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•• Monthly Mining Bulletin Nº26
March - 2014 - PANORAMA MINERO
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Mining in Argentina – What happened in February?

February saw important announcements: Barrick’s and Yamana’s annual results. In the first case, the company reported Pascua Lama’s update and Veladero performance, confirming this mine as of one of its top five assets. Yamana announced good results from Gualcamayo, not only in the operating side, but also in the development and exploration front; Cerro Moro is advancing fast with good results, and Suyai is in the middle of a new mine plan in order to process ore outside the proposed mine.

NGEx Resources is progressing in the Vicuña district (Filo del Sol, Josemaría and Los Helados projects), one of the most important geologic discoveries in several decades, and Minera IRL has secured a funding package to build Don Nicolás’ mine. Troy Resources discovered what it is supposed to be another high grade gold mineralization at Casposo.

Hunt Mining provided an update of its activities in Santa Cruz province, and both Minsud and U3O8 Corporation announced private placements to access to funds in order to continue with its exploration activities.



Barrick Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results
Barrick Gold Corporation (reported a fourth quarter net loss of $2.83 billion ($2.61 per share), including after-tax impairment charges of $2.82 billion.

Yamana Gold Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End 2013 Results
Yamana Gold Inc. announced its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year end 2013.

MAS

Minera IRL Provides Don Nicolás Joint Venture Update
Having secured an $80 million funding package from Compañía Inversora de Minas S.A. ("CIMINAS") in 2013, project development has now commenced at the Don Nicolás project in Santa Cruz province.

MAS

NGEx provides General Exploration Update for Argentina Projects
NGEx Resources Inc. is pleased to provide a general update on progress at its copper-gold projects in San Juan Province.

MAS

Troy Resources Limited: Exceptional Channel Sample Results at Casposo Underground
Troy Resources Limited is pleased to advise that it has entered a zone of extraordinarily high grades in the INCA 1 ore body at its Casposo gold and silver mine in San Juan province.

MAS

Hunt Mining Corp: Argentina 2013 Highlights and 2014 Exploration Designs
Hunt Mining Corp. is pleased to provide an update on exploration completed in 2013 and work planned for 2014.

MAS

Minsud Announces Closing of Above Market Non-Brokered Private Placement Financing
Minsud Resources Corp. is pleased to announce the closing of its non-brokered private placement offering of units in Minsud for gross proceeds of $1,042,000.40.

MAS

U3O8 Corp. Announces $1 Million Private Placement
U3O8 Corp., a Canadian-based company focused on exploration and development of uranium resources and associated commodities in South America, announces a non-brokered private placement of up to 7,692,307 units (the "Units") at a price of $0.13 per Unit for total gross proceeds of up to approximately $1.0 million (the "Offering").

MAS

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Barrick Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

 
 

Barrick Gold Corporation (reported a fourth quarter net loss of $2.83 billion ($2.61 per share), including after-tax impairment charges of $2.82 billion. Adjusted net earnings were $0.41 billion ($0.37 per share). Operating cash flow was $1.02 billion and adjusted operating cash flow was $1.09 billion.

For the full year 2013, Barrick reported a net loss of $10.37 billion ($10.14 per share), including after-tax impairment charges of $11.54 billion. Adjusted net earnings were $2.57 billion ($2.51 per share). Operating cash flow of $4.24 billion and adjusted operating cash flow of $4.36 billion reflect the underlying strength of the company's high-quality mining operations.

Pascua-Lama Update (San Juan province & III Region of Chile)
During the fourth quarter of 2013, Barrick announced the temporary suspension of construction at its Pascua-Lama project, except for those activities required for environmental and regulatory compliance. The ramp-down is on schedule for completion by mid-2014. The company expects to incur costs of about $300 million this year for the ramp-down and environmental and social obligations. A decision to restart development will depend on improved economics and reduced uncertainty related to legal and regulatory requirements. Remaining development will take place in distinct stages with specific work programs and budgets. This approach will facilitate more efficient planning and execution and improved cost control. In the interim, Barrick will explore opportunities to improve the project's risk-adjusted returns, including strategic partnerships or royalty and other income streaming agreements. The company will preserve the option to resume development of this asset, which has a mine life of 25 years.

Veladero (San Juan province)
Veladero produced 0.14 million ounces at AISC of $969 per ounce in the fourth quarter. Veladero is anticipated to produce 0.650-0.700 million ounces in 2014, reflecting increased recovery of leached ounces and higher grades from the Argenta and Filo Federico pits. Higher expected AISC of $940-$990 per ounce in 2014 are primarily impacted by lower silver by-product credits, local inflation and the foreign exchange rate of the Argentine peso.

 

Yamana Gold Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End 2013 Results

 
 

Yamana Gold Inc. announced its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year end 2013.

Highlights:
Financial -- Cash flow trend is positive in new price environment
•Revenue for the fourth quarter of $420.7 million and $1.84 billion for full year.
•Adjusted earnings(1) of $273.4 million or $0.36 per share for full year after adjusting for one time and non-cash items of $719.6 million; net loss(2) for full year of $446.2 million or $0.59 per share.
•Cash flows from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital(1) of $0.22 per share for the fourth quarter or $165.3 million and $0.94 per share for the full year or $707.9 million.
•Cash flows from operating activities after changes in non-cash working capital of $0.25 per share for the fourth quarter or $184.8 million and $0.87 per share for the full year or $653.1 million.

Operational -- Costs stabilizing at industry low levels
•Production of 1.2 million gold equivalent ounces (GEO), at all-in sustaining cash costs ("AISC")on a co-product basis for the full year were $947 per GEO and $814 per GEO on a by-product basis.
◦Gold production of 1.03 million ounces
◦Silver production of 8.4 million ounces

Gualcamayo mine (San Juan province)
In 2013, Gualcamayo produced 120,337 ounces of gold compared with 147,310 ounces produced in 2012. Lower production was the result of fewer tonnes processed and lower recovery rates, partly offset by improved feed grade. Gualcamayo underwent a transition in 2013 as the mine's open-pit operations at QDD Main transitioned to the new Phase III, resulting in a decline in ore processed compared to that of 2012. Production at QDD Main Phase III began in August and ramp-up, which has been slower than plan, continued into the fourth quarter impacting the total tonnage. The QDD Lower West ("QDDLW") underground mine also began to contribute to heap leach stacking. Completion of the underground conveyor for QDDLW is expected in the second quarter and production is expected to ramp up each quarter during 2014.

Gualcamayo produced 34,929 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter compared with 31,502 ounces produced in the fourth quarter of 2012. Higher production was the result of feed from higher grade ore from QDD Main Phase III, Amelia Ines ("AIM") and QDDLW underground which was partially offset by lower recoveries from AIM and QDDLW ore. Production at Gualcamayo for December and January averaged over 14,000 ounces per month, consistent with expected production levels of the expanded operation.

The metallurgy of the ore from AIM and QDDLW requires a longer leaching cycle than that of QDD Main and will result in lower recoveries. While planned, improvements to the existing plant including the installation of a filtering station and an increase in the volume of treatment capacity are planned in 2014 to improve recovery rates.

Due to positive results returned from drill holes testing the Rodado southwest and beneath QDDLW early in the year, exploration drilling was focused on Rodado southwest. During the fourth quarter, two diamond core rigs completed a total of 3,878 metres distributed in nine holes positioned from two underground drill stations. Positive assay results from these holes continued to expand the mineral envelope of Rodado southwest and the potential ore body, which remains open along strike and down dip. This deep mineralization is unoxidized and found largely within hydrothermal and tectonic breccia. A feasibility study is needed to determine the viability of the mineral zones.

Gold Mineral Reserves
•Gold mineral reserves of 32.2 million tonnes at 1.33 g/t containing 1.4 million gold ounces
•Gold mineral resources of 94.8 million tonnes at 1.01 g/t containing 3.1 million gold ounces
•Inferred gold mineral resources of 30.4 million tonnes at 2.08 g/t containing 2.0 million gold ounces

Gold mineral reserves were 1.4 million gold ounces contained in 32.2 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.33 g/t. Mineral reserves at Gualcamayo decreased by 690,000 ounces during 2013 due to depletion, revision of planned mining techniques, and associated higher mining costs. Measured and indicated gold mineral resources were 94.8 million tonnes containing 3.1 million ounces at 1.01 g/t and inferred gold resources were 30.4 million tonnes containing 2.0 million ounces at 2.08 g/t. The exploration focus at Gualcamayo in 2013 was on defining and expanding the Rodado breccia, a new zone southwest of QDDLW discovered in 2011. This contributed to the 163% increase in measured and indicated mineral resources and 268% increase in inferred mineral resources year-over-year. A significant amount of the resource at Gualcamayo is within the Rodado breccia and QDDLW, and given the current size of the sulphide portion of these two zones the Company is undertaking a study for recovery of gold from sulphide ore. A large portion of the reduction of reserves was from the reclassification of underground ore, which is also being included for evaluation as part of the sulphide study.

Bajo la Alumbrera (Catamarca province)
The Company's interest in Alumbrera is accounted for as an equity investment. The Company recorded a loss from its 12.5% interest in Alumbrera of $3.9 million and $5.1 million for the year and three months ended December 31, 2013, compared with earnings of $50.6 million and $18.1 million for the same periods of 2012. Decrease in equity earnings was mainly due to lower revenues as a result of lower metal prices and lower sales volume of the gold and copper concentrate.

The Company received cash distributions $27.9 million in 2013 of which $6.8 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2013, compared with $nil cash distribution in the 2012.
Attributable production from Alumbrera was 39,157 ounces of gold and 30.2 million pounds of copper for 2013, compared with 46,077 ounces of gold and 37.4 million pounds of copper for 2012. For the quarter, attributable production from Alumbrera was 11,319 ounces of gold and 9.6 million pounds of copper. This compares with attributable production of 10,769 ounces of gold and 8.5 million pounds of copper in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Cerro Moro (Santa Cruz province)
The focus of the 2013 exploration program was to develop and test new targets that are both within and outside of the known mineralized structural blocks. During the fourth quarter, 1,077 metres in five holes were drilled to complete the 2013 exploration drill program. This drilling tested the Carlita, Patricia and Margarita veins in an effort to build and expand the known mineralization envelopes. The final hole of the year drilled at the southeast end of the Margarita system cut important gold and silver values directly beneath the P0/P1 contact leaving the structure open to the southeast and to depth.

Following completion of the exploration drill program, the geology department focused on end of year data compilation, local mapping and sampling programs, development support activities, mineral resource estimation and outlining the 2014 exploration program.

Gold Mineral Reserves
•Maiden gold equivalent probable mineral reserves of 2.0 million tonnes at 24.34 g/t containing 1.5 million gold equivalent ounces
•Gold equivalent mineral resources of 1.8 million tonnes at 6.16 g/t containing 352,000 gold equivalent ounces
•Inferred gold equivalent mineral resources of 3.6 million tonnes at 4.25 g/t containing 486,000 gold equivalent ounces

As at December 31, 2013, 2.0 million tonnes of GEO probable mineral reserves at 24.34 g/t containing 1.5 million of GEO have been converted from mineral resources. Measured and indicated gold mineral resources at the end of the year were 1.8 million tonnes at 6.16 g/t containing 352,000 GEO. The decrease in measured and indicated gold resources was due to the upgrade of many resource ounces to mineral reserves.

Suyai (Chubut province)
•Gold equivalent mineral resources of 4.7 million tonnes at 15.59 g/t containing 2.4 million gold equivalent ounces
•Inferred gold equivalent mineral resources of 900,000 tonnes at 9.90 g/t containing 286,000 gold equivalent ounces

Measured, indicated and inferred gold equivalent mineral resources are unchanged year-over-year as the development focus at Suyai in 2013 was on the execution of further studies to better position the Company to apply for required permits. A number of relevant studies have already been completed and others are ongoing, which should support the Company in applying for permitting this year. This high grade gold-silver deposit has similarities to the deposits at El Peñón and Mercedes, and has the potential to add significant value to the Company's portfolio of producing mines. The current plan being evaluated includes an underground operation without any chemical processing onsite that will produce a precious metals concentrate that could be sold to third parties or potentially processed at Cerro Moro. Initial capital costs are expected to be low at approximately $220 million, producing approximately 150,000 GEO per annum at an estimated throughput rate of 1,150 tonnes/day.

 

 

Minera IRL Provides Don Nicolás Joint Venture Update

 
 

Having secured an $80 million funding package from Compañía Inversora de Minas S.A. ("CIMINAS") in 2013, project development has now commenced at the Don Nicolás project in Santa Cruz province.

Detailed engineering of the treatment plant is underway at Kappes Cassiday & Associates in Reno, Nevada. The development team, which has extensive experience operating in Santa Cruz province, has also been assembled. Minera IRL Patagonia SA, the joint venture company, is in the process of updating the capital budget. Minera IRL Patagonia continues to expect that construction will be fully financed by CIMINAS' earn-in funds.

Site work has commenced with heavy equipment preparing pads and roads for the plant, camp and infrastructure. Sterilization and water bore drilling is nearing completion.

Minera IRL Patagonia continues to target plant commissioning by year-end with production commencing in the first quarter of 2015 (from the fourth quarter of 2014). Minera IRL's share of Don Nicolás' gold production is forecast to be approximately 25,000 ounces in 2015.

Minera IRL Patagonia is continuing with metallurgical testing to be used in a heap leach feasibility study for Don Nicolás. This study is now expected to be completed by the end of 2014 (from late 2013). A future heap leaching facility, designed to treat low grade mineralization, is envisioned to operate in parallel to the milling operation currently being developed and has the potential to increase annual gold production, extend mine life and enhance the project's overall economics.

On the exploration front, Minera IRL Patagonia has identified a number of other prospective areas of gold and silver mineralization that are within a reasonable trucking distance to the future Don Nicolás central ore processing facilities that warrant follow-up exploration activities. High priority prospects, which produced very encouraging surface and trench sampling results in 2013, include Cecilia, Paula Andrea, and Goleta. Generative exploration and related activities continue with the objective of developing exploration drill targets.

 

NGEx provides General Exploration Update for Argentina Projects

 
 

NGEx Resources Inc. is pleased to provide a general update on progress at its copper-gold projects in San Juan Province. Highlights include:

•initial drilling results from the 2013/2014 program at the Josemaria copper-gold porphyry project located in San Juan Province. A total of 7,302 metres in 14 holes were completed during the field season and drilling is now finished.
•an update on the conceptual engineering studies underway to evaluate development options for Josemaria.
•an update on progress in the resource definition drilling at the Filo del Sol project also located in San Juan Province.

Josemaría Drill Results
The focus of this season's drill program was to define the high-grade supergene zone at the north end of the deposit and test for a possible extension of this zone to the northwest of previous drilling. Several larger step-out holes were also planned in order to test a broad area of leached cap extending to the north and northwest of the main deposit area.

Two of the holes reported here intersected the supergene zone; JMDH78 with 340 metres at 0.63% CuEq  (0.54% Cu and 0.11 g/t Au) and JMDH80 with 432.5 metres at 0.61% CuEq (0.44% Cu and 0.22 g/t Au).

Drill hole JMDH78 was drilled within the Indicated resource block, and is expected to result in an increase in grade for this portion of the model.

Drill holes JMDH79, JMDH83 and JMDH85 were located to the northwest of the Josemaria resource. Distance from the edge of the Inferred resource for these holes was 300 metres, 90 metres and 200 metres respectively. These holes are significant because they extend the mineralized zone to the northwest and because they possibly reflect a separate mineralized porphyry center. Further drilling would be needed to confirm this idea.

Drill holes JMDH80, JMDH81 and JMDH82 were drilled along the edge of the Indicated portion of the resource model and will convert a portion of the Inferred resource to the Indicated category.

Josemaría Conceptual Studies
Following receipt of an updated resource estimate for Josemaria in the second half of 2013 the Company contracted an independent third party engineering group to conduct a high level assessment of possible development options for the project. The scope of this ongoing option study includes an evaluation of potential mining methods and production rates, geotechnical drilling, ongoing metallurgical test work, including comminution studies, and development of high level processing flow sheets and mass balances. Engineering work has focused on the conceptual design of an open-pit mining operation of between 120,000 and 160,000 tonnes per day. Studies are ongoing and the above are only intended to provide a general idea of possible production levels. Work is ongoing and a variety of potential development scenarios continue to be considered. At a 0.30% copper equivalent cut off grade, Josemaria has a current Indicated Resource of 789 million tonnes at 0.35% copper and 0.24 g/t gold and an additional Inferred Resource of 315 million tonnes at 0.28% copper and 0.17 g/t gold(i). Included within this resource is a shallow higher grade core (Indicated Resource at a 0.5% CuEq cut off 355Mt @0.68% CuEq, 0.44% Cu, 0.33% Cui) and opportunities for the early production of this material are being investigated. In addition to the exploration drilling described above two geotechnical holes were also completed. Metallurgical test work is ongoing at Josemaria. Baseline environmental programs, including review of areas for potential infrastructure are underway, with field work in progress during the current South American summer season.

Filo del Sol Exploration Update
Drilling continues at the Filo del Sol project located approximately 15km from Josemaria. Filo del Sol is a large copper-gold-silver high sulphidation system that overlies deeper porphyry copper copper-gold mineralization. This year's drill program is designed to provide sufficient data to allow for the estimation of an initial mineral resource for a stratabound, high-grade silver-copper zone which forms part of this large mineralized system. A secondary goal is to explore the area to the north of the current drilling, where the geological interpretation suggests the occurrence of a feeder zone to the stratabound mineralization. This feeder zone could contain significant gold and copper mineralization, as indicated by the two most northerly holes drilled to date which contain some of the best gold and copper intersections on the property (VRC28: 136m @ 0.71 g/t Au, 0.46% Cu (incl. 24m @ 2.14 g/t Au, 0.94% Cu) and VRC35: 126m @ 0.69 g/t Au, 0.50% Cu (incl. 10m @ 3.66 g/t Au, 0.28% Cu) - both previously released). This mineralization remains completely open to the north, east and west, and both holes ended in good grades.

A total of 5,875 metres of drilling in 18 holes had been completed as of February 9th, 2014, with assay results pending for all holes. Approximately 7,000 metres of drilling is planned.

Filo del Sol is part of a joint venture in which the Company holds 60% and Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd holds 40%. Josemaria is part of a joint venture in which the Company holds 60% and Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) owns 40%.


 

Troy Resources Limited: Exceptional Channel Sample Results at Casposo Underground

 
 

Troy Resources Limited is pleased to advise that it has entered a zone of extraordinarily high grades in the INCA 1 ore body at its Casposo gold and silver mine in San Juan province.

Commenting on the results Troy CEO Paul Benson said; "We always knew we were developing down to the high grade zones within the INCA 1 ore body, but it is obviously very pleasing to get these exceptional results. At this level, the grades are improving with depth and at the current south-east leg of the 2285 level sill the ore body is averaging 41.65 g/t gold and 2,430.04 g/t silver or 82.11 g/t gold equivalent. As each level changes over from developing the sill to production stoping, an increasing proportion of high grade ore will enter the mill feed."

 

Hunt Mining Corp: Argentina 2013 Highlights and 2014 Exploration Designs

 
 

Hunt Mining Corp. is pleased to provide an update on exploration completed in 2013 and work planned for 2014.

Over the last 18 months, the Corporation completed an extensive body of work in cooperation with a major precious-metals producer under an exploration agreement ending in July 2013. During this time, in excess of CND $5,400,000 was invested on the advancement of the Corporation's assets in Santa Cruz province.

Argentina field-work is currently in progress, and will continue, as plans for specific initiatives and schedules for 2014 are completed. Field-work now underway includes systematic surface sampling and detailed geologic mapping for the purpose of generating and refining drill targets. Hunt's staff has also commenced initiatives to proceed with engineering, metallurgical, and geotechnical programs that can aid with scoping-level studies designed to evaluate potential production scenarios. The Corporation is planning to drill one or more prospects during the 2014 field season. Additional details on drilling campaigns, as well as all additional exploration plans, will be forthcoming as they are finalized.

During 2013, Accomplishments completed by Hunt's wholly owned subsidiary, Cerro Cazador S.A. included:

•The discovery of mineralization indicators on 6 of the Corporation's previously un-explored prospects warranting further exploration or development
•The identification of more than 15 geochemical and geological anomalies indicative of epithermal style mineralized systems similar to those currently being developed and mined for precious metals
•The identification or expansion of mineralization on pre-existing prospects adding to Hunt's inventory of drill targets 
•Reconnaissance exploration over an area greater than 170,000 hectares (1,700 square kilometers) encompassing 20 exploration, discovery and/or mining concessions
•The collection and analysis of more than 2,800 surface samples, including approximately 1,500 stream sediments, 500 soils, and 800 rock samples 
•Regional and prospect level interpretation of new high-resolution satellite imagery covering the western half of the Deseado Massif where all of the area's producing mines and the Corporation's land packages are situated

 

Minsud Announces Closing of Above Market Non-Brokered Private Placement Financing

 
 

Minsud Resources Corp. is pleased to announce the closing of its non-brokered private placement offering of units in Minsud  for gross proceeds of $1,042,000.40. In connection with the closing of the Private Placement, which was initially announced on January 22, 2014, Minsud issued 10,420,004 Units at a price of $0.10 per Unit with each Unit comprising of one common share in the capital of the Company and one common share purchase warrant. Each Warrant is exercisable for one Common Share at a price of $0.35 for a period of 24 months from the closing date of the Private Placement.

The net proceeds will be used by the Company for financing a diamond drilling program of 1,000 to 1,500 meters at the Chita South porphyry target, option payments relating to the Company's material properties and for general working capital purposes.

Out of the 10,420,004 Units issued under the Private Placement, 3,800,000 Units were purchased by Compañía de Tierras Sud Argentino S.A. ("CTSA"), a current insider and control person of the Company.

The securities issued in connection with the closing of the Private Placement will be subject to a four month hold period expiring on June 22, 2014.

Minsud is a mineral exploration company focused on exploring its flagship Chita Valley Project, primarily for gold, silver and copper in the Province of San Juan, as well as advancing its La Rosita gold and silver project at the Deseado Massif - Santa Cruz Province. The Company also holds a 100% owned portfolio of selected early stage prospects, approximately 60,000 hectares distributed within the Provinces of Santa Cruz, Chubut and Rio Negro.

 

U3O8 Corp. Announces $1 Million Private Placement

 
 

U3O8 Corp., a Canadian-based company focused on exploration and development of uranium resources and associated commodities in South America, announces a non-brokered private placement of up to 7,692,307 units (the "Units") at a price of $0.13 per Unit for total gross proceeds of up to approximately $1.0 million (the "Offering"). Insiders, who are among U3O8 Corp's largest shareholders, intend to participate, directly or indirectly, in the Offering.

Each Unit shall consist of one common share of U3O8 Corp. ("Share") and one share purchase warrant ("Warrant"). Each Warrant shall entitle the holder to purchase one Share at a price of $0.18 for a period of 24 months from the closing date.

The securities issued and issuable pursuant to the Offering will be subject to a 4-month hold period. The Offering is subject to a number of conditions, including, without limitation, receipt of all regulatory approvals.

The net proceeds will be used to advance U3O8 Corp's Laguna Salada Deposit in Argentina as a potential low-cost, near-term uranium producer including refining the beneficiation process, completing the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and finalizing the definitive agreement to joint venture with Petromineras Chubut S.E., Chubut's provincial resource company, as well as for exploration projects in Colombia and Guyana, and for general corporate purposes.

 

 
  Panorama Minero
Buenos Aires - Argentina
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