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Interest in Gold Miners Increases as Bank Fiasco Causes Market to Seek Safe Haven Assets - Mon Mar 20, 8:22AM CDT

USA News Group – In the immediate aftermath of the SVB banking fiasco, safe haven seeking investors flocked to gold causing the precious metal’s price to surge on the first day of trading as the week began. But prior to the bank’s chaos, at the 2023 PDAC mining conference in Toronto, mining analyst and Portfolio Manager and Partner at Crescat Capital predicted “at least a triple in gold prices” to be a likely scenario, along with an 85% gain for miners in the space. For those watching the gold miner ETFs, VanEck research has been optimistic, highlighting how gold miners are in a rare position of trading below 5x price to cash flow, and that “Historically, gold miners’ shares have actually rallied hard off such low valuations.” Among the gold miners with momentum heading into the middle of 2023 are Element79 Gold Corp. (CSE:ELEM) (OTC:ELMGF), New Found Gold Corp. (TSXV:NFG) (NYSE-American:NFGC), Artemis Gold Inc. (TSXV:ARTG) (OTC:ARGTF), Alamos Gold Inc. (NYSE:AGI) (TSX:AGI), and Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. (TSX:WDO) (OTC:WDOFF).

Near-term production is on the menu for Element79 Gold Corp. (CSE:ELEM) (OTC:ELMGF) with its Lucero Project in Peru underway, where the company already has been permitted for 350 tonnes per day production. While not its flagship asset, Element79 expects to see production from Lucero inject non-dilutive cashflow into the company’s coffers in the near future in order to finance exploration on its Tier-1 Resource bearing Maverick Springs property in Nevada, with 3.71 million ounces of gold equivalent Inferred already on site.

So far, Lucero’s development has made things go smoothly for Element79 having recently delivering high-grade assay results up to 7.7 g/t Au and 916 g/t ag. Now the company has gone ahead and terminated its other Peruvian project Machacala to further tighten its share structure further, optimize future cash flows, and increase Element79’s its Peruvian efforts solely on Lucero—the more high-value, high-grade, near-term cash flow opportunity of the two.

"This Transaction also helps sharpen our corporate focus on our core properties, mainly restarting the High-Grade Past-Producing gold-silver mine operations at Lucero and further developing the resource at Maverick Springs, and we feel that the beneficial effect of this focus will become more significant as the company grows,” said James Tworek, CEO of Element79 Gold. “We have several milestones to hit in the near future and we look forward to sharing these developments as our team achieves them."

At its Queensway project in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Found Gold Corp. (TSXV:NFG) (NYSE-American:NFGC) announced a significant new discovery in the Iceberg zone along the highly prolific Keats-Baseline Fault Zone (KBFZ), intercepting 49.7 g/t gold over 29.9 metres—causing shares of the company to soar upon the market’s reception of the news.

The announcement came just weeks after New Found made its first big release of the Iceberg zone’s potential, when it found 72.2 g/t gold over 9.65m at the beginning of the same month.

"The discovery of Iceberg renews our enthusiasm around the highly prolific KBFZ,” said Greg Matheson, COO for New Found. “Iceberg exudes the same qualities that our earlier drilling found at Keats Main. Both display significant quartz veining over several-metre-wide intercepts that start at surface and both are hosted by the KBFZ – a fault with demonstrated ability to concentrate significant amounts of high-grade gold mineralization with considerable strike continuity.”

In British Columbia, Canada, Artemis Gold Inc. (TSXV:ARTG) (OTC:ARGTF) obtained its BC Mines Act Permit for the company’s Blackwater Mine. With this final step of approval out of the way, Artemis Gold moved towards the commencement of major works construction activities at the mine in Q1 2023, with the expectation of an initial gold pour in H2 2024.

"British Columbians will benefit from hundreds of new jobs from this new mine, with both its construction and multiple decades of operation," said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, for British Columbia, Canada. "Artemis Gold has designed a world-class mine that supports the economic needs of the local region; brings First Nations in as partners in training, business development and jobs opportunities; and helps to meet provincial climate targets with the use of sustainable, clean electricity."

Prior to the final approvals, Artemis Gold closed a $385 million project loan financing with another $40 million standby cost overrun facility.

"Execution of the definitive documents for the PLF is yet another major milestone on the development path for Blackwater,” said Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO. “The calibre of the syndicate banks who have joined the leads National Bank and Macquarie is further testimony to the financial strength of the Project."

At its Lynn Lake Gold Project in Manitoba, Canada, Alamos Gold Inc. (NYSE:AGI) (TSX:AGI) achieved significant permitting milestones at the beginning of March 2023. Among those, Alamo announced that they completed the federal Environmental Impact Assessment, receiving a positive Decision Statement from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. As well, in accordance with the provinces Environment Act, Alamos also received Environment Act Licenses for its MacLellan and Gordon sites, which helped the company increase their Mineral Reserves by 27% to 2.1 million ounces of gold.

“Achieving both of these important regulatory milestones for the Lynn Lake Gold Project represents a multi-year, collaborative effort by our team and our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said John A. McCluskey, Alamos President and CEO. “Lynn Lake is a significant opportunity to drive the future growth of our business in Canada, with the potential to increase our annual production to approximately 800,000 ounces of gold per year.”

An updated Feasibility Study is expected to be completed during the first half of 2023, while Alamos also focuses exploration efforts on a large underexplored land package with significant potential at the Lynn Lake Project in 2023. The company has already assembled a $5 million budget for the program.

Toronto-based miner Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd. (TSX:WDO) (OTC:WDOFF) recently updated its Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve figures at both its Kiena Mine Complex in Val d’Or, Quebec and at the Eagle River Mine near Wawa, Ontario.

As of December 31, 2022, Wesdome’s combined proven and probable mineral reserves totaled 1.0 million ounces of gold through 2.4 million tonnes grading 12.9 g/t gold. As well, the company’s combined Measured and Indicated mineral resources were 350,000 ounces of gold, through 1.4 million tonnes grading 7.7 g/t gold, as well as a combined Inferred mineral resource of 1.1 million ounces, through 6.4 million tonnes grading 5.2 g/t gold.

The upgrades announced by Wesdome came as an optimistic upgrade after admitting to 2022 being quite difficult for the company.

“2022 was a challenging year for Wesdome, and we have leveraged our experiences to ensure better operational and financial performance going forward,” said Warwick Morley-Jepson, Interim CEO in Wesdome’s Q4 and FY 2022 results. “We consider this year to be a transition year as we get Kiena back on schedule, setting up 2024 to be a stronger year operationally, as well as financially.”

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