Precipitate Gold purchases gold-copper project in the Dominican Republic

Precipitate Gold (TSXV: PRG) and Everton Resources signed the final papers through which the former acquired ownership of all of Everton's Dominican Republic exploration concessions, consisting of Pueblo Grande project, adjoining Barrick and Goldcorp's Pueblo Viejo gold-silver mine, and the Ponton project, located 30 kilometres east of Pueblo Grande.

"We are pleased to have completed our due diligence, satisfied all requirements, and attained the necessary government and regulatory approvals to close this transaction and acquire a 100% interest in this exciting new landholding adjacent to one of the largest gold-silver mining operations in the world," Precipitate's President and CEO, Jeffrey Wilson, said in a media statement.

According to Wilson, while the transaction was being finalized, his company's technical team has been designing proposed first phases of work within certain priority target areas. They expect work activities on the ground to commence soon.

The Vancouver miner's CEO also said that the immediate exploration priority will be the area directly west of Barrick's mining pits, where a notable geophysical magnetic high coincides with an equally substantial area of advanced argillic lithocap alteration.

"This highly prospective lithocap target area measuring approximately 2.5 km by 3.0 km has seen little systematic exploration and will be the focus of initial phases of work," Wilson stated.

The Pueblo Grande concessions cover an area of about 9,863 hectares and are located in the central Sanchez Ramirez province, some 50 kilometres north of the capital city of Santo Domingo.

To complete the transaction, Precipitate has to deliver to Everton C$25,000 cash and issue seven million common shares subject to sale legend restrictions for up to 3 years.

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KGHM expects 2019 average copper price at $6 100/t to $6 300/t

Poland's copper producer KGHM expects an average copper price this year at $6 100/t to $6 300/t, the company's CEO, Marcin Chludzinski, said on Wednesday. "We refer to lower end of copper price range forecast by analysts and we assume an average copper price at $6,100-$6,300 per tonne. I think this is realistic, today the price has neared $6,000," Chludzinski told Reuters.

Potential 2019 El Niño poses risks to some South American mining regions

The potential development of an El Niño in 2019 poses a risk of costs rising among miners relying on hydroelectric power generation in key Latin American markets, according to new Fitch Solutions industry analysis report released this week.

Most state meteorological departments are warning of risks of the El Niño event  in 2019, and on Thursday, the U.S government weather forecaster raised the probability of an El Niño weather pattern emerging from 60 to 65%. On Thursday, the U.S government weather forecaster raised the probability of an El Niño weather pattern emerging from 60 to 65%.

El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years, last occurred around 2015 to 2016. Depending on the severity of the phenomenon, countries in the northern part of South America are likely to experience lower rainfall as a result.

El Niño could impact countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador that heavily rely on hydroelectric plants to generate. The potential return of El Niño in 2019 poses downside risks to mining production and each respective country's mining industry value, Fitch reports.

Fitch cited examples where Minsur's cash costs rose at its Brazilian mine Piting, caused by a lack of rain in Q118. And  Kinross Gold was also impacted by a similar event in 2017, when lower than expected rainfall reduced Q317's y-o-y production at the Paracatu mine by 58% to 46koz that quarter.

Read the full report here.


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Orestone Mining expands Captain project

Orestone Mining (TSXV: ORS) is staking an additional Cu-Au porphyry target at its Captain property in north-central British Columbia, Canada.

In a press release, the company revealed that the new Cu-Au porphyry target, called Max, is located 7 kilometres northwest of its main East Admiral Au-Cu porphyry target.

“The Max Extension claims cover 2,834 hectares and cover a phyllic altered felsic intrusive with disseminated chalcopyrite exposed along a forestry logging access road. The new Max target has marked similarities to the East Admiral zone lying at the junction of a NW and NE faults- associated with a MMI Cu-Au geochemical anomaly and quartz-sericite alteration characteristic of the outer zone of a Cu-Au porphyry. The Max claims lie along a NW trending linear fault and linear magnetic high extending from the East Admiral Cu-Au zone,” the media brief reads.

With this addition, the Captain project now covers 72 square kilometres. Official information states that the site hosts a large gold/copper porphyry system with multiple targets located 41 kilometers north of Fort St. James and approximately 30 kilometers south of the Mt. Milligan copper-gold mine owned by Centerra Gold.

Orestone said it that as the year progresses, its team on the field plans to carry out follow-up soil and rock geochemical sampling to define drill targets at its flagship project.

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Murchison Minerals triples land holdings in Saskatchewan

Murchison Minerals (TSXV: MUR) announced Thursday that it has doubled the size of the previously announced VTEM airborne survey and tripled its mineral land holdings at its 100% owned zinc/copper/silver Brabant VMS project in central Saskatchewan.

With the recent staking of 14,807 hectares of mineral claims contiguous to its current land holdings, Murchison now controls 221.8 km2 of mineral rights over a strike length of approximately 29 kilometres.

Preliminary interpretation of the ongoing VTEM airborne geophysical survey shows multiple conductors that range in strike length from 200 metres to in excess of six kilometres. They are located within a favourable Archaean greenstone belt geological environment that has the potential to host a prolific VMS camp, Murchison stated in a media release.

Additional claims were staked to cover a lake sediment gold anomaly located at the south end of the company’s land holdings. This anomaly was originally identified as a result of a 1975 lake sediment sampling survey undertaken by the Geological Survey of Canada.

This gold anomaly appears to share similar characteristics to the lake sediment gold anomaly associated with the Seabee gold mine located about 30 kilometres to the southeast, the company said.

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Acacia Mining fined over alleged environmental breach in Tanzania

Acacia Mining (LON:ACA), the Tanzanian gold producer dealing with an ongoing dispute with the country’s administration, received Thursday a fresh blow from the country’s government, which fined the miner 300 million Tanzanian shillings (about $129,144) over allegations of breaching environmental rules by its North Mara operation.

The company noted it has not yet received any supporting reports, findings or testing data in relation to alleged discharges of a hazardous substance at the mine site, adding it’s currently assessing the technical basis of such claims.

Acacia said it has not yet received any supporting reports, findings or testing data in relation to the alleged discharge of a hazardous substance at its North Mara mine.

Tanzania's No.1 gold producer also said the alleged environmental violations could relate to a long-standing seepage at the base of the tailings storage facility at North Mara, an issue apparently "well-known" by both the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) and the Tanzanian government.

"This seepage remains managed by pumps which return the water to the tailings storage facility and it is, therefore, contained on the mine site, does not flow into the surrounding environment or present a risk of contamination to any public water source," it said in the statement.

Acacia did acknowledge local media reports pointing at the Tanzanian government ordering a new tailings storage facility at North Mara, but said it was only a verbal directive.

The gold producer added that, before the order, it had already detected the need for additional tailings management and storage capacity to meet North Mara’s life of mine plans. However, it believes a new facility would be more economic than expanding the current infrastructure.

Read also: New era for Barrick Gold begins

The news come only two days after the government appointed a new mining minister, Dotto Biteko, the third one to take on the role since President John Magufuli was elected in 2015.

Acacia, majority owned by Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX)(NYSE:GOLD), has been waiting for the Canadian gold giant to negotiate a settlement with Magufuli, after he forced it to stop exports of concentrate in early 2017.

That year, the country’s government banned exports of unprocessed metal and slapped the miner with a $190 billion tax bill— equal to almost two centuries worth of revenue.

In October, Acacia was hit with fresh charges of money laundering and corruption and some of its employees were detained.

Overall operations at North Mara remain unaffected, the company said.

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Sierra Metals completes expansions at Bolivar mine

Sierra Metals’ expansion plans at the Bolivar mine, in Mexico, are on track, the company reported in a statement on Wednesday. The company last year announced plans to achieve a sustainable and staged increase in mine production and mill throughput from 3 000 t/d to 3 600 t/d by the first quarter of this year, and to 5 000 t/d by mid-2020.

Chile’s Collahuasi plans resource sharing with Canada’s Teck Resources

Chile's Collahuasi copper mine is talking to Canada's Teck Resources Ltd about resource-sharing as the two companies embark on ambitious expansion projects, its Chief Executive Jorge Gomez said on Wednesday. Collahuasi - owned by Glencore and Anglo American - is seeking "synergies" with companies with operations close to its own mine in the Tarapaca area on the border with Bolivia, Gomez said, principal among them Teck.