Global Gold Snapshot: Nine explorers and miners pushing forward with new projects

The mill at OceanaGold’s Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines. Credit: Oceanagold.The mill at OceanaGold’s Didipio gold-copper mine in the Philippines. Credit: Oceanagold.

With gold prices remaining strong over the past couple of years and showing no signs of abating, gold exploration and mine development are in high gear, with substantial projects and new mines underway across the globe. Here is a look at nine companies, from micro-cap to intermediate producers.


Gowest Gold (TSXV: GWA; US-OTC: GWSAF) is building the next gold mine in Ontario’s prolific Timmins gold camp.

The Toronto-based junior is steadily advancing what it calls its North Timmins gold project with an eye to achieving commercial production in 2019 at a rate of 50,000 oz. gold a year. The project involves building an underground mine at its Bradshaw deposit north of Timmins and just east of the Kidd Creek property, and carry out milling at the existing Redstone flotation mill southeast of the city, which is co-owned with Northern Sun Mining on a fifty-fifty basis.

In February Gowest signed an agreement to sell gold concentrate produced from Bradshaw to Shandong Humon Smelting of China, with Humon having advanced US$3 million to Gowest as a prepayment for the planned delivery and sale of gold concentrate produced as part of Gowest’s ongoing advanced exploration and bulk-sampling program.

Gowest says that bringing new ore feed from the zones it is exploring near the Bradshaw deposit could boost its annual production to 100,000 oz. gold.

According to a 2015 study, Bradshaw hosts a probable reserve of 1.8 million tonnes grading 4.82 grams gold per tonne for 277,000 contained oz. gold. There are another 2.1 million indicated tonnes grading 6.19 grams gold (422,000 oz. gold) and 3.6 million inferred tonnes of 6.47 grams gold (755,000 oz. gold).


What company is the biggest gold and silver producer in Colombia? It’s Colombia-focused, Toronto-based Gran Colombia Gold (TSX: GCM; US-OTC: TPRFF), with several underground mines and two processing plants at its Segovia and Marmato operations. 

Gran Colombia is in the midst of an expansion and modernization project at its flagship, high-grade Segovia operations in Antioquia Department, which produced 148,649 oz. gold in 2017, up 18% from 2016.

At Marmato in Caldas Department, Gran Colombia produced 25,162 oz. gold in 2017, up 7% from 2016. In October, the company announced it would change focus at Marmato from open-pit mining to underground operations.

In 2017, Gran Colombia produced a guidance-beating 173,821 oz. gold from both operations, up 16% from 2016.

In January 2018 alone, Gran Colombia produced a total of 16,700 oz. gold, with Segovia contributing 14,613 oz. and Marmato chipping in another 2,087 oz. gold, which would translate to an annualized rate of 200,000 oz. gold.

In February, Gran Colombia laid out terms for a proposed US$152-million debt financing, with GMP Capital and UBS Securities serving as lead agents.

Serafino Iacono, executive co-chairman of Gran Colombia, explained the rationale for the financing: “The dilution overhang from our convertible debentures, as many investors have communicated to us, is having an adverse impact on our share price relative to comparable valuations for our peers. For this reason, in light of the current market conditions, we are proceeding with the offering to allow the company to simplify its capital structure, having just one long-term debt instrument, and to enhance shareholder value by capping the potential dilution to existing shareholders through exercise of the new warrants at 18.8 million additional common shares, compared with a range of 18.7 million to 72.1 million additional common shares under the current convertible debentures.”


Marathon Gold (TSX: MOZ; US-OTC: MGDPF) is advancing its 240 sq. km Valentine Lake gold property in south-central Newfoundland, and says it is “defining the largest gold resource in Atlantic Canada,” with some 2.9 million oz. gold already delineated in all categories. Resources are held in several shallow deposits spread out along a 30 km trend, and the project could see both open-pit and underground mining, with traditional milling and possibly heap-leaching.

Led by president and CEO Phillip Walford, Marathon expects to complete a preliminary economic assessment in the second quarter, and then embark on a prefeasibility study.

In November 2017, Marathon bought back net smelter return royalties on Valentine Lake held by Glencore for US$8.7 million.


Vancouver-based Newrange Gold (TSXV: NRG; US-OTC: NRGOF) was founded in 2006 as Colombian Mines Corp. to hunt for minerals in Colombia, but changed gears in July 2016 by acquiring the high-grade Pamlico gold project east of Hawthorne, Nev., and changing its name to Newrange Gold in December 2016.  Robert G. Carrington, who cofounded Colombian Mines, still serves as Newrange president and CEO.

In March, Newrange raised $738,000 in two private placements of shares and warrants, with funds earmarked for work at Pamlico.

The Pamlico property shipped ore as far back as 1886, and hosts historic mines, including Pamlico, Central, Sunset, Good Hope, Gold Bar and multiple unnamed mines.

Newrange started a new round of exploration drilling at the property in February.


Regulus Resources (TSXV: REG; US-OTC: RGLSF) was formed as a spin-off company in December 2010 after Antares Minerals was sold to First Quantum Minerals, with the Antares team that discovered the Haquira porphyry copper deposit reorganizing under the Regulus banner.

The Antakori copper-gold-silver project in the Sinchao mining district — 60 km north of Cajamarca in Peru — has since become Regulus’ flagship project.

At last count in 2012 by previous owner Southern Legacy Minerals, Antakori held total resources of 294 million tonnes grading 0.36 gram gold per tonne, 10.16 grams silver per tonne, 0.48% copper, 10.69 grams molybdenum per tonne and 0.07% lead. This resource is calculated to National Instrument 43-101 standards.

In its most recent reporting of drilling at Antakori released in November, Regulus said it had stepped out 400 metres and intersected 323 metres (from 267 metres downhole) grading 0.52% copper, 0.15 gram gold and 8.28 grams silver.

Regulus has many other early stage exploration projects in Argentina, Peru, Nevada and British Columbia.


Reunion Gold (TSXV: RGD; US-OTC: RGDFF) has as its executive chairman veteran mine finder and global gold explorer David Fennell, and as its president and CEO seasoned mine engineer Réjean Gourde. Reunion is exploring for gold in Fennell and Gourde’s old stomping grounds in the French Guiana and Guyana portions of the gold-rich Guiana Shield.

In French Guiana, Reunion has options to acquire the 84 sq. km Dorlin project (75%), which contains a historical estimate of 1.6 million oz. gold; the 78 sq. km Boulanger project (100%), located 40 km south of Cayenne; and the 122 sq. km Haute Mana project (80%).

In Guyana, Reunion is carrying out early-stage exploration in the Northwest District at its Aremu, Arawini and Waiamu projects, where artisanal gold miners have been active. Aremu and Waiamu are 90 km and 45 km from Guyana Goldfields’ Aurora gold mine.

Reunion shareholders include Dundee Corp. (16.5%) and Barrick Gold (15%), and the company had $18.7 million in cash at the end of 2017.


Vancouver-based Roxgold (TSX: ROXG; US-OTC: ROGFF) is an emerging gold producer with its new Yaramoko high-grade gold mine in the Houndé greenstone region of western Burkina Faso.

Last year was a stellar one for Roxgold, with production of 127,000 oz. gold exceeding increased guidance of 115,000–125,000 oz. gold in its first full year of operations.

The cash-operating cost guidance of US$445–US$490 per oz. gold and all-in sustaining cost guidance of US$740-US$790 per oz. are expected within range.

With gold sales in 2017 of US$159.4 million, Roxgold ended the year with US$64 million in cash and US$47 million in long-term debt.

An indication of the mine’s high grade came in the fourth quarter, with the head grade at Yaramoko topping 17.6 grams gold per tonne and the gold recovery rate, 99.1%.


OceanaGold (TSX: OGC ; US-OTC: OCANF) has major gold mines in New Zealand, the Philippines and South Carolina.

The company has had its ups and downs over the years, but celebrated a record full-year net profit of US$172 million in 2017 — including a record quarterly net profit of US$89 million — based on record full-year revenue of US$724 million, including a record quarterly revenue of US$246 million.

And that’s not all. OceanaGold has declared its first semi-annual dividend for 2018 of US1¢ per share payable in April 2018, and the second one to come in the fourth quarter.

On a consolidated basis from its four mines for 2017, OceanaGold produced 574,600 oz. gold and 18,350 tonnes copper at all-in sustaining costs of US$617 per oz. gold.


Victoria Gold (TSXV: VIT; US-OTC: VITFF) is building a mine at its Eagle Gold project on its Dublin Gulch property in the Yukon, which hosts a reserve of 123 million tonnes grading 0.67 gram gold per tonne, or 2.7 million oz. gold.

The Toronto-based junior had company-changing news on March 8 that it had landed an aggregate $505-million financing package, which will fully fund mine construction at Eagle Gold.

The financing involves Orion Mine Finance, Osisko Gold Royalties and Caterpillar Financial Services. It holds two credit facilities totalling US$175 million; an equipment-financing facility for up to US$50 million; a $98 million royalty financing; and a private placement of Victoria common shares to two separate subscribers for a total of $125 million.

The mining rate is planned at 33,700 tonnes per day, producing 1.88 million oz. gold over a 10-year life.


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