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Thoughts on mining in Latin America

Back from Chile and the world has turned

Ever feel that everything happens whilst you’re away? I go away for a few days and US president Donald Trump bombs Syria and sends a carrier fleet toward the Korean Peninsula. Gold finally jumps. Upon reflection, I am happy that I live in South America.

I got back from Chile a few days ago but not before visiting the Nueva Esperanza gold and silver project of Kingsgate Consolidated at over 4,000m above sea level in the Maricunga district. I go to Chile and don’t visit a copper project? You may well ask! But Nueva Esperanza is doing a FS and should be in a position to make a production decision next year.

[Please remember, that this, or any other comment on this blog is not, and never will be investment advice.]

One always learns on field trips and one of my takeaways from this is that in addition to the things impeding exploration juniors in Chile, such as entrenched landholding by majors and a government that is unwilling to change this, explorers also face the issue that Chilean geologists do not like working weekends, which makes organizing rotations challenging!

Whilst in Chile I also met with the head of Codelco’s El Teniente new mine level project to talk about the challenges mining at great depths presents and the solutions the company is working on to meet those challenges, for an article for Mining Magazine. Codelco is looking at doing some very innovative things including using hydraulic fracking (technology developed by the shale gas sector) to help manage rock stresses and pressures.

This week I interviewed the team at Prospero Silver to write a profile piece for Oreninc, a website that provides information about junior financings in the Canadian financial market. I am staff writer for Oreninc and Prospero is one of its sponsors. One of my future feature pieces for Mining Journal will be about Mexico and so this was a good chance to kill two birds with one stone, or as a friend of mine puts it: ‘kiss two girls at one party’. Anyway, Prospero has developed an exploration method to find blind epithermal silver and gold deposits and will soon be able to start proof of concept drilling. If successful, this has the potential to result in significant new discoveries. The profile should by on the Oreninc website next week.

[Please remember, that this, or any other comment on this blog is not, and never will be investment advice.]

I received very, very good news this week when Rick Rule confirmed that he will be the keynote speaker at the Colombia Gold Symposium on 14-15 November in Medellin, Colombia. My web developer is working up the website and I am filling the speaker programme and field trips, so save the dates and stay tuned.

[This is shameless self-promoting investment advice: buy tickets and sponsorships! :-)]

What with all the travelling, I have not kept a close eye on the news this week, but enough to pick out the following:

  • But closer to home, Barrick Gold does a deal to sell 50% of its Veladero mine in Argentina to Shandong Gold with an agreement for the joint development of Pascua-Lama. Pascua-Lama is at the southern end of the same Maricunga Belt that I just visited. Clive Johnson had some interesting things to say about PL when I interviewed him recently, which hopefully will be published soon.
  • Then even closer to home GoldMining is going to acquire Bellhaven in Colombia’s Middle Cauca Belt, which is a possible candidate for the cover story for CGL #69 that will be published on May 2nd.
  • Other news this week, is the Red Eagle Mining declared commercial production at its San Ramon gold mine in Antioquia, Colombia.

That is all for now.

But before I go, a borrowed idea from a great blogger (thanks Mark for ongoing advice). And thanks again Rick; It’s on!

Happy Easter everyone!



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