Camino Minerals allowed to expand drilling in southern Peru

The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines approved a permit related to Camino Minerals' (TSXV: COR) environmental impact assessment for the Chapitos copper-gold project.

The permit allows for the expansion of drilling activities along the Diva Trend at Chapitos. Drilling is expected to commence during the latter half of 2019.

Camino's 2019 exploration program is ongoing and includes geological mapping and structural analysis, chip/channel and trench sampling, and road building, all in preparation for geophysics and drilling

In a press release, Camino explained that the 200-drill pad permit allows for a maximum of 908 drill holes or 445,200 metres of drilling over a 3.6-year period.

According to the miner, the drilling will further define and potentially expand on the copper mineralized zones at the Adriana, Katty, and Vicky targets, but also includes drilling designed to evaluate the potential for additional zones of copper mineralization along the Diva Trend.

"Camino is excited to have received the EIA permit to continue drilling the Diva Trend copper mineralization along strike and down dip allowing for potential expansion of the mineralized footprint," the firm's CEO, John Williamson, said in the media brief. "The permit will allow the company to better locate drill collars in optimum locations to both test the Diva structure and other structural and stratigraphic copper opportunities while potentially minimizing drill costs."

Camino informed that the exploration program will also include follow-up work on the Atajo Trend where exploratory drilling intersected 0.83 % copper over 16.3 metres, including 2.09 % copper over 5.0 metres.

The Chapitos project is a 22,000-hectare land pack near Chala in southern Peru.

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New Energy to acquire project near Codelco’s and BHP’s mines in Chile

Canada's New Energy Metals (TSXV: ENRG) announced that it entered into a letter of intent with certain arm’s length vendors to be granted the exclusive right and option to acquire an initial 70% royalty-free interest in and to certain exploration and exploitation mineral concessions known as the “Exploradora North project.”

The 84,750-hectare project is located in the II and III Regions of northern Chile along the prolific West Fissure fault system between the open-pit Escondida mine, the largest copper mine in the world which is owned by BHP and Rio Tinto, and Codelco’s El Salvador underground copper mine.

In a press release, New Energy explained that Exploradora North is also located immediately north and east of Codelco’s Exploradora deep drilling project, where near-surface resource reported 100 Mt of 0.3 Cu and 0.2 g/t gold.

According to New Energy, Minera Activa, a private Chilean company, recently announced positive results in the Exploradora district, and Brazil’s Vale is also actively drilling to the west of Exploradora North.

To move forward with the acquisition, New Energy Metals, through a wholly-owned Chilean subsidiary, will enter into a formal option to purchase agreement which contemplates that the Vancouver-based firm has to incur in exploration expenditures on the project of at least $15 million within 48 months of the effective date. The company will also have to pay $8.5 million an issue an aggregate of 11,500,000 common shares of New Energy Metals, all of which will be done in different installments or phases.

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Goldspot partners with Pacton on AI exploration at Red Lake

Goldspot Discoveries (TSXV: SPOT) announced Friday a signed service agreement with Pacton Gold (CVE: PAC) to Goldspot's A.I. and machine learning tools to evaluate and identify possible mineral and drill targets on Pacton’s Red Lake, Ontario property.  "We believe Red Lake's ground is ripe for a technological revolution" — Goldspot CEO

 Goldspot has been granted a 0.5smelter royalty on the property and the option to purchase an additional 0.5% net smelter return royalty on all metals produced from the Red Lake property for C$1 million, as well as 0.5% net smelter return royalty on all metals produced from all the current claims comprising Pacton's Australia assets in the Pilbara Craton for C$1 million.  

 "The Pacton Gold property in the historic Red Lake gold camp in North western Ontario excites us. It is the ideal district to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to find new discoveries," said Denis Laviolette, GoldSpot’s president and CEO in a media statement. "After initial screening and utilizing artificial intelligence to analyze various layers of data related to Pacton Gold's property, we have made our largest speculative bet to date." 

"We believe Red Lake's ground is ripe for a technological revolution, and this deal gives us royalty exposure to 16,630 hectares of prospective land," said Laviolette. 

Market reaction to the partnership was positive: Goldspot’s stock was up 4%, and Pacton’s stock was up on the CVE Friday afternoon.  

 

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Bluerock Diamonds’ shares jump on record find

BlueRock Diamonds (LON: BRD) shares were up 15% on the London Stock Exchange Friday after the miner announced it had recovered its largest diamond to date, a 24.9 carat gem quality stone.  

BlueRock owns and operates the Kareevlei Diamond Mine in the Kimberley region of South Africa.  The miner’s largest diamond prior was 16.28 carats, which sold for $78,947.
 
“This record recovery of such a high-quality diamond is an exciting milestone and underpins why we are so confident about the potential of the Kareevlei mine. We have a comprehensive development plan to increase production and look forward to providing further updates as we progress,” executive chairman Mike Houston said in a media statement. 

The diamond will be put to tender, the results of which will be announced June 17, the company said.

BlueRock’s shares were priced at 11 pence on the LSE late Friday, on a day that saw trading volume at 61.9 million, mover six times the average daily trading volume is 9.5 million. The company has a £1.8 million market capitalization. 

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Gold-backed ETFs dropped in May – report

In a recent report, the World Gold Council reveals that holdings in global gold-backed exchange-traded funds or ETFs fell in May by 2.2 tonnes to 2,421 tonnes, equivalent to $141 million in outflows, as consistent European fund growth was offset by outflows in North America and Asia.

According to the market development organization, May results together with those of February and April have caused global gold-backed ETFs to lose 0.5% in assets so far this year. The loss is equivalent to 19 tonnes or $535 million.

The WGC report also shows that outflows in North American funds, which equal 13.7 tonnes or $580 million, were mostly driven by iShares Gold Trust and SPDR Gold Shares, the two largest funds globally.

“This trend was particularly acute in the first half of the month but has reversed to some degree in the past few weeks. Despite the strength in the price of gold, momentum positioning weakened as net longs decreased in COMEX futures and short interest increased in North American funds, likely impacting flows in the products, while gold trading volumes in May increased to $115 billion per day, in line with the 2018 and 2019 averages,” the document reads.

The industry group reports that low-cost gold-backed ETFs in the US, on the other hand, added $90 million in assets, led by SPDR Gold MiniShares and Graniteshares Gold Trust. “Low-cost assets have once again risen to all-time highs of 52 tonnes ($2.2 billion) or growth of 85% over the past year.”

When it comes to Asia, the World Gold Council says the continent’s gold-backed ETFs continued to decline sharply, losing 4.1 tonnes or $171 million. Only this quarter, the region has lost 10% of assets and 17% this year. “Gold rallied 4% in renminbi, and despite the 6% selloff in the local stock market, investors appear to be shifting investments into risky assets,” the report states.

Overall, stock markets across the globe finished May sharply lower due to the continued US/China trade negotiation breakdowns and the surprise announcement that the US plans to impose tariffs on Mexico in the coming weeks.

“And the selloff has continued into June. The risk-off environment created an opportunity for gold to showcase its role as a safe-haven asset. While gold was relatively flat when there were small movements in the stock market over the course of the month, gold was higher by 90bps, on average, each of the days the US stock market was down more than 1%,” the WGC analysis indicates.

According to the Council’s research, gold becomes much more inversely correlated with the stock market during multiple standard deviation moves to the downside. This is why, despite the poor performance through May, an increased risk-off sentiment prompted flows into gold-backed ETFs by the end of the month and at the beginning of June.

In Europe, political uncertainty and a weaker pound sterling have supported inflows in UK-based, gold-backed ETFs that remain near all-time highs. “European gold-backed ETF holdings represent its largest percentage of total global assets in history at 47% of total assets, trailing North America by 3%.”

When it comes to long-term trends, the World Gold Council predicts that strategic holders will continue to add to low-cost gold-backed ETFs, despite bearish positioning in the larger, momentum-driven funds and futures markets.

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Noront and Aroland First Nation to work together on nickel mine in Ontario

Noront Resources (TSX-V: NOT) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aroland First Nation to advance the planning process for the development of the Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposit in the Ring of Fire, northern Ontario.

In a media statement, both parties explained that the MoU contemplates Aroland becoming a shareholder of Noront. The company will issue 150,000 shares to the First Nation.

The deal also entails the establishment of an ongoing working and communication protocol and the initiation of a dialogue regarding economic development opportunities.

Noront previously signed an Exploration and Project Advancement Agreement with the Marten Falls First Nation

"Aroland First Nation is advancing responsible mineral development in collaboration with other area First Nations in what we call the ‘Mining Hub’ that is growing quickly between the Geraldton-Beardmore Greenstone belt and the Ring of Fire," Chief Dorothy Towedo said in the press brief. “Our First Nation is encouraged by Noront’s inclusive approach to advancing mutually beneficial opportunities.”

The Eagle’s Nest mine is expected to produce 3,000 tonnes of ore per day, which will be mined by underground methods and processed to deliver 150,000 to 250,000 tonnes of nickel-bearing concentrate per year.

The mine should reach commercial production three years after permits are received. The anticipated mine life is of 11 years with the potential for nine additional years.

At present, Eagle’s Nest has over 20 million tonnes of measured, indicated and inferred resources containing high-grade nickel mineralization with significant copper, palladium and platinum content.

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Diamond markets under pressure – Rapaport

Rapaport published a report stating that diamond markets are under pressure as profit margins have tightened and the trade war with China has fueled uncertainty.

The international firm revealed that the RapNet Diamond Index, known as RAPI, for 1-carat diamonds fell 0.7% in May and is down 1.7% since the beginning of the year.

RAPI is the average asking price in hundred $/carat of the 10% best-priced diamonds, for each of the top 25 quality round diamonds offered for sale on the Rapaport Diamond Trading Network.

Stones weighing 3 carats saw the most dramatic change, with a 4% drop in May and a 9.8% drop since the beginning of the year.

To try to boost sales, polished suppliers are offering technology and source verification as a value-added service

Diamonds of 0.30 carats sunk by 3.7% in May and 9.4% since the start of the year, while 0.50-carat rocks fell 1.7% last month and 2.9% year to date.

"There is good demand for 0.60- to 1.99-carat, F-J, VS2-I1 diamonds. Buyers are insisting on well-cut stones. Polished below 0.50 carats is slow due to excess supply, weak Chinese demand and tight Indian liquidity," the report reads.

According to Rapaport, this state of affairs has pushed cutters to operate at lower capacity as they try to reduce inflated inventory, while manufacturers are rejecting high-priced rough stones that have made polished production unprofitable.

"De Beers and Alrosa are carefully managing production and price levels amid this year’s slow rough demand," the document states.

In the view of the firm's chairman, Martin Rapaport, if the trade does not change its business practices and adapt to new realities, the diamond industry will suffer "extreme financial and regulatory disruption."

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Golden Share allowed to drill in the Marten Falls First Nation territory

The Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines issued 10 exploration permits to Golden Share Resources (TSXV: GSH) for drilling targets within the Ogoki project and the Kagiami project, located in the Wabassi and Albany River area of the James Bay Lowlands of Ontario.

Ogoki and Kagiami sit some 200 kilometres southwest of DeBeers' Victor diamond mine, approximately 150 kilometres south of the “Ring of Fire” region

The permits allow the Markham-based miner to make plans to drill the 14 of 15 possible kimberlite pipe targets of the Ogoki project and 1 of 3 base metal targets of Kagiami project.

As these licenses were being processed, Golden Share signed an exploration agreement with Marten Falls First Nation, in whose traditional territory the properties are located.

In detail, Ogoki is in the eastern portion of the Archean Miminiska-Fort Hope greenstone belt where it disappears beneath Paleozoic cover in the James Bay lowlands.

According to Golden Share, to date, the only documented mineral occurrences in the project area are Algoma-type iron formation deposits. "However, historic and more recent exploration by third-party exploration companies in the region indicate potential for volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits, structurally-hosted lode (orogenic) gold deposits and kimberlite hosted diamond deposits," the miner said in a media statement.

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Canada’s Monarca to acquire San José project in Mexico

Monarca Minerals (TSXV: MMN) entered into an option agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the 5,580-hectare San José project located in Chihuahua, northern Mexico.

To go ahead with the deal, Monarca will pay a total of $150,000 to the mining concession owners and the agreement includes a 2% Net Smelter Return royalty upon reaching commercial production.

In a media statement, the Canadian miner said that the option agreement is an arm's length transaction.

The San José property is considered drill-ready based on recently discovered IP geophysical targets and surface anomalies

"The decision was made to acquire this skarn and potential CRD/porphyry deposit after a surface geophysics program comprised of induced polarization (IP), resistivity, and magnetics survey completed in July and August 2018, discovered very strong IP/magnetic anomalies over a 2.8-kilometre strike length resulting in numerous drill targets," the release reads.

Monarca said that it is planning an 18-hole reverse circulation drilling program to test the strong IP and magnetics anomalies for potential precious and base metals at depth. The decision to run this program was based on the results of the surface geophysics campaign and the fact that previous chip sampling on the property produced significant gold, silver, copper, zinc and lead results.

The San Jose property is comprised of three mining concessions near the US border, approximately 125 kilometres west of El Paso, Texas. The property also sits 52 kilometres northwest of the underground Bismark silver-lead-zinc-copper mine operated by Grupo Peñoles.

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Royal Road Minerals acquires Northern Colombia Holdings

Jersey-based Royal Road Minerals (TSXV: RYR) announced the closing of the acquisition of Northern Colombia Holdings from Compañía Kedahda, an affiliate of AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) (NYSE:AU).

In a press release, Royal Road explained that NC Holdings, through its subsidiaries, owns Exploraciones Northern Colombia, which holds or has rights to a title package comprised of mining concession agreements covering approximately 35,747 hectares of land, and the rights with respect to applications that have been made to acquire mining concessions over approximately 168,841 hectares of land, in prospective mineral belts in the Nariño, Cauca and Antioquia departments of Colombia.

Royal Road's initial focus will be on granted titles containing targets that can be moved to the drilling-stage as soon as possible

The titles are grouped into two blocks, the Southern Block, which is located contiguous with Royal Road's existing 3500 square kilometers of exploration rights in the western Nariño province and the Northern Block, which covers the Middle Cauca Belt.

“There are 16 currently identified individual gold project areas located within the title package and numerous underexplored areas which management believes host significant geologic potential,” the media statement reads.

Royal Road said its initial focus will be on granted titles containing targets that can be moved to the drilling-stage as soon as possible. Some of these targets are the La Llanada project area in Nariño, characterized by very high stream sediment sample results and comprising several currently known high-grade vein-gold systems; the El Tambo intrusion-related gold project in the western Cauca province, where AngloGold Ashanti reported an area of steep-moderate dipping quartz-veins, up to 3 meters wide, over 3 kilometers in strike length and 600 meters in total zone-width and with rock chip results returning up to 77 grams per tonne gold; and the Güinter sheeted quartz-calcite-sulfide vein project area in Antioquia, a system that has been mapped over 6 square kilometers and where AngloGold Ashanti drilled 10 scout diamond drill holes for a total of 5662 meters at the project and reported best intersections of 56 meters at 1.1, 14 meters at 1.8 and 20 meters at 1.8 grams per tonne gold.

Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, Royal Road purchased from Compañía Kedahda all of the issued and outstanding shares of NC Holdings and paid $4,655,462.

Upon completion of a NI43-101 report, a feasibility study, and commencement of commercial production on any of the projects that has an inferred mineral resource of not less than one million gold equivalent ounces, Royal Road would have to pay the seller $5 million in each stage.

Once commercial production has started in such million-ounce project, Royal Road would have to pay an aggregate amount equal to $20 million payable in four installments of $5 million on the date that is 90 days following the end of each of the company's four consecutive fiscal quarters.

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