Ascot intersects high-grade gold at Premier, stock jumps

Ascot Resources (TSX.V: AOT) has released new drill results from the past-producing Premier mine, the Vancouver-based gold miner announced on Friday. Five holes intersected robust mineralization down-dip from historically mined stopes, highlighted by 24.45 g/t Au over 8.43 metres including 150 g/t Au over 1.0 metre.

“The Premier mine continues to deliver high-grade gold mineralization. With only 50% of assay results received from over 45,000 metres of drilling completed this season on the property, we continue to anticipate strong results through Q4 2019,” President and CEO Derek White stated in a press release.

The company is currently focused on restarting the historic Premier gold mine, located 25 kilometres from the town of Stewart in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.

The Premier underground mine originally opened in 1918 and was the largest gold mine in North America until its closure in 1952, producing two million ounces of gold and 45 million ounces of silver.

Shares of Ascot Resources rose by 5% at Friday’s market open. The company has a market cap of approximately C$139.0 million.

E3 Metals, Livent team up on lithium development project in Alberta

Alberta-based lithium miner E3 Metals (TSXV: ETMC) announced on Wednesday that it has entered a collaboration with lithium technology leader Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM), whereby the two companies will seek to advance the development of E3 Metals’ proprietary direct lithium extraction process.

E3 Metals is close to commercializing a low-cost method of recovering lithium from the petro-brine resources in the Leduc Formation of Alberta. Its extraction process is better than existing methods, according to the company, because it concentrates and purifies the petro-brine feedstock in a single step.

Under the agreement, Livent will contribute its technical expertise and invest up to $5.5 million in the joint development project. In exchange, upon completion of the project and satisfaction of the full $5.5 million in funding, Livent may convert its investment into a 19.9% ownership stake in E3 Metals and appoint one member to its board of directors.

“Livent has been a pioneer in the lithium industry for over 60 years.  Collaborating with E3 Metals provides an opportunity to build on our rich heritage of innovation and to bring exciting new possibilities to our customers around the world,” Paul Graves, President & CEO of Livent, commented.

E3 Metals currently holds the sixth largest lithium resource in the world. Its Leduc Reservoir hosts lithium enriched brine with 6.7 million tonnes LCE inferred mineral resource delineated to date.

Australia’s Sayona to bid for Quebec lithium miner

Australia’s Sayona Mining on Tuesday announced its intention to participate in the bidding process for North American Lithium’s (NAL) operations in Québec, which include a lithium mine and concentrator located in Abitibi near the mining district of Val d’Or.

Operations at the NAL mine, which produced 114 000 tonnes of spodumene in 2018, were halted in February this year, with the company obtaining protection from creditors in May. Earlier this week, the Québec Superior Court ended creditor protection and invited bids for the company’s assets.

Sayona’s managing director, Brett Lynch, said in a press release that “the potential to revitalize the NAL operation presented a unique opportunity both for the company and Québec.”

In addition, Saynona’s nearby Authier project, which is currently in the process of securing the necessary regulatory approvals, could be integrated, bringing “significant operational improvements.”

“This could facilitate the development of a hub for lithium extraction and downstream processing in Abitibi, which is ideally positioned to participate in the growth of the North American battery sector,” Lynch remarked.

The Authier project is estimated to produce 87,400 tonnes of spodumene per year over a mine life of 18 years, with the project expected to cost C$83.6 million to develop.

Westhaven to raise $7.35 million for Shovelnose drilling

Vancouver-based gold miner Westhaven Ventures (TSXV: WHN) announced Tuesday that it intends to raise up to C$7.35 million by way of a non-brokered private placement.

The financing consists of up to 7 million units of Westhaven at C$1.05 per unit. Each unit is comprised of one common share and one half warrant, with each whole warrant entitling the holder to purchase one share at a price of C$1.50 for a period of 24 months following the private placement closing date (Westhaven shares were trading at C$1.13 as of market open Tuesday).

Proceeds of the financing will be used for ongoing expansion work at the company’s Shovelnose gold property, as well as working capital and/or the company’s other BC properties.

“This financing allows the company to expand drilling at the high-grade Shovelnose gold property with flexibility to explore additional regional targets as warranted,” Westhaven President & CEO Gareth Thomas commented.

The 15,542-hectare Shovelnose project is located in the Spences Bridge Gold Belt (SBGB), which borders the Coquihalla Highway 30 km south of Merritt, British Columbia. It is one of four gold properties owned by the company in the SBGB.

Northern Star to expand Pogo plant by 30%

Australia-based gold miner Northern Star Resources has approved a $30 million investment to expand the processing plant capacity at its Pogo underground mine in Alaska from 1.0 million tonnes a year to 1.3 million tonnes.

The decision to increase Pogo’s production reflected the significant confidence that the company had in the asset, says executive chair Bill Beament. Positive outlook for Pogo was also underpinned by strong exploration results from the newly discovered Goodpaster prospect, some 1 km from the existing mining area.

“We have owned Pogo for only a year and our exploration results already provide strong evidence that this is an emerging camp-scale system with huge potential to grow the inventory and mine life beyond the current 10-million-ounce endowment,“ Beament added.

The proposed expansion would start this financial year and be finished by early 2021.

The Alaskan mine, located southeast of Fairbanks city, was acquired by Northern Star last year from Sumitomo for $260 million.

Newmont ranked as top gold miner on Dow Jones sustainability index

Newmont Goldcorp (NYSE: NEM, TSX: NGT) announced Monday was ranked as the top global gold mining company on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) for its leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.

This marks the 12th consecutive year the company has been named to the list. Newmont was the first gold miner named to the index in 2007, and has been included on the DJSI North America Index every year since 2006.

The DJSI evaluates companies based on a comprehensive corporate sustainability assessment (CSA) conducted by Swiss-based RobecoSAM, a sustainability asset management, analysis and investment firm. The CSA evaluates 20 financially material sustainability criteria across economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Newmont ranked in the 100th percentile for leading performance in the following areas:

  • Economic: corporate governance, risk and crisis management, and materiality;
  • Environmental: management of water-related risks;
  • Social: labor practices, corporate citizenship, and talent attraction and retention.

“Leading environmental, social and governance performance not only helps us manage risk and create value for our stakeholders, it is also an indicator that our business is well-managed and positioned for long-term success,” commented president and incoming CEO Tom Palmer.

Newmont confirms potential sale of Red Lake mine

The world’s biggest gold miner Newmont Goldcorp (NYSE: NEM, TSX: NGT) confirmed on Friday in a press release that its Red Lake mine in Ontario, Canada, is up for sale.

Talk of a potential sale of the mine, formerly part of Goldcorp, comes only one week after announcement of Newmont’s divestment of a 45.5% stake in the Nimba iron ore project in Guinea to High Power Exploration, a company backed by billionaire Robert Friedland.

Following the blockbuster merger earlier that gave rise to Newmont Goldcorp, it was expected that between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in assets would be sold over the next two years. Many of the projects that came with Goldcorp, including Red Lake, Musselwhite and Porcupine, were considered to be on the block.

Meanwhile, Newmont also confirmed on Friday that incoming CEO Tom Palmer will be presenting at next week’s Denver Gold Forum.

Danakali’s H1 loss widens on rising costs at Colluli

Australia’s Danakali (ASX, LON:DNK) on Friday released its financial report for the six months ended June 30, 2019. Loss widened in the first half as the company continues to develop its flagship project in East Africa.

The potash project developer posted a pretax loss of $1.5 million for the first half of 2019, compared to a loss of $1.1 million a year earlier. Part of this expanded loss can be traced to rising administrative costs at the Colluli project.

Colluli, located in the Danakil Depression region of Eritrea, is expected to be one of the world’s most significant and lowest cost sources of sulphate of potash (SOP). The project is a joint venture between the Eritrean National Mining Co and Danakali, with each having 50% ownership of the joint venture company, Colluli Mining Share Co.

In August, Danakali secured a $200 million financing to develop the Colluli project. Construction of the mine is expected to take two and a half years. Annual production could reach almost 944,000 tonnes of SOP over a possible 200-plus-year mine life.

Recent Colluli front-end engineering design results reaffirmed the “outstanding” project economics, Danakali highlighted in Friday’s press release.

Meanwhile, interest revenue also fell by 41% for the six-month period, while net profit on financial assets declined to $521,661 from $1.2 million year-on-year.

Liberty Gold hits 52-week high on new drill results

Shares of Liberty Gold Corp. (TSX: LGD) surged 6% and hit a 52-week high of C$0.72 on Thursday as the company released additional drill results from its Black Pine project in southern Idaho. The new results represent some of the longest and highest-grade intercepts ever drilled on the property, the Vancouver-based gold miner says.

Ongoing drilling is starting to define a second, high-grade zone of oxide gold mineralization subparallel to and 250 metres northeast of the company’s first discovery this summer. Latest results from the second discovery are highlighted by 6.11 g/t Au over 9.1 m and 4.39 g/t Au over 53.3 m.

“It has been several years since anyone has announced a new discovery with results like these”

Cal Everett, president & CEO

“It has been several years since anyone has announced a new discovery with results like these for a shallow oxide Carlin gold system in the Great Basin,” Cal Everett, Liberty Gold president and CEO, commented in a press release.

“In the first square kilometre of the 12 square kilometre Black Pine oxide gold system, we have already identified two high-grade structures, with indications that more may be present,” he added. “We estimate this square kilometre alone to contain approximately 200 million tonnes of high-potential carbonate rock favourable for hosting Carlin-style gold mineralization, so there is certainly room for a large deposit.”

This is not the first time Liberty Gold’s stock reached a new high on new drill this year. In June, the company’s shares jumped more than 8% after announcing results from the first discovery at Black Pine.

The Black Pine project is located in the northern Great Basin, immediately adjacent to the Utah/Idaho border. It is a Carlin-style gold system, similar to many of the prolific deposits located along Nevada’s Carlin trend such as Newmont’s Long Canyon. 

Drilling at Black Pine will continue in September, focusing on extensions to the northwest and southeast along the two discoveries made by Liberty Gold.

The company’s market capitalization currently stands at approximately C$165.7 million.

Kutcho Copper shares jump 16% on improved met test results

Kutcho Copper Corp. (TSXV: KC) announced on Wednesday results of ongoing metallurgical testing on its Kutcho copper-zinc in British Columbia. The test program is part of the work completed or underway designed to support a feasibility study for the project.

Recoveries of copper and zinc from concentrate — up to 92.3% and 84.2% respectively — have improved significantly over the prefeasibility study (PFS) released in 2017.

Shares of Kutcho Copper jumped by 16% to a three-month high of C$0.23 on the new test results. The company’s market capitalization stands at C$15 million.

The Kutcho property, located about 100 km east of Dease Lake in the Liard mining division of northern BC, consists of one mining lease and 46 mineral exploration claims covering an area of approximately 17,060 hectares.

Earlier in May, the company secured a C$2 million financing, backed by major shareholders including Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. and Capstone Mining Corp., to develop the project.

According to the 2017 PFS, the Kutcho project has an estimated 12-year mine life with 2,500 tpd production rate – for a total life-of-mine payable production of 378 million lbs copper and 473 million lbs zinc.