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Posts tagged ‘Aurizon Mines Ltd (ARZ)’

Looking back at last week

September 21st, 2012

A round-up of exploration and mining news for September 15 to 21, 2012

By Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

The elephant in B.C. boardrooms
On Thursday the long, long process of advancing Taseko Mines’ TSX:TKO $1.1-billion New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project crept forward—or, according to the company, reached a “major milestone”—when Taseko formally filed its Environmental Impact Statement to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Authority. A three-member panel will review the submission and conduct public hearings over the next year.

Although the project passed a British Columbia environmental review, a federal panel rejected it in November 2010, condemning a plan to convert Fish Lake into a tailings dump. Taseko then came up with a $300-million plan to preserve the 118-hectare lake by positioning the tailings two kilometres north.

In a Vancouver Sun op-ed on Friday, Taseko President/CEO Russell Hallbauer sells the project’s economic benefits. But no one in the industry seems willing to speak openly about the previous CEAA decision, which often used subjective and non-environmental reasoning to pan the proposal. The report described Fish Lake as “a place of spiritual power and healing” for the Tsilhqot’in native band, concluding that the mine would have “a significant adverse effect” on established native rights, potential rights, potential title, and traditional and cultural uses.

The controversy highlights the uncertainty resource companies face in B.C. In September 2011 Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, stated Taseko’s plan “will trigger a province-wide and nation-wide backlash that will severely jeopardize relationships between First Nations and the mining industry for years to come.”

Read more about New Prosperity here, here and here.

Young miners make more than Harvard grads
“Harvard University’s graduates are earning less than those from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The story adds, “Demand for mining-school graduates is exceptional in the U.S., where the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees was 11.8% in July.” The U.S. will need some 78,000 additional mining personnel by 2019 to replace retirees, while Australia will need 1,700 mine engineers, 3,000 geoscientists and 36,000 others by 2015, the report states.

A round-up of exploration and mining news

Last March Aurizon Mines TSX:ARZ President/CEO George Paspalas told ResourceClips, “Recruiting new employees is, I believe, one of the biggest issues facing the industry globally. A lot of development and operational plans hinge on the human resource, not the resource in the ground. There’s a lot of very experienced people coming up to retirement. There’s a gap where people didn’t go into the industry when metal prices were depressed in the mid- and late-1990s. That’s the age group from about 35 or 40 years to about 50 years. The industry was depressed, and the dot-com boom was on, so people wanted to get into the sexy stuff.”

Lack of expertise can subject projects to delays and disappointments. Bloomberg quotes Robin Adams, a managing consultant with research company CRU, who attributes setbacks to “haste, inexperience, lack of properly done mining studies [which reflect] the fact that mining is missing a generation. They are learning though, so that problem is going to go away in a few years.”

Honoured and pleased, despite the misunderstanding
For a few days this week Belo Sun Mining’s TSX:BSX stock hit enough turbulence to induce airsickness. The cause, according to President/CEO Mark Eaton, was a misunderstanding about what Brazilian public prosecutors mean by an “investigation.” As he suggested to the Globe and Mail, it’s more of a routine inquiry. Even if someone just wants to build “a cow shed, the federal prosecutor has to open an ‘investigation’,” Eaton told the G&M.

But when news reports stated that a federal prosecutor was “investigating” the company’s Volta Grande Gold Project, the misunderstanding almost sank a $50-million private placement.

Belo Sun opened at $1.50 on Monday, and that afternoon the company announced a bought deal of 35.72 million shares at $1.40. The stock closed that day at $1.54.

Come Tuesday morning, however, it opened at $1.40 and plummeted to $1.27, before closing at $1.37. That evening the company tried to clear things up: “The federal Public Prosecutor Office in the state of Pará opens an investigation proceeding for each and every environmental licensing process in the state. The investigation proceeding regarding the project does not imply any irregularity or particular concern regarding the environmental licensing process for the project.”

About 28 minutes later, the company cancelled the private placement.

By Wednesday the stock opened a bit higher at $1.40. That afternoon the company re-announced the private placement on the previous terms, including a share price of $1.40. The share closed the day at $1.39.

In his Tuesday statement, Eaton said he was “honoured and pleased with the participation and interest of the Public Prosecutor Office.” Should all go well, Volta Grande will begin its feasibility study in Q1 2013.

Next Page 1 | 2

Aurizon, NioGold announce Resource Update for Marban Gold Deposit in Quebec

September 7th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningAurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ and NioGold Mining Corp TSXV:NOX announced an updated resource estimate for the Marban Deposit in the Malartic Gold Camp of the Abitibi region in Quebec.

Using a cutoff of 0.35 grams per tonne, the in-pit resource shows a measured category with 8.65 million tonnes grading 1.72 g/t gold for 479,000 gold ounces, an indicated category with 12.05 million tonnes grading 1.48 g/t for 574,000 gold ounces, and an inferred category with 3.78 million tonnes grading 1.6 g/t for 194,000 gold ounces.

Using a cutoff of 2 g/t, the underground resource shows a measured category with 360,000 tonnes grading 3.03 g/t for 35,000 gold ounces, an indicated category with 620,000 tonnes grading 2.7 g/t for 53,000 gold ounces, and an inferred category with 800,000 tonnes grading 2.68 g/t for 69,000 gold ounces.

Using those cutoff grades, the combined in-pit and underground resource shows a measured and indicated total of 21.67 million tonnes grading 1.64 g/t for 1.14 million gold ounces, and an inferred total of 4.58 million tonnes grading 1.79 g/t for 263,000 gold ounces.

Aurizon President/CEO George Paspalas remarked, “This resource estimate primarily reflects Phase One drilling on the Marban Deposit and confirms Aurizon’s rationale of entering into the earn-in with Niogold on the Marban Property. The continuity of gold mineralization in the first 250 vertical metres has now been confirmed and the good metallurgy and moderate rock hardness positions the deposit well for potential development. Our next step will be to incorporate the Phase Two data into the resource model.”

Aurizon may earn up to a 65% interest in the Marban Block Property under its option and joint venture agreement with NioGold. Aurizon may earn the initial 50% by spending $20 million over three years, updating the resource estimate and paying for 50% of the total gold ounces defined by the resource estimate. NioGold acts as project operator during the initial earn-in period.

View Company Profile

Contact:
Aurizon Mines Ltd
George Paspalas
President/CEO
604.687.6600
or Martin Bergeron
VP of Operations
819.874.4511
or Jennifer North
IR Manager
604.687.6600
800.411.4653

NioGold Mining Corp
Michael A. Iverson
Chairman/CEO
604.856.9887
or Dale Paruk
Vice-President
604.662.4505
877.642.6200

Read an interview with Aurizon President/CEO George Paspalas.

Read a feature story about Aurizon Mines Ltd.

by Greg Klein

Aurizon reports Quebec Gold Results as high as 29.7 g/t over 11.8m

May 15th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver mining Aurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ announced gold assays from its Casa Berardi Gold Mine in northwestern Quebec. Results include

21.8 g/t gold over 12.2 metres
8.9 g/t over 18.7 metres
29.7 g/t over 11.8 metres
7.8 g/t over 13.8 metres
9.4 g/t over 7.9 metres
10.6 g/t  over 6.3 metres

President/CEO George Paspalas commented, “Casa Berardi continues to deliver excellent exploration results. Some of the holes that we are releasing today were utilized in the December 31, 2011 resource update which included an 81% expansion of all measured and indicated resources at Casa Berardi. We are encouraged both by the holes encountered in the lower portion of the known Zone 123 resource block, indicating the potential to extend this zone, as well as the holes that have identified new additional stacked lenses to the main Zone 123. We are investing in infrastructure this year to extend the mine out to allow for the future mining of Zone 123, and these results highlight the potential for new zones in this area, and also provide confirmation of the strategic intent to develop the lower levels of the mine.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
George Paspalas
President, CEO
604.687.6600

Investor Relations
604.687.6600

by Dennis Dale

NioGold, Aurizon report Quebec Gold Assays including 196.5 g/t over 1.2m

April 26th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningNioGold Mining Corp TSXV:NOX in joint venture with Aurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ announced results from the Marban Property in the Malartic Gold Camp, Quebec. Assays include

196.5 g/t gold over 1.2 metres
20.5 g/t over 2 metres
36.7 g/t over 1.1 metres
29.8 g/t over 1 metre
51.4 g/t over 1.1 metres

Aurizon can earn up to a 65% interest by spending C$20 million over three years, completing an updated resource estimate and making a resource payment for 50% of the total gold ounces defined by the resource estimate. NioGold acts as project operator during the initial earn-in period.

View Company Profile

Read March 15 interview with Aurizon CEO George Paspalas

Read more about Aurizon Mines

Contact:
NioGold Mining Corp
Michael A. Iverson
Chairman/CEO
604.856.9887

or Aurizon Mines Ltd
George Paspalas
President/CEO
604.687.6600

by Ted Niles

Typhoon, Aurizon report Quebec Gold Assays of 10.2 g/t over 5m

April 13th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningTyphoon Exploration Inc TSXV:TYP in joint venture with Aurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ announced assays from the Fayolle deposit in Quebec. Results include

13 g/t gold over 3 metres (including 29.2 g/t over 1 metre)
4.6 g/t over 1 metre
10.2 g/t over 5 metres (including 31.8 g/t over 1 metre)
12.1 g/t over 3 metres
3.7 g/t over 1 metre
15.5 g/t over 3 metres

Aurizon can acquire a 65% interest in the Fayolle deposit, subject to a 2% royalty, by conducting $25 million worth of exploration and a $2 million private placement, for a total of $27 million.

View Company Profile

Read more about Aurizon Mines

Contact:
Typhoon Exploration Inc
David McDonald
President/CEO
450.622.4066

by Ted Niles

Aurizon President George Paspalas on 4Q 2011, year-end financial results

March 16th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningAurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ending December 31, 2011. Year-end highlights include

Net profit of $43.9 million or $0.27 per share, up 155% from 2010
Revenue of $260 million, up 45% from 2010
Cash flow of $121.3 million, up 138% from 2010
Cash balance of $213 million
Gold production of 163,845 ounces
Cash cost of US$537 per ounce

Fourth quarter highlights include

Net profit of $21.8 million or $0.13 per share
Revenue of $85.7 million
Cash flow of $49 million
Gold production of 45,995 ounces
Cash cost of US$498 per ounce

Aurizon has 11 properties, all in Quebec. They include the Casa Berardi Gold Mine and the advanced-stage Joanna Gold Project.

Speaking to ResourceClips.com, President/CEO George Paspalas addressed a number of issues, starting with the company’s dip in share price. “If you look at some of the headlines, they’re saying things like ‘Record Year but 2012’s No Good.’ The year 2012 is slightly lower in terms of production because the grade’s a bit lower. But it’s only off a little from a record high. I’m surprised at the stock, where it is and the way it’s trending today. But it is what it is. All we can do is go out and keep hitting good results. I believe that at the end of the day that’s what counts. You just have to ride through these periods.

All we can do is go out and keep hitting good results. I believe that at the end of the day that’s what counts—George Paspalas

“We’ll complete the Joanna feasibility study in the second quarter. We’re doing exploration on the property as well, between the Heva and Hosco sectors, and that’ll continue. We’ll probably start to release drill-hole data before the feasibility is complete. With the feasibility out, if there’s a go-ahead, the first step would be to go into permitting. That’s a one-and-a-half to two-year process. To fast-track the project you’d start to buy equipment in advance. Then you’ve probably got another 18 months’ construction, so you’re looking at a three-year window between the feasibility study finishing and getting the thing operating and gold coming off of it,” he explains.

“Recruiting new employees is, I believe, one of the biggest issues facing the industry globally,” he adds. “A lot of development and operational plans hinge on the human resource, not the resource in the ground. There’s a lot of very experienced people coming up to retirement. There’s a gap where people didn’t go into the industry when metal prices were depressed in the mid- and late-1990s. That’s the age group from about 35 or 40 years to about 50 years. The industry was depressed, and the dot-com boom was on, so people wanted to get into the sexy stuff. So there aren’t a lot of people in that age group working as engineers, geologists and other technical fields. Then the miners, the process people and maintenance people have a lot of choice among a lot of operations. So there’s lots of turnover. I think it’s one of the biggest issues in the industry.”

The solution? “Well you should do it anyway, but you have to treat your people well. At Casa Berardi, our loyalty factor is quite high, particularly in the technical and management fields. And that adds a lot of value. Most of the guys who built Casa and got it running are still with us. If you want to do it again, they’re there. You don’t have to go out on the street and get unknown quantities. You have to remunerate people competitively. But you also have to look at more than just money. You have to look at all-in compensation, things like rotational cycles at work and working conditions,” he argues.

“One of the nice things about Joanna is that it’s right next to Rouyn-Noranda, which has a big complement of experienced mining people. You can drive to work and drive home every night. That really attracts people.”

As for Aurizon’s future, Paspalas says, “In five years it would be nice to have two or three operating mines. By achieving that we would have de-risked from having just the one facility. We love Casa. We’re totally relying on it for cash flow. But if we could de-risk by building one or two more operating mines, that would be even better. We’d also like to have another project in feasibility around that time. We’d like to keep moving projects up, or cutting them off and bringing new ones into our exploration pipeline. So in five years I’d like to see multiple producing mines, but I don’t really foresee a fixed number of ounces. I’d like to see them mirror the quality of Casa Berardi. We’d like to see cash costs like we’re seeing at Casa now.”

Turning to the price of gold, he says, “I’m pretty bullish because I think there’s lots of uncertainty in the world. There’s fundamental issues with major economies. There’s a bit of volatility with gold’s price now, but I think in the middle or long term gold will perform strongly. I don’t think it’s going to be a $3,000 number, but I think it’ll be plus or minus the $2,000 mark.”

Paspalas concludes, “We’ve consistently delivered on performance at Casa Berardi. A mine in a good jurisdiction that’s got a margin of over $1,000 an ounce is a bloody good asset. Joanna has huge exploration potential. Even though we’re doing the feasibility study, they’re still drilling and hopefully will find more and more ounces there. They could turn out to be higher grades. I think Joanna has permutations and combinations that will make it quite exciting. We want to grow to multiple producing mines, either organically or through good acquisitions.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
George Paspalas
President/CEO
or Ian S. Walton
Executive VP/Chief Financial Officer
604.687.6600
800.411.4653

Read feature story on Aurizon Mines Ltd.

by Greg Klein

Aurizon reports 2011 Results: $43.9M Profit, $0.27/Share, 163,845 Oz, US$537/Oz Cost

March 15th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningAurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ending December 31, 2011. Year-end highlights include

Net profit of $43.9 million or $0.27 per share, up 155% from 2010
Revenue of $260 million, up 45% from 2010
Cash flow of $121.3 million, up 138% from 2010
Cash balance of $213 million
Gold production of 163,845 ounces
Cash cost of US$537 per ounce

Fourth quarter highlights include

Net profit of $21.8 million or $0.13 per share
Revenue of $85.7 million
Cash flow of $49 million
Gold production of 45,995 ounces
Cash cost of US$498 per ounce

Aurizon has 11 properties, all in Quebec. They include the Casa Berardi Gold Mine and the advanced-stage Joanna Gold Project.

Speaking to ResourceClips.com, President/CEO George Paspalas addressed a number of issues, starting with the company’s dip in share price. “If you look at some of the headlines, they’re saying things like ‘Record Year but 2012’s No Good.’ The year 2012 is slightly lower in terms of production because the grade’s a bit lower. But it’s only off a little from a record high. I’m surprised at the stock, where it is and the way it’s trending today. But it is what it is. All we can do is go out and keep hitting good results. I believe that at the end of the day that’s what counts. You just have to ride through these periods.

All we can do is go out and keep hitting good results. I believe that at the end of the day that’s what counts—George Paspalas

“We’ll complete the Joanna feasibility study in the second quarter. We’re doing exploration on the property as well, between the Heva and Hosco sectors, and that’ll continue. We’ll probably start to release drill-hole data before the feasibility is complete. With the feasibility out, if there’s a go-ahead, the first step would be to go into permitting. That’s a one-and-a-half to two-year process. To fast-track the project you’d start to buy equipment in advance. Then you’ve probably got another 18 months’ construction, so you’re looking at a three-year window between the feasibility study finishing and getting the thing operating and gold coming off of it,” he explains.

“Recruiting new employees is, I believe, one of the biggest issues facing the industry globally,” he adds. “A lot of development and operational plans hinge on the human resource, not the resource in the ground. There’s a lot of very experienced people coming up to retirement. There’s a gap where people didn’t go into the industry when metal prices were depressed in the mid- and late-1990s. That’s the age group from about 35 or 40 years to about 50 years. The industry was depressed, and the dot-com boom was on, so people wanted to get into the sexy stuff. So there aren’t a lot of people in that age group working as engineers, geologists and other technical fields. Then the miners, the process people and maintenance people have a lot of choice among a lot of operations. So there’s lots of turnover. I think it’s one of the biggest issues in the industry.”

The solution? “Well you should do it anyway, but you have to treat your people well. At Casa Berardi, our loyalty factor is quite high, particularly in the technical and management fields. And that adds a lot of value. Most of the guys who built Casa and got it running are still with us. If you want to do it again, they’re there. You don’t have to go out on the street and get unknown quantities. You have to remunerate people competitively. But you also have to look at more than just money. You have to look at all-in compensation, things like rotational cycles at work and working conditions,” he argues.

“One of the nice things about Joanna is that it’s right next to Rouyn-Noranda, which has a big complement of experienced mining people. You can drive to work and drive home every night. That really attracts people.”

As for Aurizon’s future, Paspalas says, “In five years it would be nice to have two or three operating mines. By achieving that we would have de-risked from having just the one facility. We love Casa. We’re totally relying on it for cash flow. But if we could de-risk by building one or two more operating mines, that would be even better. We’d also like to have another project in feasibility around that time. We’d like to keep moving projects up, or cutting them off and bringing new ones into our exploration pipeline. So in five years I’d like to see multiple producing mines, but I don’t really foresee a fixed number of ounces. I’d like to see them mirror the quality of Casa Berardi. We’d like to see cash costs like we’re seeing at Casa now.”

Turning to the price of gold, he says, “I’m pretty bullish because I think there’s lots of uncertainty in the world. There’s fundamental issues with major economies. There’s a bit of volatility with gold’s price now, but I think in the middle or long term gold will perform strongly. I don’t think it’s going to be a $3,000 number, but I think it’ll be plus or minus the $2,000 mark.”

Paspalas concludes, “We’ve consistently delivered on performance at Casa Berardi. A mine in a good jurisdiction that’s got a margin of over $1,000 an ounce is a bloody good asset. Joanna has huge exploration potential. Even though we’re doing the feasibility study, they’re still drilling and hopefully will find more and more ounces there. They could turn out to be higher grades. I think Joanna has permutations and combinations that will make it quite exciting. We want to grow to multiple producing mines, either organically or through good acquisitions.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
George Paspalas
President/CEO
or Ian S. Walton
Executive VP/Chief Financial Officer
604.687.6600
800.411.4653

Read feature story on Aurizon Mines Ltd.

by Greg Klein

NioGold, Aurizon report Quebec Gold assays up to 6.4 g/t over 8.9m

March 1st, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningNioGold Mining Corp TSXV:NOX in joint venture with Aurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ announced results from the Marban Block property in the Malartic gold camp of the Abitibi region, Quebec. Assays include

5.6 g/t gold over 7.2 metres
3 g/t over 14.4 metres
7.6 g/t over 5 metres
6.4 g/t over 8.9 metres
1.3 g/t over 26.2 metres
32.1 g/t over 1 metre
20.5 g/t over 1.1 metres

Aurizon can earn up to a 65% interest by spending C$20 million over three years, completing an updated resource estimate and making a resource payment for 50% of the total gold ounces defined by the resource estimate. NioGold acts as project operator during the initial earn-in period.

View Company Profile

Read more about Aurizon Mines

Contact:
NioGold Mining Corp
Michael A. Iverson
Chairman/CEO
604.856.9887

or Aurizon Mines Ltd
George Paspalas
President/CEO
604.687.6600

by Ted Niles

Aurizon, NioGold report Quebec Gold Results including 9.8 g/t over 5.8m

November 16th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningAurizon Mines Ltd TSX:ARZ in joint venture with NioGold Mining Corp TSXV:NOX announced assays from their Marban Block Property in the Abitibi region of Quebec. Results include

9.8 g/t gold over 5.8 metres
8.3 g/t over 4.6 metres
(including 30.5 g/t over 1.1 metres)
1 g/t over 36 metres
(including 5 g/t over 2.1 metres)
1.5 g/t over 22 metres
(including 1.8 g/t over 12.1 metres)
1.8 g/t over 16.7 metres
(including 7.7 g/t over 2.4 metres)
1.8 g/t over 16.6 metres
(including 6.1 g/t over 3 metres)

Aurizon can earn up to a 65% interest by spending C$20 million over three years, completing an updated resource estimate and making a resource payment for 50% of the total gold ounces defined by the resource estimate. NioGold acts as project operator during the initial earn-in period.

View Company Profile

Contact:
Aurizon Mines Ltd
George Paspalas
President/CEO
604.687.6600
or Martin Bergeron
VP of Operations
819.874.4511
or Jennifer North
Investor Relations
604.687.6600
800.411.4653

NioGold Mining Corp
Michael A. Iverson
Chairman/CEO
604.856.9887
or Dale Paruk
Vice-President
604.662.4505
877.642.6200

Read feature story on Aurizon Mines Ltd.

by Greg Klein

La Belle Providence

November 16th, 2011

Aurizon Produces Low-Cost Quebec Gold

By Greg Klein

Ten projects notwithstanding, there’s no mistaking Aurizon Mines’ TSX:ARZ focus. They’re all funded by the flagship Casa Berardi Gold Mine, and they’re all in the same province. Speaking from his Vancouver HQ, the company’s Australian President/CEO talks about why he likes working in Quebec. Yes, it offers some of the world’s cheapest electricity, but George Paspalas gets to the heart of the matter, “People in Quebec generally understand how important mining is, and they embrace it.”

Paspalas adds, “The province has a very onerous regulatory process, but it’s a jurisdiction where, if you’ve done everything thoroughly, you get a permit. And then there’s the historic mining activity—which means there’s gold in the ground.”

Luna Gold Plans to Upsize Brazil Production

That’s especially true when you’re located in the bountiful Abitibi region, as are most Aurizon projects. Casa Berardi’s share of that gold in 2010 came to 141,116 ounces, an amount projected to hit 165,000 this year. The underground operation now produces the stuff at a cash cost of US$497 an ounce and, over the first nine months of 2011, created a cash flow of $72.3 million and net profit of $22.1 million, up 220% and 217% respectively over the same period in 2010. Up to 12 rigs are now expanding the underground resource as well as open-pit potential and have extended the mine life from 2016 to 2020. The next resource/reserve update is scheduled for 1Q 2012.

Aurizon’s hopes for its Joanna Project, however, have met with delay. Originally slated to begin producing an annual 100,000 gold ounces in 2013, Joanna’s feasibility study stalled last August due to higher-than-anticipated capital and operating costs. Nevertheless, the project’s Hosco Deposit boasts an in-pit resource estimated at 2.25 million ounces measured and indicated and 309,000 ounces inferred. Aurizon believes Hosco has underground potential, too. Three kilometres away, the Heva Deposit’s resource is estimated at 270,000 ounces indicated and 480,000 inferred. Drilling continues on both deposits, while Hosco’s feasibility is now scheduled for 2Q 2012 release.

After Joanna comes Marban. Located in Abitibi’s Malartic Mining Camp, it’s a joint venture with project operator NioGold Mining TSX:NOX. Aurizon is currently earning a 65% interest. Marban has a 2009 open-pit resource of 303,000 gold ounces indicated and 179,000 ounces inferred. Its underground resource comes to 296,000 ounces indicated and 182,000 inferred. An updated resource is expected by year’s end, while another 34,000-metre drill program begins this month.

Marban assays reported September 19 included one especially high result:

  • 906.23 grams per tonne gold over 2.9 metres
    (including 2,610 g/t over 1 metre)

Paspalas emphasizes that the uncapped grade has to be treated with caution. “Sometimes you hit a narrow vein or structure that’s carrying a whole bunch of gold like that, and you have to be very careful how you treat it,” he says. Even so, “Geologists just love this because it enables them to build up a structural model around how the fluids flowed and all that sort of stuff. They’re good numbers, but more importantly, structurally, it says there could be something there that fed this vein, that fed this structure. If you could find that, it would be rather exciting.”

If we want to build another mine, we’ve got the people. Casa Berardi was built on budget, on time, and the people who did that are still with the company —George Paspalas

Marban assays reported November 16 included:

  • 9.8 g/t gold over 5.8 metres
  • 8.3 g/t over 4.6 metres
    (including 30.5 g/t over 1.1 metres)
  • 1 g/t over 36 metres
    (including 5 g/t over 2.1 metres)
  • 1.5 g/t over 22 metres
    (including 1.8 g/t over 12.1 metres)

Just 10 kilometres north of Joanna, in the Destor-Porcupine Break, Aurizon is paying its way to another 65% interest. The project is the Fayolle Property, and the partner is Typhoon Exploration TSXV:TYP, which has two rigs drilling both infill and new targets to produce an initial resource estimate.

Aurizon has seven other Quebec projects, all nascent, either in the earn-in stage or subject to a letter of intent prior to earn-in. “These are very efficient, small exploration companies,” Paspalas says. “They’re very effective at good-value drilling. So we’ve been able to manage all these joint ventures without tying up our own resources.”

How does Aurizon choose its partners? “In a lot of cases they come to us,” he explains. “We’re known for being a pretty respectful partner, so we get a lot of people knocking on the door with opportunities.

“Our goal is to earn 65% by doing a feasibility study,” he adds. “Then, with a positive study, we decide where we want to go—do we go to 100%; do we want the partner to fund? In a lot of cases, these are small companies that would have trouble finding money to build a mine. We ask the partner, ‘Do you want to be part of this? Can you be part of this?’ And then we go from there.”

Paspalas joined the company last August, having served as COO for Silver Standard Resources TSX:SSO after holding senior positions with Placer Dome. “What attracted me to Aurizon is the potential for growth but also the people,” he declares. “They’ve got a lot of experience, and they’ve stayed with the company a long time. If we want to build another mine, we’ve got the people. Casa Berardi was built on budget, on time, and the people who did that are still with the company.”

This human resource, not to mention the mineralized resource and the mining-friendly jurisdiction, add up to some tangible figures. “We’ve got a very good asset with at least 10 more years of mine life. It’s making gold for sub-$500 an ounce, so it generates very good cash flow. We have a squeaky clean balance sheet, no debt, no hedging and $175 million in cash,” Paspalas concludes.

At press time, Aurizon had 163.02 million shares trading at $6.28 for a market cap of $1.02 billion.