Shareholders were invited to submit questions via a chat feature during the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, held via virtual meeting webcast on Saturday, June 5. In some cases, questions and answers have been edited for length and/or clarity. A video recording of the Annual Meeting can be accessed via Qenek; the Q&A segment begins at minute 22:35.
When will CIRI’s offices reopen?
On June 1, CIRI’s offices reopened to staff who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. At this time, offices remained closed to shareholders and the public. CIRI will keep shareholders abreast of its plan to reopen to the public via the Raven’s Circle newsletter and other communications. The Shareholder Relations department may be reached during normal business hours by phone at (907) 263-5191 / (800) 764-2474 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Qenek portal remains available 24/7.
Will CIRI invest in more wind energy projects in the future?
CIRI’s energy and infrastructure segment continues to seek out wind and alternative-energy investments. The company is also looking to expand its 11-turbine, 17.6-megawatt Fire Island Wind Project, located three miles off the coast of Anchorage. Through a long-term power purchase agreement with Anchorage utility Chugach Electric Association, Fire Island Wind powers approximately 7,000 homes in Southcentral Alaska. CIRI has the capacity to expand the project to a total of 33 turbines with a generation capacity of 52.8 megawatts.
With CIRI doing well financially, why wasn’t there a special shareholder distribution?
When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, CIRI focused on preserving capital. The company pared down its investment activity and stayed steadfast to its distribution policy of 3.5% of the total shareholders’ equity, calculated as of Dec. 31 of the prior year. At this point in time, the CIRI Board has not deviated from its distribution policy. In 2021, shareholder distributions will increase, and CIRI expects to contribute $25.3 million ($40.32 per CIRI share) into the CIRI Settlement Trust Distribution Fund—a per-CIRI-share increase of $1.11 from 2020.
Is there an update on the Johnson Tract Project?
The Johnson Tract is an exciting potential mining project located on CIRI subsurface estate within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage. HighGold Mining Inc. began an exploration of the gold- and zinc-rich deposit in 2019 and is continuing work this summer. Early tests indicate the project has significant exploration potential and CIRI will keep shareholders abreast of any future developments.
With the markets being challenged and the dollar losing its value, how might CIRI’s business segments fare?
CIRI adheres to a conservative investment strategy that prioritizes the preservation of capital. The company’s portfolio is designed to maximize risk-adjusted returns while generating reliable earnings, even in periods of market volatility. CIRI views its investment in marketable securities as an essential tool in the prudent management of the company’s liquidity and overall investment portfolio. We will remain conservatively positioned.
What is CIRI’s position on the Pebble Mine project?
Pebble Mine is an open pit mine project in the advanced stages of exploration. The project is located on State-owned land in the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, approximately 17 miles northwest of the community of Iliamna. At this time, CIRI has not taken an official position on the Pebble Mine project. The company prioritizes striking a balance between sustainably developing resources and protecting the land for future generations, and we continue to watch the Pebble Mine project very closely.