In a May 17 broadcast, Stephen Weststeyn showcased his family's dairy farm for an Oakland, California television network doing a report on the EB-5 visa program.
Images of Weststeyn driving a tractor and working with livestock helped drive home the point that foreign investment dollars could help him expand operations in the dairy business?precisely the type of project he has promoted in China since his regional center's approval last year. "We want to help other people experience the American Dream," he explained.
But that's not the only project Weststeyn's EB-5 operation?the Northern California Regional Center (NCRC)?might help fund in the near future. A recent press release now circulating online indicates that NCRC could also help finance the excavation of a fully-permitted gold mine.
Currently owned by Ruby Gold, Inc., the mine is scheduled to be purchased by North Bay Resources, Inc. on June 1st. NCRC will be working with the new owners in an effort to finance operations at the mine.
Digging for Gold
According to the North Bay Resources press release, the mine, aka the "Ruby Gold Project," is situated on 1,755 acres in an area of Sierra County, California known to have produced "over 250,000 ounces of gold since the 1850's."
A section of the company's website dedicated to the Ruby Gold Project states the following:
This mining plan is built on exploiting the Ruby Mine's well-known placer gold potential. The Ruby also hosts known quartz veins which have produced gold, such as the Wolf Vein (1,625 ounces), and which offer the possibility for production of quartz gold. The Ruby Property contains many untested quartz veins exposed in old workings that are excellent targets for exploration and development.
If USCIS approves funding for the project, Weststeyn thinks it could be a good addition to NCRC's EB-5 repertoire. Much of his confidence in the project is driven by the current price of gold, which seems to keep going up.
"I believe getting involved with North Bay Resources was a good move for several reasons ? two of those being the market outlook for gold and the success of regional centers handling similar projects," Weststeyn said in a conversation with EB5info.com.
Allowing NCRC to solicit EB-5 investments in the Ruby Gold Project calls for an expansion of the regional center's approved industries. North Bay Resources says the mine is within a TEA?a determination that is ultimately in the hands of USCIS as it evaluates the regional center's business plan.
Incidentally, it was North Bay Resources that first approached Weststeyn with the idea of funding the mine through foreign investment. "If there is good opportunity out there, you should go for it," Weststeyn explained. "Of course, you have to evaluate opportunities as they come along."
Dairy still priority one
While the Ruby Gold Project sits perched on the horizon, NCRC remains focused on its dairy initiative. Weststeyn believes he will have investors lined up within the next month.
"It has taken awhile to establish relationships with agents, but we're doing seminars in China now," he said. "It shouldn't be long."
And Weststeyn wants to make sure the dairy project is successful before the regional center directs its efforts elsewhere. Dairy is where his expertise lies ? and he has been working to secure EB-5 investments in his dairy operation for over a year.
"We're always open to new opportunities, but we don't want to work on a lot of other projects until we're comfortable with the direction of this one," he said.