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Gold Seeker Issue #82 ~ This Week In Mining: Metals & Miners Clobbered Yet Again

The metals and miners continued to trade in a tight range through the first three days of the week, after which both gold and silver and the mining stocks broke down, with gold getting clobbered below the $1,750/oz. level and silver getting hit below $22.50/oz. The downtrend remains intact.


AbraSilver Resource Corp: The Company released an updated mineral resource estimate (MRE) at its Diablillos Project, Argentina. The updated MRE on the projects Oculto deposit will form the basis of an updated PEA, expected to be announced before year-end 2021. M&I gold resources increased 37% to 1.0m oz., while M&I silver resources increased 11% to 90.2m oz. The M&I resource contains 160m AgEq oz. (or 2.3m AuEq oz.) @ 121 g/t AgEq (or 1.73 g/t AuEq), with a higher-grade Measured resource of 8.2Mt @ 192 g/t AgEq (or 2.74 g/t AuEq), which accounts for approx. 25% of total tonnage and 31.50% of total contained AgEq oz. There remains exploration potential to increase the resource size, which is one of the objectives of the ongoing Phase II step-out drill program and focused on several high-priority gold targets beyond Oculto.

Anglo-Gold Ashanti/Corvus Gold: Although this has been known for a couple of months, AngloGold Ashanti submitted a proposal to acquire the remaining shares of Corvus Gold it didn't already own. AngloGold currently holds a 19.50% interest in the Company, which owns the North Bullfrog, Mother Lode, and other exploration assets in southern Nevada's Beatty district, close to AngloGold's exploration assets Silicon, Transvaal, and Rhyolite. Anglo's objective is to build a Nevada mining complex to complement its existing portfolio of assets outside North America. Combining these assets consolidates one of the largest new gold districts in Nevada. In addition, it provides the opportunity for AngloGold Ashanti to establish a meaningful, low-cost, long-life production base in a premier mining jurisdiction in the medium and longer term.

Anglo Gold Ashanti proposed that the Company will acquire all of the issued and outstanding Corvus shares in exchange for consideration of C$4.00/share, payable in cash. The offer price represents a 55% premium to the undisturbed price of C$2.58/share on May 5th, 2021, before the announcement of the loan agreement, a premium of 23% to the closing price per Corvus shares of the TSX. Total consideration for the proposed transaction of approx. $370m.

Argonaut Gold: The Company continues to discover high-grade gold mineralization below the El Creston Pit at its La Colorada mine. Argonaut had discovered this and other high-grade mineralization in three distinct veins: North, Central, and South. Highlight intercepts from this release include:

  • 38.1m @ 9.1 g/t Au and 126.6 g/t Ag (South)
    • Including 4.6m @ 51.90 g/t Au and 28.5 g/t Ag
  • 29m @ 3.62 g/t Au and 10.1 g/t Ag (North)
    • Including 4.6m @ 17.4 g/t Au and 29 g/t Ag
  • 22.9m @ 6.7 g/t Au and 30.1 g/t Ag (Central)
    • Including 1.50m @ 90 g/t Au and 14.80 g/t Ag

Argonaut is potentially a stealth value play with operations improving at Florida Canyon, upside potential (at significantly lower costs) below the El Creston Pit at its La Colorada mine. Most notably, the mine build is underway at the Company's Magino project. Suffice it to say, AISC will be considerably lower beginning in 2023 and potentially substantially lower by 2024/25 if the mineralization and production from material below the El Creston pit lead to a small to moderately sized underground operation in the future.  

Artemis Gold: The Company announced a feasibility study (FS) for the Blackwater Project in central British Columbia, Canada. The FS illustrates a rather significant improvement relative to the 2020 PFS. Highlights from the FS include:

  • Gold Price deck and USD/CAD exchange rate: $1,600/oz. and 0.79.
  • After-Tax NPV5 and IRR: C$2.15B [Approx. US$1.7B] & 32% [levered after-tax IRR of 42.80%]. NPV5 increases to C$2.76B (using $1,800/oz. Au, or approx. US$2.18B).
  • Years 1-5 average Production: Increase of 29% vs. the 2020 PFS to 321k oz. Au @ AISC of $578/oz. with an average grade and strip ratio of 1.62 g/t Au and 1.7:1.
  • Years 1-10 average production of 351k oz. Au @ AISC of $643/oz. [Approx. 380k oz. Au from years 6-10].
  • Phase I throughput expanded 9% to 6Mtpa [up from 5.5Mpta in the 2020 PFS].
  • Streamlined Phase II and III expansions: a significantly reduced FS Stage 1 facility footprint and a higher-capacity gyratory crusher installation in the proposed Stage 1 development. Importantly this allows for a streamlined and construction-ready approach to the Phase 2 Expansion throughput of 12Mtpa. In addition, the increase in up-front investment of C$53 million reduces expansion capital to:
    • C$347m (A reduction of C$79m from C$426m in the 2020 PFS) for Phase II to 12Mtpa
    • C$374m (A reduction of C$24m from $398m in the 2020 PFS) for Phase III to 20Mtpa
    • The net impact is a slight increase in the LOM capital to fund 3 phases of development to C$1.417B, up marginally from $1.415B in 2020 PFS.
  • Accelerated Phase II & Phase III expansions: Phase II expansion begins with an expansion to 9Mpta in year-5 [up from 5.5Mtpa in year-5 in the 2020 PFS), ramping up to 12Mtpa in year-6. Phase III expansion begins with an expansion to 15Mtpa in year-10 (up from 12Mtpa in year 10 in the 2020 PFS), ramping up to 20Mtpa in year-11.
  • Phase III throughput of 20Mtpa is supported by two mineral processing trains, reduced from three in 2020 PFS: lower maintenance and labor costs, with improved economies of scale at higher throughput levels.
  • Increased capital costs accuracy: the FS accuracy improved to +15%/-10% from +25%/-10% in the 2020 PFS.
  • Initial capital costs for Phase I of open-pit mining and processing operation at C$645m (US$510m).

Aya Gold & Silver: Reported new assay results from its 2021 drill program at the Zgounder silver mine in Morocco. Results from 54 drill holes extend high-grade mineralization along strike to the east and at depth below the current resource. Key highlights include:

  • 9.5m @ 1,298 g/t Ag
  • 1m @ 1,863 g/t Ag
  • 15.5m @ 162 g/t Ag
  • 2.5m @ 1,230 g/t Ag
  • 7.2m @ 3,065 g/t Ag
  • 3.6m @ 4,801 g/t Ag
  • 4.8m @ 1,300 g/t Ag

The Company continues to have nothing but success hitting high-grade silver intercepts and expanding the resource base. The Company wants to delineate enough reserves/resources to support a long mine life at higher production rates [following the planned expansion].

Aztec Minerals: Reported assay results for an additional four holes from its completed 2021, Phase II RC drill program. Drill highlights include:

  • 42.7m @ 0.49 g/t AuEq.
  • 64m @ 1.04 g/t AuEq.
    • Including 13.7m @ 4.34 g/t AuEq.
  • 64m @ 2.53 g/t AuEq.
    • Including 3.04m @ 10.37 g/t AuEq.
  • 64m @ 1.05 g/t AuEq.
    • Including 9.1m @ 2.99 g/t AuEq.

GoGold Resources: Released the results of eight new drill holes from the El Favor East zone and one drill hole from El Favor, both in the Los Ricos North project. Highlight drill holes include:

  • 0.80m @ 2,274 g/t AgEq.
  • 0.90m @ 255 g/t AgEq.
  • 4.80m @ 551 g/t AgEq.
  • 3m @ 353 g/t AgEq.
  • 1.40m @ 477 g/t AgEq.

Gran Colombia: The Company announced production for August and declared a monthly dividend to be paid mid-October 2021. In August, Segovia produced 17.37k oz. Au and 17.92k oz. Ag, bringing the year-to-date total (8-months) to 133.9k oz. Au and 144.8k oz. Ag, both are slightly ahead of production during the first eight months of 2020. Gran Colombia processed 50,245 tonnes in August at its Maria Dama plant or 1,621tpd at an average head grade of 12 g/t in the month. The next monthly dividend payable to shareholders of record on September 30th, 2021, of C$0.015/share on October 15th, 2021.

Hecla Mining: The largest silver producer in the US provided an exploration update at Greens Creek (Alaska), Casa Berardi (Canada), Midas, and Hollister (Nevada). Drilling as Greens Creek and Casa Berardi is on track to replace mined reserves in 2021 by year-end. Exploration at the Green Racer Sinter at its Midas project continued to expand high-grade gold and silver mineralization for over 2,000ft of strike and 1,250ft of dip extent, with an initial resource to be announced in early 2022. Greens Creek surface exploration drilling at the Lil'Sore target intersected copper and zinc-rich zones of mineralization indicative of a fertile feeder stockwork zone. This mineralization is stratigraphically below the targeted mine contact indicating the potential for an additional mineralized mine horizon at depth or laterally. Hollister's decline has advanced, and drilling of the Hatter Graben can begin in the fourth quarter. Further, exploration activities are ongoing as its other assets including San Sebastian (Mexico), Lucky Friday (Idaho), Aurora (Nevada), and Fire Creek (Nevada).

Kutcho Copper: The Company provided a progress report regarding the FS undertaken on its Kutcho project. Following several trade-off studies, including advanced engineering and optimization work and initial consultations with the Kutcho project stakeholders. Highlights of project optimization measures include:

  • Open-pit mining the majority of the main deposit, allowing the Company to capitalize on the high-grade, near-surface mineralization, resulting in lower operating costs relative to underground mining. The remainder of the main deposit and the Esso deposit will continue to be evaluated, assuming underground extraction by long-hole open stoping. 
  • The pivot toward the open-pit development scenario resulted in a 21% increase in M&I resources relative to the previous estimate. The increase in the resource largely results from lowering the cut-off grade as appropriate from the change from underground to open-pit mining.
    • The updated MRE totals 22.8m tonnes @ 1.52% Cu, 2.18% Zn, and gold and silver, representing over 1.1B lbs. of CuEq, comprised of 765m lbs. Cu, 1.1b lbs. Zn, 288k oz. Au and 20.6m oz. Ag.
  • Increased project scale: Ore feed to the crusher from 2.5ktpd to 4.5ktpd due to switching to open-pit mining of the main deposit compared to the 2017 PFS.
  • Introduction of ore sorting, based on positive bulk sample test results and project optimization studies, should result in higher-grade feed and reduced flotation plant size, reducing capital and operating costs.
  • Improved recovery rates.
  • The increased throughput rate increased the amount of capital Wheaton Precious Metals will remit for its precious metal stream on this primary copper operation.

Labrador Gold: The Company announced additional high-grade intercepts of near-surface gold mineralization along the Appleton Fault Zone at its Kingsway project. Drill highlights from this release include:

  • 10m @ 9.6 g/t Au
  • 1.55m @ 35.7 g/t Au
  • 1.12m @ 182.51 g/t Au
  • 4m @ 2.41 g/t Au


Metalla Royalty & Streaming: The junior royalty and streaming company continues to add royalties on a portion of large projects set to come online late this cycle or by the next cycle. In exchange for $15m in cash, Metalla will acquire an existing 5% NSR from an arm's length seller on the South Domes portion of the Castle Mountain Gold mine, owned by Equinox Gold.

Though the 5% NSR doesn’t cover the entirety of the project, it does cover a reasonable number of reserves [1.1m oz. Au or 26.2% of total reserves] on a gold mine expected to produce 218k oz. Au following completion of the Phase II expansion. Given the low purchase price [and without consulting the feasibility study], it is likely the South Domes pit is mined later in the mine life.

New Found Gold: Announced recently received assay results from twenty-nine holes drilled at the Keats Zone, located along the Appleton Fault Zone. Highlights include:

  • 2.50m @ 21.29 g/t Au
  • 4.85m @ 31.80 g/t Au
  • 3m @ 36.65 g/t Au
  • 2m @ 137.49 g/t Au
  • 3.05m @ 24.12 g/t Au
  • 2.20m @ 104.59 g/t Au

New Gold: The Company provided an operational outlook, primarily regarding its Rainy River mine. In early August, the Company indicated that July production at Rainy River was primarily sourced from the eastern area of the ODM zone (East Lobe), and the realized gold grade from this area was below the modeled gold grade in this period. This trend continued in August. Over both July and August, the modeled East Lobe high and medium grade ore negatively reconciled to ounces mined, leading to a total of approximately 20,000 lower gold ounces produced during this period. The Company has since followed up with additional reverse circulation drilling, and globally, all areas outside of the East Lobe continue to reconcile well where mining has occurred or is about to occur and are consistent with historical results. The East Lobe represents approximately 35% of planned production for the remaining period of September to December 2021. As a result of the variance experienced in the East Lobe, Rainy River's gold equivalent production for 2021 is expected to be between 240,000 and 255,000 ounces. Companywide production is now expected to be between 405-450k AuEq oz., including copper production of 56-66m lbs. New Gold also revised its AISC for 2021 upwards to $1,415-$1,495/oz. AuEq.

Pretium Resources: Pretium continues to be successful with resource expansion drilling, intersecting high-grade gold mineralization in the North Block zone. Phase 3 of the North Block resource expansion drill program was initiated to follow up on the high-grade gold intersected directly to the north of the Valley of the Kings deposit during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the North Block drill program. Recent highlights include:

  • 15m @ 493 g/t Au
  • 7m @ 676 g/t Au
  • 1m @ 3,660 g/t Au
  • 34.50m @ 93.4 g/t Au
  • 6m @ 39.2 g/t Au
  • 2m @ 382 g/t Au
  • 1m @ 575 g/t Au
  • 18m @ 7.1 g/t Au
  • 5m @ 60.8 g/t Au
  • 3m @ 67.4 g/t Au
  • 18m @ 48.3 g/t Au
  • 6m @ 133.7 g/t Au


SSR Mining: The mid-tier gold producer announced positive exploration results at its high-grade Seabee project in Canada. SSR Mining is actively exploring its sizeable land positions surrounding its existing operating mines in Turkey, Canada, and the US to leverage its existing infrastructure to advance low-cost, brownfield development targets. This has been a very successful strategy for the Seabee operation historically, and the area continues to showcase additional exploration upside. The Santoy Mine is the current production feed for the Seabee processing plant, connected by a 15km haul road.

The Gap Hanging Wall (GHW) is being drilled from underground drives extending from the Santoy Mine. The GHW is targeted to be the next extension of the Santoy mine, with 300k oz. Au already classified as indicated resources and an additional 167k oz. Au of inferred resources. The current drill program's objective is to extend these resources and convert them into reserves in 2022. Intercepts in the GHW include:

  • 6.98m @ 19.16 g/t Au
  • 9.47m @ 12.14 g/t Au

The Santoy Hanging Wall (SHW) is the most recent discovery. Current drilling from both surface and underground drives within the Santoy mine aims to prove the viability of this mining area as a potential future development of the Santoy Mine. If successful, a Mineral Resource will be declared in 2022. Intercepts in the SHW include:

  • 2.83m @ 12.75 g/t Au
  • 2.24m @ 11.31 g/t Au
  • 3.56m @ 16.31 g/t Au

The Joker target sits to the south of the Santoy mine, and drilling is focused on the continuity to the Santoy mine. Joker has the potential to provide material extension of the Santoy mine beyond the GHW and SHW. The exploration strategy is to prove continuity in 2021 and potentially proceed to resource definition drilling in 2022. Intercepts at Joker include:

  • 1.49m @ 25.97 g/t Au

Furthermore, SSR Mining continues exploration on the Fisher properties, located immediately to the south of the Seabee claims. The Fisher Properties are 80% owned by SSR Mining and 20% by Taiga Gold Corporation. Targets on the Fisher property have the potential to provide additional plant feed beyond the Seabee license area. Early exploration at Fisher has been encouraging. Intercepts from the Fisher Properties include:

  • 2.50m @ 10.03 g/t Au [Yin]
  • 6m @ 3.95 g/t Au [Mac North]
  • 1m @ 10.37 g/t Au [Mac North]
  • 2.83m @ 3.51 g/t Au [Mac North]
  • 2.98m @ 4.04 g/t Au [Mac North]
  • 1.46m @ 22.99 g/t Au [Mac North]


Victoria Gold: Production-wise (and likely cost-wise), the Company set record monthly production in August, with a big-step up to 20.74k oz. Au, after producing 14.7k oz. Au in July. This should set up the Company to post several quarterly records for Q3, 2021. The strip ratios in July and August were 1.0x:1 and 1.20x:1, both of which are below the average strip through the first eight months of the year at 1.60x:1. Further, grades in July and August were 0.86 g/t Au and 0.98 g/t Au. Mining ore with a lower strip ratio and higher grade [should they continue during September] should result in lower costs, perhaps significantly less.

The Dublin Gulch gold camp 2021 exploration drill campaign continues at capacity, having a threefold objective: drill two on/near high-grade gold targets at Raven and Lynx and the past-producing Rex-Peso high-grade silver target just west of the Eagle Gold Mine. The planned 15,000m 2021 program is primarily concentrated on Raven, where over 6,500m of drilling has already been completed. Results from this drill campaign are expected before year-end 2021.

Yamana Gold: The Company reported positive initial exploration results at its newest asset, Wasamac, in Quebec. Yamana also provided an update regarding its generative exploration program, which shows the progress of both advanced and early-stage exploration projects. Drilling as Wasamac confirmed the presence of the Wasa Shear zone to the west of the main Wasamac zone and expanding down-dip continuity of the Wasa Shear in a secondary zone known as Wildcat. These initial results further align the object to sustain 200k oz. Au p.a. at Wasamac and achieve a strategic mine life of more than 15-years, which aligns with the potential to increase the Company's average annual output in Quebec to approx. 500k oz. by 2018 through 2041 (including approx. 50% of the 550-600k+ oz. Au annual production from Canadian Malartic).

Consistent with the optimization strategy announced with the positive development decision on Wasamac on July 19th, 2021, the Company is advancing an exploration program that focuses on expanding the current mineral resource envelopes to depths below the established mineral resource and testing for mineralization in poorly explored gaps between mineralized zones. In addition, the exploration program will target the broader Wasamac property, including the adjacent Francoeur, Arntfield, and Lac Fortune gold deposits, and include an infill program to delineate mining areas expected to be developed in the first three years of production.

Generative Exploration Program (Update):

  • Tier I Exploration Assets [Projects with well-defined gold mineral resources and opportunities to grow to a potentially economic threshold in the next three years].
    • Lavra Velha (Bahia, Brazil). Exploratory drilling below Lavra Velha recently identified zones of high-grade gold-copper mineralization associated with potassic alteration below the near-surface mineralized zones.
    • Drilling highlights include: 7.85m @ 5.49 g/t Au and 2.49% Cu and 1.02m @ 4.56 g/t Au. Drilling of both the deeper sulfide mineralization and further near-surface oxide targets is ongoing.
    • Monument Bay (Manitoba, Canada): 2021 drilling successfully intercepted the mineralized zone at depth with promising results from the camp and Lake shoots. Results including: 2.27m @ 7.58 g/t Au, 2.22m @ 6.52 g/t Au, withing a wider interval of 9.73m @ 2.34 g/t Au.
  • Tier I Exploration Asset [Projects that have achieved significant drill intercepts and whose geology along with other factors support rapid mineral resource growth]:
    • Borborema (Pernambuco, Brazil): Drill highlights include: 40.15m @ 0.26% Cu and 5m @ 0.20 g/t Au, 1.81% Cu and 0.19% Zn.
    • Jacobina Norte (Bahia, Brazil): Drilling is limited to date, but extensive surface work has defined a six-kilometer-long sector of conglomerates that contain significant surface gold mineralization over 1.00 g/t gold, suggesting excellent potential for the discovery of a standalone Jacobina-type system.
    • Falcon (Santa Cruz, Argentina): The previous drilling intercepted significant low-grade mineralization over wide widths from surface, and ongoing surface work has defined a gold-in-soil anomaly over 1,300-by-500m as well as a second parallel zone that has returned significant gold-in-rock samples along a 1.2Km trend. The property, located near the Company’s Cerro Moro operation, demonstrates significant geological potential.

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