Cambodia Trek: Angkor Gold — Thom @ Large (Unplugged)

March 16, 2012

By Thom Calandra

OKALLA CAMP – Fresh core emerging in smooth cylinders and catalogued row by row at this Cambodia gold camp is pale rose.

Dr. Adrian Mann’s contract drillers just pulled this sample from the ground (Hole 29). The column of rock from perhaps 100 meters deep shows potassic alteration and what looks like secondary feldspar.

Minerals explorer Angkor Gold (ANK in Canada; ANKOF in USA) is little known to those who visit this bountiful country seeking Buddhist temples and irrawaddy fresh-water dolphins flipping in the Mekong River.

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Jeff Nichols Still Bullish on Gold, Pullback Represents Opportunity

March 3, 2012

NEW YORK – This past week’s dramatic gold-price action – with the metal falling some 5.8 percent from a Wednesday high of $1,790 an ounce (in European trading) to a low of $1,687 (in after-hours New York trading) – does nothing to dissuade us from our super-bullish long-term view of gold-price prospects.

Indeed, we have often warned clients and readers to expect occasional episodes of great price volatility with sizable corrections that would lead many investors and pundits to prematurely eulogize the end of gold’s bull run.  Wednesday’s decline was just such a correction – and it wasn’t even that dramatic despite all the media brouhaha.

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Scorpio Gold Highlights from 2011

February 8, 2012

Scorpio Gold (OTC Other: SRCRF; TSX-V: SGN) accomplished a great deal in 2011 and is expected to achieve even more in 2012.  According to Peter Hawley, the Company’s President and CEO, “2011 was a milestone year for the Company, with the Mineral Ridge Gold Mine coming on line approximately one year from acquisition. Our success in such a short period of time is a product of the dedication and hard work demonstrated by our entire team. We are also grateful to our shareholders for their continued confidence and support that allowed us to accomplish the aggressive goals we set for production and gold sales.”

Production highlights from 2011 include the following:

  • Material mined from the Drinkwater Pit totalled 387,568 tons grading 0.066 ounces per ton (OPT) gold(i), equivalent to 2.26 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
  • Reprocessed gold-bearing material left on the heap leach pad by the prior operator totalled 328,027 tons grading 0.027 OPT gold(i) (0.93 g/t gold) with an estimated recovery of 45%.
  • Material crushed and placed on the leach pad totalled 715,595 tons grading 0.050 OPT gold(i) (1.71 g/t gold).
  • End of year stockpile balance totalled 1,500 tons grading 0.050 OPTgold(i) (1.71 g/t gold).
  • The established stable recovery rate of gold exceeded 65% by year end.Shipments of loaded carbon totalled 121 tons with an average grade of 106.539 OPT gold (3,652.76 g/t gold) and 60.205 OPT silver(i) (2064.17 g/t silver).
  • In total, 8,125 ounces of gold and 4,843 ounces of silver were sold at an average realized price of US$1,619 per ounce gold and US$34 per ounce silver.

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Precious Metals Miners Not Being Rewarded on Fundamentals

February 7, 2012

PEALUMA CA – The market isn’t rewarding fundamentals just yet for precious metal miners, according to Byron King, editor of Daily Resource Hunter, Outstanding Investments and Energy & Scarcity Investor. In this exclusive interview with The Gold Report, King maps out when rising gold prices will actually lead to rising stock prices for companies with quality projects and solid treasuries.

The Gold Report: Byron, anyone who reads your reports knows two things: you like to tell stories and you like precious metals. The gold price has spent the last 11 years trending higher. Do you see it continuing upward?

Byron King: I anticipate that gold, silver and platinum will all continue to rise in price. There are currency-driven reasons why metal prices are going to keep rising, as well as other issues with overall supply and falling production.

In terms of production, the gold and the platinum production spaces are very precarious. A few very bad things could happen at random and knock global production for a loop and seriously impact supply. Think in terms of a major mine accident in, say, South Africa. Supply could fall off a cliff overnight.

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Brent Cook: Mining Industry Insights

February 6, 2012 – Mining and minerals exploration are tough businesses to succeed at. Rocks rarely behave as you would like or expect and costs are always more than projected. Making money in this industry, either through mining or investing, therefore requires continually updating your knowledge base with new technologies and science. Even more critical to getting ahead in this business are the insights and experiences gained from your peer’s working on projects around the world.

The following Exploration Insights are gathered from my ten-day “road trip” that consisted of a unique opportunity to interact with some of the bigger thinkers in the investing, resource, and political world, followed by a few days at the Cambridge House Investment conference in Vancouver and, finally, the technically-oriented Cordilleran Roundup.

The Roundup is the second biggest gathering (after PDAC) of geologists, miners, prospectors, and promoters in Canada (if not the world). It’s a perfect event at which to catch up with associates actually working in the field and to learn the stories behind the hype. Bottom line, there is a lot of good scientific work going into minerals exploration by junior and major companies. This is happening despite the stifling work environment being imposed by the human relations, legal and safety departments at the big companies (some of the impositions are truly unbelievable) and the demand by junior promoters for “good” results, regardless of their value.

Looking into the junior mining and exploration industry and market, what became most apparent to me after the week’s trips and research is that there are too many junior companies in the sector—way too many. The Canadian brokerage industry is out of control, printing paper at a pace that is only limited by the number of trees between Vancouver Island and Newfoundland (comic credit to Rick Rule). There are too many companies vying for the limited dollars, too many clamoring for attention, too many to competently and efficiently execute an exploration program, and just too many to keep track of.

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Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron Ore, and Coal Among Favorites

February 6, 2012


The Gold Report: What is the consensus among Haywood analysts on what 2012 will bring for mine commodities, particularly precious metals?

Joe Mazumdar: Last year, risk aversion was a common market theme. In 2012, some of the same global economic concerns, such as the ongoing Eurozone crisis and the future of the euro, will continue to draw attention. But we also believe there is potential for positive economic indicators, primarily from the U.S., where there have been upticks in manufacturing and GDP growth. Also, unemployment in the U.S. is down to 8.5%, generating some consumer confidence. Recently, GDP growth for Q411 came in at 2.8%, which was slower than consensus forecasts-3%-but still the strongest in over a year.

Political factors will play a role in 2012. There could be a change in leadership among four of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The presidential election will be a key focus of the U.S. and global market. There are also presidential elections in Russia, France and Mexico. There also may be a changing of the guard in China in the latter part of 2012. The potential for changes in leadership in these key nations will generate a bid to market volatility in 2012.

Beyond gold and silver, our preferred commodity sectors include copper, iron ore and coal. Gold continues to be adversely affected by its own volatility, which continues to tarnish its reputation as a safe-haven asset. We note that during 2011, U.S. Treasury securities, the most liquid safe-haven asset, was a preferred recipient of capital investment, providing a ~10% return, its highest annual return since 2008 when it was 14%.

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Demand for Drilling Remains Strong for Miners

February 6, 2012

HALIFAX, NS – Two Canadian drilling companies that operate in dozens of countries around the world for senior and junior miners drew a remarkably similar picture of 2012 drilling activity for Mineweb: Strong demand in excess of supply with seniors playing catch-up to replace reserves and juniors not holding back.

In the context of ongoing economic uncertainty, especially in developed countries, the drilling outlook for 2012 suggests neither juniors nor seniors are being misers, hording cash in fear they will not be able to earn more of it or raise funds again in the near future.

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Central Banks Gold Holding at 6-Year High

January 30, 2012

LONDON (BullionVault) – The gold price on Wednesday broke up through the downtrend starting at last summer’s record high. Or so a technical analyst studying the price chart would tell you.

But just as in late 2007 – from where gold began a 55% run inside 6 months – this week the price of gold bullion jumped on news that is fundamental: the price of money, specifically Dollars, the world’s #1 currency for trade and central-bank reserves.

Back in 2007, the catalyst came as a baby-step rate cut of 0.25%, signalling the Fed’s switch from raising to destroying the returns paid on cash savings. Now the Fed’s new zero-rate promise “took gold comfortably clear of the 50, 100 and 200-day moving averages, and opened up some big targets to the upside,” says one London technician. The previous ceiling of $1700 has become a support level according to bullion bank Scotia Mocatta, “with further key support at the 200-day moving average at $1645.”

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Junior Gold Companies to Benefit from Senior and Mid-Tier Miners Good News

January 30, 2012


The Gold Report: Philip, welcome. In a recent Union Securities research report, you wrote, “Despite global market volatility and foreign debt issues, we believe market valuations for mining companies, particularly in the precious metals sector, appear to be at incredibly low prices, on level with values seen prior to Q310’s commodity bull run. This is regardless of gold and silver being approximately 30% and 50% higher, respectively.” I agree that current share prices in the junior precious metals space are comparative to that timeframe, but we have been in a risk-off sector investing environment since last July, and you are operating in a high-risk sector. Share prices are low but without investors bidding up prices, how are we going to see a rebound in junior precious metals equities?

Philip Ker: We are seeing current market conditions affect the junior mining space, but also educating investors and helping them identify lower-risk opportunities in projects that are backed by strong management, and ones that can provide value growth in the future. We will need to see continuous positive news, particularly from the senior and midtier producers, at which point it should give more traction toward junior equities. I also expect mergers and acquisitions) activity to be a key factor for the juniors as a result of the strong balance sheets senior producers continue to build; as they look to replenish diminishing production portfolios they will target junior developers coming online.

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Dr. Copper In The House: Thom @ Large

January 27, 2012

By Thom Calandra

VANCOUVER, Canada — Vancouver’s two January resources get-ups, Cambridge House for investors and B.C. Round Up for geos & technicians, gave us flogging five-day rains, one superb NHL hockey match … and plenty of hard-asset bravado:

  • “I don’t own stocks any more; I own colored diamonds,” diamond seller Colin Ferguson told me at a private party I hosted with Cambridge House‘s Joe Martin. (I invite the guests and Joe entertains ’em.)  Mr. Ferguson, a 51-year-old Vancouver Island resident, says we’ll see reports of diamond warehousing by aggressive hedge funds. Worldwide demand for diamonds is on track to exceed supply by 7 million carats. The “coloreds,” champagnes (cognac hues), pinks, blues and greens, are beginning to flash in fashion-minded markets. Colin will be at Mr. Martin’s Palm Springs investment conference at Indian Wells, California, in two weeks. I want to see more of these stones. (See: www.

    Dr. Clarke At PMI Gold Booth

  • “Poly-metallic mines and properties are always in demand,” Tom Macneill says. I came across Mr. Macneill, a lifelong  Saskatchewan resident and longtime chief of 49 North Resources (FNR in Canada), across the street from Waterfront at lunchtime. Tom, sitting at a lunch counter, is sitting on his merchant bank’s 10-percent-plus ownership of surging DNI Metals (DNI). DNI is a northern Canada smorgasbord of elements in an expansive property portfolio. I am fortunate to own FNR and DNI after a fishing trip a couple years back with Tom, Bob Bishop, Doug Casey and others, way up there in Saskatchewan. (By the way, Mr. Macneill is hot on uranium prospectors right now — especially one big one whose first letter is C and its last O.)
  • I tested my latest think on the exhibit floor at the Joe show; copper-gold porphyrys will outpace market gains of all metals equities in coming weeks. “When Dr. Copper is in the house, it’s a very, very, very good house,” says Don Mosher. Don represents Riverstone Resources (RVS), a Burkina Faso prospector whose shares look ready to bust out after a largely ignored resource report. A geologist I rely on for analysis, Dr. Peter Megaw of Minaurum (Gold (MGG), Candente Gold and others, told me, “Copper is a big-company business. A billion tonnes of half-percent copper with the gold credit blended in, that takes care of a lot of the risk of taking on a development.”

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