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Gold Reshuffle: Mining Industry Transforms Amidst Global Changes - Tue Oct 10, 2023

USA News Group – Countries around the world are moving their gold back home, in the wake of international sanctions against Russia. According to a recent study, over 85% of the 85 sovereign wealth funds and 57 central banks, believe that inflation will now be higher in the coming decade than in the last. The sentiment is filtering outwards, as assets are changing hands across the world, including in the mining sector where several chess pieces are moving, including from Element79 Gold Corp. (CSE:ELEM) (OTC:ELMGF), Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (TSX:FVI) (NYSE:FSM), Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) (TSX:ABX), Torex Gold Resources Inc. (TSX:TXG) (OTC:TORXF), and Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX:DPM) (OTC:DPMLF).

As it moves towards further developing out its near-production Lucero asset in Peru, Element79 Gold Corp. (CSE:ELEM) (OTC:ELMGF) recently announced it had executed another agreement of sale of multiple properties from its Battle Mountain portfolio in Nevada. Under the terms of its latest agreement, Element79 agreed to sell its interests and obligations in relation to its Long Peak and Stargo projects to a subsidiary of Centra Mining. Ltd. for a consideration of C$1M in shares.

"The sale of Long Peak and Stargo to Centra marks another milestone in Element79's journey for the strategic development of its high-grade gold assets," said James Tworek, President, and CEO of Element79. "This achievement enables us to unlock additional value from our extensive portfolio of prospective properties while advancing our core projects and driving their success to new heights."

The move is the next shift for the company, having already announced an update back in May regarding the sale of its other Battle Mountain Portfolio assets (North Mill Creek, Elder Creek, and Elephant) in exchange for C$1.125M to Valdo Minerals Ltd. The Battle Mountain Portfolio was originally comprised of 15 separate projects totaling over 44,478 acres across 2,203 unpatented claims in five counties: Elko County, Eureka County, Humboldt County, Lander County, and Nye County. Most of the Battle Mountain Portfolio is located within the Battle Mountain Trend, with several projects close to globally reputable gold deposits including Nevada Gold's Cortez Mine.

“With other development assets in this exciting region, and with the prospective nature of the properties being sold, we are excited to maintain our exposure to the very promising potential of these properties and the opportunity for continued discovery through our equity participation in Centra," added Tworek.

Both sales present an opportunity to free up some capital, which the company could potentially direct a portion of towards their Lucero property in Peru, which has had samples that returned up to 116.8 g/t Au Eq, which is consistent with historic high-grade production of 19.0 g/t Au Eq. As well, Element79 has already noted how mining-friendly Lucero’s jurisdiction is in Peru, which allows up to 350 tpd production while larger scale production permitting is underway.

Peru’s status as a global leader in mining is not in jeopardy, despite being chased for the number 2 copper producer spot by Congo. Beyond copper, Peru’s contributions to the mining sector are numerous and represent 60% of the country’s total exports, and the country expects to produce 2.8 million tonnes of copper in 2023.

Also in Peru is Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (TSX:FVI) (NYSE:FSM), where sadly the company had to report a worker death at its Caylloma mine back in June. Across its entire portfolio, Fortuna recently reported production of 93,454 gold equivalent ounces for Q2 2023—representing a 4% increase, year over year.

At its Lindero Mine in Argentina, Fortuna reports that it’s on-track to meet annual production guidance, having produced 25,456 ounces during the quarter, while its San Jose Mine in Mexico produced 0.96 million ounces of silver and 5,778 ounces of gold, and its Caylloma Mine in Peru produced 305,296 ounces of silver.

Gold giant Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) (TSX:ABX) also had a strong second quarter, reporting both higher gold and copper output over the period—putting the company on track to achieve its 2023 targets. Barrick reported preliminary Q2 sales of 1 million ounces of gold, and 101 million pounds of copper, as well as preliminary Q2 production of 1.01 million ounces of gold and 107 million pounds of copper.

According to Barrick, the rise in gold production was driven by higher output at its Carlin mine in Nevada and return to normal throughput levels on completion of maintenance work at the site. Higher grades derived at both Kibali in Democratic Republic of Congo and Veladero in Argentina further boosted the output, the company said.

Torex Gold Resources Inc. (TSX:TXG) (OTC:TORXF) is also on track to achieve full year production guidance for the fifth year in a row, according to their Q2 2023 results. With first half gold production of 230,425 oz, the Company reiterates 2023 production guidance of 440,000 to 470,000 oz.

“Production was supported by a new record average processing rate of 13,293 tonnes per day and yet another a record mining rate of 1,913 tpd at ELG Underground,” said Jody Kuzenko, President and CEO of Torex. “The excellent mining rate puts us on track to exit the year at the targeted run rate of 1,800 tpd. With production on track to achieve full year guidance, development of Media Luna tracking to schedule and budget, a strong balance sheet with robust liquidity, and ongoing exploration success, we continue to make significant progress on the execution of our strategic plan, which we fully expect will translate into long-term value creation for our shareholders.”

It was also a strong quarter for Dundee Precious Metals Inc. (TSX:DPM) (OTC:DPMLF), capped off by positive drill results from its Coka Rakita asset in Serbia, which served to extend the deposit by another 100m to the south and confirmed and extended continuity of a high-grade zone.

“Our mining operations continue to perform well and delivered another strong quarter of production in the second quarter,” said David Rae, President and CEO of Dundee. “Our strong performance year-to-date positions us well to achieve our 2023 guidance targets for gold and copper production.”

Dundee’s Chelopech mine produced ~44.4K oz of gold and 7.9 Mlbs of copper in the second quarter. Its Ada Tepe mine produced another ~31.9K oz of gold, and its Tsumeb smelter processed ~49.5k tonnes of complex concentrate in the second quarter. The Canadian miner continues to operate and develop its projects located in Bulgaria, Namibia, Ecuador and Serbia.

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