Goldstone begins economic and environmental work at proposed Ghana gold project (GRL)

Goldstone Resources (LSE:GRL) dipped 3.6pc to 1.8p on Thursday despite announcing two milestone developments at its Akrokeri-Homase (AKHM) gold project in Ghana. In an update, the business said it has now begun a definitive economic plan (DEP) and environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the site.

These projects represent critical steps in the company’s efforts to fast-track the development of its first operating mine on Ghana’s Homase Trend. This is an 8km-long gold-in-soil anomaly found within AKHM. It is located on the northern end of the Ashanti gold belt, just 12km along strike from Anglo Gold Ashanti’s more than 70MMoz Obuasi gold mine.

All-in-all, Akrokeri-Homase hosts a JORC Code compliant 602,000 oz gold resource at an average grade of 1.77 g/t. The project also contains two former mines. Firstly, Akrokerri Ashanti Mine produced 75,000 oz gold at 24 g/t recovered grade in the early 1900s on site. Then, AngloGold Ashanti developed the Homase Pit in 2002/03, producing 52,000 oz gold at 2.5 g/t recovered. Goldstone plans to build a portfolio of high-quality gold projects in Ghana, focusing particularly on the Ashanti gold belt.

The DEP announced on Thursday will assess capital requirements, operating costs, and timelines for a proposed mine. The work is expected to complete in Q2 2019 and will be used to create a fast-track, low-cost plan to submit for final government approval in May.

It is being carried out by MAED, which is wholly-owned by Goldstone’s non-executive chairman Bill Trew. Following initial consultation, MAED believes a low-tonnage, gravity and combined heap leach facility can achieve early stage cash flow with minimal capital expenditure.

Meanwhile, a business called Optimal Development Consult will complete the EIA. The work is a pre-requisite to applying for a mining licence. It will also manage community and social relations work.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Goldstone said it is continuing to make steady progress on its scoping study for the Homase Trend. It expects to receive the results of a pilot heap leach project and the first stage of trenching two deposits called at Homase North and Adubriem shortly.

In the meantime, the company has begun additional trenching that will target the mineralised zone along the Homase Trend to the north of the existing Homase open pit. It expects to receive the results of this work in the second quarter.

Emma Priestley, chief executive at GoldStone, said: ‘Last year, we made a commitment to our shareholders to bring the Akrokeri-Homase project into production in the shortest possible time.  Initial indications point towards the viability of a low tonnage, gravity and combined heap leach facility to generate early stage cash flow with minimal capital expenditure at Homase. As such, this is the focus of our development efforts, as we seek to deliver our objective of near term production.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Systems Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

ECR Minerals launches drilling campaign at Black Cat prospect in Australia (ECR)

ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) sat at 0.86p on Wednesday after announcing that it had begun drilling at its Black Cat gold prospect in Victoria, Australia.

The firm has signed a contract for 450m of rotary air blast (RAB) drilling at Black Cat, which is based in its Bailieston gold project. RAB is a low-cost drilling method, which ECR says is particularly well suited to the prospect. The business has mentioned previously that it expects the technique to gather geological information in an ‘efficient and cost-effective manner’.

Black Cat is among the high priority targets identified by geophysical interpretation and targeting studies completed by Terra Resources at Victoria in late 2017. The prospect is located immediately south of ground recently applied for by resources giant Newmont Exploration.

The site is yet to be drilled but contains 220m of historical workings along three known lines of quartz reef. This holds strong gold-in-soil anomalism that indicates unworked reefs could remain at depth. Meanwhile, rock chip sampling of quartz-poor material suggests the potential for disseminated gold, with grades of up to 11.3g/t of the precious metal.

In Wednesday’s update, ECR said composite samples representing 4m downhole lengths will be compiled from the site and assayed for gold. Once these have been received, composites that have returned anomalous gold grades will be re-sampled on a metre-by-metre basis. This second set of samples will then be sent for assay. ECR expects the turnaround time for these assays to be 2-6 weeks.

ECRs chief executive Craig Brown has previously said that Black Cat is located at the ‘epicentre’ of the current gold exploration boom in Victoria. He has highlighted the prospect’s proximity to the successful Fosterville mine, which is owned by Kirkland Lake Gold.

‘This point is underlined by the arrival of Newmont Exploration in the district with an application for ground immediately to the north of the Black Cat prospect,’ he said in an update earlier this month. ‘Notwithstanding our active operations we are keen to maintain strict budgetary cost control and it is notable that the use of RAB drilling at Black Cat is a particularly low-cost method of exploration and will enable us to gather geological information in an efficient and cost-effective manner.’

Wednesday’s update has come during a particularly busy period for ECR, with the business also preparing for two further drilling programmes in Victoria. At the end of last month, the firm announced that it had signed a contract for 4,000-6,000m of reverse circulation drilling in the region.

ECR said its first target is its Creswick Gold Project, where exploration mapping has identified a large gold system within the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS). The DMS is a 15km-long hard rock geological feature and the source of much alluvial and deep lead gold. Drilling will target multiple quartz vein orientations identified within the DMS.

Once this has completed, drilling will then move to the firm’s Blue Moon gold prospect, which is also located at Bailieston. Here, ECR will follow-up a significant near-surface gold intercept and evidence of a near-surface mineralised gold system. The drill target here is a sandstone that has been weathered heavily near the surface. However, ECR believes it may host higher grade gold mineralisation, including disseminated sulphides at deeper levels.

Alongside its various drilling updates, last month also saw ECR announce that it had submitted applications for the nine exploration licences that make up the Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of Australia. The area has been identified as a gold exploration opportunity because it has the potential to contain Archaean greenstones beneath shallow cover. Archaean greenstones host many of Western Australia and the world’s most prolific gold deposits.

The under-cover greenstone gold exploration model has already been tested successfully by Greatland Gold at its nearby Ernest Giles project. Furthermore, ECR’s licence applications also cover a large proportion of an identified gravity-magnetic trend with known gold prospects along trend to the south.

Previous exploration at Windidda has only targeted base metal and manganese deposit within cover sequences. ECR expects its target areas to be amenable to aircore drilling. It hopes this will enable it to make a rapid assessment of their potential for gold mineralisation.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Systems Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Kerim Sener talks progress as Ariana Resources reveals £3.79m payment from Kiziltepe subsidiary (AAU)

Ariana Resources (LSE: AAU) climbed 8% on Tuesday on news that it will receive up to £3.79m worth of capital from its subsidiary Galata Madencilik. Galata, Ariana’s wholly-owned Turkish operating company, has transferred around £1m to date as a result of the repayment of loans by its JV company, Zenit Madencilik.

Galata made the loans to cover the exploration and development of its Kiziltepe Mine, which achieved first gold production in March 2017. The mine is part of the Red Rabbit Gold Project, a joint venture between Galata and Proccea Construction (incorporated as Zenit Madencilik). Now that production has ramped up, cashflow from the mine has reduced capital requirements, allowing Zenit to make repayments back to Galata.

Speaking with Mining Maven, Ariana’s Managing Director, Dr. Kerim Sener explains:

"We’ve been building up a strong position of funds within our subsidiary as a result of the transfers that were coming from our joint venture with Proccea.  Those funds were derived from cashflow in repayment of loans we previously made to the joint venture. We have been receiving loan repayments pretty much every month since February of last year.’"

The return of funds will obviously be very beneficial to Ariana, which will now be able to redistribute additional capital to its other assets in Turkey.  The company is currently undertaking a drilling campaign in Western Turkey at Kizilcukur, which lies around 22km to the northeast of the Kiziltepe Mine. Sener told us some of its new funds will be redirected here. Sener commented on progress at the Kizilcukur Project in a January update to investors, saying:

“We are encouraged by the results of this recent work and the current drilling programme will add confidence to the resource estimate for the Zeki Pit as part of our feasibility work programme.”

Drilling to date has indicated that Kizilcukur has the capacity to act as a high-grade satellite source for Kiziltepe. More will be known in the summer when the joint venture plans to truck 300ts of ore to Kiziltepe for test processing. 2,800ts of material has already been stockpiled on site and has been subjected to successful initial testing. Ariana will truck the remaining 2500ts for processing if the first batch of 300ts is successful.

The repatriation of funds back to Ariana is expected to pick up again after this year. In line with this, Sener tells us that repayments of loans to the Turkish bank that provided the finance for the development of Kiziltepe are marginally higher this year: 

"Once we’re through this year, the free cashflow will be directed to the partners – ourselves and Proccea Construction. But we first need to bring those funds into Ariana PLC. The most efficient way to do this is to pursue a reduction in capital. The reduction of capital allows us to repatriate that capital to the UK, without incurring tax.’"

With the Kiziltepe Mine in full swing and generating cashflow, Ariana is now in a strong position to continue the expansion of its operations.

Author: Stuart Langelaan

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.
Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.
Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.
MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Systems Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

ECR Minerals jumps following bullish investment bank report (ECR)

ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) advanced 5.9pc to 0.9p on Tuesday following the release of an upbeat research report covering its operations. An ‘Initiation of Coverage’ report by New York-based investment bank Hallgarten & Company can be found on ECR’s website by clicking here.

The work, compiled using publicly-available information, concludes by rating ECR as a long position with a 12-month target price of 2.5p per share.

‘With over GBP 1.2mn in the bank as at the end of last year and R&D rebates expected in from the Australian government, the company is well resourced and planned exploration only makes a relatively small dent in funds. This implies little to no dilution in the short term,’ it adds.

Hallgarten acts as a strategic consultant to ECR and is compensated for its services. However, it does not hold stock in the business and does not have the right to in the future.

The release of the report comes off the back of a busy start to the year for ECR. Earlier this month, the company announced the imminent launch of a third drilling programme in Victoria, Australia.  The firm has signed a contract for 450m of rotary air blast (RAB) drilling at the Black Cat gold prospect within its Bailieston gold project area. The work is expected to begin this month.

Black Cat is among the high priority targets identified by geophysical interpretation and targeting studies completed by Terra Resources at Victoria in late 2017.  The prospect is located immediately south of ground recently applied for by resources giant Newmont Exploration.

ECR is also preparing for two further drilling programmes in Victoria.  At the end of last month, the firm announced that it had signed a contract for 4,000-6,000m of reverse circulation drilling in the region.

ECR said its first target is its Creswick Gold Project, where exploration mapping has identified a large gold system within the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS).  The DMS is a 15km-long hard rock geological feature and the source of much alluvial and deep lead gold. Drilling will target multiple quartz vein orientations identified within the DMS.

Once this has completed, drilling will then move to the firm’s Blue Moon gold prospect, which is also located at Bailieston.  Here, ECR will follow-up a significant near-surface gold intercept and evidence of a near-surface mineralised gold system.  The drill target here is a sandstone that has been weathered heavily near the surface. However, ECR believes it may host higher grade gold mineralisation, including disseminated sulphides, at deeper levels.

Alongside its various drilling updates, last month also saw ECR announce that it had submitted applications for the nine exploration licences that make up the Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of Australia. The area has been identified as a gold exploration opportunity because it has the potential to contain Archaean greenstones beneath shallow cover.  Archaean greenstones host many of Western Australia and the world’s most prolific gold deposits.

The under-cover greenstone gold exploration model has already been tested successfully by Greatland Gold at its nearby Ernest Giles project.  Furthermore, ECR’s licence applications also cover a large proportion of an identified gravity-magnetic trend with known gold prospects along trend to the south.

Previous exploration at Windidda has only targeted base metal and manganese deposit within cover sequences. ECR expects its target areas to be amenable to aircore drilling.  It hopes this will enable it to make a rapid assessment of their potential for gold mineralisation.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Systems Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Metal Tiger’s CEO McNeilly on why Monday’s Sprott placing is a ‘fantastic sign’ for investors (MTR)

Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) finished up 3.5pc to 1.3p on Monday after announcing that major institutional backer Sprott Capital Partners will support it in a £3m fundraise.

The Botswana-focused mining investment business has signed a non-binding term sheet that will see Sprott act as finders on its behalf for a non-brokered private placement. Based in Toronto, Sprott is one of the world’s largest dedicated natural resources investors. Its affiliate company Exploration Capital Partners is Metal Tiger’s biggest shareholder, with a 10.2pc stake (as at October 2018).

As part of the placing, nearly 207m Metal Tiger shares will be placed at 1.45p each, an 11.5pc premium to their middle market closing price on Friday last week. Alongside this, subject to Sprott raising the required funds, up to 103.5m warrants will be issued with an exercise price of 2p each and a term date of two years. The Sprott offering will only be available to certain accredited investors and is expected to close on or before 8 March 2019.

Speaking to MiningMaven, Metal Tiger chief executive Michael McNeilly called the continuing endorsement of Sprott a ‘fantastic sign’ for the company.

‘We are delighted to have entered into the Sprott Term Sheet to raise up to an additional c.£3.0 million. Such additional funding will provide yet further support to our strategy, and we look forward to updating shareholders in this regard,’ he said.

‘It not only emphasises Sprott’s interest in getting more exposure to the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB), a highly sought-after copper opportunity, but also in Metal Tiger’s wider portfolio and management. We look forward to working closely with them as we continue to realise the potential of our Botswana projects well as the rest of our high-impact portfolio.’

Separately to the Sprott raise, Monday also saw Metal Tiger launch a further £1m placing to new and existing investors. This is also taking place at 1.45p a share with 2p warrants attached for every two placing shares purchased.

A number of the company’s director will take part in this raise, including McNeilly and non-executive chairman Charles Hall, who will invest £14,500 and £58,000 respectively. Furthermore, Dianne Grammer, the wife of non-executive director Terry Grammer, will purchase £137,500 worth of shares.

Metal Tiger said the proceeds would be used alongside existing cash resources to support its projects in the KCB. This includes the firm’s joint ventures with MOD Resources and Kalahari Metals (KMI). Metal Tiger has the right to acquire up to 50pc of KMI under an investment agreement established last June.

On Monday, McNeilly added: ‘We are very pleased with the level of support we have received in respect of the Placing from new and existing investors. The Placing will enable Metal Tiger to, among other things, enter into constructive negotiations with Kalahari Metals, regarding the Company potentially providing further financing for proposed exploration drilling at the Okavango and Ngami projects. It will also allow us to continue to take advantage of opportunities that are identified by the Company.

Last week, KMI revealed a series of drill-ready targets from the second phase of its airborne geophysics survey over two areas in the KCB called the Ngami copper project (NCP) and the Okavango copper project (OCP). The firm also doubled its exploration landholding in the KCB last November through an earn-in agreement with Resource Exploration and Development. This saw it acquire an interest in five recently granted exploration licences with a total area of 4,661km2. It now holds interests in 12 exploration licences covering 8,724km2 in the structure.

Speaking to Mining Maven in December, McNeilly said the acquisition makes Metal Tiger the company with the biggest landholdings in the KCB globally. Alongside its indirect stake in KML, it is part of an exploration joint venture with MOD Resources that owns permits covering 8,000km2 in the area. It is also MOD’s largest shareholder, giving it significant exposure to the upside on offer at T3 without the burden of cash calls as the project develops.

‘We are a very highly leveraged play for a district that at some point is likely to be acquired by a mid-tier or subject to finding enough copper, a large-cap mining company,’ McNeilly told us.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Systems Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance