Friday 26th May 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘quebec’

‘Everyone’s hiring again’

May 24th, 2017

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting presages a wave of M&A

by Greg Klein

As an executive search firm, the Mining Recruitment Group might serve as a bellwether for the industry. Founder and self-described mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says, “I put together management teams for companies, I connect people with opportunities and opportunities with people.” In that role, he experienced the upturn well before many industry players did.

To most of them, the long-awaited resurgence arrived late last year. Pollard saw it several months earlier.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

“The market came back in a huge way, at least in the hiring side, early last year when my phone started ringing a hell of a lot more,” he explains. “There was a huge volume. And what I’ve found is that the available talent pool for executives shrank in a period of about six months. In January 2016, for example, I was working on a search and there was almost a lineup out the door of some really big-name people. What I’m finding now, a year and a half later, is that the available talent has almost evaporated. It’s much harder to recruit for senior positions.”

Lately his work suggests another industry development. “The major upturn I’m seeing in the market now is a huge demand for corporate development people who can do technical due diligence on projects. Over the last few years large mining companies and investment banks cut staff almost to the bone in that regard because no one was interested in doing deals or looking at acquisitions.”

Just completed, his most recent placement was for Sprott. “They had me looking for someone with a technical background who can do due diligence for their investments. In doing so I spoke with everyone on the street, from investment banks to some big name corporate development people and they all said the same thing: Everyone’s hiring again. These are people who couldn’t get job offers a year ago, now every single candidate on the short list for this last search has multiple offers from companies looking to get them. I haven’t seen that in five years.

“So that leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams. I see that as a major sign that you’re going to see M&A pick up in a huge, huge way, probably over the next three to six months.”

An early example would be last week’s Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD buyout of Integra Gold TSXV:ICG—“one of my best clients over the years”—in a deal valued at $590 million.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

Andrew Pollard: Executive recruiting “leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams.”

“I think there’s leverage for other companies to start pulling the trigger faster because they’re adding the expertise to get these things done.”

Having founded the Mining Recruitment Group over a decade ago at the age of 20, “a snotty kid” with only a single year of related experience, he’s placed people in companies with market caps ranging from $5 million to well over $200 million. Now in a position to pick and choose his assignments, Pollard’s business concentrates on “the roles that will have the most impact on a company’s future.” That tends to be CEO, president, COO and board appointments.

Last year he placed five CEOs, as well as other positions. Among those assignments, Pollard worked with Frank Giustra on a CEO search for Fiore Exploration TSXV:F and filled another vacancy for Treasury Metals TSX:TML as it advances Goliath toward production.

But the hiring surge coincides with an industry-wide recruitment challenge. Pollard attributes that to a demographic predicament complicated by mining’s notorious cyclicality.

During the 1990s, he points out, fewer people chose mining careers, resulting in a shortage of staffers who’d now be in their 40s and 50s. Greater numbers joined up during the more promising mid-2000s, only to “get spat out” when markets went south. Now Pollard gets a lot of calls to replace baby boomers who want to retire. Too many of those retirements are coming around the same time, he says, because stock losses during the downturn had forced executives to postpone their exit.

Now, with a wave of retirements coinciding with a demographic gap, Pollard sees a “perfect storm to identify the next batch of young leaders.”

But he also sees promise in a new generation. That inspired him to assemble Young Leaders, one of two panel discussions he’ll present at the International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver on May 28 and 29.

“By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.”

By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.

Well, it’s either talent or a precocious Midas touch that distinguishes these panel members. Maverix Metals TSXV:MMX CEO Dan O’Flaherty co-founded the royalty/streaming company just last year, already accumulating assets in 10 countries and a $200-million market cap.

As president/CEO of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Jordan Trimble proved adept at fundraising and deal-making while building a 250,000-hectare uranium-thorium exploration portfolio in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Integra president/CEO Steve de Jong raised the company from a $10-million market cap in 2012 to last week’s $590-million takeout.

And, demographic gap notwithstanding, Pollard’s second panel features three other success stories, just a bit older but with lots of potential left after guiding three of last year’s biggest M&A deals. They’ll take part in the Vision to Exit discussion, which closes the conference on May 29.

Eira Thomas burst into prominence at the Lac de Gras diamond fields where she discovered Diavik at age 24. Her most recent major coup took place last year on the Klondike gold fields with Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) $520-million buyout of Kaminak Gold.

Featherstone Capital president/CEO Doug Forster founded and led Newmarket Gold, producing over 225,000 ounces a year from three Australian mines and enticing Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX:KL) billion-dollar offer.

Now chairperson of Liberty Gold TSX:LGD and a director of NexGen Energy TSX:NXE, Mark O’Dea co-founded and chaired True Gold Mining, acquired in April 2016 by Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV. Three other companies that O’Dea co-founded, led and sold were Fronteer Gold, picked up by Newmont Mining NYSE:NEM in 2011; Aurora Energy, sold to Paladin Energy TSX:PDN in 2011; and True North Nickel, in which Royal Nickel TSX:RNX bought a majority interest in 2014.

“We’ll be looking at how they go into deals, what their philosophy is, what’s their current reading of the market and what they’re going to do next. They each have a big future ahead of them.”

Pollard’s two panel discussions take place at the International Metal Writers Conference on May 28 and 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Pre-register for free or pay $20 at the door.

In all, the conference brings generations of talent, expertise and insight to an audience of industry insiders and investors alike.

Read more about the International Metal Writers Conference.

Ivanhoe veteran Matthew Hornor joins Aurvista Gold as president/CEO

May 23rd, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 23, 2017

Management changes should help Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA move to the next level as Matthew Hornor takes charge of financial and business development while Jean Lafleur leads exploration at the company’s Douay project in Abitibi.

Ivanhoe veteran Matthew Hornor joins Aurvista Gold as president/CEO

Hornor’s background includes 10 years as VP and executive VP for Ivanhoe Mines, where he negotiated deals with international banking syndicates, strategic alliances and equity financings totalling more than $450 million. He also spent 10 years as managing director for Ivanhoe Capital and four years as chairperson for Ivanplats Holding SARL, owner of the Platreef platinum-palladium mine in South Africa.

As president/CEO of Kaizen Discovery TSXV:KZD from 2013 to 2016, Hornor arranged project acquisitions, equity financings and a collaboration agreement with ITOCHU Corp, a prominent Japanese trading and investment house. Fluent in Japanese, he began his mining career in Japan 27 years ago. He visits the country frequently, maintaining relationships with major corporations, mining companies, investment firms and trading houses.

The appointment also allows Jean Lafleur to move from president/CEO to VP of exploration on the Douay project in Abitibi’s Casa Berardi deformation zone. Hornor’s experience “speaks for itself,” Lafleur said, “and having his corporate, capital markets and project financing leadership will help us accelerate the company’s growth and true value. I look forward to leading our exploration team in Quebec and working with our group to define the ultimate extent of gold mineralization at Douay.”

Well underway is a 43-hole, 30,000-metre campaign with an update planned later this year for a resource that currently shows an inferred 83.3 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t for 2.81 million gold ounces. Among results released so far, the company announced stepout intercepts earlier this month despite an assay lab backlog caused by the pace of drilling. In March Aurvista announced initial metallurgical test results in line with comparable Abitibi projects.

Last month the company more than doubled its Douay land position, which now stands at 30,500 hectares. Aurvista holds a 100% interest in about 29,300 hectares and a 75% interest in the 1,190-hectare North West zone, with the remainder held by JV partner SOQUEM, the mineral exploration branch of the provincial government’s Investissement Québec.

Read more about Aurvista Gold.

High-grade gold helps BonTerra Resources close the Rivage gap

May 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 16, 2017

With a goal of demonstrating continuity along a 1.2-kilometre potential strike—and maybe stealing some of Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) Urban Barry glory—BonTerra Resources TSXV:BTR released another batch of high-grade assays May 16. Results so far show the Gladiator deposit open in all directions but much of the drilling has focused on closing its gap with the Rivage zone to the west.

Intercepts released for the Rivage gap’s four zones show:

Hole BA-17-04

  • 9.5 g/t gold over 4.2 metres, starting at 88.8 metres in downhole depth, North zone

  • 10 g/t over 4 metres, starting at 233 metres, Footwall zone

  • 1.4 g/t over 25 metres, starting at 272 metres, Porphyry/Main zone
  • (including 3.6 g/t over 3 metres)
High-grade gold helps BonTerra Resources fill the Rivage gap

Fortified by money and high grades, BonTerra Resources
plans up to 40,000 metres for Gladiator’s current program.

BA-17-07

  • 12 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 355 metres, Main zone

BA-17-08

  • 7.5 g/t over 1 metre, starting at 210 metres, North zone

  • 8 g/t over 1 metre, starting at 264 metres, Mid zone

  • 6.4 g/t over 1.8 metres, starting at 300.2 metres, Footwall zone

  • 3.4 g/t over 5.7 metres, starting at 390 metres, Main zone

BA-17-09

  • 9 g/t over 1.8 metres, starting at 67 metres, Footwall zone

BA-17-10

  • 5.6 g/t over 1.5 metres, starting at 177.5 metres, North zone

  • 8.4 g/t over 3.5 metres, starting at 198.5 metres, Footwall zone

  • 5.2 g/t over 2.5 metres, starting at 212.5 metres, Mid zone

  • 5.3 g/t over 2 metres, starting at 237 metres, Main zone

True widths were estimated between 60% and 80%.

Continued high grades add to the anticipation of an update to Gladiator’s 2012 resource, which used a 4 g/t cutoff to show an inferred 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 ounces gold.

With up to 40,000 metres planned for this campaign, drilling has so far hit multiple high-grade intercepts between Gladiator and Rivage, confirmed over one kilometre in strike for each of the Main and Footwall zones, and sought extensions of the Gladiator deposit to 850 metres in depth and 1.2 kilometres in strike, BonTerra stated. Drilling also focuses on the Deep East zone “and within large gaps or voids with currently little drill information” on the 8,126-hectare property.

In late March the company took out a 100% option on Durango Resources’ (TSXV:DGO) Trove property, which BonTerra described as a direct extension of its Gladiator/Coliseum southwest mineralized trend.

A few days earlier the company gained another large cash injection, this one a $5.2-million private placement that gave Kinross Gold TSX:K an approximately 9.5% stake in BonTerra. That followed nearly $15 million raised over February and March with the participation of Sprott Capital Partners.

BonTerra also holds the 2,165-hectare Larder Lake gold project in Ontario’s Cadillac-Larder Lake fault zone, where drilling’s planned to bring historic, non-43-101 resources for two zones up to date.

Read more about BonTerra Resources.

BonTerra president/CEO Nav Dhaliwal comments on a $5.2-million private placement by Kinross Gold

May 10th, 2017

…Read more

Aurvista steps out to find more Abitibi gold

May 8th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 8, 2017

Stepout drill results have Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA increasingly optimistic about potential outside the Douay project’s resource area. The program on Abitibi’s Casa Berardi deformation zone has so far seen 53 holes totalling 21,065 metres, with results received for 25 holes. Some highlights from a batch of assays released May 8 include holes DO-17-169 and DO-17-173 from northwest of the Porphyry zone:

DO-17-169

  • 2.46 g/t gold over 4.5 metres, starting at 312 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.44 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 325.5 metres

  • 0.72 g/t over 9 metres, starting at 336 metres

An earlier interval from DO-17-169, among assays released last month, showed 0.79 g/t over 34.5 metres.

Aurvista steps out to find more Abitibi gold

Previous core from Douay
reveals visible gold.

DO-17-173

  • 0.64 g/t over 7.5 metres, starting at 132 metres

  • 0.55 g/t over 4.5 metres, starting at 196.5 metres

  • 2.19 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 219 metres

A few other highlights include:

DO-17-165

  • 0.86 g/t over 7.5 metres, starting at 143.5 metres

  • 0.42 g/t over 6 metres, starting at 306.5 metres

DO-17-167

  • 0.36 g/t over 18.5 metres, starting at 209.5 metres

True widths are estimated at about 90%.

A resource update released in March used a 0.5 g/t cutoff for eight zones totalling:

  • inferred: 83.3 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t for 2.81 million gold ounces

With another resource update planned for later this year, drilling continues backed by $7.5 million raised last year. But the pace might exceed lab capacity. “Due to increased investment and high volume of exploration and drilling currently underway in the Douay region, assay labs are backed up and we have taken the necessary steps to expedite the assay process for the remainder of the program,” said president/CEO Jean Lafleur. “We look forward to results from 25-plus more drill holes from high-priority target areas at Douay.”

In March Aurvista released preliminary metallurgical test results that the company said were in line with comparable Abitibi projects. More tests are planned this year.

With additional claims staked last month, Douay now totals 30,500 hectares. Aurvista holds a 100% interest in approximately 29,300 hectares and a 75% interest in the 1,190-hectare North West zone, a JV with 25% partner SOQUEM, the mineral exploration branch of the provincial government’s Investissement Québec.

Aurvista Gold more than doubles its Abitibi-region Douay project

April 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 5, 2017

Maybe partly inspired by a recent expansion of mineralization, Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA has expanded its Douay gold project to more than twice its previous size. Taking advantage of recently abandoned claims, the company staked another 16,440 hectares, increasing the property to about 30,500 hectares along a 40-kilometre stretch of the Abitibi’s Casa Berardi deformation zone.

Aurvista Gold more than doubles its Abitibi-region Douay project

The new land has airborne geophysics and ground surveys scheduled for summer.

Aurvista now holds a 100% interest in about 29,300 hectares and a 75% interest in the 1,190-hectare North West zone, with the remainder held by JV partner SOQUEM, the mineral exploration branch of the provincial government’s Investissement Québec.

Two days earlier Aurvista released assays boasting good grades over wide intervals, one of which potentially expanded Douay’s Main porphyry zone by 500 metres. Having raised $7.5 million in 2016, the company has three rigs conducting a 30,000-metre campaign, with a year-end goal of updating the resource, currently showing an inferred 83.3 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t for 2.81 million gold ounces.

Last week Aurvista announced preliminary metallurgical results that the company said were in line with comparable Abitibi projects.

Read more about Aurvista Gold.

Co-authors Taylor Jackson and Kenneth P. Green comment on the latest Fraser Institute survey of mining jurisdictions, which placed Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec in first, second and sixth place globally

April 4th, 2017

…Read more

Aurvista Gold extends Main zone as three rigs tackle the Abitibi’s Douay project

April 3rd, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 3, 2017

With 29 holes and 11,363 metres finished so far out of a 30,000-metre program, Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA announced a 500-metre strike expansion northwest of the Douay project’s Main porphyry zone. The extension comes from hole DO-17-169:

  • 0.79 g/t over 34.5 metres, starting at 204 metres in downhole depth

Additional assays for this hole are still to come. Six of the 10 holes reported April 3 searched for Main zone extensions, with highlights showing:

Aurvista Gold extends Main zone as three rigs tackle the Abitibi’s Douay project

Located on the Abitibi’s Casa Berardi deformation zone,
Douay has another resource update planned this year.

DO-17-155

  • 0.59 g/t gold over 31.5 metres, starting at 55.5 metres

DO-17-156

  • 1.26 g/t over 12 metres, starting at 121.5 metres

DO-17-158

  • 0.83 g/t over 23.2 metres, starting at 227.3 metres

  • 0.99 g/t over 7.5 metres, starting at 279 metres

  • 0.98 g/t over 13.4 metres, starting at 306.7 metres

  • 1.05 g/t over 19 metres, starting at 387.4 metres

True widths were estimated at 90%.

Assays are pending for 13 additional holes, 10 of them at the Main zone, which has another 10 holes planned. An earlier batch released in February saw results up to 2.11 g/t over 20.6 metres and 2.2 g/t over 23.1 metres. Overall, 93% of the program’s results have equalled or exceeded the resource’s 0.5 g/t cutoff, Aurvista president/CEO Jean Lafleur stated. This year’s update shows an inferred category of 83.3 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t for 2.81 million gold ounces. The company anticipates another update by year-end.

Aurvista has three rigs on site to extend mineralization along east-west corridors and expand individual zones. Results “have provided favourable indications that previously ‘unmineralized’ segments of the Douay West and the Main porphyry zones are in fact mineralized,” the company stated.

Preliminary metallurgical results released last week showed recoveries in line with comparable Abitibi projects, Aurvista announced. Gold recovery averaged 26% from gravity and 66% from flotation, for a total of 92%. Cyanidation leaching of a gravity and flotation concentrate came to 85% recovery.

Also last week, Aurvista bought the remaining 10% interest of a 20-hectare portion of the 14,520-hectare Douay property for $12,500 from Société d’exploration minière Vior TSXV:VIO. In January Aurvista bought back a 1.5% NSR on 32 claims for $325,000. Aurvista offset most of those costs by selling 1.08 million Vior shares for $215,551. Aurvista raised $7.5 million in 2016.

The company now holds a 100% interest in 13,330 hectares and a 75% interest in the 1,190-hectare North West zone, a JV with 25% partner SOQUEM, the mineral exploration branch of the provincial government’s Investissement Québec.

Read more about Aurvista Gold.

Commerce Resources president Chris Grove welcomes Quebec’s participation in his company’s Ashram rare earths project

March 31st, 2017

…Read more

92 Resources begins metallurgical tests on NWT lithium

March 28th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 28, 2017

A Northwest Territories lithium project gets its first-ever metallurgical studies as 92 Resources TSXV:NTY announced a two-phase program on March 28. The 1,659-hectare Hidden Lake property underwent channel sampling last year on four of six known lithium-bearing spodumene dykes, with the best intercept showing:

  • 1.58% Li2O and 31 ppm Ta2O5 over 8.78 metres

  • (including 1.78% Li2O and 31 ppm Ta2O5 over 6.93 metres)
92 Resources begins metallurgical tests on NWT lithium

Hidden Lake’s metallurgical tests follow
last year’s successful sampling program.

The met program’s first phase examines the property’s spodumene and waste materials, leading to a mineral processing phase intended to separate the two and produce a high-grade concentrate.

Material from four pegmatites will be evaluated separately and, if no significant differences are found, a single composite will undergo processing tests. Those tests would include grinding, heavy liquid separation, magnetic separation and flotation. Plans then call for a preliminary flowsheet and a small amount of potentially marketable spodumene concentrate.

The program will also evaluate potential tantalum recovery.

Hidden Lake has all-weather road access to Yellowknife, 45 kilometres southwest. Carrying out the tests will be SGS Canada, which has considerable experience in spodumene pegmatite processing, 92 Resources stated.

In northern Quebec, 92 Resources has initial lithium exploration planned for Pontax, a 5,536-hectare property in a district known for spodumene-bearing pegmatites as well as gold potential.

Earlier this month the company expanded its Golden frac sand project from 807 hectares to 3,211 hectares. The southeastern British Columbia property sits adjacent to the Moberly silica sand project, now being redeveloped into a frac sand operation and among the assets sought by Northern Silica in its takeover bid for Heemskirk Consolidated.

Late last month 92 Resources closed an oversubscribed private placement of $895,199.