Friday, 30 August 2013

Tirex Resources appoints former deputy prime minister of Canada as special advisor

Tirex Resources (CVE:TXX) has appointed the former deputy prime minister of Canada, the Hounourable Sheila Copps, to the position of special advisor to the Albania-focused company. 
Copps, the first woman ever named to the post of deputy prime minister of Canada, also served as Canada's minister of environment. 
"Canadians have long respected Ms. Copps for her role as Deputy Prime Minister of our nation, but also for having ushered in some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the world during her tenure as Minister of Environment," Tirex CEO Bryan Slusarchuk said in a statement released late Thursday.
"As Albania moves towards European Union integration, an increasing emphasis will be put on companies' operations as they pertain to environment, health, safety and community. Ms. Copps will act as a key advisor to Tirex to ensure the company continues to act as a leader in these areas."
Copps, who was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada, is credited with introducing the concept of ecological integrity, and also spearheaded the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity. 
Tirex recently engaged an engineering firm in Albania to carry out a survey of the boundaries of its mining licenses. The Vancouver-based explorer announced contracting Lorenco & Co., civil engineers in Tirana, Albania for the survey, which begins at two high priority license areas that are known to host large individual deposits with expansion potential. The two areas, Tuci-East Tuci and Qaf Bari, are among several licenses granted earlier this year by the Albanian government, giving the Albania-focused Tirex a district of properties.
The company’s plans for six specific areas of the Mirdita Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) district were approved during the mining licensing process, through which its exploration licenses were transitioned to 25 year mining licenses after an investment of more than US$25 million.  Initially, the company is to target 500 tonnes per day of production, with plans to ramp up to 2,000 tonnes per day of production after two years. 
"Tirex has operated to a best practices approach in terms of environment, health, safety and community since starting work in Albania six years ago," said Tirex president Fred Tejada. "With Ms. Copps advising on these matters and with continued support in these areas from the EBRD, we are targeting a continued leadership role in this new era of Albanian mineral exploration and development." 

RESAAS adds one more Excellence Real Estate office to its platform

RESAAS Services (CNSX:RSS) (OTCMKTS:RSASF), which operates a social network for real estate professionals, said an additional Excellence Real Estate office has joined its expanding platform. 
The Excellence Organization, a full-service real estate network servicing Southern California, provides information for residential, commercial, investment, foreclosed and short sale properties, Vancouver, British Columbia-based RESAAS said in a statement yesterday.
Based in Santa Fe Springs, California, the Excellence Organization is the second Excellence Real Estate office to joinRESAAS, according to the statement.
"Social media is a new medium to connect with people, to stay in touch and to establish new relationships," Jonathon Villaescusa, Broker-Owner at Excellence Real Estate, said in the statement.
"In our office, we use it to stay in contact with one another, notifying each other of new listings and techniques that are used in today's market," he added.
"RESAAS will help with all of this, especially when it comes to using their inter-office private firm feed." 
Excellence Real Estate empowers the consumer to establish home ownership while understanding the importance of establishing a solid foundation and building equity for tomorrow, RESAAS said in the statement.
The RESAAS platform is designed to allow real-time updating of property listings as well as the ability to sync with social media sites such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter.
Shares of RESAAS have gained 1.1 percent so far this year. They closed at 91 Canadian cents yesterday.

Cancana Resources signs land lease agreement for Valdirao, filings up to date

Cancana Resources Corp. (CVE:CNY) has signed a land lease agreement for its Valdirao manganese mine site in Brazil, the company announced Friday, giving it unrestricted access to the land as it begins mining operations and transitions to a producer. 
The company also announced today that it recently completed the filing of its annual audited financial statements, as well as its first quarter interim statements, and as a result is up to date with its filings, thereby lifting the management cease trade order by the Alberta Securities Commission. 
Cancana holds the distinction of being one of only four companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange that works in manganese, and is definitely "the preeminent one from a grade point of view, a development point of view, and from a resource point of view", according to CEO and director Andrew Male. 
It is a bold claim for the Calgary-based junior, but one backed up by a flagship asset in Brazil boasting what is by industry standards a grade of rare quality on a highly prospective property. Little wonder then that Cancana is moving rapidly to production, with its main focus settling on the Valdirao project. One massive advantage that accrues to the project is its proximity to infrastructure -- Valdirao is within 20 kilometres of the Brazilian National Highway, which itself is accessible by municipally-maintained roads, for transportation of ore out of region. 
Last month, the company announced that it had been issued a trial mining license on its manganese claim, providing approval for mining operations, extraction, processing and sales of manganese ore. Production at the site is due to begin in the next couple of weeks, with preliminary work having already been carried out, or currently in its final stages. 
The Canadian junior, which has been working with local contractors to complete the mining plan and budgets, has completed the site survey, and determined the initial mine site and road access network, which covers about 17 hectares. 
The land lease agreement announced Friday with the landowner is for the use of the land during the period in which mining is taking place, and provides Cancana with the right to install fences, roads and develop the overall mine site, according to its press release. 
"The signing of this Land Lease Agreement and the issuance of the Guia, allows us to now to be able to commence mining excavation, ore processing and sales, which will be the final stage in transitioning from exploration to production," said president and CEO, Andrew Male in a statement released Friday.
"We would like to thank Valdirao, the land owner, for his cooperation during this process and look forward to a positive working relationship with him." 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Analysts see significant share price upside on the horizon at Madalena Energy

Analysts remain confident in Madalena Energy's (CVE:MVN) prospects after the junior oil and gas company's release of second quarter results earlier this week, citing significant potential upside in its shares should the Canadian producer ink a successful joint venture agreement by the end of 2013. 
The Calgary-based company, which posted Monday a year-over-year spike in its second quarter revenues to $3.87 million, is focused on its properties in Argentina and Canada. Operating netbacks, a key measure in the oil and gas industry, climbed to $13.72 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe), compared to $9.57 per boe in the first quarter of 2012. 
Mackie Research analyst Bill Newman kept his buy rating on the company and $2.05 price target, citing "growing production in Canada and large shale resource potential in Argentina". Newman said the second quarter results, which included a narrowed net loss and higher average daily production of 1,020 barrels of oil equivalent per day, were in line with expectations. It ended the quarter with a positive working capital position of $7.7 million. 
The Canadian upstream oil and gas company’s assets in Argentina, where it holds three large blocks within the prolific Neuquén Basin,  are focused on delineating resources in the Vaca Muerta and Lower Agrio shales, alongside tight sand plays and conventional zones of interest. Its properties span 135,000 net acres across the Coiron Amargo, Cortadera and Curamhuele blocks, the latter of which the company is looking to joint venture. 
This is expected to be a key catalyst for the stock, according to both Newman and analysts at National Bank of Canada. The company gained additional flexibility with the recent extension of the exploration period for its 90 per cent weighted interest in the Curamhuele block until November 8, 2014, to satisfy commitments of US$13.8 million. 
"Importantly, MVN recently engaged a financial advisor to seek a potential JV or sale related to its three blocks within the Neuquén Basin of Argentina (2.9bn boe of contingent + prospective resource) which could be a key major catalyst for the stock before year end," the National Bank analysts wrote in a report emailed to clients. 
"Given they are positioned in the right jurisdiction of Argentina where recent activity has been robust and interest is on the rise, we see the potential for considerable interest to be shown by numerous Supermajor/NOC companies with low costs-of-capital." 
Indeed, the area in which Madalena is operating is hot at the moment in light of recent developments in Argentina, including a decree last month that provides for new incentives for large investments into the oil and gas sector, with companies that invest over US$1 billion over a five year period to be allowed to sell 20 per cent of their production at world prices, without paying export taxes. This was followed by Chevron and YPF completing a US$1.24 billion joint venture deal that should see 100 wells drilled over the next 18 months targeting the Vaca Muerta shale. 
"Furthermore, at the right price, we believe any of Madalena’s three blocks (Curamhuele-90% WI, Coiron Amargo-35% WI and Cortadera-40% WI) could be up for grabs," the National Bank analysts added, saying that a joint venture for the company is a "real possibility" given recent transactions by supermajors that validated the appetite for unconventional Argentina acreage. 
For the remainder of the year, Madalena is continuing to delineate resources on its Coiron Amargo block, while in Canada, where it has existing production in the greater Paddle River area, the company is working on road/lease preparation work associated with additional horizontal development locations. 
"With these near-term catalysts in mind, we see bluesky “back-of-the-envelope” valuation for the Argentina assets and MVN’s current Canadian production in its Greater Paddle River Core area to be supportive of up to $4.00/sh in value (10x its current level)," National Bank concluded, calculating that based on the current share price and excluding Canadian current production and cash, this would imply around 20 cents of value being priced into the stock for its Argentina properties, leaving room for significant upside should a joint venture pan out. 

Pivotal Therapeutics says Q2 sales grow 27% as Vascazen impresses cardiologists

Pivotal Therapeutics (OTCQX: PVTTF) (CNSX: PVO), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on Omega-3 therapies for cardiovascular disease (CVD), saw its sales jump 27 per cent in the second quarter as it continues to expand its marketing efforts for its main product, Vascazen. 
For the three months that ended June 30, net loss for the period was slightly lower at $0.72 million, or 1 cent per share, compared to $0.87 million, or 1 cent per share, in the prior year quarter. Sales jumped to $93,189 from $26,408 in the second quarter a year ago. 
"I am very pleased to report continued increasing sales of VASCAZEN®," said CEO and CFO, Eugene Bortoluzzi, in a statement released with the quarterly figures late Wednesday. "A growing number of physicians and health care professionals are realizing the advantages of treating an Omega-3 deficiency by using VASCAZEN® and are impressed by the results they are seeing."
Pivotal's Vascazen is an FDA-regulated medical food product developed to lower cardiovascular health risks in Omega-3 deficient cardiac patients, including high triglycerides, or fatty substances in the blood that are associated with coronary disease. The product is available with a prescription in all major pharmacies throughout the U.S.
Currently, the company's sales reps are focused on marketing the product on the eastern seaboard in the U.S., which it says contains the highest prevalence of cardiovascular disease-related illness in the nation. The 90 percent-pure Omega-3 product, which was introduced in the U.S. in November 2011, provides those suffering from heart disease with levels of the most important Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil – EPA and DHA – that the company says are ideal, and cannot be achieved just through simple changes in diet alone.
Indeed, in the second quarter, the company revealed that results from a clinical trial showed that after eight weeks of treatment with its Vascazen product, there was an increase of 121 per cent in the Omega-Score and 112 per cent in the Omega-Index - both diagnostic tests that measure circulating blood levels of Omega-3 in individuals. Subjects also benefited from an 48 per cent triglyceride reduction, and increased levels of HDL - known as the "good cholesterol". The results of the trial were even presented at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) 2013 Scientific Sessions.
Aside from a proven product that is driving sales growth, Pivotal is also armed with strong management, as the company's founder and chief scientific officer, Dr. George Jackowski, was the recipient in May of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the Canadian biotech industry. He is credited for the development of the rapid format cardiac blood test - the standard of care for triaging patients presented to the emergency room with chest pain. 
Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, Pivotal said in its statement accompanying the quarterly figures that its goals include the bolstering of Vascazen's commercialization, the expansion of its sales and marketing team and the initiation of new clinical trials. The company is also looking into international licensing opportunities. 

Canada Fluorspar reveals encouraging widths and grades from Grebes Nest

Canada Fluorspar (CVE:CFI)(OTC:CNDFF) unveiled Thursday its sixth set of results from its phase 3 diamond drilling program at its Grebes Nest property in Newfoundland, with the company saying it continues to be encouraged by the mineralized structure. 
The Grebes Nest vein is part of the company's St. Lawrence fluorspar project in Newfoundland, and lies about 4 km from the former Tarefare mine and less than 6 km from the former Blue Beach North mine. Probable Reserves of the Blue Beach North and Tarefare veins total approximately 5.4 million tonnes at an average grade of 39.8% fluorspar, according to the Canadian company's statement. 
One of the latest drill holes from Grebes Nest, GS-13-12, located in the same plane as a hole reported in July, intersected the structure with an average grade of 43.14% fluorspar, over 7.3 metres, and intersected two additional veins down depth at 19.12% over 4.0 metres and 55.4% over 3.25 metres. 
Two other drill holes were also announced Thursday as part of the sixth set of results, with all the holes located on the western end of the grid. According to the St. Johns-based company, ground geophysical  survey results indicate that the mineralized structure has potential to extend for more than 4,000 metres along strike.
The company has 41 known mineralized veins on its fluorspar assets in St. Lawrence, two of which – Blue Beach and Tarefare - have been drilled and vended into a partnership with French chemical giant Arkema, while drill rigs started working at its own Director Vein in January, later moving on to Grebes Nest. The Canadian company is looking to unlock the potential value of the Director and Grebes Nest veins this year through drilling. 
"I continue to be encouraged by both the width and grade of the Grebes Nest Vein and that the silica content is lower and blastonite, a brecciated fluorite in an admix of microcrystalline quartz and fluorite, is virtually absent compared to the other granite-hosted veins," said president and CEO Lindsay Gorrill. 
"Grebes Nest Vein has been normally competent material with minor fracturing as compared to most similar veins in the St. Lawrence area and has resulted in better than 95% core recovery from the mineralized intervals. This good recovery results in a much higher level of confidence in calculating the average grade of the intersections."
Drill hole GS-13-16 at Grebes Nest, also released today, intersected an average grade of 26.8% fluorspar over 2.75 metres, while drill hole GS-13-18 returned grades of 63.9% fluorspar over 2.77 metres. 
So far, the specialty mineral resource company has completed six phase 1 drill holes together with 26 additional drill holes in phase 2 and 30 drill holes in phase 3 as part of the 2013 exploration program. Assay results for remaining completed drill holes in phase 2 and phase 3 are still pending, the company said. 
Historic mining operations on the St. Lawrence property produced more than 4.2 million tonnes of fluorspar during a 44 year continuous production from 1942 to 1977. Production resumed in 1986 and continued until 1991, when St. Lawrence Fluorspar reopened the nearby Blue Beach North Mine and processed 440,000 tonnes of ore from small open pits, one of which was located in a surface pillar at the Director Mine near the main shaft.    
Fluorspar is used to reduce the amount of energy needed to produce aluminum, and is also used for photovoltaic solar panels, but the biggest application is fluoro chemicals – which are used in products ranging from air conditioners and refrigerants to lithium batteries and the material Gore-Tex. 
Consumption of the mineral is expected to reach 7 million tonnes by 2015, but there is currently no domestic supply in Canada or the U.S. as these two countries rely on Mexico, the second biggest producer after China – which is expected to become a net importer soon. 

C-COM shares jump on news of strategic partnership with UK-based Vislink

Shares in C-COM Satellite Systems (CVE:CMI) spiked to near 52-week high levels within minutes of the start of trading Thursday, on the back of news that the leading provider of mobile auto-deploying satellite antenna systems had entered into a strategic partnership with Vislink (LON:VLK). The U.K.-based secure communication technology provider will promote, market, sell and support the C-COM manufactured range of iNetVu products.
The news propelled shares in C-COM up 10 cents on previous close on the TSX-Venture Exchange by 10:45am ET, to hit $1.87 per share, an increase of more than 5 per cent.
The iNetVu products are proprietary auto-deploying, vehicle-mounted antennas for the delivery of 2-way high-speed, mobile internet services into vehicles or other transportable structures. The technology is unique, in that it delivers high speed internet in locations where there might be no other means of gaining connectivity. The mobile antennas are said, by C-COM in a company statement released with the announcement, to complement Vislink's existing product range, thus allowing the company to expand into new vertical markets including oil and gas; mining; police, fire, emergency and disaster management.
The mobile antennas are to be integrated with Vislink's technology and sold by the UK-based company to their customers as turnkey systems. C-COM, in turn, will also promote and sell Vislink's high end SNG and MSAT antenna products by making them available to its resellers around the globe.
“C-COM's Ka-band iNetVu mobile antennas combined with Vislink's broadcast and security solutions should open up new vertical markets for both companies,” said president and CEO of C-COM Satellite Systems, Leslie Klein.
“Vislink's global presence combined with our worldwide reseller network will allow us to generate incremental revenues by delivering new applications to our mutual customer base.”
The two companies plan to co-operate on joint R&D projects to develop new products, and to leverage the support programs and incentives offered for such research and development in Canada. 
"The combined resources and strengths of both companies should reduce overall costs for research and development and also reduce time to market," said Bilal Awada, CTO of C-COM.
Shares in Vislink were also trading up in London the day of the announcement, rising more than 14 per cent. 

WesternZagros ends Q2 with over $167 mln in working capital, fully funded as it progresses towards commerciality

WesternZagros Resources (CVE:WZR) reported Thursday its second quarter results, ending the period with more than $167 million in working capital, fully funded for its planned activities as it continues to test its Kurdamir-3 well in Iraq and advance toward commercial production. 
"We're continuing testing in the Kurdamir-3 well to provide valuable information on the Kurdamir Discovery as we progress towards commerciality and to help us plan future well locations," said CEO Simon Hatfield in the press release Thursday. 
"In addition, our two Garmian wells, Baram-1 and Hasira-1, are drilling with completion anticipated in late Q4 2013 and early Q1 2014, respectively. Hasira-1 will help us in our development plans for our Sarqala Discovery."
The Kurdistan-focused junior oil and gas company holds two production sharing contracts in Iraq at the Kurdamir and Garmian blocks. WesternZagros holds a 40 per cent working interest in the Kurdamir block, while Talisman Energy(TSE:TLM), the operator of the well, holds a 40 per cent working interest, with the Kurdistan regional government holding the remainder. Drilling began at the Kurdamir-3 appraisal well on the Kurdamir oil discovery in February.
Earlier this month, the company revealed unexpected results from testing on the Kurdamir-3 well, after two drill stem tests were carried out. The first flowed a non-commercial volume of oil as well as spent acid, and the other encountered water at what the company believes to be either a transition zone or a oil-water contact. The findings of the test are difficult to interpret, it said last week. Two more tests are being conducted for upper zones in the reservoir.
Kurdamir 3 follows two prior wells, both of which were successful. "While these first two test results are not the best case scenario, we still have a large oil discovery with more work yet to be done to assess it fully," said Hatfield in a prior statement. Final results from the Kurdamir-3 well are expected late in the third quarter, or early in the fourth. 
At its Garmian block, where the company also holds a production sharing contract, the Baram-1 well, in the northern portion of the block, was spudded earlier this month. The well is exploring whether the Baram structure is separate from Kurdamir, or a potential extension of the oil leg discovered in the Oligocene reservoir of the Kurdamir structure. WesternZagros is expecting the well to be drilled to a total depth of 3,800 metres by the end of the year. 
If the extension is confirmed and it is oil bearing, the company believes that this could be the highest impact well of the 2013 drilling program, with the potential to add substantial contingent resources in both the Garmian and Kurdamir blocks.
Also at Garmian, the preliminary engineering design of the Sarqala-1 first phase central processing facility with 20,000 bbl/d capacity is advancing, the company said Thursday, with WesternZagros currently in discussions with its partner on the timing of declaring commerciality at the discovery. 
"The timing of declaration of commerciality and submission of development plans are actively in discussion with our partners and will represent a major step for our company," added Hatfield. "We have also completed our first 3D seismic program at Sarqala and the second, our North Garmian, is underway. This is a busy year for WesternZagros."
Results from a 3D seismic survey at the Kurdamir block are expected in the first quarter of next year, to be used to select the location of the Kurdamir-4 well. There is currently an estimated 943 million barrels of oil equivalent of unrisked gross contingent resources at the Kurdamir Block, and another 1.6 billion in prospective resources. 
Shares of WesternZagros opened up a penny higher on Thursday, at $1.04. In the last six months, its stock has improved more than six per cent. 

Cancana Resources advances toward both production and purchase in Brazil

Cancana Resources Corp. (CVE:CNY) announced Wednesday the further advancement of both its move to initial production of manganese on its Valdirâo site in Brazil and on the acquisition of Rio Madeira, the company which holds the adjacent property.
"The continual progress that we have made is very satisfying,” said Andrew Male, president and CEO of the Toronto-headquartered exploration stage company, set to shift into production with assets in Brazil and Canada.
“The transition from exploration to production is not an easy task to be taken lightly and yet we feel the company is transitioning well. The amount of effort and energy that is going into both the financing as well as the operational transition to production has never been stronger and is keeping everyone very busy." 
In a statement released with the shareholder update, the company was said to be “very excited” about the progress made on the Valdirâo property, the site of initial mining. Cancana has identified an initial area of production of approximately 5 hectares (on a claim that is 5,417 hectares in size) that shares commonalities with the NI 43-101 report issued earlier in the year. The NI 43-101 technical report of February estimated 35,000 tonnes of manganese with an average grade of 54 per cent in the top 2 metres of soil. 
The area, which is fully permitted throughout, has been the subject of surveying by Cancana to establish such information as the best locations for access roads and fencing, as well as staging areas for equipment. The company has also established the locations for settling ponds and equipment infrastructure. 
With these pieces of information in place, Cancana has taken the step of negotiating contracts with the local contract mining company that will be providing a turnkey mining solution. Cancana also advised in its statement that it had sourced all the equipment needed to commence production and thus would be able to “stage needed equipment along with the delivery schedule requirements for manufacturing and modifications. Cancana will engage all of these contracts in the near future and be in a position to commence production.”
Additionally, the company is advancing its acquisition of Rio Madeira, the company which owns the property adjacent to Valdirâo, and says this purchase is progressing well. In the company statement, Cancana said it “is pleased to be making continual headway with respect to this and will make an announcement at the appropriate time.
"Rio Madeira has provided all due diligence materials that we and the financiers who have visited the site and operations have asked for. Rio Madeira operations are ongoing and the company provides Cancana with ongoing updates."
Also included in the announcement was the notification that the company recently completed the filing of its Annual Audited Financial Statements for the period ended January 31, 2013 on July 31, 2013, and then subsequently filed its first quarter interim financial statements for the period ending April 30, 2013 on August 1, 2013.  With the completion of the filing of these financial statements, the company is up to date and the MCTO has been lifted by the Alberta Securities Commission as of the close of business on August 6, 2013. 
Shares in the company were trading at 19 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange at close of market Wednesday.

New Zealand Energy improves production costs as higher output on the horizon

New Zealand Energy Corp. (CVE:NZ)(OTCQX:NZERF) is moving ahead with its transformative strategy to improve its cash flow and production as it nears the closing of the acquisition of three petroleum mining liceneses in the Taranaki Basin from Origin Energy, with the junior oil and gas company also working toward bettering its production results and costs from its existing assets. 
The update comes with the release of the Canadian company's second quarter results, with New Zealand Energy posting a loss of 2 cents per basic and diluted share, compared to a profit of 1 cent per share in the prior year period, as revenue, production and prices realized declined, while production costs increased sharply. 
The company, which has been strategizing to improve its operations, is working to close the acquisition of the Tariki, Waihapa and Ngaere (TWN) petroleum licenses from Origin Energy as a means to generate substantially higher cash flow and production. 
The $33.5 million acquisition, which includes the TWN licenses, as well as the Waihapa production station and associated infrastructure,  has been underway since last year, with the company moving one step closer to closing the deal after recently entering a 50/50 split joint venture agreement with L&M Energy Limited to explore, develop and operate the assets it is about to acquire. The deal will see L&M invest $18.25 million, to be put toward the acquisition of the assets from Origin.  
New Zealand Energy said earlier this month that an "extensive post TWN acquisition work program" -- on which it will spend a total of $7.3 million this year -- will be conducted once the deal closes, to be made up of reactivation and re-completion of existing wells, in addition to up to eight new wells, including four targeting deeper, high impact targets. The acquisition, which will no doubt add to its existing production portfolio in the Taranaki Basin, is expected to give New Zealand Energy cash flow, infrastructure and inventory to support long-term growth.  Indeed, the impact from the work program is forecast to give the company a 2014 exit production rate of 2,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The Canadian junior oil and gas play already controls 2.2 million acres of exploration permits on New Zealand’s North island (including one permit pending), where it is producing oil from four wells. Earlier this year, the company announced the decision to delay further drilling to focus on the completion of the Origin acquisition, while also undertaking a number of reservoir and production tests in recent months with the aim of optimizing output and recovery from its existing wells. 
In mid-August, New Zealand Energy agreed with Origin to extend the deadline for meeting the financing condition for its deal by about a month, until September 30. The parties also agreed to extend the government approval condition deadline from September 13 to October 14, with New Zealand Energy to increase the non-refundable deposit under the agreement from C$5 million to C$6 million as a result. 
The company ended the quarter to June 30 with working capital of $9.5 million. It produced 18,573 barrels of oil in the latest quarter, compared to 55,226 barrels a year earlier, generating revenue of $2.1 million, net of a 5 per cent royalty payable to the New Zealand government. This compares to revenue of $5.9 million in the second quarter last year.  
Production costs during the three-month period totalled $1.6 million, or an average of $73.62 per barrel, generating an average field netback of $22.46 per barrel during the period. New Zealand Energy said Thursday that reduced production following the shut-in of its Waitapu-2 well "greatly impacted" its second quarter netback results, although this was partially offset by lower production costs tied to its Copper Moki site following the commissioning of surface facilities in May of this year. 
After the commissioning of the surface facilities, the company incurred direct production costs of approximately $165,000 to produce 4,740 barrels of oil, which amounted to $34.81 per barrel during the month of June -- significantly lower than the quarterly average of $73.62 per barrel. 
"Considering the proportion of fixed production costs reported for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, as well as netbacks reported in prior periods, the direct production costs per barrel is reflective of the economies of scale. Thus, further savings should arise from higher production levels from future developments," New Zealand Energy said in its release. 

Arian Silver narrows net loss as financing talks for own mill progress

Mexico-focused Arian Silver (LON:AGQ) (CVE:AGQ) narrowed its net loss in the second quarter (Q2) this year as arrangements to finance its own mill for the San Jose mine continue to advance.
The new El Bote plant will have the capacity to treat 1,500 tonnes per day and is expected to result in significant cost savings, the firm has said.
Milling on a toll basis at the Juan Reyes plant, not owned by the firm, restarted in February this year, but operations were ceased in June due to the volatility in the silver price.
Tonnes mined in the second quarter to June 30 totalled 4,628 tonnes compared to 26,268 tonnes in Q2, 2012, but the head grade was 191 grams per tonne (g/t), representing an improvement on previous quarters.
Arian produced 9,294 ounces of silver concentrate during the latest quarter - a big increase on 878 ounces produced in the first quarter, but lower than the 98,616 ounces produced in Q2 last year.
The net loss for the three months to  June 30 was US$947,000 compared to a loss of US$1.13mln in the comparable quarter in 2012.
The firm's chief executive Jim Williams said: "Today's results come at a time of significant potential change for Arian.
"Arrangements to finance the acquisition of the company's own mill continue to progress, and I hope to be able to provide a full update on this very soon."
In July this year, the firm revealed its plans to raise up to C$15mln through a placing of convertible loan notes.
Funds from the issue will be used on numerous things, including the acquisition of the El Bote processing plant, which will need to be transported piece by piece to a more convenient location.
The second-hand custom mill is expected to deliver cost savings of some 75% compared to previous toll milling operations."

Falcon Oil and Gas expects busy second half

Falcon Oil & Gas (LON:FOG) (CVE:FO) looks to a busy second half as it unveiled its latest six month numbers.
Chief executive Philip O'Quigley told investors: "We have been extremely busy during the first half of 2013, successfully raising US$25.7 million of new capital, achieving debt-free status and significantly reducing our operating loss.
"Our attention has now switched to securing a new farm-out on our acreage in Australia, preparing for the testing of the Kutvolgy-1 well in Hungary and working with Chevron under our Cooperation Agreement in South Africa."
The firm now owns 96.9% of subsidiary Falcon Australia, which holds four exploration permits in the potentially world-class Beetaloo basin, in the Northern Territory.
In Hungary, drilling on the Kutvolgy-1 well has been successfully completed and now cased ahead of testing.
Falcon posted a net loss of US$1.9mln for the three months to end June (2012: loss of US$5.8mln).
It ended the period with cash of US$14.7mln (2012: US$8.7mln).

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cancana Resources readies to impress at series of Proactive forums in September

Cancana Resources (CVE:CNY) will be showcasing its goods at a series of Proactive Investors forums, all in the second week of September, ready to share with an audience its plans for producing manganese, which is crucial to the production of both steel and fertilizer. 
The company, according to CEO and director Andrew Male, holds the distinction of being one of only four companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange that work in manganese, and is definitely “the preeminent one from a grade point of view, a development point of view, and from a resource point of view."
It is a bold claim for the Calgary-based junior, but one backed up by a flagship asset in Brazil boasting what is by industry standards a grade of rare quality on a highly prospective property. Little wonder then that Cancana is moving rapidly to production, with its main focus settling on the Valdirao project. One massive advantage that accrues to the project is its proximity to infrastructure -- Valdirao is within 20 kilometres of the Brazilian National Highway, which itself is accessible by municipally-maintained roads, for transportation of ore out of region. 
We are offering investors a rare opportunity to hear from Cancana's CEO, Andrew Male, about the project's development plans, where production is due to begin in the next couple of weeks. Preliminary work has been carried out, or is currently in its final stages. 
Male will take the stage at three Proactive Investors forums in Canada -- in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto -- as well as in New York, the home of Wall Street. In six years, Proactive has organized more than 300 events and introduced investors to some of the stock market’s best-performing stock market listed companies.
Cancana Resources will make a 20 minute pitch followed by a 10 minute inquisition by a roomful of potential investors. Once the companies have presented, complimentary canapés and beverages are available for 90 minutes during a break-out session, where attendees can mingle with other guests, or ask more questions to the presenters. 
The busy week will start with a presentation in Vancouver on Monday, September 9 by the company's directors, who will also be presenting at Proactive forums in Calgary on Tuesday, September 10; in Toronto on Wednesday, September 11; and finally in New York on Thursday, September 12. See below for event times and venue information. 
Monday, September 9 - Vancouver
Metropolitan Hotel
645 Howe Street, Vancouver
Connaught Room
1:30pm start
Tuesday, September 10 - Calgary
Hyatt Regency
700 Center Street, SE
Walker/Bannerman Room
2:30pm start
Wednesday, September 11 – Toronto
Toronto Board of Trade
77 Adelaide Street W (First Canadian Place)
5:30pm start
Thursday, September 12 – New York
Penn Club
30 W 44th St, New York, NY
6:00pm start
To find out more details and register for all these events, please click here
We look forward to seeing you there! 

Avrupa Minerals to raise $500,000 for exploration

Avrupa Minerals (CVE:AVU) has announced a $500,000 non-brokered private placement financing, with the company saying the capital raise will ensure it can continue to advance exploration at its projects. 
The company said in a release Wednesday that it decided to raise a limited amount in this offering and combine it with expense reductions. 
Avrupa's goal is that for every one dollar invested by the company's shareholders, at least 1.5 times that amount will be spent on all company-related exploration.       
The financing will consist of 10 million units at a price of 10 cents each, with each unit made up of a common share and a share purchase warrant. Each warrant will allow the holder to purchase one additional common share at a price of 15 cents for a period of two years starting on the closing date of the financing. 
"We now have three projects optioned out and several others that we are working to joint venture," said president and CEO Paul Kuhn, in the release announcing the financing. "The new funds will be used to upgrade our projects in order to attract further option agreements, which are the best source of financing exploration on our projects."   
The company, which has properties in Portugal, Kosovo and Germany, holds a total of 16 exploration licenses in these European countries, including 10 in Portugal. It operates three joint ventures in Portugal, including the Covas partnership with Blackheath Resources (CVE:BHR), and the Alvalade joint venture with Antofagasta Minerals in the southern part of the country.        
Earlier this year, it signed a third deal to option out its Arga tungsten-gold project to tungsten explorer Blackheath, giving Blackheath the option to acquire up to an 85 per cent interest in the property over several years.              
The company said Wednesday that drill programs will begin shortly on both the Arga and Covas properties. 
Also in 2013, Avrupa completed two purchases of the minority interests in its subsidiaries in Portugal and Kosovo. It now owns 100 per cent of both companies that hold the projects in those countries. 
"Avrupa has also had significant interest in its Kosovo projects and hopes to arrange a joint venture on some or all of them soon," it said in the statement, adding that it hopes to add value for shareholders with "good exploration results", having also bolstered its IR strategies in recent months.            
The junior mining company currently has 29,043,571 common shares outstanding, which will increase to 39,043,571 common shares upon completion of the financing announced today.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum raises a further $2.46mln

Oil explorer Canadian Overseas Petroleum (CVE:XOP) has confirmed the final closing of its offering of new common shares.
It revealed that 12.31mln new shares will now be issued at $0.20 each raising $2.46mln. This follows an earlier funding in July, and the group has now raised a total of $8.46mln with the issue of 42.3mln shares also at $0.20 a share.
The explorer’s assets in New Zealand and Liberia - the former a low exploration risk shale play, the latter a high-risk, high reward deep-water exploration play - are the key attractions for investors.
The funding was arranged by brokers FirstEnergy Capital, along with Canaccord Genuity and GMP Securities.
Canadian Overseas Petroleum is targeting an AIM float in the fourth quarter of this year.

Northern Vertex to go ahead with financing of up to $5 mln, upsizing possible

Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (CVE:NEE) says it will be proceeding with its private placement financing of approximately $5.0 million announced last month. 
"We are pleased to see the continued market support for the company's plan to reactivate the Moss Mine gold-silver heap leach project," said president and CEO Dick Whittington in a release Wednesday. 
"I believe this reflects well on the strength of the Moss Mine Project itself and our ability to implement its development in the foreseeable future. Our immediate goal is to continue with the operations phase of our Phase I - Pilot Plant and to move forward with a feasibility study for Phase II - Operations."
The financing will consist of about 7.7 million units at a price of 65 cents each, with proceeds to be used to advance the Moss project in Arizona, including the completion of the feasibility study. 
Northern Vertex said Wednesday that it is possible that due to investor interest, the company could upsize the placement by up to a further 2 million units. Any expansion of the placement must take place within 30 days, the company said, and will be disclosed in a press release. 
Each unit of the placement will be made up of one common share and one half of one transferable share purchase warrant. Each whole warrant will allow the holder to acquire one additional common share at a price of 90 cents for a period of 18 months from the closing date. 
The financing is expected to wrap up by early September, subject to the acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange. 
The Moss Mine is an open mine gold and silver project in a well-known mining district. Northern Vertex, which has the right to earn a 70 per cent interest in the project from Patriot Gold Corp. (OTCMKTS:PGOL), has about $12 million in working capital and an experienced team in place, with Whittington having taken Farallon Mining's G-9 Mine from discovery to full commercial production in less than four years.
Last week, Northern Vertex announced it can officially reactivate the mine after the state governor held a ribbon-cutton ceremony in nearby Bullhead City. The ceremony, held last week, was accompanied by news that the Vancouver-based miner had reached development milestones on the Phase 1 pilot plant, part of its three-stage development process at the property. 

Confidence in Largo Resources unshaken as Byron analyst keeps strong buy

Largo Resources (CVE:LGO) (OTCMKTS:LGORF), a junior Canadian miner focused on Brazil, had its "strong buy" recommendation retained at Byron Capital Markets despite a one-month delay to the erection of the main kiln at the Maracas Vanadium Project.
"None of our basic assumptions have been impacted by this issue," Byron's analyst Jon Hykawy, wrote in a note to clients emailed yesterday.
On Aug. 21, the Toronto, Ontario-based company said four support rollers for the main kiln at its flagship Maracas project in Brazil are needed to be recast. "Management has stated that there are no other issues that would cause any additional delays. First production is still expected in mid-Q1/14, as ramping up a vanadium kiln is a matter of a few weeks, not months," Hykawy affirmed. 
Byron also retained its target price on the stock at 70 cents, and pointed out that some macroeconomic impacts for the project are improving. "With the exception of a brief and very well remembered period from roughly February to October 2008, when [vanadium] prices reached US$18.00/lb, prices have largely remained within a dollar of US$6.00/lb. Even in the depths of a commodity downturn, V2O5 pricing is holding its ground, and we find that very encouraging."
Even more encouraging, Hykawy said, is the recent commodity boom cycle that has taught end-users the value of secured supplies, with China seemingly "buying everything in sight" and political issues in South Africa forcing the hand of steelmakers. 
Also of note, the company pointed out that the Brazilian unit of currency, the Real, is currently trading at around $2.43 to the Canadian dollar, in contrast to the financial projections made in the Preliminary Economic Assessment published in January, which were calculated on an exchange of $2, meaning the company is benefiting from “a 20 per cent improvement in terms of numbers".
"This will obviously have a very positive impact on the margins reaped by Largo, as it will, to large measure, mean that operating costs have dropped significantly," the Byron analyst concluded. "Inflation in Brazil is currently at rates of roughly 6%, far less severe than the decline in exchange."

Largo Resources closed at 20 Canadian cents in Toronto yesterday, giving it a market value of C$179.5 million. The stock has rallied 5.3 percent so far this year.