Archive for the ‘PRECIOUS METALS’ Category

Four dead after armed robbers storm DRC gold mine in the Congo

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Twangiza-mine-banro image

An armed attack on the Twanziga gold mine in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Tuesday has resulted in four casualties.

Among the dead are three policemen that were guarding the mine and one of the robbers, according to a statement on Banro Corp’s (TSX:BAA) website.

The incident occurred early Tuesday morning and involved an attempt by the seven-member raiding party to break through the gate. Police fired on the robbers, ending the assault. A security guard was also injured during the altercation. No items were stolen and the mine continues to operate normally, Banro said. The attempted break-in was recorded on security cameras and has been reported to authorities. An investigation is underway.

The open-pit mine, which started commercial production in 2012, is one of four gold mines operated by Banro in the DRC. It was expected to produce 110-120,000 ounces in 2016.

According to Reuters the mine has been “plagued by illegal miners squatting on the site and by armed groups, some of the dozens of militias that remain active despite the official end to a regional conflict in 2003.”

Banro’s stock, listed on the Toronto main board, lost 2.27% today to close at 21.5 cents a share.


Henry Sapiecha

Africa gold reserves said to be worth $1.5 TRILLION

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

endeavour-tabakoto-africa-gold image

A new report by SNL Metals and Mining shows Africa at the top of tables when it comes to the value of gold still in the ground.

Using the combined value of reserves and resources reported by explorers and mining companies active on the continent, the research company, calculated a figure of $1.48 trillion for primary gold projects.

Canada and the US came in second with gold in situ values as at September 8 of $1.26 trillion.

For gold in non-gold primary projects, Asia-Pacific was the key contributor in terms of resource value, accounting for $692 billion of the total according to SNL.

When it comes to the value of gold resources where it is mined as a secondary product alongside other metals, Africa falls down the rankings with less than $100 billion on the books.





















As for revenue, calculated by multiplying 2015 total gold production from primary gold mines with the 2015 average gold spot price, Asia-Pacific and Africa are once again the most as most valuable gold regions, with gold revenues of $20.2 billion and $16.1 billion, respectively.


Henry Sapiecha

Prospector discovers $300,000 nugget at Ballarat Victoria Australia

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

gold-nugget 5 kilo ballarat vic image

January 18, 2013

A 5.5kg gold nugget estimated to be worth up to $300,000 has been found by a prospector in bush near Ballarat.

The prospector, who wished to remain anonymous, discovered the nugget on Wednesday at a depth of 60cm and footage of the discovery was soon posted on YouTube.

Once the signal had been tracked through an expensive metal detector, the prospector kicked off leaf mulch from the surface and decided to dig after the ground looked in original condition.

News Limited reports Ballarat Mining Exchange Gold Shop owner Cordell Kent said the prospector initially thought he had found a car bonnet, but detected a glint of gold after he started digging.

“He cleaned the top of it and the gold kept expanding … he saw more and more gold … he couldn’t believe what he was seeing,” he said.

The nugget is worth about $282,000 in weight, but is worth more because of the rarity and size of the nugget.


Henry Sapiecha

Huge 4 kilo gold nugget discovered in Victoria Australia

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Fridays-Joy-4 kilo gold nugget image

An Australian prospector has discovered a massive 145-ounce gold nugget worth more than $250,000.

Dubbed ‘Friday’s Joy’, the nugget was found with a Minelab metal detector in an already work-over area at the southern edge of central Victoria’s Golden Triangle, an area well known for yielding gold, finding the top of the nugget only around 30cm below the ground.

The prospector who found the nugget wanted to stay anonymous.

“I thought it was rubbish at first, maybe an old horseshoe,” the man said,“I was in total disbelief as I didn’t think nuggets of this size were still around.”

An avid prospector – having prospected for more than ten years – the man had an agreement with his other gold prospecting enthusiast friends to split the proceeds on any large gold item found when they went prospecting together.

Upon the find, he was unsure of what to do at first.

“It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it,” he said.

“I washed it in water, covered it in aluminium foil and kept it in my oven on the first night.”

The man did not intend to quit his job and retire, instead aiming to buy a van and travel around Australia, sightseeing and prospecting.

The nugget is currently in a bank vault, with a replica in construction. Plans for an auction are also underway.

Minelab’s regional sales and marketing director Fraser Kendall said the company was thrilled a customer made such a discovery.

“He was prospecting in an area that others had clearly worked over and this just goes to show that there’s plenty of gold still coming out of Victoria,” he said.

Kendall added that the nugget was on par with the 159.3 ounce ‘Cindy’s Pride’, and surpassed prospector Mick Brown’s 87-ounce ‘Fair Dinkum’ gold nugget found last year near the Wedderburn, around 200km north of Melbourne; it was later auctioned for $175,000.


Henry Sapiecha


Friday, July 29th, 2016

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The world’s number one and two gold producers both released second quarter results and production guidance the past week.

For Barrick Gold, 2015 year was the last period of 6m-plus ounces of production which was already substantially down from its peak of 7.7 million ounces in 2010 and 2011.

While its financials came in slightly below expectations the Toronto-based company stuck to its annual output forecast of between 5 million and 5.5 million ounces.

Barrick has been shedding assets at a clip in an effort to tackle its heavy debt load and to achieve its 2016 target will have to find another $1 billion before the end of the year.

Earlier this week there were reports the miner is close to selling its 64% stake in Tanzania’s Acacia Mining (LON:ACA) for as much as $1.9 billion. And buried in Barrick’s Q2 release was an announcement that it’s looking for a buyer for half of Australia’s Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines.

This deal will make Newmont the world's top gold minerNewmont Mining owns the other half and Barrick handed over operational control of the the iconic mine called the Super Pit to Denver-based Newmont a year ago. The mine some 600km west of Perth has produced 50 million ounces over 30 years and fully developed the cut will be 3.6 kilometers long, 1.6 kilometers wide and up to 650 meters deep.

Newmont would be the natural buyer and has expressed interest in the mine in the past which could fetch as much as $1 billion. The company sports one of the stronger balance sheets in the sector having embarked on a debt reduction program earlier than its rivals and recently selling its Indonesian Batu Hijau copper-gold operation for $1.3 billion.

Unlike many of its rivals Newmont has been building its portfolio and last year acquired the Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine in Colorado. Newmont also has five key projects that are in execution stage including the Turf Vent project in Nevada and Merian mine in South America expected to start production late in 2016.

Newmont said in its results its Northwest Exodus project in Nevada is approved and will start production this quarter. In addition unapproved projects “represent upside of between 200,000 and 300,000 ounces of gold production beginning in 2018.”

While far from certainties should Barrick’s deals go ahead, Newmont picks up Kalgoorlie, the companies’ production guidance pans out and all things being equal (which they never are in gold mining) next year Denver and not Toronto will be the home of the world’s number one gold mining company.


Henry Sapiecha

NASA releases gold-covered telescope putting the Hubble to shame

Saturday, April 30th, 2016


NASA has finally unveiled the giant successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb, which is equipped with a collapsible honeycomb-like mirror made of 18 gleaming, gold-covered pieces.

Scheduled to be launched in 2018, the $10 billion tennis-court-sized telescope is the result of a joint effort involving NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

james web telescope images www.www-globalcommodities (2)

Ball Aerospace optical technician Scott Murray inspects the first gold primary mirror segment. (Image provided by NASA)

Each coffee table-sized mirror segment, weighing roughly 46 pounds (21kg), is made from beryllium and is coated with a fine film of vaporized gold to optimize the reflection of infrared light.

james web telescope images www.www-globalcommodities (1)

Rendering of the James Webb Space Telescope. (Image by Northrop Grumman | NASA )

The James Webb telescope has been described as a ‘time machine’ that could help unravel the secrets of our cosmos.

Unlike The Hubble, the new instrument will look in the infrared part of the spectrum, instead of capturing visible light. This will allow it to better see through clouds of gas and dust, where stars are being born, which should give us a view farther back to the beginning of the universe.

james web telescope images www.www-globalcommodities (3)

Standing tall and glimmering gold inside NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s clean room in Greenbelt, Maryland (Image provided by NASA)

Once launched, the James Webb will be the world’s biggest and most powerful telescope, capable of peering back 200 million years after the Big Bang.

Learn more about The James Webb telescope in the video below:

Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, August 29th, 2015


Henry Sapiecha

Watch Turkey for world’s next top gold projects –mining law, people, and infrastructure are improving: Han Ilhan, Aldridge Minerals

Thursday, June 18th, 2015


To make new discoveries, companies often look in “fringe” areas – countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, or South America for instance.

These areas may contain more un-discovered deposits than other well-trodden mining regions.

But in the last few years, investors have recoiled towards “safe” places like the US, Canada, and Australia.

“Fringe” jurisdictions come with additional risks and costs.

Mining laws can change rapidly. In one example, Ecuador has nearly killed investment in its mining sector with new tax demands.

Miners and explorers also lack services, equipment, skilled labor, and infrastructure in these locations.

It could be years before investors begin to return to “fringe” mining jurisdictions, despite their potential.

But there’s one country that could be back in favor much sooner – Turkey.

Turkey is partially located on a geological structure that may yield gold discoveries (Steve Todoruk, at Sprott Global Resource Investments, recently brought one project to our attention).

And over the last 15 years, the country has remained relatively stable and welcoming of gold mining.

I spoke with Han Ilhan, CEO of Aldridge Minerals, about the prospects for mining in Turkey, and whether the country would break out of “fringe” status. He’s currently working to bring the Yenipazar deposit into production.

Henry Bonner: Many investors view Turkey as a fringe jurisdiction.

Han Ilhan: Yes, yes.

We’ve seen some projects get held up in Turkey…

Yeah, OK.


Many investors still have concerns about the country and my question is, “What has changed?”

OK. Look, I think you need to look at the bigger picture. So let me present it to you.

Year 2000 — Turkey produces no gold. Year 2015 — Turkey is now the number one gold producer in Europe, in just 15 years.

It produced around 31 tonnes of gold in 20141 (and projects 50 tonnes of production in 2015, according to the Turkish Gold Miners Association).

Over the past 15 years, just in the gold sector, seven mines have been built, all by Turkish construction companies.

There are foreign mining companies, as well as Turkish mining companies. Some foreign companies are in partnership with a Turkish mining company. Some are not, such as Eldorado Gold.

Compared to other jurisdictions, that report card speaks for itself — seven mines built in the last 15 years, and going from no gold production to becoming the number one in Europe.2

On the other hand, Turkey’s mining industry, particularly the gold mining industry, is still in its infancy. 15 years is nothing.

What Turkey has accomplished in 15 years is remarkable but still, the mining law was revised in 2010. It has become extremely foreign-friendly. A foreign company in Turkey has the same rights as a Turkish mining company, with no differences.

But Turkey is still in its infancy in mining. And of course, like any other country, Turkey is looking at ways to increase State income from natural resources.

The economy has been extremely stable over the past crises that we have had globally, particularly in Europe, but it has a soft spot, which is the current account deficit. The current account deficit is fairly large and in order to balance that deficit, Turkey focuses on foreign direct investment (FDI).

FDI is key to the Turkish economy. In order to attract that FDI, which happens in a global competitive environment, Turkey has to put forth investment incentives. In our mining business, corporate taxes have gone from 20 percent to 6 percent because of those incentives.

So in order to attract more foreign investment, they are offering special tax advantages for mining?

Well, this is not just for mining. This is for any type of investment.

They have separated the country into different regions. Certain regions have additional advantages, but mining is considered a strategic investment and therefore mining investment is provided the most incentives, regardless of the region.

That means you will be able to deduct part of your CAPEX (the upfront costs of developing a project before revenues can be generated) from your future revenues up to a certain amount. That’s a great advantage.

If you look at the royalty regime in Turkey, Turkey just passed a law that has royalties adjusted with respect to the commodity prices (meaning the percentage may rise or fall with metals prices).

Based on the commodity prices that we have today, the royalty on gold is about 2%. The royalty on base metals is about 1% (for comparison, the government of Quebec charges companies a 1% royalty on the metals produced from a mine, a figure which jumps to 4% above C$80 million in production3).

Well, that’s an attractive element in the global competitive environment.

Are there other advantages that are specific to Turkey?

Turkey is also a manufacturing country. It’s not going to be able to manufacture everything for us but most of the things that we need can be manufactured in Turkey.

The US put tariffs on Turkish steel not too long ago. Well that Turkish steel is still available to capital projects in Turkey.

Half of the population in Turkey is below age 30. Every city in Turkey has a university, so you have a group of individuals that are highly energetic, young and educated. In fact Turkey is one of those countries in the world that has the highest number of mining-related graduates in the world.

So from a “people” perspective, it’s the right place.

So the project, the place, and the people — those are the ingredients to be able to build a project successfully and to build a company in Turkey.

Does the government help you acquire and hold onto mining property?

If you look at the history of Turkey in the last particularly 12 to 15 years, the country has been going through a major rebuild and the construction industry is a key driver in that rebuild, building a lot of roads, highways, ports, railroads, airports. This is referred to as “mega construction.”

We’re constructing a third bridge over the Bosphorus, which is going to be the widest suspension bridge in the world. The airport that is under construction is going to be the largest airport in the world.

So these are mega projects that are driven by the construction industry. You have State land but you also have private land, and there’s a compulsory land acquisition process that the State is using to assist projects that are key to the country.

We will go through that process and we’re confident that we will finish that by the first quarter of 2016. It’s a compulsory process.

So the government will compel someone to sell their land if it’s needed for a large infrastructure or mining project?

Yes. When the state determines that the project is economically beneficial to the public at the national, as well as the local, level then that becomes the basis for a compulsory land acquisition.

The only part left to determine is the price. In our case, we’re offering the landowners three to four times their current value.

That current value is determined objectively. There are certain formulas that you apply depending on the character of the land and what it’s used for and its proximity to highways as well as local communities, because the social license to operate is quite important to us.

In fact, social license to operate in Turkey is I think one of the key elements of a mine development that one needs to focus on. Turkey is a pretty densely populated country and it’s not very uncommon to have multiple villages surrounding a development area. In fact I know some villages where there will be, say, five houses. Another one will have 200 houses and is one kilometer away.

You would wonder: “why would there be two villages?” Well there are reasons for that. There are differences. There are alliances that have formed two separate entities. Now imagine there are not two but thirty villages.

So a social license to operate in Turkey is one of the key areas where any capital project needs to focus, and particularly mining.

It is complex. You need to understand the cultures. You need to understand the people. You need to understand their way of living, what they’re comfortable with, and then present them with an alternative that they need to embrace. When you do that, you have a social license and you have to maintain it for the life of the mine.

To be able to do that, it is very important to understand the place. Formulas that have worked elsewhere likely are not going to fit Turkey.

Where are the investments coming from to develop mines in Turkey? Are they mostly from foreign investors?

Most of them come from foreign investors, particularly with a foreign company. There are Turkish companies that have invested in mining using their own capital too.

The business culture in Turkey is very similar to India, if you’re familiar with that. There are large holding companies.

They start with one business. Often times, it’s construction. Sometimes it’s textiles. And then they gradually expand into other industries like energy, like communications, port management, airport management, and mining.

As they expand into those areas, they often invest their own money into these new capital projects.

The Istanbul stock exchange is still in its infancy. One of the key requirements of the Istanbul exchange is to show three years of revenue, if not profit, in order to be listed on the stock exchange.

That doesn’t allow investors to invest in ideas or upside potential or risky investments.

The Turkish business culture is also a family-oriented culture where they have built businesses with their own hands and fingers and have grown them into multi-billion dollar businesses. They don’t want to lose control of that business by listing all or most of it on a stock exchange.

They sometimes list 30 or 40 percent of it. So that kind of limits us to how much money we can generate from the stock exchange in Turkey. But at the same time the desire (to fund public companies) is not really there. The Turkish business culture is basically: “if you have the money, you invest it out of your own pocket.”

Obviously, the foreign business culture is a bit different. There are the mechanisms of the stock market and the capital markets, where capital is available to you. Foreign companies, when they come to Turkey, come with that foreign capital.

I know that you go back and forth a lot between Canada and Turkey. Why do you need to be in both places to advance your project?

Well, one of the key requirements for my employment on my side was that I would be located in Turkey.

My background is Turkish-American. I spent 30 years of my life in the US, leading the global mining business of a large engineering and construction company with operationsall around the world.

I understand the Turkish business culture and I obviously know Turkey. With a start-up company, particularly in the mining business where you have no margin of error, you have to do it right the first time. These types of things cannot be controlled remotely. You have to be on-location. So that was important for me.

A key thing in Turkey is that the differentiators that I mentioned (mature construction and manufacturing industries, presence of infrastructure, contract miners, tax incentives, and a labor force) have to be leveraged and that’s what I’m assisting with – again, you have to be in the place to do that.

But at the same time, I have to have a foot in the North American and European markets for the purposes of raising capital and promoting the company in the capital markets.

We find ourselves in a very pleasing position to have five term sheets from major Europeans banks, as a well as a North American bank. They’re willing to provide capital to us for the construction. In these markets, particularly in North America, that speaks loudly to the value of our project.

But also it requires marketing the company. I found that the Aldridge story was not as well-known as others and what was known was outdated. A lot has happened in the last two years, even before I came onboard, and projects with these financial metrics (relatively low upfront capital expenditures and potentially attractive returns) are unique. So we continuously and persistently convey our story.

We do that in the North American and in European markets.

Thank you Mr. Ilhan and I look forward to speaking with you again about what’s happening in Turkey.

OK. Thanks for your time.

P.S.: Our in-house exploration geologist, Andy Jackson, keeps on eye on projects in these unproven or new jurisdictions, like Turkey. In fact, we’ve recently had boots on the ground there. Andy’s most recent visit was to Burkina Faso, a jurisdiction that is rich in gold deposits, but is under-developed. See his site visit photos here.

This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to be an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service or a recommendation or determination by Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. that any investment strategy is suitable for a specific investor. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the suitability of any investment strategy based on the objectives of the investor, financial situation, investment horizon, and their particular needs. This information is not intended to provide financial, tax, legal, accounting or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. The products discussed herein are not insured by the FDIC or any other governmental agency, are subject to risks, including a possible loss of the principal amount invested.

Generally, natural resources investments are more volatile on a daily basis and have higher headline risk than other sectors as they tend to be more sensitive to economic data, political and regulatory events as well as underlying commodity prices. Natural resource investments are influenced by the price of underlying commodities like oil, gas, metals, coal, etc.; several of which trade on various exchanges and have price fluctuations based on short-term dynamics partly driven by demand/supply and nowadays also by investment flows. Natural resource investments tend to react more sensitively to global events and economic data than other sectors, whether it is a natural disaster like an earthquake, political upheaval in the Middle East or release of employment data in the U.S. Low priced securities can be very risky and may result in the loss of part or all of your investment. Because of significant volatility, large dealer spreads and very limited market liquidity, typically you will not be able to sell a low priced security immediately back to the dealer at the same price it sold the stock to you. In some cases, the stock may fall quickly in value. Investing in foreign markets may entail greater risks than those normally associated with domestic markets, such as political, currency, economic and market risks. You should carefully consider whether trading in low priced and international securities is suitable for you in light of your circumstances and financial resources. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Sprott Global, entities that it controls, family, friends, employees, associates, and others may hold positions in the securities it recommends to clients, and may sell the same at any time.

By Henry Bonner


Henry Sapiecha

Romania opens door to new gold, copper project with Canadians at the forefront

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

 romania-opens-door-to-new-gold-copper-project-led-by-canadians image www.www-g;

Romania’s National Agency for Mineral Resources has granted Canadian explorer Carpathian Gold Inc. (TSX:CPN) a 20-year mining license for its Rovina Valley gold and copper project, strategically located about 20 km west of Gabriel Resources’ (TSX:GBU) debated Rosia Montana.

This is first time Romania grants a mining license without the involvement of a state-owned enterprise.

Carpathian’s stock soared on the news. It was up 200% to 0.0150 at 11:00 am ET.

The Toronto based company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Samax Romania S.R.L., will now work on updating the Preliminary Economic Assessment of 2010, to provide revised project costs and evaluate scalability options, Carpathian said in a statement.

The Rovina License lies within the Metalliferi Mountains, in the southern part of the Apuseni Mountains, in the area known as the Golden Quadrilateral, one of Europe’s most prolific mining districts for over 2,000 years.

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Henry Sapiecha

We are the world’s largest silver producer: KGHM

Friday, May 8th, 2015

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[News release submitted by KGHM] – KGHM has regained its first position in the world’s silver production.

Thomson Reuters’s analysts have recently compared results of all leading producers of this metal. In 2014, KGHM produced 1,256 tons of silver, which is 7 percent more than in the previous year.

The World Silver Survey is one of the key annual reports on silver and the only to rank all producers of this metal. The survey is prepared by the GFMS team of global metals market analysts at Thomson Reuters. It is a synthesis of the silver market’s key indicators, comprehensive statistics and in-depth economic analyses. Information in the report is based on financial figures published by companies and interviews with their representatives.

This allows for reliable data on the global silver supply and demand to published in the report each year.

“It took us one year to regain our leadership position in the silver market. In 2013, we were ranked as third silver producer. In the previous year, however, we raised production by 7 percent due to optimum ore processing and smelting activities,” said Herbert Wirth, President and CEO of KGHM.

Poland was ranked in the eighth position as the largest silver producer.

The report is prepared in co-operation with Silver Insitute. It has been published since 1990, which means it is the 25th jubilee edition.


Henry Sapiecha