Aton Resources’ CEO Mark Campbell Says Junior Mining CEO’s Must be Transparent & Develop Investor Confidence

Aton Resources’ CEO Mark Campbell’s email message to Peter Bell taken from



I have been reading comments on CEO.CA and I will make the following statement for your readers:

“We are very transparent because we work in a very risky business and people have to have confidence in those who they invest in and how we spend investor money. I for one have been carried out more times over the years, feet first by junior mining promoters, then most people have had hot dinners. The long lead time that is mineral exploration allows for people to create lifestyle plays and to my mind most junior mining executives are either crooks or idiots and in some case even worse, both. The ones who have been successful are very few. Therefore it is important to me that everyone knows what is happening, warts and all, as its their money and exploration is not a straight line. . My job is to ensure that we are working to find and develop an economic resource, not to run some sort of college geology project.

I admit that I am oilfield and come from the drilling business, But even though exploration is a screwy business, it is still a business, just like drilling. We will have great holes and some which will be barren and that is the nature of mineral exploration until you have succeeded. My job is to hire the best exploration team, which we have the the greatest in the world for where we are and then give them the wherewithal to do their job. I am not a micro manager and as long as they are doing the right job then all is good. If they don’t and waste time and money, I run them off. It’s a simple business. It’s why I’m the lowest paid person here, as I believe that my exploration team who are at the sharp end and the ones who will ultimately bring the value, should be rewarded for their hard work. I should only be awarded at the point that our shareholders are. Those who say they need to be paid large salaries and spend their time traveling around to every conference or meetings are usually all hat and no cattle.

On the subject of rollbacks, I don’t agree with them as they are Vancouver slight of hand trick and kill the value for existing shareholders. Exploration requires money and thus explorers need to continuously raise funds. If you you invest in exploration you are not looking for a 5%-10% return on your money, you are looking for a 1000%+ return. So the way to destroy dilution is to build the value into your company. In 1980, Bill gates owned nearly 100% of Microsoft and today he owns less then 8%, so which do you think he’d rather have? By the way, at the time I was at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb and we were a co-lead manager and even though it came at $15.00, I did not buy any because I thought they’d never get anywhere! I still have never owned the stock.

I have worked in Egypt for nearly 30 years and it is a great place to work. I had a very successful oilfield services business in Egypt and the Sudan and 95% of my workforce are Egyptian and they are every bit as good as my fellow West Texans. I got involved with Egyptian mining back in 1995 when I became an advisor to Centamin, so I know the landscape here in Egypt very well. Thus, it appears that finally the Egyptian Government has grasped the need for mining reform and I am intimately involved with Wood Mackenzie and this process. That does not mean it will happen overnight, as Egypt moves slowly, but we are headed most definitely in the right direction.

I am happy to answer anybody’s questions, whether they like the answer or not. But I will give y’all a straight answer. My email is



P.S.We will diamond drill for structure at some point as it is necessary. But one thing is that with all these voids from the ancient workings, the water costs, which we would incur about pumping up 4.5KM first of all and the loss of water during drilling will be huge. I would rather use RC to determine where are the best places to spend that extra money, before I just go WAHOO and drill them.”

Thanks very much to Mr. Mark Campbell, CEO of Aton Resources (TSXV:AAN) for sending me this note to share with you.  Please note that this is sponsored content. Thanks again to Aton Resources for participating in so many #NewtonInterviews! 

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