Showing posts with label Exploration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exploration. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2012

Latin Resources first holes hit substantial iron intersection at Mariela

Latin Resources has received preliminary drill assays from the Mariela Project showing the intersection of continuous iron mineralisation producing strong widths and grades of up to 55.7% iron from the first drill hole.

The assays were received from joint venture partner Junefield’s Peruvian subsidiary, Total Genius Iron Mining SAC, following analysis by SGS laboratories in Lima, Peru.

The agreement allows Junefield to earn up to 70% of the Mariela Project by funding all activities to the completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study, or to a total cost of US$35 million.

An intercept of 227.15 metres at 37.2% iron from 542.6 metres including 27.4 metres at 55.7% iron, that contained very low levels of sulphur and phosphorus, was returned from the first drill hole.

A second hole intersected multiple iron mineralised zones between 187 metres and 820 metres depth that range in thickness from 0.4 metres to at least 21.9 metres with grades ranging from 20% to 52% iron.

Eighteen individual samples of between 0.6 metres and 2.1 metres in thickness were selected for copper analyses from the first hole and ranged in grade from 0.01% to 0.46% copper, with a raw average of 0.19% copper.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Patagonia's gold and silver promise shines through slew of junior announcements

Promising announcements from three junior miners and explorers on projects in Santa Cruz province highlight the continuing potential for gold and silver mining in Patagonia

New announcements from Samco Mining, Minera IRL and Mariana Resources, relating to separate exploration projects confirm the continuing high prospectivity for high grade gold and silver in the Deseado Massif in Patagonia in Argentina's Santa Cruz province.

Samco's announcement relates to its Corina project area which lies immediately to the north of the exciting Cerro Moro vein deposits found by Extorre Gold - and recently acquired by Yamana Gold. Here an initial program of mapping and chip and channel sampling following up on targets identified in a previous satellite imagery analysis has confirmed a number of exciting targets, which the company refers to as the Cerro Cubilete and Cerro de la Mina prospects.

At the former, an area of outcrop of dark quartz and quartz-iron oxide breccia has been identified over a north-south elongated area measuring approximately 250m long by up to 90m wide. Within this area, 44 outcrop samples averaged 268 g/t Ag, with a maximum value of 1295 g/t Ag. While not reported, the vein deposits in this area also tend to carry gold values as well as silver.

At Cerro de la Mina approximately 600 metres NW of Cerro Cubilete there are many small prospecting pits which expose minor barite and Mn oxide mineralization in rhyolite. Seven samples from this area assayed above 50 ppm Mo, with a maximum of 219 ppm, in a NNW linear trend 300m long. In Samco´s experience, Mo can be a useful pathfinder to precious metal mineralization in this environment - indeed the major operating gold/silver producer in the area, Anglo American's Cerro Vanguardia mine, was originally found by geologists looking for barite deposits.

The project is located some 55km for the port of Puerto Deseado and there is good road and power infrastructure in the area.

Meanwhile another miner/explorer with more advanced projects in the area, Minera IRL, has reported the discovery of a significant mineralized system at Choique, approximately one kilometre from the Martinetas Vein Field, at the Don Nicolas Project in the same general area. Don Nicolas is currently in the development permitting process and is located about 100 km northwest of Cerro Moro.

Here results from 35 holes for 2,386 meters of drilling have demonstrated substantial gold and silver intersections in a new mineralized rhyolite dome host within 50 metres of surface. Key high grade intersections include drill holes CH-D12-015 with 6.70 meters at 10.5 g/t gold and 19.8 g/t silver, CH-D12-018 with 6.10 meters at 5.43 g/t gold and 27.6 g/t silver and CH-D12-021 with 11.10 meters grading 5.38 g/t gold and 5.26 g/t silver. This is particularly significant as Choique is located only 1.6 kilometres from the planned Don Nicolas treatment plant.

Courtney Chamberlain, Executive Chairman of Minera IRL, commented, "The strong assay results from a newly recognized rhyolite dome complex at Choique unlock significant value close to the main mineralized vein system at Martinetas and represent a positive return from our recent brownfields program. Only 1.6 kilometres from the planned Don Nicolas plant, the Choique discovery not only shows immediate potential for increasing the resource base and mine life, but also provides great encouragement for more potential discoveries close to Martinetas."

A Feasibility Study for building a mine at Don Nicolas was completed in February this year. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was submitted to the Santa Cruz authorities in, thereby commencing the process of obtaining the development and operating permits for the project. In addition to the drilling at Choique, 15,905 meters of in-fill and extension drilling have now been completed at Martinetas, both of which will provide the basis for a new resource estimate scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Some 30+ km from the Don Nicolas project lies Mariana's Las Calandrias and Calandria Sur prospects where there has also been extensive, and highly encouraging, drilling, both on high grade silver/gold veins and around the edges of a rhyolite dome, which also extends into ground controlled by Minera IRL (known as the Escondida project), and which has shown lower grade bulk gold mining potential. Mariana too has just announced results from twenty-one holes drilled for 2,164m including deepening six previous holes, designed to test new targets adjacent to the current Calandria Sur resource of 519,000 ounces gold equivalent and to validate geological models derived from detailed exploration.

The company reports significant intersections made in 13 holes - mostly hosted by volcaniclastic or volcaniclastic/rhyolite rocks and these range in style from bulk tonnage, narrow high grade (in one case, andesite dyke-related) to wide zones of strongly anomalous gold.

Relating to the latest drilling results, Mariana's chairman, Chairman John Horsburgh noted, "This is a good set of results from several new targets, all of which are outside the Calandria Sur resource of 519,000 ounces of gold equivalent. Post-resource drilling to date has assessed the extent of the Calandria Sur mineralised system. Importantly mineralisation at Loma Verde, La Picaza and El Clavo is still open and adjacent covered areas, possible sub-dome feeders, the 1km dyke trend at Calandria Sur and several advanced targets within a 3km radius also remain as targets. Meanwhile,

follow-up exploration is underway in the extensive Bozal/Tongoril areas to the north and northwest with new targets emerging, for which we look forward to updating in due course."

The three announcements, which all came within a day of each other, confirm the high prospectivity for gold and silver in the region, which, as noted above already hosts one significant gold/silver mine in Cerro Vanguardia with a couple of others at the development stage and a host of significant finds, some of which, like Don Nicolas and Cerro Moro are well on the path to production. The Deseado Massif has to be one of the world's most prospective areas for gold and silver and the provincial government of Santa Cruz province, unlike some of its neighbours, has so far proved to be a very mining friendly administration although there are reports that the province is considering the imposition of new mining royalties and forcing miners to cede a 10% stake in projects to the state mining company, Formicruz, in an effort to to bring down its budget deficit.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Macusani Yellowcake CEO Peter Hooper Discusses Uranium in Peru on Today’s Midas Letter Money

Macusani Yellowcake (TSX.V:YEL) CEO Peter Hooper joins host James West on Midas Letter Money from our Toronto Studios to discuss the scale and scope of the company’s giant uranium exploration project in Peru. As Peru’s largest explorer for Uranium, Macusani is planning to become its largest producer of Uranium in the near term.

Peru at this point has no nuclear reactors for electrical power generation, yet the country suffers from acute shortages of electricity, with reliable power an elusive goal for most of the country’s rural communities.

The full transcript of the interview is as follows:

James West: Hi, I’m James West. This is Midas Letter Money. My next guest is developing uranium assets in Peru. Peter Hooper is the CEO of Macusani Yellowcake trades on the TSX venture under the symbol YEL. Peter, thank you for joining us today.

Peter Hooper: It’s a pleasure to be here.

James West: Peter, you’ve been working on this project for quite sometime and since I first started following a few years ago, it’s become much bigger. Why don’t you just elaborate a bit about on where the project is, what you’ve done so far and how it came to be such a large project?

Peter Hooper: We started in 2007, took it public in November and we survived 2008 and 2009, but we never stopped working. We started drilling immediately and we managed by raising money all the way through. To date, we’ve drilled up three deposits and we have a combined nearly 30 million pounds of 43-101 combination of resources inferred and measured. You’re not supposed to have them but we have.

James West: Right, of course. So I’ve been to Lima, Peru and that’s a very chaotic city. I’m trying to picture those guys running a nuclear reactor down there. Does Peru got plans to build nuclear reactors?

Peter Hooper: Peru has no uranium mining and they have one medical reactor. That’s it. The uranium here was found by Margaret Thatcher, you know that of course.

James West: I didn’t know that.

Peter Hooper: She persuaded the British Geological Survey to fly Peru and half of Chile for airborne geophysics including radiometrics in 1980 and ‘81, really is a thank you for the full control. Out of that came hundreds of airborne anomalies and one of the biggest anomalies, it’s right where we are. They created the IPEN, Institute Proven Energy Nuclear at the same time and IPEN, pressing uranium in those days before Chernobyl with sky high and they did some quite a lot of exploration work including some added work. So that’s the basis of where we started uranium price crash that changed the mining law in ‘91 which meant that IPEN had to stop paying the government for all these properties there then they change the rules. Uranium to this day is treated as a base metal improve(ph) no special rules.

James West: So then who would be the ultimate client with that — implied that in the UK would probably be the off take client?

Peter Hooper: Well, more or so the Chinese or the Koreans or the Japanese is my guess.

James West: Okay, so it would be creating uranium mine for export then?

Peter Hooper: Yes, correct.

James West: Okay. So you’ve got 30 million pounds at this point and how far away would you say in the best case scenario we could be from uranium mine.

Peter Hooper: Well, the story goes like the first guy to realized the recent potential was John Challis and he created a company called Solex and he has take two-thirds of the plateau. Frontier Pacific did a lot of work from the joint venture that all fell apart and they run out of money. Solex was bought by Southern Andes and we’ve just moved with Southern Andes. Right now we own 90% of the plateau.

James West: Wow. So that has a potential then to be a huge uranium mine.

Peter Hooper: Well, out of that all our deposits actually go on to the next-door properties, properties we now own. So yes, we have huge potential to dramatically increase our resources quickly.

James West: Okay. What kind of grains are we looking at?

Peter Hooper: Well, one on side its half a pound per ton and on the other side, it’s higher. It’s probably two to three pounds a ton. But we’ve done metallurgical works since 2007 and the recoveries here are huge. They are 96%, 98%, 90% and it’s a heap leach potential, heap leach situation and we’ve done common lead to tests. Kamaka is our next-door neighbor, because they get the same sort of recovery, Solex at the same. The reason these recoveries are so high in my opinion is that when we do our ground radiometrics, we test for 40 elements. There’s no thorium. There’s no manganese. There’s no iron. There’s no copper. There are no contaminants and no titanium.

James West: So those are all undesirable elements in the uranium –

Peter Hooper: For recovery.

James West: Right.

Peter Hooper: Yeah, exactly. So it’s pure autunite, meta-autunite, carnotite, and these are easily soluble in sulfuric acid and which is the agent for the heap leach. When you added the heap leach, you get a pregnant solution and we found if you recall the South Africans (00:04:38) or Russian patents for resins back in the ‘70s. They are experts in that field. We’ve got a guy who found us resins who can extract the Yellowcake out of pregnant solutions and again, high recoveries.

James West: So we’ve got a lot of metallurgical work. We’ve got hundreds of tests. We have a process at work. It’s very cheap. We’ve done a PEA.


The first PEA at million pounds a year for just one target, the price has come at $22 a pound if you use your way which is cheap. When we are expanding that and the objective this year is to get a PEA at five million pounds a year which all of a sudden puts us a big producer. Now to do that, we need in a 10-year life, I need 50 to 60 million pounds so that’s the target from our drilling this year. We’ve got three drills turning now. There’ll be six drills turning before the end of the year.

We’re on the drills and we have a superb manager in Lima who runs it for us. He’s Romanian and he was a prof in Bucharest taught in Johannesburg, doctor. He ended up owning — he work for (00:05:52) and Gold Fields in Peru surveyed the country always. He owns Gold Plants in Peru. He runs a little gold mine and owns the Old Englehard (00:06:03) Refinery there. He has his team together. He’s run those for 14 years and that’s the team. He was doing the work to a solid team, Peruvians, good geologists, good head office, good engineers and a good lawyer in the office who does all our dealing with the locals. We have extremely good relations with the locals.

James West: Okay, so you’re going to drill next year, try to get to 60 million pounds. I’m sorry, this year. So then it would be sort of raise money towards prefeasibility and everything?

Peter Hooper: We have $13 million in acuity, so we don’t have to raise any money. We’ve spent about half a million dollars of this a month to run. So we in fact have two years worth of exploration moneys now. The objective is to get a PEA this year and yes, we need to position the company to have a prefeasibility ready for 2013. In other words, the company can be put into production of that state because if you recall there’s going to be a shortage of supply when the Russian military fuel missile stuff comes off the market and that’s predicted to be in 2013. That gap is supposed to be filled by Cigar Lake, (00:07:15) down to Namibia, all projects slackly behind the time. So it’s on the cards. There’s going to be a struggle to get enough supply particularly with the new reactors coming on the stream. So if we position the company to be ready at that time, we should be in good shape.

James West: So that’s the strategy then.

Peter Hooper: That’s the strategy.

James West: Okay. Well, that’s a really interesting story. We’re gonna leave it there for now. Peter, I’d like to thank you for joining us today.

Peter Hooper: Pleasure, indeed.

Source: Midas Letter

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Initial Aguila Copper/Molybdenum Resource Estimate of 375 Million lbs Copper & 22 Million lbs Molybdenum Indicated and 2.1 Billion lbs Copper & 166 Million lbs Molybdenum Inferred


Duran Ventures Inc. is a Canadian-based mineral exploration mining company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (ticker symbol DRV) (OTC: DUVNF) (Frankfurt: 6D7). The Company has come to our attention due, in part, to the exceptional opportunity afforded shareholders as DRV.V is advancing their 100% owned concessions located in Central Peru where geologists agree that Duran's Aguila copper-molybdenum porphyry deposit is part of a large porphyry cluster in a major mineral district actively taking shape with Peñoles and Duran Ventures holding key ground. DRV has defined a sizeable deposit at Aguila and has published a first resource estimate of 375 Million lbs Copper & 22 Million lbs Molybdenum Indicated and 2.1 Billion lbs Copper & 166 Million lbs Molybdenum Inferred.

Read more: Download Article

Source: Mining MarketWatch

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Latin Resources and Junefield Group propel iron ore exploration at Mariela in Peru

Latin Resources and Hong Kong's Junefield Group are advancing exploration at the Mariela Iron Project in Peru with the addition of a second diamond drill rig.

To date Junefield, which is managing the drilling program, has completed three drill holes of the planned 20 hole program.

Drilling results are likely to be highly anticipated given the project’s strategic location in the Ilo region, which has become one of the "hotspots" for copper discoveries and is a renowned iron oxide, copper and gold district (IOCG).

Following the completion of the first hole to 797 metres Junefield moved a second diamond rig onto the project. The first three holes were centred over the most intense part of the ground magnetic anomaly.

Junefield plans to drill up to 12,000 metres across 20 diamond holes targeting primarily the magnetic anomaly for Marcona-style massive magnetite mineralisation.

The Marcona iron deposit in south-central Peru contains around 1.9 billion tonnes at 55.4% iron and is the preeminent central Andean iron oxide deposit.

A potential secondary iron-copper target associated with the gravity anomaly will also be tested.

The program will be completed in two stages with an initial six holes designed to test the anomalies on a broad scale.

Chris Gale, managing director of Latin Resources, said: “We are encouraged by the advance of drilling at Mariela and by the addition of a second diamond drill rig onto the project.

“The appointment of SRK is also welcomed and we are looking forward to reporting assay results from the project in the near future.”

Junefield appointed SRK consultants in July 2012 to oversee logging, sampling and analysis of drill core, and to deliver a JORC Resource for Mariela.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Globex Mining and Queenston Mining start 5,200 metre drill program at Wood Pandora property

Globex Mining and Queenston Mining said this week that they are starting an eight-hole, 5,200 metre diamond drill program on the Wood Pandora joint venture property near Cadillac, Quebec.

The 50/50 split Wood Pandora property straddles the gold localizing Cadillac Break and is near the LaRonde Mine property operated by Agnico-Eagle Mines.

The project hosts historic inferred mineral resources of 1.43 million tonnes grading 5.3 grams per tonne gold in two deposits, Wood and Central Cadillac.

In 2008, the joint venture announced an NI 43-101 inferred mineral resource on a new gold discovery, called the Ironwood Zone, amounting to 243,200 tonnes grading 17.3 g/t gold.

Globex and Queenston also announced the results of a four-hole drill program in the fall of last year, near the no.3 shaft on the Pandora portion of the property.
All holes encountered significant gold mineralization, the companies said, with the deepest hole, W-11-92, intersecting 4.9 metres grading 28.86 g/t gold within the Cadillac Break at around 350 metres below surface.

A follow up drill program was recommended to target the Cadillac Break in the vicinity of the W-11-92 hole, where the mineralization remains open both east and west along strike and to depth.

"It is important to note that the Lapa Gold deposit currently being mined by Agnico-Eagle occurs on the Cadillac Break 3 km to the east and the Lapa deposit begins at a vertical depth similar to the depth of the mineralization encountered in JV hole W-11-92," Globex and Queenston said in a statement.

Last week, Globex announced the second closing of its previously announced private placement, raising $453,000 in gross proceeds.
Globex said it will put the proceeds toward exploration on some of its properties in Quebec and Ontario. As last Wednesday, the company had raised an approximate total of $1.75 million in the private placement financing.


Exploration of nickel deposits in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, to begin in 2014

Rovuma Resources is due in 2014 to start exploration of nickel deposits found in Montepuez , the provincial director for Mining Resources and Energy for Cabo Delgado, Ramiro Nguiraze told Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

The start of exploration of the deposits, which have estimated reserves of 23 million tons, will require a railway line to be built to transport the nickel, as well as other natural resources such as marble, as well as an increased electricity supply.

“Exploration of these resources is a big challenge for the government given that for the nickel alone the requested voltage is quite high,” said Nguiraze noting that a high voltage power line of at least 110 Kva would need to be built along with a sub-station.

Recognising that the road to Montepuez will not be able to stand up to regular transport of the nickel and marble, the provincial director said that studies were being carried out by the central government with a view to building the railway.

Nickel is a metal that has a variety of applications, specifically production of metal alloys used in the automotive and aeronautical industries.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

China's staggering gold potential - and parallels in South America

Geologist Dr. Noel White* believes there are huge gold discoveries yet to be found within China's borders and unearths parallels in Latin America - Gold Report interview.

The Gold Report: Noel, you're a geologist with about a 40 year history in mineral exploration. These days, public companies pay you for advice on how to run their exploration programs. What are some common mistakes junior mining companies make when it comes to exploration?

Noel White: Junior companies have difficulty developing a clear and realistic strategy.

TGR: You try to temper their enthusiasm?

NW: Not at all. In fact, I try to encourage their enthusiasm. But I try to get what they do aligned with what their objectives are in a realistic way.

TGR: Do they try to drill too quickly? Do they try to drill too much?

NW: Junior companies commonly feel that there is an expectation to drill quickly, but they also need to do their homework properly. If they jump into drilling before doing the appropriate surface techniques, such as geological mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysical surveys, they can completely waste the very expensive drilling work. It is a serious mistake because bad drilling results have a serious negative impact on how investors perceive a project. A company needs the best possible intersections at the start to raise the value of their projects.

TGR: You often deal with technologies that are new to mineral exploration. Can you talk about how they're changing the game?

NW: The fundamentals of mining haven't changed particularly in 40 years-we just use new technologies to achieve the same goals. The major breakthrough in geophysical technology of recent times was the development of airborne gravity. That was one of the Holy Grails.

One of the most basic tools is a magnetic survey. We can get a lot more out of magnetic surveys today than we could in the past. Those surveys provide us with baseline information that's really important.

Technology is producing major breakthroughs in geochemistry. Geochemistry started off just collecting samples of soil or stream sediments and using simple analytical techniques. More and more sensitive analytical methods have been developed. Partial leach techniques extract part of the geochemical sample to maximize the sensitivity. A major recent development relies on the fact that nature has focused particular elements that are associated with ore deposits into particular minerals. It is now possible to actually look at the chemistry of particular minerals to evaluate the proximity to the target based on its chemistry.

TGR: What do all those technologies mean to the investor?

NW: Smart people follow the lead of smart people and greedy people follow the lead of greedy people. If you follow a greedy person you might get lucky and make a lot of money in the short term. Technically smart people who design exploration programs have a much higher probability of being successful in delivering a discovery.

TGR: A few years ago, the World Bank evaluated the mineral potential of China. How would you characterize China's mineral potential?

NW: To appreciate China's potential, you have to understand its history. In the early days of the People's Republic of China, the country followed the Soviet Union approach and started huge state-funded surveys over massive areas, but the Cultural Revolution disrupted the process. Thousands of state-owned companies with exploration teams suddenly found themselves with no funding. However, the government wouldn't allow them to reduce staff or stop operations-a major dilemma for management. They started mining any little thing to make money

TGR: The country is literally dotted with all kinds of artisanal mines.

NW: They were so focused on making money that they were acting as if they were the smallest of junior mining companies where making money was the sole focus, not doing good work.

TGR: But the potential is there.

NW: Oh, the potential is staggering. A mineral occurrence map of East Asia shows multiple world-class deposits around the borders of China. However, there are very few inside China. Why did China miss out? It has nothing to do with geology. I has to do with the history of the country and how exploration developed. China is fantastically endowed, but very poorly explored.

TGR: But even the Chinese government is not compelled by its geology. Chinese state-owned companies are spending billions to develop resources beyond its borders. Isn't it difficult to argue for further mineral exploration and development in China when the Chinese themselves seem unconvinced?

NW: A huge amount of money is being channeled by the government into exploration teams in China. Some of them are quite competent, but many of them are not. It's basically pouring good money out after mostly bad.

Then the government asks, "Well, why haven't we found all these deposits in China?" But the "experts" they are asking don't know anything about the economic geology of China. They say, "We've spent a huge amount of money looking for these deposits and haven't found them. Therefore, they mustn't be there." That conclusion is wrong. Most of the money is being used in completely ineffective ways.

TGR: What is the environment for juniors wanting to capitalize on that potential?

NW: The geological potential of China is fantastic. But let's not pretend otherwise-it's a difficult place to work for other reasons. Ten years ago, China was encouraging foreign companies to come in. A lot of juniors went into China. Some did quite well. Many of them did really badly. Subsequently, conditions have become less and less favorable. The policies change almost on a yearly basis. It's more challenging today than it was 10 years ago.

TGR: What's the best way to get started in China?

NW: The best way to work in China is to joint venture with a good state-owned company. Mining law in China is provincial. Having a Chinese partner that can handle government and community relations for you is a major advantage. Many foreign companies don't understand the system, the requirements-they don't have the connections and the relationships that can make things easier. Life is much easier when you have a good local partner.

TGR: Oyu Tolgoi is the mammoth copper-gold porphyry deposit being developed in Mongolia.You're an expert in porphyry deposits. Do you believe further exploration of those geological systems could yield a similar deposit in China?

NW: There are a lot of porphyry prospects in China, but there's been very little effective exploration on them. The situation is changing because more Chinese have familiarity with porphyry deposits. However, in most cases, if they even recognize a porphyry, they will drill a couple of holes and walk away because they didn't get what they wanted. Porphyry deposits are very big, but that doesn't mean they're easy to find. They can't just drill a couple of holes and say, "Oh well, we've done it." In fact, one company is exploring a porphyry system that had never been recognized in southeastern China, down toward the Vietnam border.

TGR: Is that Habo?

NW: Yes. The potential remains in that area. But why wasn't it found before? There were about 10 centimeters of forest soil and dead leaves hiding it. Until the surface was scraped away, it couldn't be seen. It's not that geologists hadn't looked in that area, they just hadn't seen it. That's true all around the world. It takes very little to hide something.

China has great potential for more porphyry systems. In fact, there have been a lot of porphyry systems found in Tibet because it's a well-exposed area and a well-defined belt. There is a need for people to get back into eastern China where there are numerous known porphyry systems that have never been explored properly.

TGR: Do you think that Habo will ever get to the point where it is a major porphyry system that is mined and is economic?

NW: It's at an important stage now. The work that is being done right now will make or break Habo. So far, no sufficiently wide zones of high-grade mineralization have been found. Many narrow zones have been found, but that doesn't make a porphyry deposit because large volumes are needed to bulk mine.

It's still an open question. We still don't know the answer. We're drilling targets that have the potential to be an economic ore body. Time will tell.

TGR: Is the work being done on Habo changing the way Chinese geologists think about geology in China?

NW: The Chinese system is very stratified. The people in the field often don't know what's happening just down the road, let alone in another province. That knowledge would not be widespread.

TGR: You've also acted as a consultant on the Beiya project, which is in northern Yunnan Province. What's exciting about that project?

NW: We discovered an ore body at Beiya. It's taken quite a period to achieve that success largely because of the character of the geology. The potential was very clear from the earlier stages. There was a known deposit, which has grown and grown to be the biggest gold mine in Yunnan. Production at the moment is about 200,000 ounces per year from an open pit, but it was a very small underground mine when we started.

The mine was controlled by a state-owned company, now partly privatized. The state-owned company was so focused on drilling and testing that deposit that it wasn't interested in the surrounding ground.

TGR: You have talked about the mineral potential of Ollachea in Peru and Don Nicolas in Argentina as being significantly greater than what's being looked at currently. What supports that view?

NW: Ollachea has mineralization exposed in a belt of small workings. The deposit has a fairly shallow dip of about 30 degrees in very dissected country. Very often those sorts of deposits are steeply dipping, which limits the depth at which you can explore them. Here, the host structure extends a long way away from where it's currently being drilled.

The amount of blue sky attached to that deposit is startling. There's plenty more potential. It's the tip of the iceberg. Nobody knows how much more there is, but definitely one of the things you want with any project, apart from having a good resource, is the potential to grow. There's extraordinarily good potential to grow there.

TGR: Is there significant potential in the Don Nicolas deposit as well?

NW: I didn't review Don Nicolas itself. I was supposed to look a lot more closely at that on my last visit, but a little heart attack got in the way.

TGR: Oh, my goodness!

NW: That cut the visit short. However, Don Nicolas is one of many exploration targets within that region. I was startled, to be honest. It's quite an amazing region. There's a whole series of other deposits that are known. For a geologist in exploration, it's the sort of thing that makes your heart beat faster.

TGR: You spoke earlier about how mining rules vary among Chinese provinces. It's much the same in the different provinces of Argentina. Are the particular provinces in the Don Nicolas region considered mining-friendly jurisdictions?

NW: Yes, very much so. It's the best in Argentina. To be honest, there's not a lot more going for this province apart from mining. It's mostly flat. It's arid. It's quite a difficult environment for any other sources of income. The people there recognize that the best opportunity they have to develop is through the mining industry. Consequently, they're very positive about it. They want to see the mining industry grow.

TGR: There is an economic malaise in this particular sector, but projects are still being found and developed despite lagging share prices. Some of them even look robust. Is that enough to keep investors hopeful about this sector?

NW: Investors are holding onto their money and not investing in anything that's perceived to have risk. But there still are investors who have a taste for something with big upside potential. Now is the time to be investing in the very good exploration companies-the ones that have very good projects and very good management. Investors get in cheaply and the upside is fantastic. There's every reason to be optimistic about the mining industry and exploration. Exploration is the future of mining and mining is essential to civilization.

TGR: Do you have any other thoughts you want to share with us?

NW: There will be discoveries that generate interest. In exploration, we benefit greatly from the power of greed because the discovery that excites the market generates a lot more exploration activity. I remember during my BHP Minerals days the young geologists would say, "Isn't it a pity that we didn't find that deposit?" I'd say, "Don't knock it because we benefit from the fact someone else found a deposit that's got the market excited." It benefits everyone's budget.

TGR: Indeed.

*Dr. Noel White is a geologist with more than 40 years of experience in mineral exploration, operations and project generation worldwide. He was the chief geologist for former BHP Minerals and has visited over 350 ore deposits/mines in 50 countries, including China, where the first foreign joint venture in its mining industry was built up by BHP. White was a consultant to the World Bank Group on its evaluation of Asian mineral potential. He has a strong involvement with professional societies and universities worldwide, such as serving as international exchange lecturer in 1999 and Thayer Lindsley Lecturer in 2008 for the Society of Economic Geologists and served as the vice president of regional affairs for the Society of Economic Geologists. He has authored and co-authored various publications since 1972. White received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Newcastle and a Ph.D. from the University of Tasmania.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Copper, copper/gold and epithermal pm systems - Cambodia a new target

Cambodia has highly prospective geology, an emerging exploration services industry and is mining-friendly. Ken Booth* discusses why Cambodia should not be ignored by investors. Gold Report interview.

The Gold Report: Why should investors pay attention to Cambodia?

Ken Booth: Because of political forces, Cambodia was forgotten and ignored. The French explored during its colonial period in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. That information was lost. The Australians explored Southeast Asia, but focused more on Indonesia, closer to its backyard. The political strife that ended in the mid-1980s further stopped foreign investment in Cambodia and it became a forgotten place.

While things were quiet in Cambodia, the past 20 years have seen significant exploration and development in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. As a result, Laos has a world-class copper mine and a producing gold mine. Those countries share many geological similarities to Cambodia. For now, there isn't a big database of exploration results for Cambodia. But the country should be on people's maps for mining exploration. And it is beginning to be.

TGR: What types of deposits are explorers searching for? Gold? Copper?

KB: From a commercially viable point of view, the targets are copper, copper/gold systems and epithermal precious metal systems. That is true of the east and central areas of the country. In the western regions on the border with Thailand, small-scale miners have been extracting precious and semi-precious stones for decades.

TGR: So what's the situation with regard to exploration in Cambodia right now? Is it a greenfield?

KB: It would be considered greenfields, but some initial work has been done. Some geological maps are available. Initial exploration is not too difficult-it's fairly easy to get around. We're not talking about difficult physiography. First-stage exploration can be done rapidly through stream-sediment sampling and geophysics. Modern exploration would be considered greenfield.

Interestingly, on the eastern border with Vietnam, there has been significant small-scale and artisanal mining over the past 10 years. That activity does not appear to be historical and seems to be on the decline. Many of the miners cross the border illegally; it is a fairly porous border. The miners mine the alluvial material down to hard rock.

TGR: In those areas, do companies follow the small-scale miners to the most prospective areas?

KB: Yes. There are many forces at work in this situation. The border is tightening up. A lot of those small miners don't use the best environmental mining practices and many use mercury. The Cambodian government is in the process of removing many of these people off the properties, pushing them back into Vietnam. The good news is the miners have exposed veins at surface, or they've excavated pits and you can get to hard rock or regolith. Clearly, they are extracting gold out of the alluvium and out of the veins, so the miners are also benefiting while doing the prep work for the modern explorers.

TGR: Does this put the mining companies and the government in the path of conflict with the local population?

KB: The Cambodian government is encouraging economic development on all fronts. It looks around the world and sees how mining has benefited a lot of countries. The government is making positive moves toward resource development. With mineral resources, the government is proactive in making sure that illegal miners-especially the ones who have crossed over the border-are moved off the land. That places the government in a good position to work with companies. If a company has a memorandum of understanding with the government on a particular piece of ground, the government will support the company in its endeavors. In those cases, the government will resolve the issues with illegal mining. Most of the small-scale mining is alluvial, which is very different from the mining exploration that public companies are engaged in.

TGR: What would be the timeline to get a resource estimate in Cambodia?

KB: Faster than you might think. Cambodia has four drilling companies and three assay labs. I believe two of those assay labs are accredited for reporting under the Australian reporting system as well as under Canadian NI 43-101 policies. Drillers and labs are busy, but they exist. The large labor force is not a problem; people are available and ready to work. Infrastructure is good and improving.

Getting to a resource is no worse than in a first-tier mining jurisdiction like the U.S., Canada, Mexico or Peru. In fact, you could be slightly ahead just by virtue of not having to compete for labor and potentially less bureaucratic red tape than in more developed countries. If a company is looking at a small vein-style deposit, it can probably develop the resource in fairly short time. If it is trying to drill off a resource in a large copper-porphyry system, that will take a lot longer, just by virtue of it being a much larger target.

TGR: Many sources state that Cambodia has a stable legal and regulatory framework. The mining law was written about 10 years ago, so it is still young. Can you comment?

KB: The legal system was developed with external advisers to ensure that it could be used by foreigners who wanted to invest within the country to protect property and individual rights. For a country that has a fairly new legal system, it appears to be good. The same applies to the mining law.

In creating legal systems, many developing countries rely on the expertise of people and legal systems from other jurisdictions. It seems to work well. It is an open system with clear rules spelled out in the memorandum of understanding. Companies can apply for small acreage or large acreage. But either way, exactly how to make the application and then what companies have to do to keep their tenure are well defined. It is an open and transparent legal system and mining law.

TGR: What are your thoughts on how an investor should participate in Cambodia?

KB: Investors should align themselves with managers that understand resource development in emerging jurisdictions. Investors need to realize that if they are in early, they have the potential for outsized rewards-if they pick the right managers. Early investment in a country like Cambodia needs to be managed by people who understand the initial foray into the country . Those initial prospects may generate gains when sold to developers.

In all these countries, people have their views on where they've come from and how bad the situation was. But the most important thing is to understand where they are today. Resource investors who get in early should do well. But they need an appetite for risk.

I consider Cambodia to be in its infancy, and it has not been explored to any great degree. There are similar stories of ignored countries in Africa including Somalia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We've got an example close by in Colombia. Fifteen years ago, exploring for gold in the Colombian jungle would have been considered crazy. Now Colombia is a major destination for exploration.

TGR: At this point, do you have an idea of what fraction of Cambodia has been explored?

KB: Oh, I would put it down to less than 5%.

TGR: There's a lot of room for exploration still.

KB: A lot of room for exploration. Here is how I think it will play out. Somewhere, there will be a success or a discovery. You will see additional modern techniques applied on a large scale countrywide. How much has been explored? Well, a relatively small percentage, because it's all being done using tried-and-true methods-feet on the ground, mapping and sampling. When larger surveys, such as airborne geophysics, start to highlight prospective areas, things could really open up.

TGR: What thoughts would you like to leave with the readers?

KB: If investors are looking for a country that is early stage and prospective, they should look at Cambodia. It is a mining-friendly jurisdiction. Investment is coming to the country and infrastructure is improving. As an investor or a company, the "first mover" gets the pick of the litter.

TGR: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

*Ken Booth has more than 30 years of experience in exploration, mining corporate finance and public company administration. In mining corporate finance, he has worked for two of Canada's largest investment banks executing numerous equity financings for both junior and senior companies and was involved in a variety of significant mergers and acquisitions. While working for resource companies, Booth has held several positions including CEO and vice president of corporate development. He is currently providing financial advice to the junior mining sector and is a director of four exploration companies.

Article published courtesy of The Gold Report

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Asante Gold unveils "positive" early results from at Fahiakoba concession, Ghana

Asante Gold this week unveiled "positive" early drill results from the first phase of its maiden drill program at the company’s Fahiakoba concession in Ghana.

The company said that drilling has confirmed the discovery of narrow zones of gold mineralization in three of the 14 initial widely spaced drill holes targeting just 1.5 kilometres of the over 20.0 kilometres of "favourable shear zones" that have been outlined on the concession.

Asante noted that these discoveries are generally along strike of mineralization noted at Perseus Mining's Edikan mine, which is adjacent and to the southwest of the concession.

Significant results from the remaining assays of the 14 diamond drill holes totaling 2,437 metres, include hole FAH12-004 from 24 metres to 24.65 metres intercepting 0.65 metres of 11.1 grams per tonne average uncut gold.

Additionally, from 37.90 metres to 38.45 metres, intercepting 0.55 metres, hole FAH12-004 yielded 3.24 g/t average, uncut gold.

"The initial drill results have confirmed that the Akropong and Edikan shear zones locally contain anomalous to highly anomalous gold mineralization where they cross our Fahiakoba concession,” said Asante Gold president Douglas MacQuarrie.

"The positive early results from the drilling, auger soil sampling and ground geophysical programs suggest that numerous high priority drill targets will be outlined. These targets will be drill tested once the ground programs are completed.

"Additionally, in order to expand the company's footprint in Ghana, Asante is also evaluating other concessions for possible acquisition."

Asante noted that results have also been received from 399 auger soil holes, part of a planned 1,200 auger drill hole program to outline additional drill targets for the balance of the company’s 5,000 metre diamond drill program announced in March.

The auger samples are testing saprolite for gold mineralization at depths to seven metres under widespread river gravel and alluvium cover.

The company said that values to 650 parts per billion gold have been noted, with 19 anomalous samples forming two 500 to 650 metre-long new target areas.

Asante said the auger program is ongoing in conjunction with 60 line kilometres of ground geophysics. Drilling will resume as soon as further targets are defined.

Asante Gold is a Vancouver-based gold exploration company, exploring the Fahiakoba concession, a 22.07 square kilometre prospecting license located on strike with and between Perseus Mining's 4.32 million ounce Edikan Mine and AngloGold Ashanti's 60 million ounce Obuasi mine.

Asante said the latter mine is the longest producing, highest grade and largest gold resource in West Africa.

In May, the company said that airborne geophysical surveys outlined some 20 kilometres of northeast-trending shear and fold zones, some of which have associated VTEM conductors. Asante noted targets were on strike with mineralization seen at Perseus Mining's Edikan mine, which is adjacent and southwest of the Fahiakoba concession.

Partial results were received from four of the 14 diamond drill holes completed since March of this year.

Asante said reported drill holes FAH12-001, 2, 3 and 5 were drilled in the area of a small-scale alluvial pit, where a previous grab sample gave 2.05 grams per tonne gold.

Drilling under the pit gave long intersections of quartz stockwork in "a quartz-rich greywacke", Asante added.

In hole FAH12-005, 0.50 metres at 289.50 g/t gold was returned. Visible gold was noted in a 1.5 centimetre quartz vein, at a down hole depth of 201.8 metres, associated with strong pyrite mineralization, the company said.
Asante also noted that the gold found in hole FAH12-005 is "coarse...and appears related to late stage foliation as noted at many West African gold deposits."

Drill hole FAH12-005 was drilled 200 metres to the east of the other drill holes to test the southwest end of a previously outlined airborne conductor.

A graphitic shear zone was intersected at 175.0 metres, the company said, which "correlates with the extension of the VTEM anomaly to the southwest."

Other notable intercepts in May were 1 metre of 7.34 g/t gold at a depth of 41.5 metres in hole FAH12-003.

Anomalous gold was noted in eight other intervals in the first three holes, at depths from 34.0 to 175.0 metres - with values ranging from 0.28 to 0.85 g/t gold.

Asante Gold holds a 100 percent interest in the Fahiakoba gold concession through an option agreement with Goknet Mining Company of Accra, which holds the prospecting license. The deal is subject to a five percent government and a three percent underlying net smelter royalty interest.

The Fahiakoba property covers a part of the former Dunkwa Continental Mining Lease, where large-scale gold dredging activities were active from 1930 for nearly 70 years on the Ofin River and its tributaries.

Asante’s shares dipped 2.44 percent in early morning trading, to 20 cents.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Exploration may yield new mine at Yamana Gold's Chapada operation

Yamana Gold believes it is in a strong position to grow its reserves and resources by year-end 2012 through its exploration program

Yamana Gold reported Tuesday its 2012 exploration program could significantly extend mine life at its El Peñón and Mercedes operations, and create a new mine at Chapada.

The company's exploration budget this year is US$125 million. The exploration program will continue to focus on mineral resource discovery and development as well as reserve growth at existing mines, development projects and on new discoveries. A total of 390,000 meters of drilling at 16 projects will be completed as part of this year's program.

In its mid-year 2012 exploration update, Yamana noted, "New discoveries are being advanced through exploration and accelerated through development as they represent an opportunity to significantly extend mine life and further enhance production at, or above, a 440,000-ounce sustainable production level" at the El Peñón gold and silver underground mine in Chile.

El Peñón's $29 million exploration program for 2012 includes 140,000 meters of surface and underground drilling. During the first five months of this year the drilling has resulted in the discovery of the Fortuna Este mineralized vein structure and the advancement of two new targets "that will provide mineral reserve and mineral resource growth for 2012," Yamana said.

Meanwhile, mineralization identified at the Chapada gold-copper operation in Brazil has the potential to enhance throughput through the blending of higher grade ores, Yamana advised, "and possibly allow further development in size and scale to potentially result in an entirely new mine."

A new discovery at Barrancas and infill drilling at Lupita are expected "to enhance the mineral resource base, extend mine life and maintain higher throughput and sustainable production levels" at the Mercedes gold-silver mine in northern Sonora State in Mexico, according to the company.

Discoveries at the Pilar Gold Project in Brazil "continue to confirm a cluster of mineralized zones for contribution to production at Pilar although the area has the potential to become a multi-mine complex," Yamana suggested.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Jambreiro moves closer to development - Centaurus

Brazilian iron-ore developer Centaurus Metals has received government approval for the final exploration reports on the three key tenements of its Jambreiro iron-ore project.

The National Department of Mineral Production’s approval paved the way for Centaurus to lodge the economic exploration plan, which effectively represented the start of the approvals process to secure the grant of a mining lease for the project.

Centaurus said on Friday that it would lodge the economic exploration plan over the next few weeks.

MD Darren Gordon noted that the approval of the final reports supported the quality of the exploration work undertaken by the company, and provided a strong degree of confidence that the government was satisfied with the quality of work undertaken as a basis for a future mining operation.

“We will now work towards finalising the economic exploration plan for the Jambreiro project and lodging this in the next couple of weeks to kick off the mining lease application process, and a further key step on the path to production.”

Gordon noted that after the economic plan was lodged, it could take up to six months before the mining lease was formally approved through Brazils' gazetting process.

He added that a significant component of the approval would be driven by the timining of the environmental approvals process. Centaurus lodged its key environmental approval document in March this year.

The environmental approval document was based on a three-million-ton-a-year operation, although the project was initially planned to start production at a rate of two-million tons a year.

Source: Creamer Media Reporter

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yukon juniors with cash to burn

With almost C$300 million set to go into mineral exploration in the Yukon in 2012

Despite a rocky junior market, exploration continues apace in the Yukon, which is set to have near record exploration expenditures this year. Natural Resources Canada recently estimated nearly C$300 million would go into mineral exploration in the Yukon during 2012, just a little bit less than last year's C$307 million.

Who is spending the money? Below is an overview of the exploration plans of some of the most prominent Yukon explorers. No favouritism. The list is in alphabetic order. It shows a slew of junior explorers and miners are cashed up and either already drilling or planning to start drilling soon on sizeable exploration programs:

Atac Resources (TSX-V: ATC)
C$20 million in cash.
Focusing on the Rackla Gold project and recently started a 15,000-metre drilling campaign mostly on the Conrad, Osiris, Isis and Isis East targets.
Recent drilling included high-grade gold intercepts over notable strike length with as much as 44 metres @ 4.41 g/t gold at Osiris late last year.

Ethos Gold (TSX-V: ECC)
C$14 million in cash.
To spend C$7.3 million mostly on the Betty gold project.
To drill 16,000 metres following up on extensive surface anomalies, with as much 7.3 g/t gold over 50 metres in a trench last year.

Golden Predator (TSX: GPD)
C$14 million in cash.
Budgets C$10 million for the Brewery Creek project, with drilling ongoing.
Expanding on and defining the Brewery Creek resource: 20 million @ 0.89 g/t gold, indicated, about half of which is in oxide.

Kaminak Gold (TSX-V: KAM)
C$21 million in cash at the end of December and then in May it raised C$5 million.
It plans 50,000 metres of drilling to move toward a first - and much anticipated - resource on the Coffee gold project.
It is drilling gaps and extensions to several structures hosting high-grade gold, as recently reported in these pages.

Monster Mining (TSX-V: MAN)
C$2.4 million in cash.
To drill 2,000 or so metres on the Caribou Hill target on its Keno-Lightning project near Alexco's Bellekeno silver mine.
Last year it hit high grade silver in the Caribou Hill area with 11 of 14 drillholes showing plus 1,000 g/t silver and silver mineralization over 300-metre strike length so far.

Northern Freegold (TSX-V: NFR)
C$4 million in cash at the end of December and it subsequently raised about C$7 million, mostly in flow-through shares.
This year it plans 25,000 metres of drilling, largely to expand on resources.
For example: it plans on testing extensions to the Revenue deposit beyond long gold/copper intercepts that included 305 metres @ 0.47 g/t gold, 3.68 g/t silver, 0.12 percent copper and 0.02 percent moly.

Northern Tiger (TSX-V: NTR)
C$2 million in cash, end of January.
To do follow-up drilling at the 3Ace project, where it recently hit as much as 2.58 g/t gold over 53 metres.

Ryan Gold (TSX-V:RYG)
C$43 million in cash.
To spend C$10 million or so on drilling at the Ida Oro project (6,000 metres) and the Flume project (1,500 metres)
Ida Oro had numerous long intercepts last year with low-grade gold over broad widths - as much as 137 metres @ 0.56 g/t gold. Ryan Gold said it would drill to the south of last year's collars beneath more gold anomalies.

Victoria Gold (TSX-V: VIT)
C$30 million in cash.
Pushing ahead the advanced-stage Eagle Gold project with some 4.8 million ounces gold in resources.
Now in the permitting stage following a feasibility study in which it outlined a 200,000-ounce per year gold mine that would cost about C$400 million to build.
Sees 2015 production.

Exploration notes for a couple Yukon miners:

Alexco Resource (TSX: AXU)
C$37 million in cash.
To spend C$12 million in 2012 on exploration, with 29,000 metres of drilling, much of it beyond the operating Bellekeno silver mine.
Includes some 4,000 metres at Flame & Moth, which has yielded bonanza-grade silver in recent drilling as covered in these pages.

Capstone Mining
C$502 million in cash.
To spend C$5 million testing gaps between deposits at the Minto mine, for which it is considering a super-pit.

Monday, May 21, 2012

De Grey Mining announces Rock chip sampling identifies gold and silver in Argentina

Grey Mining has returned up to 23.3 grams per tonne gold and 3,240g/t silver from rock chip samples at the company’s SM6 prospect in Argentina.

Exploration in the East and West zones at SM6 have returned high grade gold and silver, along with coincident arsenic, mercury, molybdenum, lead and antimony.

Highlights from the exploration program include:

- 23.3g/t gold and 1180g/t silver;
- 13.95g/t gold and 1025g/t silver; and
- 11.85g/t gold and 3240g/t silver.

Results of the exploration program indicate that veins discovered so far could represent the upper portions of a low sulphidation epithermal vein system.

SM6 is part of De Grey’s Sierra Morena Project in Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province, where the company commenced a maiden drilling program last week.

The Santa Cruz Province is a highly prospective, very immature exploration region with less than 20 years exploration history.

The region has defined 17.5 million ounces of gold and 525 million ounces of silver since 1990.

The Sierra Morena project covers an area of 140 square kilometres of prospective Jurassic volcanics with vein breccia extending over a plus 800 metre strike length.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dia Bras drilling expands catas-cuye deposits and discovers high-grade gold at the Purisima area on its yauricocha property, Peru

Dia Bras Exploration Inc. (TSX-V:DIB) (BVL: DIB) ("Dia Bras" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that its drilling programme for resource expansion at the Yauricocha mine in Peru continues to find additional ore below the current levels. An additional eight holes have been drilled and have expanded the deposit to the south and 350 m to depth. Also, drilling in the Purisima area of the property yielded high grades of gold in several drill holes.

Daniel Tellechea, President and CEO of Dia Bras, commented: "These results demonstrate that we continue to expand the resources of the Yauricocha mine and continue to prove the prolific nature of this highly mineralized mining district. We know now that the Catas and Cuye orebodies extend more than 350 m to depth, and our drilling continues to discover previously-unknown deposits that also are expected to extend for hundreds of meters down dip. This mature, productive mine has many, many years of production before it and its precious metal potential is being reinforced with recent disco veries of high grade gold at its Purisima area, which is only 500 meters away from current mine working areas."

Recent Drilling Results
Yauricocha Mine: Drilling of the Catas and Cuye bodies below the mine workings continues to demonstrate that these wide, high-grade ore bodies continue to depth (see link to "Yauricocha Longitudinal Section" here). The deposits are of high-temperature, carbonate-replacement type, which is an important distinction because these types of deposit often have great vertical extent. The Company expects that these bodies will continue to great depth, much deeper than the depth to which current drilling has shown the deposits to occur.

SOURCE Dia Bras Exploration Inc.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nyota Minerals upgrades Ethiopian gold resource

JOHANNESBURG  Aim-listed Nyota Minerals has reported an updated resource for its Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia, saying that additional drilling had resulted in a 82% upgrade and increase in the indicated resource to 831 000 ounces of gold, at 3.01 g/t and an inferred resource of 841 000 oz at 2.79 g/t.

The total mineral resource estimate now stood at 17.97-million tons of gold ore, at a grade of 2.9 g/t, resulting in 1.67-million ounces gold.

The additional drilling results intersected high-grade zones of gold ore, including 26.02 g/t over 2.85 m and 13.81 g/t over 15.67 m.

The exploration company said it was transforming itself to become a mine developer/operator, having appointed a number of key personnel to accomplish this goal.

“Significant progress had been made with a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Tulu Kapi project, with the appointment of a lead engineer and other key consultants, in addition to the work already undertaken,” the company said in a statement.

The DFS is provisionally scheduled for completion by the third quarter of this year. The processing plant design will be based on a standard two-million-ton-a-year gold plant, a format frequently built across Africa and ideally suited to the environment anticipated in Ethiopia.

During the half-year period, the company made progress with the overall mine layout, revising it to reduce the surface footprint by about 30%, while condemnation drilling has been started to indicate places absent of gold-bearing ore to build infrastructure on.

Baseline studies for the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) have been completed and in January, a team from the Ministry of Mines visited Tulu Kapi to verify the infrastructure and ESIA results. This team's review included the main, time-sensitive elements of the design and implementation for the resettlement action plan.

The company added that negotiations with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines with regard to a large-scale mining licence have been ongoing, and are likely to culminate in the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, three new gold discoveries were made within the northern block regional exploration licences, which cover 3 200 km2. These included the Boka Sirba, Tsole Mole and Bendokoro targets.

“The discoveries support the company’s belief that these licences contain significant value for future standalone projects,” Nyota said.

Further, the company made an application to extend its exploration licence at the Muremera nickel project, in Burundi. This had been granted and the licence has been extended to July 15, 2013.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Global exploration spending to rise modestly in 2012 due to market instability - MEG

Worldwide nonferrous exploration spending is expected to increase modestly in 2012 following large jumps in recent years due to the current market instability, the director of sales for the Halifax-based Metals Economics Group (MEG), Benjamin Moore, told  on the sidelines of the 2012 PDAC convention.

"Global exploration budgets are expected to see a slight increase of 5-15% for 2012," Moore said.

"[The juniors] tend to really cash up before the summer and then again towards the end of year but what we saw at the end of 2011 was not a tremendous amount of financings activity by the juniors as the instability of the markets has made it hard for them to raise money," he said.

Global nonferrous exploration spending rose to a record US$18.2bn in 2011 from US$12.1bn in the prior year, according to MEG's World Exploration Trends report released on March 4.

The total rose 44% in 2010 and 50% in 2011, more than doubling from 2009's recent low of US$8.4bn to the new all-time high of US$18.2bn, the report said.

In addition, the difficulties in raising funds have carried over into the present year.

"So far in 2012 there still hasn't been a surge upwards. It's giving us a sense that they are having a bit of a harder time finding the dollars to do it," Moore said.

However, expected spending increases by the majors should make up for the reduced outlays by the juniors.

"The majors are continuing to increase their budgets and that should offset any sort of decreased values in the juniors," he said.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rio Cristal updates status of its projects

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA and LIMA, PERU–(Marketwire – March 2, 2012) - Rio Cristal Resources Corporation (TSX VENTURE:RCZ)(BVL:RCZ) (“Rio Cristal” or the “Company”) today provided a corporate progress report.

Bongará Zinc Property

Thomas Findley, President & CEO, said, “I am pleased to report that we filed a NI 43-101 Technical Report today. The report includes our first resource estimate at the Cristal Project of 1.27 million tonnes of zinc oxides grading 7.5% and equaling over 211 million pounds of zinc. We have only drilled 3% of the block of concessions that we control and we believe that we have significant opportunities to both expand the zinc oxide resource at the Cristal and Charlita Projects and to discover high grade zinc sulfides at our San Jose and Florida Projects.”

“During 2008 and 2011 we drilled at total of 7,722 meters at Cristal and Charlita and in 2011 we drilled 1,417 meters at San Jose which is 12 kilometers south of Cristal. Results at Cristal were excellent and led to our being able to announce our first Measured and Indicated Resource. At Charlita we intersected zinc mineralization in six of fifteen holes. At San Jose, we drilled two holes and extensive zinc anomalies were intersected.”

“We now have an aggressive multi-part plan to continue exploring our Bongará Property which includes additional drilling at Cristal and Charlita to expand our oxide resource, additional drilling at San Jose to discover zinc sulfides; finalizing community agreements so that we can begin surface exploration and drilling at our Florida project; and expanded surface exploration in new areas of our concessions.”

Technical Report 43-101 Resource at Rio Cristal’s Cristal Project
Cut off = 2.00% ZnBlocksZn%TonnesLbs. Zinc
Measured & Indicated7.5471,273,000211,880,424

The resource estimate at the Cristal deposit was reviewed and approved by John A. Brophy, an independent Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
To view the associated Bongará Zinc Property map click on:

La Cumbre Copper Project
The Company has completed an initial drilling program of approximately 1,000 meters at its La Cumbre copper oxide project near Chala, Peru. Despite encouraging preliminary surface indications of copper mineralization, drilling results were low grade and the project does not meet the Company’s investment requirements. Consequently the La Cumbre option contract has been cancelled. The Company believes it is better to use its resources to continue the exploration of its Bongará Property and seek other more promising exploration projects in Peru.

Other Projects
The Company is aggressively seeking other exploration projects in Peru, focused on zinc, gold and copper. Currently new six projects are under review.

About Rio Cristal Resources Corporation
Rio Cristal Resources is a Canadian corporation focused development of the 18,000 hectare Bongará zinc property in northern Peru. There are four separate exploration projects at Bongará and the Company’s first Measured and Indicated resource was announced in February, 2012.
The Company is also actively reviewing other zinc, gold and copper prospects in Peru.
The Company’s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Venture Segment and the Bolsa de Valores de Lima (Lima Stock Exchange) under the symbol RCZ.

This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential exploration results, future plans and objectives of the Company are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future results, events and objectives could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Rio Cristal’s expectations include exploration and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulators.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”) or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

First Quantum closes Congo claims agreement with ENRC

Canada's First Quantum Minerals said it has settled its agreement in Congo regarding a claim dispute with Kazakh miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corp (ENRC) .

The agreement, announced in January, under which ENRC will pay $1.25 billion to First Quantum, closes the chapter on a long-running dispute over ownership of the Kolwezi project in the Democratic Reupublic of Congo.

First Quantum said all disputes between it, ENRC, the DR Congo government, the International Finance Corp and the Industrial Development Corp have been settled.

The Canadian miner has also disposed of claims and assets of the Kolwezi project, the Frontier and Lonshi mines and related exploration interests located in the Katanga province of the DR Congo.

The dispute began with ENRC's controversial acquisition of the disputed Kolwezi project, a move that led to repeated reports of internal disagreements and prompted several directors to quit.

First Quantum launched legal claims against ENRC after it bought the expropriated asset in 2010. The dispute had been expected to go to trial after a court upheld First Quantum's $2 billion damage claim in September.

Edited by: Reuters

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Junior acquisitions, appointments, financing roundup: Anfield, Golden Phoenix, Colossus, Red Eagle, Coro

Vancouver-based Anfield Nickel (TSX-V: ANF) closed its previously announced brokered and non-brokered private placements and issued 5.20mn common shares at Cdn$4.25 each for gross proceeds of Cdn$22.1mn (US$22.4mn), the firm reported in a release.

The brokered placement was completed under an agreement with Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) and a syndicate of agents including Canaccord Genuity and Salman Partners.

Net proceeds will be used to fund the ongoing exploration program at the Mayaníquel nickel project in northeastern Guatemala, to repay the amounts owed to Lumina Capital Limited Partnership under a current loan facility and for general corporate purposes.

US-based Golden Phoenix Minerals (OTC.BB: GPXM) entered into a non-binding US$20mn term sheet with compatriot Maximilian Investors, the former said in a statement.
The term is for up to 24 months and the funding is expected to advance Golden Phoenix's exploration, development and production at properties in North, South and Central America.
Golden Phoenix can earn up to an 80% stake in the past producing Santa Rosa gold project in Panama.

Toronto-based Colossus Minerals (TSX: CSI) began trading Thursday on the highest tier of the OTC market, OTCQX, under ticker symbol COLUF, the firm said in a statement.
Colossus controls 75% of the Serra Pelada gold-platinum-palladium project in Brazil's Pará state.

Canada's Red Eagle Mining (TSX-V: RD, OTCQX: RDEMF) has appointed Michael Johnson as VP of exploration, the firm said in a statement.

Johnson has replaced Tim Petterson, who resigned in order to focus full time on his role as CEO of compatriot Black Eagle Mining but will remain on Red Eagle's board.
Red Eagle is currently drilling two properties in Colombia: Santa Rosa (20,000m) and Pavo Real (5,000m).

Vancouver-based Coro Mining (TSX-V: COP) reached an agreement with compatriot Franco-Nevada (TSX, NYSE: FNV) to amend the terms of the purchase agreement under which the former can acquire a 100% interest in Minera San Jorge (MSJ), which in turn owns the San Jorge copper-gold project in Argentine province Mendoza.

Under the amended terms, Coro can acquire 100% of MSJ by making option payments of US$1.25mn/y for 10 years, payable quarterly, starting March 31 and can at any time prepay the outstanding amount with a one-time payment equal to the NPV of the future payments, using a 5% discount rate, the firm said in a statement.

In addition, Coro will pay a 7.5% NSR on all gold produced from the property, and the option payments are not payable when exceeded by the gold NSR payment for the period.

No other consideration, obligations, payments or royalties are required and Coro may withdraw from the agreement at any time by not making the payments due, the statement said.
Franco-Nevada acquired Lumina Royalty, the previous owner of MSJ, last December.

To read the full statement, go to this link