copper

  • Shares in gold and copper exploration business Chesterfield Resources (LSE:CHF) have languished since the company re-admitted to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange last summer. Currently sitting at 4p a share the Cypriot-focussed business is valued at £2.48m, which compares favourably to its current £1.73m cash position. With the firm fully funded for its 2019 drill commitments we caught up with Executive Chairman Martin French, who describes to us why he is so confident about the business’s prospects in 2019.

    In the months since July’s readmission, Chesterfield has been building on its strong base in Cyprus, culminating in the news earlier this month that it has more than tripled its exploration land package in the formerly thriving mining jurisdiction. With a funded exploration programme and near-term revenue opportunities on the cards, French says Chesterfield will be stepping up efforts to make its story known to the retail market throughout the rest of 2019.

    Re-vitalising Cyprus

    Chesterfield was set up as a cash shell back in August 2017 by a consortium of experienced mining investors. The group aimed to buy a company or asset that could profit from underinvestment in the mining sector alongside growing commodity demand and advances in technology.

    Following its suspension in November 2017, as potential transaction talks began, Chesterfield returned to trading in summer last year with the purchase of HKP Exploration for £500,000, paid in shares. The company raised a further £2m at 7.5p a share to cover a £1.1m work programme and £400,000 of working capital costs.

    French told us that Chesterfield was drawn to HKP’s focus on exploring for natural resources in Cyprus. The island has a rich mining heritage and a very active copper industry that used to be centred around the foothills of its Troodos mountains. However, this activity came to an abrupt halt in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. French says a surprisingly small amount of exploration work has taken place in the decades since.

    Alongside its prospectivity, French says Cyprus’s EU membership and strong UK ties have made it very easy for Chesterfield to operate. Indeed, despite the Turkish partition remaining in place, the area is well-ranked in terms of ease of doing business and corruption perception. Elsewhere, Cyprus’s climate allows for year-round exploration, and its well-developed infrastructure only serves to support operations further.

    All-in-all French says these conditions, and healthy supply/demand dynamics in the copper market, have given rise to an opportunity to discover and develop multiple deposits in the country to production. Fortunately, he adds, the island’s government has reciprocated this enthusiasm to date:

    ‘I think Cyprus now wants to diversify away from its traditional, hallmark economic drivers, which are tourism and financial services. The fact that companies like Chesterfield are coming in to revive the island’s mining industry is very attractive from the government’s point of view,’he says. ‘This, along with all of the connections to the UK, have made Cyprus a great area in which to operate – perhaps even more so than other EU jurisdictions, where some of our peers are targeting. We have found the mining regulatory authority very helpful.’

    Troodos opportunity

    HKP made applications to the government of Cyprus for 100pc-ownership of seven prospecting permits to search for minerals in 2017. These were approved in Q1 2018. Together, these form a 32.1km2 project on the west of the Troodos Mountains (Troodos West) that includes numerous, previously-operating copper and pyrite mines.

    Following this success, the business applied for yet another six prospecting permits last year. Five of these cover c.23km2 to the north of the mountains (Troodos North), while the remaining license covers 4.8km2 to the east (Troodos East). Like the acreage to the west, these permits include old mines. As it stands, four of the Troodos North licences and the Troodos East permit have been granted. The final permits are expected soon.

    A map of Chesterfield’s holdings in the belt surrounding Cyprus’s Troodos Mountains

     

    Chesterfield immediately set out a phased exploration work programme for its HKP portfolio after taking over the firm last year. It gave itself a £1.1m budget and a one-year deadline for the work and is targeting a 1MM-5MMM mineral resource from multiple prospects. It expects this to grade c.2pc copper plus more than 1g/t of gold and silver & zinc credits.

    Although different areas are progressing at different rates, its programme is broadly made up of three phases. The first phase involves collating historical data and interpreting satellite imagery to identify prospective areas and prioritise fieldwork. Stage two then consists of ranking these prospects and defining field targets using geological & structural mapping, soil sampling, and ground geophysics. Finally, phase three centres around drilling targets and creating mineral resources.

    Despite historical drilling at Chesterfield’s acreage, French says he sees an opportunity in approaching the ground with superior geological understanding, modern exploration techniques and drilling technology. By doing this, the business hopes to prove up economic mineral resources and open new mines.

    ‘We are in Cyprus to make commercial discoveries, and we are very confident that we can do that. We have exploration techniques that were not previously available to companies operating in the region and a vastly improved geological knowledge,’French tells us. ‘Drilling was very slow and expensive back then. In our eyes, we are approaching the asset as if it were new with the knowledge that it is already prospective.’

    Kicking off

    Chesterfield’s primary focus so far has been Troodos West. To kick things off, it signed a diamond drilling contract with GEOPS Bolkan for at least 4,000m of drilling on multiple targets at the property last September.

    Rather than make a single massive discovery, French says the firm plans to discover a series of smaller deposits at Troodos West. Cyprus is well-known for volcanic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits. These are small but concentrated high-grade deposits surrounded by larger lower-grade mineralised vein systems. Provided these are found near each other, Chesterfield hopes to combine them and create a cheap, centralised processing operating.

    The organisation’s first targets were at Evloimeni, Mavroyi and Double Seven where a review of historic mining data highlighted the existence of Cyprus-type VMS copper-gold-zinc-silver mineralisation. The firm also conducted ongoing fieldwork to identify additional drilling targets.

    Alongside its exploration work, Chesterfield is working to develop early cash flow opportunities from waste dumps. In particular, French highlights a site called Limni as a near-term revenue opportunity for Chesterfield at West Troodos. Limni is a large, historic open pit mine where more than 8MMts at 1.1pc copper has reportedly been exploited.

    ‘We are fairly sure that Limni contains a large amount of copper in solution,’says French. ‘When it rains heavily, the pit even starts to overflow with bright blue streams – as sure a sign of mineralisation as you could get. We are looking to drill into Limni and test if we can extract this and we should be talking more about that soon.’

    Expansion plans

    Last month saw Chesterfield announce that it had drilled more than 3,000m at Troodos West, with much of this taking place around Limni and other old workings nearby. Most of the holes intercepted mineralisation.

    The drilling also discovered an unexpectedly high amount of gold potential alongside the primary target of copper. Furthermore, it provided evidence of epithermal mineralised structures alongside VMS deposits. In essence, French tells us that this offers the potential for two separate styles of mineralisation.

    ‘Cyprus is well known for hosting VMS deposits. So much so, that geology students often go out to the island to study its structures,’says French. With this in mind, the real surprise for us was that we hit surprisingly high levels of gold, as well as copper. ‘We have also discovered more recent epithermal systems, which we did not expect. This, therefore, means that mineralisation is hosted in at least two types of systems, which is very exciting.’

    In response to the strong results, Chesterfield has accelerated its pace in several areas. First of all, it has commissioned a remote sensing survey across all its licence areas, and additional operational ground facilities are being appraised.

    Secondly, the company has decided to more than triple its exploration land package. Earlier this month, it revealed that it had filed applications over a further 182.96km2 of ground, taking its entire area of licences under application to 237.61km2. Now that these applications have been submitted, no other entities can apply for them.

    French tells us that Chesterfield’s land interest in Cyprus is now a multiple of that of any other player in the country. He adds that the company has already begun a detailed exploration programme on this significantly enlarged licence area, with drilling planned for later this year.

    ‘If these licences are granted we will be the dominant player in Cyprus in terms of exploration acreage – we are very much gunning the engine,’he says. We will take this land package and start to explore it straight away. There really is a lot you can do very quickly with remote sensing and archival data to begin generating target lists. We hope to drill again on these around mid-year, but this could come even sooner because our contracted drill is held in our facility, meaning it is easily accessible.'

    Management experience

    To support its expanded operations, Chesterfield has also been increasing its presence in Cyprus. The company established a local Cyprus-based office in September last year and hired a number of graduates from the Camborne School of Mines. It also took on a local geological team to accelerate exploration and data analysis. It hopes to grow this further over the coming weeks. It has also taken on Michael Parker as chief operating officer. Parker previously worked at First Quantum Minerals for 20 years, where he held senior country manager positions in the DRC and Latin America and played a crucial role in two substantial copper discoveries.

    Chesterfield is also led by a wealth of mining and financing experience outside of Cyprus. Indeed, French, who was appointed shortly after the HKP deal last year, has more than 30 years of experience in capital markets and investment banking. He was previously Managing Director of North River Resources, a brownfield underground lead-zinc project in Namibia, which he turned around and sold to Greenstone Capital. The project is now entering production. Meanwhile, non-exec director David Cliffe was previously head of Exploration Europe for Rio Tinto.

    Elsewhere, fellow non-exec director Peter Damouni has built a strong reputation in Canada for his skill as a corporate financier. Throughout his career, Damouni has worked on and led equity and debt financings values over $5bn. French, who owns a 4.84pc stake in Chesterfield himself, also highlights the company’s unusually prolific shareholder base for its size.

    ‘Peter Damouni is part of a group of seasoned mining investors who own around half of our business. As it stands, most of our remaining shareholders are mining professionals from the UK, including a number of other junior mining CEOs,’ he tells us. ‘When we raised £2m last July we placed it out to quite a specific investor group. So, for a small company, we have the backing of experienced mining investors and a lot of senior expertise.’

    Tipping point

    After a quiet entry to the market as it worked on securing a strong Cypriot foothold, Chesterfield is entering a critical period. Indeed, now it has begun to receive a regular stream of assay results from its drilling work, French says investors can expect a steady stream of news flow about new targets and projects over coming months.

    ‘We stayed under the market radar last year as we wanted to substantially build up our land-holding in Cyprus without drawing the attention of other players,’said French. ‘Now that we have completed this land acquisition programme we are ready to come out and tell our story. We want the strength and assets of the company to be reflected in our market value and will be working on that. There is a huge global focus on copper right now, and a discovery in Cyprus would attract a lot of attention.’

    With shares jumping nearly 15pc when the company announced its licence extensions last week, it seems the market is now starting to sit up and listen. The fact that the firm believes its current c£1.7m cash position will fully fund its 2019 programme is only going to help on this front. With near-term revenue opportunities and plenty of exploration ground in its arsenal, Chesterfield’s current £2.48m market could present interesting value.

    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 Services 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 Services 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

     

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) fell 4.3pc to 0.45p on Monday after announcing that it will proceed with its copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The business, which was trading flat with a £1.63m valuation on Tuesday, said it is now discussing a next stage exploration programme for its 70pc-owned and operated Kisinka asset.

    The decision followed a site visit by chairman Andrew Bell who, alongside executive director Paul Johnson, replaced the firm’s old management team last month. After meeting with local technical advisers & vendors and analysing existing data, African Battery says it has found ways to modify Kisinka’s exploration programme and optimise expenditure. A further announcement will be made regarding a new programme ‘in due course’.

    Alongside this, African Battery said that all outstanding Kisinka project payments have now been made to the site’s vendor, who is also 30pc owner. Meanwhile, the company has made changes to the site’s legal ownership structure to ensure it complies with the new local mining act. Consequently, Kisinka is in ‘good standing’ according to African Battery.

    Johnson said he was looking ‘looking forward’ to taking the site forward, adding that the firm is continuing to review its assets in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast over coming weeks. It will report back individually on each these.

    This work forms part of an ongoing strategic and operational review aimed at reorganising African Battery. This comes after the outfit was suspended from trading under its previous board last December as demands from short-term creditors exceeded available working capital. It was re-admitted last month after shareholders voted in favour of a host of proposals aimed and restructuring the business under Bell and Johnson.

    This included a conditional placing and subscription to raise £1m at 0.5p a share and help pay off creditors. Last week, African Battery said it has now paid all material creditor balances through either cash or share settlements.  It now has no material debt and free working capital of around £860,000. It believes this figure will cover corporate plc costs, anticipated project exploration, and expenditure on existing interests for 12 months.

    Alongside African Battery’s existing project interests, Bell and Johnson are reviewing the organisation’s administration and management. They are also looking at new opportunities in battery metals, precious metals, and other commodity groups with a principal focus on Africa.

    In Tuesday’s update, Johnson added: ‘The overriding objective of the Company now is to work efficiently through our review of existing interests and where we decide to proceed, to design and implement exploration and development programmes efficiently. In parallel we continue to review additional opportunities where we see potential for considerable value to be added to our business for shareholders. Further update announcements are expected in the near term.’

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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

    The article expresses the views of the Author solely and does not necessarily express the views of MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd or their connected parties who are not responsible for its content or accuracy.

    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. Readers are recommended to seek the advice of appropriate professionals when considering investments in small capital.

  • Shares in Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) rose 5.4pc to 3.1p on Monday morning after the firm revealed two ‘potentially game-changing’ new targets in northwestern Zambia.

    The business released the initial results of an airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the copper-cobalt licence owned by Zamsort. Arc holds a 66pc equity interest in Zamsort together with a convertible loan that converts into an additional c.5pc stake in the private business.

    The work revealed seven new anomalies, the largest of which are Cheyeza West and Lumbeta. Cheyeza West contains a 3km-by-3km anomaly outlined by very high copper values in the soils enclosed by the wider 10km-by-8km Cheyeza anomaly. Furthermore, a co-incident electromagnetic anomaly over the core has indicated conductivity within the host rock.

    Meanwhile, the Lumbeta target stretches for 11km and is associated with the crest of a fold. According to Arc, these formations can act as mineralisation traps and form high-grade deposits. Details of the six further identified targets are presented in the chart below.

    Arc expects to release a more detailed update ‘shortly’ once it has assessed the results of the programme thoroughly with its external exploration consultants.

    Executive chairman Nick von Schirnding said Cheyeza West and Lumbeta are close to ten times the size of Kalaba, currently Zamsort’s primary focus. Kalaba is a copper-cobalt licence covering nine of 30 high priority targets ranked by a previous JV operated by Anglo American. It is found near First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi and Barrick’s Lumwana mines.

    The project has an existing near-surface estimated copper-cobalt oxide resource of 16.59Mt at 0.94pc copper and a historical exploration target of 150Mt. This makes it one of the most significant projects of its type in Zambia. With this in mind, von Schirnding added that Monday’s discoveries represent a ‘potential game changer’ for Arc.

    ‘The initial results from the airborne survey and soil sampling programme are extremely exciting and have exceeded all our expectations. It is clear that our licences lie in a very prospective mineral belt adjacent to Zambia's largest copper mines and we believe they have the potential to host not one but multiple large new copper deposits,’ he said. ‘We have been approached by some very large industry players and are in discussions. We continue to assess the data as it becomes available and look forward to reporting further on this shortly.’

    Monday’s news comes just one week after Arc announced the imminent completion of a plant at Kalaba. In the update, the organisation said the back end of a commercial scale demonstration plant being constructed by Zamsort was ready for imminent commissioning. Initial production is scheduled shortly afterwards.

    The business said the announcement followed a period of ‘excellent progress’ at Kalaba. In November, the company’s technical team completed the front end of the plant. This is made up of two crusher units, screen, a ball mill, and conveyors. This section was then commissioned in December, with an initial capacity to process 10,000ts of ore a month.

    In last week’s update, Arc said the plant has a fully permitted, renewable mining licence through to 2025 and is funded through to initial production. It added that it is also in discussions with several off-takers regarding future sales.

    Arc also owns a 100pc interest in Casa Mining, a private company that has a 71.25pc stake in the Akyanga gold deposit in the DRC. At the end of July last year, the business rose 12.5pc after reporting that a JORC mineral resource for Akyanga had almost doubled to 3m ounces of gold averaging 2.16 grams per tonne.

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Directors and management of Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) collectively bought just over 3.76m shares as part of a private placing that saw the company raise a total of £2.2m. Existing investors will likely be pleased that the funds were raised at the current share price of 3p.

    In an announcement Monday, Arc said the proceeds will be primarily used to progress its flagship Zamsort Copper Project in Zambia. Earlier this month, the firm released the initial results from an airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the copper-cobalt licence, revealing seven new anomalies.

    The company holds a 66pc interest in Zamsort limited which is developing the Kalaba copper-cobalt project in north-west Zambia.  Zamsort has 850 km2 of exploration ground under license in the highly prospective region of the Zambian Copperbelt. The area now accounts for a substantial part of Zambian copper production and the Kalaba project and the surrounding Zamsort exploration licenses are in close proximity to large operations such as First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel and Kansanshi mines and Barrick Gold’s Lumwana mine.

    Arc expects production at the Kalaba demonstration plant will commence soon.

    The commercial-scale plant, being constructed by Zamsort, is in the latter stages of completion and is fully permitted with an initial mining license until 2025.

    Since the placing was private and non-brokered no fees or commissions will be deducted, allowing all of the cash to be fully utilised. Participants in the placing will receive one warrant for each share purchased which can be exercised at 4.5p over the next three years. 

    Six officers of the company participated in the fundraise investing an aggregate £113k with Executive Chairman, Nick von Schirnding contributing the lions share. Schirnding now holds around 16m shares representing 2.26pc of the company.

    Schirnding, said: "We were approached by two family offices, one of which is already a shareholder, for further funding to progress our newly identified targets at Zamsort. This is a very good outcome for us and as a result we will be accelerating work in respect of Cheyeza West and other key targets and will start a comprehensive drilling programme as soon as possible.

    I look forward to an exciting time ahead with significant newsflow for the Company as we deliver on our strategy." 

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Services 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 Services 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

     

     

  • Asiamet Resources (LSE:ARS) sat at 6.6p on Wednesday after revealing that strong drilling results have taken it another step closer to completing a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its BKM copper deposit in Indonesia.

    The business said that the latest round of assay results received from infill and geotechnical drilling have confirmed its expectations for the deposit. It added that they also ‘further strengthen’ resource models at the site.

    Highlights from the latest results include a hole called BKM31550-06 that delivered 19m at 1.16pc copper from a depth of 72.5m. This included 5m at 1.43pc copper from 82.5m depth and 2m at 2.61pc copper from 89.5m depth. Another hole called BKM31550-09 included 27m at 0.67pc copper from 57.5m depth. This featured 3m at 2.15pc copper from 80.5m depth.

    Asiamet has now completed 37 resource evaluation holes and four geotechnical holes for 5,665m of diamond core drilling. It has received assays results for 32 holes, with the remaining nine expected before the end of the month. Once the company gets these, it will update its resource models at BKM, using this to generate first ore reserves for the BKM copper project.

    Asiamet’s chief executive Peter Bird said the results strengthen the business’s position as it moved into the final phase of mine and process design to generate an initial ore reserve for BKM.

    ‘Upside potential in and around the BKM deposit remains very high and an external geological consultant with extensive experience in Indonesia has recently been engaged to further strengthen our understanding of the BKM geological system and develop a suite of additional high potential near mine Resource targets for testing in the next round of drilling,’ he added. ‘This work is currently under way and we look forward to providing an update on this target generation program shortly.’

    The BKM BFS is expected to precede the delivery of a final feasibility study by the close of H1 2019 and first production by the end of the year. Asiamet has already carried out a preliminary economic assessment at BKM, which gave the site an after-tax NPV10 of $204m and after-tax IRR of 39pc. This calculation was based around a 25ktpa copper cathode heap leach operation to be carried out over an initial eight years.

    BKM’s NPV alone dwarfs Asiamet’s current £66.2m (c.$87.6m) market cap considerably. What’s more, this figure doesn’t include the ‘district-scale potential’ Asiamet expects to be on offer in the area surrounding the project. This point was highlighted last month when institutional investor JP Morgan took advantage of a slump in Asiamet’s share price amid the resource market downturn to increase its stake to 9.37pc.

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Shares in Asiamet Resources (LSE:ARS) sat flat at 4.3p on Friday after the firm said work at its Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper deposit is going to plan.

    The business is carrying out additional resource evaluation drilling as part of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) at the site. As it stands, 22 holes for nearly 3,000m of diamond core drilling have completed. Drilling is ongoing, with a further 1,825m planned. This is expected to be completed by five drill rigs by the end of the current quarter.

    In an update, the firm said results from the first four holes confirm the continuity of mineralisation in the southern part of the BKM deposit. Moderate to strong chalcocite-covellite mineralisation was intersected just below the zone of oxidation. Some samples returned grades of up to 5.52pc copper.

    A preliminary economic assessment has given BKM an NPV10 of $204m, and an internal rate of return of 39pc based on a 431.9kt contained copper resource. Asiamet plans to develop an open pit mine that will produce 25kt of copper cathode a year over eight years, with immediate expansion potential.

    However, it hopes its current programme of drilling can upgrade and capture additional inferred resources at the site. If successful, it expects this to enhance BKM’s project economics and the robustness of its BFS significantly ahead of project financing. The firm plans to begin production later this year, with financing discussions underway.

    In today’s update, Asiamet’s chief executive Peter Bird said initial drilling were positive and in line with expectations.

    He added: ‘With operational work continuing apace we expect to be consistently reporting further results as they come to hand over the coming weeks leading into completion of the BFS. In addition to the ongoing technical programme, various work streams relating to the Environmental Impact Assessment ("AMDAL") for BKM and forestry use permits are also being progressed along with due diligence investigations and commercial discussions with potential partners on both our main projects. We look forward to providing further updates as they become available.’

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Atalaya Mining was up 5% on the release of its 3rd quarter results this morning. The company has increased its 2018 production guidance from 37,000 - 40,000 tonnes to 39,000 - 41,000 tonnes of copper as a result of improved recoveries, ore grade and throughput.

  • Jangada Mines (LSE:JAN) announces a significant improvement to the economics of its Pedra Branca project through the addition of a JORC compliant nickel and copper sulphide resource. The new resource will be included in the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS), slated for delivery in H1 2019, and is expected to substantially improve already favourable economics.

    The company announced it had identified the mineralization in October. The new nickel resource conveniently sits below the existing target PGM resource and planned open-pit mine. Since the nickel can be processed and recovered using the same plant as the PGMs there will be minimal additional CAPEX required making extraction economical.

    Its estimated the new resource consists of around 8.2 million tonnes of mineral which the company believes could be worth an additional $110m project revenue at today’s spot price. Jangada also highlights that there is a strong chance the resource can be increased further as it is open at depth and along strike.

    Brain McMaster told MiningMaven:

    “Today’s news is highly positive for Jangada. The inclusion of our maiden nickel resource significantly improves Pedra Branca's economics, for what should be a minimal increase in the cap-ex requirement. The reason for this is that the nickel sulphide body is close to the existing PGM resource and will get processed by the same plant, so no additional plant will be required.”

    This is a great way for us to end 2018 and marks what I expect will be the beginning of a period of increased news flow, as we advance towards completing the Bankable Feasibility Study in the spring.”


    Pedra Branca covers around 48,000 hectares and Jangada estimates the project will produce around 64,000 ounces of PGM+Au per annum.

    At today’s platinum price of $787, forecast production would generate a rough ballpark figure for revenues of $50.368m. That’s a conservative calculation since Spot palladium and gold are priced significantly higher at $1250, and $1240 respectively.

    In November Jangada announced a 32% reduction in total capital expenditure required, estimating costs for year one of $81.482m. This suggests an impressive payback time on initial investment of just 1.62 years.

    Today’s JORC resource addition further enhances project economics at Pedra Branca, while fundamentals for nickel and copper continue to look strong due to decreasing supply and increased demand from new battery technologies.

    Brian McMaster, Chairman of Jangada, said: “Our ongoing work has enabled us to further understand the dynamics, scale and potential of the ore-body; the Project’s main economic drivers are palladium, platinum and nickel and the associated by-products are essentially cream on the top. “The planned processing route allows us to process and recover all metals in one concentrate from the one plant, meaning that the economics of Pedra Branca have improved substantially. We expect to demonstrate this in the upcoming BFS. Clearly, the current NPV of US$192 million against the Company’s current circa £6 million market cap demonstrates a disparity between asset and valuation; we expect this gap to close substantially as we continue to de-risk the Project.”

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    The Author currently holds a position or positions 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 Services 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 Services 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

     

  • Toronto-listed cobalt developer Global Energy Metals (TSXC:GEMC) has announced numerous encouraging intersections from the latest round of drilling at its 70pc-owned Werner Lake project in Ontario, Canada. Five new metallurgical drill holes have been completed by Australian miner Marquee Resources as part of its $2.5m commitment to advance Werner Lake and earn-in to 70pc of the project.

  • On Tuesday Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) said it had reached a farm-in agreement with Newcrest Operations Limited concerning its Havieron gold-copper project in Western Australia. The deal gives Newcrest Operations, a subsidiary of Australia’s leading gold producer, Newcrest Mining, the right to acquire up to a 70pc interest in the 12 blocks that cover the Havieron target. In return, Newcrest will spend up to US$65m on exploration and development of the asset.

    Four milestone stages have been agreed upon, starting with a US$10m spend on the blocks by Newcrest. Stage two will give Newcrest a 40pc earn-in and requires an additional US$10m investment within 12 months of the completion of stage one. Delivery of a Feasibility Study as well as a further US$25m in expenditure within two years from the satisfactory completion of stage two takes Newcrests ownership of the blocks to 60pc. Finally stage four requires a further US$20m spend, taking Newcrest up to a 70% working interest.

    Assuming a positive Feasibility Study is delivered, the companies intend on processing ore at Newcrest's Telfer Gold Mine which is situated around 45km from Havieron. As today’s RNS highlights, this has significant benefits including no requirement another plant, the usage of existing infrastructure, and a reduction in the time to first production and revenues. 

    Gervaise Heddle, Chief Executive Officer of Greatland Gold, commented:

    "We are delighted to welcome Newcrest as our chosen partner for accelerating the exploration and development ofHavieron. Greatland will receive tremendous benefit from Newcrest's experience as a developer and producer at Telfer and Newcrest's broader understanding of the geology of the Paterson region. We believe that this deal represents a win-win for both parties due to the potential for significantly reduced capital costs and increased efficiency resulting from ore being toll processed at Newcrest's nearby Telfer mine. Moreover, Newcrest's expertise should help fast trackHavieron through to a completed Feasibility Study and, subject to positive outcomes, into production and positive cash flow."

    "The terms of the Farm-in agreement recognise both the exciting potential of theHavieron project and the significant value that has been added to the project through a series of systematic exploration campaigns by Greatland since it was acquired in September 2016. Additionally, we believe that Newcrest's first right of refusal over the remainder of Greatland's Paterson project (the Black Hills and Paterson Range East licences and the areas of theHavieron licence not included in the Tenement Blocks) represents a strong endorsement of the attractiveness andprospectivity of our licences in the region.

    "In summary, we are very excited about the future of  Havieron and the Paterson region more generally and we believe that this agreement with Newcrest will serve as a foundation on which we can build Greatland into a large and successful business delivering significant returns to our shareholders." 

    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 Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services 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 Services 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.



     

  • Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) was trading down slightly at 3.2p on Monday morning after launching a £500,000 placing to accelerate its exploration work in Botswana. The firm placed c.17.9m shares at 2.8p each, a premium to the 2.5p it raised at when it entered the London market last July.

    Kavango holds 15 prospecting licences covering 9,231km2 of ground in Botswana, including most of the 450km long Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ) magnetic anomaly in the southwest of the country. Here, the business is exploring for copper, nickel, and platinum group element-rich sulphide orebodies. The area is yet to be examined using modern drilling techniques. However, Kavango argues that it has a similar geological setting to the giant Norilsk copper/nickel deposits in Siberia.

    In Monday’s update, chief executive Michael Foster said the proceeds from the placing will allow Kavango to accelerate its exploration programme on the KSZ.

    At the end of January, the business announced that it plans to begin an initial 1,000m drill programme at its Ditau project on the anomaly this month. This is designed to intersect two ‘very compelling’ coincident geophysical and geochemical base metal conductor/anomalies.

    Elsewhere, the firm has mobilised the second phase of an airborne electromagnetic survey over its 15 prospecting licences in the KSZ. The airborne EM survey is the first stage in the company’s efforts to identify sulphide orebodies. It detects and prioritises potential locations for these deposits, which Kavango can then follow up with more detailed groundwork and drilling.

    Flying for the second phase of the survey is expected to take between four to six weeks to complete and will cover up to 2,062 line-kilometres in the Hukunstsi area of Botswana.

    On Monday, Foster said: ‘Our current exploration programme in Botswana is on track, with both the airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey (see RNS dated 21 January 2019) and the drilling at Ditau, which forms part of the KSZ project (see RNS dated 28 January 2019) progressing according to plan. Further information is expected to be available shortly on both these programmes which the Company will of course relay to the market at that time’.

    Finally, he added that the placing funds will also allow Kavango to review other ‘highly selective but potentially very interesting natural resource opportunities in Botswana.’

    It is also worth noting that each placed share also has a warrant attached. This is exercisable at 12p from the earlier of the date falling one year after the time of admission or the date of the publication of a prospectus until 31 July 2020.

    What’s more, if exercised, the warrant gives the holder the right to an additional half-warrant exercisable at 24p before 31 July 2022. This ambitious target will likely send out a positive message to investors regarding management’s belief in where Kavango could be heading over the medium term.

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) rose by nearly a third to 2.3p on Monday morning after announcing the imminent drilling of one of its major prospects in Botswana. The firm plans to begin work at its Ditau prospect, which forms part of the Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ), early next month.

    The KSZ is a 450km-long magnetic anomaly along which Kavango is exploring for copper, nickel, and PGE-rich sulphide orebodies at depth. The area is yet to be examined using modern drilling techniques. Mining consultant MSA Group has backed the potential presence of these deposits on the KSZ, first explored in the 1980s and 1990s. Meanwhile, Kavango has suggested that the area has a similar geological setting to the giant Norilsk copper/nickel deposits in Siberia.

    Kavango’s initial 1,000m drill program is designed to intersect two coincident geophysical and geochemical base metal conductor/anomalies at the site. These are based at depths of 100m and 200m. The work will involve a combination of reverse circulation and core drilling, with conductors extending to depths of more than 600m. Kavango has signed a drilling contract with Maquana Explorations, an experienced Botswana company based at Selebi-Phikwe.

    In today’s update, the firm said target anomalies extend north-south for at least 4km at Ditau. It added that they represent ‘very compelling’ geophysical anomalies that are coincident with zinc in soil anomalies at the surface. Zinc acts a pathfinder for potential base metal mineralisation at depth because it is the most mobile of the base metal elements.

    Chief executive Michael Foster added: ‘We are pleased to be able to announce the start of drilling at the first of several exciting coincident geophysical and geochemical base metal anomalies that have been identified at the Ditau Prospect, which forms part of the KSZ Project. The drilling is scheduled to commence shortly and results will be announced as they become available.’

    The news comes just a week after Kavango announced that it has now mobilised the second phase of an airborne electromagnetic survey over its 15 prospecting licences in the KSZ area. The airborne EM survey is the first stage in the company’s efforts to identify these sulphide orebodies. It detects and prioritises potential locations for these deposits, which Kavango can then follow up with more detailed groundwork and drilling.

    Flying for the second phase of the survey is expected to begin later this month. It will take between four to six weeks to complete and will cover up to 2,062 line-kilometres in the Hukunstsi area of Botswana. On this, Foster said in Monday’s update:

    ‘With the success of our exploration techniques, we expect many more anomalous areas to be identified following completion of Phase 2 of the airborne electro-magnetic (AEM) survey (see announcement of 21 January 2019). These will be followed up on the ground and prioritized for drilling.’

    As revealed earlier this month, Kavango has contracted the services of a leading airborne geophysical survey player called SkyTEM for its latest phase of AEM work. SkyTEM offers a ground-breaking, high-power surveying system that has been optimised to reach a depth of up to 300m below the earth’s crust.

    It reaches these depths by using a high current and low base frequency of 12.5hz. According to Kavango, the technology has not been used in Africa before and is more effective than the older systems currently on the market.

    Speaking to Mining Maven, Kavango’s exploration director Mike Moles said the technology will let Kavango investigate for orebodies at a deeper level and with higher resolution than it could in the first phase of its survey.

    The company identified 26 conductive anomalies over 2,000 line-km of the KSZ project during this stage of work. However, the technology used did not penetrate deep enough beneath the surface. As such, Kavango was unable to tell which anomalies were low priority near-surface conductors like clays and shales and which went much deeper.

    He believes the new technology will make it much easier for Kavango to differentiate between the two types of anomalies.

    ‘We will immediately be able to see which conductors have a depth component to them and represent high priority targets. Likewise, it will be much easier for the business to identify and ignore those surficial conductors that are very often just clays and other conductive materials that lie within the first 50-60m below the surface,’ he told us.

    ‘The technology we contracted in Phase One used a much higher frequency and was not getting deep enough to differentiate between the shallow and deep targets. If we had SkyTEM’s technology back in September when we launched the campaign, we could have reduced the number of conductors worth following up from 26 to about six or seven straight away. Using our new approach, we should be to turn over these conductors much more quickly in Phase Two.’

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) rose 1.9p on Monday after revealing the imminent launch of its next phase of airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveying over Botswana’s Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ). Importantly, the company also revealed that it has contracted a high-power new technology to carry out the work. It expects this to ramp up the speed at which it can highlight potential copper, nickel, and PGE mineralisation in the area dramatically. Speaking exclusively to MiningMaven, Kavango’s exploration director Mike Moles told us the significance of this development and how it could help the company in its quest to identify Norilsk-like mineralisation at the KSZ.

    Surveying targets

    In Monday’s update, Kavango announced that it has now mobilised the second phase of its AEM survey. The work is being carried out over the business’s 15 prospecting licences in Southwest Botswana. Much of this sits on the KSZ, which is a highly-prospective, 450km2-long magnetic anomaly.

    Kavango hopes to identify massive sulphide orebodies containing vast amounts of nickel, copper, and platinum group elements beneath the KSZ’s surface. Mining consultant MSA Group has backed the potential presence of these deposits on the KSZ, which was first explored in the 1980s and 1990s. Meanwhile, Kavango has suggested that the area has a similar geological setting to the giant Norilsk copper/nickel deposits in Siberia.

    The airborne EM survey is the first stage in the company’s efforts to identify these sulphide orebodies. It detects and prioritises potential locations for these deposits, which Kavango can then follow up with more detailed groundwork and drilling.

    Flying for the second phase of the survey is expected to begin later this month, with the first phase completing at the end of last year. It will take between four to six weeks to complete and will cover up to 2,062 line-kilometres in the Hukunstsi area of Botswana.

    The highlight of Monday’s announcement was the news that Kavango has contracted the services of a leading airborne geophysical survey player called SkyTEM for its latest phase of work. SkyTEM offers a ground-breaking, high-power surveying system that has been optimised to reach a depth of up to 300m below the earth’s crust.

    It reaches these depths by using a high current and low base frequency of 12.5hz. According to Kavango, the technology has not been used in Africa before and is more effective than the older systems currently on the market.

    Increasing efficiency

    Moles tells us the technology will allow Kavango to investigate for orebodies at a much deeper level and with higher resolution than it was able to in the first phase of its survey.

    The company identified 26 conductive anomalies over 2,000 line-km of the KSZ project during this stage of work. However, the technology used did not penetrate deep enough beneath the surface. As such Kavango was unable to tell which anomalies were low priority near-surface conductors like clays and shales and which went much deeper.

    In layman’s terms, the deeper an anomaly is, the more likely to be prospective for mineralisation. This makes it a higher priority drilling target for Kavango.  As such, the firm was forced to carry out groundwork on all 26 targets to determine whether they were worth following up. Moles tells us this was a difficult task that took longer than expected to complete.

    He believes the new technology will make it much easier for Kavango to differentiate between the two types of anomalies.

    ‘We will immediately be able to see which conductors have a depth component to them and represent high priority targets. Likewise, it will be much easier for the business to identify and ignore those surficial conductors that are very often just clays and other conductive materials that lie within the first 50-60m below the surface,’ he told us.

    ‘The technology we contracted in Phase One used a much higher frequency and was not getting deep enough to differentiate between the shallow and deep targets. If we had SkyTEM’s technology back in September when we launched the campaign, we could have reduced the number of conductors worth following up from 26 to about six or seven straight away. Using our new approach, we should be to turn over these conductors much more quickly in Phase Two.’

    To assess the effectiveness of SkyTEMS’ technology, Moles told us that Kavango also plans to run lines over some of the areas it surveyed in Phase One and compare results. However, he tells us he is already very confident that the results will be positive:

    ‘We are confident that this new technique will work. A huge amount of test work has been completed in the past to demonstrate its effectiveness. We think it will represent major step forward in our exploration strategy.’

    If Moles’ confidence translates into results this could prove to be highly significant for £2.5m valued Kavango. Since listing last summer the company’s story hasn’t attracted a great deal of attention, despite the progress it has made on the ground. Exploration plays can be extremely racey stocks and with the size of target Kavango is going for, the deployment of the new technology could give it just the edge it needs. 

    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 Services 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 Services 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 (LSE:MTR) and MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) fell this morning after revealing that a hole drilled by their joint venture (JV) business in Botswana did not return commercial grades. However, with another hole intersecting wide zones of finely disseminated copper mineralisation, the firms said they remain ‘very encouraged’ by their initial results in the country’s Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB).

    Today saw the companies update investors on the exploration activities completed by JV business Tshukudu Exploration, formed earlier this year when Metal Tiger sold its stake in the T3 project, also based in the KCB. Tshukudu is 30pc-owned by Metal Tiger and 70pc-owned by MOD and controls exploration permits covering around 8,000km2 in the KCB. It is worth noting that Metal Tiger’s exposure is bolstered further by its 12.5pc stake in MOD.

    As previously announced, Tshukudu has been carrying out widely-spaced drilling at a prospect called the T23 Dome, which is part of the regional scale T20 exploration project. It sits around 15km west of another prospect called T4, where the JV intersected strong copper mineralisation in 2016, including an intersection of 2m at 6.1pc copper and 111 g/t silver from 101m depth.

    In today’s update, Tshukudu’s owners revealed the assay results for hole MO-T23-001D, its first foray into the T23 dome. It encountered a shallow intersection of 25m at 0.36pc copper and 4g/t silver from 65m downhole depth, including 3m at 0.7pc Cu & 10g/t Ag from 65m downhole and 1m at 1pc Cu & 13g/t Ag from 80m downhole.

    MOD said that while these are not economic grades, they do confirm that copper mineralisation occurs in the sequence – called the lower D’Kar formation – that hosts all known deposits in KCB. MOD added that this provides Tshukudu with the confidence to expand drilling to test the potential for high-grade vein systems and high-priority NPF contact along the structurally complex area.

    As at writing, Metal Tiger was trading down 13.5pc to 1.47p while MOD had fallen 7.6pc to 19.4p following the release of the news. These falls come despite a third diamond drilling hole at T23 – MO-T23-003D – intersecting wide zones of finely disseminated chalcocite and bornite copper mineralisation from 85m to 385m downhole depth. The hole also encountered a strongly mineralised vein at 268m, confirming the potential for high-grade vein-hosted mineralisation similar to other copper discoveries in the KCB. Tshukudu is now waiting for assay results that will confirm copper grades in the hole.

    Elsewhere today, both companies reiterated that airborne electromagnetic geophysics surveys carried out over T23, T4, and another site called T22 has identified numerous additional prospects. These include several new buried dome structures and fold features that offer structural drilling targets for a programme planned in early 2019.

    Multiple copper and zinc soil anomalies have also been identified to the south of T23, extending around 60km along the centre of the T20 exploration project and open to the west.  These will be high priority targets for drill testing early next year.

    On today’s results, Michael McNeilly, chief executive officer at Metal Tiger, said: ‘We are delighted to report another intersection of shallow copper mineralisation on the T23 Dome, which forms part of the T20 Exploration Project, 100km west of the T3 Project. With further drilling targets identified by the latest geophysics data interpretation and soil sampling results, we have a qualified pipeline of further exploration drilling targets and a good prospect of new discoveries for 2019.’

    Meanwhile, MOD's managing director Julian Hanna added: ‘While we are still at an early stage of exploring the T23 Dome, we are very encouraged by the first drilling results. Having confirmed the prospectivity of this area, our exploration team can now start testing the potential for high-grade mineralisation within specific structures defined by the EM.

    ‘MOD's discovery in March 2016 which is now the T3 Copper Project, followed by recent successes at the A4 and A1 Domes, and now the T23 Dome, suggests the Central Structural Corridor, which links all these occurrences, may represent one of the largest, most under-explored district scale targets for sediment hosted copper.’

    When we spoke to McNeilly earlier this month, he reiterated his excitement at the sizeable unexplored potential on offer across Tshukudu’s considerable acreage in the KCB:

    ‘There is just a huge amount of area that we haven’t even covered yet, and so many different target deposits where we are looking for T3-type deposits where the mineralisation has ideally been thrust up, concentrated and folded over into a nice slab mineralisation near surface. There are also many prospective Ngwako Pan Formation contacts that host other substantial copper deposits at depth. With this much going on, the right thing to do at this time is to demonstrate the area’s potential for development. This is why we are going off and drilling other targets and not just spending our money on one area.’

    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 Services 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 Services 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 (LSE:MTR) sat at 1.3p on Thursday after revealing strong exploration drilling progress in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) by one of its investment companies.  

  • Shares in Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) were up 1.5% today after the company announced drilling results from its Joint Venture project (JV) with MOD Resources Limited. The project in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana is 30% owned by Metal Tiger. The company reported that six widely spaced diamond drill holes has been completed in the first phase programme at the A1 Dome, approximately 22km from the T3 Copper Project. Assay results confirm wide disseminated copper intersections in two drill holes.

  • 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 Services 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 Services 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

     

  • Like many of its peers, Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) has suffered at the hands of a weak commodity market in recent months, with its shares falling from a high of 3.4p to their current 1.4p. However, far from concerning itself with this downturn, Metal Tiger has taken the opportunity to expand its copper acreage in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB). Indeed, this expansion has been so vast that the company says it now holds more direct and indirect land in the highly-prospective, undeveloped region than any other business in the world. Fresh from setting-up a new exploration joint venture following a beneficial deal with long-term partner MOD Resources, Metal Tiger’s CEO Michael McNeilly tells us where he plans to take operations next.

    Maintaining exposure

    July saw Metal Tiger take the major step of selling off its 30pc stake in the T3 project, located in the KCB. The news came just months after a pre-feasibility study on the project gave it a base case NPV of $281m and only weeks after a resource upgrade gave it a total mineral resource estimate of 590Kt copper and 27Moz silver.

    Metal Tiger sold its stake to its 70pc joint venture (JV) partner on the project, MOD Resources, in exchange for 17.1m MOD shares and 40.7m unquoted options with a nil exercise price and three-year lifespan. It is worth noting that any remaining options will automatically convert to shares if MOD receives a takeover offer.

    When combined, the shares and options - worth A$27.7m at the time of the deal - take Metal Tiger’s position in MOD to 25pc, making it the company’s largest shareholder. Alongside the shares and options, Metal Tiger will retain a 2pc net smelter royalty for T3, capped at $2m, and received the right to appoint McNeilly to MOD’s board, allowing some continued oversight of the project.

    With the deal taking MOD’s position in T3 to 100pc, both firms argued that one party’s full ownership would make the project more attractive to development financiers. Meanwhile, Metal Tiger said its increased position in MOD would provide considerable ongoing exposure to the project while removing the financial burden of having to contribute to ongoing mine construction costs. 

    This ongoing exposure could prove particularly useful next March when MOD is expected to deliver a completed definitive feasibility study for T3. Provided it has been granted an environmental impact licence by this point, MOD intends to apply for a mining licence in H1 2019 with the aim of launching T3 into the next stage of its development.

    Given that both Metal Tiger and MOD are junior miners, McNeilly says he believes the terms of the deal represent the best outcome for shareholders:

    ‘This project developed from strength-to-strength very quickly. When work on the DFS began, Metal Tiger and MOD were left in a position where it would be very difficult to attract project financing for T3 because banks are more hesitant to engage with two companies with relatively small balance sheets than they are a mid-sized business or a major. We would have struggled to fund our 30pc stake, so removing our funding requirements and increasing our indirect exposure to the project by exchanging our stake for MOD shares and options was definitely the right thing to do for shareholders. We still have a board seat, so we will be very involved in helping and guiding MOD to protect the investment for our shareholders.’

    Exploration focus

    Aside from allowing Metal Tiger to relinquish its direct position in T3, July’s deal also saw the two firms transfer the 18 exploration licences held in the original JV into a new JV named Tshukudu Exploration. With the permits covering c.8,000km2 in the KCB - or 1,000 times the area covered by T3 - the new JV grants both sides the chance to focus specifically on their considerable exploration potential in the belt.

    Like its older iteration, the new JV will be 30pc owned by Metal Tiger and 70pc held by MOD. However, after factoring in Metal Tiger’s assumed 25pc equity position in MOD, the former’s stake in the JV increases to 47pc. The new JV also grants MOD the right to acquire a 100pc interest in any exploration asset on which the two firms decide to complete a scoping study.

    McNeilly tells us this increased exposure and ability to sell-off assets before they hit the development stage allows to better focus on exploration, which he calls the company’s ‘modus operandi’:

    ‘This deal maintains non-contributing exposure to T3’s development while leveraging us further towards exploration. Moving forward, it also gives MOD the ability to pay cash or shares for scoping study assets that it wants to develop. This gets us to where we really want to be - capturing value in the exploration/development chain. We think it is likely that MOD will buy scoping study assets off of us because it removes the need for them to continue paying a 2% net smelter royalty should production begin, in the event that they exercise their option to roll up the entire JV in 3 years from completion.’

    A great deal of work had already begun on these licences before establishing the new JV, and progress has only continued since. For example, drilling at the A1 and A4 domes, part of the T3 Dome complex (seen on the map below) has repeatedly found copper mineralisation.

    Meanwhile, in September, Metal Tiger announced that the JV had received approval to drill at its T20 exploration project, 100km west of T3. It will target the T4 dome and T4 prospect, where previous RC drilling identified copper. However, its first target has been the T23 dome, where Metal Tiger announced that it had intersected shallow copper mineralisation last month. Additional drilling rigs are now being mobilised to extend drilling in the area and re-start work at T4, 

    Beyond this immediate workflow, McNeilly remains excited by the sizeable unexplored potential on offer across the JV’s considerable acreage in the belt

    ‘There is just a huge amount of area that we haven’t even covered yet, and so many different target deposits where we are looking for T3-type deposits where the mineralisation has ideally been thrust up, concentrated and folded over into a nice slab mineralisation near surface. There are also many prospective Ngwako Pan Formation contacts that host other substantial copper deposits at depth. With this much going on, the right thing to do at this time is demonstrate the area’s potential for development. This is why we are going off and drilling other targets and not just spending our money on one area.’

    Land-grab 

    In June, Metal Tiger increased its exposure to the KCB even further by signing a binding agreement to buy up to 50pc of private, Botswanan-focused explorer Kalahari Metals (KML). KML holds interests in seven exploration licences covering 4,063km2 in the Belt, consisting of two 100pc owned licences and five subjected to a earn-in agreement with a business called Triprop Holdings.

    Since Metal Tiger announced the agreement, KML has completed a phase one exploration programme on its portfolio, carrying out airborne EM studies on copper projects called Ngami (NCP) and Okavango (OCP). The work generated numerous dome-style exploration targets analogous to the T3 Deposit while modelling has identified over 340km of potentially mineralised geological contact.  

    KML has prioritised these areas for follow-up work before drill testing once it has acquired the necessary permits. Drilling will proceed at NCP under an environmental management plan agreed with Botswana’s government. OCP, meanwhile, will require a more detailed environmental impact assessment to complete before drilling. Regardless, Metal Tiger believes KML should be in a position to start to test drill new copper targets by the end of Q1 2019.

    What’s more, KML extended its stake in the KCB further last month by entering into an earn-in agreement with Resource Exploration and Development to acquire an additional five licences covering 4,661km2 of ground.

    Metal Tiger has so far committed to two of the three stages that comprise the deal, giving it a 34pc position in the business. If it decides to commit to the final stage and take its stake to 50pc, then McNeilly believes Metal Tiger will hold an unparalleled land position in the prospective region:

    ‘I think the market has also missed the fact that Kalahari has acquired another bulk of land in the belt, taking its total exploration interests to more than 8,700km2. This would take its direct and indirect land interest to around 8,600km2. When we combine that with the 8000km2 or so held by our JV with MOD, Metal Tiger has become the company with the biggest landholdings in the Kalahari Copper Belt. 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.’

    Copper downturn

    Metal Tiger is building up its exposure to copper assets at a time when prices of the metal sit at a depressed level. After diving to lows of c.$5,800/lb in the third quarter, prices have bounced back slightly since September to lie flat at around $6,169/t. However, they remain well below 2018 highs of c.$7,300/t hit at the end of the second quarter.

    The factors driving this downturn vary, but it can at least be pinned partly on lingering concerns over an escalating trade war between the US and China, who have been trading sanctions and threats for the better part of the year. With China representing half of the world’s copper consumption, bears in the market have expressed concern around a slowing of global growth and, in turn, weaker demand for industrial material.

    McNeilly disagrees with this negative view, arguing that the supply and demand metrics remain ‘fine’. Indeed, he believes that the copper’s current weakness presents an opportunity to bolster Metal Tiger’s asset base at minimal cost ahead of an inevitable market rebound:

    ‘At some point, the mid-tier and major miners will have to start investing in exploration again and really start driving M&A again- we have already seen some very encouraging deals. What’s more, we are seeing state-owned companies in China being to pick up assets. This almost opportunistic buying can only mean that, at some point, prices will begin to seriously recover, especially if supply and demand forecasts hold true."

    One investor that seems to share McNeilly’s outlook is long-term shareholder and global asset manager Sprott, which has been increasing its position in Metal Tiger steadily over recent months to 15.4pc at last count. Notably, Sprott and its affiliates injected £2.6m into the business over the Summer when it raised £6.2m at 2.8p a share to support the financial commitments related to its MOD JV, its Kalahari tie-up, and working capital. McNeilly believes that the fact Sprott's input represents more than double its minimum commitment to the placing, sums up its enthusiasm for using the KCB as a way of playing any potential copper rebound:

     ‘Sprott is very committed to the potential of the district, and it's clear to see why - prospective ground packages of this scale are simply very difficult to find. Indeed, within the KCB you have one of the ten largest non-producing, undeveloped resources in the world.’ 

    Unfortunately, Sprott’s optimism around Metal Tiger has not been matched by that of the market. Like many of its peers in the junior resources space, it has been hit by the commodity market slump in recent months with shares falling from highs of 3.35p in August to their current 1.5p. This gives the firm a market cap of c.£21.3m. McNeilly says the complexity of its T3 deal has probably done little to mitigate the negative sentiment triggered by a weak copper market. Accordingly, he feels Metal Tiger is trading at a ‘massive discount to the sum of its parts’:

     ‘Our deal was complicated, and I think that some areas of the retail market have missed the considerable option value, huge amount of exposure to MOD, and liquidity it grants us. However, I would argue that we should not be trading at a discount as we have direct project interests and are contributing and we have a track record of being able to generate returns at minimised dilution. If anything, we should be trading close to or even at a premium because we can generate returns that a lot of these mining juniors simply cannot offer. The truth is that the market is tough this year. Many miners are struggling, and we are all down about the same amount. This will change, and Metal Tiger is well placed to capitalise when it does.’

    Shrewd operator

    While complex, Metal Tiger’s deal with MOD looks smart. Not only has the firm maintained exposure to the T3 Project while cutting its funding commitments, but it has also increased its effective exposure to the pair’s exploration assets in the prospective Kalahari Copper Belt. MOD’s London listing last month will only help UK investors in better understanding the real significance of these terms as T3 continues to move forward.

    Compounding this, Metal Tiger’s decision to buy a large stake in Kalahari Metals gives it yet more exposure to copper assets at a time when the market looks to have bottomed. Should McNeilly be correct in his belief that the copper market is due to turn around, then Metal Tiger’s huge asset base in a relatively under-developed region could provide investors with a great way to ride the wave.

    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 Services 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 Services 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

     

     

     

  • MOD Resources (LSE:MOD), already listed on the Australian ASX market joins the London Stock Exchange this morning. The copper exploration and development company joins the standard list of the Main Market with a Market Cap of around £62m at a share price of 25p.

  • Both MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) and Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) were trading up on Tuesday following strong infill drilling results from the T3 copper project.

    So far, assay results have been received for 11 holes at the site, based in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt and 100opc owned by MOD. These form part 60-hole programme that began in T3’s proposed open pit in January with the aim of upgrading early production into the high-confidence measured resource categories.

    Many strong intersections have been recorded, including one within hole MO-G-188D of 31.5m at 2pc copper from 85.6m downhole including 10m at 4.7pc copper from 105m downhole. Meanwhile, another hole called MO-G-192D intersected 33m at 2pc copper including 16m at 3.3pc copper from 99m.

    MOD was trading up 2.7pc to 19p on the news as at writing. Managing director Julian Hanna said the initial results demonstrate the high-grade nature of the veins within the T3 open pit.

    ‘The initial results published today from the T3 infill drilling program are very strong. They continue to support and validate the accuracy of the resource model while also identifying significant new copper intercepts within the early stages of the planned open pit,’ he added. ‘These wide, high-grade intersections are increasing our confidence in the quality and continuity of the resource. In addition, they provide encouragement of the potential to increase the current open pit resource.’

    All-in-all, MOD has so far drilled 25 of the 60 holes, utilising up to three drill rigs. It expects to complete the remaining 35 infill drill holes by the end of H1 2019, ahead of both the proposed T3 open pit ore reserve and feasibility.

    MOD said the latter remains on track for completion by the end of March 2019. A pre-feasibility study on the project gave it a base case NPV of $281m and only weeks after a resource upgrade gave it a total mineral resource estimate of 590Kt copper and 27Moz silver.

    Metal Tiger, which sold off its position in T3 last year but retained exposure through its 10.5pc stake in MOD, also rose on the news, advancing 3.9pc to 1.35p. The jump came despite a separate RNS showing that the company’s cornerstone investors Sprott had reduced its stake slightly from 13.7pc to 12.9pc.

    On the infill drilling results, chief executive Michael McNeilly said: We are pleased to report the significant infill drilling intersections from MOD’s T3 project in Botswana. The infill drilling programme is expected to allow a significant portion of the Mineral Resource to be categorised as Measured, with these initial results also providing the prospect of increasing the current open pit resource.

    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 Services 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 Services 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.

  • This morning, MOD Resources: (LSE:MOD) and Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) released an update on drilling at A4 Dome in the central Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana. The A4 Dome forms part of the T3 Expansion Project in which MOD holds a 70% working interest alongside joint venture partner, Metal Tiger.

    MOD stated the initial phase of drilling is supportive of the company’s strategy to define additional sources of ore within the T3 Expansion Project which could result in increased production through the planned T3 processing plant.

    To date only one-third of the approximately 5km long prospective area has been tested which lies only 8km from MOD’s 60Mt T3 Copper Project. Drill hole intersections included significant widths and grades of both vein and Ngwako Pan Formation (NPF) contact type mineralization.

    Independent underground mining consultants, Entech Pty Ltd, have undertaken a preliminary, conceptual underground mining study of the A4 Dome using inputs from one of Australia’s leading underground mining service providers, Barminco, a subsidiary of AusDrill. The study gives positive outcomes for a combination of room-and-pillar ore extraction of higher-grade contact mineralisation and long hole open stoping mining of the NPF contact related mineralization via a decline from surface. 

    The NPF contact is an important regional target in the Kalahari Copper Belt as it hosts substantial deposits including the 100Mt @ 2% Cu 'Zone 5' resources held by Cupric Canyon Capital, around 125km east of A4 Dome.

    MOD's Managing Director, Julian Hanna, said: "Recent drilling results from the A4 Dome, combined with the preliminary conceptual underground mining study, provide strong support to expand drilling along the dome and start developing it into a resource. If results continue to be positive, the A4 Dome has potential to provide substantial additional ore sources, which may lead to an increase in production levels through the proposed T3 process plant, only 8km from the A4 Dome."

    "While the feasibility study for the T3 Copper Project is nearing completion, and represents a robust, long-life, stand-alone mining opportunity for the Company, the nearby A4 Dome keeps delivering good results. The large scale of the A4 Dome, and the potential to utilise capital and infrastructure planned at T3, has allowed us to consider modern, highly efficient underground mining techniques as a realistic option for A4 Dome."

    A decision to progress the A4 Dome programme towards a potential mineral resource estimate is expected to be made early 2019.

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Services 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 Services 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

     

     

     

  • MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) soared 57.3pc to 22.5p yesterday after revealing an unsolicited takeover bid from a major copper miner. The ASX-listed resources firm, which dual listed in London last November, received the proposal from fellow Australian business Sandfire Resources. MOD’s largest shareholder Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) also rose 27pc to 1.6p on the news.

    Sandfire offered to acquire 100pc of MOD’s shares at $0.38 each, valuing the firm at $113m. However, MOD said it believed the indicative proposal undervalued its assets. Despite this, it said it would be ‘willing to engage’ with Sandfire if it presents a more compelling price.

    MOD is the owner of the 60Mt T3 copper project in the centre of Botswana’s highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB). The company is progressing a feasibility study for the project, which it expects to release by the end of Q1 2019. This is expected to help it reach a decision to mine within the first half of the year.

    The firm believes that its flagship asset presents the potential for a long-life, high-margin, open-pit copper mine with significant exploration upside. Indeed, based on its pre-feasibility study, the asset has an NPV (pre-tax) of $370m under the base case and $529m under the expansion case.

    In yesterday’s update, MOD gave many reasons for considering Sandfire’s initial offer insufficient.

    First-of-all, the company highlighted its dominant position in the KCB, which comes in at around 11,700km2 in granted licences. It called the area ‘one of the last under-explored sediment-hosted copper belts’, adding that exploration results have already indicated the potential for additional copper mineralisation.

    Elsewhere, the business pointed to T3’s prospectivity. It said it expects the project to produce a high-grade, high-quality concentrate that will attract keen interest from metal traders and smelter. It also claimed to have confidence in a range of alternative funding options for progressing T3 to production following third-party discussions.

    Finally, MOD pointed to the fact that its share price and the MOD/SFR exchange ratio are at a 2.5-year low. Extending this point, it highlighted its most recent $0.47 per share placing price.

    Managing director Julian Hanna said the proposal confirms the potential of the T3 Copper Project. However, he said ‘significantly undervalues’ the company’s assets.

    Elsewhere in Monday’s update, MOD announced that it had carried out a $10m placement with institutional and sophisticated issued. It issued the shares at $0.30 each, a 36pc premium to its last closing share price on ASX. It will now follow the placing with a rights issue to raise c.$5m from eligible shareholders. This will be priced at $0.24 per share.

    MOD said the funds would be used to complete a 2019 capital works programme. This will see it progress T3, purchase a farm on which the T3 open pit is based, complete underground mining studies, and carry out follow-up exploration work. It will also fund infill drilling to upgrade part of the early stages of T3 mine production to a JORC compliant Measured Resource category. Finally, MOD said the money would enable it to progress negotiations with numerous parties around funding T3’s future development.

    Hanna added: ‘Funding from this capital raise will enable the Company to progress the T3 Copper Project towards a development decision and conduct further drilling for additional resources. With strong ongoing support of our shareholders through a placement and a fully underwritten rights issue, we believe that the Company will have sufficient working capital to achieve our objectives.’

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Phoenix Global Mining (LSE:PGM) dipped to 30.2p this morning despite recent exploration work indicating a ‘district style’ opportunity at its flagship Empire copper mine in the US.

    The firm, which was down 7.2pc as at writing, said it has proven mineralisation along a 3.5km strike within its expanded Empire Mine land position, which now totals 1,837 acres. As a result of the findings, Phoenix will now fast-track further exploration work, with chief executive Dennis Thomas claiming the results suggest a ‘district style’ opportunity:

  • In today’s podcast we talk with Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi who has just been appointed a director of Canadian-listed Forum Energy Metals (TSX-V:FMC). Historically the company has been focused on its Uranium assets but last year Forum made two acquisitions, one copper project, the other cobalt. Tennent-Bhohi explains the company’s strategy of diversifying into the battery metals space while sentiment in the uranium market gradually turns favourable. Tennent-Bhohi also discusses the increasing awareness of the Canadian TSX venture exchange by UK investors.

    This interview was recorded on 21st February 2019.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG)

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

    The Author has been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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

    Catalyst Information Services 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 Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. 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.

     

  • In today’s podcast Mick Billing, Executive Chairman of Thor Mining (LSE:THR), explains why the company is creating a new vehicle called Enviro Copper Limited and gives an overview of its two copper projects, Kapunda and Moonta. Mick also discusses the potential use of In-Situ Recovery (ISR) techniques at the projects, gives his outlook on the copper market, and provides an update on finance and off-take discussions for Thor’s Molyhil Tungsten Project.

    This interview was recorded on 6th March 2019.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG) #gold #mining #investing

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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, 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 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. 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.

     

  • Gold explorer SolGold (LSE:SOLG) says it is ‘surprised and disappointed’ by Cornerstone’s (TSX:CGP) swift dismissive response to its stated intention to bid for the company.  In an announcement made on Friday, the firm highlighted that Cornerstone had lodged its response less than three hours after the approach, raising questions on how well the potential offer had been considered. 

    SolGold owns an 85pc interest in Exploraciones Novomining S.A. (ENSA) an Ecuadorean company that in turn owns 100pc of the Cascabel Project. The project is located in the prolific Andean Copper belt of Northern Ecuador and Cornerstone also owns a 15pc interest via shares in ENSA.

    On 31 january, SolGold proposed the conversion of each Cornerstone share into 0.55 of a SolGold share, equating to an immediate 20pc premium for current holders.  SolGold believes the consolidatory move would significantly benefit Cornerstone shareholders, in particular, removing the ‘funding challenges’ the company will face in relation to the development of Cascabel. Current Cornerstone shareholders would also benefit from exposure to SolGold’s other assets across Ecuador and beyond.

    In today’s response, SolGold raised a number of questions and notes ‘the apparent lack of consideration’ of the potential by Cornerstone’s board. The company goes on to say it ‘believes that all Cornerstone shareholders and warrant holders should be given the opportunity to make an informed decision”and that ‘an independent review should be conducted by the Cornerstone Board, properly advised by an independent committee thereof, before making public statements about the proposed offer.’

    The share price of Cornerstone has risen in response to the offer, which SolGold suggests is indicative of a market understanding the benefits of such a bid. SolGold intends to proceed with its offer.

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Services 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 Services 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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • On Wednesday SolGold (LSE:SOLG) updated the market with details of exploration activities from its 100% owned Porvenir Project in southern Ecuador. Over the past five years, Ecuador has been recognised globally as a frontrunner in emerging mining nations. SolGold is the largest and most active concession holder in the country and is aggressively exploring the length and breadth of a highly prospective and gold-rich section of the Andean Copper Belt. The Australian company has formed four 100% owned subsidiary companies in Ecuador; Carnegie Ridge Resources S.A., Green Rock Resources S.A., Cruz del Sol S.A. and Valle Rico Resources S.A. The subsidiaries currently hold 73 mineral concessions over approximately 3,200km2 in Ecuador.

    To date exploration activity has identified 15 potential porphyry centres at SolGold’s flagship copper-gold deposit, the Cascabel Project. SolGold published its maiden Mineral Reserve Estimate for Alpala, the main target in the Cascabel concession in January 2018. Alpala has produced some of the greatest drill hole intercepts in porphyry copper-gold exploration history.  Over 145,000m of diamond drilling has been completed on the project and SolGold currently produces around 10,000m of core every month.

    The plan is to apply the exploration blueprint developed at Cascabel to the Porvenir Project in southern Ecuador and elsewhere.

    Location plan showing the Porvenir project in southern Ecuador

    The company reports the discovery of ‘exciting’ new porphyry copper-gold mineralisation at Target 15, located on the Porvenir 2 concession. A broad zone of north east trending porphyry mineralisation approximately 1km wide and hosting numerous porphyry centres currently defined over 6 km long and open ended has been defined. This includes a 800m-wide mineralised corridor more than 1200m long recognised at Target 15 consistent with exposure of a vertically extensive, well-preserved porphyry copper-gold system.

    Rock saw channel sampling copper and gold results from La Cacharposa creek in Target 15 at Porvenir

    SolGold CEO, Nick Mather commented, "The result at Porvenir especially at Target 15, indicates the effort SolGold puts into its first mover advantage secured in 2014 across Ecuador. SolGold's team of geoscientists led by Dr. Steve Garwin, porphyry expert, recognised several targets with the right geochemical, geological and geophysical signature and SolGold has so far secured 11 of them. SolGold is committed to leading the development of a sustainable copper-gold mining industry in Ecuador. The high grades and strong gold endowment at Alpala and Porvenir provides SolGold with a unique opportunity to develop this Company without resorting to dilutive and erosive joint ventures. 

    SolGold has identified and secured the best of an entire copper-gold province, the size and metallogenic signature of northern Chile. That's a unique approach that can't be replicated. We are confident that Alpala and now Porvenir Target 15 are the first projects in a long, large and rich string of them. We have the cash, the expertise and the focus to deliver"

     

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Services 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 Services 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

     

     

     

  • Strategic Minerals (LSE:SML) rose 2.4pc on Monday morning after revealing promising copper mineralisation in the latest round of assay results at its Leigh Creek project.

    Eight out of 10 holes drilled at a site called Paltridge North within the South Australia-based project last August intersected significant copper mineralisation including malachite, azurite, chalcocite and native copper. Six of the latest holes had an intersection of 1.34pc, which is significantly higher than the resource average of 0.81pc.

    Paltridge North deposit is a relatively flat tabular deposit hosted in fine-grained siltstone. Mineralisation has varied from predominantly copper oxide minerals, malachite and azurite, in the upper levels of the deposit. This grades into a relatively sharp contact where the copper minerals are mostly chalcocite with some minor native copper observed in the drill core.

    The company carried out its infill diamond drill programme with the aim of providing metallurgical test samples and testing historical drilling. Strategic said its results reinforce a previous resource model estimate and highlight areas of higher-grade copper, including 1m at 8.7pc.

    A previous JORC resource gave Leigh Creek a JORC Resource of 3.6Mt at 0.7pc copper, with contained copper of 24.9Kt, at Paltridge North alongside two other deposits called Lynda and Lorna Doone. The firm is now producing an updated resource model that will incorporate these results. It expects this to complete in March 2019. 

    Meanwhile, Stragic also completed seven diamond drill holes at another Leigh Creek site Rosmann East. Here, Strategic has defined a mineral inventory of 1.8Mt at 0.65pc copper, with contained copper of 11.5kt. The holes tested below the existing pit floor at the site and have so far provided strong support for continued mineralisation.

    Strategic says this continued to as much as 60m below the existing pit floor and 30m below previous drilling, with its first hole returning 69m at 0.37pc copper. Results for the other holes, which have targeted known areas of higher grade, will be released when available, the business said.

    Managing director John Peters said: ‘The Paltridge North deposit assays, arising from the first diamond drilling programme for 32 years, have delivered better than expected results and provide the SML Board confidence that Paltridge North could be a significant copper producer in the near future.

    ‘Additionally, the assays from the first hole at the Rosmann East deposit support potential additional mineralisation below the existing open pit floor. This is good news due to the ease of accessibility to this ore. Management and the Board look forward to restarting the Mountain of Light operations in the first half of 2019 and moving into long term, higher volume production at a later date.’

    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 Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services 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 Services 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.

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) announced today that proof of concept has been established for In-situ Recovery of copper at the Kapunda Copper Project. The company has the right to earn-in to a 45% effective interest in the project which is located 90km north of Adelaide in South Australia. In February, Thor announced a maiden resource estimate in partnership with Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd and Terramin Pty Ltd (ASX: TZN), suggesting the site has an inferred JORC compliant resource of 119,000 tonnes of copper amenable to In-situ Recovery techniques.

    In-situ Recovery (ISR) or solution mining has a lower environmental footprint than conventional mining with little visual impact and minimal infrastructure required.

    The process accelerates what is naturally happening within the bedrock and water table and until recent advances in technology, had limited applications in mineral extraction. It’s now possible to apply the ISR method of extraction to copper and gold resources that were previously un-minable. During the process, a benign solution is pumped into bores drilled into the ore body to dissolve the copper. The copper containing solution is then pumped to a recovery plant to extract the metal from the liquid.

    The In-situ Recovery (ISR) process

    source: www.envirocopper.com.au

    Kapunda is suitable for ISR since it is a shallow resource and the area has a high water table. Thor says it has completed water sampling and the initial hydrogeological assessment is positive. Computer modelling suggests that flow through the ore body is possible and the geology is amenable for ISR. 

    As reported in July, The Australian Government Ministry for Science, Jobs and Innovation has offered Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd research funding of A$2,851,303, over a 30 month period to demonstrate the In-Situ Recovery (ISR) process at Kapunda.

     Mick Billing, Executive Chairman, commented:

    "The proof of concept stage has been successful in demonstrating that, from both a technical and social viewpoint, we should proceed to the next stage of work. This next stage (stage 2) will include: relevant approval processes, pump and environmental testing, and will incorporate a field recovery trial to generate solution and test a variety of metal recovery options."  

    "The successful completion of these stages was complemented by the receipt of a (CRC-P) Commonwealth Research Program Grant for A$2.85 million for the Kapunda Copper ISR project, further supporting this exciting initiative of an economically and environmentally sustainable mining future technique."

    "We look forward to providing further information on this exciting project, and each of our other projects at Molyhil (including Bonya), and Pilot Mountain in the coming weeks."

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Services 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 Services 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

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) was sitting at 1p on Friday morning after re-iterating the substantial progress made across its portfolio in H2 2018.

    During the period, the firm completed an upgraded definitive feasibility study at its Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project in Australia. This gave the site an NPV(5) of A$101m, an internal rate of return of 59pc, an EBITDA of A$239m and a payback period of around 18 months.

    Last month, Thor said these attractive figures have already attracted the interest of various potential partners. It hopes to finalise an acceptable financing arrangement for the project with the help of Argent Partners over the near term.

    Elsewhere, H2 2018 saw Thor complete its acquisition of an interest in the Bonya tenements, which are located near Molyhil. These contain 13 outcropping tungsten deposits, plus the small Bonya copper resource, providing significant potential to extend the profitable life of the proposed Molyhil operation. Thor has previously said that it expects to get drilling approval at Bonya over the coming quarter.

    Meanwhile, the period covered by the results also saw Thor release a scoping study for its Pilot Mountain tungsten project in the US. This indicated the potential for a profitable 12-year mine life, while a revised mineral resource estimate boosted tungsten resources, and included zinc for the first time. Thor now plans to carry out the second stage of metallurgical test work and environmental and infrastructure studies at the site.

    Finally, the business plans to prepare the Kapunda copper project in Australia for field pump testing in the current quarter. This comes after it demonstrated proof of concept for in situ recovery at the site last year.

    Elsewhere in Thursday’s results, Thor revealed a bullish outlook for metal prices. It said that, although tungsten pricing fell by around 20pc early in H2 2018 to settle at between $260/mtu and $270mtu, Molyhil remains ‘very well positioned’ thanks to production costs of just 490/mtu. This places the project in the first quartile of global production costs.

    Speaking to MiningMaven last month, Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing said industry dynamics could see Tungsten prices rise from their current level:

    ‘China, the dominant global supplier, has withdrawn production licences from a number of producers for environmental reasons, and reports suggest that they have issued no new production licences for a couple of years. While a number of projects elsewhere are in development and hopeful producers, like Thor, are poised to commence development, it is unlikely that these new developments will meet the expected growth in demand.’

    Meanwhile, Thor said that molybdenum pricing has maintained gains made in early 2018 and continues to sit in the $11-12/lb range.

    Finally, the business revealed a cash balance of £1.11m as of 31 December. It said this figure was bolstered by the exercise of 52,699,789 warrants and options, at various exercise prices, raising £625,623 at an average conversion price of 1.19 pence.

    In Thor’s update for Q4 2018, issued last month, Billing said: ‘A positive quarter with progress on all core projects, and a strengthened cash position. The appointment of corporate advisors to support and guide our efforts towards off-take & financing for Molyhil is a strategy we believe will improve our prospects of securing the best arrangement possible for our shareholders. A number of potential scenarios are possible with various interested parties, and we hope to be in a position to advise progress shortly. Additionally, the potential of nearby Bonya tenements, hosting tungsten, copper, and vanadium, provides potential upside for Molyhil, and also for other stand-alone development opportunities.’

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

    Catalyst Information Services 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 Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. 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.

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) jumped 8.9pc to 1.15p on Tuesday after announcing plans to spin off its interest in the Kapunda copper project into a new business.

    The firm, which was down 6.5pc on Wednesday, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer its interests in the Adelaide-based project into Enviro Copper. This new vehicle will then hold earn-in rights up to 75pc in Kapunda as well as another asset called the Moonta copper project.

    In exchange for transferring its stake, Thor can hold up to a 30pc position in Enviro before any listing activities. Thor shareholders, meanwhile, will hold the first option to invest in any listing that Enviro decides to seek on a recognised securities exchange.

    Kapunda hosts an in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable inferred mineral resource estimate of 119,000ts of contained copper.

    Thor holds its interest in the product through a private Australian company called Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR). Thor announced an agreement to earn up to 60pc in ECR last August in exchange for convertible loans worth up to $1.8m. ECR holds an agreement to earn, in two stages, up to 75pc of the rights over metals that may be recovered in the Kapunda deposit from ASX-listed miner Terramin.

    Under the Enviro MOU, Thor will relinquish its interest in ECR and buy a 25pc, pre-listing, interest in Enviro for A$0.6m. It will also hold the right to acquire a further 5pc seed capital interest in the vehicle for $0.4m.

    Moonta, meanwhile, is also based in Adelaide, where it sits within the historical ‘copper triangle’ of South Australia. Here, around 300,000ts of copper was mined and processed from the 1860s until the 1920s. Although it is less advanced than the Kapunda target, it contains an ISR amenable exploration target of between 238Mt and 310Mt at a grade range of 0.18pc-0.23pc copper. The asset is 75pc owned by a business called Environmental Metals Recovery, subject to due diligence.

    In Tuesday’s update, Thor said the new combined entity would provide a strategic opportunity to build a substantial ISR-focused copper exploration, development, and production business with an initial focus on Australia. It said a key strategic target would be the ‘timely development’ of Kapunda into production, which would demonstrate the viability of ISR. This model would then be applied to the larger scale Moonta project.

    Beyond its two initial interests, Enviro will aim to develop an expanded portfolio of ISR copper opportunities. Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing added that Enviro could add ‘significant scale’ to the firm’s copper interests by bringing in exposure to Moonta.

    ‘While Kapunda is comparatively more advanced, the Moonta project, albeit at an earlier stage, provides potential for a much larger, and longer-term copper production entity,’ he said. The opportunity for eligible Thor Mining shareholders to have a priority investment opportunity in the new vehicle is seen as a core ingredient in the establishment and listing of this new entity.

    ‘Also, through their shareholding in Thor Mining plc, shareholders we be able to see the demonstrable value of our interest in Enviro Copper and that value will be in our financial accounts as a tradable market valued asset, rather than as merely a project within the Company. Shareholders should expect a range of additional market updates in the near term in respect of the developments at Enviro Copper, and as we take steps forward at Molyhil and Pilot Mountain.’

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

    Catalyst Information Services 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 Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. 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.

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) announced an increased mineral resource estimate at its Pilot Mountain project in Nevada, USA on Thursday. The company owns 100% of the Tungsten project and reports a 6.5% increase in the mineral resource which also contains copper and zinc on the Desert Scheelite deposit at Pilot Mountain.

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) has risen from 1.6p to 2.2p this month, boosted largely by the news that it has taken on a corporate adviser to help it secure financing with interested firms at its Molyhil tungsten project in Australia. The news follows a year of strong progress at Molyhil that has seen Thor release greatly enhanced financials for the site, while also boosting its upside through a nearby acquisition and work on an underground operation.