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Improved physical demand in 2013: Thomson Reuters Silver Market Review

November 14th, 2013

by Editor | November 14, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of


Improved physical demand in 2013: Thomson Reuters Silver Market Review

The Thomson Reuters GFMS Interim Silver Market Review was released November 12 at the Annual Silver Industry Dinner in New York.

The review cites improved physical demand for nearly all silver demand sectors this year. Here are the highlights:

  • The review forecasts fabrication demand across all sectors (except photography) will grow in 2013, notably in jewelry (+6%) and silverware (+6%) as a reaction to price declines and an improving global economy.

  • Silver price decline driven by expectations that the Fed would taper its $85-billion monthly bond- and mortgage-backed securities purchases in light of strengthening economic activity, similar to factors influencing the gold market.

  • Unlike gold, silver ETF holdings have continued to grow this year, reaching a record-high of 655 million ounces as of October 31 while investment in silver coins is forecast to increase by 19% year-on-year.

  • Mine production poised to grow by 4% this year to 815 million ounces, with production growth primarily coming from the U.S., Mexico and Dominican Republic.

  • The fundamental balance, the difference between supply (mine production and scrap) and demand (fabrication excluding coins) is set to extend its residual surplus for the eighth successive year.

  • Silver prices in the first 10 months of the year have averaged $24.51, a 20.7% decline year-on-year. GFMS now forecasts a full-year average price of $24.24 in 2013.
Improved physical demand in 2013: Thomson Reuters Silver Market Review

Read the full report here.

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Canada to boost support for mining, but faces challenges

September 18th, 2013

by Cecilia Jamasmie | September 18, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is ready to launch an aggressive campaign to promote the country’s mining sector abroad, in an effort to redirect trade spending and foreign affairs to core economic interests.

Canada to boost support for mining, but faces challenges

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces support
for Northern Innovation in Mining, August 2013.
(Photo: PMO)

Ed Fast, the international trade minister, began Wednesday a cross-country campaign to get feedback from experts and actors on what kind of support they think the government should offer mining companies.

According to the Globe and Mail, the move comes as the Harper administration starts warming up its campaign machine for the 2015 elections.

But Harper faces a challenging scenario. As a result of the global mining slowdown, Canada’s mining sector has been hit hard by weak commodity prices and lack of interest from foreign and local investors.

For the first time in a decade, Canada’s normally bustling resource industry failed to book a single initial public offering (IPO) on either the Toronto Stock Exchange or the TSX Venture Exchange in the first quarter of the year, a PwC survey revealed.

Tarnished name

While Canada remains the world’s top destination for mining investments, the sector has built a less-than-popular reputation abroad. Local miners have faced domestic opposition to their projects in all parts of the globe, including Greece, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Israel.

In January, for example, hundreds of Greeks protested in Thessaloniki against several gold mining projects owned by Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD.

The following month, Catholic priests and small-scale miners marched with 5,000 locals in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, against a project owned by Vancouver-based B2Gold TSX:BTO.

In April tens of thousands of Colombians took to the streets of Bucaramanga, the country’s sixth-largest city, to defend their water supply from Vancouver-based Eco Oro Minerals’ TSX:EOM gold project.

Recently, Toronto-based Barrick Gold TSX:ABX admitted before a Chilean judge it had committed several violations in regards to its touted $8.5-billion Pascua Lama gold and silver project, straddling the border of Chile and Argentina.

And the most fresh example is the renewed opposition Gabriel Resources TSX:GBU faces in Romania because of its Rosia Montana gold project. Only yesterday the country’s president, Traian Basescu, asked Parliament to withdraw a bill that would allow the London-based Canadian miner to move forward.

However the future looks auspicious. Canada is among the top five producers of potash, uranium, nickel, platinum, aluminum, diamonds and steel-making coal. And global demand for commodities is expected to grow by up to 75% over the next 15 years, according to the world’s No. 1 miner, BHP Billiton NYE:BHP.

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Fortnight in review

January 4th, 2013

A mining and exploration retrospect for December 22, 2012, to January 4, 2013

by Greg Klein

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To accommodate the Christmas/New Year publishing schedule, this review covers two weeks.

From risk to risk

“Although some companies and the province laud Ontario as being one of the best mining-friendly jurisdictions in the world,” that reputation is changing, according to a Thunder Bay-based drilling contractor. In the January 2 edition of Northern Ontario Business, Barb Courte, president of Cobra Drilling and North Star Drilling, said the province is facing a downturn in early-stage exploration.

The article stated, “In conversation with her industry colleagues, Ontario is considered a ‘risk area’ for investment, based on some high-profile First Nations-industry conflicts, along with the uncertainty of how the new Mining Act plans and permits regulations will play out.”

Regulations that take full effect in April will give native bands more power to block drilling on Crown land.

A mining and exploration retrospect

Courte told Northern Ontario Business her companies did well in 2012 but business has now dropped by about 50%.

A supplier dates the drilling downturn to last April. Hugh Paxton, GM of Wire Rope Industries Distribution, told the paper, “It’s the lowest numbers we’ve seen for drilling supplies since we’ve been [in] it for the last four years.”

Courte, meanwhile, hopes to make up for lost business in the Caribbean. Unigold TSXV:UGD has contracted her to send four drills to the Dominican Republic in autumn and she’s getting inquiries from other companies operating in the country, the story stated.

Unigold calls the country a “premier mining destination.” The company’s most recent (November 28) news release stated the government “supports development and exploration in the mining sector. In addition, the country has well-established mining laws and environmental laws.”

Two days later, however, Mining Weekly offered a different perspective. A spokesperson for the Xstrata Nickel subsidiary Falcondo told the publication, “Security in the country has seen a gradual deterioration, which has forced us to significantly increase our security costs. They have tripled in the past few years.”

Mining Weekly added, “Dominican President Danilo Medina has acknowledged the problems and promised in a televised speech to the nation on [November 27] to improve security and reform the country’s police force. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Index released in October, the Dominican Republic ranked 143rd out of 144 countries worldwide in reliability of its police force.”

New mega-company consolidating China’s rare earths production

A planned 12-company takeover could mark the first step in creating “a massive rare earth enterprise that will integrate light rare earth resources” in northern China. According to a December 28 China Daily article, newly signed framework agreements would have the companies and their shareholders hand over a combined 51% interest for free to the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co (REHT). In return, REHT would provide management, technology and funding, while setting production and export quotas. The agreement allows one year for the deals to be consummated.

“If the first step goes well, REHT will eventually team up with major rare earth producers in Gansu, Sichuan and Shandong provinces to form the China North Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co,” China Daily reported. “Authorities expect bigger enterprises to churn out products with higher added value and shoulder more responsibility in environmental protection.”

With just 23% of the world’s rare earths reserves, China supplies over 90% of global demand, the paper added.

Can placer miners meet B.C.’s environmental code?

An enduring legacy of the Fraser and Cariboo gold rushes, placer mining remains a British Columbian institution. But now that a forgotten 2011 environmental report has come to light, the miners are worried.

An audit from B.C.’s Ministry of the Environment found 74% of 23 placer operations inspected in 2010 didn’t comply with land restoration requirements and 43% of miners “were also working in streams without authorization,” the Vancouver Sun reported on December 26.

“The placer mines range from one-person operations to larger operations that employ dozens of people and use heavy equipment to extract gold from sand and gravel,” said the story.

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Cross-continent quest

October 4th, 2012

News from Saskatchewan, Mexico, Yukon and the Dominican Republic

by Greg Klein
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A third mine has begun operations at penny-stock gold-producer Golden Band Resources’ TSXV:GBN central Saskatchewan La Ronge Gold Project. The first ore shipment left the Komis open pit on October 3 for the company’s Jolu Mill, 32 kilometres southwest. Komis is expected to produce 340,000 tonnes grading an average 6.62 grams per tonne gold over an 18-month life.

“The Komis orebody remains open along strike and at depth,” company President Rob Garden said in an October 4 news release. “More drilling is planned that we believe will delineate an increased resource.”

The company began commercial production from its Roy Lloyd underground mine in April 2011, with additional production from its EP open pit starting in December 2011. Golden Band’s La Ronge land package covers 870 square kilometres.

News from Saskatchewan, Mexico, Yukon and the Dominican Republic

Crew members examine drill core at GoGold’s flagship San Diego Project in Mexico.

But cash costs of $1,377 an ounce during fiscal 2013 Q1 (ending July 31, 2012) contributed to a quarterly net loss of $3.6 million. The company projects fiscal 2013’s cash costs between $1,000 and $1,150 an ounce. Golden Band expects to produce about 40,000 to 45,000 ounces during that year.

Golden Band shares closed October 4 at $0.185 after opening the day at $0.175, half a cent below their October 3 close. The company’s 52-week high and low are $0.35 and $0.14.

Among companies reporting assays on October 4, GoGold Resources TSXV:GGD announced some long intervals from the Chispa De Oro Target of its flagship San Diego Project in Durango State, Mexico. Some highlights include

  • 56.9 grams per tonne silver, 0.21 g/t gold and 0.65% copper over 129.7 metres
  • (including 111.5 g/t silver, 0.42 g/t gold and 1.08% copper over 70.1 metres)
  • (including 96.3 g/t silver, 0.28 g/t gold and 3.37% copper over 22 metres)
  • 33.4 g/t silver, 0.09 g/t gold and 0.25% copper over 83.5 metres
  • (including 43 g/t silver, 0.13 g/t gold and 0.28% copper over 47.5 metres)
  • (including 35 g/t silver, 0.11 g/t gold and 0.32% copper over 17 metres)
  • 12.6 g/t silver, 0.02 g/t gold and 0.31% copper over 118.6 metres
  • (including 70.5 g/t silver, 0.1 g/t gold and 1.3% copper over 18.5 metres)
  • 11 g/t silver, 0.02 g/t gold and 0.36% copper over 104.2 metres
  • (including 17 g/t silver, 0.02 g/t gold and 0.48% copper over 55.1 metres)

True widths have yet to be determined. Depths extend to 130 metres.

An additional drill is now focusing on the Chispa South Target, within the 3.5-kilometre Chispa De Oro Target, which the company describes as a “large high-sulphidation epithermal system potentially underlined by a silver-gold-copper porphyry.” Chispa South shows an intrusive quartz diorite and injection breccia which GoGold believes is part of a porphyry system in the area. The breccia and the quartz diorite intrusive are exposed on surface, the company stated.

GoGold has an April 2012 resource estimate for its Parral Tailings Project to the north, in Chihuahua State. Using a cutoff of 0.4 g/t gold-equivalent, the measured category shows 34,000 gold ounces and 4.7 million silver ounces, while the indicated category shows 180,000 gold ounces and 21.7 million silver ounces.

GoGold shares held steady at $1.40 on October 4 after closing the previous day at $1.38. The company’s 52-week high and low were $1.78 and $1.11.
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A hesitant market

September 25th, 2012

Good news leaves investors unimpressed

By Greg Klein

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Impressive drill results can do wonders for an exploration company’s stock. Or they can leave people wondering. A darling of the junior resource sector, GoldQuest Mining TSXV:GQC announced more gold results on September 25. But if a share price bump was going to happen, it didn’t happen immediately.

Here are highlights from three holes at the Romero Gold-Copper Discovery of the company’s Las Tres Palmas Trend in the Dominican Republic.

  • 2.64 grams per tonne gold (uncut) or 2.5 g/t gold (top cut) and 0.33% copper over 122.7 metres
  • (including 6.35 g/t gold (uncut) or 5.97 g/t gold (top cut) and 0.53% copper over 44 metres)
  • 0.59 g/t gold and 0.24% copper over 110 metres
  • (including 1 g/t gold and 0.32% copper over 50 metres)
  • 0.42 g/t gold and 0.74% copper over 146.5 metres
  • (including 0.54 g/t gold and 1.47% copper over 72 metres)
  • 0.53 g/t gold and 0.16% copper over 71.7 metres
Good news leaves investors unimpressed

Drill core samples from SnipGold Corp’s Bronson Slope in northwestern B.C.

An arbitrary top cut of 50 g/t gold was used pending further geostatistical data. The top cut was applied to all results, but affected only one interval. True widths were not provided. Depths extend to 476 metres.

With these results, GoldQuest has now reported assays from 10 holes at Romero. Still to come are results for five additional holes. Drilling continues.

Two years ago GoldQuest stock traded just over $0.20. Its price gradually doubled but then sunk all the way to $0.04 last May 16. But despite the market downturn, May 23 began the company’s rapid recovery. That’s when assays from the Romero Discovery first hit the market. GoldQuest shot up to an August 21 high of $2.03 before dropping back. It climbed again to $2.00 on September 20, then fell to a September 24 close of $1.83. Despite the September 25 assays, however, the stock opened the day at $1.35 before a press time close of $1.23.

GoldQuest’s closest Tres Palmas neighbour is Unigold’s TSXV:UGD 22,616-hectare flagship Candelones Project. On September 13 Unigold released assays including

  • 0.71 g/t gold, 1.2 g/t silver, 0.09% copper and 0.42% zinc over 165.65 metres
  • (including 1.38 g/t gold, 4.1 g/t silver, 0.06% copper and 1.25% zinc over 27.65 metres)
  • 0.56 g/t gold, 1.8 g/t silver, 0.06% copper and 0.08% zinc over 89 metres
  • (including 1 g/t gold, 5.1 g/t silver, 0.11% copper and 0.21% zinc over 25 metres)
  • (including 1.3 g/t gold, 2.1 g/t silver and 0.22% copper over 10 metres)
  • 0.49 g/t gold, 0.6 g/t silver, 0.07% copper and 0.01% zinc over 28 metres
  • 0.62 g/t gold, 0.5 g/t silver, 0.09% copper and 0.06% zinc over 12 metres

The company estimates intervals to be true widths. No top cut was applied. Depths extend to 476 metres.

Unigold says the results support its belief that the Candelones Extension Zone remains open in three directions. Data from 36 holes has been released so far, with assays pending for seven more from the Candelones Extension. The company states that mineralization shows a strong correlation with IP chargeability anomalies.

On September 13 Unigold also closed a $5-million private placement of 11.2 million shares at $0.45.

The little country’s biggest mining project is Pueblo Viejo, which began pouring gold on August 14. With proven and probable reserves totalling 25.3 million gold ounces, the project is a 60%-40% JV between Barrick TSX:ABX and Goldcorp TSX:G. Barrick operates the mine, which is expected to reach commercial production in Q4 this year.

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Unigold reports Dominican Gold Assays including 2.1 g/t over 70m

April 11th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningUnigold Inc TSXV:UGD announced results from the Candelones project on its Neita property in the Dominican Republic. Assays include

0.96 g/t gold over 30 metres
1.6 g/t over 90 metres (including 7.36 g/t over 6 metres)
2.1 g/t over 70 metres (including 4.7 g/t over 17 metres)
1.7 g/t over 109 metres (including 2.36 g/t over 73 metres)

President/CEO Andrew Cheatle stated, “These excellent results in terms of their true width, grade consistency, and location relative to previous drilling are now delivering on the promise of the property. We stepped out 100 metres to the west of LP17 and 100 metres south of LP18 and achieved very similar and exciting results.”

View Company Profile

Andrew Cheatle

by Ted Niles

Unigold reports Dominican Republic Gold Assays up to 2.36 g/t over 73m

January 16th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningUnigold Inc TSXV:UGD announced drill results from the Candelones project on its Neita property in the Dominican Republic. Highlights include

2.36 g/t gold over 73 metres
1.3 g/t over 60 metres
0.36 g/t over 24 metres
2.74 g/t over 20 metres (including 6.25 g/t over 8 metres)
1.48 g/t over 37 metres

President/CEO Andrew Cheatle said, “These exciting drill results, in terms of their true width, grade consistency, and strike extent – now extending the mineralized zone at the Candelones Extension (Lomita Piña) to nearly 1 kilometre in length – show considerable promise at the property. We are enthusiastically returning to the area and starting the year with a 10,000-metre drill program to test both strike and dip extent.”

View Company Profile

Andrew Cheatle

by Ted Niles

GoldQuest reports Dominican Republic Results up to 5.5 g/t Gold over 16.2m

January 11th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningGoldQuest Mining Corp TSXV:GQC announced assays from La Escandalosa Sur Property in southwest Dominican Republic. Highlights include

5.5 g/t gold over 16.2 metres
(including 7.51 g/t over 11.7 metres)
6.8 g/t over 12 metres
4.04 g/t over 20 metres
5.34 g/t over 14 metres
3.3 g/t over 16 metres
1.01 g/t over 18 metres
2.33 g/t over 6.7 metres

President/CEO Julio Espaillat commented, “We are encouraged by the results of this drill program in which every hole was mineralized with gold. These results confirm our confidence in the gold potential of the 3.5-kilometre-long high-chargeability, low-resistivity and low magnetic ground geophysical anomaly which has been drilled for less than one-third of its length. It is the company’s intention to continue drilling the geophysical anomalies in early 2012.”

View Company Profile

Julio Espaillat

Sebastian de Kloet
Investor Relations

by Greg Klein

GoldQuest reports Dominican Republic Gold Assays up to 2.74 g/t over 36.5m

April 20th, 2011

GoldQuest Mining Corp TSXV:GQC announced results from its La Escandalosa Project in the Dominican Republic. Assays include 2.62 g/t gold over 3.2 metres, 1.01 g/t over 5.5 metres, 2.45 g/t over 16 metres, 3.54 g/t over 9.2 metres and 2.74 g/t over 36.5 metres (including 6.6 g/t over 13.1 metres).

CEO Julio Espaillat said, “We are pleased that La Escandalosa remains open to the north and that the drilling confirms our confidence in our initial NI 43-101 resource. We are continuing exploration in all directions using induced polarization and magnetic geophysical techniques, especially northwards towards Hondo Valle where the best intersection was 20 metres grading 2.65 g/t gold.”

View Company Profile

Dan Maarsman
Investor Relations

by Ted Niles

Everton, Brigus reports Dom Rep Assays up to 85.98 g/t Silver over 6m

March 3rd, 2011

Everton Resources Inc TSXV:EVR in joint venture with Brigus Gold Corp TSX:BRD announced assays from the La Lechoza VMS Project on the Ampliacion Pueblo Viejo Property in central Dominican Republic. Results include 1.44 g/t gold and 85.98 g/t silver over 6 metres, 1.72% zinc over 10 metres, 1.35 g/t gold, 31.66 g/t silver and 6.59% copper over 7.5 metres and 22.94 g/t gold over 7.5 metres. Everton has an option to earn an initial 50% interest in the property.

Everton President/CEO Andre Audet commented, “Our discovery efforts continue to reward us and our shareholders. Today’s results show these are some of the best holes we’ve seen yet. Combined with our previous results, our geologists’ growing understanding of La Lechoza Prospect has led to a more targeted drilling program intent on discovering higher grades and thicker intercepts. Ultimately, the value of our decision to focus our business activities almost entirely in the Central Dominican Republic has been endorsed by Everton stakeholders. The assays appear to support our decision too.”

View Company Profile

Andre Audet

or Wendy Pemberton
Manager, Corporate Communications

by Ted Niles