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Posts tagged ‘McEwen Mining Inc (MUX)’

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April 14th, 2020

As Quebec mining resumes, Canadian companies make open-or-shut decisions

by Greg Klein | April 14, 2020

As Quebec mining resumes, Canadian companies make open-or-shut decisions

A COVID-19 outbreak put Impala’s Lac des Iles on lockdown.
(Photo: Impala Canada)

 

With additional health standards in place and encouraged by a surging gold price, Quebec miners have been given a back-to-work go-ahead. On lifting a three-week suspension, the province allowed ramp-up procedures to begin April 15. A ban on non-essential industrial activities, including mineral exploration, has been extended to May 4.

Mine restarts announced so far include Eldorado Gold’s (TSX:ELD) Lamaque mine, IAMGOLD’s (TSX:IMG) Westwood operation, Agnico Eagle Mines’ (TSX:AEM) LaRonde complex and Goldex mine, and the Agnico Eagle/Yamana Gold TSX:YRI Canadian Malartic JV.

Glencore stated it’s “analyzing options” to restart its Raglan nickel and Matagami zinc operations in Quebec.

As Quebec mining resumes, Canadian companies make open-or-shut decisions

Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold were quick to announce
Canadian Malartic’s ramp-up. (Photo: Canadian Malartic JV)

New measures mandated by the government and its health and workplace standards agencies require physical distancing, additional protective equipment, health monitoring and enhanced sanitation. The new regimen also calls for additional training and in some cases longer stints in job site accommodations to reduce travel.

But market forces aggravated by the pandemic will keep Stornoway Diamond’s Renard mine on care and maintenance. Prior to the March 24 government-ordered suspensions, Renard operated only through the support of creditors.

“We will continue to monitor the market conditions for improvements which would allow for a restart of mining activities,” said Stornoway president/CEO Patrick Godin. The diamond industry has been hit by broken supply chains as well as plunging prices.

Also on April 14 McEwen Mining TSX:MUX announced restarts of its Black Fox mine in the Timmins camp, along with the San Jose operation in Argentina. Although the Ontario government exempted mining and exploration from its list of suspensions, the company paused Black Fox for two weeks while implementing new policies and procedures.

“Our miners and teams are overwhelmingly supportive of returning to work with the new safety measures,” the company stated.

In northwestern Ontario, Implats subsidiary Impala Canada suspended its Lac des Iles palladium mine on April 13 after learning that a worker tested positive for COVID-19. By April 14 the company announced seven confirmed cases connected with LDI. 

Impala told all employees to go into isolation until April 27, during which time they’d get a $100-a-day bonus on top of base pay for the entire month. The company also arranged free hotel rooms and meals during the isolation period.

As Quebec mining resumes, Canadian companies make open-or-shut decisions

McEwen Mining lifted the voluntary suspension
of its Black Fox operation. (Photo: McEwen Mining)

Industrial operations face numerous challenges in adapting to new health protocols. Last week the Globe and Mail reported concerns about conditions at Teck Resources’ (TSX:TECK.A/TSX:TECK.B) southeastern British Columbia coal operations.

A local resident “alleged that shortages of protective equipment, crowded commuter buses, packed site vehicles and ‘an absolute impossibility to self-distance because of the nature of the work,’ are fostering an environment where the virus could spread,” the paper stated.

The company had previously announced precautionary measures including “a temporary slowdown of operations and reduction of crews by up to 50%” at its B.C. mines.

According to the G&M, “Stephen Hunt, director of United Steelworkers union, which represents almost all of Teck’s B.C. workforce, said some members are satisfied the company’s mines are safe, while others are worried. He said Teck has made decent strides to reduce the risk for employees, including staggering shift start times to reduce congestion at the mine site as well as removing some of the seating on buses to ensure people are sitting at least six feet apart. Despite these precautions, he’s still on edge.”

On April 13 Cameco Corp TSX:CCO announced that the suspension of its 50%-held Cigar Lake uranium mine in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin would continue indefinitely. Orano Canada also lengthened the suspension of its 70%-held McClean Lake mill, which processes Cigar Lake ore.

The global challenges posed by this pandemic are not abating—in fact, they are deepening.—Tim Gitzel,
Cameco president/CEO

“The precautions and restrictions put in place by the federal and provincial governments, the increasing significant concern among leaders in the remote isolated communities of northern Saskatchewan, and the challenges of maintaining the recommended physical distancing at fly-in/fly-out sites with a full workforce were critical factors Cameco considered in reaching this decision,” the company stated.

President/CEO Tim Gitzel added, “The global challenges posed by this pandemic are not abating—in fact, they are deepening.”

As Quebec allows mining to resume, Canadian companies make open-or-shut decisions

April 14th, 2020

This story has been expanded and moved here.

The Red Lake resurgence

September 16th, 2019

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

by Greg Klein

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

Benefiting from reinterpretation of past work, Great Bear now
has three rigs drilling Dixie Lake. (Photo: Great Bear Resources)

 

A new gold producer on the way, attention-grabbing assays from a well-financed junior and high hopes for the price of gold—could that in any way explain the current excitement at Red Lake? A region that’s produced 30 million ounces since its first rush in 1926 still has more gold to mine and, explorers believe, more mines to find.

Just as Newmont Goldcorp TSX:NGT was considering the sale of its Red Lake operations, Pure Gold Mining TSXV:PGM began building Madsen Red Lake, billed as Canada’s highest-grade gold development project. But, as far as juniors are concerned, the district’s biggest newsmaker has been Great Bear Resources’ (TSXV:GBR) Dixie Lake property.

While focused on British Columbia’s Golden Triangle in 2017, Great Bear optioned Dixie from Newmont, also getting decades of data from over 160 historic holes. Given the succession of companies that drilled and departed, the data might have seemed more encumbrance than encouragement. Undeterred, Great Bear geologists began relogging core to “resolve geological differences between generations of work dating back to the 1980s and provide a coherent framework for the company’s own drilling.”

The prepping paid off. That summer’s Phase I program found success with its first hole and reached up to 16.84 g/t gold over 10.4 metres in hole #5 at the Dixie Limb zone. As the campaign progressed, the company tripled its turf to cover a potential gold-bearing structure of regional significance.

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

Pure Gold conducts underground test mining at Madsen Red Lake.
(Photo: Pure Gold Mining)

More expansions followed, with assays reaching up to 26.91 g/t over 16.35 metres at the newly discovered and near-surface Hinge zone. Financings came through too, most notably with an $11.1-million infusion that included a total of $5.7 million from McEwen Mining TSX:MUX and Rob McEwen himself, progenitor of Red Lake’s last renaissance. The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame credits him with transforming the Goldcorp mine “from a 50,000-ounce producer in 1997 to a 500,000-ounce producer in 2001, while cash costs fell from $360 per ounce to $60 per ounce over this period.”

The stock soared past $2 from about $0.58 pre-McEwen. The grades, discoveries and financings continued, even with what president/CEO Chris Taylor called “the cheapest discovery hole we’ve ever had.” That happened after a keen-eyed geo spotted high-grade visible gold on unassayed core that had been neglected for 12 years. Clearly, the company was on to something when its management decided past operators had overlooked Dixie’s promise.

Great Bear now has three rigs at work.

But this is no spectator sport, as the inevitable influx demonstrated. For Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST, however, the attraction is base metals more than the yellow stuff. The company’s Garnet deposit features a 2017 inferred resource showing 2.1 million tonnes averaging 5.78% zinc, 0.72% copper, 19.5 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold, using a 3% zinc-equivalent cutoff. 

Miners and explorers seek ever more gold from this busy Ontario district

Visible gold attests to Great Bear’s confidence in Dixie Lake.
(Photo: Great Bear Resources)

An historic, non-43-101 resource for Pistol Bay’s Fredart zone estimated 385,000 tonnes averaging 1.56% copper and 33.6 g/t silver. Historic drilling on the company’s Joy-Caravelle area shows non-43-101 results including 21.6% zinc and 0.13% copper over 0.25 metres.

Up to recently, Pistol Bay’s portfolio had been about 25 kilometres northeast of Dixie Lake. But the company moved closer in July, with an option on 2,130 hectares southeast of Great Bear. Part of the former Goldpines claims, the property’s past work consisted mainly of geochemical sampling.

An NSR held by Perry English on Fredart hints at the prospector’s impact on the district. English sold the Dixie and Packwash properties to Great Bear and, under an LOI signed earlier this month, will vend Red Lake’s Camping Lake and Bruce Lake projects to Prime Meridian Resources TSXV:PMR.

Spurred on by recent grab samples as high as 19 g/t, 23.3 g/t and 126.5 g/t gold, Pacton Gold TSXV:PAC plans 10,000 metres of drilling to begin next month at its Red Lake project. Historic work included sampling, trenching and drilling.

A more advanced project towards the district’s eastern reaches, First Mining Gold’s (TSX:FF) Springpole reached PEA in 2017 with an indicated 4.67 million gold ounces and 24.19 million silver ounces, along with an inferred 230,000 gold ounces and 1.12 million silver ounces.

Proximal to both Newmont Goldcorp and Pure Gold, Nexus Gold’s (TSXV:NXS) McKenzie project underwent a spring field program that scored a sample result of 135.4 g/t gold. In August the company signed an LOI with privately held Hawkmoon Resources that could have the latter company acquire or JV on Nexus’ Canadian projects.

With a Phase I drill program of at least 2,500 metres well underway, BTU Metals TSXV:BTU hopes to find evidence that Great Bear’s high-grade LP fault structure crosses BTU’s Dixie Halo property.

Under an LOI signed last week, Maxtech Ventures CSE:MVT would acquire the Panama Lake project from Benton Resources TSXV:BEX. The latter company assembled the property by staking, last year adding the former Goldcorp Ben Lake project. This year’s drilling produced assays up to 1.23 g/t gold over 6.5 metres.

Some other companies in the district include Confederation Minerals TSXV:CFM, which last May added the Leo property to its Red Lake portfolio with the company’s 70%-held Newman Todd property.

This month GoldON Resources TSXV:GLD completed prospecting and soil sampling on its West Madsen project optioned from Great Bear last May. GoldON sees rare earths as well as gold potential in the property.

Meanwhile Madsen begins construction, with commercial production expected by the end of 2020. The project came together quickly after Pure Gold, then called Laurentian Goldfields, assembled claims including the former Madsen mine in late 2013 and early 2014. Within five years Pure Gold built a resource of 2.06 million ounces indicated and 467,000 ounces inferred. That includes a probable reserve of 3.51 million tonnes averaging 8.97% for 1.01 million ounces that’s expected to keep the mine busy for 12 years.

Deep-pocketed support comes from AngloGold Ashanti NYSE:AU, Eric Sprott, Rob McEwen and Newmont Goldcorp, who collectively hold over 30% of Pure Gold.

Although the district’s success stories encourage enthusiasm, Red Lake also spawned a cautionary tale. Rubicon Minerals TSX:RMX notoriously skipped feasibility to take its Phoenix project directly from PEA to production in 2015. Six months later the mine shut down. The explanation: Unexpectedly complex geology. The resource shrank dramatically, from 1.13 million gold ounces measured and indicated in 2013 to just 106,000 ounces in 2016. Inferred fell from 2.22 million ounces to 307,000 ounces.

Later that year the company sought creditor protection.

But last month Rubicon bravely unveiled a new PEA with “a lower margin of error and risk.” Still a far cry from the 2013 estimate, however, are the current numbers of 589,000 ounces measured and indicated, along with 540,000 ounces inferred. Chastened, the company plans to begin feasibility studies in Q1 2020.

NRG Metals completes due diligence on Argentinian lithium properties

November 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 21, 2016

Among the companies active in South America’s Lithium Triangle, NRG Metals TSXV:NGZ has finished due diligence on two properties that would comprise the Carachi Pampa project in northwestern Argentina. Totalling 6,387 hectares, the contiguous properties sit in an area hosting geological features common to other lithium-rich salars in the region, the company stated on November 18. “The lithium target is a paleo salar (basin) at depth that has the potential to host lithium-enriched brines.”

NRG Metals completes due diligence on Argentinian lithium properties

NRG sees potential for lithium-enriched brines
in the Lithium Triangle’s Carachi Pampa project.

Located 40 kilometres from the town of Antofagasta de la Sierra at about 3,000 metres in elevation, the properties have winter access, a paved road 10 kilometres away and nearby services.

NRG has retained experienced lithium explorers Rojas and Associates and Sergio Lopez and Associates to review the project, with Rojas to complete a 43-101 technical report.

The properties are subject to different four-year purchase agreements, according to an LOI announced September 21. With all dollar figures in U.S. currency, one property calls for $120,000 on signing a definitive agreement, $200,000 in each of three annual payments and $600,000 at the end of the fourth year. A 1% NSR applies, which NRG may buy back for $1 million.

The other project would cost $160,000 on signing, $100,000 in two annual payments, $250,000 in year three and $625,000 in year four. Again, the company may buy back the 1% NSR for $1 million.

NRG offered a private placement up to C$1 million. Additionally, the company has negotiations underway on other properties.

In October NRG announced a management team for its Argentinian subsidiary, NRG Metals Argentina S.A. Executive director James Duff has written several 43-101 reports for Argentinian projects and served as COO of McEwen Mining TSX:MUX acquisition Minera Andes and president of South American operations for Coeur Mining NYSE:CDE.

Non-executive director José Gustavo de Castro is a chemical engineer with extensive experience in the evaluation and development of Argentinian lithium projects including the continent’s largest lithium producer, FMC Corp’s Hombre Muerto operation.

Manager of business development and corporate relations José Luis Martin’s 35-year career includes senior positions with Galaxy Lithium S.A. and Rio Tinto’s (NYSE:RIO) Argentinian projects.

Director Jorge Vargas specializes in property, mining and business law in Argentina.

Also last month NRG announced plans to spin out other assets to concentrate on lithium. The portfolio currently includes the LAB graphite project in Quebec and the Groete gold-copper resource in Guyana.

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality help win online Gold Rush Challenge

March 7th, 2016

by Greg Klein | March 7, 2016

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality help win online Gold Rush Challenge

Located just east of Val-d’Or, the past-producing Sigma and Lamaque
mines sit between Integra’s Lamaque North and South projects.

A PDAC opening event demonstrated the evolution of mineral exploration as a high-tech Quebec team won first prize in an online search for Abitibi gold. Integra Gold TSXV:ICG asked contestants to dig through digital data representing some 75 years of mining and exploration at the past-producing Sigma/Lamaque property adjacent to the company’s Lamaque project. Out of five finalists appearing at the March 6 event, the SGS Geostat team won the $500,000 first prize.

The team “used sophisticated geostatistical methods to drive data into an expansive and unbiased block model,” Integra explained. “A prospectivity scoring system harnessed both geological knowledge and machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, to identify high-value targets, which were then vetted through virtual reality with Oculus Rift technology.”

Using somewhat less sophisticated technology, Lamaque produced 4.58 million gold ounces between 1935 and 1985, while Sigma turned out 4.45 million ounces from 1937 to 1997. The digitized files included info from 30,000 holes, over 500,000 assays, hundreds of kilometres of underground workings, mining stats, geological sections, level plans and photos.

As a team of geologists, engineers and computer scientists often bound by certain limitations and boundaries, we relished in the opportunity to channel our collective creativity and curiosity to provide new exploration targets in a historic and famous mining jurisdiction known worldwide.—Guy Desharnais, team leader with SGS Geostat

SGS Geostat leader Guy Desharnais said, “As a team of geologists, engineers and computer scientists often bound by certain limitations and boundaries, we relished in the opportunity to channel our collective creativity and curiosity to provide new exploration targets in a historic and famous mining jurisdiction known worldwide.”

Four other finalists—three teams and one individual—shared another $340,000 in prizes. Integra announced the contest last June. By September over 740 entries had arrived from 65 countries.

Panellists consisted of geologist and commentator Brent Cook, Randy Smallwood and Chantal Gosselin of Silver Wheaton TSX:SLW, Rob McEwen of McEwen Mining TSX:MUX and Sean Roosen of Osisko Gold Royalties TSX:OR.

Integra didn’t specify what the winners proposed for the former mines. But CEO Stephen de Jong said some of the suggested drill targets “are like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We have decided to expedite the drill program and start testing a number of these targets in the immediate future.”

December 14th, 2015

China is snookering the IMF and U.S. (again) on currency Equities Canada
Rob McEwen, the investor, has some advice for mining executives everywhere Streetwise Reports
Graphite 2015: Graphene’s invisible potential Industrial Minerals
John Mauldin interviews George Friedman GoldSeek
Commodity faithful see some hope next year after 2015 heartbreak NAI 500
Chinese-backed electric carmaker picks Nevada for $1-billion plant Stockhouse

December 11th, 2015

Rob McEwen, the investor, has some advice for mining executives everywhere Streetwise Reports
Graphite 2015: Graphene’s invisible potential Industrial Minerals
John Mauldin interviews George Friedman GoldSeek
Commodity faithful see some hope next year after 2015 heartbreak NAI 500
Chinese-backed electric carmaker picks Nevada for $1-billion plant Stockhouse
Is the European Union worth saving? Equities Canada
Dr. Clay: That mud bath might actually be good for you Geology for Investors

A matter of necessity: Rob McEwen clarifies cartel comment

April 13th, 2015

by Greg Klein | April 13, 2015

McEwen Mining TSX:MUX CEO Rob McEwen wants to clear up any misunderstanding about any “relationship” with criminal cartels. In an April 9 BNN interview about the 7,000-ounce gold heist at his company’s El Gallo 1 mine in Mexico, he was asked if that part of the country is dangerous. McEwen responded: “It hasn’t been. I mean the cartels are active down there. Generally we have a good relationship with them.”

It is our policy to contact all property owners or impacted community members in an area to seek their permission and ascertain the appropriate timing to enter their properties to conduct mineral exploration. We respect their wishes as any good neighbour and responsible miner would.—Rob McEwen,
CEO of McEwen Mining

By April 13 McEwen found a clarification necessary. “My answer was related to gaining access to properties we wish to explore,” he stated. “It is our policy to contact all property owners or impacted community members in an area to seek their permission and ascertain the appropriate timing to enter their properties to conduct mineral exploration. We respect their wishes as any good neighbour and responsible miner would.

“Unfortunately, my use of the words ‘good relationship’ was careless and has created the entirely false impression with Mexican media that we have regular contact with criminal elements in their society. This is simply not true. I wish to apologize sincerely for any misunderstanding my words may have caused.”

McEwen had told BNN, “If you want to go explore somewhere you ask them, and they’ll tell you “no,” but then they’ll say come back in a couple of weeks [when] we finish what we’re doing.”

BNN’s Andrew Bell then asked, “What are they doing, transporting drugs or something?”

McEwen answered, “They might be harvesting them, or—a lot of the problems happen higher in the mountains and we’re in the foothills.”

While the word “relationship” might be misunderstood, the unfortunate necessity of consulting criminals isn’t unique to Mexico or McEwen. Nor is it new. In late 2011 Ian Ball, then senior VP for US Gold, McEwen’s predecessor company at El Gallo, told ResourceClips.com, “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.”

US Gold was renamed McEwen Mining in January 2012.

Read more about Rob McEwen’s BNN interview.

Unflappably unfazed, Rob McEwen discusses the 7,000-ounce gold heist

April 10th, 2015

by Greg Klein | April 10, 2015

If you like your mining CEOs calm, confident, soft-spoken and even smiling in the face of calamity, Rob McEwen’s your man. Speaking with BNN’s Andrew Bell on April 9, the McEwen Mining TSX:MUX boss presented a model of poise, at times smiling broadly as he discussed the 7,000-ounce gold robbery two days earlier at his El Gallo 1 refinery in Sinaloa, Mexico. McEwen owns a 25% stake in the company, and therefore any loss.

Unflappably unfazed, Rob McEwen discusses the 7,000-ounce gold heist

McEwen: “Um, it’s not funny to laugh at.”

Bell told him, “Some people might say, ‘How could this happen?’ I mean, it’s $8 million worth of gold.”

McEwen laughed as he replied, “Yeah, I was saying that too.” Quickly regaining composure, he conceded, “Um, it’s not funny to laugh at.”

His demeanour might have sometimes suggested otherwise but McEwen’s statements did express concern. He assured Bell that no serious injuries were suffered, although security staff might have been emotionally scarred. McEwen also expressed confidence in state government and local police. Nor has he written off the loot. Insurance would cover some of it but, he said, “We hope we’re not going to lose anything because we hope to recover the gold.”

As for the facility’s future security arrangements, he said, “It’ll look like Fort Knox.”

Despite the robbery, the company has said El Gallo will maintain 2015 guidance of 50,000 ounces gold and 20,000 ounces silver.

 

April 25th, 2013

Portfolio manager Greg Orrell: “My belief in gold has not wavered” by the Gold Report
Gold buyers get physical as coin and jewellery sales surge: Frank Holmes by VantageWire
“We’re going to be courting exhibitors and writing cheques” at WRIC: Rick Rule by GoldSeek
Rob McEwen says sell-off probability “out into infinity,” still expects $5,000 gold by Stockboard
Update: U.S. stocks/bonds/dollar, gold, mining/exploration by the Grandich Report