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Alberta most attractive mining destination in Canada, third worldwide

March 3rd, 2014

by Cecilia Jamasmie | March 3, 2014 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Alberta most attractive mining destination in Canada, third worldwide

Oilsands development in northern Alberta.

 

For the second consecutive year, Alberta—home to the booming and controversial oilsands industry—ranked first in the country and third worldwide as the most attractive jurisdiction for mining investors in the Fraser Institute’s annual global survey of mining executives.

The study, released March 3 as the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention kicked off in Toronto, is based on input from 690 mineral exploration and development company executives.

Sweden and Finland scored the top places in this year’s survey, which spotlighted 112 jurisdictions worldwide. Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela were named the worst two countries to venture.

“Miners praise Alberta for its transparent and productive approach to mining policy. The province offers competitive taxation regimes, sound legal systems and relatively low uncertainty around land claims. That’s what miners look for,” said Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute senior director of energy and natural resources.

Two other Canadian jurisdictions—New Brunswick (7), and Newfoundland and Labrador (9)—ranked in the top 10 worldwide, followed by Saskatchewan (12), Yukon (19), Quebec (21), Manitoba (26), Ontario (28), Nova Scotia (29), British Columbia (32), Nunavut (44) and the Northwest Territories (47).

Quebec, once the darling of mining investors, continued to fall down the rabbit hole. From 2007 to 2009, the French-speaking district topped the survey, then dropped to fifth in 2011, 11th in 2012 and finally 21st worldwide in 2013, due in part to amendments to Quebec’s mining act and recent tax policy changes.

“If Quebec wants to renew confidence in the global mining sector, it should reduce red tape, minimize the risk associated with policy changes and tax increases, and respect negotiated contracts,” Green said.

B.C. dropped to 32nd from 31st in 2012, though the survey recorded improved perceptions regarding the western province’s political stability and availability of labour and skills.

The Canadian public policy think tank also identified the 10 places mining enthusiasts should avoid. From the bottom, they are Kyrgyzstan, Venezuela, Philippines, Argentina (La Rioja and Mendoza), Angola, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Madagascar.

Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Despite the downturn

January 31st, 2014

Roundup 2014 speakers discuss how investors can profit and companies thrive

by Greg Klein

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We’re near bottom, we’ve hit bottom, the worst is behind us—over the last few wretched years those comments have come repeatedly from speakers at industry conferences. So maybe Victoria Yehl put it best in her January 30 closing remarks at Roundup 2014: “You, as the attendees and the delegates, let us know what’s going on in this industry … almost every evening at the Seawall Bar and Grill. It was certainly a higher level of enthusiasm than we’ve seen for a number of years.”

As chairperson of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’s annual event, Yehl was referring to the evening get-togethers, known for a non-market type of liquidity. But boozy as it might have been, can so much enthusiasm be dismissed?

Roundup 2014 speakers discuss how investors can profit and companies thrive

Near-record attendance and growing optimism characterized
AME BC’s Roundup 2014, “the world’s premier technical
mineral exploration conference.”

Yehl thanked company sponsors who came through despite tough times and noted a near-record crowd of 6,643 people from 37 countries, a possible indication of not-so-tough times ahead. Roundup 2014’s five last speakers further developed that sentiment.

The guardedly optimistic group included Rick Rule, who told investors they can be contrarians or victims: “The choice is yours.” Discussing some potential “fire sale prices” in resource stocks, the chairman of Sprott US Holdings said, “When I talk about coal now people say, ‘Global warming, you’re the culprit.’ I love it when people aren’t merely bored, they’re hostile.”

Uranium, he added, “is cheap. Zinc is cheap. People hate nickel…. Until three or four months ago natural gas was cheap, cheap, cheap.”

Bull markets follow bear markets “as day follows night,” Rule argued. But he warned that although a valuation’s increase might be inevitable, it isn’t necessarily imminent. Profits require time and patience, he emphasized.

Turning the forum’s attention from investors to companies, Silver Wheaton TSX:SLW president/CEO Randy Smallwood said most financing has been coming from various types of debt. The streaming model, he maintained, allows companies to optimize their portfolios through deals on non-core assets. “Seventy percent of silver does not come from silver mines,” he pointed out. About 40% comes from copper mines, another 15% from lead-zinc operations. Those miners “aren’t interested in silver. They’re driven by copper, they’re driven by lead-zinc.”

A new type of deal announced in November offers some juniors additional hope, Smallwood said. Silver Wheaton stepped in earlier than usual to give Sandspring Resources TSXV:SSP an initial $13.5 million to take its Toroparu gold project in Guyana to feasibility.

“If they had gone out and raised $13.5 million in the market, their current shareholders would have lost 33% of the value of that project…. What they did was give us 10% of the gold, if we fund them another $135 million when they get to the point of construction. It’s pretty attractive for their shareholders. It makes a lot of sense for juniors to consider this.”

But with prefeasibility in place, Toroparu was already quite advanced. Exploration geologist Miles Thompson discussed earlier-stage projects and the “bizarre disconnect between markets and the time needed to find and develop mines.”

“Unfortunately the easy stuff has already been found and our job is becoming increasingly harder,” said the director of Reservoir Minerals TSXV:RMC and CEO/chairman of Lara Exploration TSXV:LRA. For all that, Reservoir has been successfully raising money and spending it in Serbia for over 10 years. “We follow the prospect generator business model, which means we work the same way the pharmaceutical industry works, the software industry…. We see ourselves as R&D teams. We build projects, we define targets, we work out projects for mining companies and investors.”

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Rating the risks

February 28th, 2013

A Fraser Institute survey shows how miners and explorers see the world they work in

by Greg Klein

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“Great mineral assets, highly corrupt government….” That’s sometimes the conundrum under which exploration and mining companies operate. And that was just one comment published by the Fraser Institute as it evaluated a world of challenges and opportunities in its annual Survey of Mining Companies released on February 28.

Between October 2012 and January 2013, 742 companies rated 96 jurisdictions which included countries and, in the case of Canada, Australia, the U.S. and Argentina, provinces, states and territories. Respondents considered 15 policy factors affecting investment decisions in those jurisdictions, for a possible maximum score of 100. Some factors included regulations, corruption, taxation, aboriginal land claims, infrastructure, the local workforce, political stability and physical security.

While the full report provides breakdowns by category, here are the top 10 jurisdictions for overall scores. The 2011-to-2012 rankings are in parentheses.

A Fraser Institute survey shows how miners and explorers see the world they work in

The Fraser Institute’s annual survey rates jurisdictional risk
for a number of factors concerning mining and exploration.

1. Finland (New Brunswick)
2. Sweden (Finland)
3. Alberta (Alberta)
4. New Brunswick (Wyoming)
5. Wyoming (Quebec)
6. Ireland (Saskatchewan)
7. Nevada (Sweden)
8. Yukon (Nevada)
9. Utah (Ireland)
10. Norway (Yukon)

Last but least, here are the bottom 10:

87. Greece (Vietnam)
88. Philippines (Indonesia)
89. Guatemala (Ecuador)
90. Bolivia (Kyrgyzstan)
91. Zimbabwe (Philippines)
92. Kyrgyzstan (India)
93. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Venezuela)
94. Venezuela (Bolivia)
95. Vietnam (Guatemala)
96. Indonesia (Honduras)

Utah and Norway knocked Saskatchewan and Quebec out of the top 10. Greece was added to the survey for the first time, only to join Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for their bottom 10 debut. Another first-timer, French Guiana placed 27th overall, a fairly impressive ranking for a newcomer and non-First-World country.

Crisis-torn South Africa dropped to 64th place overall compared to 54th last year, retaining its fourth-from-last spot for “labour regulations, employment agreements and labour militancy or work disruptions.”

Of Canadian jurisdictions, Nunavut ranked worst at number 37.

Some anonymous concerns listed under “horror stories” ranged from uncertainty about native rights in Ontario to potential corruption in Quebec. One response stated that “endless ‘community consultation’” in the Northwest Territories costs the company more than exploration. Others noted confiscation of mining rights in Indonesia and expropriation in Bolivia.

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Week in review

November 2nd, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for October 27 to November 2, 2012

by Greg Klein

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No one ever said mining’s risk-free

A Chinese gang leader has been sentenced to death for illegal mining and a number of assaults. A story covered by China Daily and Industrial Minerals on Wednesday reported that Pan Guangjuan and his gang had been running a rare earths operation in Guangdong province from November 2011 to February 2012. On conviction he was also fined $24,000 and deprived of his political rights for life. The death sentence comes with a two-year reprieve.

Other countries have been cracking down too—not only on illegal mining, but illegal mining by Chinese. On Monday prosecutors in the Philippines dropped charges against two Chinese after police and military raided gold dredging operations. According to Reuters, small-scale gold mining, legal and illegal, is widespread in the Philippines but up to 90% of production is smuggled to China via Hong Kong.

A mining and exploration retrospect

In Ghana over 90 Chinese were arrested last month during a crackdown in which a teenage boy died, the Financial Times reported. A previous Ghanaian raid on illegal miners resulted in 38 Chinese being deported last September. Chinese are playing an increasing role in illegal mining in Ghana, partly because of their access to Chinese dredging equipment, the FT stated. The story quoted an official for the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who said, “There are environmental issues, poor working conditions and child labour problems because they use Ghanaian children. They pay them whatever they want, and there are no contracts or safety standards.”

Another government official quoted by the FT said, “Most of these Chinese illegal miners are heavily armed and shoot at anyone that gets near them.”

Are gold reserves lent out, sold short or stored safely?

Over 60 countries store gold in underground vaults at New York’s Federal Reserve Bank. Now a GATA-esque movement is growing in the country that is, theoretically, the world’s second-largest gold owner. On Tuesday Spiegel reported that a member of Germany’s governing coalition, Peter Gauweiler, has finally found limited success in his long campaign to repatriate his country’s gold. The Frankfurt-based central bank will bring home 150 tons of gold over three years for inspection. The Bundesbank also plans to count and weigh the gold bars stored in New York.

The move responds to a damning indictment from Germany’s Federal Audit Office, which criticized the Fed for refusing access to German auditors. Hardly reassured by the planned audit, politician Heinz-Peter Haustein told media that “all the gold has to be shipped back,” Spiegel reported.

Not surprisingly, the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was all over the story this week. An article by Lars Schall covered a Thursday speech given by Bundesbank executive Andreas Dombret. He told his New York audience that Germany’s “bizarre public discussion” will soon pass.

“We are confident that our gold is in safe hands with you,” Schall quoted him. “The days in which Hollywood Germans such as Gert Frobe, better known as Goldfinger, and East German terrorist Simon Gruber masterminded gold heists in U.S. vaults are long gone. Nobody can seriously imagine scenarios like these, which are reminiscent of a James Bond movie with Goldfinger playing the role of a U.S. Fed accounting clerk.”

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Mindoro reports Philippines Assays of 2.19 g/t Gold, 14 g/t Silver over 26.7m

January 5th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningMindoro Resources Ltd TSXV:MIO announced results from its Archangel Project in Batangas Province, Philippines. Assays include

2.19 g/t gold and 14 g/t silver over 26.7 metres
(including 6.04 g/t gold and 37.7 g/t silver over 7.7 metres)
1.01 g/t gold and 14.1 g/t silver over 34.3 metres
(including 2.3 g/t gold and 28.4 g/t silver over 9.7 metres)
2.58 g/t gold and 18.7 g/t silver over 12.3 metres
(including 13.5 g/t gold and 60.6 g/t silver over 1.8 metres)
3.09 g/t gold and 2.09 g/t silver over 10.5 metres
(including 46 g/t gold and 22.5 g/t silver over 0.6 metres)

President/CEO Jon Dugdale commented, “Having gained critical information as to the orientation and geometry of steeply-dipping hydrothermal breccia feeder structures at Archangel, we can now plan our next drilling phase that will aim to infill-drill these structures and build the resource base.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Mindoro Resources Ltd
61.3.9614.5055

or Jeanny So
CHF Investor Relations
416.868.1079 x 225

or Jeremy Hill
CHF Investor Relations
416.868.1079 x 238

by Greg Klein

Crazy Horse reports Philippines Assays of 0.25 g/t Gold, 0.41% Copper over 326.4m

December 20th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningCrazy Horse Resources Inc TSXV:CZH announced results from its Taysan project in southern Luzon, Philippines. Assays include

0.25 g/t gold and 0.41% copper over 326.4 metres
0.47 g/t gold and 0.38% copper over 428 metres
(including 4.15 g/t gold and 1.44% copper over 28 metres)
0.26 g/t gold and 0.47% copper over 113.5 metres

Chairman Mitch Alland said, “There are many reasons to be excited about Crazy Horse. The latest drilling confirms the known resource, and enhances the resource categories, but more importantly, with the upcoming conversion of the current resource at Taysan to a minable reserve, and with a pending mine permit, we believe that the company is now poised to realize its value.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
KIN Communications Inc
Investor Relations
866.684.6730

by Ted Niles

Mindoro reports Philippines Gold Assays up to 1.52 g/t over 18.4m

November 17th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningMindoro Resources Ltd TSXV:MIO announced results from the Southwest Breccia shoot of its Lobo Project in the province of Batangas, Philippines. Assays include

1.52 g/t gold over 18.4 metres (including 5.72 g/t over 1 metre)
11.1 g/t over 4.9 metres (including 21.1 g/t over 2 metres)
4.67 g/t over 7.8 metres (including 11.8 g/t over 2 metres)

President/CEO Jon Dugdale commented, “The final results from drilling the Southwest Breccia shoot at Lobo confirm high-grade mineralisation close to surface as well as deeper extensions of the mineralized shoot in drill hole LB 63 to over 150-metres depth. Future programs will target projections of the mineralized shoot down plunge.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
CHF Investor Relations
Jeanny So
416.868.1079 x 225

or Jeremy Hill
416.868.1079 x 238

by Ted Niles

Mindoro reports Philippines Gold Assays as high as 10.7 g/t over 6.7m

November 7th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningMindoro Resources Ltd TSXV:MIO announced drill results from the Southwest Breccia shoot of its Lobo Project in the province of Batangas, Philippines. Highlights include

10.7 g/t gold over 6.7 metres (including 18 g/t over 3.7 metres)
8.82 g/t over 6 metres (including 15.4 g/t over 3 metres)
12.4 g/t over 7.5 metres (including 15.6 g/t over 5.3 metres)

President/CEO John Dugdale commented, “The latest gold results from Southwest Breccia, Lobo, confirm the continuity of the high-grade gold shoot from surface. With further SWB results to come, and drilling commenced at Kay Tanda, we look forward to upgrading resources and assessing development options for the Batangas gold projects.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
CHF Investor Relations
Jeanny So
416.868.1079 x 225

by Ted Niles

TVI reports Philippines Assays of 8.83 g/t Gold, 217.06 g/t Silver over 7.4m

April 5th, 2011

TVI Pacific Inc TSX:TVI announced results from its Balabag Gold Project in the Philippines. Assays include 2.8 g/t gold and 227.97 g/t silver over 4.5 metres, 2.39 g/t gold and 120.23 g/t silver over 5.6 metres, 2.07 g/t gold and 51.52 g/t silver over 17.1 metres, 5.21 g/t gold and 64.98 g/t silver over 3.6 metres, 9.84 g/t gold and 70.62 g/t silver over 4.2 metres (including 19.66 g/t gold and 149.37 g/t silver over 1.9 metres), 16.92 g/t gold and 1,046.66 g/t silver over 3 metres, 7.37 g/t gold and 391.31 g/t silver over 5.4 metres, and 3.85 g/t gold and 136.65 g/t silver over 3 metres.

President/CEO Cliff James said, “The results of the additional drilling, and the progress we have made on the internal feasibility study, continue to support our belief that a progressive ‘bootstrap’ mine development will be robustly economic on a stand-alone basis. The exploration results demonstrate a clear pattern of gold distribution across the property. Drilling will continue as development proceeds.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Rhonda Bennetto
Executive Director Investor Communications
403.265.4356

by Ted Niles

Mindoro reports Philippines Assays of 1 g/t Gold, 1.89% Copper over 39.2m

March 29th, 2011

Mindoro Resources Ltd TSXV:MIO announced assays from its Pan de Acuzar Project in Iloilo Province, Philippines. Highlights include 1 g/t gold and 1.89% copper over 39.2 metres (including 0.94 g/t gold and 3.16% copper over 17 metres), and 1.15 g/t gold and 0.48% copper over 31.7 metres (including 2.11 g/t gold and 0.78% copper over 16.1 metres).

President/CEO Jon Dugdale stated, “We are extremely encouraged by the shallow, high-grade gold and copper results from Pan de Azucar. These results demonstrate continuity of the mineralization, and the location of extensions of the massive sulphides, with results to come, is also very positive.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Penny Gould
VP Investor Relations
780.413.8187

by Ted Niles