Saturday 14th December 2019

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Posts tagged ‘Eldorado Gold Corp (ELD)’

Site visits for sightseers III

July 26th, 2019

Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

by Greg Klein

Small local museums, historic mines, a major science centre and massive operations demonstrate the industry’s importance and also offer diversions for summer road trips. After covering Yukon and British Columbia in Part 1 and the prairie provinces in Part 2, our survey continues east through Ontario and Quebec. Omitted were museums not primarily devoted to mining, although many do include worthwhile mining memorabilia among other exhibits. Be sure to contact sites to confirm opening times, ask about footwear and other clothing requirements, and inquire about age restrictions if you have little ones in tow.

Part 4 covers the Atlantic provinces.


Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

One of many Dynamic Earth attractions
makes mining a family experience.
(Photo: Science North/Dynamic Earth)

Where better than Sudbury for a mining showcase of global stature? Dynamic Earth visitors can don hard hats to tour a demonstration mine seven storeys below surface, or virtual reality headsets to mingle with imaginary miners and gargantuan equipment. Other simulations provide aspiring miners with training on mining equipment and rescue operations. Films, multimedia and interactive exhibits enhance the experience. Much more than a museum, this is an exposition of mining’s past, present and future, with enough attractions to justify repeat visits.

Located at 122 Big Nickel Road, Sudbury. Open daily 10:00 to 6:00 until September 2, then reduced hours until September 29. Reopens for Halloween events on October 4


Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Cobalt’s silver heritage comes alive in the Colonial Adit Tour.
(Photo: Town of Cobalt)

Despite the recent speculative boom sparked by the town’s namesake mineral, Cobalt’s largely a relic of the past—or a collection of relics strewn about the town and surrounding countryside. And it was silver, not cobalt, that made this town so important to Canadian mining history. To experience that history, check out the Cobalt Mining Museum, with seven galleries that include the world’s largest display of native silver. Take a guided tour of the Colonial underground mine, and self-guided tours that show off a nearby route hosting 19 mining-related sites and the town itself, which sometimes looks like a movie setting in search of a movie.

Located at 24 Silver Street, Cobalt. Open daily 10:00 to 4:00 until September 2, then Tuesday to Friday 11:00 to 3:00 during fall and winter. Call 705-679-8301 to book the one-hour Colonial Adit Tour.


Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Visitors find themselves engrossed in Red Lake’s mining story.
(Photo: Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre)

After the 1926 rush that spawned something like 29 mines, the town’s still churning out yellow metal at one of Canada’s largest gold operations. In recognition, the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre’s permanent exhibit presents Beneath It All: Red Lake’s Mining Story, with displays, films and audio clips.

Located at 51A Highway #105, Red Lake. Open Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00 year-round, also open summer Saturdays 10:00 to 4:00 until August 31.


Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

A former mica mine, Silver Queen can evoke a sense of wonder.
(Photo: Ontario Parks)

About 115 crow-flying klicks southwest of Ottawa, the Silver Queen Mine was one of hundreds of operations in a world centre of mica production. Visitors to Murphys Point Provincial Park can descend 20 metres underground and also check out an open pit on either guided or self-guided trips.

Tours leave from the Lally Homestead at Murphys Point, off Highway #21. Guided trips take place Wednesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. and Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m., self-guided tours from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Sundays until September 1. Call 613-267-5060 for reservations, fall hours and other info.



Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Tourists explore Lamaque’s birthplace in the valley of gold.
(Photo: Corporation du Village minier de Bourlamaque)

This might be the best place to begin an historical pilgrimage to Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Just over a kilometre southwest of Eldorado Gold’s Lamaque and on the eastern edge of Val-d’Or sits la Cité de l’Or, with the original Lamaque mine and Bourlamaque Mining Village. A four-hour tour takes visitors 91 metres underground before viewing a number of surface buildings, while an express two-hour tour explores the underground mine and a laboratory. An audio guide tour also covers the town, with still-occupied 1930s to ’40s-era log houses and a 1949 home-turned-museum. La Cité also offers Gold in our Veins, a permanent exhibit about mining life and, en français seulement, a geocaching rally.

Located at 90 avenue Perrault, Val-d’Or. Open daily 8:00 to 5:30 to August 31, Wednesday to Sunday 8:30 to 5:00 in September, Thursday to Sunday 8:30 to 3:00 in October. Phone to inquire about off-season visits from November to May. Call 819-825-1274 or toll-free 1-855-825-1274 for tour reservations and other info.


Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Malartic’s sheer scale can be appreciated from an observation deck.
(Photo: Abitibi-Témiscamingue Mineralogical Museum)

Twenty-five kilometres west of Val-d’Or, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Mineralogical Museum offers displays about regional geology and mining, and interactive exhibits as well as tours to one of the world’s largest gold producers, the Agnico Eagle/Yamana Gold Canadian Malartic mine, a technological marvel with some really big machines rumbling around.

Located at 650 rue de la Paix, Malartic. Open Tuesday to Sunday until September. Call 819-757-4677 for opening hours and reservations.


Watch as molten copper flows at Glencore’s Horne smelter in Rouyn-Noranda. Guides lead visitors through a museum and into the heart of one of the world’s most specialized plants.

Located at 1 Carter Avenue, Rouyn-Noranda. Tours begin Monday to Sunday at 9:00, 10:30, 1:30 and 3:00 until mid-August. Call 819-797-3195 or 1-888-797-3195 for reservations. Not suitable for pregnant women.


Travel Ontario and Quebec one mining destination at a time

Visitors get in the spirit at Thetford Mines.
(Photo: Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines)

About 107 kilometres south of Quebec City in a building sheathed with an asbestos-cement coating, le Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines depicts the history, geology and mineralogy of an area where mining began in 1876. Tours take visitors around buildings, open pits and mountains of tailings left over from the now-banned practice of asbestos extraction.

Located at 711 Frontenac Boulevard West (Highway #112), Thetford Mines. Open daily 9:00 to 5:00 to September 2, off season Tuesday to Friday 9:00 to 4:00, weekends 1:00 to 5:00. Summer mine tours begin at 1:30. Call 418-335-2123 for reservations.


One of three nearby former copper producers in the Eastern Townships, the Capelton Mine welcomes visitors to an operation that lasted from 1863 to 1907. One tour travels by wagon to the mine entrance, another offers a gold panning experience. Additional attractions include a small museum and a bike path through the mine site.

Located at 5800 Capelton Road (Highway #108), North Hatley. Call 819-346-9545 or 1-888-346-9545 for reservations.

See Part 1 about Yukon and British Columbia, Part 2 about the prairie provinces and Part 4 about the Atlantic provinces.

Goldcorp credits artificial intelligence with forecasting first-hole results

November 27th, 2018

by Greg Klein | November 27, 2018

Assays are pending but IBM’s Watson AI technology has already helped human geologists choose drill locations “with the first target yielding the predicted mineralization at the expected depth,” Goldcorp TSX:G announced. Drilling continues at other AI-suggested spots on the northwestern Ontario Red Lake project.

Goldcorp credits AI with forecasting first-hole results

Goldcorp hopes a joint AI/human program
will extend Red Lake’s mine life. (Photo: Goldcorp)

Having collaborated with IBM since 2017, the miner said Watson scrutinized previous info using spatial analytics, machine learning and predictive models “to develop geological extrapolations in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional methods.” The project’s data bank goes back 80 years.

“We are using accelerated computing power for complex geospatial queries that can harmonize geological data from an entire site on a single platform,” stated IBM Canada partner Mark Fawcett. “This is the first time this solution has been ever used, which makes this project all the more significant.”

Earlier this month Goldcorp’s use of AI won an Ingenious Award from the Information Technology Association of Canada in recognition of “excellence and innovation in the use of information and communications technology.” At the time Goldcorp noted that geologists “could spend up to 80% of their analytical time searching for and preparing data, and only 20% interpreting and analyzing the data. Watson’s big advantage over conventional computer systems is its ability to ingest and process massive amounts of data faster and more accurately than conventional systems.”

Having given up 29 million gold ounces since 1949, Red Lake currently hosts proven and probable reserves totalling 2.17 million ounces. Two underground operations on the complex are expected to produce 235,000 ounces this year. But the company emphasized Watson’s potential for finding new areas of mineralization on the 42,000-hectare property.

Along with other sponsors, Goldcorp presents the third annual #DisruptMining award on March 3 at PDAC. The winning proposal brings its technological innovator a US$1-million investment or contract. Last year’s winner was Acoustic Zoom, a geophysics company specializing in innovative seismic work. Two companies shared the previous year’s prize, with Cementation Canada getting the $650,000 portion for a process of transporting ore to surface using a pump-driven pipeline loop. KORE Geosystems won the remainder for its proposal to apply AI to geoscientific data.

#DisruptMining was preceded by the Online Gold Rush Challenge hosted by Integra Gold (since taken over by Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD) at PDAC in 2016. SGS Geostat won $500,000 for its innovative analysis of 75 years of data from Integra’s Sigma/Lamaque project in Quebec’s Abitibi region.

Goldcorp president/CEO David Garofalo has told PDAC, “In the future, every mining company will be a technology company.”

‘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.

Over 1,000 jobs threatened as Eldorado Gold calls for “rule of law” in Greece

January 12th, 2016

by Greg Klein | January 12, 2016

Saying a three-year building permit delay reflects a much wider problem, Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD on January 11 once again threatened to suspend its Greek projects. The company now wants a clear commitment to due process before it invests more money in the country.

Over 600 employees and contractors will lose their jobs with the suspension of the advanced-stage Skouries gold-copper project, where the company has already sunk around US$300 million. Another 500 jobs at Olympias, a gold-silver-lead-zinc past-producer also on northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula, depend on an installation permit arriving in Q1. As for the nearby Stratoni silver-lead-zinc mine, Eldorado “will continue to evaluate our investments.” Its other northern Greece projects remain on care and maintenance due to two-year delays over an environmental decision for Perama Hill and a drill permit for the Sapes project.

Over 1,000 jobs threatened as Eldorado Gold calls for rule of law in Greece

Among investments to be reconsidered is a possible
US$25-million drill campaign to extend Stratoni’s life expectancy.
(Photo: Eldorado Gold)

The company says its decisions result from “actions and/or inactions of the ministry and other agencies regarding the timely issuance of routine permits and licences, which is not only a legal responsibility but also a contractual obligation of the Greek state.”

Stratoni is one of Eldorado’s six operating mines, along with two gold producers in western Turkey and three more in China. An iron ore mine in Brazil remains on care and maintenance. The 95%-held Stratoni’s mine life is down to three years but the company suggested a US$25-million drill program could extend that lifespan.

A five-week suspension of all Halkidiki projects last autumn ended with a court injunction that temporarily overruled a ministry of energy and environment order that Eldorado move its metallurgical tests from Finland to Greece.

But now Eldorado says not even a court decision ordering the Skouries building permit would be “sufficient for us to go back to Skouries and hire everybody back,” president/CEO Paul Wright told a January 12 conference call. He insisted the company needs to see “this government coming to grips with the fact that this is something that’s good for society … and that they have a contractual obligation to fulfill their role. And we’re going to need to see that manifested in behaviour patterns and results from the government before we’re prepared to go back at this…. We’re no longer prepared to advance our project under the protective cover of the judiciary.”

Opposition to Eldorado’s projects have resulted in large demonstrations as well as vandalism and violence. But the company claims the support of most Halkidiki residents.

Eldorado last threatened to shut down its Greek operations in August, just as an election was called. The incumbent, anti-austerity Syriza party won enough seats to form another coalition government. Eldorado’s January 11 announcement precedes a January 13 meeting with the ministry of energy. Wright declined to say what would be discussed or whether the meeting affected the timing of his announcement.

The company promised additional capital and operating figures with its 2015 results and 2016 guidance, to be released January 25.

Eldorado Gold’s Grexit?

August 20th, 2015

As the country goes to the polls, the company issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

by Greg Klein

Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD isn’t mincing its words this time. The miner “cannot and will not continue to allocate expenditures to our projects in Greece while the Ministry of Energy is openly hostile to our activities,” declared CEO Paul Wright late August 20. The day’s top Greek story had been the government’s resignation and an impending election set for September. Now the suspension and possible termination of maybe 5,000 direct and indirect jobs add another dimension to the country’s economic crisis.

Eldorado says it acted in response to the previous day’s directive from the Ministry of Energy, which ordered suspension of pilot-scale metallurgical studies at a Finland facility. According to Eldorado, the ministry argued the tests should be conducted at a company site in Greece. Eldorado vowed to fight the decision through a court injunction.

As the country goes to the polls, the miner issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

Although Halkidiki mining dates back to antiquity, Eldorado’s
greenfield Skouries project has become a flashpoint for opposition.
(Photo: Eldorado Gold)

The ministry’s action was the latest in a number of government shots at the company. It followed court decisions just one week earlier which Eldorado said confirmed its right to forestry land and site clearing rights at the Skouries gold-copper project in northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula.

The region hosts three Eldorado assets, known as the Kassandra mines, within an approximately 10-kilometre radius. Activities at all three—including an active mine—are to be suspended next week. Failing satisfactory resolution of the Ministry of Energy dispute, Eldorado warns, the suspension will become a termination.

Eldorado’s 95%-held Skouries was to begin commissioning as an open pit in Q1 2017, followed by underground development. The company reckoned on a mine life of 27 years.

Its 95%-held Olympias is a past-producing underground gold operation with “significant amounts of silver, lead and zinc.” Ore processing was to begin next year, followed by ramp-up on completion of an eight-kilometre tunnel to a new mill. Eldorado estimated Olympias’ lifespan at 25 years.

Stratoni, an underground silver-lead-zinc mine, had about four years left to its life expectancy, ending a history said to date back to Alexander the Great.

As the country goes to the polls, the miner issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

Three Halkidiki projects, including an operating mine,
face suspension and possible termination.
(Map: Eldorado Gold)

North of Halkidiki lies Eldorado’s Perama Hill gold-silver deposit, a potential open pit that passed its preliminary environmental impact assessment (EIA) in 2012.

All the Halkidiki projects come under the same EIA. That’s Eldorado’s rationale for suspending all three, even though the previous day’s government directive concerned only Skouries and Olympias.

How can a country with such a long history of mining and an embattled economy turn “hostile” to the industry?

Much of the opposition focuses on Skouries, a greenfields project in Halkidiki’s wooded hill country. The governing Syriza party made its objections clear last February, one month after gaining office. That’s when the government revoked construction approval for Skouries’ processing plant. But complaints began well before Eldorado entered the region with its 2012 acquisition of European Goldfields.

Additionally, the country’s recurring anti-austerity demonstrations suggest a climate of protest that might be considered when media attributed a 2013 Thessalonika demo to 10,000 opponents of Eldorado. Only about 20,000 people live in Halkidiki, according to the company.

The region consists of 16 villages grouped within the Municipality of Aristotle, 11 of which “are openly pro-mining and so are the majority of the local residents,” Eldorado insists. Thessalonika, the country’s second-largest city, lies some distance to the west. To the east sits the semi-autonomous republic of Athos, home to several Orthodox monasteries and a site of pilgrimage.

As the country goes to the polls, the miner issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

East of the Kassandra mines, the monastic republic
of Athos draws pilgrims from around the world.
(Photo: Greg Klein)

An Agence France-Presse story posted by the Globe and Mail last April depicted one village where the controversy has set “neighbours and even family members at each others’ throats.” The article reported outbreaks of vandalism and firebombing hitting Eldorado property and a police station, as well as vandalism attacks against both supporters and opponents of the mines.

Opponents have no monopoly on demos, either. Thousands of angry employees protested in Athens last April, according to a Reuters dispatch in the Financial Post.

Although Eldorado’s August 20 decision threw thousands out of work just hours after the election was called, the company’s announcement made no mention of the election. By press time COO Paul Skayman hadn’t responded to a interview request. The company was unable to indicate when its court injunction might be heard.

While environmental concerns can never be shrugged off, the Greek economy stands to lose a great deal. Eldorado says it put over US$450 million into Skouries and Olympias since 2012. The government has so far pulled in over €50 million in payroll taxes, according to the company. Should the projects continue, the state would get another €1 billion in direct taxes over the next 20 years. The company would become one of Greece’s top exporters “with annual export revenues of approximately US$500 million per year depending on metal prices.”

Obviously the projects would benefit Eldorado too. Its Greek assets contain proven and probable reserves totalling approximately 8.9 million gold ounces, more than a third of the company’s global reserves of about 26 million ounces.

Gold stocks slaughtered, Barrick drops 10%

October 31st, 2013

by Frik Els | October 31, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

The gold price slid more than $24 or 2% an ounce on October 31 to a week low of $1,323 after the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled it may cut back its stimulus program sooner than thought and Chinese demand for the metal waned.

After a fightback from near three-year lows below $1,200 struck at the end of June, gold’s momentum now seems to have turned negative again with gold stocks sold off heavily on a relatively modest fall in the price of the metal.

By the October 31 close Barrick Gold TSX:ABX had lost 5.9%, after announcing results that were in line with expectations and the suspension of its troubled Pascua Lama project on the border between Chile and Argentina.

The world’s number one miner of the precious metal followed up after hours with more damaging news. The Toronto-based miner announced it is raising $3 billion by issuing 163.5 million common shares at $18.35 per share.

Barrick is now worth $19.4 billion, down 44% so far this year and nowhere near its $54-billion market value a mere two years ago.

Investors duly marked down the stock again with the counter shedding an additional 5.7% to $18.31 in after-hours trade in New York, wiping more than $2 billion off the value of the company on the day.

Barrick is now worth $19.4 billion, down 44% so far this year and nowhere near its $54-billion market value a mere two years ago.

Newmont Mining NYE:NEM, with a market value of $13.5 billion, escaped the worst of it, down 2.8% in regular trading and trading slightly to the upside after hours, after announcing profits up 11% despite a fall in revenue.

Attributable gold production rose 4% to 1.28 million ounces, while attributable copper output decreased 3% to 34 million pounds during the third quarter at the Denver-based company.

The world’s third-largest gold producer behind Newmont, AngloGold Ashanti NYE:AU was one of the worst performers of October 31. The Johannesburg-based company’s ADRs listed in New York slid 6.7% on October 31 and the value of the company has now halved this year.

Fellow South African miner Gold Fields NYE:GFI, the worst performer among the gold majors this year, gave up 4.4% in New York. The world’s fourth-largest gold producer has had its value slashed 63% in 2013, with investors punishing it for its contrarian purchase of high-cost mines amid the slump.

Goldcorp TSX:G, expected to produce around 2.5 million ounces of gold this year, declined 3.9%. The Vancouver-based company retained the top spot as the most valuable gold stock, with a Toronto big board market capitalization of $21.6 billion.

Toronto’s Kinross Gold TSX:K managed to hold above a $6-billion value despite losing 5.3% on the day. Investors in the company are nursing a $5-billion loss in market cap this year after Kinross, like all the majors, took multi-billion charges against the value of its operations.

Canada’s second-tier gold miners also suffered a loss of confidence from gold investors, giving up much of the gains of recent weeks.

Yamana Gold TSX:YRI skid 3.4%, Agnico Eagle Mines’ TSX:AEM losses were fairly modest at 2.5% while Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD declined 5.1% and IAMGOLD TSX:IMG dropped 5.3%.

Reprinted by permission of

Investors pile back into gold stocks, Goldcorp up $2 billion in a week

October 22nd, 2013

by Frik Els | October 22, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Investors pile back into gold stocks, Goldcorp up $2 billion in a week

Good day for the gold team. Photo: Perpetual Tourist

The gold price jumped more than $20 or 1.8% an ounce on October 22 to a three-week high above $1,340 after disappointing U.S. economic data.

The much weaker-than-expected employment numbers in the U.S. convinced gold buyers that any reduction in economic stimulus by the Federal Reserve will come later rather than sooner.

With positive sentiment returning to the gold market, investors took the chance to jump back into mining stocks which have been decimated by the 20% retreat in the price of the metal this year.

On October 22 Barrick Gold TSX:ABX shot up 4.8%, scaling the $20-billion market value for the first time in a month.

The Vancouver-based company has jumped more than $2 billion in market value over the past week and is now worth $21.3 billion.

The world’s number one miner of the precious metal has added more than $5 billion in market value since hitting 21-year lows early July.

Barrick is now worth $20.5 billion on the TSX, still down 41% so far this year amid an aggressive divestment and cost-cutting drive that is beginning to bear fruit.

Newmont Mining NYE:NEM, with a market value of $14.1 billion, added 3.5%. The company recently cut predictions for its copper output, but gold production targets remain unchanged at 4.8 million to 5.1 million ounces for the year.

The Denver-based company has not escaped the carnage in the gold sector and is down 38% this year.

The world’s third-largest gold producer behind Newmont, AngloGold Ashanti NYE:AU was one of the best performers on October 22. The Johannesburg-based company’s ADRs listed in New York gained 9% to a four-month high, but are still trading down 48% this year.

Fellow South African miner Gold Fields NYE:GFI, which is the worst performer among the gold majors this year, jumped 5% in New York. The world’s fourth-largest gold producer has had its value slashed 62% in 2013 with investors punishing it for its contrarian purchase of high-cost mines amid the slump.

Goldcorp TSX:G, expected to produce around 2.5 million ounces of gold this year, jumped 4.9%, helping retain its top spot as the most valuable gold stock.

The Vancouver-based company has jumped more than $2 billion in market value over the past week and is now worth $21.3 billion.

Toronto’s Kinross Gold TSX:K scaled the $6-billion mark, gaining 3.3% but investors in the company are still nursing a $5-billion loss in market cap this year after Kinross, like all the majors, took multi-billion-dollar charges against the value of its operations.

Australia’s Newcrest Mining declined 0.5% on the Sydney bourse, missing out on the gold price rally in New York. The Melbourne-based company earlier this month ousted its CEO and chairman after its August results showed an AU$5.6-billion loss.

Canada’s second-tier gold miners also enjoyed a rerating with Yamana Gold TSX:YRI adding 4.6%, Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM jumping more than 4.7%, Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD advancing 3.8% and IAMGOLD TSX:IMG upping its value 4.5%.

Reprinted by permission of

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.

Reprinted by permission of

Tapping the Tapajos

August 3rd, 2011

Magellan Expands Two Brazil Gold Fields

By Ted Niles

It’s always a good sign when a project has promising neighbours. As with Magellan Minerals, whose Cuiú Cuiú property is located 25 kilometres northwest of Eldorado Gold’s Tocantinzinho deposit. Tocantinzinho currently has proven and probable gold reserves of 1.98 million ounces and is anticipated to begin production in late 2014. An even better sign, in this case, is that Magellan’s President and CEO, Alan Carter, and VP of Business Development Dennis Moore were themselves the ones who discovered Tocantinzinho—indeed, they retain a 3.5% Net Smelter Royalty on the project. As Carter remarks, “We know this part of the world quite well.”

Cuiú Cuiú, and Magellan’s other advanced gold project, Coringa, are both situated in Brazil’s prolific Tapajos region in Para State. “We’ve spent a lot of time and energy and effort screening literally hundreds of gold prospects in Brazil,” Carter says, “and these are two of the best that we’ve come across.”

Magellan Expands Two Brazil Gold Fields

Because Tapajos is located in the remote Amazon Basin, the region has historically been exploited entirely by artisanal miners. Carter declares, “The Tapajos region is the largest placer-gold field in Brazil and the third largest placer gold field in the world. Cuiú Cuiú itself is one of the two largest placer fields within that part of Brazil, so it’s produced an awful lot of gold.” Between the years 1972 and 1992 the Tapajos region was the site of one of the largest historical gold rushes, with Cuiú Cuiú producing up to 2 million ounces. Since then, the area has drawn the interest of giants Barrick Gold, Rio Tinto and Kinross Gold, as well as several juniors.

Cuiú Cuiú currently has a mineral resource estimate of 100,000 ounces gold indicated and 1.2 million ounces inferred. “The gold-in-soil anomaly at Cuiú Cuiú is now 12 kilometres long,” says Carter, “and that’s based on 10,000 soil samples. And there are large parts of that anomaly that have not been tested yet, so we expect to find additional deposits there.”

He continues, “We’ve got three rigs turning on the property right now, and all the drilling we’re doing this year is step-out drilling. We’re looking for extensions and new deposits in the immediate vicinity of the existing deposits there. We’re hoping to update the resource in 1Q 2012.”

July 21 assays of the Cuiú Cuiú project include 8.44 g/t gold over 7.8 metres, 58.7 g/t over 0.5 metres, 30.2 g/t over 0.5 metres, 0.51 g/t over 18.9 metres and 0.7 g/t over 10.3 metres. May 12 assays included 0.76 g/t gold over 17 metres, 0.53 g/t over 53.4 metres, 4.06 g/t over 24 metres (including 85.5 g/t over 1 metre), 0.73 g/t over 15 metres and 0.55 g/t over 13.5 metres.

There were 20 million to 30 million ounces of placer gold that came out of the Tapajos region. What we’re doing is looking for the source of that gold —Alan Carter

Magellan’s 235-square-kilometre Coringa project—located 200 kilometres southeast of Cuiú Cuiú—is apparently the smaller of the two properties but, according to Carter, more advanced. “We already have a scoping study done at Coringa on a relatively small resource of about 370,000 ounces—but the average grade on that is 9 grams per tonne,” he relates. “And the scoping study was very positive. It was done about 18 months ago, assuming a gold price of $950—so obviously things have changed a lot since then. We have a mineralized shear zone there which is 10 kilometres long. Our resources are confined to three very small parts of that, and we keep finding new zones all the time. I’d be very surprised if Coringa does not increase in size by several times. I’m not talking about a 20% or 30% increase, I’m talking several hundred percent larger than it already is.”

Carter adds, “The idea for Coringa next year is to update the resource and then complete a feasibility study by the end of 2012. We won’t get the feasibility study done on Cuiú Cuiú yet, but the idea there would be to at least start a scoping study in 2012. But the immediate objective for 1Q of next year for both projects is to update the resources.”

The Midas Letter’s James West said of Magellan in 2009 that it was “perfectly positioned to become the next target of a mid-tier to senior level joint-venture partnership.” Two years later, no such partnership has materialized, but its positioning seems no less ideal. “Either we take the project all the way through to production, or at some point we might consider some sort of arrangement,” Carter says. “There were 20 million to 30 million ounces of placer gold that came out of the Tapajos region. What we’re doing is looking for the source of that gold. It’s probably multiple sources, but we’ve got a couple of those in Coringa and Cuiú Cuiú, and we think we’re going to find other ones.”

At press time, Magellan Minerals has 109.4 million shares outstanding at $0.83 for a market cap of $90.8 million.

Beyond Eldorado

August 2nd, 2011

Oro Uses Sound to Find Mexico Gold

By Greg Klein

Whether it was supposed to be a land, a lake, the mother of all motherlodes, a city or even a person covered in glittering raiment, the El Dorado myth has fascinated us since the time of the Conquistadors. Now, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, junior explorer Oro Mining plans to go into production where giant Eldorado Gold Corp pulled out.

“We’re on to a discovery at the Trinidad Property,” says Oro President Darren Bahrey. “We’re drilling the Taunus Deposit, which was previously mined by Eldorado in the late 1990s. After they left, the ground became available, and we staked this abandoned open-pit mine. Essentially, Eldorado was just scratching the surface. They mined around 90,000 ounces, something like that. It was based on just vertical RC drilling, relatively shallow. We came in around 2006 or 2007 and staked it. We realized that there’s more there, especially when we made a major discovery below the zone they called the Eldorado Zone, the zone that they mined.”

Oro Uses Sound to Find Mexico Gold

Oro’s discovery didn’t come easily. It was, as Bahrey states, “one of the more complicated deposits I’ve come across. And this one’s not just complicated geologically, but technically as well—try to drill this thing.” A few years of reverse-circulation and diamond drilling brought up broken, clay-rich material. “The gold is free and fine, so it’s washing away,” he recalls.

So Oro turned to a new technique—sonic drilling. (For a demo video, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.) “We’re one of the first companies to use this as an exploration tool,” Bahrey says. “It’s just based on vibration; you’re not using any fluids. You’re vibrating the tube down and pulling up the material. This is the tool to use on this deposit because you’re not losing any of the gold.”

For example, one set of assay results released May 5 show that sonic drilling in the Eldorado Zone found an average grade of 2.6 grams per tonne gold over 12.7 metres, compared to nearby, previously drilled RC holes averaging 1.1 g/t over 13.5 metres.

July 21 assays included 4.07 g/t over 32 metres, 8.07 g/t over 12.7 metres, 3.37 g/t over 25.6 metres and 0.83 g/t over 72.4 metres. May 18 results included 2.24 g/t over 54.3 metres (including 5.04 over 20.9 metres), while May 5 highlights included 2 g/t over 166.6 metres (including 7.7 g/t over 24.6 metres), 4.6 g/t over 29 metres, 3.7 g/t over 20 metres and 2.5 g/t over 28 metres.

“Our most recent results are good news—32 metres of 4.07 g/t,” Bahrey comments. “That’s pretty good grade. It will definitely add to the model. It just confirms that there’s more down there at depth, and that will just keep adding to what we’ve found already.”

The property’s resource estimate shows 3.87 million tonnes grading 1.51 g/t at a 0.3 g/t cut-off for 187,000 gold ounces indicated and 2.54 million tonnes grading 1.45 g/t at a 0.3 g/t cut-off for 118,000 gold ounces inferred. The estimate was released January 6, prior to this year’s 5,000-metre sonic-drilling campaign.

I still think we’re one of the best-kept secrets in the market. The market doesn’t know us yet. That will soon change —Darren Bahrey

According to Bahrey, Oro’s plan is firm: “Let’s go mining.” For that purpose, the company brought in new blood. John Brownlie, former CEO of Capital Gold Corp and a mine builder with “a track record to make things happen pretty fast and at low cost” became Oro CEO and COO in October. In April, Capital Gold’s General Manager of Mexico Operations Marco Antonio Galindo became Oro’s VP of Operations. They joined a team that includes Oro Executive VP Frank Powell, formerly Africa exploration manager for Placer Dome, and Bahrey, Oro’s founder and a geologist with 20 years’ experience in Mexico and Central America.

“This is a group that’s been involved in major discoveries, like over 10-million-ounce discoveries during the Placer Dome days in the 1990s,” Bahrey says. “They’ve taken projects from discovery stage all the way to prefeasibility. Now that we’ve attracted John and Marco, we’re a complete package. We’ve scheduled 2012 for a PEA and 2013 for breaking ground.” The company currently projects a mine producing 40,000 to 60,000 gold ounces a year.

Trinidad is one of several Oro projects. “We have an extensive portfolio in Mexico, close to 3,000 square kilometres. So I guess we can be considered a land baron out there,” Bahrey quips.

In Zacatecas State, Oro’s 2,750-hectare El Compas Project has a January 2011 resource estimate of 524,000 tonnes grading 4.38 g/t gold and 65.5 g/t silver containing 74,000 gold ounces and 1.1 million silver ounces indicated, and 419,000 tonnes grading 3.98 g/t gold and 47.5 g/t silver containing 54,000 gold ounces and 641,000 silver ounces inferred. Back in Sinaloa State, the 8,100-hectare Cimarron Project has an inferred estimate of 3.7 million tonnes grading 0.65 g/t gold for 77,000 gold ounces.

At press time Oro had 120.6 million shares outstanding at $0.315 per share for a market cap of $38 million. As of June, the company had $7 million cash on hand. Institutions hold about 50% of shares and insiders 8%.

Despite Oro’s modest share price, Bahrey remains confident. “I still think we’re one of the best-kept secrets in the market,” he says. “The market doesn’t know us yet. That will soon change.”