The World Gold Council (WGC) just said that about a quarter of central banks plan to increase their gold holdings over the next 12 months as the future role of the US dollar comes into question, as noted by Yahoo Finance. That follows news that central banks added 228 tons of gold to global reserves in the first quarter of 2023, which is the highest rate seen in a first quarter since 2000. In addition, as noted by Forbes.com, “Central banks are underpinning what some analysts predict may be a new bull run on gold. Economic uncertainty and a global realignment are fueling the demand for the precious metal.” The buying spree could be a strong catalyst for companies such asLuca Mining Corp. (TSXV: LUCA) (OTCQX: LUCMF), Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX: ABX), Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT), Franco Nevada Corp. (NYSE: FNV) (TSX: FNV), and Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD).
Look at Luca Mining Corp. (TSXV: LUCA) (OTCQX: LUCMF), For Example
Luca Mining Corp. and EnviroGold Global Limited (CSE: NVRO) (OTCQB: ESGLF) (FSE: YGK), a clean technology company accelerating the world’s transition to a circular-resource economy, are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, dated 1st August 2023, to process the tailings at Luca’s 100% owned Campo Morado Mine in Guerrero State, Mexico.
The scope of the initial project is to evaluate the reprocessing of the historical Campo Morado tailings that are currently being stored in Campo’s original tailings storage facility. These tailings contain approximately 3,290,622 tonnes @ 1.32% Zn, 0.3%Cu, 0.49%Pb, 1.57g/t Au, and 94 g/t Ag (internal unverified company estimate based on historical production records).
EnviroGold and Luca will work together to develop a definitive processing agreement that will provide a stage-gated approach to the development of the Project. The Project will follow the standard approach with EnviroGold working with Luca to complete a preliminary economic assessment.
This project follows successful pilot plant scale testwork on tailings for the Hellyer Project in Australia (refer EnviroGold news release, 29 June 2023). The historic Hellyer Mine is also a volcanogenic massive sulphide type deposit, with very similar characteristics to Campo Morado.
The 500kg sample tested had grades of 2.59 g/t Au, 59 g/t Ag, 0.11% Cu, and 0.84% Zn. Average gold and silver recoveries achieved by EnviroGold were both over 90%, on a cyanide leach feed using the LeachwellTM Accelerated cyanide leach technologies. Also, 91% of the copper and 82% of the zinc contained in the tailings reported to a pregnant leach solution, suitable for subsequent SX and IX recovery. While the pyrite within the sulphide minerals was broken down from 38% to less than 1%.
Initial testwork on Campo Morado tailings samples in 2021 achieved preliminary gold recoveries of approximately 60% using EnviroGold’s proprietary NVRO technology. This is similar to Hellyer’s initial testing and EnviroGold will look to increase these recovery rates as we enter the next stage of testing.
Following a definitive agreement between the parties, the initial stage of the project will include further data and samples collection and testwork, followed by a PEA-level study and NI 43-101 Technical Report outlining the project concepts, costs, development timeline etc.
A positive outcome from this initial tailings project could lead to applying the same technologies to the current plant and tailings stream at the Campo Morado Mine.
Dr. Mark Thorpe (CEO of EnviroGold) commented, “We are looking forward to working with the Luca team. Having recently completed our pilot plant testing on the Hellyer Project, we are confident that that NVRO process can be adjusted to work on the Campo Morado Tailings. It will be a pleasure to be back working in Mexico again.”
Mr. Mike Struthers (CEO of Luca) commented, “We’re excited to work with EnviroGold on this project, building on the initial testwork in 2021. The encouraging results from those initial tests, plus the very real potential to also recover base metals from the tailings, could generate significant value from this old tailings facility. More importantly, if the initial project is successful, the potential to add this metals recovery stream to the existing plant could add considerable future value to Campo Morado.”
Other related developments from around the markets include:
Barrick Gold announced the declaration of a dividend of $0.10 per share for the second quarter of 2023. The dividend is consistent with the Company’s Performance Dividend Policy announced at the start of 2022. The Q2 2023 dividend will be paid on September 15, 2023 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 31, 2023. “As a result of the continuing overall strength of our business and balance sheet, we have maintained the distribution of a robust base dividend to our shareholders, while our Performance Dividend Policy provides the potential for additional upside going forward,” said senior executive vice-president and chief financial officer Graham Shuttleworth.
Newmont Corporation announced that following a review by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), the agency has cleared the Company to proceed with its proposed acquisition of Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX, TSX, PNGX: NCM). The ACCC is expected to convey its clearance of the transaction to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for consideration. Newmont continues advancing other regulatory approvals and expects to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of this year. Earlier this month, Korea’s Fair Trade Commission and Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Independent Consumer & Competition Commission cleared the proposed acquisition. In July, the Canadian Competition Bureau issued a “no action” letter also clearing the transaction.
Franco Nevada Corp.recently noted, “Our portfolio continues to generate strong cash flows and high margins. The second quarter’s results benefited from our core assets returning to normal production and deliveries caught up from the disruptions in Q1. Revenue from our Diversified assets was impacted by lower oil, gas and iron ore prices compared to the relative highs of the prior year period” stated Paul Brink, CEO. “We expect Total GEOs for the year to be at the low end of our guidance range provided in March this year. We are looking forward to increased contributions from Cobre Panama, where the CP100 Expansion is on-track for year-end, and to contributions from royalties on several new mines. Franco-Nevada is debt-free and is growing its cash balances.”
Royal Gold Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has declared its fourth quarter dividend of $0.375 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on Friday, October 20, 2023, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Friday, October 6, 2023.
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