Friday, 23 December 2011

Quia Resources boosts private placement financing to $3.5 mln

Quia Resources (CVE:QIA) raised its previously announced private placement by $500,000 on Friday, bringing the total value of the financing up to $3.5 million.
The gold exploration company said it will now issue about 23.33 million units at $0.15 per share. Each unit consists of one common Quia share and one half of a common share purchase warrant.
Each full warrant entitles the holder to acquire one common share of the company for $0.30 for a period of two years from the closing date. The warrants are subject to an acceleration right at the option of the company, Quia said.
Late last month, Quia had announced its original private placement financing plans, where it intended to issue only 15 million units at $0.20 each, for total proceeds of $3.0 million.
The private placement is expected to close on or around January 6, 2012.
The proceeds of the offering will be used to fund exploration at the company's San Lucas property in Colombia, to pursue acquisitions and for general working capital purposes.
A finder's fee and finder's warrants will also be distributed in connection with the financing.
Quia Resources is a gold exploration company focused in Colombia. The San Lucas gold belt is among the least explored and most prospective gold belts in Colombia.
In October, the company announced initial drill results from the first seven holes ever drilled, in the Guamoco district of the San Lucas gold belt.
The seven holes were drilled at the La Colina and La Rueda anomalies and are part of an ongoing larger 5,000 metre program designed to develop a better understanding of the geology and mineralization in the district, as well as to develop a deposit model for the respective anomalies.
Highlights included hole SL1101, which intersected 7.6 metres of 0.34 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, and hole SL1104, which returned 3.25 metres of 0.33 g/t gold, 4.15 metres of 0.37 g/t gold and 5.50 metres of 0.32 g/t gold.

PMI reports more results from Obotan, confirms continuity, new estimate due early 2012

PMI Gold (CVE:PMC) (ASX:PVM) said Friday continues to confirm the resource model at its wholly owned Obotan gold project in Ghana with the receipt of assays from another 24 diamond drill holes.
To date, the company has completed 267 drill holes over 68,375 metres at the four deposits at Obotan. Three drill rigs remain active at the site to continue resource definition drilling and feasibility drilling.
On the larger Nkran deposit, assays returned 16.0 metres grading 7.45 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, including 13.12 g/t gold over 7.0 metres, in hole NKR11-076. NKR11-077 intersected 37.0 metres grading 3.08 g/t gold, including 4.57 g/t gold over 7.0 metres, and 8.58 g/t gold over 6.0 metres.
NKR11-079, also on the Nkran deposit, returned 68.0 metres grading 1.88 g/t gold, including 3.0 metres at 8.69 g/t gold, 12.0 metres at 2.15 g/t gold, and 19.0 metres at 2.26 g/t gold.
The drill holes at Nkran are infill holes that were designed to provide improved confidence to resources at the deposit.
At the Adubiaso satellite deposit, assays returned 4.0 metres grading 3.47 g/t gold, including 1.0 metres at 11.08 g/t gold in hole ADP11-012.
Meanwhile, hole ADP11-021 intersected 3.0 metres at 47.79 g/t gold, including 1.0 metre at 133.5 g/t gold, and hole ADP11-023 hit 8.0 metres at 2.69 g/t gold, including 2.0 metres at 5.54 g/t gold.
Mineralization at Adubiaso remains open to the north along strike, PMI said, providing potential to boost resources.
ABP11-038 on the Abore deposit found 23.0 metres at 5.40 g/t gold, including 4.0 metres at 22.91 g/t gold, while ABP11-056 hit 5.0 metres at 20.27 g/t gold, including 53.33 g/t gold over 1.0 metre.
Only one hole was drilled on the fourth deposit, Asudai, which returned low grades, PMI said.
PMI said it will include all the latest results in a new resource estimate for the property, due for completion in early 2012. It will also use the data for a prefeasibility study for Obotan, which it expects to complete by the end of calendar 2011.
The company said the latest results confirm the strong continuity of the gold mineralization at the project, which remains open along strike and at depth.
The current resource estimate for the property, which was released in October, included 14.67 million tonnes grading 2.66 g/t gold for 1.22 million ounces of contained gold in the measured category; 27.5 million tonnes grading 2.32 g/t gold for 2.0 million ounces of contained gold in the indicated category; and 17.54 million tonnes at 2.35 g/t gold for 1.29 million ounces of contained gold in the inferred category.
In other news, PMI also announced that a new sample preparation facility has been set up at Obotan for use exclusively by the company. Delays in assay turn-around time at the contract laboratories in Ghana led PMI to contract AMS/MinAnalytical Laboratory Services Australia to supply and operate a sample preparation facility at the Nkran deposit.
The first sample was processed in November, and PMI said it expects to see an improvement in turn-around time for results.
On the TSX-Venture Exchange, PMI shares closed Thursday at $0.99. So far this year, the Ghana-based company's stock has gained 54.69 percent.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sunridge Gold poised for upward valuation trend in 2012, says Ocean Equities

Based on a recent site visit to Sunrige Gold's (CVE:SGC) properties in Eritrea, the company received a stellar assessment from capital markets firm Ocean Equities Thursday, who said Sunridge was poised for a "significant re-rating" in 2012.
"A recent site visit hosted by Sunridge Gold...highlighted the quality of mineral deposits in Eritrea and the exciting prospects of mining in a nation that currently has a severe misconception from the investment community," Ocean analyst Adam Lucas said.
"Mining in Eritrea is gaining momentum with policies and procedures in place facilitating the development of a valuable industry for the country. Sunridge is poised for a significant re-rating as we enter 2012."
In the report, Ocean highlighted key factors that could provide impetus for an upward trend in Sunridge's valuation in the new year, including feasibility studies on all advanced projects due in the first quarter of 2012.
Early next year, the company is expecting to release a feasibility study (FS) on the Debarwa project, which will include a production schedule with initial direct shipping ore copper production to ensure "quick ramp up, and access to early cash flow", Ocean said.
"The study will be an important milestone for the company as Sunridge will then be able to effectively assign a value to the Debarwa project supporting the application of a mining license in Eritrea."

The Debarwa copper-zinc-gold volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit is located approximately 25 kilometres south-southwest of the capital city Asmara, and is accessible by a paved road from

The mineralization at Debarwa consists of a surface oxide gold zone extending to approximately 65 metres depth, with a higher grade sulphate rich gold and silver transition zone that is underlain by an enriched "copper supergene zone" to around 110 metres depth. The supergene zone is in then underlain by a copper/zinc-rich primary sulphide zone.

Included in the copper supergene mineralized area is a Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) zone, which represents a relatively low risk operation from a metallurgical standpoint, and would minimize the required capital to bring Debarwa into production, the research report noted.

In addition, pre-feasibility studies (PFS) on the Northern Asmara assets, including the Emba Derho, Adi Nefas and Gupo deposits, are scheduled to be released to the market late in the first quarter. The Northern Asmara assets are shaping up as Sunridge's primary assets, with the large 62 million tonne Emba Derho VMS deposit set to become the company's processing hub in the region.
The Emba Derho VMS deposit is located approximately 12 kilometres northwest of the capital city of Asmara. A total of 70,000 metres of drilling was completed at the deposit, for a current indicated resource of 62.48 million tonnes, consisting of a gold oxide cap of 3.5 million tonnes at 0.84 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, a zinc-rich primary zone of 20.55 million tonnes at 2.35% zinc, and a copper-rich primary zone of 38.43 million tonnes at 1.02% copper.
Optimization studies analyzing the blending of material from the Emba Derho, Adi Nefas, Gupo and Debarwa deposits are also being evaluated in the pre-feasibility study.
Another catalyst for Sunridge's re-rating, is that the company recently finished an additional 20,000 metres of drilling to bring the indicated resource at Emba Derho into the measured category, so as to support further feasibility studies. A new resource estimate at Emba is also due in the first quarter.

A 90-hole drill campaign at the Gupo gold deposit has also been completed. So far, results from 36 of the holes have been released, with early indications suggesting Sunridge will be able to convert the existing 189,000 ounce inferred resource to the indicated category, and potentially increase the total resource to 300,000 ounces of gold.

Ocean also noted in its report that recently-instituted UN sanctions on Eritrea will not affect the mining industry.

In October, draft UN reports were released proposing a tightening of sanctions in Eritrea, including a ban on foreign investment in the country's mining industry. This month, however, the UN approved watered-down sanctions that require mining companies "to exercise vigilance to ensure funds generated from mining are not used to destabilize the region".

"As a result mining will be able to continue to flourish in the region, with the government of Eritrea as a strategic partner in mining projects this is assisting companies to develop the valuable industry," Ocean said.

The report brings Nevsun Resources (TSE:NSU) as an example of how profitable mining in Eritrea can be. Throughout the year, this company has ramped up operations at its Bisha mine, and has generated US$242 million from operating cash flows for the nine months ending in September. Nevsun also has low operating costs of under $300 per ounce - achieved with the help of Eritrea's government, said Ocean.

Sunridge has a market capitalization of C$40.5 million, a treasury position of US$13 million, no debt on its balance sheet, and an enterprise value of C$27.5m for a growing resource of 1.28 billion pounds of copper, 2.5 billion pounds of zinc, 1.21 million ounces of gold and 31.8 million ounces of silver.
"On an asset valuation basis Sunridge is the cheapest East African base/precious metal development company with an EV/EqAu multiple considerably lower than its direct peers," the Ocean report concluded.
"The location of all of Sunridge’s assets are within close proximity to the capital city of Asmara, and pending feasibility studies are due in Q1’12 on all of Sunridge’s advanced projects. Entry to Sunridge at this valuation offers significant upside potential throughout 2012."
Sunridge was changing hands Thursday afternoon at around 35.5 cents, up around 1.43 percent as of 12:32pm ET.
Currently, the company has four advanced projects and "blue-sky exploration potential" for its targets of Adi Rassi, Torat, Dairo Paulos and Adi Mussa. The Adi Rassi and Torat targets are located approximately four kilometres east of the Debarwa deposit.

Rare Element announces probable expansion of Bear Lodge project resources

Rare Element Resources (TSE:RES) (AMEX:REE) said Thursday that it received drill results that could potentially expand resources at the Bull Hill and Whitetail Ridge targets, part of its wholly owned Bear Lodge rare earth project, located in northeastern Wyoming.
At Bull Hill, the company drilled three holes to test the eastern and southeastern limits of the deposit. Hole RES11-09 intersected 2.64 percent total rare earth oxides (TREO) over 71.5 feet.
In addition to testing these same limits, Rare Element said its four drill holes completed on the Bull Hill West target were also intended to expand the resource to the west, across the drainage in the area.
Hole RES11-39 intersected 2.77 percent TREO over 172 feet, 3.89 percent TREO over 29.5 feet, 2.31 percent TREO over 68 feet, and 3.71 percent TREO over 72 feet. It also hit 32.5 feet grading 2.99 percent TREO, and 64.5 feet grading 3.71 percent TREO.
Also on the Bull Hill West area, RES11-42 returned 37 feet grading 2.03 percent TREO, and 43.5 feet at 2.44 percent TREO.
At the Whitetail Ridge area, where Rare Element drilled four holes, RES11-30 intersected 18.5 feet at 2.13 percent TREO, 25 feet at 2.44 percent TREO, and 89.5 feet at 3.64 percent TREO.
Meanwhile, RES11-45 found 60.5 feet at 4.79 percent TREO, 21 feet at 2.72 percent TREO, and 24 feet at 2.22 percent TREO.
"The current results indicate that the Bull Hill mineralized zone may continue to the west into the Bull Hill West Target area, and the next resource estimate should reflect this expansion of the Bull Hill deposit resource," commented VP of exploration, Dr. Jim Clark.
"Similarly, the results from Whitetail Ridge also indicate a probable significant expansion of that resource. We continue to be encouraged by the upside potential of the Bear Lodge REE District."
In other news, Rare Element said it completed two pilot plant metallurgical tests during the year. The tests involved about nine tons of high grade rare earth elements (REEs), grading between four and eight percent rare earth oxide (REO), and four tons of stockwork REEs, grading between two and four percent REO.
COO Jaye T. Pickarts said: "We are very pleased with the progress that we made on the pilot plant and its results to date.
"We have been able to run multiple tests at the pilot plant and these data will enable us to configure the optimal operating system going forward.
"As we analyze the data and conduct more pilot plant test runs next year, we anticipate more good news from the company on metallurgical and operational results."
Rare Element said initial results from the metallurgical tests have been promising, with results expected in early 2012, it added, once detailed analyses have been completed.
The company will also conduct additional testing in 2012 to help in the development of the design criteria to scale up the project to commercial operating levels.
The results of these tests will also be included in the pre-feasibility study, which is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2012.

Prodigy Gold almost triples projected NPV for Magino, shares jump

Prodigy Gold (CVE:PDG) Thursday unveiled an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) which almost tripled the net present value (NPV) of its 100 percent-owned Magino gold project in northern Ontario to $939 million, at a five percent discount rate.
A previous PEA completed in April gave a net present value of $351 million for the project, also at a five percent discount rate.
Thursday morning, shares in Prodigy rose 16 percent to $1. For the year to date, the junior explorer's stock is up 159 percent.
Prodigy Gold president and CEO, Brian J. Maher, said: "This update to the Magino mine PEA highlights a significant increase in the scope of our proposed mining operation.
"The proposed mill expansion to 20,000 tonnes per day allows Prodigy to expand the Magino gold production profile to 249,300 ounces of gold per year, establishing the project as one of the larger proposed gold mining operations in North America.
"The PEA will serve as the template for a full feasibility study, expected to be completed in 2012. The results of the PEA validate our operational model for Magino and the company looks forward to rapidly advancing the project in the coming year."
Thursday's updated, NI 43-101-compliant PEA was completed by Wardrop, A Tetra Tech Company, with contributions from Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, and demonstrates robust economics for the proposed open pit gold mining project at Magino, the Vancouver-based junior explorer said.
Magino itself contains indicated gold resources of 2,176,000 ounces grading 1.00 g/t gold (67.6 million tonnes) and 1,721,000 ounces of inferred gold resources grading 0.99 g/t gold (54.2 million tonnes) at a cut off grade of 0.35 g/t gold.
The project is located 40 kilometres northeast of Wawa, Ontario, in Finan Township, approximately 14 kilometres southeast of the town of Dubreuilville. The property comprises seven patented mining claims, four leased mining claims and 63 unpatented mining claims totaling 1,910 hectares.
Prodigy is currently evaluating the development of Magino as an open-pit mining opportunity with the potential for deeper, higher grade gold production.
Life of mine (LOM) gold production is now projected at more than 2.614 million ounces of gold, an increase of approximately 1.1 million ounces on the prior PEA, averaging 249,300 ounces a year over an 11-year mine life.
Average LOM cash operating costs are estimated to be US$461 (C$496) per ounce, the company said.
Base case internal rate of return is 36 percent, with a payback period estimated to be 1.9 years. Pre-tax cash flow from operations over the proposed LOM is estimated at $2.08 billion, with net cash projected to be $1.52 billion over the life of the mine.
Total mineable resources are seen to be 74.234 million tonnes, grading 1.15 g/t gold with a strip ratio of 2.1:1, and gold production in the first year is projected to be approximately 350,000 ounces at a mined grade of 1.57 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
Positive news from Magino has been flowing thick and fast this year. In early August, Prodigy shares received a boost when the company encountered "encouraging" drill results. Among them, hole MA11-105 intercepted a thick zone of gold mineralization in the southwest area at 161.1 metres of 1.35 g/t gold.
Overall gold sample recoveries from 20-hole test drilling gave an average gold recovery of 92 percent.
Prodigy Gold was formed last year from the merger of Kodiak Resources and Golden Goose Exploration. The company's gold projects - including Magino - are located between the prolific Red Lake and Timmins gold camps.
The company's portfolio also includes the West Millennium, Saskatchewan uranium property and the Otish Basin uranium properties in Quebec.

Argex Mining develops world class mining assets in Quebec

Argex Mining (CVE:RGX) is a junior Canadian resource company that is developing the advanced stage La Blache titaniferous magnetite project, and also owns the Lac Brûlé high grade ilmenite and the Mouchalagane iron ore projects, which are all located on Quebec’s North Shore.

The properties are located in the Manicouagan Region, which covers portions of the Grenville Geological Province near the southern end of the Labrador Trough. The region hosts existing infrastructures including power lines, roads, rail, a deep water sea port, and offers access to skilled labour and affordable housing.

La Blache is the flagship property and hosts three known lenses: Hervieux West, Hervieux East and Lac Schmoo.

Mineral resources have been more fully defined at West Hervieux and East Hervieux with a NI 43-101 compliant Measured and Indicated Resource of 30,888,000 tonnes at 44.27% Fe, 11.26% Ti, and 0.25% V, ( 63.29% Fe2O3, 18.78% TiO2, and 0.45% V2O5 ); and an Inferred Resource of 13,013,000 tonnes at 44.11% Fe, 11.19% Ti and 0.24% V, at a cut-off grade of 40% Fe. 

A third large target has been identified at Lac Schmoo, with historic grades of 19% TiO2, 50% Fe and 0.2% V.

The resources at East and West Hervieux contain more than 5.8 million tonnes of undiluted TiO2 in the Measured and Indicated category, and 2.4 million tonnes in the Inferred category. At a titanium grade of 11.36%, they surpass titanium grades being mined by major international producers that include Iluka Resources (ASX: ILU) grading 6%, Kenmare Resources (TSE:KMR) grading 1.19%, and Sierra Rutile (LON:SRX) grading 1.35%.

The company has already completed drilling, preliminary metallurgical testing, and resource estimation, followed by a positive Preliminary Economic Assessment, and is conducting advanced metallurgical testing and pilot plant trials.

Argex recently acquired a 50.1% interest in Canadian Titanium, which owns the patented CTL process for extracting and producing TiO2 from titanium-bearing iron oxide at a purity of 99.8%, producing a product that has a colour and brightness that meets or exceeds competitive refining processes. The CTL process is an environmentally friendly and closed loop process that operates continuously and produces no chemical discharge. Argex has successfully operated a mini CTL plant for much of the current calendar year that confirms the economic viability of the process.

The process commences with an atmospheric chloride leach of crushed ore that creates a pregnant liquor solution, and culls solid barren residue for disposal. An iron solvent extraction stage produces a raffinate devoid of iron, and an organic loaded with iron that can be stripped to produce Fe2O3 grading 69%. The raffinate can then be processed to recover both V2O5 and TiO2 with a purity of 99.8%.

BBA Inc, in collaboration with Met-Chem Canada and Genivar, completed an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment of La Blache that produced a  positive internal rate of return of 32% calculated on a pre tax basis, and a net present value of $2.2 billion utilizing a discount rate of 8%. Capital costs are estimated at $801.4 million to produce 195,000 tonnes of TiO2 per year, for a mine life exceeding 25 years.

Total operating costs (net of by-products) are estimated at US$586 per tonne of TiO2 averaged over the life of the mine, and applying a sales price of US$2,846 per tonne creates a payback period of seven years. The current price of TiO2 is US$3,740 per tonne and is forecast by Ti Insight to exceed $6,000 per tonne in 2015, for high quality titanium dioxide. The iron from the resource will be processed into iron oxide briquettes and sold for US$135 per tonne.

The initial production rate is pegged at 15,000 tonnes per year, and will ramp up in stages to reach a maximum rate of 195,000 tonnes per year, via the deployment of the modular process plant. Open pit mine capital costs are estimated at US$22.8 million and hydrometallurgical plant cost is $778.6 million in order to achieve the maximum rate of production.

Recoveries in the PEA are assumed to average 87% for TiO2, 90% for Fe and 90% for V. Argex has recently announced TiO2  is now 90%.
Argex is evaluating the establishment of a small scale open pit that utilizes mining contractors, and is already in discussions with end users to design products that meet specific customer needs. This may allow for production of direct shipping ore that can be processed off site, reducing both permitting time, and capital costs.
The company has acquired the nearby Lac Brûlé deposit that hosts historic non -43-101 compliant resources of 3.8 million tonnes grading 30.1% TiO2, which may provide a secondary source of high grade feedstock.
The Mouchalagane Iron Ore Property is located 275 kilometres north of the city of Baie-Comeau, and covers 335 square kilometres of the southern end of the Labrador Trough. The project lies within the prolific Wabush geological formation that hosts large scale iron ore resources of the Fermont and Labrador City area, and forms part of a regional complex of mines that contribute more than 95% of Canada’s iron ore output.
Argex has recently announced it would sell the Mouchalagane Iron Ore Property to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Impact Iron Mines, in an initial step for a proposed “spin-off” for Argex shareholders.
The mineralization at Mouchalange is a coarse grained magnetite and hematite “meta-taconite” style that is very similar to the nearby Mont Reed and Fire Lake resources. Historical drilling across the property tested five shallow targets up to a depth of 100 metres and assayed 31 to 36% Fe.
Recent conceptual data analysis assisted by historic drilling work and recent airborne magnetics on the entire property estimated a conceptual target range of between 940 to 2.31 billion tonnes of iron ore, grading 30 to 35% Fe mineralization.
Historic drilling at Everett Lake, Crazy Lake, North Parr Lake, South Mountain and South Parr Lake allowed for the generation of a conceptual target in the range of 340 to 1,110 million tonnes; and untested areas at North, Central and Southeast allowed for the generation of an additional conceptual target in the range of 600 to 1,200 million tonnes.
Argex is capitalized at $46 million, and carries an NI 43-101 compliant and undiluted titanium dioxide resource of 141.5 tonnes for every $1,000 of the current valuation. Major producers that include Sierra Rutile at 44.9 tonnes of TiO2 are capitalized on the same basis, with Kenmore at 73.8 tonnes, and Iluka at 3.6 tonnes, illustrating the significant undervaluation accorded to Argex and the Lac La Blache resource. 

The undervaluation becomes more glaring when the significant grades at La Blache and the iron ore resource potential at Mouchalange are added.

TrueContext Mobile Solutions closes $1 mln private placement financing

TrueContext Mobile Solutions (CVE:TMN) said late Wednesday that it has closed a non-brokered private placement financing, raising gross proceeds of $1.0 million.
The mobile app company, responsible for the ProntoForms business app, issued a total of around 5.56 million units at 18 cents each, with each unit consisting of one common share and one half of one common share purchase warrant.
Each whole warrant entitles the holder to acquire one additional common share of TrueContext at a price of 30 cents per share, at any time up to June 30, 2014.
Unless permitted under applicable securities legislation, common shares and purchase warrants comprising the units cannot be traded before April 22, 2012, the company said.
TrueContext said the new funds will be used for sales automation for operator channels, and the start of operator channel sales in new geographies, as well as for working capital purposes.
Speaking to Proactive Investors earlier this week, TrueContext's CFO Dave Croucher said the third quarter saw good quarter-on-quarter growth rates, citing the addition of US telecoms giant AT&T (NYSE:T) as a reseller as an important growth driver for the company.
Croucher also said that the company was actively working on distributing the company's services to new geographies.
The company, which in early 2010 announced its reseller partnership with AT&T, is responsible for the ProntoForms business application, which does away with paperwork and redundant data entry, allowing field workers in the retail inspection field, for example, to fill business forms out of the office from all major device platforms such as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, RIM's (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSE:RIM) Blackberry, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Mobile platform.
In the latest third quarter, US operator channel subscription revenues, such as those from the AT&T partnership, increased to $141,606, up 30 percent from the second quarter. Operator channels subscribers per month increased 24 percent over the second quarter, to 4,486.
The app, which is available for purchase directly through AT&T's Small Business Mobile Application Recommender Tool (SMART), allows companies to streamline their out-of-office processes and workflows by turning paper forms into mobile ones. ProntoForms allows users to create forms, generate reports, as well as capture signatures and photos within minutes, all in real-time over the AT&T wireless network.
Data on the mobile form is then maintained securely in a data-center, and can be turned into emails or PDF reports, instantly accessible with an internet connection or connected to back office systems.
The app hits the sweet spot in terms of what small and medium businesses desire for mobile applications - it is a tool that will help their mobile workforce increase productivity in the field, helping businesses save time and be more effective.
Subscribers can also download templates and customize forms as they wish through the TrueContext website.
Earlier this week, the company announced product upgrades that improve the speed and efficiency of collecting and reporting data for its ProntoForms Service.
The company said that the app and portal upgrades are free to existing users, making it easier and more affordable for companies to take their paper forms mobile.
The Pro-Services team offers customized data connections to back office systems - commonly completed with four days or less of Pro-Services consulting.
Ottawa-based TrueContext, formed in 2001, has a powerful and proprietary patent portfolio, from which ProntoForms' mobile app and web-reporting portal are developed.

Allana Potash says updated resource, new equity sources expected for 2012

With a recently-completed, positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) under its belt, Allana Potash (TSE:AAA) (OTCQX:ALLRF) is expecting a host of developments in the new year, including securing equity capital from a new set of strategic investors to support its project in Ethiopia.
In late November, the company announced the results of the PEA for its Dallol potash project for production of one million tonnes, with the potential to expand output at the site to two million tonnes of muriate of potash (MOP) product per year at a later stage.
The economic study, conducted by Ercosplan and based on solution mining with a solar evaporation method, yielded, on an after-tax basis, an internal rate of return (IRR) of 36.8 percent and a net present value (NPV) of US$1.85 billion, based on a 12 percent discount rate.
The results exceeded management's expectations, said president and CEO Farhad Abasov, with the project having "one of the lowest capex and opex in the world" in the potash industry, especially when compared to Saskatchewan players in Canada.
Solar evaporation of the saturated brine solution is possible at the Dallol project due to the year-round hot temperatures and very little rainfall, in contrast to Saskatchewan. Salts harvested from the ponds at Dallol will be processed by standard flotation to create an MOP product.
The Ethiopia project also hosts shallower deposits, which means the company is not required to drill that deep, allowing for cost savings, added Abasov.
Indeed, total capital expenditures, which include production, transportation and handling and port facilities in Djibouti are estimated at $796 million, including $128 million in contingency. Total operating expenses are estimated at $90.54 per tonne of KCI with a projected payback period of three and a half years.
The PEA report is based on an operation that produces one million tonnes per year of a standard MOP product, over an initial estimated mine life of 30 years. The company also said that there is potential to ramp up operations to two million tonnes of MOP product per year after the third year of full production, with Allana currently considering additional MOP and sulphate of potash (SOP) output as well during the ongoing feasibility study, due out in the third quarter of 2012.
CEO Abasov said the company, after determining solution mining as a preferred method over open pit, is on track with the feasibility study that is now focused on process and design optimization. This includes further reducing costs through the optimization of certain parts of the operation, including cavern sizes and solar evaporation ponds, and the outsourcing of infrastructure expenditures.
In the PEA, transportation costs to Djibouti are based on a company-owned fleet of trucks, while port costs are based on Allana constructing its own port terminal in Djibouti, including product unloading and storage, shipping facilities and supporting infrastructure.
Additional studies to be included in the upcoming feasibility report will include geotechnical drilling for rock mechanic test work, pilot solution mining cavern test work and evaporation pond test work on the salt plain.
Currently, large bore drilling equipment is being mobilized to the site to conduct drilling for water resources and to facilitate the solution mining cavern work. One drill rig is occupied with geotechnical drilling, while the second rig continues with in-fill drilling and resource expansion drilling on the east side of the property, the company said.
An update to the NI 43-101 compliant technical report is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2012, with Abasov expecting substantial additions to resources on the eastern side, and an upgrade to the measured and indicated category on the western side.
Another significant advantage of the Ethiopian potash project is that it will be one of the nearest suppliers of potash to India and China, the two largest importers of potash, with India importing around 6.5 million tonnes of the fertilizer per year.
The strong project attributes and economics have allowed Allana to advance talks with new potential strategic partners for off-take agreements and other partnership structures. Abasov told Proactiveinvestors that it is currently in discussions with large, global potash buyers and agricultural companies, from which it expects developments sometime in the first half of next year.
Allana already has financial support from two strategic investors, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Liberty Metals and Mining.
The remainder of the financing for the capex of the project will come from around $480 million in debt, to be raised from non-commercial, development agencies. Allana has retained BNP Paribas as an advisor on this front, and said the process in now in "full swing".
By the end of the first quarter, CEO Abasov expects to have a "good understanding" of those interested in providing debt financing for the project, which could prove to be a significant catalyst to the company's share price.
Looking to 2012, investors can also expect a steady flow of more drilling results, with the feasibility study expected to move up a certain amount of resources to reserve status.
Total measured and indicated resources now stand at 673 million tonnes, with an average grade of 18.65% KCI, with total inferred mineral resources of 596 million tonnes at a grade of 19.96% KCI.
The company is planning to start production with one million tonnes at the initial stage by 2015, to reach peak production by year 2017. Start of construction at the project for caverns and evaporation ponds is anticipated as early as late 2012, with minimal output expected by the end of 2014.
At a discount rate of 10 percent, after-tax net present value of the potash project jumps to $2.36 billion, and at a discount rate of eight percent, net present value climbs to $3.04 billion.
Based on recent positive drilling results in the western portion of its concession and the positive PEA, Dundee Capital Markets assigned the company a "Top Pick" rating and a 12 month price target of C$2.00, while Fraser Mackenzie rated Allana as a "Strong Buy" with a target price of $1.65.
Allana closed Wednesday at 82 cents on Toronto's main market. Its potash project is comprised of two potash concessions, located in Ethiopia's northeastern Danakil Depression, totaling approximately 160 square kilometres.

Temex Resources appoints new VP of exploration

Temex Resources Corp. (CVE:TME) said Wednesday it has appointed Karen Rees as its new vice president of exploration, effective immediately.
Rees is now in charge with the planning, management and implementation of the company’s exploration programs and development plans.
Rees, who holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan, has worked with Temex since 2003 as general manager. She brings 25 years worth of mineral exploration experience.
In addition, she has also has worked for a number of publically listed companies in roles like project manager, exploration manager and project geologist.
Her career began in 1987 exploring for gold in the Red Lake mining camp for Noramco Exploration, followed by gold and base metal exploration in northern Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan for Noranda Exploration.
Prior to joining Temex, Rees was general manager of exploration at Avalon Ventures which explored precious and rare metals projects in north-western Ontario.
In a statement, chief executive, Ian Campbell, said, "Karen has the expertise and management skills that will prove to be very valuable as Temex transitions to an advanced exploration company through the acceleration and expansion of our gold and silver exploration projects in north-eastern Ontario."
"Karen significantly strengthens our senior executive team, has been instrumental in Temex's precious metals portfolio and corporate growth to date, and we are very pleased to have her lead our exploration group at this exciting time."
Separately, the company said its board has approved a $3 million exploration budget for November 2011 to June 2012.
Temex said it plans to perform diamond drilling on its Whitney gold project in Timmins, Ontario, where two drills are currently active – in a joint venture with Goldcorp (TSE:G).
The impetus of this work is to develop near surface NI 43-101 compliant gold resources on both the Hallnor and Broulan Reef blocks.
Additionally, the company also intends to complete an updated NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate for the Juby gold project near Timmins as well as drill test a number of exploration targets in the area of the resource.

TrueContext Q3 revenues spike on subscriber growth

TrueContext Mobile Solutions (CVE:TMN) said Tuesday its third quarter revenues more than doubled as the company continued to drive subscriber growth.
The company, which in early 2010 announced its partnership with AT&T (NYSE:T), is responsible for the ProntoForms business application, which does away with paperwork and redundant data entry, allowing field workers in the retail inspection field, for example, to fill business forms from Apple, Blackberry, Android, or Microsoft-powered devices as required.
For the three months that ended September 30, TrueContext posted revenues of $423,593, more than double the 170,054 it posted a year ago. Sequentially, revenues rose 25 percent over the $338,628 in the second quarter.
The total average number of subscribers per month increased 19 percent sequentially, to 7,887 in the third quarter.
Licensing sales hiked to $273,938, from $115,725 a year ago and from $220,270 in the second quarter, while services drew in $149,655 in revenues, up from $54,329 a year ago and from $118,358 in the second quarter.
US operator channel subscription revenues, such as those from the AT&T partnership, increased to $141,606, up 30 percent from the second quarter. Operator channels subscribers per month increased 24 percent over the second quarter, to 4,486.
"Our third quarter results show that we are achieving strong revenue and subscriber growth and recently we passed the mark of activating 10,000 paying subscribers," commented CEO Alvaro Pombo.
"Additionally, we exceeded 1,200 customers, demonstrating to use that our operator channels are working effectively.
"With our solid customer acquisition rates, we are increasing our focus on maximizing adoption usage within our customer organizations to provide growth in our subscriber base and the resulting recurring source of cash.
The ProntoForms mobile app, which is available for purchase directly through AT&T's Small Business Mobile Application Recommender Tool (SMART), allows companies to streamline their out-of-office processes and workflows by turning paper forms into mobile ones. ProntoForms allows users to create forms, generate reports, as well as capture signatures and photos within minutes, all in real-time over the AT&T wireless network.
Data on the mobile form is then maintained securely in a data-center, and can be turned into emails or PDF reports, instantly accessible with an internet connection or connected to back office systems.
The app hits the sweet spot in terms of what small and medium businesses desire for mobile applications - it is a tool that will help their mobile workforce increase productivity in the field, helping businesses save time and be more effective. Subscribers can also download templates and customize forms as they wish through the TrueContext website.
The company continues to work to improve its product line, boosting research and development expenses by 64 percent to $513,662. Selling and marketing expenses doubled to $401,097, while general and administrative expenses hiked 58 percent to $242,520.
As a result, TrueContext said it widened its net loss to $747,157, or $0.01 loss per share, compared to a loss of $499,982, or $0.01 per share, a year ago.
"In addition to achieving the 10,000 target, we have learned a great deal about delivery of our product through operator channels and the end customers' use of our product," Pombo added.
"These advancements will be put to use as we set our sights on achieving 100,000 subscribers and more. Our operator channels are key to our success and we continue to drive subscriber growth with these partners as well as exploring additional channels in new markets."

Avalon Rare Metals retains SNC-Lavalin to complete Nechalacho feasibility study

Avalon Rare Metals (TSE:AVL)(AMEX:AVL) said Wednesday it has retained SNC-Lavalin to complete a feasibility study for its Nechalacho rare earth elements (REEs) project, located in Thor Lake, Northwest Territories.

The feasibility study, which is expected for completion at the end of 2012, will build on the updated prefeasibility study, which the company published in July.

It will support raising the capital required to bring the project into commercial operation by confirming the technical and economic viability of the Nechalacho project, Avalon said.

Avalon COO Brian Chandler commented: "This is an important milestone for Avalon as we move into the final stage of project evaluation and preparation before we formally commence construction at Nechalacho.

"SNC-Lavalin's capacity and broad experience in all aspects of project development from engineering to, procurement, logistics, contracts administration, safety and risk management, as well as tendering for construction, will be invaluable to successfully developing the project."

The July 2011 prefeasibility study estimated that the project will yield a 34 percent internal rate of return, on an after-tax basis, compared to the prior estimate of 12 percent. The after-tax net present value also rose to $1.27 billion, at a 10% discount rate, versus the earlier $97 million.

The deposit's 20-year mine life was based on a new probable mineral reserve estimate of 14.5 million tonnes of 1.53 percent total rare earth oxides (TREO), 2.90 percent zirconium oxide (ZrO2), 0.38 percent niobium oxide (Nb2O5) and 0.04 percent tantalum oxide (Ta2O5).

Indeed, the average TREO price used for the mine plan was also $46.33 per kilogram, a significant boost from the $21.94 per kilogram price used in June of last year.

The 100 percent-owned Nechalacho Deposit is emerging as one of the largest undeveloped rare earth elements resources in the world. It consists of an underground mine and backfill past plant, as well as tailings facilities, a power plant, accommodations, an airstrip and docking facilities, and an REE separation plant.

The mine's enrichment in the more valuable 'heavy' rare earth elements, which are key to advancing green energy technology, is one of the few potential sources of these elements outside of China, currently the source of 95 percent of world supply.

Avalon expects to put the project into production by 2015, with an anticipated year one 1,833 tonne per day production schedule, ramping up to 2,000 tonnes per day in year two. Total capital costs are estimated at $902 million.

In Toronto, Avalon shares were in line with the metals and mining sector, shedding 1.93 percent to $2.54, as of 2:24 pm EDT.

Bravo Gold shares spike nearly 20% on high-grade gold discovery at Homestake Ridge

Bravo Gold (CVE:BVG) said Wednesday it discovered a new high-grade gold mineralization on the South Reef zone of its wholly-owned Homestake Ridge project, located in northwestern British Columbia, sending its shares up nearly 20 percent.

On the TSX-Venture Exchange, Bravo shares traded up 18.18 percent to $0.065, as of 11:40 am EDT.

The company had received assays from two of three core holes that intersected the target structure on the previously undrilled South Reef zone.

Notable assays from hole 11HR-232 intersected 8.7 metres grading 11.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 1.6 g/t silver, and 0.1 percent copper, including 30.8 g/t gold, 3.3 g/t silver, and 0.3 percent copper over 3.1 metres.

Hole 11HR-234 intersected 3.0 metres grading 12.9 g/t gold and 3.0 g/t silver, including 1.0 metres at 37.3 g/t gold and 7.7 g/t silver.

This hole tested the zone to a 240-metre depth, where it remains open. Assays also returned 6.3 metres grading 3.4 g/t gold, 15.7 g/t silver, and 0.6 percent copper, including 1.95 metres at 4.5 g/t gold, 44.0 g/t silver, and 2.0 percent copper.

Assays for the third hole, which was drilled about 50 metres along strike from hole 11HR-234, are still pending.

To date, Bravo said it has received assays from 15 of the season's 23 holes drilled on the Homestake Ridge property. The company is awaiting results from five holes drilled on the southeast margin of the Homestake Silver zone, two holes drilled on the South Reef zone, which is open along strike for over 750 metres and at depth, and on hole on a peripheral target.

The large, 2,585 hectare Homestake project is being advanced as a potential high-grade underground mining operation, with a current NI 43-101 compliant indicated resource, at a 3.0 grams per tonne (g/t) gold equivalent cut-off, of 191,000 ounces gold and 1.35 million ounces of silver, plus an inferred resource of 530,000 ounces of gold and 13.47 million ounces of silver.

Aside from its B.C. projects, Bravo also holds an 11.7 percent interest in Bravada Gold Corporation (CVE:BVA), which is exploring 22 projects in Nevada.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Prophecy Coal: 2011 in review, expects to secure project financing for Chandgana in 2012

Prophecy Coal (TSE:PCY) provided investors with a full year 2011 recap to its operational activities Wednesday.
Namely, the company focused on its operations at the Ulaan Ovoo mine, located 430 kilometres from the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbataar, and about 17 kilometres from the Russian border.
The company advanced the Ulaan Ovoo project to production, having mined 230,000 tonnes of coal to date, and selling a total of 130,000 tonnes of coal.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, Prophecy signed several sales agreements for 90,000 tonnes of coal, with buyers from both Russia and Mongolia.
Prophecy expects Ulaan Ovoo to produce between 300,000 to 500,000 tonnes of coal in 2012, with increasing sales to Russia and at higher selling prices.
The company also said it expects the Russian border crossing at Zeltura, located about 10 kilometres from the mine, to open in 2012, which will reduce transportation costs.
While selling coal through the Russian eastern seaports has been complex and difficult, Prophecy said, it will further pursue this option in the second half of 2012, after it focuses first on its Chandgana Power Plant project.
In November, Prophecy received a construction license for its 600 megawatt (MW) power plant - the first in Mongolian history. The plant will be located at the mouth of the Chandgana Tal coal mine, which Prophecy secured a mining license for in 2011.
Construction for the plant is expected to start in 2013, with completion slated for 2016. Prophecy said it plans on securing up to 80 percent of the required capital through debt financing from Chinese policy banks. To raise the remaining capital in equity, the company said it will rely on the financial model from the completed Evonik-Steag power plant feasibility study.
Prophecy said it hopes to sign an equipment, procurement and construction (EPC) contract as well as a power purchase agreement (PPA) by mid-year 2012, and complete the financing of the Chandgana project by the end of 2012.
Also this year, Prophecy completed the spin-off of its Canadian assets to Prophecy Platinum (CVE:NKL), in which it holds 22.5 million shares, or 40.8 percent. It also graduated to trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, from the more junior TSX-Venture market.
"With a substantial coal resource in Mongolia and 22.5 million shares of Prophecy Platinum, Prophecy Coal is currently trading below its book value," said the company in a statement.
"While market volatility in the past several months has discouraged some of our shareholders, the Company has remained focused on unlocking the tremendous value of our 1.2-billion-tonne Chandgana coal resource, which is approximately 350 km from China, the world's most populous country and second largest economy."
As of 12:30 pm EDT, Prophecy Coal shares traded up 3.75 percent to $0.415.

Quantum recaps operations at Elk Creek, to complete PEA by spring 2012

Quantum Rare Earth Developments (CVE:QRE) recapped its operational activities at its Elk Creek project in southeastern Nebraska during 2011, and divulged its plans for the new year.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based company said it plans to hire an outside engineering firm to complete an updated NI 43-101 resource calculation, and is in the final stages of signing an agreement for an independent preliminary economic assessment for the property, slated for completion in the spring of 2012.
It also plans to complete additional infill drilling in order to upgrade resources to the measured and indicated category, Quantum said.
In March, Quantum released the most current NI 43-101 resource report on the property, which showed an inferred resource of 80.1 million tonnes grading 0.62 percent niobium pentoxide, for 493.2 million kilograms of niobium pentoxide.

Niobium pentoxide is a naturally occurring form of niobium, which is frequently used in metal alloys, and is a crucial part of jet thrusters, MRI machines, stainless steel, and steel used in bridges, buildings, and oil and gas pipelines.

Quantum continued its drill program on the property, and in July announced the results of drill hole NEC11-01, which targeted an infill zone where the NI 43-101 report did not have any credits. This hole reported 235 metres grading 0.73 percent niobium pentoxide, including 54 metres at 1.17 percent niobium pentoxide.

In August, the company announced additional results, including 179 metres grading 0.87 percent niobium pentoxide, including 131 metres at 1.02 percent niobium pentoxide, in hole NEC11-002.

Quantum also signed a metallurgical testing agreement with Hazen Research, intended to test the niobium recoveries from recently drilled core.

Quantum expects to receive these results in 2012.

Additional drill results were received in September, including hole NEC11-004, which returned 236 metres grading 2.1 percent total rare earth oxide (TREO), including 68 metres at 3.32 percent TREO.

In November and December, the company completed parts of its plan to focus on its Elk Creek project, including the completion of option agreements to divest its Australian and Ontario properties, and the completion of a $750,000 financing.

Quantum Rare Earth's president and CEO, Peter Dickie said: "We are particularly proud of the accomplishments made by our development team this year on the Elk Creek deposit.

"We are well-positioned to reach the next level of development of our large niobium resource, and our dedicated development team continues to work hard towards achieving these goals."

Looking forward, Quantum said it plans to engage an outside engineering firm to complete an updated NI 43-101 resource calculation, as well as a preliminary economic assessment for the property.

It also plans to complete additional infill drilling in order to upgrade the deposit to the indicated and measured category, Quantum said.

New Dawn Mining swings to Q4 profit, production, revenues soar

Zimbabwe-focused junior gold miner New Dawn Mining Corp. (TSE:ND) said late Tuesday that it swung to a fourth quarter profit from a prior year loss, and nearly tripled earnings on a sequential basis, as production and revenues rose sharply.

For the quarter that ended September 30, the company reported net income of $2.56 million, or six cents per share, compared to a loss of 1.01 million, or a three cent loss per share, a year ago.

In the third quarter ending June 30, 2011, New Dawn reported a profit of of $0.85 million or two cents per share.

For the latest quarter, the junior gold miner reported total gold production of 8,814 ounces, or 8,212 attributable ounces, more than double the 4,141 total gold ounces, or 4,024 attributable ounces, in the year-ago period.

In the previous third quarter, New Dawn recorded 6,841 ounces of total gold production, or 6,335 attributable ounces.

Total consolidated sales in the fourth quarter were US$14.06 million, at an average sales price of US$1,705 per ounce of gold. Of the $14.06 million, $13.15 million was attributable to New Dawn.

The latest sales are almost triple the total gold sales of US$5.06 million, or $4.95 million attributable, in the year-ago period, at an average sales price of US$1,239 per ounce of gold.

In the third quarter, the company posted revenue of $9.79 million, or $9.20 million attributable. 

New Dawn now holds a 100 percent interest in Central African Gold, furthering its goal of becoming a mid-tier gold producer of assets in Zimbabwe.

Central African has five principal gold properties in the country, which include the Dalny Mine, the Golden Quarry Mine, the Venice Mine, the Camperdown Mine and the Old Nic Mine. When New Dawn acquired an initial interest in CAG in June of last year, all the mines were on care and maintenance, but since the company invested heavily in these operations, four of the sites have now resumed operations.

Aside from the Central African assets, New Dawn owns and operates the Turk and Angelus Mines in the upper southwest area of Zimbabwe that have the potential to produce an estimated 35,000 to 50,000 ounces of gold per year.

Attributable ounces or sales reflects New Dawn's net ownership interest in each producing mining property for the respective period, after adjusting for other minority interests.

The company said it expects continued sustainable growth in quarterly production and revenues in fiscal 2012. New Dawn is currently expanding its consolidated annualized gold production, with a target of 60,000 ounces by the end of 2012 and 100,000 ounces by the end of 2014.  At year-end, the company is expected to have  2,000 tonnes per day of milling capacity.

During the year, the company made significant operational progress, it said, including arranging for continuous electrical supply contracts for power at Turk and Angelus, the Dalny and the Golden Quarry Mines.

New Dawn also raised $7.44 million of new equity to support operations and fund the integration of its Central African Gold assets.

For fiscal 2011, the company reported record consolidated revenues of $38.29 million, and net income of $4.21 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to revenues of $16.38 million and a net loss of $0.79 million, or two cents per share, in 2010.

Looking forward, the company said it plans to increase its current workforce in Zimbabwe of around 2,350 employees, funded from the re-investment of increasing operating cash flows generated by its mining operations.

Currently, the government of Zimbabwe is in the process of implementing an indigenisation policy under which all domestic businesses are to be 51 percent owned by indigenous Zimbabweans.

New Dawn's Zimbabwe operating subsidiaries, Casmyn Mining Zimbabwe Limited, Falcon Gold Zimbabwe Limited and Olympus Mines Limited, are all non-indigenous companies for purposes of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act signed in 2008.

Under the new policy announced earlier this year, each non-indigenous mining company with net assets in excess of US$1 was required to dispose of 51 percent, less any percentage previously indigenised, of its shares to a designated entity by September 25, 2011.

In August of this year, New Dawn said it signed a "confidential memorandum of understanding" document with the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, which established a broad-based framework for engagement with the government in regards to the implementation of New Dawn's proposed indigenisation plan.

The plan includes engaging directly with indigenous sources of capital in Zimbabwe and, potentially, arranging a secondary listing of its common shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, the company said. New Dawn is also considering establishing employee share ownership schemes and community trusts that would result in broad-based participation by indigenous Zimbabweans.

The finalization of the plan, which could take several months, is expected to provide New Dawn with access to additional working capital resources to support its efforts to increase gold production, it concluded.

"In light of the current uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the Indigenisation regulations over a short timeframe, management of New Dawn believes that the company's current share price, which has lost substantial value since the Indigenisation regulations were gazetted on March 25, 2011, is now well below fair value, and does not reflect the company's inherent value or future potential," New Dawn noted in a statement. 

"To the extent that the company is able to obtain Zimbabwe government approval for its proposed Indigenisation Plan and, in conjunction therewith, arrange for equity-based transactions reflective of fair value with qualified indigenous investors, the elimination of the uncertainty with respect to Indigenisation and the additional operating capital would likely be viewed positively by the market."

Shares of New Dawn were up more than 2.8 percent on Wednesday morning, trading at $1.08 as of 9:53am ET.

St. Elias Mines says Chinese official meetings raise profile in the country

High-level business meetings between Vancouver’s St. Elias Mines (CVE:SLI), and the Chinese government this week could pave the way for funding opportunities by investors in that country, the gold miner said Tuesday.

Two St. Elias representatives met with high-ranking Chinese officials and investors to discuss China’s growing economy and its commodities interests globally.

St. Elias vice president, Murry Braucht, and director, Dr. Duncan Bain, met on Monday with Dr. Yang Mengxin, director of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange.

The visit wrapped up Tuesday with a discussion about St. Elias’ operations and development plans in Peru with Madame Zheng Han, chairwoman of Beijing Micro Cleaner Biotechnology.

“By meeting with officials ranked this high in the system, we were able to secure approvals for investment companies across China to look at St. Elias for investment as well as secure approval to apply for listing in Asia,” said Launchpad Asia’s managing director of North America, Chad Lewis.

The impact of the meeting was almost immediate, Lewis said. By the time the St. Elias delegation returned from its trip, Launchpad Asia had fielded more than two dozen inquiries from Chinese investment firms and brokerage companies seeking meetings with St. Elias.

“It fast tracked efforts in China substantially,” he added.

St. Elias' Braucht and Bain, who also traveled to China to attend a mining conference in Shenzhen, were hosted by Gilbert Chan of NAI Interactive, from Vancouver, Canada, prior to their time in Beijing with Launchpad Asia.

Bain said: “This visit, and the high-level contacts we have made through Chad Lewis at Launchpad China LLC and Gilbert Chan at NAI Interactive have opened many new doors for us throughout China. We look forward with great excitement to going back in the very near future to tell the St. Elias gold story to major Chinese investors.”

St. Elias is a Vancouver-based mining operations company focused on the acquisition and development of gold properties in Peru.

Earlier this month, the company said it doubled the ongoing diamond drilling program at its Tesoro gold project in Peru to 20,000 metres.

In order to do this, the company said it is taking all necessary steps to mobilize a second diamond drill rig to the project - expected to come on site at the start of the new year.

Additional mechnical trenching on the both the Main Structural Corridor and the Parallel Structural Corridor is due to begin in January.

The drilling program has been designed to test near-surface and deeper-seated geophysical anomalies identified by Titan 24 geophysical surveys, the company added.

The Tesoro gold project is 100 percent owned by the company with no underlying royalties, and covers roughly 6,974 hectares as part of the prolific 300 kilometre by 30 kilometre Nazca-Ocoña gold belt parallel to the Pacific coast of southwestern Peru.

To date, the company has identified five mineralized zones with more than 50 quartz veins, having a total combined length of nine kilometres at Tesoro. Underground and development work has been carried out on three of these veins so far.

Century Iron Mines executes definitive Quebec JVs with China's WISCO

Century Iron Mines (TSE:FER) and WISCO International Resources Tuesday executed a definitive agreement that will govern the joint ventures to be formed between the two companies in Quebec.
WISCO International Resources, is a unit of Wuhan Iron & Steel, China's third-largest steel producer.
In late August, the company inked a preliminary joint venture deal that would see China's WISCO invest a total of $120 million in exchange for a 40 percent interest in each of Century's Duncan Lake, Attikamagen and Sunny Lake projects.
Tuesday, the companies agreed the joint venture deals concering Century's Attikamagen and Sunny Lake projects. Execution of the joint venture agreement for the Duncan Lake project remains subject to completion of WISCO Resources’ internal processes, Century said.
Century Iron's president and CEO, Sandy Chim, said: "The execution of these first initial joint venture agreements marks another milestone in a process that was initiated in January 2011.
"The past twelve months has seen Century initiate its relationship with WISCO Resources as its strategic partner, raise over $100 million in equity financing, list on the Toronto Stock Exchange and now conclude these initial two joint venture agreements as part of an additional $120 million in joint venture funding for Century’s projects.
"We look forward to continuing the exploration of the Duncan Lake, Attikamagen and Sunny Lake projects with WISCO Resources as our key strategic partner under the joint ventures."
Sunny Lake is currently 100-percent owned by Century, while it has a 51 percent interest with Augyva Mining Resources (CVE:AUV) at  Duncan Lake, with an option to increase to 65 percent.
At Attikamagen, the company currently has an option to acquire up to a 60 percent interest in the project, with Champion Minerals (TSE:CHM).
Century Iron is an emerging iron ore exploration and development company, with iron ore assets located in Northern Quebec and Labrador.
The company has two key strategic partners in WISCO Resources and Minmetals Exploration & Development, both state-owned Chinese companies with financial and technical resources to assist the company with funding for the exploration and development of its iron ore projects.
Tueday afternoon, shares were flat at $1.92.

New Zealand Energy begins trading on OTCQX

New Zealand Energy Corp. (CVE:NZ) said Tuesday its shares began trading on the OTCQX International marketplace.
The oil and gas company, who also trades on Toronto’s junior venture exchange, said it will trade on the OTCQX under the symbol "NZERF".
"Trading on the OTCQX broadens our exposure in the United States and provides improved liquidity and transparency for New Zealand Energy's shareholders," chief executive, John Proust said in a statement.
"The OTCQX provides an efficient trading platform for U.S. investors and increased visibility for New Zealand Energy through the Standard & Poor's Market Access Program."
The company said law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP intends to serve as its Principal American Liason to provide guidance on the OTC’s regulatory needs.
OTC Markets Group (OTCQX:OTCM) runs the world’s largest electronic trading platform for broker dealers to trade unlisted securities. About 10,000 securities trade on the OTC with more than $200 billion in annual trading volume and a market cap exceeding $12 trillion.
Last week, New Zealand Energy said production from its Copper Moki-1 well free flowed at an initial rate of about 580 barrels of oil per day at the Taranaki Basin.
It expects near-term operating netbacks in excess of US$90 per barrel, and said it plans to establish permanent facilities by the middle of 2012 to handle production from more wells in the Copper Moki area.
New Zealand Energy said it has installed surface facilities to accommodate production of up to 1,000 barrels of oil per day.
The Copper Moki-1 well is the company’s first well in the Taranaki Basin. It was completed in August, and during a two day test period flowed 1,100 barrels of oil per day and 855,000 cubic feet per day of natural gas.
New Zealand Energy explores and develops petroleum and natural gas assets within New Zealand. Its property portfolio covers nearly two million acres in the Taranaki Basin and East Coast Basin of New Zealand’s North Island.
Shares were up by one cent, or 0.93 percent, rising to $1.08 each today on Toronto’s junior venture Exchange in the afternoon trading session.

International Tower appoints Robert Comer as its chief administrative officer

International Tower Hill Mines (TSE:ITH) has appointed Robert Comer as its new chief administrative officer and general counsel, the company said Tuesday.

Comer, who will be in charge of all legal matters, will now play a key role in the company’s permitting for the Livengood gold project in Alaska.

In addition, he brings nearly 25 years of experience practicing natural resource and mineral law in the U.S. 

Over the course of his career, Comer has served at the Department of Interior in executive roles like Associate Solicitor for Minerals, Land and Water and regional and counsellor solicitor.

During 2007, he held the position of general counsel and principal deputy to the office of the Federal coordinator for Alaska natural gas transportation projects. He helped to establish a new federal office involved with permitting a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the Alberta hub.

From 1994 to 2000, he performed legal services for Asarco Inc.’s mining and smelting operations. He also held positions with major law firms and provided strategic legal services to mineral and natural resource companies.

International Tower Hill Mines chief executive James Komadina said: "His tremendous legal experience in the mining and natural resource space, in particular with the U.S. Department of the Interior, will be invaluable as we advance the Livengood project through permitting and development into a major new gold mine in North America."

International Tower holds a 100 percent stake in the Livengood gold project, which can be accessed by highway about 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The company is focused on rapid development of the Livengood project as it continues to bolster its current resource and explore its 145 kilometre district for new deposits.

In August, the company reported results of an updated preliminary economic assessment for the property, with a base case net present value of a whopping $1.2 billion, alongside a significantly expanded surface mine resource.

At a processing rate of 91,000 tonnes per day, the mine was estimated to have average annual production of 664,000 ounces of gold over the first five years, and 562,000 ounces over the 23-year life of the operation, making it potentially one of the largest single gold mines in North America.

Shares of the company nudged up 15 cents, or 4.04 percent, rising to $3.86 each today on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

TrueContext improves data collection, office connectivity for ProntoForms app

TrueContext Mobile Solutions (CVE:TMN) Tuesday announced product upgrades that improve the speed and efficiency of collecting and reporting data for its ProntoForms Service.
ProntoForms are the electronic version of paper forms, improving business productivity and efficiency, as it allows companies to streamline their out-of-office processes and workflows by turning paper forms into mobile ones.
TrueContext's ProntoForms are available for use online as well as on all major device platforms such as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, RIM's (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSE:RIM) Blackberry, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Mobile platform.
The app does away with paperwork and redundant data entry, allowing field workers in the retail inspection field, for example, to fill business forms from Apple, Blackberry, Android, or Microsoft-powered devices as required.
The company said that the app and portal upgrades are free to existing users, making it easier and more affordable for companies to take their paper forms mobile.
TrueContext CEO, Alvaro Pombo, said: "Our expertise is in helping businesses access and collect data in the field, and in connecting this data to diverse cloud systems.
"Bottom line is we are making our product more readily accessible and appealing to more and more customers, from small businesses to large enterprises. Furthermore, with the new Pass-through capabilities, the data doesn't have to reside in the cloud, a requirement for some businesses."
Speaking to Proactive Investors, TrueContext's CFO Dave Croucher said the third quarter saw good quarter-on-quarter growth rates, citing the addition of US telecoms giant AT&T (NYSE:T) as a reseller as an important growth driver for the company.

Croucher also said that the company was actively working on distributing the company's services to new geographies.
The company said that ProntoForms offers "out of the box" connectivity, with an option that allows data to be transferred in many different formats to multiple destinations.
The Pro-Services team offers customized data connections to back office systems - commonly completed with four days or less of Pro-Services consulting.
Ottawa-based TrueContext, formed in 2001, has a powerful and proprietary patent portfolio, from which ProntoForms' mobile app and web-reporting portal are developed.
In November, the company said third-quarter revenues more than doubled on the prior year on growth in license and subscription revenue.
For the three months that ended September 30, revenues grew to $423,593 from $170,054 a year earlier.
As at September 30, the company had $522,443 in cash, which TrueContext's Pombo said was "sufficient to fund operations to the latter part of the fourth quarter".
Looking ahead, the company said: "As Smartphone devices continue to gain in popularity, we expect that market demand may increase for a wide variety of applications that run on this platform and that TrueContext may benefit from this increased demand for applications."
The company's mobile app is available for purchase directly through AT&T's (NYSE:T) Small Business Mobile Application Recommender Tool (SMART), through a partnership with AT&T announced in early 2010.