by Stockwatch Business Reporter
New York spot gold rose $14.30 to $1,510.50 on Monday. The TSX Venture Exchange added 1.87 points to 594.69 while the TSX Gold Index fell 1.37 points to 251.02. Barrick GoldCorp. (ABX) lost 16 cents to $23.80 on 6.80 million shares despite its $194-million (U.S.) profit in the second quarter and its declaration of a four-U.S.-cent dividend.
Paul Harbidge, senior vice-president of exploration for Goldcorp Inc. until it merged with Newmont Mining Corp. this spring, has found a new job. He is now the president and chief executive officer of Ashwath Mehra’s GT Gold Corp. (GTT), replacing Steve Burleton. Investors responded favourably to the news that the company will have a career geologist running the show, sending GT Gold up four cents to $1.27 on 861,000 shares. There is no doubt that Mr. Harbidge knows rocks — he has a lengthy academic career and spent the past three years at Goldcorp. Mr. Mehra, executive chairman, and the departing Mr. Burleton offered the obligatory quotes of good cheer to promote the change. Mr. Mehra pointed to Mr. Harbidge’s “impressive experience and credentials,” adding that he is looking forward to “leveraging his technical expertise” as GT Gold advances its Tatogga project in northwestern British Columbia. Mr. Mehra also had kind words for Mr. Burleton, on his way out the door, stating that under his leadership, the company “has grown quickly and beyond expectation.” (So, it appears that Mr. Harbidge comes with much higher expectations.)
Mr. Burleton, who held the top job only since last summer, also chimed in. He first blared his own horn, citing the company’s record over the past year on both the exploration and financing fronts. He then lauded his expectations for Mr. Harbidge’s “technical guidance,” adding that he believes the new man will “allow GT Gold to achieve our next milestones at this pivotal time in our history.” (Mr. Burleton, of Toronto, had been drawing $200,000 per year for running GT Gold. Mr. Harbidge presumably will be collecting more, as he would have been drawing an ample paycheque from Goldcorp.)
Tim Warman’s Fiore Gold Corp. (F) is cheering “thick intervals of oxide gold” encountered at its GoldRock project in Nevada. Assays from the first six holes of a 2019 drill program yielded up to 1.46 grams of gold per tonne over 27.4 metres, with a second hole producing 0.85 gram per tonne over 54.9 metres. Fiore was most enthused with the first hit, as it came from an area not included in the current resource estimate. Two other holes produced gold in areas beyond the current resource estimate pit shell, although their grades and thicknesses were unimpressive.
Mr. Warman, CEO, says that he and his crew always suspected that mineralization at Gold Rock continued through the area between the two main resource pit shells, so it is “great to see the drilling confirming this.” (Investors would have preferred to have seen the confirmation coming with higher grades and thicknesses, it appears, as Fiore closed unchanged at 52 cents on 641,000 shares.) In any case, Mr. Warman says that Fiore will continue to drill this area, as well as other targets in and around the existing resource. The drilling should wrap up next month, with a revised resource estimate and preliminary economic assessment expected before the end of the year.
More gold will be a welcome addition at Gold Rock, as the current resource estimate lists nine million tonnes indicated at 0.82 gram of gold per tonne and 7.8 million tonnes inferred at 0.72 gram per tonne, a total of just under 420,000 ounces. Mr. Warman says that the company “aims to arrive at a production decision” by mid-2021, assuming its drilling leads to a positive feasibility study before that.
Much studying lies ahead it appears, as there will be a prefeasibility study tucked between the coming dream sheet and the final feasibility study, but Mr. Warman says that Fiore will proceed directly from prefeasibility to feasibility to “shorten the development timeframe.” Perhaps, although timeframes have a nasty habit of expanding once the need for cash starts growing exponentially, something it is wont to do with high-tonnage, low-grade deposits.
The Toronto-based Mr. Warman, who has been with Fiore for the past two years, was drawing a salary of $500,000 (U.S.) per year at last report.
Darren Blaney’s American Creek Resources Ltd. (AMK), down one-half cent to 8.5 cents on 1.01 million shares, is excited that it “finally gets to start showing the market what we have” at the Dunwell project in northwestern British Columbia. (Those who look to the company’s share price would be tempted to retort: “Not much.”) Mr. Blaney, president and CEO, says that the company has had its eye on Dunwell since 2006, and it began its land acquisition three years ago. The old Dunwell mine operated in the 1920s and 1930s, producing modest amounts of higher-grade gold and silver plus base metals. American Creek’s grab sampling last year produced up to 61.2 grams of gold per tonne, plus silver grades topping 1,000 grams per tonne.