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Burkina bulletins

September 18th, 2012

A steady stream of gold news flows from west Africa

By Greg Klein

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A poor country rich in gold. That contradiction might someday correct itself if mining can improve life for the people of Burkina Faso. Over the last six years several Canadian companies have explored its potential, among them Riverstone Resources TSXV:RVS. (Update: On February 25, 2013, Riverstone Resources Inc began trading as True Gold Mining Inc TSXV:TGM.) In what’s almost a weekly event, the company announced drill results September 17 from its Karma Gold Project.

Assay highlights from the Kao Deposit include

  • 9.5 grams per tonne gold over 12 metres
  • (including 33.6 g/t over 2 metres)
  • 2.02 g/t over 30 metres
  • (including 2.54 g/t over 18 metres)
  • 2.97 g/t over 14 metres
  • 13.45 g/t over 2 metres
  • 1.73 g/t over 12 metres
  • 3.21 g/t over 6 metres
  • 3.19 g/t over 4 metres
A steady stream of gold news flows from west Africa

Adversity notwithstanding, wide-ranging gold exploration
continues in Burkina Faso.

True widths are estimated between 90% and 100%. Depths extend to 260 metres, but most were less than 54 metres. The company states that its resource update, scheduled for release later this month, is expected to show an increase in more easily recoverable oxide resources.

Karma’s current estimate, issued last January, shows an indicated resource of 54.1 million tonnes grading 1.02 g/t gold for 1.77 million gold ounces and an inferred resource of 37.4 million tonnes grading 0.8 g/t for 959,000 ounces. Over 80% of the resource falls within five Whittle open pit shells. Over 85,000 metres of additional drilling will be incorporated into this month’s update.

On September 17 the company also filed the technical report for Karma’s PEA, which was announced last month. The study projects an initial capex of $125 million, which might be cut to $96 million through contract mining. The study also shows a pre-tax net present value of $271 million and a 47% internal rate of return, or an after-tax NPV of $192 million and a 37% IRR. Payback is estimated at two years.

The study examined three processing options, favouring a heap leach operation that would process three million tonnes of oxide and transition mineralization annually to produce 70,000 to 90,000 gold ounces a year over a 10-year life. Cash costs would come to $525 an ounce. Calculations are based on a gold price of $1,350 an ounce.

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Auguries—Terminal Velocity

May 31st, 2012

May 31, 2012

By Kevin Michael Grace

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Gold was up (at press time) $3.10 (+0.2%) for the week to $1,562.50, and silver was down $0.55
(-1.9%) to $27.71. GoldCore reported, “Gold fell and tested support at $1,530 [Wednesday] but then bounced very sharply and rose by nearly $40… Yesterday may have been a form of ‘tipping point’ for gold whereby it again starts to display its safe haven status as it did soon after the initial price falls at the time of the Lehman financial crisis.”

The search for a safe haven is now something of an obsession as free-falling Europe approaches terminal velocity. Last week, this space announced the failure of the “last hope to save the European Monetary Union as currently constituted.” Foolish certainty. This week, we see the arrival of another last hope, the European Redemption (!) Pact.

May 31, 2012

According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “In effect, Germany would share its credit card to slash debt costs for Italy, Spain and others. Yet it is the exact opposition of fiscal union. While Eurobonds are a federalizing catalyst, the fund would be temporary and self-extinguishing. ‘The fund is a return to the discipline of Maastricht with sovereign control over budgets,’ said Dr Benjamin Weigert, the Council of Experts’ (!) general-secretary.

And if you believe that, perhaps you would be interested in some Facebook shares at the low, low introductory price of $38.

Evans-Pritchard concludes, “Ultimately, a sinking fund cannot tackle the root cause of the Eurozone crisis. It may cap debt costs, but it does not alter the intra-EMU currency misalignment between North and South… Yet the Redemption Pact is at least a first step back from Purgatory.”

An odd metaphor. Purgatory refers to the Christian belief of purification by fire. By definition, one cannot step back from it to Redemption. When a body (personal or corporate) becomes corrupt, isn’t purification the proper prescription?

In any event, Theo Sarrazin, the “controversial” former Berlin Senator and Deutsche Bank executive, argues in a new book, Europa braucht den Euro nicht, that Europe should step back from the Eurozone. His reason for arguing this is the same employed when he argued that Germany should reform its immigration policy—the current system isn’t working. For his pains, this lifelong Social Democrat stands accused of “crude rhetoric laced with far-right undertones.”

In a review—not of the book, which she hasn’t read, but of Der Spiegel‘s story linked above—Heather Horn of the Atlantic sniffs, “It’s not that [Sarrazin's] arguments themselves don’t have merit. It’s that the author doesn’t seem all that concerned with complexity.”

Steve Sailer responds, “To ‘have an opinion’ on policy while simultaneously to ‘have no idea’ about the facts the policy confronts appears to be the perfect summation of the kind of intellectual discourse that is considered appropriate in the 21st Century. The role model for contemporary thinkers is Sgt Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes: ‘I know nuffink!’”

This is the paradoxical principle that exercises universal hegemony in the West. The Heather Horns of the world consider themselves rational, progressive and focused relentlessly on the future, but they are imprisoned by the vision of an ever-receding Golden Age. Perfection was achieved circa 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell and globalism (AKA “The End of History” or “Americanism“) was revealed as the economic and social system that would reign over mankind forever and ever, amen.

When our elite meets thoughtful and detail criticism of policy with a bored “You could be right, but what of it, we’ll continue on our merry way, regardless,” it becomes obvious that said elite lacks the intellectual and moral capacity to deal with crisis.

Or as Sprott’s John Embry says at Mineweb, “I think they are trying to paint the tape to make things look much better than they are and, as a result, this may be one of the finest opportunities if not the finest in the entire [gold] bull market which is now in its 12th year.”

Stock Tips and the Joke of the Week

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Auguries—World Leaders Pretend

May 24th, 2012

May 24, 2012

By Kevin Michael Grace

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A wild week for gold, with the big gains of last Thursday and Friday wiped out and more but a recovery of $11 today. Gold was down (at press time) $15 (-1%) for the week to $1,559.40, and silver was up $0.20 (+0.7%) to $28.26. Various news organizations posited various explanations for the gyrations, with liberal use of the nouns “Greece,” “Eurozone,” “US dollar” and “safe haven.”

Searching for a metaphorical peg for this column, one discovers just the thing, used in this space almost a year ago. So here it is again, Danny from Withnail and I: “Politics, man. If you’re hanging on to a rising balloon, you’re presented with a difficult decision—let go before it’s too late, or hold on and keep getting higher. Posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?”

May 24, 2012

A jolly ride: Mind the drop.

Greece has been hobbled and may yet be wrecked, but our world leaders pretend will not let go of the rope. The last hope to save the European Monetary Union as currently constituted vanished when Chancellor Merkel ruled out issuing Eurobonds (as they would violate Germany’s constitution), and yet the talks go on. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports that “the smart money crowd” is counting on the risk of Greece’s exit being so discounted that “a brisk—if brief—market rally” would result.

Evans-Pritchard is not so sanguine. He writes, “The danger for Euroland is slow contagion…once the sanctity of monetary union is violated, compounding the underlying crisis as Portugal, Spain, and Italy sink deeper into (policy-driven) debt-deflation.” He points out that nothing EU leaders say can be trusted. Witness the pronouncements: “1. There would be no bailouts. 2. Sovereign defaults inside EMU were inconceivable. 3. EMU exit was out of the question, lunatic and so forth. Every one of these claims has been shown to be untrue.”

“Catastrophic,” is the word used by former Prime Minster Lucas Papademos to describe the consequences of Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone. Evans-Pritchard responds, “This is a religious incantation or possibly just a threat. It would be catastrophic, if EU leaders and the IMF chose to make it catastrophic. That is a political decision. Such shroud-waving borders on political blackmail.”

But one could hardly expect any different from a man who was, successively, professor of economics at Columbia, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Governor of the Bank of Greece, Vice President of the European Central Bank, professor of public policy at the Kennedy School at Harvard and senior fellow at the Centre for Financial Studies at the University of Frankfurt.

Consider, if you will, the indignity suffered by Prof Papademos in having to resort to blackmail, indeed having to resort to words. Time was when a mere nod or wink from any of the august members of the International Brotherhood of Smart Guys would put the nations of the world in their place.

The Brotherhood’s media minions are feeling the heat as well. In the Guardian, Gaby Hinsliff faces the dispiriting task of having to explain why a British exit from the EU would be unthinkable. Unfortunately, that “requires having good reason to believe in Europe. And the trouble is that even many of us who feel instinctively pro-European increasingly struggle to articulate precisely why.”

Time was the minions would resort to that old reliable, the argument from superiority. “It used to be easy. If you were irresistibly drawn towards florid men sporting pound sign badges and complaining about ‘political correctness gone mad,’ then you might be pro-withdrawal. Otherwise, not so much.”

Nowadays, however, supporters of another EU referendum include not only Daily Mail readers, UKIP voters and other troglodytes but also, shudder, Labour Party leaders. Oh dear, what is Hinsliff to do? In the event, she resorts to that new reliable, the argument from TINA—there is no alternative. “Britain is no longer just in the club but inextricably of it. No referendum can remove us from an international banking system that has welded one country’s fortunes to another’s through a complex chain of lending and borrowing across borders, a distant echo of the moral obligations binding one human to another.”

So, International Finance equals Liberté, égalité, fraternité? Isn’t the Guardian supposed to be a left-wing paper? Clearly, the binary division of politics into left and right wings which came out of the French Revolution has exhausted its utility. By traditional standards, all political leaders (the “conservative” parties included) are now left-wing, but they are all utterly beholden to bankers, who have always been considered right-wing.

Stock Tips and the Joke of the Week

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Volta reports Burkina Gold PFS with $609.7M capex, $548M NPV, 23.3% IRR, 340K oz/year, 10.3-year life

May 4th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced results of a prefeasibility study for its Kiaka Gold Project in south Burkina Faso. The study is based on proven and probable reserves of 126.08 million tonnes at a diluted grade of 0.96 g/t gold for 3.89 million ounces gold, with annual mining of 12 million tonnes of gold ore from a single open pit at a strip ratio of 2.95:1 and an average metallurgical recovery of 89.84%.

The study projects a capex of $609.7 million and average operating costs of US$671 an ounce for a pretax NPV of $548 million assuming a gold price of $1,372 per ounce and an 8% discount rate, with a pretax IRR of 23.3% with a 4.3-year payback on initial capital. Annual production is estimated at 340,000 ounces gold over a life of 10.3 years.

Volta holds an 81% interest in the project. A local company holds 9% as a participating partner, and the Burkina Faso state owns a 10% free-carried interest.

President/CEO Kevin Bullock stated, “These are monumental results for Volta that widely exceeded our expectations and place Volta firmly on the path to production. It’s notable that the strong economic benefits arise from conservative assumptions and, along with numerous options for optimization, we are confident that we can make these numbers even more powerful. We will continue our aggressive pace toward production. We will continue drilling our new high-grade deposit and conclude various technical tasks in order to begin a feasibility study as soon as possible.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

by Greg Klein

Volta reports Burkina Faso Gold Assays up to 1.65 g/t over 219m

March 14th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced assays from its Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Results include

1.07 g/t gold over 217.2 metres
1.35 g/t over 17 metres
1.65 g/t over 219 metres (including 4.81 g/t over 17 metres)
1.37 g/t over 29.3 metres (including 5.56 g/t over 5 metres)
1.02 g/t over 59.8 metres (including 5.6 g/t over 4.4 metres)
0.76 g/t over 118 metres (including 1.69 g/t over 23.5 metres)
1.12 g/t over 104 metres (including 6.84 g/t over 6 metres)
1.31 g/t over 154 metres

The Kiaka gold project has a June 2011 NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate of 3.02 million ounces gold in the measured and indicated categories, 1.26 million ounces inferred.

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

or Andreas Curkovic
Investor Relations
416.577.9927

by Ted Niles

Volta reports Burkina Faso Gold Assays including 2.22 g/t over 59m

March 6th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced results from its Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Assays include

1.22 g/t gold over 43.3 metres
1.12 g/t over 135 metres
2.22 g/t over 59 metres
1.25 g/t over 121 metres
1.54 g/t over 21 metres
0.99 g/t over 92.2 metres
1.28 g/t over 35.2 metres
1.04 g/t over 53.1 metres
1.1. g/t over 65 metres
0.81 g/t over 105.5 metres
1.28 g/t over 52 metres

CEO Kevin Bullock stated, “With the results from the final holes of the infill drilling now starting to come in, we look forward to announcing an updated NI 43-101-compliant resource within the next few weeks.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

by Ted Niles

Volta reports Burkina Faso Assays including 1.57 g/t Gold over 153m

February 28th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced results from its Kiaka Gold Project in Burkina Faso. Highlights include

1.57 g/t gold over 153 metres
(including 2.8 g/t over 30 metres)
0.83 g/t over 171 metres
(including 2.3 g/t over 6 metres)
1.95 g/t over 59 metres
1.45 g/t over 76 metres
(including 3.09 g/t over 13 metres)
3.33 g/t over 28 metres
(including 8.69 g/t over 9 metres)
1.01 g/t over 89.2 metres
(including 4.62 g/t over 6.5 metres)
4.87 g/t over 7 metres

President/CEO Kevin Bullock stated, “These latest results again represent new milestones for Kiaka. When we first started developing the already significant Kiaka Deposit, our goals were to expand the deposit deeper and to better delineate the higher-grade zones. We have consistently met these goals and have accelerated our rate of achievement.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

or Andreas Curkovic
Investor Relations
416.577.9927

by Greg Klein

Volta reports Burkina Faso Gold Assays as high as 1.36 g/t over 59m

February 22nd, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced results from its Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Assays include

0.95 g/t gold over 69 metres (including 1.85 g/t over 14.1 metres)
1.36 g/t over 59 metres (including 1.97 g/t over 28 metres)
0.94 g/t over 163 metres (including 2.39 g/t over 16 metres)
1.99 g/t over 21.8 metres
1.1 g/t over 57.4 metres
0.97 g/t over 120.7 metres (including 1.3 g/t over 28 metres)
2.28 g/t over 12 metres (including 4.26 g/t over 4 metres)
1.52 g/t over 11.1 metres (including 2.82 g/t over 4.8 metres)

CEO Kevin Bullock commented, “Since the Central Area in the KMZ is the heart of the Kiaka deposit we are very happy to keep recording results that will continue to improve the project’s dynamics. These results, along with other recent results, are being used in the upcoming resource update and prefeasibility study.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

or Andreas Curkovic
Investor Relations
416.577.9927

by Ted Niles

Volta reports Burkina Faso Gold Assays as high as 1.98 g/t over 40m

January 25th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced assays from the Toulfe prospect of its Titao I permit in northwestern Burkina Faso, West Africa. Results include

2.92 g/t gold over 3 metres
2.98 g/t over 8 metres
1.36 g/t over 9 metres
1.96 g/t over 12 metres
1.98 g/t over 40 metres
1.72 g/t over 25 metres
0.95 g/t over 10 metres

CEO Kevin Bullock stated, “These results confirm that Toulfe is a new discovery for us in Burkina Faso. These are impressive first drill holes that provide us with quality targets for our next round of drilling. The results are particularly interesting due to their proximity to surface. As we continue to advance our flagship Kiaka project down the production path, we remain committed to demonstrate that we have further exciting exploration potential in Burkina Faso.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

or Andreas Curkovic
Investor Relations
416.577.9927

by Ted Niles

Volta reports Burkina Gold Assays as high as 1.25 g/t over 195.3m

January 16th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningVolta Resources Inc TSX:VTR announced assays from its Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Results include

1.61 g/t gold over 69.6 metres (including 2.11 g/t over 21.1 metres)
1.25 g/t over 195.3 metres (including 1.97 g/t over 58.2 metres)
0.66 g/t over 107 metres (including 1.14 g/t over 8 metres)
1.14 g/t over 83.6 metres (including 1.5 g/t over 49.2 metres)
0.71 g/t over 161 metres (including 2.12 g/t over 10.4 metres)

President/CEO Kevin Bullock commented, “These robust results are notable on their own, but they are even more encouraging because these holes were drilled in an area which does not include previously defined NI 43-101 resources. These results, along with earlier ones, will add more gold ounces to our upcoming revised resource estimate. Our new resource estimate will complement our prefeasibility study expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2012. At that time we will be in a strong position to aggressively pursue plans for production at Kiaka.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Kevin Bullock
President/CEO
647.388.1842

or Andrea Curkovic
Investor Relations
416.577.9927

by Ted Niles