Commander Resources, Romarco Minerals, Iamgold and Avnel Gold, De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds

Commander Resources has signed a farm-in and joint-venture agreement with AngloGold Ashanti whereby AngloGold may earn a 51% participating interest in Commander’s Baffin Island gold project in Nunavut, northern Canada, by funding $20 million in exploration expenditures over a six-year period and completing a $1.2-million private placement in Commander shares. The agreement includes a firm commitment by AngloGold to fund $5.5 million in exploration expenditures within the first two years and to complete a minimum of 3,000 m of diamond drilling.

Commander, a Vancouver-based Canadian junior company, will act as project manager for the initial two years. Once AngloGold has vested a 51% interest in the property, a 51:49 joint venture will be formed. AngloGold may then elect within 60 days of vesting to increase its interest in the property to 70% by sole-funding all on-going expenditures to complete a feasibility study within four years on at least one of the prospects on the property.

The Baffin Island project is located in central Baffin Island. The nearest community is the Inuit hamlet of Clyde River, 160 km to the northeast. Iqaluit, the nearest full service community, is 600 km to the south. Supplies can be brought into both communities by barge during the summer months and air-transported to camp.

The principal exploration target on the Baffin Island property is an iron formation-hosted gold deposit that Commander describes as being similar to the Proterozoic iron formation-hosted Homestake gold deposit in South Dakota, USA. Exploration by Commander from 2003 to 2006 resulted in the discovery of 16 gold occurrences over a strike length of about 140 km. (

Romarco Minerals reports that drilling between the proposed Snake, Ledbetter and South pits at it Haile gold property in north-central South Carolina has identified new mineralization that may coalesce the three pits and reduce the overall strip ratio. In late August 2009, the company reported that Ledbetter mineralization continues to expand in all directions and remains open in all directions and at depth. A well mineralized zone east of Ledbetter and trending south toward Snake is currently being drilled. Drilling will continue, with the expectation that the two deposits will connect. Romarco has four reverse circulation drill rigs working on site.

In the immediate area of the proposed Ledbetter pit, drilling continues to intersect mineralization grading better than 5 g/mt gold. Step-out drilling continues in the Ledbetter area, and several holes have assays pending.

Romarco also reports that it has acquired additional property along the mineralized trend of the Haile property. The new property extends Romarco’s land position by 2.4 km along strike beyond the western edge of the South pit. (

Iamgold and Avnel Gold have entered into an option agreement whereby Iamgold can acquire up to an initial 51% interest in Avnel’s 80% interest in Société d’Exploitation de Mines d’Or de Kalana (the Kalana project) in southwest Mali. The Kalana project consists of the small, underground Kalana gold mine and surrounding exploration property covering 387.4 km2. The project is owned by Avnel (80%) and the Malian government (20%) and has a 30-year mining exploitation permit. Iamgold can earn an initial 51% interest in Avnel’s share of the Kalana project by spending $11 million on exploration activities over a three-year period and by delivering an NI 43-101 resource calculation of at least 2 million oz of gold, as well as proceeding with a feasibility study. Iamgold has the option to increase its interest from 51% to 65% or 70% upon delivering a feasibility study that supports the development of a gold mine. Iamgold is planning to carry out an initial $2.5-million drill program in the first year of the agreement. The program will be designed to test the extent and nature of gold mineralization in the halo of high-grade veins that are currently being exploited at the Kalana gold mine, as well as other mineralized structures in the mine area. ( and

The Gahcho Kué Joint Venture between De Beers Canada (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%) has appointed JDS Energy and Mining to conduct a feasibility study of the Gahcho Kué diamond project. The study is budgeted at about $10 million and is expected to take 12 months to complete. The project consists of a cluster of kimberlites, three of which have an indicated resource of about 30.2 million mt grading 1.67 carats/mt (about 50.5 million carats) and an inferred resource of about 6 million mt grading 1.73 carats/mt (about 10.3 million carats). The Gahcho Kué project is located on federal land in Canada’s Northwest Territories and is held by the joint venture under renewable 21-year leases. The project is on a 74,128-acre site located at Kennady Lake, 300 km northeast of Yellowknife and 90 km east of De Beers’ Snap Lake diamond mine. (