Regional News - Latin America August 2017

Guatemalan Lower Court Issues Ruling on Escobal Mining License

The Supreme Court of Guatemala has issued a provisional decision with respect to an action brought by the anti-mining organization, CALAS, against Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), alleging that MEM violated the Xinca Indigenous people’s right of consultation in advance of granting the Escobal mining license to Tahoe Resources’ Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael. The provisional decision suspends the Escobal mining license of Minera San Rafael while the action is being reviewed by the court, even though no Xinca representative or community is currently participating in the CALAS lawsuit against MEM.

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Spence Mine Expansion Approved

The Chilean environmental authority has approved the expansion of the Spence copper mine, which would amount to an investment of about $2.5 billion. The execution decision, however, will have to wait until August, according to El Mercurio. The new expansion includes the construction of a concentrator plant to increase production and extend the life of the deposit about 20 years. The Committee on Environmental Assessment (CEA) of Antofagasta decided unanimously to approve the BHP initiative. Environmental approval of Spence’s expansion could pave the way for its execution.

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Nyrstar Completes Coricancha Mine Sale

Nyrstar NV has successfully completed the sale of its Coricancha mine in Peru to Great Panther Silver Ltd., a primary silver mining and exploration company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, for a total cash consideration of $100,000-plus earn-out consideration of up to $10 million. Under the earn-out, Nyrstar will be paid 15% of the free cash-flow generated by the Coricancha mine during the five-year period after which the Coricancha mine is cumulative free cash-flow positive from closing of the transaction.

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Regional News - Latin America July 2017

Construction Well Under Way at Fruta del Norte in Ecuador

Lundin Gold has reported that construction of its Fruta del Norte underground gold project in southeast Ecuador is well under way. The mine development contractor mobilized to the site in April, and work on the mine portals began on May 1. Construction of mine development support facilities by Lundin began later in the month.
Fruta del Norte is one of the largest and highest-grade undeveloped gold projects in the world. Probable reserves currently stand at 16.8 million metric tons (mt) at a grade of 9.16 grams/mt for 4.94 million ounces (oz) of contained gold. Gold production is forecast to exceed 300,000 oz per year (oz/y) for more than 15 years at average life-of-mine total cash costs of $561/oz and all-in sustaining cash costs of $609/oz.

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State-owned Company is Created in Nicaragua

In June, the Nicaraguan National Assembly (parliament) approved the creation of the Nicaraguan Mining Co. (Eniminas), which will be in charge of the exploration and exploitation of mining resources. Eniminas will be a decentralized public company of the state under the rectory of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and will be subject to the Special Law on the Exploration and Exploitation of Mines (2001), explained the official Deputy Jenny Martinez, in the plenary.

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Goldcorp Completes JV With Barrick

Goldcorp announced the completion of a previous transaction resulting in the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Barrick Gold Corp. in the mining district of Maricunga, northern Chile. Under the terms of that transaction and offer for the acquisition of Exeter Resource Corp., Goldcorp and Barrick will jointly control more than 20,000 hectares of mining property within the Maricunga District with the Caspiche and Cerro Casale orebodies. Together, both deposits, contain more than 3,500 tons of mineral resources. Also, Goldcorp will spend at least $60 million in a two-year period, unless the deferred payment obligation worth $250 million is satisfied.

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Cerro Grande Files for Bankruptcy in Chile

Cerro Grande Mining Corp. announced the closure of its Pimenton mine and that it has entered into voluntary bankruptcy, effective June 1. On the advice of its Chilean lawyers, the directors and management of Compania Minera Pimenton and the Board of Directors of Cerro Grande Mining Corp. decided to go into voluntary bankruptcy versus waiting for its creditors to place Pimenton into involuntary bankruptcy.

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Silver Standard Forms JV With Golden Arrow

Silver Standard Resources has formed the Puna Operations joint venture (JV) with Golden Arrow Resources Corp. to develop the Chinchillas project. The JV will be comprised of Silver Standard’s Pirquitas property and Golden Arrow’s Chinchillas property. Silver Standard owns 75% and Golden Arrow owns 25% of the venture. Silver Standard is the joint venture operator and has made an option exercise payment of $13 million to Golden Arrow. This transaction was previously announced in March 31.

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Tahoe Challenges Anti-mining NGO in Guatemala

Tahoe Resources reported this week that an anti-mining organization, CALAS, has filed a claim against Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) alleging it violated the Xinca indigenous people’s right of consultation in advance of granting the Escobal mining license to Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael.

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Regional News - Latin America June 2017

Pizarro: Codelco to Keep its Foot on the Brake

Nelson Pizarro, CEO, Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco), delivered a speech at the Exponor conference in Antofagasta, Chile, on May 16. Those who are familiar with Pizarro know that he does not mince words. He is a respected engineer, who managed many Chilean mining operations during his 50-year career before taking the helm at Codelco in July 2014 in his 70s. During his tenure as CEO of the world’s leading copper producer, he has seen copper prices and head grades steadily decline, while costs continued to increase.

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Continental Gold Garners Backing for Buriticá Project in Colombia

Continental Gold announced sales of company common shares to Newmont Mining and RK Mine Finance Master Fund I (Red Kite) having a combined value of $136 million. Continental will use the funds to advance its underground Buriticá gold project in Antioquia department, northwest Colombia, where formal construction is scheduled to begin before year-end 2017.

The Newmont transaction is valued at $109 million and will give Newmont an approximate 19.9% interest in Continental. In addition, the companies will form a strategic alliance to evaluate opportunities to partner on exploration of Continental’s other properties in Colombia.

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Regional News - Latin America May 2017

Leagold Acquires Los Filos Gold Mine from GoldcorpLeagold Mining, a Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has acquired the Los Filos gold mine in Guerrero state, Mexico from Goldcorp for $350 million. Los

Leagold Mining, a Canadian company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has acquired the Los Filos gold mine in Guerrero state, Mexico from Goldcorp for $350 million. Los Filos operations include two open pits (Los Filos and Bermejal), an underground mine at Los Filos, and the opportunity to develop a new underground mine at Bermejal as an expansion project. During 2016, Los Filos produced 231,000 oz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $878/oz.
The purchase price for Los Filos consisted of $279 million in cash and $71 million in Leagold common shares. The transaction was announced on January 12, 2017 and closed on April 7. Post-closing, Goldcorp holds a 25.3% equity interest in Leagold, and Russell Ball, Goldcorp’s executive vice president corporate development and CFO, has joined Leagold’s board of directors.

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Montagne d’Or Study Calls For 237,000 oz/y of Gold

Nordgold and Columbus Gold have reported the results of an independent bankable feasibility study of their Montagne d’Or gold project in French Guiana that anticipates development of an open-pit mining operation producing 237,000 oz/y of gold during its first 10 years of operation. The study was funded by Nordgold, pursuant to which it earned a 50.01% interest in the project. Nordgold has also acquired an additional 5% interest as the result of a share purchase agreement dated January 12, 2016 and now holds a 55.01% interest in the project.

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San Ramon Achieves Commercial Production

After completing construction, commissioning of the mill and pouring first gold in November, Red Eagle Mining Corp. reported that the San Ramon gold mine achieved commercial production at the end of March. The processing facility has reached a steady state and underground mining is progressing at an increasing rate with the opening up of additional ore development headings.

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Minsur Modifies EIS for San Rafael Mine in Peru

The Peruvian Service of Environmental Certification for Sustainable Investments (Senace) has approved the modification of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the Re-approval of Tailings project at the San Rafael mine, which is owned by Minsur. The $344 million project will re-process tailings to extract tin concentrates using a new mineral processing facility. Located in southern Peru, the mine is the country’s lone tin producer and the EIS modification considers the impact of the reuse of the tailings deposit.

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Pan American to Acquire New Argentine Mining Project


Patagonia Gold plc and Pan American Silver have entered an agreement to basically exchange mining assets in southern Argentina. Minera Triton Argentina, a subsidiary of Pan American Silver, will acquire the Cap Oeste Sur Este (COSE) project in Santa Cruz province for $15 million. Patagonia Gold gets an exclusive option to buy Minera Aquiline Argentina, a subsidiary of Pan American, which owns the Calcatreu gold-silver project, for $15 million. Patagonia Gold will have six months to execute the option.

 

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