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After the Merger: Endeavour Mining Meets 2011 Gold Production Targets

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ANALYSIS—ProspectingJournal.com—Shortly after announcing its “Merger of Equals” with Australia’s Adamus Resources, West African gold producer and explorer Endeavour Mining [EDV – TSX] has confirmed the value of this strategic partnership by meeting its 2011 production targets.

As the recent release of Endeavour’s Q4 and 2011 gold production results show, the 2011 targets were well-calculated to capitalize on the merger of the two companies’ producing West African projects: the Nzema Mine (Adamus) in Ghana and the Youga Mine (Endeavour) in Burkina Faso.

Without the merger, Endeavour’s estimated production in 2011 would have been approximately 84,000 ounces, while Adamus’ production would have come in at 88,000. With the merger, Endeavour achieved a total annual production of 177,290 ounces of gold at a cash cost per ounce of $614 (excluding royalties), with 90,026 ounces from Nzema and 87,264 ounces from Youga. As 2011 production was expected at 172,000 ounces, this announcement has eased any concerns shareholders may have in regards to the future growth of their company.

For Adamus, the merger presented the dismantling of its US$60M project loan and an additional US$100M slated to reduce its required gold hedge. For Endeavour, the merger presented an opportunity to expand its resources in a growing gold mining region, utilizing Adamus’ experienced management team, along with its excellent production and exploration projects.

Read more:

http://www.prospectingjournal.com/afterthemerger01022012/


Price of Gold Fuels the Red Lake Gold Rush

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COMMENTARY—ProspectingJournal.com—If you’ve been investing in precious metals for the last decade, the current price of gold is your reward. The world’s financial implosion has kick-started the modern-day gold rush, as fly-by-night juniors battle the big players up in the Yukon, gold advertisements dot the back pages of theMetro, and the mainstream media, such as the Globe and Mail, bashes gold one day then promotes it the next.

Lately the focus has been on the Red Lake Gold district in Ontario, which happily rests on top of one of the biggest gold deposits in the world. And thanks to the price of the precious metal, the area has drawn considerable interest. Its well-established reputation as a gold magnet, now amplified among the global turmoil as a booming centre of employment and prosperity, is making headlines.

Read more:

http://prospectingjournal.com/price-of-gold-fuels-the-red-lake-gold-rush-11-03-2011/

 


Coal Lights the Economic Darkness: Miners Prepare for Acquisitions

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COMMENTARYProspectingJournal.com—Among the sea of doom and gloom, coal stood alone yesterday as news of the $1 billion purchase of Calgary-based Grande Cache Coal Corp. [GCE- TSX] excited the markets. With the Greeks sending the EU into another round of chaos, MF Global being the newest US bank to purchase its spot in hell, and fears of a China slowdown sending shockwaves around the world, the following graph must feel—and look—like salvation for GCE shareholders:

Despite the negative environmental press and its long-standing position in the shadow of oil, coal demand has steadily increased. It’s dirty, destructive yet highly effective and abundant. Of all the fossil fuels, coal has the largest reserves, with enough in the Earth to apparently meet global demand for an estimated 188 years. Metallurgical coal, which GCE possesses in abundance, is less abundant than thermal coal yet is used to make steel—and China wants it. Analysts and “experts,” whoever they are, expect the demand for this coal to soon far outstrip supply.

Read more:
http://prospectingjournal.com/coal-lights-the-economic-darkness-miners-prepare-for-acquisitions/


Potash: The Edible Gold Attracts Big Players to Saskatchewan

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October 13, 2011 by prospectingjournal
COMMENTARY
ProspectingJournal.com—Despite the naysayers, you can indeed eat gold—just try some potash. Hailed as the “pink gold,” potash is the common name for the various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form, which is a natural component of fertilizer. Taken out of the ground in (usually) nice pink chunks, potash helps to increase crop yields, and is now one of the few realistic ways to feed the growing world population. Like the precious yellow metal, which grabs the spotlight in times of economic turmoil, potash has become a topic of intense debate and even national security (BHP and Potash Corp. anyone?) as the emerging economies work tirelessly to eat.  

And Saskatchewan, that quiet province that could, has continually reasserted itself as Canada’s—and now perhaps the world’s—hot-bed for potash exploration and production. After BHP’s failed bid for Canada’s Potash Corp., a move that Tony Clement and the Canadian government blocked under the grounds of national security, Rio Tinto has thrown its weight at the region’s potential. The mining giant has entered a joint venture with Russian fertilizer producer North Atlantic Potash, a subsidiary of Russia’s JSC Acron, which holds extensive exploration permits in Saskatchewan. With drilling on nine blocks covering 241,000 hectares to start this autumn, Rio is footing the bill with a goal to have an operating mine five to six years into the future. Touted as the “next big mine,” all eyes are on the drill results.

Read more:
http://prospectingjournal.com/potash-the-edible-gold-attracts-big-players-to-saskatchewan/


September 28, 2011
ANALYSIS
ProspectingJournal.com—Despite the ongoing economic turmoil and growing concern over a slowdown in global steel production, Chinese demand for iron ore remains strong. Having imported 618 million tons last year, China is by far the world’s largest iron consumer. China only produces 14% of the world’s Fe, while consuming approximately 50% of it. With 85% of its iron ore coming from Australia, Brazil, India and South Africa, the economic giant finds itself in a war to break from its dependence upon the “Big 3” producers—BHP Billiton [BHP-NYSE] , Rio Tinto [RIO-NYSE] and Vale [VALE-NYSE].

China has recently pushed into West Africa to gain better control over iron ore supply.

Beijing has initiated an ambitious strategy of joint ventures and acquisitions, with a goal to increase up to 250 million tons of ore annually. Leading the pack is Chinese firm Sichuan Hanlong, which recently bid US $1.5 billion for Australia’s Sundance Resources [SDL – ASX] in a move to take control of the potential $4.6 billion Mbalam iron ore project in West Africa. While the bid is still under negotiation, with Sundance claiming that Hanlong will need to increase its offer substantially to reflect the project’s true value, investors are watching.

And now West Africa is attracting the interests of not only the big players, but the junior explorers and producers as well. As mentioned in our previous article, Canadian-based Afferro Mining [AFF – TSX.V] and West African Iron Ore [WAI – TSX.V] have taken the lead, with projects spanning the region and increased investor demand drawing the attention of some serious players. Looking at the historic price of iron ore and the future BRIC demand for this essential element, it’s easy to see why these ambitious juniors are keen to get in on such an important geopolitical commodity:

West African Iron Ore

Junior exploration and development company West African Iron Ore is currently focused on its mineral resources in the Forécariah and Kérouané permits in the Republic of Guinea. The Company is trading close to cash value (with no short-term dilution risk) and will have approximately $7 million left on its balance sheet once the current drill program is completed.

WAI’s fully-owned subsidiary, Sky Alliance Resources Guinée SA (“SARG”), aims to establish a large quantity of iron ore resources suitable for production on the Forécariah property in Guinea. In phase one of its drilling program at Forécariah, a total of 15 diamond drill holes have been completed on its iron ore concessions in Kalyadi and Sambalama, with an additional 19 RC holes (totaling 2,279m) completed at Sambalama.

WAI recently announced that it has intersected near-surface, high grade iron ore mineralization in its first three diamond drill holes at Sambalama, with an impressive figure of 60-70% Fe in SAM 002 and SAM 003:

 Sample ID Hole ID From (m) To (m) T. Width (m) % Fe total
SM0123 SAM002 2.28 3.40 1.12 64.90%
SM0124 SAM002 3.40 4.60 1.20 66.40%
SM0125 SAM002 4.60 6.00 1.40 64.20%
SM0126 SAM002 6.00 7.00 1.00 66.70%
SM0127 SAM002 7.00 8.00 1.00 71.60%
SM0128 SAM002 8.00 9.00 1.00 65.90%
SM0129 SAM002 9.00 10.00 1.00 64.90%
SM0130 SAM002 10.00 11.00 1.00 62.00%
SM0131 SAM002 11.00 12.30 1.30 52.20%
SM0132 SAM002 12.30 13.75 1.45 57.60%
                                                          11.47          63.18%
   
SM0215 SAM003 0.00 1.20 1.20 63.80%
SM0216 SAM003 3.40 4.00 0.60 69.00%
SM0218 SAM003 5.40 6.80 1.40 70.20%
SM0219 SAM003 8.40 9.40 1.00 73.30%
SM0220 SAM003 9.40 10.40 1.00 76.70%
SM0221 SAM003 10.40 11.40 1.00 67.10%
SM0222 SAM003 11.40 12.40 1.00 66.70%
SM0223 SAM003 12.40 13.40 1.00 62.90%
    8.20  68.65%
               

These holes show an iron-enriched cap extending downwards with average Fe grades above 63%. According to WAI, high-grade surface deposits could be continuous along a strike length of 800m and initial results are favourable to support this geological continuity. This promising sign, which will be further tested as the program moves forward, is enhanced by the discovery of a very high grade DSO (direct shipping ore) iron ore cap at surface. The grade of the DSO is, in fact, high enough that it may even be shipped directly without processing. The core of another hole, SAM001, has unfortunately gone missing due to powder consistency, although the partially recovered section gave results with an average grade of 47% Fe over a total intercept of 9.46m. It is likely that this hole also had a high-grade iron ore cap and that reverse circulation drilling will be the determining factor, with results to come later this fall.

Now that WAI has hit high-grade mineralization, expect the rest of the Phase 1 exploration program to focus on defining this ore body. Investors can expect the results of 19 more reverse circulation holes and 7 diamond drill holes soon, as well as the 43-101 resource calculation, which is due out late Q4 or early Q1. At its Kalyadi target, diamond drill holes KAL001, KAL002 and KAL003 have been drilled to explore investigation routes across WAI’s property.

This project also includes excellent infrastructure and close proximity to the port and railway, which makes the economics of high-grade DSO surface iron ore very attractive. The routing of the 74km of the railway from the proposed port of Matakanto Moussaya has been confirmed with the government, with the first leg of the railway running directly through the Company’s Forécariah concession. As for the Chinese interests: the Chinese International Fund has selected the Matakang Deep Sea port, only 40km from WAI’s two main projects, as its launch point for iron ore exports.

Location and proximity, in WAI’s case, are everything.

With China’s export point literally next door, efficient transportation running right through the Forécariah concession and encouraging results from its first phase of drilling, WAI is well-positioned to feed Chinese growth from its strategic position in Guinea. WAI is continuing to develop its properties, having just received a 3-month extension from the Mine Minister (according to the most recent press release).

With mining costs soaring in Australia – West Africa is key to China’s national growth strategy. The healthy competition within WAI’s region, combined with the lower costs of exploration and the Company’s strong iron ore drill results will draw the interest of big players as West Africa develops into a viable mining region.

Chris Devauld
ProspectingJournal.com

Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc. which owns the ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article. West African Iron Ore is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.


ANALYSISProspectingJournal.com—Global markets have become increasingly volatile due to the deepening financial crisis, while gold bugs are gripping their seats. For investors, this means that gold stocks are a bargain, considering their current detachment from the bullion’s spot price. And for the miners, now is the best time to look for acquisitions, as the value of producing junior and mid-tier gold companies is considerably lagging the price of the underlying physical commodity.

Not surprisingly, Australian and Canadian companies are leading the charge. Canada’s Endeavour Mining [EDV: TSX], which we covered recently in an article on its West African gold properties, has announced a merger with Australia’s Adamus Resources Ltd. [ASX: ADU]. The merger will add ADU’s Nzema gold mine in Ghana to EDV’s Youga gold mine in Burkina Faso and Agbaou gold project in Cote D’Ivoire. The newly merged company will operate under the leadership of Mr. Neil Woodyer, current CEO of Endeavour.

The merger will see an estimated production of 172,000 oz of gold in 2011, growing to 250,000 oz by year end 2013. The new company constitutes an all-stock transaction that allows shareholders to fully participate in future growth and value creation, with all shareholders of ADU to receive 0.285 shares of EDV for every share of ADU held. After the deal closes, shareholders of Endeavour will own 55 per cent of the merged company, while shareholders of Adamus will own 45 per cent, with 288 million shares fully diluted.

The deal, according to Woodyer, is a “merger of equals.” Endeavour will bring its sound financial backing and management to the table, while Adamus brings its project mine building expertise and a newly producing gold mine. ADU’s Nzema mine contains an estimated JORC compliant gold reserves of 1,068,000 oz’s and an additional 2,118,000 oz of measured, indicated and inferred gold resources. The mine is estimated to deliver  80,000 – 100,000 oz of gold per year. As well, the mine is expected to develop into higher-grade ore by 2013, which should improve the average grade.

Endeavour will spend at least $160 million in cash to reduce Adamus’ loan and gold hedge for its Nzema project. With 275,000 oz hedged at US$1075 per oz at the end of June 2011, there are approximately 50,000 oz hedged per year over the next 5 ½ years. Upon closing the merger in December 2011, Endeavour plans to spend at least $60 million from its current cash reserves to repay the project loan principal and at least $100 million will go to paying down the hedge. At the current gold price, EDV will cancel approximately 125,000 oz of the hedge by late 2011 and expects the operation to be close to fully exposed to the spot price of gold in 2012-2014. Taking into account the fact that leading forecasts for gold in 2012 push for the yellow metal passing the $2000 mark, this is a considerable advantage.

On top of the producing Nzema mine, EDV brings to the table its highly touted Youga mine and feasibility stage Agbaou project, with management’s projections of gold production illustrated below: 

With the 2011 estimated gold production from the Youga and Nzema mines at 172,000 oz, the production rate expected for the end of 2013—leading into the opening of Agbaou—brings the total to 250,000, adding another 73,100 oz per year once Agbaou begins. However, according to EDV, the ongoing acquisition growth strategy is expected to more than double the gold production rate by the end of 2013.

Cannacord Genuity gold analyst Nicholas Campbell has EDV’s 12-month target price at $5.00 with a “speculative buy” in response to the merger with Adamus. This price gain of more than 100% illustrates the undervalued nature of the stock and the exciting prospect the merger with Adamus can accomplish.

The deal points towards a well-positioned growth company with a solid financial position from two (and soon to be three) operating gold mines. With an objective of growing into a 500,000 oz per year gold producer through the development of Agbaou and additional M&A activity, the new company is taking on Endeavour’s ambitious growth plans, which will further its production profile among the big players. The addition of Adamus’ development strength and significant gold reserves will create a more diversified production base. With the ongoing chaos and the rising price of gold, Endeavour and Adamus are demonstrating that now is the time to grow while the deals are cheap and investors are waking up.

More information on the merger can be found here

Chris Devauld
ProspectingJournal.com

Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc., which owns ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article. Endeavour Mining is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.


The Dangers of Misinformation: BE Resources Releases Incorrect Results

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The Dangers of Misinformation: BE Resources Releases Incorrect Results

COMMENTARYProspectingJournal.com–It’s easy to get caught up in the classic investor trap of wishing for good results, hoping that an upcoming press release blows away expectations with high numbers and overwhelming “good” news. After all, it’s the arbitrary but somewhat functional nature of the digital stock age, where the typing and dissemination of a few results can mean the death or explosive success of an obscure junior or an established giant. The result of this waiting-for-a-digital-miracle approach is wishful thinking to the extreme; at times, you almost hope that whoever is releasing the information pulls a “Bre-X” and puts in bogus data just so you can cash out, walk (or run) away and retire to the beach. But what happens when the IR guy, geologist, or whoever else is in charge of the release of information screws up and the stock takes off?

This is exactly what happened to BE Resources Inc. (TSXV: BER) on Friday, July 22, when they issued a news release with “fantastic” assay results (to say the least) for their Warm Springs Beryllium & Rare Earth Project. Note the pleasant spike, as BER shares rocketed from 9.5 to 77 cents, closing at 75:

There were 10,663 trades of 49,324,463 shares in BER on Friday–all based off incorrect Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) numbers.

To give us an idea of just how far off the first press release was, BER quickly released another press release, with a comparison of the incorrect and (hopefully) correct results:

Drill Hole No. From
(ft)
To
(ft)
Interval
(ft)
LREO
%
HREO
TREO %
Previously Reported
 TREO %
CORRECTED
 DH1  765  778  23  82.50  40.86  8.85  0.69
 DH2  843  878  35  82.89  17.11  10.34  1.56
 DH3  620  678  58  81.84  18.16  9.12  0.91
 DH3  1157  1255  98  60.31  39.69  19.58  1.95
 DH3  1265  1297.5  32.5  67.14  32.86  1.89  1.89
 DH3  1306.5  1564  242  75.51  24.49  0.26  0.26
 DH3  1582  1736  154  75.22  24.78  7.80  0.78
 DH19  194  295  101  61.45  38.54  15.04  0.97
 DH19  468  474  6  76.67  23.33  1.2  0.09

 

Of course, it didn’t take long for the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), a national self-regulatory organization that oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada, to hear of the sudden “success” on Friday, check the figures and freeze trading. In a rare move, IIROC cancelled all trades in BER that occurred on Friday; so for those who threw a weekend party, let the lawsuits begin.

Trading has now resumed, BER has said it’s sorry, and everything is okay . . . Right? –No. All one has to do is head to one of the various investor boards to get the latest sentiment. Informed (and non-informed) opinions from these boards provide a wealth of information, reflecting the overall vibe among the in-the-know shareholders. Apparently, BER has likely made more reporting errors not yet picked up by IIROC, including drilling depths, everything, and etc. Some are calling for more cancellations, others for the destruction of BER.

It doesn’t really matter though as the damage is done. Whether BER recovers from this major ****-up is anyone’s guess, and whether this situation ignites a debate on the strength of our current regulatory systems, which have been set up mainly to prevent another Bre-X, remains to be seen. With an upcoming financing and an ongoing, massive backlash, I’m betting on a slow death for BER as assay results don’t come close to hitting the fantasy projections from July 22.

So what did we learn from this? In the words of Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Chris Devauld
Senior Writer
ProspectionJournal.com

Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc., which owns ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article.


Miners Scramble for Rare Earths as China Tightens Supply

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COMMENTARYProspectingJournal.com—The race for rare earths is on . . . Say what? Amazingly, many investors are still confused as to what “rare earths” entails, as the name evokes images of sparkling jewels and shiny things with intrinsic value. Instead, these 17 crucial elements, with futuristic names such as praseodymium, lathanum and gadolinium, power fluorescent lamps, iPods, wind turbines, hybrid cars, rechargeable batteries, magnets, solar panels, guided missiles and a host of other electronic devices that have become somewhat essential in our daily lives (especially missiles). Formerly obscure to the markets, they now represent a $1.5 billion industry that feeds a $5 billion consortium of industries, which are quickly growing.

The rare earths supply has pushed them into the geopolitical debate (and world news) for the last several years. Prices have jumped to incredible highs since January 2011, when China, which controls 97% of the world’s rare earths market with only 37% of the known reserves, tightened supply. China’s recent updates to its export quotas reduced exports by 35 per cent in the first half of 2011, a continuation of the 40 per cent reduction trend from last year.

Fear is now the incentive for everyone outside of this Asian giant, which has already proven its poker face by refusing to devalue the renminbi. When cerium oxide soared 475 per cent in the first half of 2011, it was one of many warnings. When Japan dared to dispute its territories with China last year, its rare earths supply was simply cut off. And knowing that these elements are near-impossible to substitute, even though they’re abundant in the earth’s crust, who is to stop China from using its supply monopoly as a future political weapon? The “politician” Sarah Palin actually said it best when she complained that, in regards to rare earths, China is “bending us over a barrel.”

In response, a growing number of Canadian-based companies are scouring the globe for these crucial elements. Much has been written on Great Western Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: GWG), who recently acquired South Africa’s apartheid-era Steenkampskraal mine. Now littered with radioactive “waste” (thorium) from its production years of 1952 to 1963, the mine contains some of the world’s richest grades of rare earths. GWG, a small player with a valuation of less than $300 million, is working “28/7” to re-open the mine and is aiming to start production by late 2012, when it hopes to produce 5,000 tonnes of rare-earth oxides annually.

Canada Rare Earths (TSXV: CJC) recently announced that diamond drilling is set to begin the first week of August 2011 on its 100% owned Goeland Rare Earth Element project in Quebec. The Goeland property consists of 47 claims, totalling approximately 2,600 hectares, which makes it one of the largest carbonatite complexes in North America. Frontier Rare Earths Ltd. (TSX: FRO) is planning a mine within 100 km of GWG’s operation. According to FRO, the Zandkopsdrift project, which is one of the largest undeveloped deposits in the world, contains “approximately 950,000 tonnes of Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) and has the highest TREO grade and the highest grade of high-value Heavy Rare Earth Oxides (HREO) of significant advanced deposits outside of China.” As well, Stans Energy Corp. (TSXV: HRE) owns a former Soviet mine in Kyrgyzstan, called Kutessay II, which is the only past-producing Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE) mine in the world outside of China.

An image from a recent article sums it up:

 

Companies like GWG and CJC are catching the attention of the Canadian government and even the Pentagon. When asked to testify about the rare earths industry in front of the US Congressional Committee last month, GWG described the current situation as a “crisis.” Various reports claim that GWG, along with Lynas Corporation,  Molycorp Minerals and other rare earths miners, have the potential to increase the global supply by 100%, thereby breaking the Chinese monopoly. But until then, the rare earths sector is at risk to China’s supply dominance . . . like so many other things.

Chris Devauld
Senior Writer
ProspectingJournal.com


Silver Valley’s Grande Re-Opening: Sunshine Silver Mines Goes Public

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July 13, 2011 by prospectingjournal
ANALYSIS
ProspectingJournal.com—These days, it doesn’t take much effort to convince the average investor to at least think about silver. The precious metal’s expanding use as a paste in solar cells has pushed its importance into the sustainable energy spotlight. Being one of the most conductive metals, its use in electronics is ever-growing. Silver nanoparticles are an effective safeguard against odor and bacteria in clothing. And as the much-anticipated hyperinflationary judgment day appears to be around the corner for the world’s fiat currencies, silver (along with gold) is gaining followers as a historically proven safeguard of wealth. If a gold coin, as the saying goes, could buy a house during an economic collapse, then perhaps silver could furnish it.

Thus, it’s nothing short of enormous news that, last Thursday, Sunshine Silver Mines Corp. announced plans to sell up to an estimated $250 million of common stock in an initial public offering, which will raise funds to revive the legendary Sunshine Mine in Idaho’s renowned Silver Valley and to explore new prospects in Mexico. The announcement has stirred interest in the region which, since 2008, has gained steady momentum as junior and major exploration companies vie for its wealth.

The Silver Valley

Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene mining district, known as the “Silver Valley,” lies in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains in the picturesque north. Measuring about 64 km in length, the district has produced more than 1.2 billion ounces of silver, 8.4 million tons of lead and 3.3 million tons of zinc since the late 1800’s. The Valley contains several of the most prolific silver mines in US history—including Sunshine and Bunker Hill—and claims to be the richest primary silver mining region on earth, surpassing Mexico’s top regions and even Bolivia’s Potosi.

Within this mining hotbed, a handful of North American companies are now preparing for the upcoming silver renaissance . . .

Sunshine Silver Mines

Formed in 2009, Denver-based Sunshine Silver Mines plans to apply for a NYSE listing under the symbol AGS with the goal of becoming “a premier silver producer.” Backed by an underwriting syndicate that includes UBS Investment Bank, Morgan Stanley, and RBC Capital Markets, Sunshine currently owns and controls approximately 447,437 hectares across 19 exploration properties. Of these properties are Sunshine’s two primary projects, included in the IPO: the Los Gatos Project in Mexico, of which Sunshine owns an 81,607 hectare position, and the Sunshine Mine in Idaho.

While the Los Gatos project is certainly notable, with Sunshine owning two identified silver discoveries and 14 other priority targets over 100 km of outcropping quartz and calcite veins, it’s the Sunshine Mine that’s making the news. With a past silver production record of an estimated 365 million ounces from 1904 to 2008, the Sunshine Mine comes intact with significant infrastructure, including a primary and secondary shaft. The mine’s consolidated land position is approximately 2,247 hectares, connected to the electricity grid, accessible by paved roads and close to an abundant water supply. Proceeds from the $250 million IPO will mainly go to refurbishing the mine’s existing infrastructure; all the hard exploration work has already been done.

United Silver Corp

United Silver Corp. (TSX: USC), formerly United Mining Group, is currently earning an 80 per cent interest in the Crescent Silver Mine project in Idaho’s Silver Belt, which lies between the Sunshine and Bunker Hill mines. This earn-in, joint-venture agreement with Crescent owner Gold Finder Exploration (TSXV: GFN) will position USC to form a considerable stake in the mine. Crescent produced approximately 25 million ounces of silver in the six decades after 1917, with grades that were said to be the highest in the District.

In 2011, USC is undertaking $15 million in pre-production mine development and exploration programs, which will go towards bringing the Crescent mine back into production. The mine will open in the first quarters of 2012.

Hecla Mining Company

Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) has been working in the Silver Valley District since 1891 and is the oldest US-based precious metals mining company, as well as the lowest-cost primary silver producer. Hecla currently produces silver from the Greens Creek and Lucky Friday mines in Alaska and Idaho, respectively. The Lucky Friday mine is the deepest operating mine in the US and has produced 144.5 million ounces of silver in the last 67 years. A common stock traded on the NYSE, no debt and an excellent cash position make Hecla a company that is well-positioned to take advantage of the silver boom.

Going Forward

With silver gurus around the world insisting that the demand for the metal is about to far outstrip supply, we expect to hear a lot more hype surrounding the Silver Valley—and in particular the Sunshine Mine—in the coming months. Silver’s performance, though very volatile due to supply and a manipulated market, has outpaced gold and is expected to soar if current trends continue. As the US, despite its many shortcomings, is still a safe country to operate a mine in, it’s no wonder that companies are now scrambling to open mines in Idaho. Eric Sprott called silver “the investment of the decade”—Silver Valley has proven this for over a century.

Chris Devauld
Senior Writer

--

Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc. which owns the ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article.


Economic Nationalism Listed on TSX: Buyers Beware

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COMMENTARYProspectingJournal—Despite the legions of globalization fanatics, economic nationalism is gaining support as a last-ditch effort to fend off corporate domination. The justification for this emerging protectionism is understandable: the wholesale of countries is now under way in the EU; the once laughable idea that “banksters” are pushing us towards a world bank (and currency) is now very plausible; and the argument that outsourcing to China hasn’t worked out very well for the US is well-supported. Looking at the current state of the world, it’s thus no surprise that the TSX-LSE deal died before it got to the vote, as it roused the same nationalistic fervor seen in the destruction of BHP’s hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp (TSX: POT) in 2010.

I was there. Working in the High Commission of Canada to Australia in 2010, I witnessed the frustration of BHP CEO Marius Kloppers as the Harper Government stepped in front of the mining behemoth and pulled out a classic stock-block. To the dismay of Canadian globalists, Harper did well on his conservative promise and took the conservative high-road; to the benefit of Canada, our control over one of the world’s most sought-after resources remains. The Aussies, being nationalists themselves, learned from this move and no doubt must have felt a perverse satisfaction when they shot down the proposed SGX-ASX deal last autumn.

It’s easy to imagine any international stock merger as a bad thing, as it evokes an imagine of lost sovereignty over national markets; but really, it depends on the benefits. As Joel Chury pointed out in his May Commentary, it’s no surprise that the LSE deal was not in Canada’s interest. The UK is a highly indebted nation with little resources and a strong affinity to support America’s war-mongering, which is not a great sell. If we’re going to look for a strong partner, why not snuggle up to powerful, low-debt, resource-rich Germany? Unfortunately, the proposed NYSE-Deutsche Börse merger beat us to it, while we were left with an LSE-TSX proposition that the Financial Times described as the equivalent of “two drunks leaning on each other for support.” Now, the sweeter Maple deal is going for the close while Nasdaq waits for its chance to grab the LSE and NYSE prepares itself for a powerful future. Canada gets to keep an asset—the UK may lose another.

Although Harper’s intervention didn’t become part of the TSX story, the outcome was no doubt a relief for government officials, who are quick to point out the value of holding onto Canadian assets in the lack of an unquestionably better alternative. Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said, “This is the kind of response that I had hoped would come from the private sector.” And as for Canada’s emerging reputation as a country that is questionably “open” to foreign investment—so what? Since when is it a bad thing to hang onto your own stock exchange?

Chris Devauld
Senior Writer

Disclaimer: ProspectingJournal is for information and educational purposes only, and should not be considered a solicitation or offer to purchase or sell securities. Responses to feedback and inquiries are based on the opinions and viewpoints of the author and do not take into account reader’s suitability, objectives or risk tolerances. Always consult a qualified financial advisor before making investment decisions.

No fee has been paid for the distribution of this article. The author does not currently hold shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc. may or may not hold shares in companies mentioned in the article. The Prospecting Journal will not be held liable to anyone for financial losses pertaining to companies profiled or information provided within this article.


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