Katoro further shapes its battery metal-focused strategy

Aim-listed Katoro Gold remains firmly on track to develop a portfolio of assets focused primarily on battery metals. As part of the company’s battery metals strategy, it undertook preparation for an initial drill programme at the high-grade Haneti nickel project, in Tanzania, while finalising a joint venture with Power Metal Resources (PMR) and progressing the sale of its subsidiary Reef Miners during the six months ended June 30.

Gold investors see M&A, cost cuts unlocking $13bn

A group of investors including the hedge fund founded by billionaire John Paulson said “significantly mismanaged” gold companies could unlock $13 billion in value through mergers and cost cuts. The Shareholders’ Gold Council of 18 investors including Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris’s La Mancha found that the median spending of senior gold producers is double that of mining companies that produce other metals, including Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore producer.

Harte Gold raising $6 million in bought deal financing

Harte Gold Corp. [HRT, TSX] is raising $6 million from a bought deal offering of 20 million flow-through common shares priced at 30 cents per share. Harte is the company that recently commenced production at its Sugar Zone Mine located 80 km east of the Hemlo Gold Camp in northern Ontario.

Harte said it has struck a deal with Echelon Wealth Partners Inc., which has agreed to purchase the shares on a bought deal basis, the company said in a press release that was issued after the close of trading on September 11, 2019. Echelon has been granted a green shoe option to buy up to an additional 15% of the flow-through shares sold under the offering at the issue price.

Gross proceeds from the offering of flow-through shares will be used for Canadian exploration expenses and will qualify for as flow-through mining expenditures under the Income Tax Act (Canada). The offering is expected to close by September 27, 2019.

Harte shares were unchanged at 27.5 cents on Thursday. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 21 cents and 55 cents.

Harte is Ontario’s newest gold producer through its wholly-owned Sugar Zone Mine. The project is estimated to contain a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource of 1.1 million ounces of contained gold and an inferred resource of 558,000 ounces of contained gold.

A feasibility study was completed on the Sugar Zone mine in February, 2019, which estimated total reserves at 890,000 ounces of gold.  Exploration continues on the Sugar Zone, which covers 79,335 hectares of a significant greenstone belt.

In the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 Harte said gold production increased by 42% from the previous quarter to 7,754 ounces. The average head grade of the mined ore was 6.01 g/t gold. Net revenue in the second quarter was $11.8 million, marking a 50% increase in comparison to the previous quarter. The average realized gold price during the quarter was US$1,305 per payable ounce.

Mining operations are currently expected to run for 12 years and will support further resource expansion drilling in the immediate vicinity of the mine and the ramp up of property-wide exploration programs.

In addition to the Sugar Zone property, Harte Gold also holds the Stoughton Abitibi property on the Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone, east of Timmins, Ontario. That property is adjacent to the Holloway Gold Mine.

Harte acquired the Sugar Zone property in May 2010 from Corona Gold Corp. [CRG-TSX], a company headed by mine financier Ned Goodman. At the time, Corona received cash payments, plus shares equal to a 9.9% stake in Harte.

Some of the exploration since then has focused on Hemlo-style mineralization to the east of the Sugar Zone. This is a reference to the famous Hemlo gold discoveries of the early 1980s, which were rich enough to support three mines – Williams, Golden Giant, and David Bell.

Kutcho Copper rallies on metallurgical results

Kutcho Copper Corp. [KC-TSXV; KCCFF-OTC] has announced the results of ongoing metallurgical testing on its 100%-owned Kutcho Project located approximately 100 km east of Dease Lake, northern British Columbia. The company said the test program is part of the work completed or under way that is designed to support completion of a feasibility study for the project.

Kutcho said it achieved recoveries of up to 92.3% copper and 84.2% zinc in metallurgical locked cycle tests completed on composites representing a range of proposed process plant feed characteristics found within the Main Lens, including sulphur content, copper grade and copper mineralogy. That marked an improvement on 2017 pre-feasibility life-of-mine results, including improved zinc concentrate grades and the rejection of zinc from the copper concentrate.

Silver performance was also significantly improved, the company said in a press release on September 11, 2019.

Selected copper and zinc concentrates produced from the 2019 cycle tests were analysed for minor trace elements and were found to be free of impurities which would typically attract smelter penalties.

Kutcho shares rallied on the news, rising 16% or $0.03 to 22 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 13 cents and 46 cents.

Kutcho Copper, formerly known as Desert Star Resources Ltd., acquired a 100% interest in the Kutcho Project from Capstone Mining Corp. [CS-TSX] in June 2017. Capstone now owns a 13.5% stake in Kutcho Copper.

In December, 2017, the company closed a $20 million subordinated secured convertible term debt loan and a US$65 million early deposit precious metals purchase agreement with Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. [WPM-TSX, NYSE]. The deal entitled Wheaton to up to 100% of the payable silver production and up to 100% of the gold production from the Kutcho copper-zinc-silver-gold project.

Mineralization on the 17,060-hectare property is hosted in three known volcanic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits. The largest is the Main deposit. The other two are Sumac and Esso.

According to an updated mineral resource estimate that will be used for an upcoming feasibility study, measured and indicated resources in all deposits stand at 17.3 million tonnes grading 2.61% copper equivalent, 1.85% copper, 2.72% zinc, 0.49 g/t gold and 33.9 g/t silver.

On top of that is an inferred resource of 10.7 million tonnes of 1.67% copper equivalent, 1.18% copper, 1.76% zinc, 0.26 g/t gold and 21.5 g/t silver.

The updated estimate includes an 84% increase in the inferred mineral resources compared to the 2017 resource estimate. In addition, there remains significant exploration potential between, below and along strike from the existing mineral resources, providing further upside opportunities to grow the size of the project, Kutcho has said.

“This expanded mineral resource will form the foundation for the feasibility study, which is slated to be completed in Q2/Q3 2019, said Kutcho President and CEO Vince Sorace.

The 2017 pre-feasibility study envisaged a 12-year mine life with a 2,500 tonne-per-day production rate. Total payable production over the life of the mine was expected to be 378 million pounds of copper, and 473 million pounds of zinc, plus by-product gold and silver.

Average annual production was forecast at 33 million pounds of copper and 42 million pounds of zinc, plus by-product gold and silver. However, the company aims to double the production rate from 2017 forecasts to 100 million pounds of copper equivalent annually.

Initial capital costs, including a 15% contingency, have been estimated at $220.7 million.

Chris Vermeulen On Gold, Silver, Miners, Crude Oil, Bonds And Bitcoin

September 12, 2019
Chris Vermeulen

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DFS for Mali gold project expected by March

A definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Kobada project – a greenfield gold mine development in Mali – is expected to be completed by March next year, and developer African Gold Group (AGG) says construction could start soon after as most permits are in place. The project has a 2016 feasibility study with a stated resource of 2.2-million ounces and AGG is in the process of upgrading the geological model and understanding of the orebody to double the production rate to 100 000 oz/y.

Blackham raises cash

ASX-listed Blackham Resources will raise A$7-million through a share placement to fund key mine development work programmes to underpin its gold production for 2020. The capital raise will comprise a A$4-million share to a small number of targeted international and domestic institutional and professional investors, priced at 1c a share.

Evolution continues Drummond earn-in

Gold miner Evolution Mining will invest a further A$4-million at the Drummond gold project, in Queensland, after taking the decision to commit to the second stage of funding at a joint venture with ASX-listed Andromeda Metals. Evolution last year struck an earn-in and joint venture (JV) agreement to earn an initial 51% interest in the project by making a cash payment of A$300 000 to Andromeda and spending A$2-million on exploration over a two-year period.

Horizon swaps acreage with Northern Star

Gold miner Northern Star Resources has agreed to a strategic asset swap with fellow-listed junior Horizon Minerals. The deal will see Horizon divest of its full interest in the Anthill, Blister Dam, New Mexico, White Flag and Kanowna North tenements in exchange for Northern Star’s Rosehill, Brilliant North and Gunga West projects in Coolgardie, and the Golden Ridge, Balagundi, Abattoir and Mount Monger projects, in Kalgoorlie.

WGC launches Responsible Gold Mining Principles, Assurance Framework

After nearly two years of being in the pipeline, the World Gold Council (WGC) on Thursday launched its Responsible Gold Mining Principles framework, which recognises the increasing importance of gold mining companies’ adherence to good environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements. The principles are a framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining, and sets out principles that the WGC believes address key ESG issues for the gold mining sector.