Archive | Junior Exploration Sector

SolGold scores again, finds greater resource potential at Ecuador project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 10, 2019)

Ecuador-focused miner SolGold (LON, TSX:SOLG) said drilling at its Cascabel copper-gold project in the country’s north, one of the few new red-metal bearing ones expected to come online in the near future, has revealed previously unknown mineralization.

Together with high-grade find, over 1.5% copper equivalent, the company has also detected mineralization within the inferred resource area at the Alpala resource, as well as some medium grade mineralization of between 0.7% copper equivalent and the high-grade threshold of 1.5%.

“The drilling campaign continues to deliver to our expectations with these latest results revealing previously unknown mineralization and providing a clear indication of the growth potential that exists through the extension of the Alpala resource,” chief executive Nick Mather said in the statement. Continue Reading →

Exploration funding tight, but mining prospects look bright: Australians making inroads into Northern Ontario mineral properties – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 4, 2019)

The road to riches remains a rocky one for junior mining companies. Financing to do mineral exploration continues to be tight for those on the upstream end of the industry.

While money doesn’t appear to be an issue for larger, more advanced exploration plays, it’s the smaller projects at the grassroots stage that are being neglected, according to Garry Clark, executive director of the Ontario Prospectors Association (OPA) in Thunder Bay.

“If I had a project that could sustain a $5-million exploration project, I could raise it. But I would have difficulty raising something south of $1 million.” Commodity prices for base metals remain relatively healthy, but investor interest is veering away from the methodical and calculated risk of exploration mining stocks toward the fast buck and quick fix of the legalized marijuana sector. Continue Reading →

Northwest prospectors recognize leaders in mining, exploration – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – April 3, 2019)

Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine, Great Bear’s Dixie Project among best in field

The prospecting community in northwestern Ontario recognized and celebrated its superstars for 2018. The Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association (NWOPA) handed out the hardware at its annual awards dinner during its Thunder Bay spring symposium, April 2.

The Developer of the Year Award went to Goldcorp’s Musselwhite Mine for its new $90-million materials handling project, designed to improve ore feed to its mill.

The project, which was completed on time and on budget, increases production by 20 per cent, cuts down on underground haul distances and ventilation costs. Continue Reading →

Islamic State, without evidence, claims killing of Canadian in Burkina Faso (Reuters U.S. – April 3, 2019)

CAIRO (Reuters) – Islamic State claimed to have kidnapped and killed a Canadian citizen in Burkina Faso in January, but security sources said they believed he actually died during a botched attempt by a criminal gang to sell him on to another group.

Canadian geologist Kirk Woodman’s body was found on Jan. 16, two days after his abduction by a dozen gunmen at a mining site operated by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals in the northeast of the landlocked West African country.

Burkina Faso officials said he had been shot, and his body was dumped in an area that is under growing threat from Islamist militants, some with links to Islamic State and al Qaeda. Continue Reading →

Cannabis fad mows down Canada’s junior mining sector – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 2, 2019)

A growing interest in Canada’s emerging cannabis sector, which spiked after recreational use of marijuana was legalized in October, is sucking investment away from mining and hitting juniors hardest, a new study shows.

According to BDO Sherif Andrawes, investments in Canadian cannabis companies increased from C$43 million to C$770 million from the first half of 2016 to the same period in 2017, a massive surge year on year. In contrast, total mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX-V dropped 25% from 2017 to 2018.

“Industry investors traditionally attracted to the junior mining space now have a secondary option. Valuations are higher and forecast demand for the product is being touted in the billions,” the report says. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Struggling small miners may lead to bigger industry woes – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – March 28, 2019)

SINGAPORE, March 28 (Reuters) – Small miners are finding it increasingly difficult to raise capital to fund new ventures despite the positive demand outlook for several commodities and a world still largely awash with cheap credit.

The problems facing these ‘junior’ mining explorers may also have implications beyond a bunch of seemingly inconsequential companies struggling to progress. How they cope is likely to affect how the mining industry as a whole goes from exploring for new resources to actually producing raw materials.

Under the traditional model, would-be junior miners raised seed capital in order to drill exploration holes to confirm the presence of a resource. These companies then sought listings on miner-friendly stock exchanges, such as those in Sydney and Toronto, and used the money raised from the listing to advance the project. Continue Reading →

Mine development picks up – by Norm Tollinsky (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – March 4, 2019)

The optimism pulsing through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at last year’s PDAC offered hope for an end to the long and painful mining industry downturn that began in 2013, but the final verdict on 2018 was one of disappointment.

There were signs of recovery early in the year, but “the pendulum swings both ways, and we gave back a lot of the gains as the year progressed and commodity prices retreated,” said PDAC president Glenn Mullan.

Exploration expenditures in Ontario increased only marginally from C$539.7 million to C$567.5 million. The year was especially challenging for junior miners, who depend on public capital markets for financing, as weak commodity prices, investment apathy, cannabis, cryptocurrency and competition from other jurisdictions conspired against them. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Osgoode Hall professor will argue Canada should investigate assassination of Mexican activist – by Jennifer Wells (Toronto Star – March 25, 2019)

The assassination of Mexican activist Mariano Abarca stands little chance of gaining the spotlight in Ottawa given all the tumult in the nation’s capital. But Monday’s judicial review before Federal Court Justice Keith Boswell deserves attention, reminding us of the tragic events of a decade ago and the present day oversight, or lack thereof, of Canadian mining companies operating abroad.

There’s no disputing the fundamental facts. Abarca had assumed a primary role in protesting Blackfire Exploration’s open-pit barite mine in the southern state of Chiapas.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s minerals yearbook for 2008 noted that the Canadian junior mining company planned to extend its operations underground, with the company trumpeting the La Revancha mine as the largest high-grade barite deposit in North America. In other words, Blackfire saw a long, bright mining future in Mexico ahead of it. Continue Reading →

Why Rinehart, Forrest, BHP and Newcrest are sweet on Ecuador – by Brad Thompson (Australian Financial Review – March 25, 2019)

The mining executive who prepared the ground for a tenement tug-of-war between BHP and Newcrest in Ecuador is convinced a lot more copper and gold will be found in the exploration hot spot.

Malcolm Norris, who secured the Cascabel tenement a decade ago while calling the shots at SolGold, said it was no surprise that Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting had also taken a shine to Ecuador.

Mr Norris, now the chief executive of ASX-listed junior explorer Sunstone Metals and chasing the third major copper-gold discovery of his career, said Cascabel might turn out to be big enough for both BHP and Newcrest. “I think it is a very big system and the resource that have been drilled so far, that’s not the end of the story. There’s more to come, I’m sure,” he said. Continue Reading →

Opinions: Don’t buy the alarmism about the Pebble Mine – by Ron Thiessen (Anchorage Daily News – March 24, 2019)

Ron Thiessen is President and CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., owner of the Pebble Limited Partnership and the Pebble Project.

There’s at least one thing I can agree on with the Bristol Bay lodge owners who recently published an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News. Well, maybe two.

The lodge owners faithfully report in the opening paragraph of their screed: “The most important document on the Pebble Project’s path to a key permit to mine … has been released by the Army Corps of Engineers.” They go on to say, quite rightly, “that document, the draft environmental impact statement, is often considered the linchpin of permitting.”

These things are exactly correct. But from that point forward, the views and opinions of the ardent anti-mining authors don’t only diverge from mine. They diverge sharply, even radically, from the professional judgment of the independent engineers and scientists employed by the US Army Corps of Engineers as expressed in the Pebble draft EIS. Continue Reading →

Gold keeps exploration drills turning in Timmins – by Len Gillis (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – March 4, 2019)

Aggressive mining exploration continues throughout the Timmins mining camp, thanks to the efforts of at least one smaller producer located in nearby Black River-Matheson.

That’s where McEwen Mining set up shop after purchasing the Black Fox complex from Primero Mining in 2017. To say McEwen’s exploration plan is aggressive would be an understatement.

Company president Chris Stewart revealed in January the company has earmarked $20 million for exploration drilling on its properties in 2019, which include the Black Fox Mine, as well as the Froome, Grey Fox and Tamarack deposits. Continue Reading →

SolGold’s Nick Mather our Mining Person of the Year for 2018 – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – February 27, 2019)

Northern Miner

Nicholas Mather, president and CEO of Australian junior SolGold, is The Northern Miner’s Mining Person of the Year for 2018 in recognition of his role as the driving force behind the wildly successful grassroots team that has drilled off the world-class Alpala gold-copper deposit at its Cascabel project in Imbabura province in northern Ecuador, with potentially many more discoveries to come in the region.

The past year was a pivotal one for Toronto- and London-listed SolGold. In November 2018, it tabled an updated resource for Alpala that tallied a staggering 2.1 billion indicated tonnes grading 0.41% copper and 0.29 gram gold per tonne, or 0.60% copper equivalent (at a 0.2% copper-equivalent cut-off), plus another 900 million inferred tonnes grading 0.27% copper and 0.13 gram gold, or 0.35% copper equivalent, at the same cut-off. These numbers are based on 133,600 metres of drilling.

That translates to a contained metal content of 8.4 million tonnes copper and 19.4 million oz. gold in the indicated category, and another 2.5 million tonnes copper and 3.8 million oz. gold in inferred. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty raises $10 million to develop Alaska Pebble project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 13, 2019)

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX:NDM) has entered into a bought deal financing with Cantor Fitzgerald Canada to raise $10 million that will allow the miner to further advance its Pebble copper-gold-silver project in Alaska.

The deal prices the company’s shares at 64 Canadian cents, a 13.5% discount to the stock’s price before the financing was announced.

The Canadian miner has also granted the underwriters an over-allotment option to acquire up to an additional 2.34 million-plus shares, which could raise another $1.5 million. Continue Reading →

Northern miners exploring for investors at Prospectors and Developers conference – by Eric White (CBC News Sudbury – March 5, 2019)

More dollars available for mining exploration, but cannabis stocks luring away many investors

Pat Dubreuil is working late nights this week in Toronto. The president of Sudbury-based Manitou Gold is courting investors who might want to inject cash into two potential gold mines in the north.

And at the annual conference of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, that usually means late night conversations over drinks. “Quite a few relationships and deals are built over a good craft beer. That’s the nature of the business,” says Dubreuil.

“You can do the math real quick on the back of a napkin and understand what’s going on and what the plan is.” On top of touting the drilling results from Manitou Gold’s properties near Dubreuilville and Dryden, Dubreuil is also talking of his company’s partnership with artificial intelligence exploration pioneer GoldSpot. Continue Reading →

Junior mining sector facing mass exodus, says Kaiser – by Henry Lazenby (Mining Journal – March 5, 2019)

About half the current population of TSXV junior miners don’t have enough cash to keep the lights on for another year, investment guru John Kaiser said at PDAC 2019. While junior resource company funding recovered from 2016 to mid-2018, it had since been weak, putting many in the sector on a “path to extinction”.

Kaiser said the cannabis-crypto bubble that had in the past few years sucked the oxygen out of the juniors’ room had now passed and was no longer an excuse. But what exactly would bring investors with risk capital back to resource juniors remained a very complex issue, he said.

Kaiser believes institutional money will not come back to the sector until a distinct multi-year uptrend has become visible, something which in his view is unlikely to happen for metals other than gold in a current macro environment of trade protectionism. This was potentially bad news for “optionality plays” in the short term, he said. Continue Reading →