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Posts tagged ‘Gran Colombia Gold Corp (GCM)’

Risk Vs Reward

February 6th, 2012

Miners Calibrate the Costs of Operating in Lawless Lands

By Greg Klein

Part 1 of this story here

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is famously rich in mineral deposits. It is also notorious for destitution, corruption, sectarian violence, child soldiers and atrocities. Last November, election violence forced African Metals TSXV:AFR to evacuate expatriate personnel constructing its Luisha South Copper-Cobalt Property in Katanga Province. The workers have since returned following the re-election of Joseph Kabila, although his record of expropriation can hardly be reassuring to miners. Luisha’s plant is slated for production early this year.

Last October, in South Kivu Province, on the DRC’s eastern border with Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, Banro Corp TSX:BAA opened the country’s first gold mine in 50 years. Banro plans to use cash flow from the Twangiza Mine to open a second operation within 18 months, the Namoya Gold Mine in Maniema Province, immediately east of South Kivu.

Miners Calibrate the Costs of Operating in Lawless Lands

Both provinces have suffered some of the country’s worst atrocities, including mass rapes by soldiers. However, Banro IR Manager Naomi Nemeth emphasizes, “We are not one of the pockets of disturbances that you do see in the northeast. The area that we’re in, having no incidents over the last however-many years, is not a concern. We have successfully built a mine, gotten it into production and built a road to it with no incidents. I don’t think we would expect them to start at this point.

“We have the same level of security there that we’d have anywhere,” she continues. “We don’t have anything over and above what we’ve always had during construction and early production. We hire a mine security service; they’re a Congo firm.”

Security is just one approach. Like Gran Colombia TSX:GCM and other companies, Banro also employs a hearts-and-minds strategy. Since 2005, its registered charity, the Banro Foundation, has built schools for 3,300 students, promoted adult literacy, funded a women’s health centre and provided infrastructure, including a hydroelectricity rehabilitation project.

Alex van Hoeken has worked in the DRC for 12 years. Now President/CEO of Kilo Goldmines TSXV:KGL, he says, “I know my way around; I’ve got my network; my wife is a lawyer there. I’m quite comfortable. It’s not the easiest place to work, but if you know your way around, it’s doable.”

Kilo holds a 71.25% interest in the Somituri Gold Project, with the remainder held by local companies. The drilling program takes place in Orientale Province, bordering the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Uganda in the DRC’s northeast corner.

Kilo’s DRC work has just received a vote of confidence from Rio Tinto, a joint-venture partner along with Suez Holdings Ltd, in the Isiro Iron Ore Project, also in Orientale Province. Last December, Rio acquired a 15% interest from Suez and, one year ahead of schedule, made an option payment to Kilo of US$1.43 million. “The fact that Rio has purchased the option from the local partner and given us the accelerated payment just means that the project is on track and highly prospective,” says van Hoeken.

Apparently unfazed by any frying-pan-to-the-fire comparisons, van Hoeken has gone from the DRC to Afghanistan. As part of a group led by financier David Buckle, van Hoeken is now negotiating with the Afghan Ministry of Mines for rights in the Hajigak Iron Ore Deposit. If the bid is successful, Kilo will hold a 20% interest in a new company created to develop the deposit, located in Bamyan Province, 130 kilometres west of Kabul.

“We’ll be working with locals for security,” van Hoeken explains in an interview from the Afghan capital. “The province where the project is located is considered one of the safest in the country. The need for security probably won’t be as high as you might think.”

This Buckle-led bid concerns one of four Hajigak concessions. A group of Indian state-run and private companies has dibs on the other three. They’re among the trailblazers of what could be a huge minerals rush, danger or no danger. The country has a potential treasure chest of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, lithium and rare earths worth up to $1 trillion, an oft-repeated number first reported in June 2010 by the New York Times, which attributed it to “senior American government officials.”

According to the Afghanistan Support Investment Agency, “The mining sector is crucial to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan.” A government website states, “The country is much less risky than the media portray. Insurgent activities are restricted to limited pockets of the country.” Even so, the Ministry of the Interior has a 1,500-person Mines Protection Unit guarding the Aynak Copper Mine, a $4-billion exploration project operated by China Metallurgical Group and Jiangxi Copper 560 kilometres south of Kabul. To guard future projects, Afghanistan plans to increase its specialized security unit to 7,000 people.

Another omen concerning the possible future of mining companies operating in dangerous lands was revealed January 3, when Afghan police arrested four employees of the Montreal security company GardaWorld, which offers a range of services including risk analysis and protection. The employees were caught in a vehicle with 30 unlicensed AK-47s. That same day the company issued a statement: “They were taking the weapons to be tested at a firing range before being purchased and properly licensed by GardaWorld.”

You have to look at the potential value of a deposit. In other words, a very large deposit might justify investment in a riskier jurisdiction if the price was right —Brien Lundin

Brien Lundin, President/CEO of Jefferson Financial, editor of the Gold Newsletter and host of the New Orleans Investment Conference, agrees that crime, violence and social unrest increasingly threaten mineral resource companies. “I think some ways to mitigate risk are to build community support through community relations efforts that are typically not very expensive in the grand scheme of things. But from a purely political standpoint, there’s not a lot a company can do to alter the risk in any particular area.”

From an investor’s standpoint, he says, “You have to look at the potential value of a deposit. In other words, a very large deposit might justify investment in a riskier jurisdiction if the price was right. So there is a value argument to be made there. You’re willing to take greater risk in riskier places for a potentially greater reward. There isn’t an absolute either way. There are a lot of factors that need to be brought into the equation.

“One of the ways an investor can get a relative idea of the risk in any particular regime is through the Index of Economic Freedom, compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal,” Lundin says. “The Fraser Institute started this years ago. That has a numerical ranking of every country in the world. I find it’s a fairly good barometer of investment risk. It encompasses ease of doing business in various regimes and also rule of law.”

Is the rule of law threatened only in distant countries? Last November, Taseko Mines TSX:TKO applied for an injunction to prevent aboriginal protestors from blocking the road to its New Prosperity Gold-Copper Project in south-central British Columbia. The company played a video in court showing Marilyn Baptiste, chief of the 400-member Xeni Gwet’in Band, telling a Taseko employee, “The provincial government does not have authority in our territory.”

The Taseko employee responded, “Well, we’ve been asked to come and conduct an exploration drilling program there…. We’re not aware of anything that would stop us from going about this work.”

Baptiste countered, “You do not have our authorization to be into our territory.”

He showed her some papers and declared, “We have a permit, as I’m sure you’ve received a copy of this.”

She responded, “As I advised, BC has no authority.”

He reiterated, “We intend to continue here because we have a permit, and this is a public road.”

“As I advised, your permit does not have any authority on our territory. BC does not have authority in our territory.”

“Unfortunately, we do have a permit, and we believe we’re going about our legal work.”

“We have not authorized you to be in our territory.”

Eventually, he asked, “We wish to bring our equipment out here. Will it be safe?”

“It will not be safe. I cannot guarantee your safety or anything’s safety, anybody’s safety, because as I said you do not have authority to be on our territory.”

In December, the BC Supreme Court turned down Taseko’s application. Instead, it granted the Xeni Gwet’in an injunction to stop the exploration project. The injunction remains while the band applies for a judicial review of the exploration permits.

The New Prosperity Project is located on provincial Crown land.

Treasure Islands

January 30th, 2012

Miners Face Increasing Danger from Crime, Social Unrest and Violence

By Greg Klein

With 22 years’ experience in the British Special Forces, 10 of them with the Royal Marines and the other 12 with the SAS, Alan Bell is no stranger to conflict. Since founding the Toronto-based security company Globe Risk International in 1996, he’s provided his expertise and active involvement to a number of exploration and mining companies overseas. And he’s seen a few changes over the years.

“I remember when I started out in the 1990s, the old VPs of exploration used to go out into the mountains with their hammers and their boots and their trousers tucked into their socks. The old-school guys would go out there and say, ‘We don’t need any security.’ Well the world has changed dramatically since then.”

Miners Face Increasing Danger from Crime, Social Unrest and Violence

His admonition would apply to all resource companies but especially those of Canada, “the global leader in mineral exploration,” according to the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. Rising prices and limited supply push exploration into increasingly dangerous places, in a world that is itself becoming more troubled.

Companies often turn to Globe “when things go wrong,” Bell says. “They’ve got to spend a lot more time researching where they’re going and what they’re going to do. They’re running out of places to go, and the places that are left are where there’s problems.”

Bell’s company will visit the site of a proposed project to assess certain types of risk—not so much political risk, which might involve expropriation or a sudden and onerous tax/royalty regimen, but conflict in the form of crime, social unrest, sectarian violence or terrorism.

“There could be anything from suicide bombers to vehicle-exploding devices. We talk about what’s in the area. Can you get helicopters in there; what type of security do you need; who can assist you? We assess the local population, aviation, flight clearances, landing sites. Basically we develop a report for the client so they can see what their problems and options are before they bid on these contracts.

“We’ve had many clients who have looked at our reports and said, ‘Well this looks like an option, we’re willing to take a certain amount of risk,’ and they go in. Others say, ‘Shit, we’re not going to get involved in this, it’s too dangerous.’”

Bell started out with assignments in Latin America and Africa. In 2004, he began working on Canadian government contracts in Afghanistan. He employs a number of former Canadian military but trains locals to work as onsite security.

“We just finished a major project in northern Afghanistan for a Chinese company looking to start in March or April. What we will do, if they wish, is provide them with security to do their work. We’ll get a camp built for them, train the security team, get the vehicles. When they come over and start carrying out their exploration, we’ll support them from a security perspective as well.”

Precautions notwithstanding, not everything can be predicted, let alone prevented.

Last September, for example, Semafo TSX:SMF shut down its Kiniero Gold Mine in Guinea and evacuated its expatriate employees after protests about foreign workers turned violent. The mine still hasn’t re-opened, although exploration resumed in late October.

In December 2010, Luna Gold TSXV:LGC lost 1,500 ounces of gold, worth over $2 million at the time, to an armed gang at its Aurizona Mine in Maranhao State, Brazil, about 2,000 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro. Robbers failed in a second attempt last November, however, despite taking hostages. The captives were released unharmed, an outcome which the company attributes to precautions taken after the initial heist.

We knew that this was going to happen based on intelligence-gathering by our security people. We advised the local police. The police were on site at the time the outsiders came. And the police just stood by while they vandalized the place —Donald East

In March 2011 Torex Gold TSX:TXG suspended work at its Morelos Project in Guerrero State, 200 kilometres southwest of Mexico City, after the armed robbery of several of its trucks. No one was hurt, but employees were evacuated nonetheless. Operations have since resumed.

Last June Torex President/CEO Fred Stanford explained, “We’re in a little town that had no police, and it had never needed them. I think we injected enough money into the community that we attracted a criminal element…. There are now police, and we’re back and moving forward. The government’s been very good; the community wants the mine; and we’re negotiating now for land. No doubt there will be issues, but we’ve got a great partnership with the community.”

Other companies work in the thick of cartel country. US Gold’s TSX:UXG El Gallo Silver-Gold Project is slated for mid-2012 production in Sinaloa State on Mexico’s north-central coast. Senior VP Ian Ball said, “We have been very active there for three or four years and have been able to establish a pretty good relationship—and this might sound strange—with the cartel. You have to know who they are and inform them what you’re doing and where you’re moving to…. They don’t want you near their marijuana crops.”

When it comes to Colombia, Sunward Resources TSX:SWD COO David Forest can’t say enough good things about the country. “Geologically, there’s nothing like it,” he told ResourceClips.com last August. “There’s nothing on the planet with that kind of potential that’s so underexplored. Nothing happened there for 50 years. It’s phenomenal terrain, completely underexplored.”

He added that his flagship Titiribi Gold-Copper Project is in Antioquia Department, a region of northwest Colombia “which has very strong rule of law and tradition of order. We don’t have any security at site.” That confidence seems to be borne out by the presence of others. Neighbours include AngloGold Ashanti, Gran Colombia TSX:GCM, Colombian Mines TSX:CMJ, Continental Gold TSX:CNL, Bellhaven Copper and Gold TSX:BHV and Batero Gold TSX:BAT.

But while Forest emphasized, “The security and safety situation is fine in 90% of the country now,” there is that other 10%. It includes Sunward’s former Murindo-Mande Norte Project straddling the border between Antioquia and Choco departments. “There’s a number of issues including FARC [the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] and indigenous groups,” he said. “If you can name an issue in Colombia, that region’s got it. The prize, if and when we can get in there, is enormous. It’s an anomaly the size of Yaletown [a high-density Vancouver neighbourhood], with copper sticking out of the ground. For 30 years, everybody’s known about this unbelievable anomaly, but it’s remained a place where nothing happened. We’re working on getting in there and, if we can, it’ll be a lot of fun.” By December, however, Sunward had divested itself of the property.

Speaking from Bogotá, Gran Colombia COO Donald East waxes enthusiastic about his company’s Marmato Gold Project, now in prefeasibility and projected for 2015 production. If all goes to plan, it will be the company’s seventh operating mine in northern Colombia. Last October, however, the company shut down its Mazamorras Project in Nariño Department, in the southwest corner of the country, after a mob demolished the buildings.

“We knew that this was going to happen based on intelligence-gathering by our security people,” says East. “We advised the local police. The police were onsite at the time the outsiders came. And the police just stood by while they vandalized the place. We then complained to the government about that. In any country in the world you have to rely on some sort of legal protection for your assets. So I think that created a bit of a wake-up call for the government.”

There’s nothing remarkable about the security company’s presence, East maintains. “Obviously on any mine you have security because you have assets. It’s just a local security company; that happens on every mine.”

East says he still doesn’t know who’s responsible for the attack or what motivated them. But he believes they were from outside the region and the attack was somehow linked to the local and regional elections that were about to take place. The local population, he says, supports the project for the sake of jobs as well as the social work the company performs. “We’re just going to let the thing wait until we feel the risks aren’t too great for any of our people to go back there. So it’s probably going to be next year before we start to re-visit that project. Mazamorras is not really critical to our current planning.”

Read Part II of this story here.

Gran Colombia COO Donald East on Colombia assays of 1.4 g/t gold over 357.1m

January 11th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningGran Colombia Gold Corp TSX:GCM announced assays from its Marmato Gold Project in Caldas Department, Colombia. Highlights include

1.4 g/t gold and 1.3 g/t silver over 357.1 metres
1.4 g/t gold and 2.3 g/t silver over 239 metres
1.5 g/t gold and 5.9 g/t silver over 96 metres
1 g/t gold and 3.7 g/t silver over 140 metres
0.7 g/t gold and 6.8 g/t silver over 185 metres
0.8 g/t gold and 5 g/t silver over 135.3 metres
0.6 g/t gold and 2.2 g/t silver over 180 metres
1.1 g/t gold and 5.2 g/t silver over 103 metres

Speaking from Bogotá, COO Donald East tells ResourceClips.com, “We’re in the final period of this drilling program. It’s a pretty exciting project, over 10 million ounces in the measured and indicated categories.

Simón Bolívar used the Marmato property as surety with the Bank of England to fund his war of independence against the Spanish. So we know we’ve got the resource there. Even though it’s been mined for so long, there’s still a lot of gold left—Donald East

“This is an historic mining district, and we’re very excited to have discovered this new zone at depth. It continues to expand the resource base that we established over the last two years of drilling. When we finish drilling at the end of this month, these results will be included in a 43-101 resource estimate, which we will then feed into the feasibility phase. Prefeasibility should be complete by the end of this quarter,” he says.

“When we did the preliminary economic assessment that was issued last year, it showed us a pretty robust financial model. As we go into the study phase, we are continually improving that model. We’re really looking forward to what comes out of the prefeasibility study in the next two months.

“We’re looking at 2015 production,” he states. “Our schedule is to kick straight into the feasibility stage. The prefeas stage currently being finalized is what we call the options study. We’re looking at all the different options related to mining, processing, infrastructure, etc. Once we complete the prefeas we’ll have a feasibility option to study based on the recommendations of the report from Hatch. That work will take us to the end of 3Q or perhaps beginning of 4Q this year. At the same time, we’ll do our social and economic impact assessment, which is basically our environmental permitting. We’ll submit that to the government by the end of this year, and we’re expecting to get approval by 3Q 2013, having gone through all the town meetings and community involvement. So by the middle of 3Q 2013, we hopefully get the go-ahead for construction. That’s about a two-year time frame, so mid-2015 is probably when the project will kick into production.

“This will be our seventh operating mine,” East points out. “But what we’re doing at Marmato is new because all the gold mining in Colombia, apart from some dredging operations, is vein gold. So they go in underground. At Marmato, the geology is favourable to an open-pit operation. It opens up a whole new way of recovering the resource.

“If you look at our Segovia and Marmato operations, these are very historic mining districts. They go back 500 years. Simón Bolívar used the Marmato property as surety with the Bank of England to fund his war of independence against the Spanish. So we know we’ve got the resource there. Even though it’s been mined for so long, there’s still a lot of gold left.”

East concludes, “Our company has been very consistent in putting out credible information to the market. We continue to expand. Obviously it’s up to investors to make up their own minds, but I’m very bullish on what we’re doing at Gran Colombia.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Investor Relations
416.360.4653

by Greg Klein

Gran Colombia reports Colombia Results of 1.4 g/t Gold, 1.3 g/t Silver over 357.1m

January 10th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningGran Colombia Gold Corp TSX:GCM announced assays from its Marmato Gold Project in Caldas Department, Colombia. Highlights include

1.4 g/t gold and 1.3 g/t silver over 357.1 metres
1.4 g/t gold and 2.3 g/t silver over 239 metres
1.5 g/t gold and 5.9 g/t silver over 96 metres
1 g/t gold and 3.7 g/t silver over 140 metres
0.7 g/t gold and 6.8 g/t silver over 185 metres
0.8 g/t gold and 5 g/t silver over 135.3 metres
0.6 g/t gold and 2.2 g/t silver over 180 metres
1.1 g/t gold and 5.2 g/t silver over 103 metres

Speaking from Bogotá, COO Donald East tells ResourceClips.com, “We’re in the final period of this drilling program. It’s a pretty exciting project, over 10 million ounces in the measured and indicated categories.

Simón Bolívar used the Marmato property as surety with the Bank of England to fund his war of independence against the Spanish. So we know we’ve got the resource there. Even though it’s been mined for so long, there’s still a lot of gold left—Donald East

“This is an historic mining district, and we’re very excited to have discovered this new zone at depth. It continues to expand the resource base that we established over the last two years of drilling. When we finish drilling at the end of this month, these results will be included in a 43-101 resource estimate, which we will then feed into the feasibility phase. Prefeasibility should be complete by the end of this quarter,” he says.

“When we did the preliminary economic assessment that was issued last year, it showed us a pretty robust financial model. As we go into the study phase, we are continually improving that model. We’re really looking forward to what comes out of the prefeasibility study in the next two months.

“We’re looking at 2015 production,” he states. “Our schedule is to kick straight into the feasibility stage. The prefeas stage currently being finalized is what we call the options study. We’re looking at all the different options related to mining, processing, infrastructure, etc. Once we complete the prefeas we’ll have a feasibility option to study based on the recommendations of the report from Hatch. That work will take us to the end of 3Q or perhaps beginning of 4Q this year. At the same time, we’ll do our social and economic impact assessment, which is basically our environmental permitting. We’ll submit that to the government by the end of this year, and we’re expecting to get approval by 3Q 2013, having gone through all the town meetings and community involvement. So by the middle of 3Q 2013, we hopefully get the go-ahead for construction. That’s about a two-year time frame, so mid-2015 is probably when the project will kick into production.

“This will be our seventh operating mine,” East points out. “But what we’re doing at Marmato is new because all the gold mining in Colombia, apart from some dredging operations, is vein gold. So they go in underground. At Marmato, the geology is favourable to an open-pit operation. It opens up a whole new way of recovering the resource.

“If you look at our Segovia and Marmato operations, these are very historic mining districts. They go back 500 years. Simón Bolívar used the Marmato property as surety with the Bank of England to fund his war of independence against the Spanish. So we know we’ve got the resource there. Even though it’s been mined for so long, there’s still a lot of gold left.”

East concludes, “Our company has been very consistent in putting out credible information to the market. We continue to expand. Obviously it’s up to investors to make up their own minds, but I’m very bullish on what we’re doing at Gran Colombia.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Investor Relations
416.360.4653

by Greg Klein

Phenomenal Terrain

December 5th, 2011

Sunward Advances in Colombia

By Greg Klein

Talk to COO David Forest about Sunward Resources’ TSX:SWD Titiribi Gold-Copper Project, and you get why so many mining and exploration companies are moving into Colombia. “Geologically, there’s nothing like it,” he says. “There’s nothing on the planet with that kind of potential that’s so underexplored. Nothing happened there for 50 years. It’s phenomenal terrain, completely underexplored. The security and safety situation is fine in 90% of the country now.”

A look at last September’s Titiribi resource update supports his enthusiasm. Using a cutoff of 0.3 grams per tonne, the indicated category estimates 142.94 million tonnes grading 0.48 g/t gold for 2.2 million ounces gold and 0.15% copper for 465.9 million pounds copper. The inferred category projects 372.7 million tonnes grading 0.51 g/t gold for 6.08 million ounces gold and 0.08% copper for 645.7 million pounds copper.

Sunward Advances in Colombia

With gold in the ground and money to burn, drilling continues. “We’re up to nine rigs now, and we’re expecting to go to 11 over the next couple of months,” says Forest. “The company’s well financed; we’ve done some big financing over the last year and a half, so we’re going to push it pretty hard. We raised $51 million in January, and last April we did $25 million, and in total the company’s raised over $80 million.”

Assays released November 10 from the project’s Cerro Vetas zone include

  • 0.56 g/t gold and 0.12% copper over 315.2 metres
    (including 2.11 g/t gold and 0.34% copper over 22.5 metres)
  • 0.36 g/t gold and 0.24% copper over 135.5 metres
  • 0.33 g/t gold and 0.15% copper over 66.6 metres
  • 0.72 g/t gold over 27 metres
  • 0.47 g/t gold over 30 metres
  • 1.88 g/t gold over 7.5 metres

“These results were fairly groundbreaking for the project because it’s a bulk-tonnage porphyry, so the assumption was the grade was always around 0.5 and 0.2,” Forest explains. “We smashed through that about a year ago, discovering some zones that were above a gram, but this is the first time zones above two grams have been discovered, making a new benchmark for the grade on this project.

He continues, “We were looking at doing a scoping study, but now that we’ve discovered these higher-grade zones, the feeling is we might do more drilling and figure out what we’ve got before we start wrapping economics around it. So at this point, the plan is mostly just drill. We’ll work on expanding the resource, then we’ll decide what we want to do on the economic side.”

According to Forest, Titiribi’s infrastructure is excellent. “We’re 70 kilometres from Medellin on a four-lane paved highway. It’s a historic mining area, so there’s power to the site. We’re very well positioned.”

And so are many others. Titiribi’s position in Colombia’s Middle Cauca Gold Belt put Sunward in proximity to juniors and majors alike. Gran Colombia TSX:GCM has begun trial mining at its Zancudo high-grade underground gold project and plans to complete prefeasibility for its nearby open-pit Marmato Gold Project in early 2012. AngloGold Ashanti proposes to start building a $3-billion Colosa Gold Mine in 2014. Those in the exploration stage include Colombian Mines TSX:CMJ at the former Yarumalito Gold-Copper Mine, Continental TSX:CNL at its Buriticá Gold-Silver-Zinc Project, Bellhaven TSX:BHV at La Mina Gold-Copper Project and Batero TSX:BAT at the Quinchia Gold-Copper Project.

As the above suggests, the “historic” mining area Forest refers to is actually prehistoric. Archeologists have found gold figurines old enough to make Columbus seem like recent news.

We’re up to nine rigs now, and we’re expecting to go to 11 over the next couple of months. The company’s well financed; we’ve done some big financing over the last year and a half, so we’re going to push it pretty hard —David Forest

The region is also “probably one of the best operating environments in Colombia,” Forest says. “It’s in Antioquia, which has very strong rule of law and tradition of order. We don’t have any security at site.”

The company doesn’t have security at its other project either—but for entirely the opposite reason.

“Murindo-Mande Norte is at the other end of the spectrum,” Forest concedes. “It’s the only part of the Cordillera, from Alaska down to Tierra del Fuego, that doesn’t have a road going through it, because it’s basically swamp. Access is tough. There’s a number of issues including FARC [the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] and indigenous groups. If you can name an issue in Colombia, that region’s got it. The prize, if and when we can get in there, is enormous. It’s an anomaly the size of Yaletown [a high-density Vancouver neighbourhood], with copper sticking out of the ground. For 30 years, everybody’s known about this unbelievable anomaly, but it’s remained a place where nothing happened. We’re working on getting in there and, if we can, it’ll be a lot of fun.”

Regardless, the combination of Sunward’s management team and Titiribi’s potential attracts some big players. “The company’s well-financed through our affiliations with the Electrum Group and Paulson & Co out of New York,” Forest emphasizes. “Those guys own a big chunk, and management owns 30%, so it’s a very tightly controlled company. Amongst the top 10 shareholders, we control 70% or 80% of the company now. All the people working on this are shareholders and are working alongside the other shareholders.”

As of November 1, Sunward had cash on hand of $60 million. At press time, the company had 136.9 million shares trading at $2 a share for a market cap of $273.8 million.

Gran Colombia reports Colombia Gold Assays as high as 43.7 g/t over 0.4m

January 14th, 2011

Gran Colombia Gold Corp GCM:CA announced results from its El Zancudo Project in Colombia. Assays include 54.4 g/t gold and 4,826 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, 84.4 g/t gold and 1,194 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, 67.1 g/t gold and 563 g/t silver over 0.2 metres, 106.1 g/t gold and 776 g/t silver over 0.2 metres, 119.9 g/t gold and 154 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, 109.5 g/t gold and 1,209 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, and 164.2 g/t gold and 1,725 g/t silver over 0.2 metres.

CEO Maria Consuelo Araujo commented, “Gran Colombia Gold is focused on ramping up production at the Gran Colombia mine and growing the company’s ore resources and reserves. We have made significant progress at all the properties we own, and we are on target to reach our production goals while confirming further exploration targets across the portfolio. We are also extremely pleased to have made two new discoveries at veins never before explored, with the Marmajito vein grading 43.7 g/t gold in a 0.4-metre intercept and a second vein grading 34.4 g/t in a 0.6-metre intercept at the Providencia Mine.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Belinda Labatte
Investor Relations
647.436.2152

by Ted Niles