Friday 10th July 2020

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Posts tagged ‘Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd (BGM)’

Osisko Gold Royalties continues expansion with Barkerville Gold Mines takeover

September 23rd, 2019

by Greg Klein | September 23, 2019

Already holding around 32.6% of the target company, Osisko Gold Royalties TSX:OR intends to grab the rest of Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM. The definitive agreement follows a PEA released last month for Barkerville’s Cariboo gold project. Osisko also announced creation of the North Spirit Discovery Group, described as a resource development and finance company that will work with JV partners and/or private equity firms.

Osisko Gold Royalties continues expansion with Barkerville Gold Mines takeover

The takeover offers new expertise and
financing to help revive an historic mining region.

Noting benefits to the takeover target, Osisko said it would provide technical expertise and greater access to financing to develop the central British Columbia project.

Pending approvals, the deal would exchange each Barkerville share for 0.0357 of an Osisko share, representing a 44% premium, the companies stated. The implied price comes to $338 million fully diluted, including the Barkerville shares already held by Osisko. The transaction would leave current Osisko and Barkerville shareholders with about 91% and 9% of Osisko shares respectively.

The companies anticipate closing in November.

Cariboo’s PEA forecast an after-tax IRR of 28% and NPV of $402 million for 11 years of underground mining producing an average 185,000 gold ounces a year. Initial capex would require $305.5 million. Processing would take place at Barkerville’s QR mill, about 140 kilometres by road.

The updated resource gives three main zones and a satellite zone a total of 2.27 million ounces indicated and 1.91 million ounces inferred. Two additional zones bring the totals to 2.44 million ounces measured and indicated, along with 1.92 million ounces inferred.

Drilling continues, with more funding to come through a $7-million bridge loan from Osisko.

Sean Roosen, CEO of Osisko and chairperson of both companies, said Osisko “expects to fund planned work through available liquidity, future revenue from royalties and streams, project debt, as well as outside private equity and joint venture capital through the creation of the North Spirit Discovery Group.”

Earlier this month Osisko signed an LOI to take over Quebec’s Renard diamond mine. The deal would keep the mine operating as Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY entered creditor protection.

Osisko’s participation also helped finance Victoria Gold’s (TSXV:VIT) Eagle mine into production, following an unexpectedly higher capex for the Yukon project.

Osisko holds over 135 royalties, streams and offtakes including a 5% NSR on the Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM/Yamana Gold TSX:YRI Canadian Malartic, Canada’s largest gold mine, 19.9% of Falco Resources TSXV:FPC and 16.4% of Osisko Mining TSX:OSK. Osisko Mining currently holds 16% of Barkerville.

Renard continues operations as Stornoway Diamond gets creditor protection

September 9th, 2019

by Greg Klein | September 9, 2019

After less than three years of operation, Quebec’s only diamond miner asked a court to ward off creditors while the company sorts out its finances. Although the Renard mine remains in operation, Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY stopped trading pending a delisting. “There is and will be no recoverable or residual value in either Stornoway’s common shares or convertible debentures,” the company stated.

Renard continues operations as Stornoway Diamond gets creditor protection

Renard began operations as an open pit
in October 2016 but faced difficulties
during the transition to underground mining.

Stornoway warned of such an outcome in its Q2 report released last month.

Blaming disappointing prices and “a variety of other factors and circumstances,” the miner failed to provide working capital and meet debt payments during 2019. The disastrous year showed in the company’s stock, which closed September 6 on two cents, one-twentieth of its 52-week high a year ago.

But the price had been falling almost steadily after reaching an apex of $1.32 in October 2016, days after Renard’s grand opening celebration.

Under an LOI signed last weekend, creditors headed by Osisko Gold Royalties TSX:OR would take over assets of the company and its subsidiaries, as well as their debts and liabilities, according to terms announced in June and July. Creditors have agreed to provide an initial $20 million in working capital, with the possibility of more money to follow, allowing Renard to continue operating and demonstrating their “strong support” for the mine during the restructuring process, Stornoway added.

Osisko holds a 9.6% stream on Renard’s production.

Osisko’s more than 135 royalties, streams and offtakes include a 5% NSR on Canadian Malartic, the Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM and Yamana Gold TSX:YRI partnership on Canada’s largest gold mine. Other Osisko assets include a 32.6% stake in Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM, 16.4% of Osisko Mining TSX:OSK and 19.9% of Falco Resources TSXV:FPC.

Barkerville Gold CFO Andres Tinajero sees cautious frugality as well as increasing optimism following the downturn

December 8th, 2017

…Read more

Confidence resumes as junior mining market caps reach 2010 levels: PwC

November 8th, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 8, 2017

Cautioning that the market hasn’t fully returned, PricewaterhouseCoopers released data that quantifies the sector’s encouraging mood. As of June 30, TSXV-listed mining/exploration market caps, financings, M&A and IPOs all increased substantially over the previous 12-month period. Calling it a “delicate recovery,” PwC says the numbers show the second straight year of improvement and some of the best results since 2010. Commodity prices get much of the credit, although a more disciplined approach to spending contributed to the positive circumstances.

Junior Mine 2017: Confidence Rekindled examines data from TSXV mining/exploration companies, where almost 1,000 such firms dominate the Venture’s membership and make up 47% of the exchange’s total value and 59% of its trading volume.

The top 100 TSXV mining/exploration market caps totalled $12.2 billion, up 7% from the previous 12-month period. Overall, mining/exploration capitalization increased 18%.

But the numbers compared less impressively with other Venture sectors, where market caps for financial services rose almost 56%, oil and gas 43% and life sciences 95%. PwC attributed the under-performance partly to gold’s levelled-off price.

Treasuries for the Venture’s top 100 miners/explorers rose 74% to $1.57 billion. Those 100 companies raised a total of $2.04 billion in equities, up 174%, and $487 million in debt, up 20%. “But this windfall was unevenly spread, as many juniors continued to struggle to raise financing and more than one-quarter of the total funds went to just four companies”: Cobalt 27 Capital TSXV:KBLT, Leagold Mining (since graduated to the big board as TSX:LMC), Trek Mining TSXV:TREK (expected to merge with NewCastle Gold TSX:NCA and Anfield Gold TSXV:ANF to form an anticipated new company called Equinox Gold TSXV:EQX) and Bluestone Resources TSXV:BSR.

Still, 56 of the top 100 raised over $10 million, seven of them raking in over $50 million.

Spending for the top 100 hit $1.15 billion, compared with $268 million previously. Nevertheless “junior miners appear to be avoiding the temptation of rushing to spend,” the report stated.

PwC quoted Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM CFO Andres Tinajero saying, “Even though there are a lot of resources flowing around in terms of funding for the juniors, they’re not spending the money as fast as before. So probably, yes, we’ve learned our lesson from the past.”

M&A activity brought more encouragement, as did IPOs. Five of the latter raised $40.2 million. That compared with the previous period’s zero IPOs raising zero dollars.

“We’re not fully recovered from the downturn but we’re definitely on a slow but bumpy ride to recovery,” commented PwC Canada partner Rebecca Chan.

The report is the first of four planned PwC studies examining the industry.

Earth science for everyone

July 29th, 2016

Geoscience B.C. puts extensive resource knowledge into the public domain

by Greg Klein

Geoscience B.C. puts extensive resource knowledge into the public domain

Outfitted with sensitive magnetometers, three Cessna Super Caravans
will fly the largest survey in Geoscience B.C.’s 11-year history.
(Photo: Geoscience B.C.)


It’s probably one of the biggest geophysical surveys underway anywhere. Pilots now have three magnetometer-equipped Cessnas criss-crossing an especially rugged 24,000-square-kilometre expanse of west-central British Columbia on tight, 250-metre linespacing. This is Search Phase II, part of an even bigger project that will make “a generational contribution to better understand the area’s geology and mineral potential,” says Bruce Madu, VP of minerals and mining for Geoscience B.C. But the results will hardly be limited to industry. The non-profit’s mission is to access “earth science for everyone.”

Data of this quality rarely finds its way to junior explorers, let alone prospectors. But proprietary software makes it available to anyone with an internet connection. Besides mineral opportunities, practical advantages include land use planning for regional districts, local communities and First Nations.

The grid extends from Fort Fraser to Smithers, building on two previous surveys. Last year’s Phase I flew over neighbouring terrain between Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers. The 2013 TREK program covered an area bounded by Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Quesnel, conducting sampling and mapping, as well as airborne mag. The three surveys combined will cover 55,500 square kilometres, about the size of Nova Scotia.

Geoscience B.C. puts extensive resource knowledge into the public domain

When combined with two previous surveys, this year’s program
will provide magnetic data for 55,500 square kilometres.
(Photo: Geoscience B.C.)

TREK’s inspiration came from the Blackwater discovery, now New Gold’s (TSX:NGD) proposed open pit mine with reserves of 8.2 million ounces gold and 61 million ounces silver. Yet “the surrounding geology is poorly understood,” Madu says.

The Phase II flyover includes another proposed mine, Pacific Booker Minerals’ (TSXV:PBM) Morrison copper-gold project, as well as Thompson Creek Metals’ (TSX:TCM) majority-held Endako molybdenum mine and the former Bell-Granisle copper-gold mines. The survey just bypasses Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) 50%-held Huckleberry copper mine.

Low prices put Endako on care and maintenance, with Huckleberry slated to follow this summer. But Geoscience B.C. helped extend the latter mine’s life by about two years, Madu says. “We flew some geophysics, the company participated and ended up drilling new ore. A couple of hundred jobs were given a couple more years.”

The region “clearly has substantial mineral potential,” Madu points out. “Even more importantly it has excellent infrastructure, lots of road networks, there’s rail in the area and hydro nearby, so it can be quite a cost-effective place to discover and develop a mine.”

Having just reconnoitred with the Search Phase II crew, Madu waxes enthusiastically about the staff, the three Cessna Super Caravans especially suited for this survey’s challenges, the ultra-sensitive magnetometers and the preliminary data. “It excites me—the quality is superb.”

Phase II comprises one of 13 projects scheduled for this year, with a budget totalling $2.5 million. “They cover all sorts of perspectives,” Madu says. “We’ll be active in the Sheep Creek, Barkerville and Cassiar gold camps, the Toodoggone region, we’ve got a mapping crew south of Terrace working on last year’s geophysics, we’ll be east of the Penticton gold camp around the Boundary area. We have chemistry projects re-analyzing almost 5,000 archive samples from southeastern British Columbia as well as the Atlin area. And we’ve got a lot of value-added projects on the go this year, taking existing data and putting together a more complete picture combining geophysics, geochemistry and geology, which I think is a big advantage for the industry’s future, being able to have these super-sized data sets.”

Not limited to mineral exploration, Geoscience B.C. also conducts surveys related to areas such as oil and gas, geothermal energy and groundwater.

In addition to fundamental baseline data creation, we do a lot of innovative research as well.—Bruce Madu,
VP of minerals and
mining for Geoscience B.C.

“On the minerals side, during our 11 years of operation we surveyed a large portion of the province with geophysics, we re-analyzed almost the entire suite of geochemical samples for the province, we provided a lot of innovative research in glacial tills and tree-top sampling, we funded new geochemical methods using water in the field as well as capturing gases and sampling organic materials. So in addition to fundamental baseline data creation, we do a lot of innovative research as well.”

Next year’s plans call for Search Phase III extending northeast to the Quesnel copper belt and covering a region that hosts Imperial’s Mount Polley copper-gold-silver mine, the auriferous turf of Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM, Thompson Creek’s Mount Milligan copper-gold operation and AuRico Metals’ (TSX:AMI) gold-copper-silver deposits at Kemess.

Looking further ahead, Madu sees the organization “looking at the mining cycle instead of just exploration to see what we can do to help the development or efficiency of mining. We might look at research into subjects like water, tailings and metallurgy, for example.”

The group was founded in 2005 when the province put up money as an inducement to industry contributions. A lot of those contributions come from preferred rates or volunteer work supporting a small staff. Regional trusts have also contributed. Last May the province forked over $5 million.

The results of all that go online, available to everyone. Geoscience B.C.’s Earth Science Viewer opens with a satellite image of the province. Users can zoom in on a particular area, load a layer of data from the selections to the left, then overlay additional data. New info comes online as survey results are processed. Mineral tenures are updated daily, with links to the government’s database of claimholders.

“Viewers can put the tie-dyed geophysical charts on top of the geology layer to see how they agree or don’t agree,” says Madu. “I think that’s quite a powerful prospecting tool because one thing we want to do is challenge assumptions. If the geology and geophysics are telling different stories, we want people to research that and explore it.”

A planned upgrade, possibly within a year, will make the viewer three-dimensional, “something like Google Earth where you can tip it on its side and fly around valleys a bit,” he adds.

With a wealth of practical info for industry and communities alike, the viewer “puts the power of information into the hands of people who can use it.”

Cow Mountain cock-ups cost former Barkerville boss Frank Callaghan $30,000

October 27th, 2015

by Greg Klein | October 27, 2015

One of the industry’s more outrageous resource estimates of recent years has once again caught up with one of Howe Street’s more colourful characters. Frank Callaghan, former president/CEO/director of Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM, has agreed to pay the British Columbia Securities Commission $30,000 for breaching NI 43-101 disclosure rules. He also got a one-year ban from acting as an officer or director of any reporting issuer and from engaging in investor relations activities. Additionally, he’s required to complete a course on 43-101 requirements.

Under his leadership in June 2012, Barkerville released a resource update for its central B.C. Cariboo gold project that provoked a combination of investor excitement and derision. Once Barkerville filed the technical report to SEDAR, the BCSC hit the company with a cease trade order and demanded a new report by a different qualified person.

A radical revision appeared in May 2013. But that failed to cool Callaghan’s enthusiasm for the more sensational version.

“Two and a half months after Barkerville adopted the revised estimates and retracted the initial estimates, Callaghan publicly repeated, and attempted to justify, the initial estimates in an online article and at an investor presentation. Callaghan acknowledges that his statements in the article and at the presentation contravened provisions of NI 43-101.”

He talked up the original effort even though “BCSC staff cautioned him that attempting [to] justify, validate or compare the initial estimates to the revised estimates is misleading and likely contrary to NI 43-101, his disclosure contradicted Barkerville’s previous disclosure adopting the revised estimates as the only current estimate and he understood disclosing combined inferred and indicated resource estimates was prohibited.”

An apparently contrite Callaghan agreed to the BCSC’s portrayal of events and the penalties imposed.

Callaghan resigned from Barkerville management in July 2014 but initially retained his board position. The company, which emphasizes its “new leadership,” no longer lists him as a director.

Frank Callaghan resigns from Barkerville, company extends credit facility

July 29th, 2014

by Greg Klein | July 29, 2014

Considered a flamboyant Howe Street character who helped revive an historic British Columbia gold mining region, Frank Callaghan resigned from Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM on July 29. Chairperson Norman Anderson replaces him on an interim basis. Callaghan remains a director.

Callaghan resigns from Barkerville, company extends credit facility

Callaghan presides at Barkerville’s first gold pour for 2014.

In a statement accompanying the announcement, Callaghan said the company “has entered a new phase as a producer and with what I believe are world class assets to be developed at Cow, Island and Barkerville mountains, I feel now is the appropriate time to bring in an executive management team that can lead the company through what could be a much larger development.”

Barkerville lauded him for “many notable achievements” which included assembling a “world-class land tenure” in the Cariboo Gold Rush region, developing the Cow Mountain open pit, moving the historic Gold Quartz mine resource into 43-101 compliance, acquiring and operating the QR mine and mill, and leading the Bonanza Ledge project from discovery to production. Callaghan also “led the company through a 14-month securities commission review surrounding a June 2012 Cow Mountain resource estimate announcement.”

Considered extravagant by the BCSC, the resource provoked a cease trade order that lasted from August 2012 to October 2013.

Barkerville began exploration drilling on Cow Mountain’s Gold Quartz mine in 1995. Since then the company has compiled 1,164 square kilometres of property near Billy Barker’s 1862 discovery. In 2011, while anticipating the opening of the Bonanza Ledge mine, Callaghan told the Vancouver Sun, “And 150 years later, we are mining on Barkerville Mountain probably a kilometre upstream from where they initially struck gold. It’s pretty comical when you think about it.”

His interim replacement has been a Barkerville director since June 2012. An engineer, Anderson spent 35 years with Cominco, holding the positions of president/COO and chairperson/CEO. He’s also held senior roles with International Corona, Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM, Compania de Minas Buenaventura NYE:BVN and Anatolia Minerals Development.

“Contemporaneously with the said management changes,” Barkerville also announced a one-month loan extension to August 30. “During that time period the parties will be reviewing potential loan amendments that might better fit with the company’s business operations going forward.” The amount of the loan wasn’t divulged.

Read more about Barkerville Gold Mines.

Barkerville Gold Mines resumes trading, says Cow Mountain’s no bull

October 8th, 2013

by Greg Klein | October 8, 2013

Barkerville resumes trading, says Cow Mountain’s no bull

Barkerville’s two-year chart shows a dramatic response prior to the CTO.

A cease trade order that lasted over a year ends October 9 as Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM stock returns to market. The company was slapped by the CTO in August 2012, one day after filing an updated resource estimate for its Cow Mountain project on SEDAR. The British Columbia Securities Commission, apparently lying in wait, found the numbers over-enthusiastic.

Barkerville resumes trading, says Cow Mountain’s no bull

Barkerville CEO Frank Callaghan complements
his sartorial style with a QR mine doré bar.

Although the stock initially spiked on the original June 2012 announcement, that event was followed by criticism, even scorn. One malicious story claimed that rescue teams were searching the Cow Mountain region for a geologist who had fallen out of a helicopter.

Ordered to re-do the NI 43-101 to NI 43-101 standards, the company engaged a new team, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants and APEX Geoscience, to work with the original geologist. They produced a radical revision that was submitted last May. Using a 0.4 gram-per-tonne cutoff, the study now shows a resource with shallow open pit potential including:

  • an indicated category of 16.11 million tonnes averaging 2 g/t for 1.04 million ounces gold

  • an inferred category of 44.66 million tonnes averaging 2.74 g/t for 3.94 million ounces

That compares with the June 2012 announcement claiming 10.62 million ounces indicated.

Maybe testing the bounds of imagination, not to mention BCSC patience, Barkerville’s June 2012 report had gone even further. It said the project’s Island-Cow-Barkerville trend had a “total geological potential” of 65 million to 90 million gold ounces.

The Snowden/APEX version omitted that claim.

Now satisfied, the BCSC lifted its CTO last July and Barkerville applied for TSXV reinstatement. Meanwhile the company’s flamboyant president/CEO Frank Callaghan continued his promotions, including a one-hour presentation at last month’s Toronto Resource Investment Conference. Around the same time he landed a $15-million loan from a company wholly owned by Eric Sprott.

Barkerville’s central B.C. properties cover 1,164 square kilometres and include the Cariboo gold project, the Bonanza Ledge gold project and the Barkerville Mountain/Island Mountain exploration targets. About 110 kilometres south, the company’s QR mine and mill resumed gold production in September, having previously operated between September 2010 and December 2011.

Barkerville’s website says that once its Cow Mountain resource is approved, the company “will choose its strategic direction moving forward.” At press time Callaghan hadn’t responded to a interview request.

Eric Sprott sold six million insider shares to throw Barkerville a lifeline

September 26th, 2013

by Frik Els | September 25, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Barkerville Gold Mines TSXV:BGM announced Tuesday a $15-million loan from a company (2176423 Ontario Ltd) wholly owned by Eric Sprott.

Eric Sprott sold six million insider shares to throw Barkerville a lifeline

Barkerville president/CEO
Frank Callaghan has reason to smile.

Barkerville will use the money to keep operating, apply for reinstatement on the TSX Venture exchange and pay back a $1.5-million bridge loan from Sprott Resource Lending Partnership.

The lifeline extended by Sprott comes less than a week after the legendary precious metals investor sold some six million shares at $2.70 in his investment management company Sprott Inc TSX:SII according to Canadian Insider.

Trade in Vancouver-headquartered Barkerville was suspended in August last year after problems with the technical report for its Cariboo project in central British Columbia.

At the end of June 2012, when Barkerville announced mouth-watering resource estimates—10.6 million ounces of contained gold at some of the best grades in the industry—for the Cow Mountain section, its stock exploded.

It did not take long for red flags to be raised about what would have been one of the richest gold deposits in the world. The stock duly tanked.

Almost a year later the updated estimate shows a much more sober resource of 1.04 million ounces indicated and 3.94 million ounces inferred.

When Barkerville’s shares start trading again it will be interesting to see if retail investors display the same kind of confidence in the company as Eric Sprott clearly does.

Reprinted by permission of

Year in review: Part I

December 27th, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for 2012

by Greg Klein

Read Part II of Year in Review.

Next Page 1 | 2

Good riddance to all that

As the year comes to a close, 2012 hardly evokes sentimentality—not, at any rate, from most observers of the exploration and mining sector. Some typical remarks range from Michael and Chris Berry’s “Yes we are very happy 2012 is coming to an inglorious end” to Peter Grandich’s “I really don’t give a %@&* what markets do until after the New Year.” ResourceClips therefore eschews macro analysis to look instead at selected issues that helped characterize the last 12 months.

Crisis in South Africa

The horrific climax took place August 16, when 34 protesters died and 78 were injured under police fire. In total, over 50 lives have been lost since a wildcat walkout at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum operation spread to other South African mines and industries. At one point an estimated 75,000 people were on strike. Helping inflame the crisis were political rivalries, political corruption and a union turf war, while the gap between rich and poor continued to grow.

A mining and exploration retrospect for 2012

A mood of cautious optimism set in by late October, when many strikers had returned to work. But a November clash between the National Union of Mineworkers and the newer Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union killed two more. A December walkout led Harmony Gold to suspend 600 workers, resulting in a protest by 1,700 in which several people were hit by rubber bullets.

Wage increases notwithstanding, the turmoil settled nothing. Uncertainty remains about South Africa’s biggest industry, as well as its economy and society.

Saskatchewan mine fire ends safely

In Canada, the industry’s biggest scare happened on September 25 when a fire trapped 20 miners underground for 17 hours. Rescuers battled the blaze at PotashCorp’s TSX:POT Rocanville operation for 12 hours, then waited for the mine to cool and ventilate. The trapped workers bided their time in four well-equipped refuge stations before emerging safely.

The following month PotashCorp attributed the blaze to friction caused as a cable reel was dragged on a skid up to 16 kilometres. The incident wasn’t mentioned in a company announcement stating “the employees of Rocanville division achieved one million hours without a lost-time accident on December 11, 2012.”

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