Since the start of commercial production in November 2012 at its first mine — the Ming copper–gold mine in Baie Verte, N.L. — Rambler Metals & Mining (TSXV: RAB; LSE: RMM) has generated $31 million in operating cash flow and repaid a multi-million credit facility.
In February the junior cleared the remaining $1 million of its credit facility with Sprott Resource Lending Corp. and is now debt free and profitable. Its Ming mine — based on an underground volcanic massive sulphide style copper deposit with anomalously high gold grades — remains open in multiple directions, including at depth.
In the three months ended April 30, Rambler produced 6,238 dry tonnes of copper concentrate (up 36% year-on-year) containing 1,829 tonnes copper metal, 1,608 oz. gold and 13,196 oz. silver. Average feed grades at Rambler’s Nugget Pond mill were 3.84% copper, 1.62 grams gold per tonne and 11.70 grams silver, with mill-recovery rates of 96.4% copper, 66.2% gold and 79.2% silver.
Rambler shipped 8,301 dry tonnes during the period via its concentrate storage and shipping facility at Goodyear’s Cove, 140 km from the Nugget Pond mill, and posted a net profit of $2.3 million, or $0.016 per share, up from $193,000 in the third quarter of 2013. (In this year’s second quarter Rambler’s net profit reached $1.03 million, or $0.007 per share.) As of April 30 Rambler held $6.3 million in cash. This amount grew to $8.7 million by June 19.
Rambler’s Ming property contains the former producing Ming and Ming West copper–gold mines. The Ming mine last operated in 1982 and over a decade produced 2.1 million tonnes at 3.5% copper, 2.5 grams gold per tonne and 11 grams silver per tonne. The Ming West mine operated for a short period in 1995–96, producing 271,000 tonnes grading 4% copper and 5.8 grams gold per tonne.
Ming consists of several zones (1805 to 1807, the North and South zones, and the Lower Footwall zone). The 1806 zone is a high-grade gold zone grading over 4 grams gold per tonne and 1807 is a copper-rich zone. Rambler has also discovered the high-grade Upper Footwall zone, which sits stratigraphically between the Ming deposit and the Lower Footwall zone.
In June 2013 Rambler received funding from the Research & Development Corp. of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) to research two projects associated with advancing the Ming mine. The first is a study on liberating gold from historic tailings and the second is an investigation of pre-concentration methods, with the goal of improving the economic viability of the Lower Footwall zone.
The northwestern coast of the island of Newfoundland has a history and culture of gold, base metals and industrial minerals dating back to the mid-1800s, and Rambler Metals says its strategic vision is to become Atlantic Canada’s leading mine operator and resource developer. The company listed in London in 2005 and in Toronto in 2007.
In addition to its Ming property, Rambler has strategic investments in the former producing Hammerdown gold mine, the Little Deer project (holding the past-producing Little Deer and Whalesback deposits, 30 km from Rambler’s port facilities at Goodyear’s Cove), and in the advanced Valentine Lake gold project in central Newfoundland, 57 km south of the mining town of Buchans.
The Valentine Lake property, which is 100%-owned by Marathon Gold (TSX: MOZ; US-OTC: MGDPF), consists of two gold deposits: Leprechaun and Victory Gold. The gold deposits form part of a 23 km long gold-bearing mineralized corridor along the Valentine Lake thrust fault.
On Aug. 5, Rambler closed the third tranche of a private placement of common shares in Marathon Gold, bringing its ownership to 2.7 million shares, or 3.98% of the company.
Over the last year, Rambler’s shares have traded within a range of 36¢ to 62¢.
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