Thursday, 28 February 2013

RESAAS signs on Parker Properties to its real estate social network

Real estate social network RESAAS Services (CNSX:RSS) has announced yet another service agreement as its platform continues to grow, this time adding Southern California-based real estate firm Parker Properties. 
Located in San Bernardino County, a sub-region of Southern California, Parker Properties has been serving the High Desert area for more than 30 years. 
“Eric Hunley, realtor and manager at Parker Properties, immediately saw the value of the RESAAS social network and our mobile applications,” said RESAAS VP of sales Padraig Cullen. 
“Eric understands that enhancing his agent social networking strategy, combined with streamlining their social efforts, will be a major factor leading to success in the High Desert market. We are excited to work with such a great real estate firm that is a leader in the High Desert region.” 
RESAAS Services is a social network for real estate professionals, mortgage specialists, home buyers and sellers. The network is designed to enable real-time updating of property listings as well as the ability to sync with social media sites such as Facebook(NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter.
Real-time updates are one aspect of what sets RESAAS part from sites such as the Canadian Real Estate Association's Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website, where it can take a number of days for new listings to appear.
Earlier this month, the company welcomed Royal LePage Kelowna to its platform, just a week after it added California's Century 21 Adobe Realty, which itself came just over a week after it added real estate agency OC Homes Realty from Southern California. 
RESASS has also inked service agreements with Century 21 In Town Realty in Downtown Vancouver and Southern California real estate firm Star Real Estate South County this year. 
The company in 2012 inked a deal to work with The Residential Group Realty (TRG Realty) of Vancouver and brought on Summit Realty Group, a full-service, commission brokerage specializing in residential real estate throughout the U.S. 
In one of its most notable achievements last year, RESAAS received approval to include its real estate Q&A app in Microsoft's Window's 8 App Store. The company's platform is also available for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system for smartphones.
Under the latest deal, all Parker Properties agents will receive their own corporate branded agent pages. 
In addition, the firm will have a Parker Properties news page in order to broadcast relevant information and remain in constant contact with the members of Parker Properties who are a part of their corporate social network on RESAAS

Batero Gold says PEA for La Cumbre deposit expected in Q2

Batero Gold Corp. (CVE:BAT) provided Thursday an update on its exploration and development efforts at its Batero-Quinchia project in Colombia. 
The company told investors that it continues to make "significant progress" in both advancing the project's La Cumbre gold deposit toward development, and defining high priority exploration targets for its 2013 drill program. 
A preliminary economic assessment for the oxide gold deposit is expected in the second quarter, with the company focused on moving the near surface oxidized gold mineralization through full feasibility and to construction as soon as possible. 
For the preliminary study, it has so far completed infill drilling, geotechnical drilling and metallurgical tests, as well as an infrastructure assessment. 
Following the report, the company is planning to start a full feasibility study during the second half of the year, which it expects will be complete after 12 months. It added that it is fully funded for this next step. 
"Batero continues to make progress in evaluating an optimal mine scenario," said CEO Brandon Rook. "Considerations include both a leach processing circuit and the optimum starter pit production rate from the higher grade oxidized gold mineralization at La Cumbre, which represents just one of three porphyry deposits at the Batero-Quinchia Project. 
"The development of a prospective starter pit at La Cumbre could potentially serve as the first phase of a larger staged mine development. Our progress on this strategic decision has been greatly accelerated by the operational expertise of our strategic partner, Consorcio Minero Horizonte."
Indeed, last month, Peruvian gold producer Consorcio Minero Horizonte took a 35 per cent stake in the company, as per a strategic alliance agreement between the two parties struck in November.
The deal raised about $20 million for the development of the Batero-Quinchia project and included equity private placement financings, as well as an agreed loan of $2.2 million to Batero from Horizonte, all together raising up to $20 million for Batero. 
With regards to the company's exploration program this year, Batero said it will use its exploration budget to focus on new discoveries at the project - specifically targeting the 60% of the concession area that remains unexplored. 
Three new areas have been identified so far, said the company.
"We are encouraged by recent high-grade exploration discoveries which are defining new high priority drill targets," said Rook. "With 60% of the property unexplored, we believe the long-term exploration potential is significant."
Shares of Batero advanced more than 6% on Thursday to trade at 33.5 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Madalena Ventures reports progress in Argentina and Canada

Madalena Ventures (CVE:MVN) gave investors this morning an update on its Coiron Amargo block in Argentina today, saying its CAN-8 development well was successfully completed for production, and is flowing at around 178 barrels per day (bbls/d) 12 days without fracking. 
The oil and gas producer also noted it is making progress on plans to tie in four to five wells before spring break-up on its assets in Alberta, with its goal nearly achieved. 
The junior oil and gas E&P company is focused on ramping development across three key light oil and liquids-rich resource plays in Canada while delineating large-in-place shale and unconventional resources in Argentina. 
On the Coiron Amargo block in Argentina, where the company has a 35% working interest, the CAN-8 development well, located 800 metres southeast of the existing CAN-7 oil producer on the northern portion of the block, was completed over the last few weeks. 
It was then perforated without any stimulation and production tested in the Sierras Blancas light oil zone for a period of three days. The average production rates over the three day test period were 482 bbls/day (168 bbls/day net) at an oil cut of 96%, and 525 mcf/d (184 mcf/d net) of associated gas.
The company said that given the results of the test, it placed the wellbore on production without further stimulation or fracture treatment to further assess the overall production performance. 
After 12 days of continuous production, CAN-8 is currently flowing at around 178 bbls/day gross (62 bbls/day net) at an oil cut of 88% and 337 mcf/d gross (118 mcf/d net) of associated gas. 
This location may be further stimulated in the Sierras Blancas in the future, Madalena said, and also has an approximate 104 metre thick section of the unconventional and prolific Vaca Muerta shale.
This year, the company is planning to focus on a combination of workovers and new development and exploration drilling at its assets in Argentina, focused on oil in the Vaca Muerta shale, alongside development work in the Sierra Blancas at its Coiron Amargo block and the testing of a thick 577 metre Quintuco zone on its Cortadera block. 
Madalena holds three large blocks - Coiron Amargo, Curamhuele, and Cortadera - within the prolific Neuquén Basin of Argentina, where joint venture activity is bussling. 
Later this year, it said additional high impact zones of interest could be further tested along its assets, including more work in the Vaca Muerta shale, the Lower Agrio shale and thick tight sands within the Mulichinco. 
Aside from its development plans in Argentina, Madalena holds 153 net sections of land in the Greater Paddle River area of Central Alberta, containing three oil and liquids rich plays - Ostracod, Wilrich/Notikewin, and Nordegg. 
The company is on track to drill between four and five horizontal wells in the region before spring break-up, and with steady drilling planned through 2013, production could grow from 900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to more than 2,000 boe/d at exit this year. 
The junior recently completed two Ostracod oil wells, and expects both these wells to be on stream prior to spring break-up, with completion operations now underway at the Nordegg horizontal well. 
Its Notikewin well is expected to be placed on production over the next week. 
National Bank Financial initiated coverage late Wednesday on Madalena Ventures (CVE:MVN), with an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of $1.00, saying that current share price levels offer an attractive entry point for investors ahead of several key Canadian and Argentinian well results. 
Madalena also received coverage Thursday from broker Casimir Capital, which maintained its $1.30 price target on the junior.

Kootenay Silver says prelim metallurgical tests show gold can be recovered effectively at Promontorio project

Kootenay Silver (CVE: KTN) has revealed preliminary metallurgical results on the gold component contained within its Promontorio project silver resource in Mexico, which the company calls a positive development. 
The testing, conducted by ALS Minerals, showed that recovery of gold from the Promontorio resource is possible using post-pressure oxidation, after which 94.5% of the gold was extracted from pyrite concentrate. 
The company said though that further testing will be needed to determine the economics and capital costs of recovering the gold using pressure oxidation/cyanidation. 
An additional test is already underway to assess the gold recovery with partial oxidation of the pyrite concentrate of approximately 50%.
"The results from this  metallurgical testing is a positive development as the Promontorio  resource and mineral system contains a substantial amount of gold that  has yet to be factored into any of our resource calculations," said president and CEO James McDonald. 
"While additional work is required to assess the economics and capital costs of oxidation, and what the potential net benefits would be, these results are a promising first step, as we continue to assess the gold  component at Promontorio."
The testing was conducted on a pyrite concentrate that had a gold head assay of about 3.0 grams per tonne and about 98% of the pyrite was oxidized.
Earlier this month, the company bolstered its management team with the appointment of project manager, Kristian Whitehead, who has more than 10 years of experience as a project geologist, specializing in the implementation and management of drilling and advance staged programs. 
He will be responsible for overseeing the company's current 30,000 metre, multi-phase drill and resource expansion program now in progress on the Promontorio project, where Kootenay last month unveiled the results from the first 8 holes, which revealed values as high as 199 grams per tonne (g/t) silver. 
The 30,000 metre drill program is the largest drill campaign conducted on Promontorio so far, and Kootenay said it is designed to “substantially increase” the overall size of its contained silver resource and to fast track the path to a production decision.
A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) study is planned for the end of the drilling campaign, and will include an updated resource estimate with results from the latest drilling. 
The report will then form the basis for the pre-feasibility study at Promontorio.
In August this past year, Kootenay announced it had nearly tripled the resource size at Promontorio. In total, the updated measured and indicated mineral resource contained an estimated 61.679 million ounces of silver equivalent, with another 14.469 million ounces of silver equivalent categorized as inferred.
Shares of the company were flat at 80 cents in Toronto on Thursday. 

Snipp launches latest tool in mobile solutions with “SnippCheck”

Mobile marketing services firm Snipp Interactive Inc. (CVE:SPN) Thursday announced the launch of SnippCheck, the newest addition to its Mobilize Me suite.
Snipp's "Mobilize Me" platform includes three mobile specific solutions - response, infrastructure and validation - which collectively allow brands to interact with their customers through mobile across the entire purchase lifecycle.
SnippCheck uses its image recognition technology to validate the authenticity of pictures submitted by customers through their mobile phone. 
For the first time, the company says brands can set up programs that enable their customers to simply send a picture of their purchase receipts to receive coupons, participate in contests, collect loyalty points, unlock rewards or receive rebates – eliminating the need for companies to manually validate a proof of purchase received by regular mail.
"SnippCheck is a revolutionary new solution that is taking the shopper marketing industry by storm,” says CEO and co-founder Atul Sabharwal.
“It not only is more cost-effective for brands given our unique "Pay-Per-Snipp" pricing model based on user participation, but it is easier for consumers to participate in these programs because all it takes is a camera enabled phone. 
“We have leading brands nationwide in discussions with us today to run programs via SnippCheck."
Snipp says the new addition to its mobile solutions toolbox requires no point-of-sale integration, works across retailers, on all phones and in real time, if required. 
By creating entirely mobile workflows for product and receipt processing, the company says SnippCheck helps brands lower their costs of mail-in rebate programs by at least 50 per cent and allows for customers to receive their rebates or rewards on a pre-determined schedule, versus the industry standard six to eight weeks.
Snipp says it saw “great success and press” from the SnippCheck pilot campaign with Arm & Hammer, and looks to continue to grow the solution to meet the needs of its growing client list. 
The company says it has “a number of exciting campaigns” coming through the pipeline.

Mawson Resources reveals high grade gold at Rompas, project still in "early days"

Mawson Resources (TSE:MAW) has unveiled first drill results from its winter 2013 drill program at its North Rompas prospect in northern Finland, sending shares higher Thursday as investors were encouraged by high gold grades. 
The best intersection from 20 of 29 holes at North Rompas returned thus far is 0.4 metres at 395 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.41% uranium oxide, from 41 metres depth in hole ROM0052. 
The hole is the most southern of the program, the company said today. Meanwhile, hole ROM0053 also returned 1.1 metres of 9.8 g/t gold and 0.16% uranium oxide from 78.5 metres. 
The drill program is the first drill test of the North Rompas project area, with exploration still at an early stage, Mawson said, as just 120 metres of strike was tested from the 1 km strike of known geochemical anomalies, at an average vertical depth of 60 metres. 
 "These latest drill  results, which include 0.4 metres at 395 g/t gold at a shallow depth,  are located more than 5 kilometres along strike from previous drilling at South Rompas where 6 metres at 617 g/t gold and 697 ppm U3O8 was discovered in hole ROM0011," said president and CEO Michael Hudson. 
"The results further demonstrate the  scale and grade that can develop within the Rompas vein-zone system," he said, adding that it is important to note that it remains early days for the Rompas-Rajaplot property given the company now has indications of a high grade gold system in an area approaching 10 km  by 10 km. 
The campaign, which started in December, forms the major part of a C$3.2 million company-wide 2013 winter exploration program through to the end of June. 
The company says that another 80% of the highest priority targets on the Rompas-Rajapalot  project remain, within areas where Mawson is not yet permitted to drill. This includes the mineralization discovered last year at Rajapalot. 

The North Rompas prospect lies eight kilometres west of Rajapalot, from where 80 grab samples averaged 152.0 g/t gold and 3,248 ppm uranium. 

Although Mawson holds the mineral rights within these areas, drilling is not permitted until the company completes an environmental program and after a modified claim decision is granted by the Finnish authorities.    
"It remains critical to the development of the Rompas-Rajapalot project that we work in conjunction  with the Finnish authorities to gain drilling access to our best  exploration targets in the shortest possible timeframes," said Hudson. 
To date, 51 holes have been completed this winter at the Rompas-Rajapalot site, with 29 holes at North Rompas, 14 holes at South Rompas, and eight holes at North Palokas. Results for 30 holes are still pending. 
Ocean Equities took note of the North Rompas results in a broker note today: "Today’s results reflect the early exploration stage of Mawson’s Rompas-Rajapalot project. This is the first real drilling campaign that Mawson has conducted on a high priority target; the results are good in so far as they confirm that high grade gold is abundant within the system.  
"However, they suggest that the mineralisation is complex, and we are not surprised that results do not live up to the standout earlier results from trenching (where channel sample results included 1.40m at 2,529 g/t gold and 5.1% uranium oxide) due to the nuggetty nature of the gold distribution." 
Mawson remains well funded, the broker added, with C$6.5m cash in the bank, "more than sufficient" to fund several additional drilling campaigns.
"Provided Mawson receives permission to conduct exploration activities within Natura 2000 areas it will have a much greater chance of replicating the trenching results as it will be able to drill test the higher priority exploration targets."
Shares of the company rose over 4% to $1.28 in early afternoon trade Thursday. 

Curis Resources educates on Florence copper recovery methods with new corporate video

Curis Resources (TSE:CUV) has released a new corporate video following the release of its prefeasibility study for its Florence copper project in central Arizona. 
The video, titled "Changing the Way Copper is Made" outlines the process of in-situ copper recovery (ISCR), how the phase 1 production test facility at Florence will be operated responsibly, and how local and regional ground water quality will  be protected, it told investors today. 
The video will also discuss how the project represents a "significant near-term" economic development opportunity for the town of Florence and the surrounding region. 
Earlier this month, the company announced the highly anticipated results of its prefeasibility study for the project. It didn't fail to impress investors as the study showed strong economics and lower initial capital costs than a previous preliminary report. 
The report, authored by M3 Engineering & Technology, shows that using a long-term copper price of US$2.75 a pound, the project has a pre-tax net present value of US$748 million at a 7.5% discount rate, with a 38% internal rate of return (IRR) and a pre-tax payback period of just under two and a half years. 
After tax, the net present value is $505 million using the $2.75 per pound copper price, with a 31% IRR and a payback period of just under three years. 
The economics were modelled based on a design production rate of 55 million pounds of copper per year in the first five years, rising to 85 million pounds in year six. 
"Florence Copper represents the safest and most technologically advanced  way to get copper out of the ground," said president and CEO, Michael McPhie. 
"Our new video is part of a wider effort to engage with and educate the public about how in-situ copper recovery works, and outline how  Florence Copper can make a profound near-term contribution to the  economic and social well-being of Florence, Pinal County and the state  of Arizona."
Indeed, the in-situ recovery process requires no movement of rock or overburden, and there is therefore a substantially smaller footprint, with much less of an environmental impact on the surrounding area than with more traditional open pit mining operations. 
The technique also requires substantially less mechanical energy in the form of trucks and explosives, and therefore generates significantly lower operating and capital costs. 
The Florence property has a history having been advanced to a prefeasibility study level, and attaining full project permits when it was owned by BHP Copper in the late 1990s. 
Curis has been working to amend and update these operational permits, with the aim of starting copper production at a phase 1 production test facility late this year.
To view the video, please click HERE

Treasury Metals gains after "significant" near surface drill results from Goliath's C zone in northwestern Ontario

Shares of Treasury Metals (TSE:TML) rose almost 10% Thursday morning after the company reported more near-surface drilling results from the C zone at its Goliath gold project in northwestern Ontario.
The recent results occur near surface, and could represent an increase in the current open pit mine shells and the mineable ounces within them, the company told investors today. 
The C zone results could also potentially reduce the overall waste to ore stripping ratios, especially in the Eastern section of the deposit.  
Shares of the Toronto-based gold explorer rose 5 cents to 59 cents this morning.
Results include 22 metres at 1.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 60 metres depth in hole TL13-306, as well as 20 metres at 1.0 g/t gold from 26 metres in hole TL13-305. 
Treasury also returned 14 metres at 1.3 g/t gold from 114.7 metres depth in re-entry hole TL223-13RE. 
The C zone is located around 30 to 50 metres behind the project's main zone of mineralization, with recent drilling leading to the discovery of "multiple new mineralized areas", the company said, either by extending previous operators' drill hole depths past the project's main zone, or by new drilling. 
The results Thursday represent the first gold intersections that are coming together to form several ore shoots within the project's "sparsely drilled" C zone, it added. 
Drilling will continue to delineate the zone, which covers an area measuring around 1.2 km in strike length, with the program focused mainly on defining near-surface resources. 
Since the program started late last year, the company says it has concluded that certain drill holes done by previous operators need to be extended in length or re-drilled in order to thoroughly test the C zone. 
A preliminary economic assessment from last July considered a 2,500 tonne per day plant and capex of $92 million at the Goliath project. Goliath should produce 80,000 ounces per year at $700/oz cash costs over a 10-year mine life.
The company is working toward a feasibility study on its project this year, with an environmental impact statement expected to be submitted in May.
Currently, the project holds 810,000 ounces at 2.75 g/t gold equivalent in the indicated category, and 900,000 ounces at 1.76 g/t gold in the inferred category. 

Southern Arc Minerals reveals encouraging West Lombok drill results

Southern Arc Minerals (CVE:SA)(OTCQX:SOACF) released Thursday what it said were encouraging drilling results from its Bising target in the Mencanggah prospect on its West Lombok property in Indonesia, as the company also announced its second quarter financial results. 
Late last year, the Indonesia-focused explorer announced plans to restart drilling at West Lombok, following a strategic review that also decided the company would retain its "no-cost" joint venture interest in the East Elang project, sell its Taliwang project and reliniquish its Sabalong asset. 
The narrowed focus has allowed Southern Arc to dedicate its resources in the near-term to the advancement of West Lombok, while also being able to consider new gold-focused opportunities within Indonesia and other countries. 
After the decision last year, the company mobilized three drill rigs to its Bising target at West Lombok, and started a phase 2 drill program to infill and expand the zones of mineralization next to wide mineralized intercepts found in phase 1. 
So far, it has completed 11 holes as part of the phase 2 program, with results to be included in an NI 43-101 resource estimate for the property - targeted for the middle of this year. 
Notable results reported Thursday include 66.8 metres at 0.66 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 2.4 g/t silver in hole MCG041, including 22.9 metres at 1.16 g/t gold and 2.7 g/t silver. 
Hole MCG042 also hit 53.2 metres at 1.04 g/t gold and 1.4 g/t silver, including 1 metre at 9.67 g/t gold and 0.8 g/t silver, and 0.30 metres at 10.2 g/t gold and 61.3 g/t silver. 
"We are encouraged that wide intervals averaging greater than 1 g/t gold mineralization have been intersected in a large proportion of the diamond drill holes in the Bising target," said president and COO, Dr. Mike Andrews. "These results continue to demonstrate the consistency and width of mineralization at Bising." 
The width of the main Bising epithermal body, of up to 66 metres in surface outcrop, is thought to results from the intersection of geological structures.                      
With this initial phase 2 exploration now complete, the rigs were mobilized to the Tibu Serai target at the Mencanggah prospect, where surface channel samples returned the highest grade mineralization on the property so far, the company said. 
Once all the results are received, its exploration team and board will review to determine the next steps to advancing the West Lombok project. 
The West Lombok project covers a 13-km long by 7-km wide structural corridor of mineralization, hosting porphyry copper-gold and epithermal gold deposits. The two main epithermal prospects on the property, Pelangan and Mencanggah, cover broad areas of 4 km by 5 km and 6.5 km by 4.5 km, respectively. 
Last November, the company secured the forestry permit required to conduct drilling on the property, allowing it to restart exploration. 
As Southern Arc is an exploration company and does not generate revenues, the company incurred a net loss of $5.17 million in the quarter that ended December 31, or 5 cents per share. It had total assets of $54.3 million, and working capital of $17.2 million at the end of the period. 
With regards to its other remaining East Elang property, the company said that though the asset is considered highly prospective, exploration has been deferred until Southern Arc receives the appropriate forestry permits. Under a joint venture deal signed in October 2010, Vale can earn a 75% stake in East Elang by taking the property to bankable feasibility study. 
The Canadian junior also said Thursday that it is "actively pursuing" a number of acquisition and partnership opportunities, both within Indonesia and in other countries.

Brokers go "mad" on Madalena Ventures as it pushes goals forward

National Bank Financial initiated coverage Thursday on Madalena Ventures (CVE:MVN), with an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of $1.00, saying that current share price levels offer an attractive entry point for investors ahead of several key Canadian and Argentinian well results. 
The junior oil and gas E&P company is focused on ramping development across three key light oil and liquids-rich resource plays in Canada while delineating large-in-place shale and unconventional resources in Argentina. 
Analyst Darrell Bishop notes that domestic assets provide "solid foundation" for growth. The company holds 153 net sections of land in the Greater Paddle River area of Central Alberta, containing three oil and liquids rich plays - Ostracod, Wilrich/Notikewin, and Nordegg. 
The company is on track to drill between four and five horizontal wells in the region before spring break-up, and with steady drilling planned through 2013, production could grow from 900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to more than 2,000 boe/d at exit this year, the analyst predicts. 
"A large inventory of horizontal locations provides running room to support long-term production growth," he adds. 
Meanwhile, the company's international assets "offer tremendous unconventional exploration potential", Bishop says. Madalena holds three large blocks - Coiron Amargo, Curamhuele, and Cortadera - within the prolific Neuquén Basin of Argentina. 
The blocks, which are stacked with conventional and unconventional plays, are also surrounded by majors, with the company's near-term focus on delineating the large in-place resource potential across the "world-class Vaca Muerta and Agrio shales", alongside high impact conventional and tight sand plays. 
Bishop notes that the company is just one of a handful of early entrants into the Neuquén Basin, as key acreage positions within the unconventional shales have since been locked up with limited options available to those looking for entry or to grow existing land positions. 
Madalena’s Coiron Amargo concession is next to YPF’s Loma La Lata block, the epicentre of Argentina’s shale revolution, and in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion of shale resource joint ventures announced in the last three months.
An initial resource report for all three blocks is expected late this quarter or early in the second, and could be a major catalyst, Bishop says, while a blend of seven to 10 high impact new drills and re-entries are expected to provide "plenty of news flow" through 2013.
The analyst also took note of some key risks, both operational and regulatory. In Canada, while vertical well control has been shown across the plays, the application of horizontal multi-stage frac technology is early stage. 
Meanwhile, in Argentina, he says that while there are "several positive leading indicators" over the past two months pointing to the start of a turnaround in 2013, the analyst sees a need for the government to extend "additional olive branches" to investors if they are to regain the market's confidence. 
Many Argentinian stocks were severly impacted by the nationalistic policies enacted by the Argentina government in early 2012, following the expropriation of YPF from Repsol S.A. in April last year. 
Still, Bishop believes that investment appetite is returning in Argentina as the government is beginning to work with industry again as highlighted by the reinstatement and extension of some previously revoked exploration permits, as well as by cuts to oil export taxes and the pledge of higher domestic gas prices. 
There are also signs that industry is getting back to work, as seen by two recent large joint ventures signed between state-owned YPF and majors Chevron and Bridas/CNOOC. 
"With valuation trading below that of its nearest Argentinean peer and supported by the junior domestic peer group, combined with several recent positive leading indicators of an Argentina turnaround, we believe current levels offer an attractive entry point ahead of several key Canadian and Argentinian well results and the company's inaugural resource report for all three Argentinan blocks."
The analyst also highlights the company's Canadian assets, which not only provide the opportunity for aggressive growth, but also provide stability and buy time to delineate the substantial unconventional resource potential in Argentina. 
Madalena also received coverage Thursday from broker Casimir Capital, which maintained its $1.30 price target on the junior following an update on the Coiron Amargo block today. The company's CAN-8 development well was successfully completed for production, and is flowing at 234 boe/d after 12 days without fraccing. 
The oil and gas producer also noted it is making progress on plans to tie in four to five wells before spring break-up in Alberta, with its goal nearly achieved. 

NanoViricides armed with $18 mln of cash after retirement of Series C preferred stock

NanoViricides (OTCBB: NNVC) says it has retired the remainder of its Series C convertible preferred stock previously purchased by Seaside 88 with a cash payment, and said it holds around $18 million of cash in hand following the transaction. 
The drug developer believes that these funds are sufficient, it said, for more than two years of operating expenses, and to advance its anti-flu drugs into initial human clinical trials. 
The deal with Seaside 8 was done through a mutual agreement, NanoViricides added. 
Shares of the company rose almost 10% in early deals Thursday, to 48.3 cents. 
"We have been very happy with the strong financial support that Seaside has provided to the company," said chairman Anil R. Diwan, adding that Seaside has invested a total of $25 million into the company over the past few years. 
"Their funding has allowed us to focus on drug development without any fund-raising distractions. We have been able to advance our influenza drug pipeline with the use of this financing. Further, we have been able to obtain sufficient capital to fund our upcoming studies through IND filing and initial human clinical trials."
NanoViricides recently sold $6 million of its Series B convertible debentures to three family investment offices and a charitable foundation, and as a result, determined that the retirement of its preferred Series C stock was in the best interests of its shareholders. 
Around $2 million of the $6 million it raised was used to retire the Series C shares, it added. 
The news, which was announced late Wednesday, came just a day after the company announced that the renovation of the facility for its new clinical-scale cGMP production plant has begun.
The company said Tuesday it reached “a new milestone” with the start-up of the renovation of its cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) facility, which is being designed to produce sufficient quantities of the drugs needed for human clinical trials that will test various nanoviricide drug candidates as they advance into the clinical pipeline.
NanoViricides' injectable anti-flu drug, NV-INF-1, is intended for use in hospitalized patients with the flu. The company said it believes it will be useable in immuno-compromised populations, and may receive an orphan drug classification for this indication. 
According to the drug maker, its oral anti-influenza drug candidate, NV-INF-2, may be the first ever nanomedicine drug of any kind that is active when administered orally. This drug is being developed for out-patient influenza cases, and may also be useful for the protection of health care workers.
Both drugs in its FluCide program have shown “very high effectiveness” in preclinical animal studies, NanoViricidesnoted, routinely showing substantial superiority to Tamiflu, the current standard of care. 
The FluCide drugs are intended for use against most types of flu viruses, including H1N1 or the “swine flu”, H3N2, novel strain, and bird flu. 
The drugs are based on NanoViricides' biomimetic technology, which mimicks the natural sialic acid receptors for the influenza virus on the surface of a nanoviricide polymeric micelle. The company noted that all flu viruses bind to the sialic acid receptors, even if they rapidly mutate. 
Including the FluCide program, the company said it currently has six commercially important drug candidates in its pipeline that together address a market size greater than $40 billion. Those include drugs for use against HIV, viral eye diseases, Herpes, and Dengue viruses.

Afferro reveals encouraging drill results from a second Cameroon iron ore project

Afferro Mining (LON:AFF, CVE:AFF) this morning unveiled some encouraging drill results from its Ntem iron ore project in Cameroon.
The highlights of the 23-hole project include 107 metres from surface at 38.1% iron, 80.7 metres 37.4% and 116 at 34.6%.
Davis Tube testwork is to be carried out on samples to assess recoveries from the material recovered. At the same time the consultants SRK are compiling a mineral resource for the project, which is expected some time in the second quarter.
Afferro says Ntem is emerging as an opportunity to develop a standalone mine with lower capital expenditure than its flagship Nkout project, also in Cameroon, with the potential to generate cash flow to support the development of the 2.5bn tonne deposit.
Earlier this week the London and Toronto listed explorer revealed it is close to sealing a deal with one of the world’s largest iron and steel companies, which would fund the development of its assets in Cameroon.
It has signed a memorandum of understanding with the African arm of Korea’s POSCO, which wants to help fund the development of all Afferro’s assets in the country.

Minera IRL hires new CFO

Latin American gold miner Minera IRL (LON:MIRL, TSE:IRL) has appointed Brad Boland as the company’s chief financial officer (CFO).
On April 1 he will replace Tim Miller, who is stepping down for personal reasons.
Courtney Chamberlain, executive chairman of Minera IRL, said: “We are pleased to welcome Brad Boland to our executive team. Brad has extensive experience in finance in the mining industry including the position of CFO with several resource companies.
“Brad will be replacing Tim Miller who I wish to thank for an outstanding job in his role as CFO.”
Boland, who will be based in Toronto, has previously been CFO of Chilean miner Azul Ventures, Australian gold companyCrocodile Gold Corp and Canadian miner Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines.

Tethys Petroleum extends Kul-Bas contract for two years

Tethys Petroleum (LON:TPL, TSE:TPL) this morning told investors that its Kul-Bas exploration and production contract in Kazakhstan has been extended for two more years.
The new contract runs until November 11 20125, it said.
This covers the Akkulka contract area and it includes producing oil and gas fields.
The company said the extension allows it more time to explore the attractive area which contains several prospects and leads, and a proved commercial oil and gas system.
Among the projects within Kul-Bas is the Kalypso well which encountered several  intervals with hydrocarbons and is due to be tested later this year.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Northern Vertex Mining sees share price recover some

Shares of Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (CVE:NEE) rebounded some late Wednesday after last week dropping sharply following the announcement of a "material calculation error" uncovered in the NI 43-101 mineral resource report on its Moss gold-silver project from October last year. 
Shares of the junior explorer were lately up by 13 cents, or over 15%, to 98 cents. Shares were trading at $1.2 before the announcement last week, dropping to 95 cents after the release, and a low of 83 cents on Friday. 
The company said last Monday the modelling methodology that was used led to an error, which would result in around a 50% reduction in the quantity of the previously stated mineral resource estimate. 
The mistaken report, authored by Scott E. Wilson Consulting, was effective as of September 10 last year for the project, which is located in Arizona.
The NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate showed 956,800 gold equivalent ounces in the measured and indicated categories, comprised in over 30.8 million tonnes, and 266,340 ounces in the inferred category. 
The company said it was unable to disclose new compliant estimates at the time, but added that preliminary indications are that new estimates will be around 16.2 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources, and around 6.1 million tonnes of inferred resources. 
The grades are expected to be in line with the previous report. 
The junior mineral explorer said a new technical, restated report will be filed on as soon as possible, with Scott E. Wilson now recalculating the estimates. 
The company has also retained international consulting engineers CDM Smith to confirm the restated estimate, and said that the preliminary economic assessment report for the project is still on track to be released in mid March. 
"We are of course disappointed by this unexpected event, however, the current business plan for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the PEA will proceed as planned," said CEO Dick Whittington at the time.
Earlier this month, Northern Vertex closed the sale of its 51 per cent interest in the Lemhi gold joint venture to Idaho State Gold Company for US$7.65 million, allowing it to focus exclusively on its Moss gold-silver mine in Arizona. 
The company is planning to put the Moss project into commercial production by early 2014, with a three phase mine development plan designed to move the project forward from conceptual design and test work to on-site pilot plant testing and then commercial operations. 
The phased approach is expected to minimize initial capex and ensure technical and economic objectives are met for subsequent phases prior to proceeding with the plan. 

Advanced Proteome Therapeutics hits new 52-week high as plans announced for "multiple warhead" cancer therapy

Advanced Proteome Therapeutics (CVE:APC) reached a new 52-week high on Wednesday after earlier this week announcing plans for its potentially groundbreaking cancer therapy, with a three-in-one treatment that acts as a targeted, combination and homogeneous therapy - all in a single agent.
Shares of the company were up more than 18%, or 3 cents, in early afternoon trade, at 19 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange. 
The drug developer announced its business plans for 2013 in a statement Monday, laying out its goals for the first half of this year with regards to its program.  
The company's technology is based on a proprietary platform that can be used to attach known therapeutics to specific sites on proteins - in this case, proteins that have shown affinity for specific cancer cells, hence the targeted and combination therapy. 
The attachments are designed to boost the properties of the protein targeted for the specific cancer cells, giving it additional therapeutic abilities. 
There has been an explosion in the development of targeted cancer therapies in recent years as they are expected to be far more potent and less toxic than classical methods like chemotherapy that also attack healthy cells. These targeted therapies are expected to dominate the market in the near future. 
But Advanced Proteome's therapy is different because of the combination aspect, meaning the company can attach more than one drug to the protein, and also because of the agent's homogeneity. 
"The exemplar of targeted therapy right now, the antibody drug conjugate, has significant limitations as they all have one type of drug attached  to the antibody and they are heterogeneous - meaning they are really crude chemically and difficult to develop and improve upon in the systematic way the industry has been accustomed to traditionally," CEO Allen Krantz told Proactive Investors on Monday. 
The homogeneity aspect of Advanced Proteome's therapy originates from the use of a protein not only as a delivery system, but also as a scaffold on which to attach each anti-cancer entity to its own specific site on the protein - key to efficient manufacturing and product development.
The feature allows the company to produce single agents, or protein conjugates, bearing multiple therapies. 
The company is already seeking contracts with laboratories to test its technology, and once this is complete, it will begin a first round of testing, with the single agents to be screened for their ability to target cancer cells specifically, and for any obvious toxic effects on healthy cells. 
Over the next six months, Advanced Proteome says it also expects that any promising agents will undergo animal testing in a second round, to determine the potency and toxicity of the therapy.
"The testing methods have been developed and a number of molecules that we are interested in testing have been made, and we are now in the process of getting contracts signed," said the CEO, adding that the ultimate goal will be to target breast and ovarian cancer cells. 
"The general feeling in the field is that it is immensely difficult to control cancer for a very long time with a single therapy because of the heterogeneity of cancer cells and resistance issues, which is why combination therapy is so important. 
“The more advanced the cancer, the more “weapons” you need in combination therapy."
The drug developer recently raised $855,000 in private placement financings and is expecting that as it delivers on its goals, it will raise more funds, with its stock set to appreciate in value.