Sunday 11th December 2016

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Gold Fields Ltd (GFI)’

Absolutely Abitibi

November 18th, 2016

BonTerra Resources gets aggressive in Quebec gold country

by Greg Klein

BonTerra Resources gets aggressive in Quebec’s gold country

A diagram shows how far the company has progressed
beyond the 2012 resource area, outlined in blue.

 

With a standout interval of 70 grams per tonne gold over 5.5 metres, BonTerra Resources’ (TSXV:BTR) November 16 batch of assays brought further evidence of a good Abitibi address. As president/CEO Nav Dhaliwal emphasizes, “This is all new drilling, well outside the resource area, and we’re going to continue expanding.” Primed with enthusiasm, financing and a better understanding of the geology, BonTerra now hopes to connect its Gladiator project’s zones across a potential strike length of 1,200 metres.

Some highlights from the most recent seven holes show:

Hole BA-16-26

  • 19.6 g/t gold over 1 metre, starting at 412 metres in downhole depth

BA-16-30

  • 4.7 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 370 metres

BA-16-38

  • 12.4 g/t over 4 metres, starting at 769 metres
  • (including 24.3 g/t over 2 metres)

BA-16-39

  • 1.5 g/t over 10 metres, starting at 723 metres

  • 70 g/t over 5.5 metres, starting at 813.5 metres
  • (including 191.4 g/t over 2 metres)

  • 3.1 g/t over 5 metres, starting at 846 metres

True widths weren’t available.

BonTerra Resources gets aggressive in Quebec’s gold country

A cold climate will complement Bonterra Resources’ drill campaign.

The drill season started on a 600-metre strike reached last May with an intercept of 137.4 g/t over 2.5 metres. This week BA-16-39 revealed its star interval at the eastern extent of the east-plunging structure, below 600 metres in vertical depth. BA-16-38 extended the zone another 50 metres deeper and 100 metres to the east. That outlines Gladiator’s zones to 650 metres in depth and 700 metres in strike. Meanwhile, assays are pending for other completed holes.

But as Dhaliwal says, “We’re not stopping there.” Now with a second rig at work, drilling will sink deeper, as well as farther east and west. Should the program succeed in connecting the eastern zones with the Rivage zone, currently over 300 metres away, the 7,563-hectare property would have the potential 1.2-kilometre strike.

With a 4 g/t cutoff, Gladiator’s 2012 resource estimate shows:

  • inferred: 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 ounces gold

A resource update might arrive in late spring or early summer, Dhaliwal says. Well into a 25,000-metre 2016 program, drilling will continue through the winter. “That’s the most efficient time to work,” he points out. “This property is covered in a foot to six feet of water. Right now we’re land-based, so we’re shooting down towards it. So winter gives us an advantage, we’ll be able to get right on top of the structure.”

Describing the crew as “lean and mean,” Dhaliwal adds, “I couldn’t be prouder of our geological team, headed by a very experienced individual, Dale Ginn.” The VP of exploration’s more than 30-year career includes service with Kerr Mines, SGX Resources, San Gold, Harmony Gold Canada, Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, and Goldcorp TSX:G, among others.

Last winter’s relative warmth limited BonTerra to about 20 holes, but Dhaliwal’s hoping this year’s temperatures favour a more aggressive campaign.

Looking southwest from Gladiator’s position on the Casa Berardi fault zone to the Cadillac-Larder Lake fault zone just inside Ontario, BonTerra holds the 2,165-hectare Larder Lake project. The property came with estimates, which BonTerra treats as historic and non-43-101, for two deposits just over a kilometre apart. Using 2.5 g/t gold cutoffs, they show:

Bear Lake

  • inferred: 3.75 million tonnes averaging 5.7 g/t for 683,000 ounces gold

Cheminis

  • indicated: 335,000 tonnes averaging 4.07 g/t for 43,800 ounces gold

  • inferred: 1.39 million tonnes averaging 5.2 g/t for 233,400 ounces

As a past-producer, Cheminis reportedly turned out 7.6 million gold ounces at an average 3.7 g/t from depths to 315 metres.

The historic estimates predate some 59 holes totalling over 25,000 metres sunk by Gold Fields NYSE:ADR. Dhaliwal says the South African miner worked the property up to 2012, when the company slashed international exploration spending. “They left just under $6 million of work—of clean work, mind you. We’ve seen the logs and core. Dale’s hired a project manager for the Ontario side and we’ll get started on a 43-101.”

The property’s Fernland area adds a third mineralized body, with all three open at depth and within a 3.2-kilometre potential strike.

While talking about either property, Dhaliwal at times can barely contain his enthusiasm. Financing suggests he’s hardly alone in his confidence. Between December 2015 and last June, the company raised over $10.38 million. “We’re fully cashed up and we’re moving forward so stay tuned—we’re going to show you more.”

See an infographic about BonTerra Resources.

East dominated M&A in 2013, expect overall uptick this year—PwC report

February 26th, 2014

by Ana Komnenic | February 26, 2014 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

East dominated M&A in 2013, expect overall uptick this year—PwC report

 

The bad news first: 2013 was the worst year for mergers and acquisitions in recent history, with the volume of deals dropping 33% to the lowest level since 2005.

Now for the good news: According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest Global Mining Deals report, the mining industry can expect an uptick in M&A throughout 2014.

Though these deals will be “smarter, more conservative,” 2014 will be characterized by joint ventures, mid-tier buyers and more mergers or sales from juniors, PwC predicts. The gold price drop will also make buying gold assets more appealing—especially in Canada.

“You aren’t going to see the big dollars in riskier jurisdictions,” PwC wrote, quoting Brett Mattison of Gold Fields NYE:GFI.

As evidence of a strong start to the year, PwC points to Goldcorp’s TSX:G hostile takeover bid for Osisko TSX:OSK—though Osisko has called the offer “opportunistic” and some say Goldcorp is trying to take advantage of a weak gold market.

“The turnaround won’t mirror the surge in movement we saw back in 2011, but expect deal making to resurface in most parts of the world this year as both an opportunity and in some cases a necessity for companies across the sector,” PwC global mining leader John Gravelle said in a statement.

“Companies have been cleaning up their balance sheets and putting off decisions, waiting for the right time to act—that timing is near.”

Overall, PwC expects deal activity to increase this year—reaping “long-term gain” from “short-term pain.”

While it’s well known that M&A dropped off in a big way last year, PwC revealed something new in its latest report: The Eastern world dominated M&A activity last year. In fact, “the East accounted for nearly half of the deals by value in 2013, or about 45%, while the West represented about 36%,” PwC wrote.

East dominated M&A in 2013, expect overall uptick this year—PwC report

“Looking ahead, many Western-based majors are still going to wait for commodity prices to stabilize, concentrating on cash costs, rationalizing their assets and trying to divest assets as a way to pay down debt and fund existing operations,” Gravelle said.

The rich and powerful from Russia and Kazakhstan in particular bought up assets while major mining companies such as Rio Tinto NYE:RIO and Barrick TSX:ABX were selling.

The biggest deal of 2013 was in Russia, where Gavril Yushvaev and Zelimkhan Mutsoev purchased nearly half of Polyus Gold from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Gold stocks slaughtered, Barrick drops 10%

October 31st, 2013

by Frik Els | October 31, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

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 MINING.com

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 Mining.com

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 Mining.com

Investors pour into gold stocks: Barrick gains $7bn in 7 weeks

August 23rd, 2013

by Frik Els | August 23, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

The gold price made a serious attempt to scale the psychologically important $1,400 level on Friday, sending investors scurrying for gold mining stocks.

Bullion bulls are celebrating an 18% jump in the price of gold since the metal hit multi-year lows below $1,200 at the end of June.

Barrick Gold TSX:ABX gained 3% to $21.20 on Friday, up an astounding 49% in just seven weeks.

The Toronto-based global No. 1 gold miner continues to recover from 21-year lows of $14.22 struck on July 5, following a string of setbacks at the company.

Barrick is now worth $21 billion on the TSX, gaining $7 billion in market value in as many weeks. The company, which has written down the value of its assets by some $13 billion this year, peaked at a market capitalization in January 2011 of more than $54 billion.

Gains for Newmont Mining NYE:NEM have been more modest, but the $16.4-billion Denver-based company, which hopes to mine around five million ounces this year, is still up nearly 20% since gold’s June 28 low.

Goldcorp is the best performer of the gold majors, keeping its 2013 market value losses to 10% despite the 16% drop in the gold price this year.

The world’s third-largest gold producer in terms of ounces mined, AngloGold Ashanti NYE:AU gained 3.3% on Friday, but the Johannesburg-based company has made few strides on the back of the resurgent gold price.

Shares of the company are still down 45% year-to-date as it struggles with unrest in its home country’s mining sector and falling gold output. In dollar terms AngloGold’s JSE-listed shares have performed even worse, down 10% as the rand continues to slide against the U.S. and Canadian dollar.

Fellow South African miner Gold Fields NYE:GFI was the lone counter in the red on Friday as the company suffered a second day of losses in reaction to its purchase of three Barrick gold mines.

Gold Fields’ acquisitions in Australia will add more than 400,000 to its annual output, putting it within range of the mined ounces of Canada’s Goldcorp TSX:G, which expects to produce between 2.5 million and 2.8 million ounces in 2013.

Vancouver-based Goldcorp, the world’s most valuable listed gold company, added 2.4% on Friday, pushing its market value to $26.6 billion.

Goldcorp is the best performer of the gold majors, keeping its 2013 market value losses to 10% despite the 16% drop in the gold price this year.

Canadian peer Kinross Gold TSX:K—which this year expects to produce between 2.4 million to 2.6 million ounces—traded up more than 3%.

Australia’s Newcrest Mining TSX:NM jumped more than 5% on the Sydney bourse.

The 2-million to 2.3-million-ounce producer is still 43% cheaper than at the start of the year after suffering $6 billion in writedowns, a dividend cut and an investigation by Australian market regulators prompted by suspicious price movements.

See also: Friday rally sets up gold price breakout.

Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

Five reasons China is coming to buy your gold mine

August 21st, 2013

by Frik Els | August 21, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

Chinese producers are aggressively looking at picking up gold companies and mines elsewhere as domestic demand reaches record highs.

Takeovers and asset purchases by Hong Kong and mainland miners increased to a record $2.2 billion in 2013 according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Five reasons China is coming to buy your gold mine

Chinese companies like Zijin Mining Group and Zhaojin Mining Industry Co are in a good position to take a bite out of struggling North American and European-based producers because:

Chinese gold demand is soaring and at 1,000 tonnes will overtake Indian purchases this year, but domestic deposits are less than 5% of the global total.

Targets are cheap—the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index of the globe’s 49 biggest gold companies are down 31% this year alone.

Domestic Chinese producers enjoy some of the lowest cash costs—Zhaojin manages $549 an ounce, compared with a global average of $831.

Chinese and Hong Kong companies have access to cheap capital—Zijin got $4.9 billion in soft loans from a state bank for M&A.

The majors are actively looking to sell as debt levels increase and high-cost mines are mothballed—Barrick Gold TSX:ABX could dump as many as 12 of its mines.

Possible targets include:

While these companies are looking to get rid of a number of mines:

See also: $45bn and counting: China’s foreign mining misadventures

Reprinted by permission of Mining.com

Athabasca Basin updated

May 18th, 2013

A review of Saskatchewan uranium activity from May 11 to 17, 2013

by Greg Klein

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More high-grade, near-surface results from Fission/Alpha’s Patterson Lake South

The best assay yet from Patterson Lake South’s R00E zone hit the news on May 16. That’s when the Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW joint venture reported nine more holes from last winter’s 46-hole program. Some highlights include:

  • 4.8% U3O8 over 22 metres, starting at 67.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 20.73% over 4 metres)
  • 3.56% over 18 metres, starting at 75.5 metres
  • (including 11.95% over 4.5 metres)
  • 1.93% over 18.5 metres, starting at 64.5 metres
  • (including 8.04% over 2.5 metres)
  • 0.87% over 10.5 metres, starting at 62 metres
  • (including 2.01% over 3.5 metres)
  • 0.23% over 21 metres, starting at 64 metres.

True widths weren’t available. Further assays are pending.

The shallowest of the project’s three discovery zones, R00E shows continuous mineralization for 120 metres of strike and remains open in all directions. The 50-50 partners consider it a priority for next season’s drilling on the property that caused so much activity in and around the Athabasca Basin’s southwestern rim.

Noka, Lucky Strike earn-ins finance Skyharbour exploration in PLS region

Two option agreements have Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH financed to explore one of the PLS region’s largest land packages. The company granted Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX each a 25% earn-in on seven properties totalling 161,755 hectares. In deals announced May 14 and 16 respectively, each company pays Skyharbour $100,000 and funds $500,000 of exploration a year over two years. Noka issues Skyharbour 640,000 shares, while Lucky Strike issues the optionor two million shares. Skyharbour remains project operator and retains a 2% NSR on approximately 46,000 hectares the company staked directly while a vendor holds a 2% NSR on the rest of the package.

We had our foot to the pedal to do these deals with Noka and Lucky Strike so we can get to work without having to go back to the market.—Jordan Trimble, manager of corporate development and communications for
Skyharbour Resources

Events have moved quickly since March, when the company announced its entry into the region. “Now that we’ve brought in these two partners we’ve recuperated the $200,000 all-in costs in the initial outlay, we have a 10% equity position in both companies and their work commitment is half a million each for a total of $1 million a year for two years,” says Jordan Trimble, Skyharbour’s manager of corporate development and communications. The seven properties involved in the agreements include Wheeler, on the Basin’s eastern flank.

But exploration will focus on the PLS area, starting with a joint airborne survey that will fly properties held by Skyharbour and at least three other companies. “Given that we have such a large land package, the most effective way to do the geophysics is to put together a team to share expenses,” Trimble says.

He expects the survey to take two or three weeks, followed by a few weeks of interpretation and a summer of fieldwork. “You can work there until October and then winter is the best time to drill.”

He sees other advantages too. “We’ll be using the same methodology that Alpha and Fission employed. They spent the last four or five years refining the exploration methodology in this area. It’s unique because it’s outside the Basin. If you read their technical report, they have a very refined process and specific geophysical targets that they look for in conjunction with radon anomalies and boulder fields, etc. Given that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel, we’re hoping to have drill targets by the end of the year.”

He adds, “We had our foot to the pedal to do these deals with Noka and Lucky Strike so we can get to work without having to go back to the market.”

Alpha’s PLS discovery team looks north

While Fission toils as PLS project operator, the Alpha team has turned its attention farther north. Along with JV partner Acme Resources TSXV:ARI, Alpha’s studying reports from previous operators on their Skull Lake claim adjacent to the former Cluff Lake mine, which gave up 60 million pounds of uranium by 2005.

The data shows four radon anomalies on the 2,416-hectare property, one over two kilometres long and in the direction of glacial drift from three historic holes. Scintillometer readings from one hole found gamma ray particles percolating as high as 900 counts per second.

Plans for summer include re-sampling the anomalies and searching for radioactive rocks and debris from a potential up-ice source. Alpha holds an 80% interest in the JV.

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Fortnight in review

March 28th, 2013

A mining and exploration retrospect for March 16 to 28, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Qualified person de-qualified

A geologist who faked assays and wrote false news releases has been slammed by the Ontario Securities Commission. On March 28 the OSC announced sanctions against Bernard Boily, a one-time VP of exploration for Bear Lake Gold TSXV:BLG who worked on the company’s Larder Lake gold project in the Cadillac Break of northeastern Ontario.

Some examples of his fanciful figures follow, with real results in brackets:

  • 8.5 grams per tonne gold over 1.2 metres true width (2.6 g/t over 1.2 metres)
  • 10.6 g/t over 6.5 metres (3.6 g/t over 6.5 metres)
  • 9.9 g/t over 6.5 metres (1.3 g/t over 2.1 metres)
  • 23.4 g/t over 0.6 metres (3.1 g/t over 0.6 metres)
  • 10.5 g/t over 2.1 metres (1.7 g/t over 2.1 metres).
A mining and exploration retrospect

His scam came to light in July 2009 after Bear Lake hired an independent firm, InnovExplo Inc, to compile a resource estimate. Bear Lake then hired other independents to investigate. Investors, meanwhile, launched a class action suit. That was settled in April 2010 under confidential terms.

The OSC banned Boily from trading securities for 15 years, fined him $750,000 with $50,000 costs, and barred him from QP-ing for life.

In a statement announcing the penalties, OSC director of enforcement Tom Atkinson said Boily’s behaviour ran “contrary to the important gatekeeper role played by qualified persons in the securities disclosure regime.”

But Larder Lake’s not barren. Drilling continues by Bear Lake’s JV partner Gold Fields Abitibi Exploration, a subsidiary of the multi-billion-market-cap Gold Fields Ltd.

In January a Vancouver ex-QP, John Gregory Paterson, got a six-year prison term for faking assays while CEO of Southwestern Resources.

Speaking of fraud

Bre-X, the outrage that brought about QPs and NI 43-101 in the first place, is coming to an anti-climactic end. That’s according to an Ontario judge quoted in the March 21 Globe and Mail as he granted a bankruptcy trustee’s request to drop its legal action against Bre-X, its former officers and other companies involved. The G&M stated that an Alberta court is likely to approve a similar request and an Ontario class action suit will likely be dropped.

But some people made money and it wasn’t just company insiders. Clint Docken, the lawyer representing the Alberta class action suit, told the paper that trustees Deloitte & Touche got $3.9 million in fees and paid its lawyers $8 million, leaving $79,000 in Bre-X coffers. “A lawyer representing the trustee was not available for comment,” the G&M stated.

No charges were ever laid and “little also came of a move by the trustee to freeze the assets of [John] Felderhof, his ex-wife Ingrid and former Bre-X chief executive officer David Walsh, who died in 1998.” Nor is there any trace of the $75 million the Felderhofs got by selling Bre-X shares, the story added.

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Week in review

October 19th, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for October 13 to 19, 2012

by Greg Klein

Unhappy birthday. Many unhappy returns

With Friday marking Black Monday’s 25th anniversary, pundits around the world reflected on the calamity, its causes and whether it helped set off the financial crises that followed. Among the not-reassuring news for the future was this headline from Thursday’s Der Spiegel: “Euro Exit by Southern Nations Could Cost 17 Trillion Euros.”

Referring to a study by an economic research group called Prognos, the German weekly stated, “The researchers arrived at a particularly bleak assessment because they didn’t just calculate the losses of creditors who had lent money to the crisis-hit nations. They also analysed the possible impact of a euro collapse on economic growth in the 42 most important industrial and emerging economies that make up more than 90% of the world economy.”

Prognos predicated that result on a chain reaction set off by Greece reverting to the drachma. But keeping Greece also has its costs, as another headline from Thursday’s Der Spiegel stated: “Corruption Continues Virtually Unchecked in Greece.”

Chinese companies bring Canada investment, skills, controversy

Revelations continued this week about a plan by Chinese interests to import Chinese workers to staff four proposed British Columbia coal mines. The first 200 are expected to arrive any time now, with possibly 2,000 more to come.

A mining and exploration retrospect for October 13 to 19, 2012

On Monday Mark Olsen, President of the Bargaining Council of B.C. Building Trade Unions, called the plan “simply a strategy to employ lower-paid workers who are compliant with the culture of coal mining in China … a culture which leads them to accept the possibility of death as a cost of having a job.”

Also on Monday, Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham noted that the workers will be “indentured” to one employer, “dependent on staying in the company’s good graces in order to hold their jobs [and] in a remote area fully reliant on [their employer] for help in getting housing, health care and ensuring their safety.”

The companies’ rationale was partly based on insufficient response to job ads posted in Canada. But another story in Monday’s Vancouver Sun stated that the ads offered wages far below Canadian standards. “Chances are they won’t find an underground miner (in Canada) who will work for $25 an hour,” said the manager of one mining personnel agency. “I mean, they’re putting their lives at risk.”

Additionally, Olsen stated that neither the federal nor provincial government “has a mechanism in place to verify the wages these foreign workers actually receive.”

More news hit the fan on Tuesday when the United Steelworkers revealed that at least four of those Canadian job ads, for approximately 70 positions, required applicants to speak Mandarin.

According to a Tuesday Vancouver Province column by Michael Smyth, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Pat Bell claimed, “This is a unique situation for the next six to eight months. Once those mines go into full production, I expect those jobs will be filled by British Columbians first and Canadians second.”

On October 11, however, HD Mining International spokesperson Jody Shimkus told ResourceClips that the first of the four proposals, the Murray River Project, will probably rely on Chinese underground workers for 10 years after its projected 2015 start date.

On Thursday a labour-sponsored online journal called the Tyee stated that two companies recruiting miners in China were charging exorbitant fees. A reporter who responded to ads on a Chinese Web site was told applicants pay about $4,700 in advance, approximately two and a half years’ salary for a Chinese miner. Once working in Canada, the miner would pay another $7,800 in $400 monthly instalments.

The fees are illegal in B.C. The wages offered by the recruiter were $22 to $25 an hour, the Tyee stated, below the minimum $25 that the company claimed in Canadian job ads.

But two solid weeks of wide-ranging controversy haven’t stopped Canadian Dehua International Mining Inc from picking up another acquisition. On Friday Lions Gate Metals TSXV:LGM announced a $15-million LOI in which Canadian Dehua may option 100% of the 77,705-hectare Poplar Copper-Gold-Silver Project in west-central B.C. The agreement is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

A big-time B.C. operator Canadian Dehua may be, but its Web site reads like a parody of broken English. Here’s just one example, about the Murray River Project:

Proved and inferred reserves the coal seam area is 17 square kilometers.

That would be an especially interesting use of NI 43-101-ish terminology were the Vancouver-headquartered company a reporting issuer in any Canadian jurisdiction. B.C. Securities Commission spokesperson Richard Gilhooley would only tell ResourceClips that Canadian Dehua is “not currently listed on SEDAR, which is where issuers typically are.”

Plan Nord not dead, just modified

Following dismissive comments by her mining minister, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois saw fit to reassure French investors that Plan Nord will go ahead after all. Prior to the province’s September 4 election, Marois had spoken of altering the former government’s proposed $2.1-billion in public funding for an infrastructure program. On October 1 La Press reported that Quebec Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet said Plan Nord was merely a “marketing” strategy for projects that were already underway or in planning. But on Wednesday the Nunatsiaq News reported that a modified Plan Nord “could involve companies chipping in financially or giving Quebec shares if Quebec built a road or a port in northern Quebec, and the company benefitted from this infrastructure. These changes will be made ‘in the coming months,’ Marois said. ‘But we remain focused on the development of the North.’”

Iron ore an indulgence or a strategic asset?

In a Thursday story picked up by media including the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times reported that the world’s largest steelmaker is considering selling a chunk of its Canadian assets. Sources told the FT that ArcelorMittal might put 30% of its Canadian operations, which total some $8 billion to $10 billion, up for grabs.

ArcelorMittal Mines Canada produces about 15 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate and 9 million tonnes of iron oxide pellets annually, accounting for approximately 60% of Canada’s total production. The company’s Mont-Wright and Fire Lake mines in Quebec’s Labrador Trough region were slated for $2.1 billion in upgrades by 2013. But according to the FT, “One sector specialist described ownership of iron ore assets as an ‘indulgence’ in the current environment.”

Iron ore prices plummeted in August due to a situation in China variously described as over-supply, slumping demand or a buyers’ strike. China is the world’s largest importer of iron ore.

In July 2011 Forbes reported China’s intention to “break the grip” of its three main suppliers, Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which together provide 62% of China’s imports. Li Xinchuang, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Iron & Steel Association, told media his country should get more than half its supply from Chinese-invested mines overseas.

The FT stated that “Chinese companies and commodities trading houses had expressed an interest” in ArcelorMittal’s Canadian operations.

South Africa updates

Junk status looms for AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields as Standard & Poor’s considers lowering the companies’ debt ratings, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

On Friday Kitco.com provided another weekly update of 12 major companies operating in South Africa.

[The plan to staff Canadian mines with Chinese workers is] simply a strategy to employ lower-paid workers who are compliant with the culture of coal mining in China … a culture which leads them to accept the possibility of death as a cost of having a job.—Mark Olsen, President of the Bargaining Council of B.C. Building Trade Unions

E-Caddy shows EV commitment

The bankruptcy of an e-car battery manufacturer reported on Tuesday might have reflected negatively on prospects for graphite and lithium, not to mention the environment. But the same day General Motors got a jolt of publicity for its 2013 electric Cadillac.

Battery builder A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy protection after a US$249.1-million government grant failed to save the company. In a Tuesday press release A123 stated that Johnson Controls plans to acquire A123’s automotive business assets in a $125-million transaction.

GM’s new model shows an EV commitment despite disappointing sales for its better-known Chevy Volt. Sales never lived up to the company’s initial expectations, although steep discounts have more recently given it the middling distinction of “outselling about half of all cars marketed in the U.S.

American projections are just part of a much bigger market. According to a TechSci research report published in August, the “global electric vehicle industry clocked a turnover close to US$54 billion in 2011, while electric two-wheelers became the dominating vehicle category for the whole segment.” The study predicts “phenomenal” EV demand worldwide due to “overall consumer spending, growth in population, increasing demand for environment-friendly vehicles and growing government support.”

They seek safe haven

“Forget gold: Here’s where die-hard skeptics are stashing their wealth,” declared Tuesday’s Financial Post. High yellow metal prices have pushed some discerning pessimists into a range of commodities, collectibles and other presumably secure assets.

Scandinavian and Canadian bonds are proving popular, as are rare coins, stamps and watches. Farmland offers obvious practical value. The finer things in life, from art to liquor, might also bring security. The same might be said, with far more chilling connotations, for guns and ammo. But the FP conceded that its list isn’t exhaustive. That might explain why it didn’t include canned food.

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.