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Businessexcellence September 07 78 Century Mining is driven by experience and grounded with solid assets, as chairman, president & CEO Margaret “Peggy” Kent tells Gary Toushek Golden opportunities

September 07 Businessexcellence Century Mining 79 Margaret “Peggy” Kent is back in the business of running a gold mining company, this time as chairman, president & CEO of Century Mining Corp, based in Blaine, WA (although it’s a Canadian company listed on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange). A metallurgical engineer by trade, she’s been in the mining industry since 1974. She has now founded, financed and operated three publicly traded mining companies and four private companies, and completed more than 40 mergers and acquisitions; she has raised more than $2 billion in the US and Canadian public and private equity and debt markets to fund the acquisition and development of mining projects, mainly in Canada and Peru. In 1990 she started junior mining venture Royal Oak Mines as chairman, president and CEO, and grew it into an intermediate gold producer with annual production of approximately 500,000 ounces; in 1994 she launched Royal Oak Mines’ $2.4 billion offer to purchase Lac Minerals, a major Canadian gold producer four times larger than Royal Oak, and ultimately lost the bidding war to giant Barrick Gold Corp (today the largest pure gold mining company in the world), but the audacity of her move shocked Bay Street (the “Wall Street” of Canadian business), and today she has the reputation of a fierce negotiator, one of the shrewdest operators in the mining industry. She’s been on the board of directors of some of Canada’s major companies including Talisman Energy, TransCanada Pipelines, and Nova Chemicals. When the price of gold dropped too low for her company to feasibly mine it in the midto- late 1990s, Kent temporarily dropped out of the business. An improved market brought her back in 2003, when she got together with some former colleagues for a takeover and reorganization of Vancouver, BC-based Saxony Explorations Ltd., whose name they changed to Century. Their first major acquisition was the already producing Sigma open pit mine in Val-d’Or, Quebec (and the adjacent Lamaque underground mine, still in development). The Sigma-Lamaque mine had belonged to McWatters Mining Inc., a small gold producer in bankruptcy protection, and Century leapt at the chance to buy the property, with its estimated resource of four million ounces of gold, for $25.8 million. Then in 2006 Century acquired 60 percent controlling interest in the producing San Juan underground mine in Peru, with 1.5 million ounces in historic reserves, at costs per resource ounce well below comparable market transactions. Century also has exploration and development properties in San Juan and Colina Dorada (Peru), as well as in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories (Canada), and Alaska. Kent acknowledges that industry conditions are different now; in the 1980s and ’90s there were perhaps four significant intermediate gold mining companies, today there are several more. “This is my third time around, and I’m finding it different,” she says, “we’re trying to build a significant, large company (currently nearly 900 employees) and it’s really difficult. But we do have a tightly-knit work environment that people enjoy working in. And I think the only way we’re going to succeed is with really good technical expertise. Over the years I’ve always recruited the best and brightest geologists and engineers available, with generous stock options, and it really pays off.” Century is not a typical intermediate gold miner, it specializes in what she calls engineered, negotiated deals. “We’re not spending millions of dollars drilling exploratively, hoping to hit pay dirt. Our shareholders are investing in management’s creativity and keenness to find deals. For example, we got Century started by going to a bankruptcy proceeding in Quebec, on the eve of another company taking over the Sigma- Lamaque mine, and we put a more creative deal on the table than theirs, and the court decided to accept ours. So we stole the property out from under them. We bought San Juan by buying a parcel of debt from a local bank that was taken over by the Bank of Nova Scotia, then told the mine owner to cut a deal with us or we would foreclose on the collateral. We ended up cutting a fair deal, and we own a premier 22,000 acre San Juan gold property. So now we have a total of 6.5 million ounces of gold on our books from our mines, trading for $6 an ounce in the ground, for a market cap of $100 million—and we’re making cash flow with net earnings.” Kent’s target for 2007 is about 100,000 ounces