and a major new copper-gold discovery".

During this time, South American Silver's market capitalization increased from $20 million to a peak of $350 million, Prophecy said.

Johnson also co-founded NovaGold Resources (NYSEAMEX:NG), which went from a $50-million market capitalization to more than $2-billion, while its resource base grew to over 30 million ounces of gold.

Johnson began his career with Placer Dome Inc. - now Barrick Gold (TSE:ABX) - where he took part in a host of exploration in projects from early discovery stage to feasibility and operations in Alaska, Canada, Africa, Australia and Russia.

"I am excited to join Prophecy Platinum at this point of rapid growth, yet early market awareness for the company," Johnson said in a release Monday.

"We look to continue to build the technical and management team to successfully advance and grow what is already one of the world's largest undeveloped platinum group metal, Nickel and copper deposits at Wellgreen.

"With its low political risk location in the Yukon and existing development infrastructure, we believe there is excellent opportunity to significantly add shareholder value as we advance the project toward development."

Prophecy Platinum's flagship Wellgreen platinum group metals (NYSEARCA:PGM)-Nickel-copper project in the Yukon is one of the world's largest undeveloped PGM, Nickel, copper and cobalt resources. Last month, the company hired engineering consultants to start environmental baselines studies this fall at Wellgreen.

The platinum miner noted that the Yukon Environment and Socio-economic Assessment Board requires roughly two years of baseline data as part of the overall quartz mining permit application - which Prophecy aims to submit by 2015.

Prophecy's Wellgreen is located in the south west of Canada's mining-friendly Yukon Territory, approximately 35 kilometres northwest of the airstrip at Burwash Landing, just 15 km from the Alaska Highway and 402 km from the deep sea port of Haines in Alaska.

A July 2011, NI 43 101-compliant report provided a resource estimate of 289 million tonnes in the inferred category with grades of 0.38% Nickel, 0.35% copper, 1.18 grams per tonne (g/t) PGM and gold, and 14 million tonnes in the indicated category at 0.69%Nickel, 0.62% copper, 2.25 g/t PGM and gold.

In June, Prophecy released the PEA for the project, which showed Wellgreen had a net present value of $3.0 billion. The economic report, prepared by Tetra Tech, evaluated a base case open pit mine at an 111,500 tonne per day mining rate, and an onsite concentrator at a 32,000 tonne per day milling rate.

The project is expected to produce 1.959 billion pounds of Nickel in concentrate, 2.058 billion pounds of copper and 7.119 million ounces of platinum plus palladium plus gold over a 37-year mine life, with an average strip ratio of 2.57.

Aside from Wellgreen, Prophecy also holds the Shakespeare platinum group metals-Nickel-copper project in Ontario, and its Lynn Lake project in Manitoba.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.