Tuesday 23rd October 2018

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Posts tagged ‘bulgaria’

How fares Canada in the Fraser Institute’s global mining survey?

February 25th, 2015

by Greg Klein | February 25, 2015

Saskatchewan’s number two worldwide, Quebec’s back in the top 10 and Manitoba climbed 17 notches. But Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia took a beating in the latest Fraser Institute survey of mining jurisdictions. Released February 24, the study rates 122 jurisdictions (including provinces and states in Canada, the United States, Australia and Argentina) based on 485 returned questionnaires. Drawing on their 2014 experience, mining and exploration companies provided numerical ratings for a number of factors, which the institute tracked on separate indexes.

Most important is the Investment Attractiveness Index, which combines two other indexes—Best Practices Mineral Potential (geology) and Policy Perception (government attitudes). The institute weighs the IAI 60% for geology and 40% for public policy, roughly the same consideration companies reported for their investment decisions.

Here’s the top 10 IAI globally, with 2013 rankings in brackets:

1 Finland (4)
2 Saskatchewan (7)
3 Nevada (2)
4 Manitoba (13)
5 Western Australia (1)
6 Quebec (18)
7 Wyoming (11)
8 Newfoundland and Labrador (3)
9 Yukon (8)
10 Alaska (5)

Here are the Canadian runner-ups:

15 Northwest Territories (25)
21 New Brunswick (23)
22 Alberta (10)
23 Ontario (14)
28 British Columbia (16)
29 Nunavut (27)
42 Nova Scotia (47)

Prince Edward Island wasn’t included.

As for the bottom 10:

113 Sudan
114 Nigeria
115 Bulgaria
116 Guatemala
117 Egypt
118 Solomon Islands
119 Honduras
120 Kenya
121 Hungary
122 Malaysia

The 122 jurisdictions totalled 10 more than in 2013. For inclusion, the institute requires a minimum of 10 responses per jurisdiction.

The anonymous replies also included comments which, for Canadian provinces and territories, note serious but unsurprising concerns.

But for some people, the rankings rankled. B.C.’s 10th-place finish out of 12 Canadian jurisdictions doesn’t jibe with the province’s second-place status for mining investment, according to the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia. Citing data from Natural Resources Canada, AME BC credited Ontario as Canada’s favourite for attracting investment. Fraser Institute respondents stuck that province with ninth place in Canada.

“Furthermore, one of the best indicators of success in exploration is seeing discoveries move through to mine development,” said AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom. “In recent years, we have seen a number of new major metal mines constructed in our province, including Copper Mountain in 2011, New Afton in 2012 and Mount Milligan in 2013. Also, Red Chris is being readied for commercial operations, and the KSM and Kitsault mine development projects have received environmental assessment certificates.”

The NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines noted the Northwest Territories’ considerable improvement and its breakaway territory’s slight slump. The organization vowed to continue working with federal and territorial governments “to improve the investment climate for exploration and mining in the two territories.”

Download the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies 2014.

Week in review

October 12th, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for October 6 to 12, 2012

by Greg Klein

«Le Plan Nord est enterré»

Plan Nord was nothing more than “marketing” for projects that were already in the pipeline. So says Quebec’s new natural resources minister, according to Sunday’s Montreal Gazette. But industry observers still don’t know how the newly elected Parti Quebecois will treat the mining sector.

Prior to the province’s September 4 election, then-premier Jean Charest vowed his Liberal government would spend $2.1 billion on a massive infrastructure program to develop Quebec north of the 49th parallel. Over a 25-year period, Plan Nord would attract $80 billion in private and public investment, he said. During the election campaign, however, PQ leader Pauline Marois called the Liberals’ planned expenditure a $2.1-billion giveaway to the private sector.

A mining and exploration retrospect

Marois also talked of imposing a 5% royalty on all minerals extracted and a 30% tax on all mining profits above 8%. Her election victory raised obvious concerns throughout the sector.

“People involved in the Plan Nord are very anxious to know the position of the government,” Nochane Rousseau, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Montreal office, told the Gazette. He pronounced the Plan Nord “brand” dead but added, “In order to create wealth, we absolutely will have to develop our natural resources, and northern Quebec is overflowing with them.”

Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet made her dismissive comment in a meeting with the editorial board of La Presse. She refused the Gazette’s requests for an interview.

New regulations disappoint Ontario explorers

Ontario’s exploration sector suffered a setback with a new mining law that takes full effect April 1. Probably the industry’s biggest chagrin is the requirement to consult native bands prior to early-stage exploration drilling on Crown land. The bands will have 30 days to express concerns, which could then block a permit, according to a Tuesday dispatch from Bloomberg. “It’s going to cost a lot more now and there are going to be a lot more delays,” the news agency quoted Mistango River CEO Robert Kasner.

Solid Gold Resources TSXV:SLD CEO Darryl Stretch told Bloomberg, “It should be the government’s duty to consult with first nations, not the mining industry’s.”

Stretch was a vocal member of Miners United, a group representing about 60 companies that surfaced at last spring’s Toronto PDAC convention to express concern about native relations. In a March 27 Globe and Mail story about the group, Ontario Prospectors Association Executive Director Garry Clark said that native bands charge companies for exploration drilling in confidential deals that often surpass $100,000.

Bullish, but …

Among those predicting more merger-and-acquisition activity are the three principals of NewGen Asset Management, which was written up in Friday’s Financial Post. “Our strategy is to identify those [most] likely M&A candidates,” said Manager David Dattels. The FP explained that one of the company’s portfolios “typically has about 20 core holdings, with others used as trading positions, including short positions that usually represent 5% to 20% of the portfolio.”

Dattels’ enthusiasm for the industry has its limits. “Mining has traditionally been a poorly managed industry. Corporate governance is probably the worst relative to other industries. Investors are smartening up to that.”

Consumers acquire critical commodity companies

Increasing demand and a 15% Chinese export tax have put another EU-designated critical mineral in the spotlight. Fluorspar “is used throughout the world, primarily by the chemical industry, for refrigerants and foam products and in the manufacturing of aluminum, Teflon, refined petroleum products, glass and medicine,” the Gold Report quoted Jennings Capital Analyst Ken Chernin on Tuesday. “There are virtually no substitutes for many of its uses and it is an essential ingredient in hydrofluoric acid.”

Chernin added that companies with deposits outside China are candidates for acquisition—and not necessarily by other miners. “In February 2012, the aluminum company RUSAL acquired the remaining 50% of Russia’s only fluorspar producer, [Yaroslavsk Mining Company], from Russkaya Gornorudnaya Kompaniya,” he said. “Fluorspar is used to produce aluminum fluoride, which is used in the production of aluminum. And in January 2012, the chemical group Solvay announced it acquired a 30,000 tonne-per-year fluorspar mine in Bulgaria from Italy’s M&M Group. DuPont and Honeywell are also big consumers of fluorspar.”

More of the same for Venezuela

Hugo Chavez “gets six more years to squeeze industries.” That’s how the Globe and Mail commemorated the results of Venezuela’s Sunday election. His 54% vote gives Chavez another six years in office, which would extend his presidency to 20 years. The Reuters commentary notes that “the nationalization campaign Mr. Chavez launched in 2007 has saddled the state with scores of loss-making companies.” Nevertheless he plans to continue nationalizing companies and confiscating mining operations.


“Vehement” was South American Silver’s TSX:SAC denial of the latest allegations from the Bolivian government. The company’s Tuesday statement responded to an October 5 threat of legal action from Minister of Mines Mario Virreira, who claimed South American Silver had been working in Bolivia illegally.

The accusations “are patently false and have no factual basis,” the company said, repeating its intention to seek international arbitration “to obtain full compensation, including the fair market value of the Malku Khota Project.” Bolivia confiscated the silver-indium project in July, after SAC had sunk over $16 million building a resource. On October 3 Virreira stated the company would get zero compensation.

Cry the troubled country

Reports from South Africa said two more people died in labour-related violence early Thursday, while on Friday the three-week truck drivers’ strike ended. Also on Friday Atlatsa Resources TSXV:ATL announced that 2,161 fired employees would be reinstated provided they return to work at the company’s Bokoni Platinum Mines by October 15.

An attempt at reassurance came from Platinum Group Metals TSX:PTM. On Friday the company stated that progress continues on its application for a $260-million loan to build the WBJV Project 1 Platinum Mine in South Africa. Phase I development “has been progressing steadily and well…. There are approximately 325 people on site and the project has completed 880,000 man hours with a single minor lost-time incident.”

Not surprisingly the news was buried by allegations that surfaced on Thursday. South African President Jacob Zuma reportedly spent $23 million of public money renovating his home.

On Monday Kitco News summarized the situation for 10 major companies recently affected by South African strikes.

Canadian juniors explore the world. But beyond?

It’s twice the size of earth, mostly diamond with some graphite thrown in—but credit for the discovery goes to astronomers, not geologists. Apparently not the first diamond planet ever discovered, 55 Cancri e, as it’s unhelpfully named, “is the first time one has been seen orbiting a sun-like star and studied in such detail,” according to a Thursday report from Reuters.

And, as the news agency pointed out, “any fortune-hunter not dissuaded by The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s jazz age morality tale of thwarted greed, will find Cancri e about 40 light years, or 230 trillion miles, from Park Avenue.”

EurOmax reports Bulgaria Assays up to 2.38 g/t Gold, 3,450 g/t Silver over 3m

May 11th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningEurOmax Resources Ltd TSXV:EOX announced assays from the KD and Logo zones of its Trun Project in Bulgaria. Results include

0.71 g/t gold and 974.8 g/t silver over 12.8 metres
(including 2.38 g/t gold and 3,450 g/t silver over 3 metres)
1.25 g/t gold over 20.1 metres
81.3 g/t silver over 52.5 metres
0.86 g/t gold over 22.7 metres
0.83 g/t gold over 23.7 metres
1.07 g/t gold over 20.4 metres
112.6 g/t silver over 21.7 metres
1.37 g/t gold over 19.1 metres
0.55 g/t gold and 62.5 g/t silver over 29.9 metres
1.16 g/t gold over 7.2 metres

Chief Geologist Quinton Hennigh commented, “We are very pleased with results from this high-grade silver shoot at Trun. The KD zone is part of a long list of mineralized zones recognized across this very large project. At least seven significant zones of near-surface gold and/or silver mineralization have now been identified at Trun.”

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Mark Gustafson

by Ted Niles

EurOmax reports Bulgaria Results up to 1.76 g/t Gold over 86m

February 7th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningEurOmax Resources Ltd TSXV:EOX announced assays from its Trun Gold Project in Bulgaria. Highlights include

1.76 g/t gold over 86 metres
(including 4.04 g/t over 11 metres)
4.1 g/t over 25.1 metres
(including 6.57 g/t over 13 metres)
3.03 g/t over 24.1 metres
(including 4.91 g/t over 11.2 metres)
1.52 g/t over 26 metres
1.24 g/t over 15 metres
0.59 g/t over 26.1 metres

Chief Geologist Quinton Hennigh stated, “In 2011 we drilled approximately 10,600 metres at Trun, in part to meet drilling requirements to apply for a commercial discovery certificate this July. Drill results at Trun have continued to produce several significant intercepts, from which we have developed a very focused 6,000-metre drill program for this year. The 2012 program is expected to be complete by the end of April, which allows the results to be included in the commercial discovery certificate application.”

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Mark Gustafson

by Greg Klein

Euromax President Mark Gustafson on Bulgaria assays of 2.14 g/t gold over 87m

June 15th, 2011

“In summary, we have plans for roughly a 4,000-metre drilling program. So there’s a lot of additional drilling to come yet. The results we’ve seen so far would indicate that a whole lot more drilling would be warranted. We’re ecstatic with our 87 metres at 2.14 g/t gold—that certainly exceeded our expectations, and it’ll justify further drilling around that Ruy target area.

“There’s a resource estimate that we put out in February that shows 2.1 million ounces at the Logo Gold Prospect. That’s the northern area, and that’s just the one prospect. Chances are there’s some multiple of that, but it’s too early, and we don’t have enough drilling to justify that.

“With a property like Trun there’s that opportunity to potentially take it to production ourselves. That’s what we’re wrestling with internally—how far do we take it? What do we do with it? We are an exploration company, but how far do we take it up the resource curve? We definitely do need a lot more drilling on it, and the question is do we do it ourselves or bring a partner on board to help us with that. And we have no firm answer to that yet. But it looks encouraging.

“Bulgaria is quite a good place to work. We’ve got our three gold properties there and a host of potential prospects coming. We find it very, very good to work in. It’s an EU country, and our Senior VP Exploration is from there and worked in the government, so we’ve found it very seamless. It’s pretty much everything we were told to expect; they want to do business with you. It’s quite encouraging.”

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