As the first month of the new year is coming to an end, we are seeing the same major trends persist across markets with metals and mining strong out of the gate with heavy buying on good volume. The bull market in gold is entering it’s fourth year as the drive to replenish global reserves continues to be strong with capital flowing to projects across the globe of at all stages of development. Below are three companies, on 3 different continents at 3 different stages of their lifecycle which we think are worth paying attention to.
Emerita Resources Corp. – Spain
Emerita Resources Corp. (TSX-V: EMO) (OTCQB: EMOTF) is running a successful exploration campaign on the Iberian Belt West (IBW) project located in the famous Iberian Pyrite Belt located in southern Spain, and has recently begun expanding its drill campaign on its three properties.
Similar to other VMS deposits in the area, metallic zonation is thought to be prolific throughout the Iberian Pyrite Belt, and this seems to be the case at the La Romanera deposit according to recent drill results. Certain zones appear to be rich in gold, zinc, lead and copper.
The company has also released some assay results stemming from its 2022 delineation drilling program at La Romanera deposit. The most recent drill rig that has been deployed is capable of drilling more shallow holes on an angle that is meant to increase the time it takes to go through thicker sections of higher grades of mineralization, based on previous intercepts. Previous assay results at the La Romanera property revealed grading of 3.0 g/t gold over 30 meters including 67.6 g/t of silver, and 7.5 meters with 7.2 g/t gold and 41.6 g/t silver.
Emerita’s IBW properties are in close proximity to other major producers such as the Neves-Corvo mine that is owned by Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN). The Romanera deposit was previously owned by Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO) who did extensive work on it in the 1990’s and reported it to contain 34 Mt with gradeing 0.42% Cu. 2.20%Pb, 2.3% Zn., 44.4 g/t Ag and 0.8 g/t Au within which there are high grade zones.
In its recently announced summary for 2022 and 2023 outlook, EMO stated that they had completed 184 diamond drill holes, with 106 holes at the La Romanera deposit and another 78 holes that were drilled at their second zone on the IBW project called La Infanta. EMO is awaiting on an additional 50 intercepts to add to its database, at which point a NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate may begin to be worked on for both La Infanta and La Romanera. 2023 will see drill testing on Emerita’s third zone on the IBW project, the El Cura zone, while also continuing to drilling at La Romanera and La Infanta.
What makes EMO exciting is that the company anticipates that the initial NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate for Iberian Belt West is expected to be completed sometime in early Q2 2023. The CEO of EMO Mr. David Gower stated “2022 was a very busy and productive year for the Company and our team made excellent progress in advancing the IBW project towards a potential production decision. 2023 will see the culmination of that effort with completion of the initial NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate, metallurgical testing and commencement of economic and engineering studies. The Company is in a solid financial position to complete the planned work programs.”
Emerita began to rally at the beginning of 2023 as tax loss selling dried up and is currently testing previous resistance levels from December 2022.
RooGold Inc. – New South Wales, Australia
Canadian junior mineral explorer RooGold Inc. (CSE: ROO) (OTC: JNCCF) is in the early stages of exploration in New South Wales which sits on the Australian continent. RooGold holds a multitude of prospective gold and silver properties it obtained through acquisitions. RooGold has 9 high value gold projects that the company plans to explore and covers a total of 1091 sq. km and 4 silver properties spanning 289 sq. km and is home to 31 historic gold and silver mines.
RooGold is currently expanding its precious metals portfolio as the company completed the acquisition of several properties located in New South Wales, as well as signing an LOI to acquire a privately held battery metals company. On November 3rd, 2022, ROO announced that they received the approval from the Australian regulator for the acquisition of Aussie Precious Metals Corp. including Lorne and Trilby property. ROO acquired all issued and outstanding shares of APMC and its properties through the issuance of 4,000,000 shares, with Lorne and Trilby the properties remaining held under Aussie Precious Metals Corp’s subsidiary.
Shortly before the Christmas holidays, RooGold announced that it has entered into a binding letter of intent (“LOI”) to acquire all the shares of battery metals company Next Generation Resources Inc (“NextGen”). Next Generation Resources is a privately held exploration company that has a diverse portfolio of lithium, nickel, cobalt properties that are in the early stages of exploration. Located in Liberia, NextGen’s portfolio of battery metal consists of three reconnaissance licenses which cover approximately 1,500 sq km and is in the process of obtaining an additional four reconnaissance licenses. Combined, NextGen will have a total of over 2,300 sq. km of property with reconnaissance licenses.
Upon completion of the acquisition, the Founder and Director of NextGen Mr. David Kol will be joining RooGold’s board of directors and will provide his extensive knowledge of mineral exploration in Liberia, and also brings his strong government relations.
Vishal Gupta the Director and interim CEO of ROO stated “The addition of a large portfolio of lithium-focused assets in Liberia to our existing precious metals properties in Australia provides RooGold's shareholders an incredible optionality in today's turbulent commodity markets. We believe that demand for battery metals will far outstrip supply for the foreseeable future, and the acquisition of NextGen provides RooGold with tremendous exposure to this very exciting commodity space."
The team at NextGen have already begun field work on the property and conducting geological mapping, prospect sampling and soil geochemical surveys. Results from the company’s field work is expected during the first quarter of 2021.
Troilus Gold – Canada
Known for being a country that is rich in natural resources, Canada is home to many developed and large past producing mining operated by world class mining companies. With that said, this is exactly where our next gold company will be taking us.
Troilus Gold Corp. (TSX: TLG) (OTCQX: CHXMF) is a junior mining company that aims to bring the Troilus Mine to production, which between 1996 and 2010, produced an outstanding 2 million ounces of gold and approximately 70,000 tonnes of copper.
Canada is ranked as one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world and the Province of Québec comes in second place next to Ontario, with 30.9% of gold production coming from Québec. According to Natural Resources Canada, gold production in Canada has seen a steady increase over the last decade, and in 2020, a total of 182 tonnes of gold was produced from mines and represents an increase of 78% since 2010.
Troilus Gold has recently bolstered its balance sheet as the company completed the sale of certain mining claims and raised capital. Troilus’s last financial statement stated that TLG has $5 Million in cash, and in addition, on November 17th 2022, Troilus completed the sale of 1,824 claims to Australian listed company Sayona Mining Limited for CAD $40 Million. For the sale, Troilus received 184,331,797 shares of Sayona Mining Limited at an average price of $0.217 cents and a net smelter royalty of 2% from all mineral products. In addition to the sale of the property, Troilus also raised CAD $4.8 million from the issuance of 9.8 million shares at $0.49 cents a share to Sayona Mining Limited. On the announcement of the sale, the CEO of TLG Mr. Justin Reid stated “We are pleased to welcome Sayona as a major shareholder, joining Investissement Quebec, their partner in the Moblan Lithium Project. The Sale is for claims considered at present to be non-core assets of the Company as our current focuses are on the development and exploration of well-defined targets over the 400 square kilometres that we have retained all while advancing the development of the Troilus Project.”
For 2023, TLG plans on updating its mineral Resource Estimate in Q1 from its results obtained in its 2021-2022 drill program. In addition, Troilus expects to complete its Feasibility Study during the second half of 2023 and also includes an inaugural Mineral Reserve Estimate. CEO, Justin Reid commented “We enter 2023 in a robust financial position and look forward to delivering on major de-risking milestones this year, including an updated Mineral Resource estimate in the first quarter followed by a Feasibility Study and inaugural Mineral Reserve estimate planned in the second half of 2023. We will continue to progress our exploration programs, at the mine site and regionally, to follow-up on the exciting results obtained in 2022, while also working to advance our ESIA. We anticipate a busier year than ever as we continue to advance and de-risk our project with the aim to maximize value for our shareholders and stakeholders.”
A large portion of Troilus stock is tightly held with approximately 60% being held by institutional investors and includes funds such as Investissement Québec which holds 15% of Troilus. Sayona Mining also holds around 9% of TLG, and company insiders and management holding 10%. With approximately 79% being closely held, this would leave around 21% of TLG available to retail.