Friday 24th November 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Endeavour Mining Corp (EDV)’

‘Everyone’s hiring again’

May 24th, 2017

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting presages a wave of M&A

by Greg Klein

As an executive search firm, the Mining Recruitment Group might serve as a bellwether for the industry. Founder and self-described mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says, “I put together management teams for companies, I connect people with opportunities and opportunities with people.” In that role, he experienced the upturn well before many industry players did.

To most of them, the long-awaited resurgence arrived late last year. Pollard saw it several months earlier.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

“The market came back in a huge way, at least in the hiring side, early last year when my phone started ringing a hell of a lot more,” he explains. “There was a huge volume. And what I’ve found is that the available talent pool for executives shrank in a period of about six months. In January 2016, for example, I was working on a search and there was almost a lineup out the door of some really big-name people. What I’m finding now, a year and a half later, is that the available talent has almost evaporated. It’s much harder to recruit for senior positions.”

Lately his work suggests another industry development. “The major upturn I’m seeing in the market now is a huge demand for corporate development people who can do technical due diligence on projects. Over the last few years large mining companies and investment banks cut staff almost to the bone in that regard because no one was interested in doing deals or looking at acquisitions.”

Just completed, his most recent placement was for Sprott. “They had me looking for someone with a technical background who can do due diligence for their investments. In doing so I spoke with everyone on the street, from investment banks to some big name corporate development people and they all said the same thing: Everyone’s hiring again. These are people who couldn’t get job offers a year ago, now every single candidate on the short list for this last search has multiple offers from companies looking to get them. I haven’t seen that in five years.

“So that leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams. I see that as a major sign that you’re going to see M&A pick up in a huge, huge way, probably over the next three to six months.”

An early example would be last week’s Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD buyout of Integra Gold TSXV:ICG—“one of my best clients over the years”—in a deal valued at $590 million.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

Andrew Pollard: Executive recruiting “leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams.”

“I think there’s leverage for other companies to start pulling the trigger faster because they’re adding the expertise to get these things done.”

Having founded the Mining Recruitment Group over a decade ago at the age of 20, “a snotty kid” with only a single year of related experience, he’s placed people in companies with market caps ranging from $5 million to well over $200 million. Now in a position to pick and choose his assignments, Pollard’s business concentrates on “the roles that will have the most impact on a company’s future.” That tends to be CEO, president, COO and board appointments.

Last year he placed five CEOs, as well as other positions. Among those assignments, Pollard worked with Frank Giustra on a CEO search for Fiore Exploration TSXV:F and filled another vacancy for Treasury Metals TSX:TML as it advances Goliath toward production.

But the hiring surge coincides with an industry-wide recruitment challenge. Pollard attributes that to a demographic predicament complicated by mining’s notorious cyclicality.

During the 1990s, he points out, fewer people chose mining careers, resulting in a shortage of staffers who’d now be in their 40s and 50s. Greater numbers joined up during the more promising mid-2000s, only to “get spat out” when markets went south. Now Pollard gets a lot of calls to replace baby boomers who want to retire. Too many of those retirements are coming around the same time, he says, because stock losses during the downturn had forced executives to postpone their exit.

Now, with a wave of retirements coinciding with a demographic gap, Pollard sees a “perfect storm to identify the next batch of young leaders.”

But he also sees promise in a new generation. That inspired him to assemble Young Leaders, one of two panel discussions he’ll present at the International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver on May 28 and 29.

“By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.”

By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.

Well, it’s either talent or a precocious Midas touch that distinguishes these panel members. Maverix Metals TSXV:MMX CEO Dan O’Flaherty co-founded the royalty/streaming company just last year, already accumulating assets in 10 countries and a $200-million market cap.

As president/CEO of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Jordan Trimble proved adept at fundraising and deal-making while building a 250,000-hectare uranium-thorium exploration portfolio in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Integra president/CEO Steve de Jong raised the company from a $10-million market cap in 2012 to last week’s $590-million takeout.

And, demographic gap notwithstanding, Pollard’s second panel features three other success stories, just a bit older but with lots of potential left after guiding three of last year’s biggest M&A deals. They’ll take part in the Vision to Exit discussion, which closes the conference on May 29.

Eira Thomas burst into prominence at the Lac de Gras diamond fields where she discovered Diavik at age 24. Her most recent major coup took place last year on the Klondike gold fields with Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) $520-million buyout of Kaminak Gold.

Featherstone Capital president/CEO Doug Forster founded and led Newmarket Gold, producing over 225,000 ounces a year from three Australian mines and enticing Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX:KL) billion-dollar offer.

Now chairperson of Liberty Gold TSX:LGD and a director of NexGen Energy TSX:NXE, Mark O’Dea co-founded and chaired True Gold Mining, acquired in April 2016 by Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV. Three other companies that O’Dea co-founded, led and sold were Fronteer Gold, picked up by Newmont Mining NYSE:NEM in 2011; Aurora Energy, sold to Paladin Energy TSX:PDN in 2011; and True North Nickel, in which Royal Nickel TSX:RNX bought a majority interest in 2014.

“We’ll be looking at how they go into deals, what their philosophy is, what’s their current reading of the market and what they’re going to do next. They each have a big future ahead of them.”

Pollard’s two panel discussions take place at the International Metal Writers Conference on May 28 and 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Pre-register for free or pay $20 at the door.

In all, the conference brings generations of talent, expertise and insight to an audience of industry insiders and investors alike.

Read more about the International Metal Writers Conference.

Gwen Preston looks back on PDAC and an exciting week

March 15th, 2016

by Gwen Preston | SmallCapPower.com | March 15, 2016

What a week it was! Another PDAC is in the books. And a good one. It was undoubtedly small—fewer booths, attendance of just 22,000 compared to an average of 29,000 over the last five years—but the buzz was inarguably better than last year.

Gwen Preston looks back on PDAC and an exciting week

Mining deals flowed with PDAC buzzing in the background.

I comment on my PDAC impressions after going through the mining news events of the week. As usual, news flow ramped up during the world’s biggest mining conference so there was lots to talk about, and all I got to were the four biggest stories.

Others also deserve comment. Canamex Resources (TSXV:CSQ), for example, published a PEA showing how they could turn their Bruner gold project into a 46,500-ounce-per-year producer for a capital cost of just US$33.4 million. If built, the mine should be able to generate a 39% after-tax internal rate of return and operate for six years. It would be a simple oxide heap leach operating on patented land, which eases permitting considerably.

Those are pretty good numbers. The asset and company are small for my tastes but Canamex deserves credit: it not only survived the bear market but advanced its asset to the point where it supports an economic PEA. If the team can now establish a path to production, starting with accessing the cash needed to take the next step, its share price may well respond. This is, after all, a simple gold project in Nevada, one of the most desirable mining jurisdictions in the world.

That’s one example of interesting news. There was no shortage: companies arrived at PDAC armed with new drill results, property deals, exploration plans, financings and resource estimates.

Deal flow was the most exciting part. I go through three new deals below (Silver Standard buying Claude, Endeavour buying True Gold and Lundin moving on Timok), but financings were also hot. Pretium raised US$130 million, Franco pulled in an oversubscribed US$920 million and Kinross raised US$250 million. I like to see money moving. This sector seizes up otherwise.

No wonder PDAC-ers were pumped. Or cautiously optimistic, in the very least…. Continue reading this article on SmallCapPower.com.

Week in review

January 25th, 2013

A mining and exploration retrospect for January 19 to 25, 2013

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Canadian company’s employees still held hostage in Colombia

Kidnappers continue to hold five workers abducted from Braeval Mining’s TSX:BVL Snow Mine project in Colombia. According to a Thursday story in Colombia Reports, two Colombian hostages are being held separately from two Peruvians and a Canadian. The government has offered a cash reward while the army said it has 2,700 soldiers searching for the victims.

A Monday Colombia Reports article said soldiers had arrested three of the 20 to 25 kidnappers. The story gave the victims’ names as Canadian Jernoc Wobert, Peruvians Jose Manami and Javier Ochoa, and Colombians William Batista and Manuel Francisco Zabaleta.

Rebels abducted them on January 18 in northern Colombia’s Bolivar department. Among grievances cited by the kidnappers, the National Liberation Army (ELN) listed unequal distribution of mining rights, stated Colombia Reports.

Most Mali operations safe so far

A mining and exploration retrospect

“If you are still in Mali, you should leave immediately,” Canada’s Foreign Affairs department warned on Sunday. But Tuesday’s Toronto Star reported that work continues in most of southwestern Mali’s mining operations while French-led forces battle rebels hundreds of kilometres away. Over 15 Canadian exploration and mining companies operate in the country although some, especially in the northeast, have suspended work.

Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV Neil Woodyer described the turmoil as “part of the nature of the beast, as far as we’re concerned, being miners.” But his company’s properties, like most of Mali’s advanced-stage projects and operating mines, are in the southwest.

Mali is Africa’s third-largest gold-mining country, the Star reported. According to a 2008 estimate cited by the CBC, about 17% of the country’s government revenue comes from gold mining.

BCSC finds sloppy disclosures an ongoing problem

NI 43-101 regulations govern not only news releases and technical reports but also company Web sites, speeches, corporate presentations and other communications considered to be voluntary disclosures. But that fact sometimes slips the minds of company officials.

Of a sample of companies reviewed by the British Columbia Securities Commission between 2009 and 2012, only half met 43-101 standards in their voluntary disclosures. According to the BCSC 2012 Mining Report released Thursday, the problem is especially apparent when reporting PEA results, historic estimates, quality control, lab procedures and identifying the qualified person who takes responsibility for the information.

Yet compliance in non-voluntary disclosures is hardly reassuring. Only 65% of companies made the 43-101 grade. PEAs were especially problematic, flunking out in more than half of all cases for both voluntary and compulsory disclosures. A lack of cautionary language was the most frequent reason.

Non-compliant data verification, resource and reserve estimates, pre‐feas and feasibility studies also raised concerns. A common problem with resource estimates was totalling all categories instead of segregating the inferred numbers.

Among other monitoring activities, the commission targeted 82 companies between February 2011 and September 2012 that were selected because of “poor disclosure we observe in e-mail blasts, news releases and paid promotions on industry‐related Web sites,” the report stated.

Next Page 1 | 2

Week in review

December 14th, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for December 8 to 14, 2012

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

U.S. politicians ponder windfall royalties

The United States has joined the list of countries considering additional ways to mine miners, according to a Wednesday Reuters story. Some American politicians are talking about royalties as high as 12.5%, the same benchmark applied to certain other resources, including oil and gas.

Reuters said the proposal would get about $700 million during the lifespan of Freeport-McMoRan’s copper-molybdenum operations in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Last year alone, the royalty could have taken $150 million from Barrick’s TSX:ABX Goldstrike mine in Nevada, according to Reuters’ figures. Barrick told the news agency the company’s taxes have already jumped four-fold over five years.

Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva, a proponent of the 12.5% levy, sees it differently. “As we face these fiscal challenges, these are the pennies that we should pinch,” Reuters quoted him. Along with some other U.S. federal politicians, Grijalva also wants to review miners’ tax breaks.

Previous attempts to raise miners’ taxes have failed, Reuters stated, “as the industry has strong political allies.” The story added that “state and local governments often catch a windfall from mining revenue.”

Ivory Coast hikes taxes but overestimates profits, miner says

A mining and exploration retrospect

A new tax on Ivory Coast gold extraction underestimates cash costs by nearly 50%, according to at least one source. New legislation that applies to 2012 production assumes cash costs of $615 an ounce, Reuters stated on Friday. The tax on “profits” above that amount will fluctuate with the yellow metal’s price. At $1,600, that comes to 17%. The rate will be lower for companies that pay the country a corporate tax, the news agency added. Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow called the new levy, expected to raise $79.8 million, a “punitive tax,” Reuters said.

In a December 7 Bloomberg report, Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV spokesperson Nouho Kone said Ivory Coast gold production can actually cost between $1,000 and $1,200 an ounce. “The worst-case scenario would be to see companies shut down their mines in the short term,” he told Bloomberg. Reuters stated that Perseus Mining TSX:PRU put its $160-million Sissingue project on hold last September “pending clarification of the fiscal regime applicable to the project.”

Maybe Ghana too

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama’s re-election brings to mind his previous effort to impose a 10% tax on windfall profits, Monday’s Financial Post reported.

The government had already raised miners’ corporate taxes from 25% to 35% and imposed “a uniform regime for capital allowance of 20% for five years of mining,” the FP stated. But the government’s intended windfall tax had been shelved due to industry pressure, according to a Wednesday Reuters dispatch.

Reuters added that government discussions with gold miners are underway “to loosen up so-called ‘stability agreements’ held by some firms that lock in royalty and tax rates.” This year Ghana raised gold royalties from 3% to 5%, but the stability agreement exempted companies like AngloGold Ashanti and Newmont Mining TSX:NMC, the news agency stated.

Unions lose bid to block foreign workers from staffing B.C. mine

HD Mining International called it a “massive victory,” the Globe and Mail reported Friday. A federal court judge has allowed the company to import Chinese workers for its proposed Murray River coal mine in British Columbia. Two unions had applied for an injunction blocking the work permits after learning that HD Mining planned to staff its underground operation exclusively with Chinese workers—which would total over 400 at full production.

Next Page 1 | 2

Burkina bulletins

September 18th, 2012

A steady stream of gold news flows from west Africa

By Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

A poor country rich in gold. That contradiction might someday correct itself if mining can improve life for the people of Burkina Faso. Over the last six years several Canadian companies have explored its potential, among them Riverstone Resources TSXV:RVS. (Update: On February 25, 2013, Riverstone Resources Inc began trading as True Gold Mining Inc TSXV:TGM.) In what’s almost a weekly event, the company announced drill results September 17 from its Karma Gold Project.

Assay highlights from the Kao Deposit include

  • 9.5 grams per tonne gold over 12 metres
  • (including 33.6 g/t over 2 metres)
  • 2.02 g/t over 30 metres
  • (including 2.54 g/t over 18 metres)
  • 2.97 g/t over 14 metres
  • 13.45 g/t over 2 metres
  • 1.73 g/t over 12 metres
  • 3.21 g/t over 6 metres
  • 3.19 g/t over 4 metres
A steady stream of gold news flows from west Africa

Adversity notwithstanding, wide-ranging gold exploration
continues in Burkina Faso.

True widths are estimated between 90% and 100%. Depths extend to 260 metres, but most were less than 54 metres. The company states that its resource update, scheduled for release later this month, is expected to show an increase in more easily recoverable oxide resources.

Karma’s current estimate, issued last January, shows an indicated resource of 54.1 million tonnes grading 1.02 g/t gold for 1.77 million gold ounces and an inferred resource of 37.4 million tonnes grading 0.8 g/t for 959,000 ounces. Over 80% of the resource falls within five Whittle open pit shells. Over 85,000 metres of additional drilling will be incorporated into this month’s update.

On September 17 the company also filed the technical report for Karma’s PEA, which was announced last month. The study projects an initial capex of $125 million, which might be cut to $96 million through contract mining. The study also shows a pre-tax net present value of $271 million and a 47% internal rate of return, or an after-tax NPV of $192 million and a 37% IRR. Payback is estimated at two years.

The study examined three processing options, favouring a heap leach operation that would process three million tonnes of oxide and transition mineralization annually to produce 70,000 to 90,000 gold ounces a year over a 10-year life. Cash costs would come to $525 an ounce. Calculations are based on a gold price of $1,350 an ounce.

Next Page 1 | 2

Rich And Stable

April 20th, 2012

Abzu Has Two Potentially Big Gold Properties in Ghana

By Ted Niles

Investor opinion is divided on West Africa. On the one hand, it is a place of extraordinary mineral potential; on the other, it is a region with a high level of geopolitical risk. The March 22 coup by Mali’s military is only the latest example. But Peter Klipfel, President of Abzu Gold Ltd TSXV:ABS, has reason to believe that Mali is the exception in the region and that neighbouring Ghana is both rich in minerals and politically secure.

“For the last 15 years now, Ghana has had a very stable government and parliamentary process,” Klipfel reports. “You have an emerging middle class that has expectations of its country and society. They are an entrepreneurial bunch. And for the most part, what you see is a legitimate and fair rule of law and order. If there ever was an issue, I take faith in the fact that it would go a lot better than it might if you were somewhere like Venezuela.”

Abzu Has Two Potentially Big Gold Properties in Ghana

Klipfel is not alone in this opinion, for Ghana, Africa’s second-largest gold producer, is not short of players. The country has seen a steady influx of juniors over the last decade, and majors active there include Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, Kinross TSX:K and Newmont TSX:NMC. “If you look at Newmont,” Klipfel says, “they see the end coming someday for their Carlin Trend and some of their other deposits. For 10 years now, they’ve been pumping money into their Ahafo Project with the expectation that it is going to be their company maker in the future. That they’ll keep the company going strong from Ghana is, to me, a huge vote of confidence both in the country and its politics.”

Confidence that Abzu hopes to translate into success of its own. Abzu‘s properties in Ghana fall into two categories: concessions that it owns exclusively (six) and those that it holds in joint venture with Kinross Gold TSX:K (10). Of the 16, it has selected two for its flagship operations: Nangodi and Asafo, both highway-adjacent and with access to power and water.

The 142-square-kilometre Nangodi concession is located in the country’s north, on the Bole-Nangodi Belt—also host to Endeavour Mining’s TSX:EDV Youga Mine in Burkina Faso. An historical producer, Nangodi was acquired by Kinross when it bought out Red Back Mining in 2010. Abzu is currently earning a 51% interest in the property by spending $3 million over three years. “When we first picked up [Nangodi], it had the lowest hanging fruit available in terms of past work,” Klipfel says. “[It was] something we could sink our teeth into—get drill rigs going on and come up with what we thought would be good results.”

And that they’ve done. In 2011, the company undertook a 27-hole drill campaign, expanding on the 31 holes drilled in the 1990s by Australian miner Africwest Gold. Assays announced December 1, 2011, include

  • 1.91 grams per tonne gold over 44 metres (including 4.75 g/t over 15 metres)
  • 1.15 g/t over 73 metres (including 7.9 g/t over 4 metres)
  • 3.06 g/t over 10.7 metres
  • 1.99 g/t over 44.5 metres
  • 2.25 g/t over 24 metres
  • 1.61 g/t over 16 metres
  • 1.53 g/t over 66 metres (including 4.65 g/t over 15 metres)
  • 17.93 g/t over 3 metres
  • 41.6 g/t over 1 metre
  • 1 g/t over 12 metres

Klipfel comments, “We’ve expanded on the area that [Africwest] drilled and taken it from about a 600-metre zone to 1.2 kilometres—about 60-metres wide and drilled at a depth of 200 metres. Mineralization there is the sort that will go to great depths, like many of the other vein deposits in Ghana.”

The company believes that the deposit has “multimillion-ounce” potential. Klipfel explains, “You put a box around what we’ve defined so far—1,000 metres by 50 metres by 200 metres—at the grades we’re seeing, and that would give you two million ounces right there. That, of course, is our hope.” Ground geophysics and trenching work are ongoing at the site, and a minimum of 5,000 metres of drilling is planned to begin in June. An NI 43-101 resource estimate for Nangodi is expected to be released in 4Q.

Klipfel says that the company’s relationship with Kinross is good. “We’ve kept them apprised of things, and they’re happy with the work we’ve done. We’ve already exceeded the first-year expenditure [ie, $500,000], and we’re only eight months into the deal.”

Abzu‘s other flagship property—the 152-square-kilometre, 100%-owned Ahafo concession—is located in Ghana’s south on the eastern edge of the Kibi Belt. While not one of the company’s Kinross joint ventures, it too has a pedigree in that it was acquired and explored by Newmont in the early 2000s. On the basis of Newmont‘s work, plus their own geophysical work, Abzu determined three targets. A 13-hole drill program on the first of those targets returned October 20, 2011, assays including

We undertook 10,000-plus metres of drilling on four different campaigns in seven months last year. We went from blank pieces of paper to two flagship-level projects with multimillion-ounce potential —Peter Klipfel

  • 0.67 g/t over 20 metres
  • 4.08 g/t over 1 metre
  • 0.85 g/t over 12 metres
  • 0.6 g/t over 30 metres
  • 1.28 g/t over 3.5 metres
  • 4.72 g/t over 20 metres (including 62.2 g/t over 1.1 metres)

“We were jumping up and down for joy as far as a shotgun blast coming up with nine out of 13 holes with good intercepts,” Klipfel declares. “We’ve tagged on to something, and now we need to figure out what it is.” He believes that Ahafo, like Nangodi, has significant resource potential. However, before a resource estimate can be considered a trenching program and a further 4,000 metres of drilling in 2012 (planned for 2Q and 3Q respectively) are needed to better understand this project.

With about $1 million in the bank, Klipfel says that his company is due for a financing which will either be done publicly or by private placement “in the next month or so.” He continues, “We want to put about 50% of our effort and money into Nangodi, 35% into Asafo and 15% into the other [properties]. Hopefully, we can get another discovery going by the end of the year.”

Klipfel concludes, “I haven’t been able to be as aggressive about the exploration as I’d like early this year because we’re in budget-minded mode. We undertook 10,000-plus metres of drilling on four different campaigns in seven months last year. We went from blank pieces of paper to two flagship-level projects with multimillion-ounce potential. Including the joint venture with [Kinross], we’ve expanded our concessions from three to 16. I only hope our future allows us to grow like that and come up with goods like we have at Asafo and Nangodi.”

At press time, Abzu Gold had 59.2 million shares trading at $0.21 for a market cap of $12.4 million. Its other concessions in Ghana are located on the Sefwi, Asankrangwa and Ashanti Belts.

Disclaimer: Abzu Gold Ltd is a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Abzu Gold.