Make no mistake, despite the recent rise in the prices of most mined commodities, it’s still gold that attracts the most interest and financing among the juniors. The following are seven such companies pushing forward gold projects across the world.
London-based, Mark Child-led Condor Gold (LON-AIM: CNR) is focused on its wholly owned La India gold-silver project in the historic La India gold mining camp in western Nicaragua, north of Lake Managua.
Indicated and inferred resources at La India stand at 18.1 million tonnes grading 4.0 grams gold per tonne (or 2.3 million contained oz. gold) and 6 grams silver per tonne (2.66 million oz. contained silver). Almost half of that is potentially exploitable by open pit.
Much of the resource is based on work carried out by Condor at La India from 2011 to August 2013, including 302 drill holes totalling 43,000 metres and 11,000 metres of trenching.
SRK Consulting completed a prefeasibility study at La India in 2013, and now Condor is working towards completing a full feasibility study that is eyeing several scenarios including an initial 2,800-tonne-per-day rate to produce 100,000 oz. gold annually for eight years from an open pit.
In late February 2017, Condor was in the midst of raising a gross £5.2 million by placing 8.45 million units priced at 62p per unit, with each unit comprised of a share and half a warrant. Each full warrant allows the holder to buy a share for 93p within two years.
Canadian mining mogul Ross Beaty subscribed for £1 million of the units.
The funds are to be directed to advancing La India and general working capital.
Condor has another 1 million gold equivalent resource in El Salvador, but there is a moratorium on all mining in that country.
Eurasian Minerals (TSXV: EMX; NYSE-MKT: EMX) bills itself as a royalty and prospect generator, and is known in the industry for carrying out high quality exploration in intriguing and exotic locales around the world.
Based in Vancouver and led by former Newmont Mining exec David Cole, Eurasian Minerals’ current portfolio includes copper, gold and polymetallic assets and royalties in the Western U.S. especially Nevada’s Carlin trend, Turkey, Haiti, Sweden, Norway, Serbia, Australia and Russia’s Far East. It also has geothermal royalties in Peru and Eastern Europe.
A nice example of Eurasian’s approach when everything goes well is the Akarca epithermal gold-silver deposit discovered by Eurasian in Western Anatolia 2006. In an exploration program mostly funded by partners, Eurasian drilled 300 core and reverse circulation holes totaling 32,800 metres as well as other studies.
The Akarca gold mine was then built by Turkish mining company Ciftay, with property ownership transferred in August 2016 in return for a combination of US$2 million in cash, future payment streams denominated in gold bullion, and a sliding royalty interest that rises over time from 1% to 3%.
In February 2017, Eurasian received 500 oz. gold (worth US$601,000) as the first installment paid every six months to a total of 7,000 oz. gold
A few weeks later, Eurasian announced a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of up to $7 million by selling 5 million units at $1.40 per unit. Each unit consists of a share and half a non-transferable warrant, with each whole warrant allowing the holder to buy a share at $2 within two years.
Toronto-based Galway Metals (TSXV: GWM) was spun out of Galway Resources four years ago in the wake of Galway Resources’ US$340 million acquisition by AUX Acquisition for the junior’s California gold-silver property in Colombia.
Substantially the same group of management and directors of Galway Resource led by president and CEO Robert Hinchcliffe stayed on with Galway Metals which today has as its primary focus the Clarence Stream gold project located 70 km southwest of Fredericton in southwest New Brunswick.
In August 2016, Galway acquired an option to acquire a 100% interest in Clarence Stream from Wolfden Resources (TSXV: WLF), agreeing to pay Wolfden $3.5 million over three years, plus various net smelter return royalties.
Galway also staked nearby ground and started drilling at Clarence Stream in October. Results released in February included highlights of 10.0 grams gold (uncut) per tonne over 31 metres (30 metres true width) from 15 metres in hole 16-346; and 7.9 grams gold (uncut) over 18 metres (17.4 metres true width) from 23 metres in hole 16-347.
Galway describes Clarence Stream as comprising 45 km of strike length of the Sawyer Brook fault system and straddling several intrusives that are believed to have created the conditions necessary for gold deposition.
When Galway optioned Clarence Stream, it hosted a resource of 822,000 indicated tonnes grading 6.90 grams gold per tonne (or 9.11 grams gold uncut) for 182,000 oz. gold (241,000 oz. gold uncut) plus 1.2 million inferred tonnes at 6.34 grams gold (7.95 grams gold uncut) for 250,000 contained oz. (313,000 oz. gold uncut).
If you think Jaguar Mining (TSX: JAG: US-OTC: JAGGF), think gold mining in Brazil.
The firm has two operating gold mining complexes in Minas Gerais state’s prolific Iron Quadrilateral mining district near the city of Belo Horizonte: the Turmalina complex, which consists of the Turmalina underground mine and mill; and the Caete complex which consists of the Pilar and Roca Grande underground gold mines and the Caete mill. Its third gold mining complex in the state — the Pacienca underground mine — is on care and maintenance.
Jaguar also has earned a 100% interest in the advanced Gurupi gold project on northern Brazil’s Maranhao state from Australian firm Avanco Resources.
Jaguar produced 96,536 oz. gold in 2016 from its Iron Quadrilateral assets, is eyeing output of 100,000 to 110,000 oz. gold this year, and says it has an “achievable strategic plan” to become an annual 200,000 oz. gold producer within five years.
As announced last October, Jaguar plans to spend US$8 million exploring near its mines, including US$6 million dedicated to 31,000 metres of drilling to expand Turmalina and Pilar and much of the rest at the Pacheca and Cubas targets near Pilar, where 8,500 metres of surface diamond drilling is planned.
Jaguar ended 2016 with a cash position of US$26.5 million, and had a net debt position of zero in November 2016 after holders of US$21.5 million in convertible debentures converted this debt to equity. As of Dec. 21, 2016, Jaguar had 307 million shares outstanding for a press-time market capitalization of $200 million.
Based in Brazil, mining veteran Rodney Lamond was appointed Jaguar president and CEO in December 2015, having earlier served as president & CEO of Crocodile Gold.
Jaguar’s chairman is Richard Falconer, who retired as vice-chairman and managing director of CIBC World Markets after 40 years with the bank.
NEVADA SUNRISE GOLD
Vancouver-based Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV: NEV; US-OTC: NVSGF) is focused on exploring Nevada’s mineral potential. It has three gold exploration properties named Golden Arrow, Kinsley Mountain and Roulette, as well as 100% interests in the Neptune, Clayton NE, and Aquarius lithium brine projects in the southwest of the state.
Its most advanced gold project is its 100% owned Golden Arrow property along the northeastern margin of the Walker Lane structural belt. Golden Arrow hosts a measured and indicated resource of 296,500 oz. gold and 4 million oz. silver in 12.2 million tonnes grading 0.024 oz. gold per ton (0.82 gram gold per tonne), and 0.33 oz. silver per ton (11.31 grams silver per tonne), plus another 3.8 million tonnes at lower gold grades. These figures were calculated in 2009.
As for lithium, in January Nevada Sunrise Gold and its partner Advantage Lithium (TSXV: AAL) began a Phase 2 drilling program at their Clayton NE property, which borders the lithium brine mine operated by Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) at Silver Peak in Clayton Valley, Nevada. The juniors’ drilling was to have comprised three reverse circulation holes expected to test depths of a minimum 600 metres each.
In December, Nevada Sunrise and Advantage reported that the lithium brines intercepted by a third drill hole at Clayton NE, no. 16-3, showed a peak values of 322 mg per litre lithium, within 388 metres averaging 243.66 mg per litres. The partners said these results were the “strongest to date at Clayton NE and are comparable to Albemarle’s brine samples” from Silver Peak.
TriMetals Mining (TSX: TMI.B; US-OTC: TMIBF) is ensconced in gold and silver exploration in Nevada and Utah. Its advanced, 100%-owned Gold Springs gold-silver property, which straddles the southern end of the border between the two states, has near-surface, heap-leach mining potential from the Grey Eagle and Jumbo deposits.
At a 0.2 gram gold cut-off, the two deposits host a measured and indicated resource of 30 million tonnes grading 0.45 gram gold per tonne (434,000 contained oz. gold) and 9.6 grams silver per tonne plus an additional 20.9 million inferred tonnes at 0.34 gram gold and 6.9 grams silver. In total that amounts to 903,000 oz. gold equivalent in all categories.
TriMetals considers Gold Springs, which it acquired in 2010, to be geologically analogous to Kinross Gold’s nearby Round Mountain gold mine.
TriMetals expects to update this resource estimate in the first quarter of 2017, after having completed 43 reverse-circulation holes totalling 7,046 metres in 2016, and 14 holes in late 2015.
TriMetals also has a 100% interest in the Escalones copper-gold deposit near Santiago, Chile, where indicated resources stand at 233 million tonnes at 0.31% copper, 0.067 gram gold, 0.661 gram silver and 0.0006% moly, plus another 528 million inferred tonnes at similar grades.
The company notes it had US$3.1 million in its treasury as of Sept. 30, 2016.
From its base in Toronto, Victoria Gold (TSXV: VIT) has been working for years in the central Yukon developing its Dublin Gulch gold property and key Eagle gold deposit. Eagle stands as best candidate for Yukon’s next gold mine.
In a land where infrastructure is everything, Dublin Gulch enjoys accessibility by road year-round, and is located within Yukon Energy’s electrical grid. The company has built and maintains a 100-person all-season camp on-site.
At last count, proven and probable reserves at the Eagle and Olive deposits totaled 2.7 million oz. gold in 123 million tonnes grading 0.67 gram gold per tonne. In the measured and incated categories (inclusive of the reserves), the two deposits contain 191 million tonnes at 0.65 gram gold for 4 million contained oz. gold.
After many years of slow but methodical work at the low grade deposit, everything got more serious in late January 2017, when Victoria appointed BNP Paribas to arrange up to US$220 million of senior, secured project debt to start building the Eagle gold mine.
Victoria president and CEO John McConnell said the facility is to be the “foundation of the financing package that will fund the Eagle project through construction and into production. This is the first important milestone in what promises to be a very busy and exciting 2017 at Victoria.”
Victoria had already earmarked $6.2 million to be spent on exploration drilling at the Dublin Gulch property this year. The company says it will continue step-out and definition drilling at the Olive-Shamrock zone to expand mineable tonnage along this high grade mineralized shear zone, and six targets will be drilled along the 13 km Potato Hills trend.