Monday, 30 April 2012

Temex Resources begins initial drilling on Golden Lake property

Temex Resources Corp. (CVE:TME) said Monday that it has started an initial diamond drill program on the recently-acquired Golden Lake property located on strike and to the west of its Juby Main Zone in northeastern Ontario.

The Juby Main Zone contains an NI 43-101 compliant resource of 22.3 million tonnes at a grade of 1.30 grams per tonne (g/t) gold for 934,645 ounces of gold in the indicated category and 28.2 million tonnes at a grade of 1.00 g/t gold for 905,621 ounces of gold in the inferred category, both at a cut-off grade of 0.40 g/t gold.

This resource was defined along a strike length of 2,800 metres.

With the recent acquisition of the Golden Lake property, Temex now controls 4,500 metres of strike length along the prolific Tyrrell Structural Zone, it said.

The first phase drill program at Golden Lake, planned to be 3,000 metres in around 8 holes, will test the mineralized horizons on and near the Tyrrell Structural Zone along a strike length of 600 metres.

The aim will be to provide sufficient drill data to estimate additional inferred resources, which is expected to ultimately lead to an increase in the NI 43-101 gold resource for the Juby Main Zone, Temex said.

"We are very excited to begin drill testing this new strategic land package which has the potential to greatly expand the gold resource in the Juby area," said president and CEO Ian Campbell.

"The Juby Main Zone gold deposit trends directly onto the Golden Lake Property and affords us the immediate opportunity to begin adding significant near surface gold ounces to the Juby deposit."

The Juby Main Zone forms part of the Juby gold project, located in Tyrrell Township in northeastern Ontario, 100 kilometres south of Timmins - Canada's largest gold camp.

The project is also situated along the southwestern extension of the Larder Lake - Cadillac Fault Zone, between AuRico Gold's (TSE:AUQ) Young-Davidson gold mine and Trelawney Mining's (CVE:TRR) Côté Lake gold deposit.

Iamgold (TSE:IMG) last week said it would acquire Trelawney for about $600 million, implying an acquisition price of $74 per in-situ ounce of gold, Temex said.

Temex has the option to earn 100 percent interest in its new Golden lake property, where limited drilling in 1997 by a previous operator intersected widespread gold, with multiple zones of alteration typical of the Juby Main Zone.

These zones remain open in all directions, the company said.

Highlights from the historic data include 0.98 g/t gold over 67.50 metres including 1.82 g/t gold over 12.00 metres, and 2.41 g/t gold over 24.51 metres including 5.84 g/t gold over 4.00 metres.

In addition, drilling by Temex between 2004 and 2011 up to the boundary of the Golden Lake property showed that this large gold system remains open for expansion to the northwest of the Juby Lease property.

Temex drill hole results within 100 metres of the Golden Lake boundary include 1.16 g/t gold over 21.20 metres including 3.31 g/t gold over 6.76 metres, and 1.26 g/t gold over 61.60 metres including 2.47 g/t gold over 22.30 metres and 5.43 g/t gold over 3.65 metres.

Temex is a Canadian exploration company focusing on its portfolio of precious metals properties in northeastern Ontario. The company is exploring its Timmins Whitney property, in partnership with Goldcorp (TSE:G).

Transeuro Energy to issue NOK60-90 mln in convertible bonds

Transeuro Energy Corp. (CVE:TSU) said Monday it is proceeding with the issue of a NOK60-90 million senior secured convertible bond with maturity in May 2015.

The company is currently negotiating a second funding facility of approximately C$20 million. The second financing is expected to be formally approved within one week, it said.

The main terms of the secured convertible bond are an annual interest rate at 12 percent and a conversion price at NOK0.85.

Transeuro said the minimum convertible bond size of NOK60 million has already been subscribed for by a limited number of investors, and the company has extended the subscription period to May 2 to allow other interested parties the opportunity to participate.

The received subscriptions for the contemplated convertible bond financing are subject to another financing facility currently being negotiated with one other financial institution for approximately C$20 million.

Transeuro said that the proceeds are for general corporate purposes and to ensure the company can develop up to seven of its existing wells through to production over the next 12 months, including three wells in Ukraine and up to four wells in Canada.

The company said that planned activities include rig work-overs, hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and the installation of the necessary production facilities and flow lines. The target is to increase production rates and sales revenues and to reduce the break-even production cost in Canada.

Transeuro said that following success, the company would anticipate the transfer of some discovered and contingent resources into reserves.

Fondsfinans ASA has been appointed as sole manager of the contemplated secured convertible bond issue.

Calgary-based Transeuro has a gas producing property in British Columbia, and also has an interest in gas exploration and appraisal developments in Crimea, Ukraine.

Clifton Star Resources unveils "excellent" gold recovery in BIOX, Albion tests

Clifton Star Resources (CVE:CFO) unveiled Monday what it called "excellent" metallurgical test results on gold flotation concentrate treatment from its Duparquet project in Quebec using two different processes.

Results were received from Goldfields of South Africa for BIOX process amenability, and from Albion Process Limited for the XSTRATA Albion process amenability.

The BIOX process, as an alternative to pressure oxidation, uses bacteria to catalyze the oxidation of pyrite and arsenopyrite prior to gold recovery by carbon-in-leach cyanidation.

The XSTRATA Albion process uses fine grinding and neutral oxidation of pyrite and arsenopyrite prior to gold recovery by carbon-in-leach cyanidation.

The overall gold recovery achieved in BIOX testing of concentrate from the Duparquet project ranged from 94.3 to 94.7 percent, while the overall gold recovery achieved from the same concentrate with the Albion process was 93.8 percent.

Clifton said these numbers compare "well" to the overall average of 93 percent gold recovery achieved by SGS Lakefield tests, announced in March.

In each case, gold was recovered by cyanidation in leach, after the BIOX, Albion or pressure oxidation pre-treatment.

"These results on BIOX and Albion testing confirm that the Duparquet resource is not difficult to treat from a metallurgical standpoint," said president and CEO of Clifton, Michel Bouchard.

"Two conventional processes (BIOX and Pressure Oxidation) and one emerging process (Albion) have all proven capable of achieving high gold recoveries from Duparquet concentrates.

"The choice between processes may now be considered based on relative economics."

The BIOX process was developed in South Africa and first applied at the Fairview mine. Currently, four sites around the world are using the process, including the Ashanti Goldfields plant in Ghana, which treates 960 tonnes per day of concentrate prior to cyanidation for gold recovery.

The Albion process was developed in Australia and has been applied in the zinc industry for leaching zinc concentrates. It has been licensed for gold applications in the Dominican Republic and Romania.

Earlier this month, Clifton Star said that metallurgical test results also showed that high gold recoveries from historical tailings at its Duparquet project in Quebec are possible.

These high recoveries were seen using a combination of conventional flotation, pressure oxidation and cyanidation, the company said.

The overall gold recovery from the tailings sample obtained from the historical Beattie tailings was 83.5 percent.

These metallurgical tests are part of a larger program that previously led to average gold recoveries of 93 percent from core samples of the different gold zones of the Duparquet project, as announced in March.

A preliminary economic assessment for the Duparquet project will follow the upcoming NI 43-101 resource assessment report from Innovexplo, now expected in May of 2012.

The new NI 43-101 compliant resource report for the entire project will move the Beattie and Donchester deposit estimates under the same criteria and allow for one data bank for the whole project.

The Beattie area of the Duparquet project is currently estimated to contain 1.72 million inferred gold ounces at a cut-off of 0.67 g/t gold, all in pit resources, as opposed to the current cut-off of 1.5 g/t gold used in the NI 43-101 report for Donchester.

Shares of the company advanced 0.7 percent Monday morning.

Rubicon names Michael Lalonde as new president, chief operating officer

Gold explorer Rubicon Minerals (TSE:RMX) reported that it has hired mining engineer Michael Lalonde as president and chief operating officer, as the company seeks to develop its Phoenix Gold project.

Lalonde’s appointment takes effect on June 1. After six months, Lalonde will take on the position of president and chief executive officer.

David Adamson will remain as chief executive throughout the transitional period and then will assume the position of chairman of the board, afterwards.

Lalonde, who has over 20 years worth of experience, has a Bachelor of Science in mining engineering from Michigan Technological University.

As a result from this appointment, Lalonde will leave his role as director of underground projects at Goldcorp (TSE:G) where he is responsible for guiding construction and development.

His current duties at Goldcorp, a low-cost gold producer, include management for the development of the Cochenour project in Red Lake.

Between 2008 and 2011, Lalonde was general manager of Goldcorp’s Red Lake gold mine in Red Lake, Ontario and responsible for mine infrastructure, development and production programs.

"Mike's appointment is a significant endorsement of Rubicon and our Phoenix Gold Project and I look forward to working with him during the transition and beyond," Adamson said.

Rubicon controls over 100 square miles of prime exploration ground in the prolific Red Lake gold district which hosts Goldcorp's high-grade, world class Red Lake Mine.

Mawson, Darwin complete reorganization

Mawson Resources (TSE:MAW) and Darwin Resources (CVE:DAR) Monday completed their plan of arrangement as part of the reorganization of the business and capital of Mawson.

The transaction is part of Mawson's plan to restructure its business into two separate public companies, allowing Mawson to focus on the development of its flagship Rompas gold property in Finland.

Darwin will own a portfolio of early stage copper-gold Peruvian assets, which include the Alto Quemado, Huatiapa, Carrizales,

Vicunas and Luminaria projects, also giving Darwin ownership of one of the strongest exploration databases in Peru.

Prior to April 31, Darwin closed a private placement of 8.75 million subscription receipts for total gross proceeds of $3.5 million.

Each subscription receipt was deemed exercised as at midnight on April 30 into units of Darwin as a step in the arrangement.

Each unit is comprised of one Darwin share and one-half of one warrant of Darwin. Each whole warrant is exercisable into one Darwin share at a price of C$0.60 per Darwin share until April 30, 2014.

As of Monday, Darwin had working capital of approximately $4.4 million.

The Darwin shares have been conditionally approved for listing on the TSX Venture Exchange and it is anticipated they will commence trading on the TSX-V under the symbol "DAR" on May 2.

The old Mawson shares will continue to trade until close on May 2, 2012. At the start of trading on May 3, it is expected that the old Mawson shares will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the new Mawson shares will commence trading as common shares of Mawson under the symbol "MAW", in substitution for the old Mawson shares.

The substitutional listing of the new Mawson shares on the TSX and the listing of the Darwin shares on the TSX-V remain subject to the final approval of the TSX and TSX-V, respectively.

Geomega Resources announces management changes

Rare earth miner Geomega Resources (CVE:GMA) reported changes in management on Monday as it seeks to develop its Montviel deposit in Quebec.

The company announced the nomination of Sébastien Vézina as corporate secretary, of Mario Spino as CFO, and the promotion of Alain Cayer as VP of exploration, as well as Frédéric Gauthier as director of sustainability.

Vezina, a graduate of Laval University, will replace Andre Lacroix and has experience in governance, financings of public corporations, and negotiating both business and development contracts related to the Plan Nord.

Spino was previously a market risk manager for KPMG and Desjardins Caisse Centrale. He graduated from Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and a Master’s of Science in financial engineering.

Under the role, Spino will now be responsible for financing strategies, financial reporting and investor relations. He replaces Rene Lacroix, who held the position on an interim basis.

Since April 2010, Spino was director of the company and will remain as director, Geomega said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Cayer was promoted to vice-president exploration. He joined Geomega back in September 2011, and graduated from the University of Quebec with a Bachelor of Science in Geology as well as a Master’s in Mineral Characterization.

Beforehand, Cayer was project manager for Virginia Mines Inc., where he was involved in the discovery and development of the Éléonore gold deposit in Quebec. He will replace Jacqueline Gauthier, who held the position since June, 2011.

Finally, Gauthier, who was promoted to director of sustainability, is a graduate of the University of Quebec and has a Bachelor of Science in Geography. Gauthier was previously a consultant in sustainability for mining companies in the Abitibi and James Bay regions of Quebec.

As director of sustainability, he will be in charge of co-ordination of permit applications, environmental studies as well as community relations.

"These movements in Geomega are motivated by the rapid evolution of the company since its IPO," said chairman Patrick Godin in a statement.

"These changes are aimed to keep the momentum gained in developing the Montviel deposit while strengthening investor relations and Montviel's position in the Plan Nord."

The Montviel rare earth project is 45 kilometres west of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi and 100 km north of Lebel-sur-Quevillon. An NI 43-101 compliant core zone resource update is expected by the end of the summer.

Montviel, one of the largest total rare earth oxide resources outside of China, has the potential for a major near term role in the growing magnet sector due to its proximity to infrastructure and labour.

Shares rose by 10 percent Monday, climbing to 55 cents each in trade on Toronto’s junior venture exchange.

Channel Resources earns 100% of Fox Creek project

Mineral explorer Channel Resources (CVE:CHU) said Monday that it has earned its 100 percent stake in the Fox Creek mineral brine project, in Alberta.

Channel’s earn-in to own the property is 10-months ahead of schedule, thanks to a recent amendment made to its original agreement signed on February 24, 2009.

The original deal called for Channel to acquire a 100 percent stake in the project if it paid $10,000 and one million in shares to Polaris Capital Ltd, on execution and on each of the first four anniversary dates of the agreement.

The new amendment has allowed Channel to forego the last one million share payment, allowing it to own the project as of April 25.

Polaris has retained a two percent gross sales proceeds royalty, which can be purchased for $2 million.

Channel also has a 90 percent stake in the Tanlouka Gold project in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

At Tanlouka, Channel has discovered multiple mineralized zones that are being followed up with more than 25,000 metre of drilling, with a maiden resource estimate for the Mankarga 5 deposit expected this spring.

The company also said last week that it will shortly start a 2,000 metre core-drilling program focused on the Mankarga 1 target area at Tanlouka.

In addition, at Fox Creek, the company is developing a process flow sheet to determine the most efficient sequence of methods to produce various industrial minerals from the brine, including salt, lithium carbonate, potash, bromine and borates.

Channel also noted Monday that it has filed a technical report in support of its initial resource estimate for Fox Creek, announced in late March.

Northern Vertex Mining hits 1.67 g/t gold equivalent over 20 metres at Moss

Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (CVE:NEE) (OTCQX:NHVCF) unveiled Monday results from its phase II, 6,500 metre in-fill drill and resource expansion program at the Moss gold-silver project in Mohave County, Arizona.
The results Monday are from core holes 11 through 17 of the program, which was designed to test the western extension of the Moss stockwork vein system.
Highlights included hole AR-140C, which returned 50.29 metres of 0.89 grams per tonne (g/t) gold equivalent, including 20 metres of 1.67 g/t gold equivalent.
"We are very pleased with current drill results that demonstrate the gold and silver-bearing epithermal system continues to broaden westward, extending an additional 1000 feet from our existing NI 43-101 gold resource," said chief geologist Dr. Bob Thompson.
"Equally encouraging, the higher-grade zones encountered, occur within a series of thick mineralized intersections that continue to average above internal cut-off grades, remaining open to the west and at depth.
"Importantly, as we continue our resource expansion to the west, we are encountering the same type of higher-grade zones and consistent internal gold distribution that was instrumental in developing our initial NI 43-101 gold resource."
So far, the company has reported on 35 holes of its phase II in-fill drill and resource expansion program. Included in the total are 18  reverse circulation drill holes and 17 diamond drill, or core, holes.
Northern Vertex said phase II drilling is now complete, with results for the remaining six holes expected shortly.
Earlier this month, the company reported on the results of core holes five through 10. Highlights included 6.26 grams per tonne (g/t) gold equivalent over 1.68 metres, 5.37 g/t gold equivalent over 1.83 metres, 4.03 g/t equivalent over 1.22 metres and 3.61 g/t gold equivalent over 4.57 metres.

The company has the right to earn a 70 percent interest in the historic Moss gold-silver property from Patriot Gold Corp.

The Canadian exploration and mining company's strategy is to acquire, develop and advance precious metal projects in Canada and the US, targeting the conversion of historical resource estimates to NI 43-101 compliant standards.

In March of last year, Northern Vertex acquired the rights to 70 percent of the Moss gold-silver project, where the company has since delineated a substantial NI 43-101 compliant gold-silver resource.

It drilled off a current resource of 590,000 ounces of gold equivalent, 90 percent of which is in the measured and indicated category.

Selwyn Resources gets Howard Pass Access Road license for Yukon project

Selwyn Resources (CVE:SWN) said Monday that it has been granted long-term tenure for a major portion of a key road that links its joint venture Selwyn project in the Yukon to the public highway system.
It was given a 30-year license of occupation for the majority portion of the Howard's Pass Access Road that is under the jurisdiction of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).
Howard's Pass is a 79 kilometre long road that links the company's Selwyn project in the Yukon with the public highway system.
The Selwyn project is being advanced by a joint venture company forned by Selwyn and Chihong Canada Mining.
"This licence provides us with a portion of the long-term certainty of access to the Selwyn Project, which is of critical importance for planned mine construction activities and future ore concentrate haulage," said VP of environment and community affairs for the venture, Justin Himmelright.
The Howard's Pass Access Road crosses through two administrative areas - about 57 kilometres is on Crown Land under the jurisdiction of AANDC, and 22 kilometres is in the Nahanni National Park Reserve under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada.
A draft license of occupation for the portion of the Howards Pass Access Road that is in the Nahanni Park Reserve has been received from Parks Canada, the company said.
Terms and conditions of that license are currently under review, it added.
The Selwyn project, which consists of 7,450-hectares of mineral claims, hosts large tonnages of zinc and lead mineralization which have the potential for large-scale production.
Selwyn has 19,294-hectares of mineral claims in the Yukon and 3,373-hectares of wholly owned claims in the Northwest Territories. These claims and mining leases provide Selwyn with control over 66 kilometres of the favourable strata in this giant zinc-lead district.
Earlier this month, the company reported that its joint venture for the Selwyn project inked a resource funding deal with Naha Dehe Dene Band to undertake negotiations of a community agreement regarding project activities.
The Howard’s Pass Access Road crosses through the traditional territory of Nahanni Butte, which is the preferred route for concentrate shipment and mine supply.
Also this month, the lead and zinc explorer closed its previously announced $10 million secured debt facility, the proceeds of which will be used by both Selwyn and its subsidiary ScoZinc for general corporate purposes, including activities at its ScoZinc mine in Nova Scotia.
The ScoZinc mine, a past producing zinc-lead mine in Nova Scotia, which the company acquired for $10 million, has a measured and indicated resource of 2.8 million tonnes grading 4.2 percent zinc and 1.9 percent lead.

PJX Resources expands exploration potential at Vine deposit, BC

PJX Resources (CVE:PJX) said Monday that it has optioned ground on strike with the Vine property in British Columbia, opening the way for expanded exploration potential.
The company has boosted the land position at Vine from 640 hectares to more than 6,300 hectares of land, through an option agreement with Klondike Gold Corp (CVE:KG).
The Vine property hosts a deposit of gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper mineralization that was first discovered in the late 1970s by Cominco.  The last significant drilling done on Vine was between 1989 and 1991, when low metal prices curtailed any further exploration and the land ownership became fragmented.
"This is a win-win scenario for PJX Resources and Klondike Gold," said PJX president and CEO, John Keating.
"This is the first time in over 20 years that the Vine land position has been consolidated into a size that can be properly explored.  Metal prices today are far more favourable than they were when the Vine was last explored.
"Gold is trading over US$1,600 an ounce, as compared to US$360 in 1991.  Silver averaged about US$4 per ounce in 1991 and is now trading over US$30 an ounce.   Zinc, lead and copper prices are also much stronger today.
"This larger land package combined with stronger metal prices makes a discovery on strike or at depth with the Vine more favourable for development."
Under the terms of the option deal, PJX can earn a 50 percent interest in Klondike's 6,300 hectare property by completing $1.5 million in work, and by making share payments of a maximum of 200,000 common shares over a five year period.
Once PJX has completed the option terms, the companies will form a 50/50 joint venture, with PJX as the operator. If either company decides not to participate in the venture, then its interest will be diluted on a pro-rata basis to a two percent net smelter royalty.
The road-accessible Vine property is located 11 kilometres south of Cranbrook, British Columbia.
According to BC historical records, trenching and drilling have exposed massive and disseminated sulphides within a sheared vein system, and the mineralized Vine structure has been traced for over 1,000 metres along strike and a downdip extension of at least 700 metres.
Drilling in the 1990s of the Vine structure intersected three massive sulphide veins. The upper vein had a true width of 4 metres, averaging 2.94 per cent lead, 0.2 per cent zinc and 29.13 grams per tonne silver across 4 metres.
The lower vein had a true width of 3.4 metres, averaging 4.7 per cent lead, 2.09 per cent zinc, 0.36 per cent copper and 35.3 grams per tonne silver across 3.4 metres.
Historical proven and probable reserves for the Vine property are estimated at 1.3 million tonnes grading 2.2 grams per tonne gold, 36.3 grams per tonne silver, 3.12 per cent lead, 3.12 per cent zinc and 0.11 per cent copper.
PJX said it has access to the drill core and logs from the more than 50 holes drilled on the Vine deposit. It has recently had the data digitized for computer modelling, with the information to be used to assess the potential for mineralization - on strike and at depth.
The results of this work will be used to identify targets for drilling the Vine vein, the company said.
PJX plans to fly an airborne survey over the property to identify potential Vine style and Sullivan deposit targets. The Sullivan Mine is located about 30 kilometres to the north of the property, with Teck Cominco closing it in 2001 after producing over 120 million tonnes of silver-lead-zinc ore during its 90 year mine life.
PJX's primary focus remains the Dewdney Trail property, where three target areas have been identified to date with significant gold deposit potential.
The company has also identified a new target area on the Zinger property that may have the potential for multiple gold deposits.  Meanwhile, targets are being developed on its Eddy property, and PJX can now identify areas on the Vine asset.
PJX said it has identified new targets on multiple properties by using an estimated $8 million in previous exploration work on its Cranbrook Properties.
It plans to test the most promising targets with trenching and drilling this year.  The company's main properties are located in the historical mining area of Cranbrook and Kimberley, British Columbia.

Gold Resource Corp boosts monthly dividend by 20%

Gold Resource Corp (AMEX:GORO) Monday increased its monthly dividend for April by 20 percent to six cents per common share, payable on May 23.
The US-based low-cost gold producer, with operations in southern Mexico, said the April dividend marks the 22nd straight monthly dividend declared by the company, and the increase represents a current annualized dividend of 72 cents per common share and a dividend yield of 2.7 percent based on Gold Resource Corp's Friday closing price.
The gold company has declared over $47 million in dividends since starting commercial production from its El Aguila mine in July 2010, and now offers shareholders the option to convert their cash dividends into physical gold and/or silver on a monthly basis.
"With record first quarter production, the increased April dividend to six cents per common share per month speaks to the positive outlook we have for the continued success and production trajectory of the Aguila Project," said president Jason Reid.
"We have set a strong base for our 2012 production goals, and our dividend policy continues to reward the owners of the company, its long term shareholders."
Last Thursday, the company reported preliminary results from a resource estimate compiled from drilling data at its underground La Arista vein system at the El Aguila project in Mexico.
Measured and indicated resources, over a 10-year mine life, include approximately 1.4 million gold equivalent ounces at a 1 gram gold equivalent cutoff from 4.4 million tonnes grading 2.13 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 212 g/t silver, 0.32% copper, 1.23% lead and 4.11% zinc.
In March of last year, the company announced that it had begun the transition from processing lower grade, open pit ore, to processing underground ore from the high grade La Arista deposit at El Aguila.
The El Aguila project is located 120 kilometres southeast of the capital city of Oaxaca, Mexico and is a significant, newly discovered high-grade gold and silver system.
The company's exploration drilling is now focused on expansion of the Arista deposit, which remains open at both depth and along strike extensions. Currently, three underground and two surface drill rigs continue mine development and exploration of the Arista deposit.
For the quarter that ended March 31, 2012, the gold producer made around 30,500 ounces of precious metal gold equivalent from El Aguila, an increase of 308 percent from the first quarter of 2011.
Gold Resource Corp also said earlier this month that its first quarter output was in line with its 2012 outlook for annual production of between 120,000 to 140,000 ounces of gold equivalent.
The company has 100 percent interest in six potential high-grade gold and silver properties in Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca.

New Zealand Energy's revenues rise as production grows

New Zealand Energy Corp. (CVE:NZ)(OTCQX:NZERF) said Monday it recorded almost $1 million in revenue in 2011, as the oil and natural gas company achieved production in December from Copper Moki-1, its first discovery well in the Taranaki Basin.

The company's two permits in Taranaki are offset by a number of producing wells and recent successful discoveries, with New Zealand Energy achieving "very encouraging" early results from its first two wells, a recent report from Stonecap Securities said.

Since December 10, 2011, the company produced 11,623 barrels of oil and sold 9,567 barrels for total revenues of $1.02 million, or $106.83 per barrel sold.

Total recorded gross production revenue was $974,517 after accounting for royalties of $47,492, or $4.96 per barrel sold. No revenues or royalties were seen in the prior year period.

Production costs were $23.44 per barrel, while price amounted to $106.83 per barrel.

During the start-up and testing for Copper Moki-1, New Zealand Energy said it incurred various one-off costs to commission the well, resulting in a netback of $78.43 per barrel for the initial production period to year-end 2011.

However, the company noted that first quarter 2012 netback numbers are in excess of $90 per barrel.

New Zealand Energy controls two permits covering 169,949 net acres in the Taranaki Basin. The company also holds large land positions in the East Coast Basin of North Island, and although under-explored, these basins hold large conventional and non-conventional oil potential.
At the start of this month, the company achieved continuous production from its Copper Moki-2 well, currently producing from natural reservoir pressure out of the Mt. Messenger formation at an average rate of 581 barrels of oil per day and 1,530 thousand cubic feet of natural gas per day (Mcf/d) through a 24/64th inch choke.
The company has drilled five exploration wells in the Taranaki Basin, one on the Alton Permit, and four from the Copper Moki pad on the Eltham Permit. The Alton Permit is adjacent to Eltham and covers around 119,203 acres, with the company increasing its potential interest in the permit to 65 percent in February.
With Copper Moki-1 and Copper Moki-2 now in production, Copper Moki-3 and Copper Moki-4 are slated to be completed and tested in the second quarter.
The Copper Moki-3 well encountered 12 metres of net pay in the Mt. Messenger formation in early April, and 15 metres of net pay in the Moki formation.

Meanwhile, Copper Moki-4 reached target depth of 2,125 metres earlier this month, and after testing, New Zealand Energy decided to perforate and test both the Urenui and Mt. Messenger formations after completion operations at Copper Moki-3.

The oil and gas producer also released Monday the results of its 2011 year-end reserve and resource estimation, prepared by Deloitte & Touche.

The estimate was confined to the company's 100 percent working interest Eltham Permit and was based on the reservoir and production data from the Copper Moki-1 well, with a December 31, 2011 cut-off.

As of that date, the report said the company held total proved and probable reserves of 221.8 thousand gross remaining barrels of light and medium oil, and 361.1 million gross remaining cubic feet of natural gas (MMcf). Possible reserves amounted to 95.4 thousand barrels of oil, and 208.9 million cubic feet of natural gas.

The net present value of future net revenue before tax for total proved, probable and possible reserves came in at 18,895.6 million, at a discount rate of five percent per year.

The company said it expects to commission a reserve and resource update in the near term to include exploration and production data from three more wells on the Copper Moki pad that were drilled in 2012.

Last week, New Zealand Energy entered into a drilling agreement with Ensign International Energy Services to drill three exploration wells, with the option for up to five additional wells, in the second half of the year.
The Taranaki Basin is situated on the west coast of the North Island and is currently New Zealand's only oil and gas producing basin, producing approximately 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 18 fields.
Production rates from the company's discovery well have averaged 424 barrels per day and 1,058 Mcf/d since starting continuous production in December. It has produced more than 67,000 barrels of oil since it was first tested in August 2011.
New Zealand Energy said natural gas and associated natural gas liquids are being flared until it completes a 2.6-kilometre pipeline that will deliver natural gas from the Copper Moki site to a gas production facility, with the pipeline scheduled to be completed by the end of the quarter.
The company is targeting year-end production of 3,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It has also identified six prospects on 3D seismic similar to Copper Moki, and has found 12 leads on 2D seismic that will be further defined, it said.
The oil and gas entity is completing a 100-square kilometre 3D seismic program over the northern region of the Eltham and Alton permits, and plans to initiate the 30-day data acquisition process in early May.
Looking to its other properties, the East Coast Basin of New Zealand's North Island hosts two prospective shale formations, the Waipawa and Whangai, which are the source of more than 300 oil and gas seeps. In February, the company reached target depth of 1,441 metres in its Ranui-2 well on its Ranui Permit in the East Coast Basin, collecting open hole log data and coring the Whangai shale formation across three intervals.
The company's technical team plans to shoot around 70 line kilometres of 2D seismic in the second half of the year to improve its understanding of the East Coast Basin properties, New Zealand Energy said.
For the year that ended December 31, 2011, total expenses came in at $7.5 million, down by 27 percent from the prior year. Net loss narrowed by 36 percent to $6.57 million, or eight cents per basic and diluted share.

On a quarterly basis, the company earned one cent per share in the fourth quarter, versus a four cent loss in the previous third quarter.
In late March, the company took step to boost its balance sheet, closing a $63.48 million bought deal financing, through a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity corp.

Otis Gold achieves continued success at the Kilgore gold project

Otis Gold (CVE:OOO) has been developing its flagship Kilgore gold project in Clark County, Idaho for the past four and a half years with much success, growing the Mine Ridge deposit and delineating several additional targets during this period.
The company's president and CEO, Craig Lindsay, says Otis is actively moving the planned open-pit project toward production, achieving "significant drill success" in the last years.  Otis has drilled almost 20,000 metres at Kilgore since 2008.
The Mine Ridge deposit, which is open to the north, northwest and southeast, is a wide, near-surface structure. The last holes from the site in 2011 pulled between 114 to 118 metres in gold mineralization, starting 6 metres from surface, at the northern end of the deposit, says Lindsay.
Indeed, last October, the mineral exploration company said it hit 0.89 grams per tonne (g/t) gold over 114.3 metres, including 1.10 g/t gold over 80.8 metres in hole 11 OKC-258; and 0.89 g/t gold over 118.8 metres, including 1.65 g/t gold over 36.5 metres in hole 11 OKC-259.
To follow up on these results, the company completed a soil sampling program, and in January, said it extended the strike line of Mine Ridge by another 400 metres, which has yet to be tested, says Lindsay.
The 266 sample results on the North Soil Grid section displayed strong linear gold-in-soil anomalies, tracing the extension of the Northwest Fault for at least 400 metres to the northwest.
But perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the project is the metallurgy, says Lindsay, something on which investors tend not to focus.
In the mid 1990s, Lindsay notes that Kilgore was going to be Echo Bay's next production story, but a drop in gold prices to well below $300 per ounce halted the process.  At the time, Echo Bay completed extensive column leach metallurgy tests, achieving "very good" recovery rates, says Otis Gold's president.
Otis followed up with additional column leach tests using 1/2” crush material in late 2010, yielding similar results, and this year, started column leach tests using 1.5” crush material. Lindsay says that the larger the crush size, the less processing and crushing of rock is required, which helps decrease capital costs, thereby boosting economics.
This is because at Kilgore, instead of having to crush down the ore to a finer size, which Lindsay says many ores require to get a robust recovery, could potentially operate on run of mine material - sharply reducing capital costs.
Results on the latest metallurgical work are expected shortly.
The entire Kilgore project, which is 100 percent-owned by Otis with no underlying royalties, has two to three million ounce gold potential, with the latest NI 43-101 resource delineating 487,000 ounces of indicated and inferred gold.  The company is now working on a new estimate that will incorporate all the drilling through 2011.
The project is spread across 5,130 acres in southeastern Idaho, 60 miles north of Idaho Falls, and is accessible by road around 32 miles northeast of the town of Dubois and 15 miles east of Interstate Highway 15.
The asset boasts good infrastructure, with power to the bottom of the property and a railhead within 15 miles, and was given a "clean bill of health" by a third party environmental scoping study in 2010.
Lindsay says that an important achievement for the company this year was the addition of 1,880 acres, boosting its land position at Kilgore by 58 percent and giving the miner flat land that is appropriate for heap leach processing.
"We didn't really have an area before for future potential mine processing activities," adds Lindsay.
The land was acquired through the direct staking of federal lode mining claims, and an application submitted to the State of Idaho.
Next up for this year, and assuming capital is available, Otis plans on drilling another 7,000 metres on its Mine Ridge deposit, completing the NI 43-101 resource update and initiating a scoping study. Twelve-month environmental baseline studies will start this summer, with the company having engaged a contractor for the task.
Other targets at Kilgore include Gold Ridge, where there has been no historic drilling whatsoever, and Prospect Ridge, which saw its first discovery hole in 2011. Both targets are on strike with the Mine Ridge deposit and have very similar geological signatures.
These targets are permitted for drilling, but Lindsay says this will not be started until there is enough capital to fund the program. The final target at the project, which is of lower priority, is named Dog Bone Ridge, an area that features geophysical targets three to five times the size of the Mine Ridge deposit.
"This is a critical year for the development of Kilgore, and we are more excited today for this project than we have been at any other time," remarks Lindsay.
"With a friendly permitting regime in Idaho, very favourable environmental characteristics, good infrastructure and excellent leachability, Kilgore has the potential to move quickly toward a production scenario."
Indeed, Idaho is a hot mining region, with the Thompson Creek (NYSE:TC) molybdenum mine in the central part of the state, and large open pit phosphate mines in the southeastern portion. Formation Metals (TSE:FCO) also recently permitted its Idaho cobalt project, while Midas Gold (TSE:MAX) is on track to permitting its six million ounce gold discovery in the southwestern portion of the state.
From a permitting point of view, Kilgore is very, very manageable," Lindsay adds.
The company, with $1.9 million in the bank as at the end of the first quarter, runs a "tight ship" with Lindsay at the helm, who has a 20-year background in corporate finance and investment banking.
Prior to founding Otis, Lindsay was a founder and CEO of Magnum Uranium Corp, which was subsequently sold to Energy Fuels Corp. (TSE:EFR), and he spent five years as a VP in the corporate finance and investment banking group at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"With our current low valuation," says Lindsay, "any fundraising right now would be extremely dilutive."
"We are therefore looking at alternative ways to raise funds, including through potential joint venture partners, and we have already been approached by a number of companies," he advises.
Otis is focused on its five Idaho projects, which includes the early-stage Hai and Goldbug projects, where work this summer will aim to better define drill targets and potentially add to their land position.
The 1,360 acre Oakley gold project, which consists of 107 federal lode mining claims and several Utah state leases in Cassia County, Idaho, has  an NI 43-101 inferred resource of 235,000 gold ounces on one of its targets.
Lindsay says the company is also looking for a partner to help develop this project.
Otis Gold counts Mitch Bernardi as its chief geologist, and John Carden as its consulting geologist, who were both formerly with Echo Bay Mines and each have more than 30 years experience in the mining industry.
The company's shares closed Friday at 16 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Stonecap previews New Zealand Energy's FY earnings

Stonecap Securities previewed full-year earnings from New Zealand Energy (CVE:NZ) in a research note.

New Zealand Energy is an oil and natural gas company engaged in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and natural gas assets in New Zealand. NZEC’s property portfolio covers nearly two million acres of conventional and unconventional prospects in the Taranaki Basin and East Coast Basin of New Zealand’s North Island.

"We estimate average production of 500 barrels per day through the end of 2011, with Brent pricing and a $90 netback," Stonecap analyst Amin Haque said.

The capital markets firm has an "Outperform" rating and $3.75 target price on New Zealand Energy.

Since the company had the benefit of production from only one well drilled during 2011 - Copper Moki 1 - there will be
only limited revenue and cash flow in 2011.

The company's Copper Moki 3 and 4 wells are awaiting completion with both wells intersecting multiple formations and are expected to add to production after completion.

New Zealand Energy announced a 10-well drilling program for 2012 and Stonecap's Haque expects to receive more information on the location and target of these wells.

Stonecap said the company is undertaking two seismic shoots in Taranaki and the East Coast basins. It is also constructing a 2.6 km pipeline to tie-in the gas produced at its Copper Moki well.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Gold Resource Corp. unveils preliminary resource estimate for La Arista system at El Aguila

Gold Resource Corp. (AMEX:GORO) late Thursday reported preliminary results from a resource estimate compiled from drilling data at its underground La Arista vein system at the El Aguila project in Mexico.
Measured and indicated resources, over a 10-year mine life, include approximately 1.4 million gold equivalent ounces at a 1 gram gold equivalent cutoff from 4.4 million tonnes grading 2.13 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 212 g/t silver, 0.32% copper, 1.23% lead and 4.11% zinc.
The US-based gold producer, which started production from its El Aguila project in Oaxaca, Mexico in July 2010, has paid 20 straight monthly dividends since, totaling more than $43 million returned to shareholders.
In March of last year, the company announced that it had begun the transition from processing lower grade, open pit ore, to processing underground ore from the high grade La Arista deposit at El Aguila.
"We are pleased with the preliminary results of this independent study of our drilling as the analysis confirms the high-grade nature of our deposit at La Arista," Gold Resource Corp.'s CEO William Reid said.
"This study was effectively performed over the same area as our original internal analysis, which was used to make our decision to proceed with construction of the underground mine and to commence mineral production.
"This independent analysis required application of certain constraints and restrictions that we believe make it a more conservative estimate than our original internal estimates.
"Though the preliminary independent estimate and our internal estimates were formulated using different parameters, each provides its own important insights while verifying our high-grade vein system."
The El Aguila project is located 120 kilometres southeast of the capital city of Oaxaca, Mexico and is a significant, newly discovered high-grade gold and silver system.
Gold Resource said that the preliminary results also appear to indicate the existence of several additional veins which need to be explored, preferably by more drilling, crosscutting and drifting and mining.
The company's exploration drilling is now focused on expansion of the Arista deposit, which remains open at both depth and along strike extensions. Currently, three underground and two surface drill rigs continue mine development and exploration of the Arista deposit.
Over a 5-year mine life, measured and indicated resources include approximately 1.2 million gold equivalent ounces at a 7 gram gold equivalent cutoff from 2.3 million tonnes grading 3.64 g/t gold, 350 g/t silver, 0.44% copper, 1.89% lead and 5.9% zinc.
Over a 4 year mine life at La Arista, measured and indicated resources include approximately 1.05 million gold equivalent ounces at a 9 gram gold equivalent cutoff from 1.7 million tonnes grading 4.49 g/t gold, 424 g/t silver, 0.5% copper, 2.16% lead and 6.08% zinc.
"The purpose of any estimate is to predict what will be mined. High-grade vein deposits can be difficult to model and to estimate as the variations of metal content between drill holes can be great and therefore may not be fully represented in the model.
"The ultimate sample of course is mining the deposit. What we have seen from 13 months of actual mining confirms our belief in this high-grade deposit."
In a conference call, Gold Resource Corp.'s CEO William Reid said the resource estimate was "not yet finalized" and that the
preliminary results would be "very close" to the final results.

"I'm very pleased with the numbers that still show we have a high-grade deposit."

Gold Resource's President Jason Reid added that there was still "potential for a secondary listing" and the company was evaluating the venue for the additional listing.
The company said that weighted average grades after 13 months of production gave a gold equivalent of 0.41 ounces per tonne from 242,014 tonnes grading 3.7 g/t gold, 457 g/t silver, 0.47% copper, 1.42% lead and 3.07% zinc.
Gold Resource's own 2009 internal estimates gave a gold equivalent of 0.53 ounces per tonne from 2.96 million tonnes grading 6.5 g/t gold, 506 g/t silver, 0.60% copper, 2.24% lead and 6.75% zinc.
"While we know that estimates have their limitations, which may be amplified for high-grade deposits, the important point is that all these estimates appear to confirm, and the mining to date substantiates our high-grade deposit," Reid said.
For the quarter that ended March 31, 2012, the gold producer made around 30,500 ounces of precious metal gold equivalent from El Aguila, an increase of 308 percent from the first quarter of 2011.
Gold Resource Corp also said earlier this month that its first quarter output was in line with its 2012 outlook for annual production of between 120,000 to 140,000 ounces of gold equivalent.
The NI 43-101 estimate for La Arista was prepared by the Denver engineering firm of Pincock, Allen & Holt. Full details of the estimate can be found at:

Stonecap Securities says SilverCrest Mines provides "immediate and growing" cash flow

Stonecap Securities initiated coverage Friday on SilverCrest Mines (CVE:SVL), with an "outperform" rating and a 12-month target price of $3.75 per share, offering significant potential upside from the current trading price of $2.32.

Precious metals producer SilverCrest is focused on production from its Santa Elena Mine in Sonora, Mexico, which started commercial production in July of last year.

The mine, Stonecap noted, is undergoing an expansion program that should see annual metal production double from current levels of around 2 million ounces of silver equivalent to 4 million ounces of silver equivalent by 2014.

The company recently announced that silver production in the first quarter from its Santa Elena Mine more than doubled while gold production almost tripled year-over-year.

For the first quarter, silver production jumped 108 percent to 134,528 ounces, from 64,712 ounces a year ago, when the mine, which is now in commercial production, was still in the commissioning phase. Silver equivalent ounces sold soared 339 percent to 641,532 ounces from 146,219 in the first quarter one year ago.

The mine is a high-grade, epithermal gold and silver producer, with an estimated life of mine cash cost of US$8 per ounce of silver equivalent.

SilverCrest anticipates that the mine should recover around 4,805,000 ounces of silver and 179,000 ounces of gold over the 6.5 year life of the open pit phase.

Meanwhile, the company's La Joya property in Durango, Mexico, has an initial NI 43-101
compliant resource of 86.4 million ounces of silver equivalent, using a 30 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent cut-off grade.

Stonecap analyst Christos Doulis, CFA said the project represents "a very prospective, potential bulk mining deposit."

In late March, the precious metals producer unveiled the results of the first six, phase two drill holes from 18 completed to date at its La Joya property, extending the main mineralized trend 500 metres northwest.

Notables holes included 32.3 metres of 95.8 g/t silver equivalent in hole L J DD11-27, and 51.3 metres of 90.4 g/t silver equivalent in hole L J DD11-29, including 21.8 metres of 158.3 g/t silver equivalent.

The firm also noted SilverCrest is led by a "strong management team", which brought Santa Elena into production on time and under budget.

"SilverCrest provides investors with immediate and growing cash flow from its Santa Elena mine as well as exposure to the exciting potential bulk tonnage La Joya project," Doulis said.

"With metal production expected to double by 2014, the company will soon enter the ranks of mid-tier precious metals producers."

SilverCrest's shares rose 6.9 per cent Friday, to $2.32.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Tirex Resources represents "unique example" of strong US-Canada-Albania relationship

Tirex Resources (CVE:TXX) (OTCQX:TIRXF) said late Wednesday that the company represents a "unique example" of trade and business relations between Albania, the US and Canada.

With shareholders in the company including both major US and Canadian institutions, and listings on United States (TIRXF) and Canadian (TXX) stock exchanges, the company has an operational focus in Albania.

Over the past five years, Tirex has invested more than US$25 million into northern Albania through the exploration of the Mirdita VMS Mineral District.

Now, the company has applied to transition six specific areas that it has focussed on into full scale copper and gold production, which will operate to a "Canadian standard in terms of health, safety, community and environment," Tirex said.

The company has submitted all of the required permit documentation to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy (METE) and is ready to execute on this production program while waiting for the final mining permits from the Albanian government.

"Tirex is proud to have been a first mover in a new era of Albanian mineral exploration and development and we look forward to Tirex serving as an example as to the potential of future economic interactions between these three great countries," the company said in a statement.

Tirex noted that Albania's Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, is currently in Washington, D.C., for an official state visit, in which Berisha will be meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, among other high ranking officials.

Meanwhile, Albania's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edmond Haxhinasto, will be visiting Ottawa, Canada on May 10, where he will be meeting several Canadian ministers and high ranking government officials, Tirex said.

The company's management will be conducting media interviews in Albania, the United States, and Canada prior to the official Albanian visit to Canada, it added, "as to our experience as a leader in Albanian mineral exploration and development."

The large copper-gold-zinc Mirdita project encompasses a 45 kilometre strike line that includes 17 historic deposits, 9 of which became producing mines, with many of them having extensive underground workings.
Historical production from the District is said to be in excess of 10 million tonnes of ore.
In 2007, Tirex completed an airborne EM geophysical survey that was the first ever airborne geophysical survey completed in the history of the country, and identified 102 geophysical anomalies, most of which had never been drilled before.

NQ Exploration closes non-brokered private placement

NQ Exploration (CVE:NQE) said Thursday it has closed a non-brokered private placement for a total of $100,000.
The placement consisted of 1.54 million share units priced at 6.5 cents per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and one half warrant, entitling the holder to purchase one common share of the company for 10 cents for a period of two years.
The company said no member of the pro group and no insider of the company participated in the private placement.
NQ plans to use the proceeds for working capital purposes.
The mining exploration company has a portfolio of 10 mining properties in the James Bay and Abitibi regions of Quebec.
Earlier this month, NQ said it agreed to sell its interest in the Star Lake property in the James Bay area of Quebec to Minerva Financial Corp in a $200,000 deal.
The property, which is located 120 kilometres southeast of the town of Radisson, consists of 89 contiguous map-designated claims that cover a total area of 46 square kilometres.

Batero Gold closes $6.3 mln oversubscribed special warrant financing

Batero Gold Corp. (CVE:BAT) said Thursday it has closed an oversubscribed special warrant financing co-led by Raymond James and Cormark Securities.
The company said it also completed a non-brokered special warrant financing on the same terms as the brokered financing.
Batero therefore issued a total of 9.7 million special warrants at a price of 65 Canadian cents each, for total proceeds of $6.3 million.
Under the brokered financing, the company issued 9.1 million special warrants for proceeds of C$5.9 million, and 600,000 special warrants as part of the non-brokered financing for proceeds of C$390,000.
The company said the new funds will be used to advance its 100 percent-owned Quinchia project in Colombia, within a planned preliminary economic assessment, including additional drilling and metallurgical work, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Each special warrant under the offering entitles the holder to acquire, for no additional consideration, one unit, consisting of one Batero common share and one-half of one common share purchase warrant.
Each share purchase warrant entitles the holder to acquire an additional share at 90 Canadian cents during a two year period from the date of closing.
The company has agreed to try to obtain, within 60 days from closing, a receipt for a final short form prospectus qualifying the distribution of the units upon exercise of the special warrants.
If the prospectus qualification does not occur within the 60 days, each holder shall be entitled to receive, without payment of additional consideration, 1.1 units per special warrant, Batero said.
In connection with the financing, agents received a cash commission, an advisory fee, and compensation options.
In late March, Batero unveiled information on the oxide resource potential and metallurgical test work contained in its NI 43-101 compliant technical report recently filed for its Batero-Quinchia project in Colombia.
As part of Batero’s planned 2012 work program to evaluate the potential of a high grade development option at the La Cumbre porphyry deposit in the southern area of the mineral resources at the project, the company said it will look to improve project economics through low cost heap leach mineral processing.
The company is also advancing metallurgical test work and deposit modeling to increase oxide resources, gold grade and recovery.
The next stage of metallurgical testing should investigate means for improving cyanidation recovery.  The company said a test program will be undertaken to better understand the relationship between gold and sulphur grades with respect to gold recovery.
Within the technical report filed earlier in March, it showed zones of higher grade oxide resources, grading more than 1 gram per tonne (g/t) gold near surface at La Cumbre and at 11.42 g/t gold over 5.8 metres adjacent to the deposit, remain open to delineate.
Batero's $8 million, 12-month work program for the project in 2012 includes 15,000 metres of drilling, and an updated resource estimate within a PEA for the La Cumbre area of the property.

Stonecap Securities says New Zealand Energy represents "steady growth with low risk"

New Zealand Energy Corp (CVE:NZ) received initial coverage from Stonecap Securities, which handed out an "outperform" rating and a one-year target price of $3.75 - up considerably from the current price of $2.91 per share.

The New Zealand-focused oil and gas producer is seen by Stonecap to represent "steady growth with low risk".

Stonecap analyst Aminul Haque said immediate production and cashflow is expected from the Taranaki Basin in New Zealand's North Island.

The company's two permits in Taranaki are offset by a number of producing wells and recent successful discoveries, the research report said, with New Zealand Energy achieving "very encouraging" early results from its first two wells.

The oil and gas company plans to complete or drill eight more well through the remainder of the year.

Earlier this month, the company said its Copper Moki-2 well in the Taranaki Basin was then producing out of the Mt. Messenger formation roughly 700 barrels of oil per day (bbl/d), and around 850 thousand cubic feet of natural gas per day(mcf/d).

It also said that its Copper Moki-3 well encountered 12 metres of net pay in the Mt. Messenger formation and 15 metres of net pay in the Moki formation. The company said it planned to complete and flow test both formations.

New Zealand Energy controls two permits covering 169,949 net acres in the Taranaki Basin. It achieved production in December 2011 from Copper Moki-1, its first discovery well in the Taranaki Basin that has produced more than 62,000 barrels of oil to date since it was first tested last August.

The company also holds large land positions in the East Coast Basin of North Island, said Stonecap, and although under-explored, these basins hold "large conventional and non-conventional oil potential."

The report also noted that New Zealand is an OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) country, with a "stable democracy and an advanced legal system."

"It has an attractive and predictable regulatory and royalty environment that makes it compelling for oil and gas investment," Stonecap continued.

New Zealand also has a growing internal market for oil and gas, with an "excellent" infrastructure and distribution system, Stonecap's Haque said.

"Increasing dependence on imports guarantees a favorable environment for domestic producers."

The capital markets firm's target price for New Zealand Energy is based on its estimate of the value of risked resources, a resource estimate by an independent reserve engineer and the oil and gas company's recent exploration successes.

The $3.75 target price implies a 12-month return of 29 per cent.

Haque concluded: "NZEC is well positioned to continue its early success and increase production with the help of an extensive exploration program.

"The company also has significant cash resources to scale up its exploration program."

Indeed, the company, which closed a $63.4 million bought deal financing in late March, plans on drilling nine wells and completing two seismic programs in 2012.

Company production from the Mt. Messenger formation earlier this month stood at 1,000 barrels of oil per day and 2,050 mcf/d, with an additional 341 barrels oil equivalent per day of natural gas plus associated liquids to be tied in by the end of the second quarter.

The oil and gas company's exploration strategy is to prioritize wells identified on 3D seismic that have well-defined, lower-risk Mt. Messenger targets, coupled with additional exploration potential from the Urenui, Moki or Kapuni formations.

The Taranaki Basin is currently New Zealand's only oil and gas producing basin, generating around 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 18 fields.

New Zealand Energy is targeting production of 3,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by year-end, and also said that its Copper Moki-4 has been drilled to the target depth of 2,125 metres.

The company's peers in the New Zealand-focused exploration and production space include TAG Oil (TSE:TAO) and KEA Petroleum (LON:KEA), which only recently drilled its first successful well on a Taranaki permit, Stonecap said.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

African Queen Mines extends exploration license at Odundu by two years

African Queen Mines (CVE:AQ) said Wednesday that the terms of its exploration license for the Odundu property in southwest Kenya's Rongo Gold Fields has been extended for another two years.
The company said the Mines and Geological Department of the Republic of Kenya has now renewed special license No. 287, granted to the company’s joint venture partner Abba Mining, for a further period of two years to January 22, 2014.
The original license was issued to Abba in January 2010, for an initial term of two years.
In addition, African Queen said the boundaries of the license were changed to reflect the settlement agreement entered into by Abba and B & M Mining Company earlier this year, by reducing the area covered by the license by 15 square kilometres to 97 square kilometres.
The news today allows the company to move forward with its drilling and exploration programs at Odundu for the next two years.
“We are delighted to have the full support of the Kenya Mines and Geological Department for our Odundu project and other exploration projects in Kenya," said CEO Irwin Olian.
The Odundu property covers an area of approximately 97 square kilometres in the Kanango gold mining area of the Migori District of Nyanza Province near Lake Victoria.
The project is situated some 380 kilometres by road from the capital city of Nairobi and 60 kilometres north of the border with Tanzania, forming part of the rich Lake Victoria Greenstone Belt that hosts gold deposits including African Barrick Gold's Bulyanhulu and North Mara Mines and AngloGold Ashanti's Geita Mine.
Earlier this month, the company said that Alkili Minerals Services has initiated its 2,000 metre core drilling program at the Odundu property.
The company previously completed a program of regional exploration including mapping, sampling trenching and ground and airbourne geophysics on the property.
In February and March of this year, seven trenches totaling 520 metres and covering a northwest-southeast strike of approximately 580 metres were excavated perpendicular to the main shear zone.
Broad zones of mineralized material were recorded in all seven trenches, as wide as 40 metres. Gold assay results obtained from samples from the main artisanal pit located between trenches A1 and B1 ranged between 2.12 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 35.0 g/t. Intermediate values recorded within this range were 2.43 g/t, 3.0 g/t, 8.33 g/t, and 9.70 g/t gold, the company said.
Initially, six core drill holes totaling approximately 1,300 metres have been positioned to test the gold mineralization within an anomalous area of the northwest-southeast trending shear zone traversing the property.
This shear zone was initially discovered through the company's preliminary field reconnaissance work and later delineated through airborne and ground geophysics programs.
The remainder of the drilling program, provisionally set at 2,000 metres with plans to expand based on results, will test the extensions of the shear zone and other prospective targets within the property.
Under a joint venture agreement with Kenyan-based Abba Mining Company, African Queen can earn up to an 85 percent interest in the project by funding prescribed optional stages from exploration through feasibility.
The company is also the manager and operator of the property.
Vancouver-based African Queen is exploring its properties in Mozambique, Ghana and Kenya for gold and other metals and it is undertaking exploration in Botswana and Namibia for diamonds, gold and other metals.
Its operations in Kenya are being carried out through its operating subsidiary AQ Kenya Gold Limited.

Murdock Capital Graphite Symposium: Focus Metals, Strike Graphite, Galaxy Capital and more

Looking for an investment in graphite? Murdock Capital Partners is hosting a Symposium Series on the metal on May 4th in New York.
Graphite, an allotrope - or different physical form - of carbon, is a good conductor of electricity and heat with a temperature resistance above 3,500 degrees Celsius - the same temperature as the outer atmosphere of the sun.
Unlike other metals, when heated, it does not expand.
The metal, like its sibling diamond, is one of the strongest and hardest materials in the natural world and is used in a wide range of products.
As the graphite market bubble grows, so does investor interest and scrutiny of a mining sector bedeviled historically by supply/demand cycles, aided and abetted by China’s overwhelming market influence.
The United States, Europe and China regard graphite as a critical material for future industrial growth. Global markets know this fact and the response has been an explosion of interest, investment and growth in new graphite mine development.
At the Murdock event, Zenyatta Ventures (CVE:ZEN), Strike Graphite (CVE:SRK), Galaxy Capital Corp (CVE:GXY), Standard Graphite (CVE:SGH), Flinders Resources (CVE:FDR) and Focus Metals (CVE:FMS) will be presenting.
Focus's Lac Knife, Quebec natural flake deposit holds the highest grade of graphite in the world. The company’s NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate validated its 16% grading and its commercial bragging rights to that claim.
Most, if not all of Focus’ production, is destined for niche, high demand, technology applications and in particular, it holds fine-mesh graphite destined for the lithium-ion battery manufacturers.
The company also anticipates demand for its particular graphite from the international scientific and industrial development communities engaged in graphene research.
Focus Metals holds a 40 percent interest in Grafoid Inc., a graphene investment, research and development and patenting joint venture.
For a schedule of Murdock's symposium, please see below. The symposium will be held at the Solarium - 3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019, on Friday May 4, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT.
To register for the event, visit
Symposium Schedule:
8 AM registration and continental breakfast
8:45 Opening Remarks: Tom Dean
President Murdock Capital Partners
9:00 Symposium Kickoff: Byron W. King 
Agora Financial, LLC
Editor, Energy & Scarcity Investor, and Outstanding Investments "The Astonishing World of Graphite -- and How We Can Go There and Make Some Money..."

9:30 Cell Phone Break
9:45 Zenyatta Ventures, Ltd.
10:15 Strike Graphite
10:45 Cell Phone Break
11:00 Galaxy Capital Corp.
11:30 Standard Graphite
12:00 Keynote Luncheon Speaker: Dr. Gordon Chiu, M.SCi, Chief Scientist, Grafoid, Inc.
"Graphine/Graphite in the Technology Food chain" 

1:00 Focus Metals
1:30 Flinders Resources
2:10  Dessert and Coffee Served
2:30 Panel Discussion: "Graphite: are we all on the same page?"
Panelists: Ben Axler, Sprucepoint Capital
                  Chris Berry, House Mountain Capital
                  Dan Sovel, Tokeneke Research LLC
3:00 Official Close with One on One Meetings, Networking

Kootenay Silver intersects 18 metres of 254 g/t silver equivalent at Promontorio

Kootenay Silver (CVE:KTN) unveiled Wednesday additional drill hole results from its current program at the company's Promontorio silver project in Sonora, Mexico.
The results today from 10 holes are from the 25,000 metre core drilling program at the project, which forms part of the 35,000 metre infill and resource definition campaign.
The remaining 10,000 metres were dedicated to reverse circulation drilling, with both parts of the program now complete.
Highlights of the latest core drilling results include 18 metres of 254 grams per tonne (g/t) silver equivalent, within 89 metres of 84 g/t silver equivalent in hole DH-116-12 in the Northeast Zone, the eastern most intercept to date.
Other notable results included hole DH-115-12 in the Northeast Pit Extension, which returned 3 metres of 112 g/t silver equivalent within 12 metres of 43 g/t silver equivalent. The company said this hole shows the potential opening of mineralization to the north.
Kootenay said that work for an updated NI 43-101 resource is underway, which will incorporate the results from the recent drilling.
"The high-grade results achieved from step-out drilling in the Northeast Zone is further testimony to the success of our multi-phase drill program," said CEO James McDonald.
"Since confirming our initial NI 43-101 silver resource in 2010, we established one continuous zone of silver mineralization from the Pit (Discovery) Zone through the Southwest Zone. This zone remains open to the east, west and to depth.
"We continue to encounter high-grade silver intercepts over widespread areas of silver mineralization in the Northeast Zone, some 700 meters outside of the current NI 43-101 resource.
"We expect these developments will play a critical factor in sharply boosting the size of our existing silver resource as we prepare for our updated independent NI 43-101 resource study."
The Promontorio silver mineralization is hosted in a large diatreme complex, which has significant geologic implication, the company said, as these types of systems can typically be "very large in size and result in discovery of numerous deposits".
Examples in Mexico include the Pitarrilla silver-lead-zinc deposits in Durango, and the Peñasquito silver-gold-lead-zinc mine in the northeast of the State of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico.
Silver mineralization at Kootenay's project remains open in both strike directions and down dip, between the Pit, Southwest Extension and Northeast zones, the company said.
Kootenay also said Wednesday it has identified a host of new prospective targets within the Diatreme complex, that require further drill testing, with a large follow-up drill program planned for after the release of the resource update.
Kootenay Silver is developing mineral projects in the Sierra Madre Region of Mexico and in British Columbia, Canada.
Currently, Promontorio itself hosts an NI 43-101-compliant resource containing 8.9 million indicated ounces of silver plus 1.17 million ounces of inferred silver, 99.3 million indicated pounds of lead plus 13.4 million inferred pounds of lead, and 110.8 million indicated pounds of zinc plus 14.3 million inferred pounds of zinc.

Westridge Resources extends high grade El Padre vein to 150 metres down dip

Westridge Resources (CVE:WST) said Wednesday that drilling at its Charay project in Mexico extended high grades in the El Padre Vein to depths of around 150 metres down dip.

The junior miner said drilling has also intersected high grade veins not previously known, with drill hole 12-28. This hole intersected the El Padre vein and three hanging wall veins, the highest of which returned 1.0 metres at 20.6 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, followed by a second vein of 1.2 metres at 9.56 g/t gold and greater than 100 g/t silver.

"These veins were not known prior to this round of drilling and clearly indicate high grade potential in numerous veins sub parallel to the El Padre Vein," said chief geologist, Dr. John Dreier.

The extension of high grades to depths of around 150 metres down dip within the El Padre Vein was seen in hole 12-31, which returned an assay of 2.4 metres at 10.15 g/t gold. This included 1.4 metres at 15.25 g/t gold and 127 g/t silver, showing high grades intersected well below previous shallower drilling, the company said.

"These grade intervals all represent grade-thickness, values well above cutoff grades in many Mexican underground gold-silver mines. Our drilling has shown high grades in the El Padre Vein to approximately 150 meters down dip, three times the depth previously known," continued Dreier.

The company's surface sampling has indicated a cumulative strike length of mineralized veins to about 3,000 metres, more than ten times the strike length known when Westridge began exploring the property.

"With each step of our exploration, this district simply continues to get larger and respond with high grade results," said board member Robert Barker.

"We continue to intersect high grades in newly discovered veins. Our surface sampling has identified values in veins of up to 12.5 gpt Au, including 8.3 gpt Au in a vein approximately 600 meters along strike and northeast of the Tiro Barraza shaft.

"We are particularly pleased with the widths of some of the vein structures, namely the 3.25m intersection of the El Padre Vein in drill hole 12-32, including 1.0m at 7.68 gpt Au.

"This is very encouraging, particularly when coupled with a previously reported intersection in our due diligence drilling of 9.8m at 18.78 gpt Au."

Barker further said the company is eager to initiate a large, more aggressive drill program to properly test the large number of targets in the growing gold system. So far, Westridge has explored far less than one percent of the 105 square kilometre property package, it said.

Indeed, the company said that aside from surface samples northeast of Tiro Barraza, anomalous gold values were also seen in a vein structure roughly 400 metres southeast of the main El Padre vein, but due to poor outcrop and exposure, the true width represented by these samples was not well understood.

Subject to a financing, the company's upcoming drill program will include, mapping and trenching to continue to define the veins on the surface, and geochemical sampling to prioritize the potential drill targets and to identify additional mineralized structures on the property.

The company said in a statement that management believes there is "excellent potential" for the discovery of new epithermal gold-silver veins elsewhere on the property, as proven by the finding of additional quartz veins that have not yet been mapped or sampled.

Westridge has an option to acquire up to a 100 percent interest in the Charay gold-silver project, located in Sinaloa State, Mexico. The relatively new company has maintained investor support since it emerged in 2010, largely due to the management and the successes at its flagship project.

President and CEO Peter Schulhof has over 10 years in small cap junior mining companies, coupled with over 30 years of experience in the start up, management and financing of public and private companies.

The company says that significant cost advantages are associated with the Charay project due to mineralization at surface, ease of access and "excellent infrastructure" that currently exists on or very nearby the property.

The property is comprised of five concessions totaling 11,000 hectares close to railroads, trans-continental power lines and large water sources. It is just 15 minutes away from two major four-lane highways, and power and water are already on site and it is easily accessible by road.

With only 15 million shares outstanding, Westridge has a market capitalization of C$9 million - leaving oodles of upside potential in the share price if the company continues to hit mineralization.

Soligenix shows further progress for ThermoVax technology in studies

Biopharmaceutical company Soligenix (OTCBB:SNGX) announced Wednesday further progress in the development of ThermoVax, the company's vaccine thermostabilization technology.
The company's technology allows vaccines that usually need to be refrigerated to maintain their efficacy at higher temperatures.
Soligenix said Wednesday that progress has been made based on the stability of prototype vaccines that have been kept at elevated temperatures for longer than three months.
Studies are being conducted as part of a continuing program to test the effectiveness of vaccines designed to withstand extremes of temperature and other environmental stress conditions.
The development of ThermoVax is being supported by a $9.4 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) grant, for biodefense indications against ricin toxin and anthrax exposure.
In February, Soligenix established proof-of-concept for its thermostabilization technology using its aluminum-adjuvant ricin toxin RiVax vaccine. Results from this study showed the vaccine retained effectiveness and potency, while stored at 40 degrees Celsius for one month, when combined with the ThermoVax technology, the company said.
Confirmatory results, Soligenix added, have now extended this initial time frame to more than three months when the vaccine is kept at 40 degrees Celsius.
In contrast, the liquid RiVax vaccine, when stored at 40 degrees Celsius, rapidly degraded and no longer maintained its effectiveness, the company said.  This is because the ricin A chain is typically sensitive to temperature and quickly loses its ability to induce neutralizing antibodies when exposed to higher temperatues than 8 degrees Celsius.
But ThermoVax is able to produce "stable and potent" vaccine formulations, Soligenix said, by combining lyophilzation technology with conventional aluminum adjuvants, secondary adjuvants (for rapid onset of immunity), and protein subunits.
The lyophilization process is often employed to extend the shelf life of drugs, by removing the water from the pharmaceutical preparation. Vaccines that undergo this process often lose their potency, especially if the vaccine is made with aluminum salt adjuvants, as most are.
As a result, most vaccine products must be kept under tightly controlled conditions, as the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about half of all global vaccine doses are wasted for not being kept within required temperature ranges.
Soligenix's technology, however, achieves this lyophilization effect but maintains the sensitive material in the vaccine, making the technology especially valuable for biodefense or pandemic situations, where drugs need to be stockpiled for a long period of time.
"We continue to be pleased with the data generated thus far with ThermoVax," said chief scientific officer, Dr. Robert N. Brey.
"The ability of vaccines to withstand extreme temperatures is a significant step forward in vaccine technology.
"ThermoVax may also enable preparation of otherwise difficult multivalent (protective against multiple pathogens) formulations. We plan to apply ThermoVax to other conventional vaccines that require refrigeration."
The underlying technology was developed by Drs. John Carpenter and Theodore Randolph at the University of Colorado, whose team performed the studies along with Dr. Nicholas Mantis of The New York State Department of Health in Albany.
The company said the elimination of the cold chain would also boost the utility of these vaccines for emerging markets, and for other applications requiring but lacking reliable cold chain capabilities, which add considerable cost.
Soligenix is a development stage biopharmaceutical company, developing products to treat life-threatening side effects of cancer treatments and serious gastrointestinal diseases, as well as vaccines for certain bioterrorism agents.
Through its biodefense division, Soligenix is developing its SGX204 vaccine, which is designed to protect against the lethal effects of exposure to anthrax, in addition to RiVax.

Fission Energy hits "significant" basement mineralization at Patterson Lake South

Fission Energy Corp. (CVE:FIS)(OTCQX:FSSIF) said Wednesday that it has found significant anomalous radioactivity in the final hole of a winter drill program at the joint venture Patterson Lake South property in Saskatchewan.

The company said that hole PLS12-016 intersected "multiple intersections of anomalous and variable radioactivity", including 2.50 metres measuring less than 300-799 counts per second (cps), 7.50 metres of variable radioactivity to a maximum peak of 1,725 cps, and 5.00m measuring less than 300-378 cps.

The hole was collared 823 metres east of previous hole PLS12-013, which encountered 19.50 metres of anomalous radioactivity, along an EM conductor identified from the 2012 airborne survey to the west of Patterson Lake.

The Patterson Lake South property is a 50/50 joint venture with Fission and partner ESO Uranium Corp (CVE:ESO).

With the results today, the winter drill program, which began in February, has now been completed. The program was a continuation of last year's efforts to locate the bedrock source area of the high-grade Uranium boulder field discovery made last June, which is believed to occur below the unconformity in a basement hosted system.

In the final hole of the winter program, Fission said a weakly anomalous intermittent radiometric anomaly was identified in the overburden, extending into the basement, from 55.00 to 76.00 metres. Increasingly moderate to strong clay alteration in the basement rock below the overburden was also encountered intermittently from 111.60 to 210.10 metres.

Two additional drill holes, PLS12-014 and PLS12-015, drilled along the same EM conductor, both intersected variable narrow intervals of weakly anomalous radioactivity, Fission added. Hole PLS12-015 also encountered "increasingly strong" alteration below the overburden/unconformity interface.

In February, the companies started the 2,100 metre drilling program on the property, testing favorable basement bedrock beneath the glacial sedimentary cover to the "up-ice" area, which is east-northeast of the high grade Uranium boulder field found last June.

The high-grade Uranium boulder field has yielded boulder assays as high as 39.6% and 31.4% Uranium since its discovery.

Overall, the three drill holes reported Wednesday showed anomalous radiometric anomalies with associated alteration along 823 metres of strike on the same EM conductor, the joint venture partners said.

"These anomalies present a very significant and encouraging target for follow-up drilling to be carried out by a planned summer drill program," the parties said in a statement.

The winter drill program has further refined the boundaries of the Uranium boulder field target area to the west of Patterson Lake, with the results from prior hole PLS12-013  and hole PLS12-16 providing a "meaningful indicator" for identifying the potential high grade mineralized source of the Uranium boulder field, Fission said.

Planning is underway to carry out Sonic-reverse circulation drilling during the summer, as well as continued follow-up of the anomalous area found in this past winter program, which has so far only been partially tested.

Fission is the operator of the Patterson Lake South exploration project, which is accessible by road with primary access from all weather Highway 955, which runs north to the former Cluff Lake mine, where more than 60 million pounds of Uranium has been produced.

In February, the Uranium explorer said the joint venture staked six new claims along the south boundary of Patterson Lake South, boosting the size of the asset to around 31,000 hecatres in 17 mineral claims.

The six new claims, which were staked to cover possible south-trending extensions of the wide, high grade Uranium boulder field, total around 8,170 hectares.

Fission is focused on the acquisition and exploration of Uranium properties in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec in Canada, as well as the Macusani District in Peru.

Its flagship Waterbury Lake project is located immediately west of Hathor Exploration’s (TSE:HAT) Roughrider Uranium deposit, which is in the heart of the Athabasca Basin district that hosts over 110 million pounds of Uranium.

Hathor was subject to a takeover battle in late 2011 between mining giants Cameco Corp. (TSE:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO)(LON:RIO), with the latter emerging as the winner with its $654 million friendly bid trumping Cameco's $625 million offer.

Earlier this week, Fission said it has agreed to acquire industry peer Pitchstone Exploration through a plan of arrangement. Under the terms of the deal, Fission will issue 0.2145 common shares of the company for each common share of Pitchstone.
Pitchstone is a Uranium explorer focused in three districts in Canada and Namibia. The company's property portfolio features 13 projects in the eastern Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan, five of which are 100 percent owned.