Market Overview

Global Metals Exploration is Bolstered by Gold Budget Growth


Global Metals Exploration is Bolstered by Gold Budget Growth News Commentary

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NEW YORK, August 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report published by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the global spending on the search for nonferrous metals rose to an estimated USD 8.4 Billion in 2017 and is led by robust gold sector. This also marked the first increase in the global nonferrous exploration budget since 2012. Budgets for gold exploration increased by 22% in 2017. For 2018, the global exploration budget is expected to increase by 15% to 20%. The Pipeline Activity Index, a measure of exploration activity by S&P Global Market Intelligence, increased to 87 in the fourth quarter in 2017, up from 77 in the third quarter. Sixty North Gold Mining Ltd. (OTC:SXNTF), Eldorado Gold Corporation (NYSE:EGO), New Gold Inc. (NYSE:NGD), Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NYSE:NSU), Endeavour Silver Corp. (NYSE:EXK)

Associate Director of Research, Metals & Mining at S&P Global Market Intelligence, Mark Ferguson, said, "We know that the juniors have endured the worst of the downturn since 2012, accounting for most of the 40% drop in the number of active explorers over the past five years. However, the new CES budget data indicate that, among all company types, the surviving juniors are making a strong comeback in 2017; they have increased their aggregate exploration budget by 23% year over year, including a 41% increase in gold-only allocations."

Sixty North Gold Mining Ltd. (OTCQB:SXNTF) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:SXTY). Just yesterday, the Company announced that, "it has received the metallurgical test results from a quarter ton sample of the crown pillar of the A-Zone at the Mon Gold Property.

Three separate transects across the East Limb, Fold Nose (hinge) and West Limb of the A-Zone were sampled by mechanical hammer by the Company's CEO and director Ronald Handford and Dr. D.R. Webb. The material was bagged and tagged, and delivered to Bureau Veritas Laboratories in Yellowknife where it was shipped to their metallurgical testing lab in Richmond B.C. for testing by gravity and flotation methods.

Table 1. Summary results from metallurgical testing, 2018

    Composite ID - Sample Weight Tested - Head Grade, g/t Au -----Gold Recover, %Au

                       (kg)  Measured   Calculated   Gravity   Flotation   Overall

    Composite 1        75.6      17.4         16.6      79.9        18.0      97.9

    Composite 2        83.8     266.8        314.8      73.2        26.0      99.3

    Composite 3        83.6     170.7        128.9      75.7        23.5      99.2

    (Composite 1+2+3) 243.0     156.2        158.0      76.1        22.7      98.8

    All assays by Bureau Veritas FAA550 1 assay ton sample. Average sample size=1.8 kg.  

All samples were collected using an electric percussion hammer and located by tape and compass, bagged and tagged, sealed, delivered to Bureau Veritas Laboratories in Yellowknife and processed at their ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO 9001:2015 metallurgical testing laboratory in Richmond, B.C. Bureau Veritas is independent of the Company. The sample was received, dried and weighed. Test grinds were completed and the samples were batched with a targeted grind of P80 -105µm."

Ronald Handford, CEO of Sixty North Gold, reports, "These results were expected based upon historic results and our recent trenching (News Release August 7th, 2018). The very high recoveries, both by gravity as well as the combined gravity plus flotation, averaging around 76% and 99% respectively are consistent with historic results. The former operators only ran a gravity mill on site. The simple mill circuit required to process this mineralization has been permitted and could be installed upon confirmation of a larger bulk sample. These results further differentiate the Mon Gold Property as an advanced exploration opportunity and past producer, and represent a significant milestone for the Company in its advancement of the project. The environmental benefits of achieving very high recoveries without the use of cyanide leaching is notable."

Mr. Handford further reports, "Crews have been on the property since June assessing all historic showings and identifying new zones. Sample results are being received and will be released upon completion and confirmation by our QP."

Eldorado Gold Corporation (NYSE:EGO) is a gold and base metals producer with mining, development and exploration operations in Turkey, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Canada and Brazil. Eldorado recently reported its financial and operational results for the second quarter ended June 30th, 2018. Gold sales of 94,224 ounces during the quarter were significantly higher year over year mainly due to higher production and sales at Kisladag and Efemcukuru as well as the first year of commercial gold sales at Olympias. Metal sales revenues were USD 153.2 Million compared to USD 82.7 Million in the second quarter of 2017, driven by higher sales volumes along with higher average realized gold price of USD 1,287 per ounce compared with USD 1,262 per ounce for the second quarter of 2017. Gold production for the quarter was up 56% year on year (99,105 ounces versus 63,692 ounces in Q2 2017) due to the increase in production at Kisladag, Efemcukuru and Olympias. Kisladag saw increased production due to improved leach kinetics and placement of ore in early 2018 on an inter-lift liner, which shortened the time that gold-bearing solution took to return to the ADR Plant. "This was an excellent quarter for us. Production was strong, driven by better-than-expected ounces from the heap leach pad at Kisladag," said George Burns, Eldorado's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We achieved lower costs at Olympias, reflecting mill and filter press optimizations. With production and costs continuing to trend positively, we have increased full-year guidance to 330,000-340,000 ounces of gold at USD 580-USD 630 per ounce."

New Gold Inc. (NYSE:NGD) is an intermediate gold mining company. The Company has recently announced its 2018 second quarter results and updated 2018 outlook. Unless otherwise noted, all operating and financial results have been presented on a continuing basis and exclude Peak Mines, which has been classified as a discontinued operation and was sold in April 2018. New Gold's second quarter gold production of 108,550 ounces was higher than 2017 primarily due to additional ounces from Rainy River that more than offset the planned lower production at New Afton, Mesquite and Cerro San Pedro. As it continues through its ramp up, Rainy River demonstrated further increases in throughput, grade and recovery through the second quarter of 2018. During the quarter, a total of 3.3 Million tons of ore was mined, 1.5 Million tons of ore was processed at an average gold grade of 1.24 grams per ton with recoveries of 87%. As our Rainy River Mine is well into its start-up year, New Gold today provides an updated 2018 production and cost outlook. Gold production at New Afton, the Company's largest cash flow contributor, Mesquite and Cerro San Pedro remain in line with New Gold's original guidance. However, largely due to the variability in the process facility's start-up performance and lower gold grade and recoveries, the Company is lowering its 2018 annual production guidance for Rainy River from earlier estimates. Annual consolidated gold production for 2018 is expected to be between 415,000 and 480,000 ounces, with Rainy River contributing between 210,000 and 250,000 ounces. Annual consolidated copper production remains in line with the original guidance range of 75 to 85 Million pounds.

Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NYSE:NSU) is the 100% owner of the high-grade copper-gold Timok Upper Zone and 60.4% owner of the Timok Lower Zone in Serbia. Recently, Nevsun reported its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30th, 2018. Q2 2018 Highlights: Broke ground on the Timok Upper Zone exploration decline; Announced initial Timok Lower Zone inferred mineral resource of 1.7 Billion tons grading 0.86% copper and 0.18 grams per tonne gold (0.96% copper equivalent) for 31.5 Billion pounds of copper and 9.6 Million ounces of gold. In Q2 2018, the Company announced an initial NI 43-101 compliant inferred resource for the Timok Lower Zone with 1.7 Billion tons grading 0.86% copper and 0.18 grams per ton gold (0.96% copper equivalent) for 31.5 Billion pounds of copper and 9.6 Billion ounces of gold. The mineral resource model includes the data from the recently completed USD 20 Million drill program and demonstrates the impressive copper grade, continuity and thickness of mineralization in the Lower Zone. A core relogging program is in progress to better define the geological constraints on this resource to be used in future economic studies. The Company expects to file a NI 43-101 Technical Report incorporating the initial resource statement for the Timok Lower Zone in Q3 2018.

Endeavour Silver Corp. (NYSE:EXK) is a mid-tier precious metals mining company that operates three high-grade, underground, silver-gold mines in Mexico. Endeavor recently announced that near mine exploration drilling along the Calicanto, Santa Fe and Misie-Karla vein systems on the Calicanto property in Zacatecas State, Mexico continues to intersect high-grade silver-gold mineralization along strike and down dip of positive drill results reported last year. The Calicanto property is located within close proximity to the El Compas Mine and has the potential to provide further growth opportunities for the new mine. The best intercept to date returned 269 grams per ton (gpt) silver and 5.5 gpt gold over 1.1 meters (m) true width (19.9 oz per short ton (opT) silver equivalent (AgEq) over 3.6 feet (ft) in hole CLT-35. The El Compas mine output is currently 250 tons per day (tpd) and a stockpile is available for processing. The La Plata plant completed commissioning of all circuits in June, but during ramp up in July has experienced recovery issues partially due to high amounts of wet clay in the low-grade ore fed for commissioning, which clogs the crushers and screens, and withdraws metal from the flotation circuit. Luis Castro, Vice President, Exploration for Endeavour Silver, commented, "These exploration drill results should have a positive impact on our resources for the Calicanto property, part of the El Compas mine. The high silver and gold grades, good continuity of mineralization and significant exploration upside to expand the resources reinforce our view that El Compas is a scalable asset. Drilling will be ongoing through the rest of 2018, to further grow the resource around our mineral endowed targets areas."

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