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Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.


News & Views

News Archive

December 7, 2016

Geosoft introduces IP and resistivity inversion in VOXI Earth Modelling

Geosoft has added induced polarization and resistivity data inversion to its VOXI Earth Modelling 3D inversion software service. Geoscientists are now able to create detailed 3D models of conductivity and chargeability from IP and resistivity survey data with VOXI. The resulting models can assist in interpreting and targeting regions for mineral and environmental applications...

December 5, 2016

Mexico's Deepwater Round Exceeds Expectations

Some of the world's biggest oil companies showed up Dec. 5 and agreed to invest on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, proving that deepwater exploration still has a pulse despite challenging market conditions...

November 30, 2016

Magnetic inversion results for Ngamiland available for download

A regional-scale geophysical inversion of magnetic field data in the Ngamiland region of northwestern Botswana is now available for download from the Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, industry sponsors and Geosoft...

November 30, 2016

LIGO Resumes Search for Gravitational Waves

After a series of upgrades, the twin detectors of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, have turned back on and resumed their search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. LIGO transitioned from their engineering test runs to full science observations at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 30...

November 9, 2016

International Volcano Scientists Unite

For the first time, the United States will host the international Volcano Observatory Best Practices workshop, previously held only in Italy. The workshop will take place this month in Vancouver, Washington. It is designed specifically for volcano observatories around the world and their staff to exchange ideas and best practices with each other...

October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

USGS has completed a comprehensive assessment and inventory of potential mineral resources covering approximately 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming...

October 3, 2016

Uganda Targets Up to U.S.$100 Million for Mineral Exploration

Uganda is well endowed with mineral resources and, like many naturally-gifted African countries, is becoming keen on ensuring that these resources play a transformative role in its long-term structural transformation dream - the Vision 2040...

September 9, 2016

Small-Scale Fishers Get A Big Boost With First-Of-Its Kind Impact Investment Fund

Conservation organization Rare announces the Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries at Our Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility, one of the largest funders of conservation worldwide, will be investing $6 million into the fund...

September 1, 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa have detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region...

August 17, 2016

New IGS Xplore prospectivity maps for Botswana

International Geoscience Services have released a series of base metal prospectivity maps for the Ngamiland District of northwestern Botswana using free geodata available on the recently-launched Botswana Geoscience Portal, hosted by Geosoft. The maps identify favorable areas for copper, zinc and lead mineralization using geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets downloaded directly from the portal.

August 11, 2016

NexGen Makes New High Grade Discovery

NexGen Energy reported the discovery of a new high grade zone of mineralization 4.7 km northeast of the Arrow Deposit as part of an on-going summer drilling program on its 100% owned, Rook I property, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

August 10, 2016

Rampion UXO Disposal to Take Place This Week

E.ON has confirmed that the two unexploded devices, detected along the Rampion offshore cable route will be safely disposed this week following the consultation with the Marine Management Organisation...

August 9, 2016

Diamonds In The Rough: E&Ps Find New Reserves In Mature Basins

The oil industry’s history demonstrates clearly that new plays and prospects have long been found in mature basins that were thought to be well on the way to being squeezed dry. Through the acquisition of new data, developing new concepts and coming up with fresh interpretations, long-producing basins around the world from the North Sea to Malaysia have continued to reveal new riches...

August 8, 2016

Northern Shield Identifies High Quality VTEM Targets at Séquoi

Northern Shield Resources announced the results of the interpretation and modelling of the VTEM survey from the Séquoi Property in the Labrador Trough of Quebec . Séquoi is owned 100% by Northern Shield and is being explored for Noril'sk style Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. After geophysical modelling and interpretation of the VTEM data from Séquoi, six VTEM anomalies of significant interest have been identified...

August 3, 2016

Rio Tinto tailors big data drive to copper

Rio Tinto will put the weight of an exploration big data push and its newly-formed Growth and Innovation group behind its desire to identify a "tier 1" copper asset. Speaking at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said Australia was "overdue for a tier 1" mineral discovery of any type...

August 1, 2016

Tetra Tech Awarded $200 Million Navy CLEAN Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $200 million, single-award contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic. Through the Comprehensive Long-term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental engineering support services to installations within the NAVFAC Atlantic Area of Responsibility...

May 3, 2016

NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS), MODUM Partners announce "Young Scientist Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons"

This international project cooperates closely with CHEMSEA (Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons) Project for and sharing and knowledge transfer...

April 12, 2016

Monday mad rush for gold stocks

Renewed optimism about the outlook for gold saw investors pile back into gold stocks, pushing many stock to 52-week highs in heavy volumes...

April 11, 2016

Medgold Resources: Continues to Expand the Boticas Gold Project, Portugal; Proposes $200,000 Private Placement

Medgold Resources is pleased to announce new assay results from contiguous rock-chip sampling from the Limarinho South zone at its Boticas gold project in Portugal, which include a highlight of 6.0m @ 5.7 g/t Au...

April 8, 2016

De-carbonizing our energy sector

Nuclear energy currently provides around 11 percent of the world's electricity. China, the European Union, the United States, India, Russia, South Korea, and other nations’ have major existing fleets...

April 1, 2016

Follow-Up Drilling Results Indicate Wide Gold Zones at Hendricks Gold Discovery

Gascoyne Resources Limited announced that it has received the final assay results from the 10,000 metre aircore exploration drilling programme...

March 26, 2016

The Oil Market Is Finally Hitting Its Breaking Point

After a significant reduction in investments over the past two years, oil companies can no longer overcome the production declines from legacy wells...

March 15, 2016

N-Sea Expands into the French Offshore Wind Industry

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has signed a letter of intent with CERES Recherches & Expertise Sous-Marine and TechSub Industrie Environement, to provide subsea survey, installation and remediation services to the French offshore wind industry...

March 9, 2016

PDAC 2016 Convention Exceeds 22,000 Attendees

Optimism and opportunity abounded at the PDAC 2016 Convention of The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in spite of recent industry challenges...

March 3, 2016

6 Alpha Launches EOD Contracting Division

6 Alpha Associates, a specialist risk consultancy practice, with expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance, has launched a dedicated explosive ordnance disposal division...

Disrupting the downturn: Juniors that are defying the odds

by Virginia Heffernan on October 20, 2015 market

The fact that almost all of the equity raised by the top 100 juniors listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V) in 2015 was attributed to just 15 companies is further proof that good projects, managed well, continue to attract investors despite the protracted slump in the sector.

The TSX-V’s top 100 junior miners raised $515 million in equity and $278 million in debt in 2015, but most of the money went to a select few, according to PwC’s annual report on the sector. What did they do differently?

In its analysis of the junior mining sector, PwC examines some of the ways companies are keeping their heads above water and even thriving:

Oban Mining & First Mining Finance: consolidation works

One problem is that too many juniors are chasing too few dollars. The solution is for companies – especially those working in the same region – to consolidate their assets. The benefits are obvious: lower administrative costs, more cash, shared risk, and better security and potential upside for shareholders. “(Consolidation) may require management teams to set aside their personal egos and ambitions, but in the long run it will strengthen the sector overall,” says the PwC report.

In August Oban Mining acquired not just one, but three companies: Eagle Hill Exploration, Ryan Gold and Corona Gold. Osisko Gold Royalties investment of $18 million for a 20% stake in the company further strengthened Oban’s position.
The merged entity has gold prospects throughout Canada and recently raised $13 million in a bought deal financing to boost its treasury to $73 million.

First Mining Finance is taking consolidation a step further with plans to scoop up 40 to 50 undervalued or distressed assets and engage third parties to develop them as the market improves, retaining a royalty or other residual interest. Shares of First Mining are up 30% since the company acquired Gold Canyon Resources and PC Gold in early September.

Premier Gold Mines: partnering prevents dilution

Although surrendering a piece of a promising project is never easy, the alternative – losing the project altogether – is worse. In the current capital market environment, juniors are partnering with mid-sized or major companies that have the cash and other resources to keep projects moving.

Premier Gold’s Hard Rock deposit in northern Ontario is an example of a project which, had equity and debt markets been more receptive, might have succeeded independently. But in order to prevent further share dilution and secure the cash and mining expertise needed for development, Premier sold a 50% interest in the project to Centerra Gold. Following the transaction, Premier was able to raise $27 million through a private placement.

NovaCopper: non-traditional financing pays off

Lacking access to equity markets, some juniors are turning to metal streaming deals and royalties, and even to their peers, for money.

NovaCopper’s acquisition of Sunward Resources is an example of the latter strategy. In this case, NovaCopper had a promising asset (the Arctic VMS project in Alaska) but no capital, while Sunward had lots of cash but an uneconomic project in Colombia. Recognizing that money would be difficult to raise by any other means, NovaCopper paid a premium for Sunward’s $19.4 million treasury by exchanging each Sunward share for one third of a NovaCopper share.

As a result of the deal, NovaCopper now has the cash needed to complete a pre-feasibility study on its Arctic project.

Jaguar Mining: preparing for bankruptcy unlocks value

Sometimes a closer look at both assets and balance sheets identifies hidden value that may have been obscured during better times. Facing bankruptcy in 2013, Jaguar Mining was able to retain its assets through the insolvency process by using financial models to better understand the company’s business and cash flow requirements. Jaguar was even able to find, and partially recover, $40 million in refundable tax credits.

Jaguar appears to be on a slow road to recovery. In the third quarter, the company produced more than 25,000 oz. of gold from its mining operations in Brazil. The value of its shares jumped 47% in September.

“Innovative, determined and resilient companies are finding the cash they need to keep moving forward in an incredibly difficult market,” says PwC mining leader Liam Fitzgerald. “Miners need to act now – today, not tomorrow – because tomorrow may simply be too late.”

 


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