New York spot gold rose $0.10 to $1,418.20 on Wednesday. The TSX Venture Exchange rose 0.70 point to 586.16 while the TSX Gold Index added 0.22 point to 220.73. Most Canadian gold miners moved little today. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM) added 14 cents to $67.59 on 838,000 shares while Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) added 46 cents to $20.93 on 7.62 million shares. Franco-Nevada Corp. (FNV) went the other way, dropping $2.07 to $109.56 on 589,000 shares.
Darren Klinck’s Bluestone Resources Inc. (BSR), is cheering high-grade gold assays obtained from its Cerro Blanco project in Guatemala as offering the potential to expand the project’s value. Investors are not so sure. Bluestone, which has already completed a feasibility study of the project, has received assays of up to 19 grams of gold and 44.3 grams of silver per tonne over a true width of 7.5 metres. There were several other high-grade hits over generally short intervals, although a second hole did yield 8.4 grams of gold and 53.2 grams of silver per tonne over nine metres.
Mr. Klinck, president and chief executive officer, says that the drilling, which had been focused on the North zone over the past few months, “has demonstrated remarkable continuity and consistency” at hitting the targeted veins. Further, the drilling continues to identify new veins that will require follow-up and “should ultimately be positive for future resource updates.” Mr. Klinck says that all this “strengthening of our understanding” is very exciting — to geologists, perhaps — and he believes it will continue to add value to the project. Bluestone added a little value today, adding three cents to $1.03 on 25,000 shares.
Cerro Blanco cleared feasibility early this year, based on a reserve of 3.44 million tonnes at 8.5 grams of gold and 32.2 grams of silver per tonne, or 940,000 ounces of gold and 3.57 million ounces of silver. The 1,250-tonne-per-day mine plan carried a capital cost of nearly $200-million (U.S.), but it supported a discounted net present value of $241-million (U.S.) after taxes. At the time, Mr. Klinck called the economics “robust,” but he said Bluestone saw “significant opportunity to continue with our objective” to upgrade inferred resources and update the mine plan accordingly. With the latest assays, some of those suckling weasels have been weaned away.
The Vancouver-based Mr. Klinck became president and CEO at Bluestone two years ago at $325,000 per year. His predecessor, veteran prospector and Howe Street promoter, John Robins, had been earning $360,000 per year. Mr. Robins gave up the top jobs, but he stayed on as executive chairman at a not inconsiderable salary of $180,000 per year.
Eric Finlayson’s Cordoba Minerals Corp. (CDB), unchanged at 8.5 cents on 194,000 shares, has updated its resource estimate for the San Matias project in Colombia. The company now lists 94.9 million tonnes indicated at 0.29 gram of gold and 2.7 grams of silver per tonne, plus 0.51 per cent copper, with another 3.4 million tonnes inferred at lower grades. In all, San Matias hosts just over 900,000 ounces of gold, nearly 8.4 million ounces of silver and 1.1 billion pounds of copper.
Mr. Finlayson, president and CEO, cheered the news of the increased resource, which comes ahead of a preliminary economic assessment expected to be available later this month. He says that by understanding the key structural controls to the mineralization, his crew has been able to “unlock additional value in Alacran,” a replacement copper-gold deposit that dominates the San Matias project. Accordingly, he is looking forward to the coming study, which he expects will “demonstrate a very robust copper, gold and silver mining project.” (Like most dream sheets, it seems all-but-certain to yield pleasing numbers. Of course, investors seem equally likely to shrug off those pleasantries.)
The Vancouver-based Mr. Finlayson has been president and CEO since April. His current remuneration is not yet known, but his predecessor, Mario Stifano, was well rewarded: He drew annual salaries of $350,000 over the past few years.
Benjamin Mossman’s Rise Gold Corp. (RISE), up one-half cent to 6.5 cents on 423,000 shares, is offering up to 25 million shares at seven cents. The $1.75-million placement, if all goes well, will provide $1.3-million for engineering and permitting work at the company’s Idaho-Maryland gold project in northern California, with the rest available for working capital. Rise lists an exploration target of between 2.28 million and 3.41 million tonnes at between 6.5 and 10.3 grams of gold per tonne at Idaho-Maryland, or between 432,000 and 1.02 million ounces of gold. (The regulators, who were most interested in that target just yesterday, love ranges.) The engineering could be challenging at the old mine, and the permitting certainly will be a challenge in environmentally (over)protective California.