Esperanza Resources acquired by Alamos Gold for $69.4 million

alamos esperanzaCanadian junior Esperanza Resources (TSX.V:EPZ) has been acquired by Alamos Gold (TSX:AGI) in a friendly acquisition.

Esperanza shareholders will receive C$0.85 in cash for each common share of Esperanza held, representing a premium of approximately 38% to Esperanza’s 30-day volume-weighted average price. The transaction values Esperanza’s equity at approximately Can$69.4 million on a fully diluted in-the-money basis. In addition, Esperanza shareholders will be issued approximately 5 million Alamos warrants in aggregate and existing Esperanza warrant holders will be issued approximately two million Alamos warrants in aggregate.

Both companies work in Mexico. Alamos runs the Mulatos Mine, as well a some exploration and development properties in Turkey. Esperanza is advancing an open pit gold project in Morels State, Mexico.

Esperanza terminated its agreement with Pan American Silver today. In February Esperanza agreed to acquire three advanced gold projects from Pan American all in Latin American in return for a $35 million investment and a $15 million credit facility.

CEOs from Esperanza and Alamos Gold released statements on the deal.

“Alamos is very pleased to announce this transaction with Esperanza” commented Mr. John A. McCluskey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alamos. “Esperanza is an excellent strategic fit within our existing portfolio and in our view, is one of the best undeveloped opportunities and significant open pit targets in Mexico. We have followed Esperanza’s progress for some time and see this as a truly compelling opportunity for our shareholders. While the transaction represents less than 5% of our market capitalization, it has the potential to grow our production in Mexico by more than 50%, or nearly 30% on a consolidated basis.”

“This transaction provides an attractive and immediate premium to our shareholders,” said Mr. Greg Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Esperanza. “Further, the cash consideration provides liquidity and value certainty while the warrants ensure Esperanza shareholders will retain exposure to the success of the Esperanza gold project going forward. Alamos Gold is an industry leader with substantial experience operating in Mexico and the financial and technical capacity to continue advancing the Esperanza gold project. Finally, I would like to thank our employees for their dedication and hard work over the last number of years and all stakeholders of Esperanza for their support.”


Mystery investor puts $1bn into new Russian gold mine

In an effort to double gold production by 2018, Russia’s largest gold producer, Polyus, has attracted $1bn in investment for the 3rd largest undeveloped gold deposit in the world.

Russian Federation Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East Dmitry Shelekhov confirmed the 32 million rouble investment, but would not disclose the source, ITAR-TASS reported.

The Natalka mine is the newest development from Polyus, and is located 400 km from the seaport of Magadan, in the remote and barren northeast corner of Russia.

The mining of precious metals is a lifeline for the local economy, Magadan Oblast Governor Vladimir Petcheny told ITAR-TASS.

Polyus, which accounts for nearly a quarter of Russia’s gold mining, forecast the mine, which is slated to become Russia’s largest, will have the capacity of 15 tons (1.3 million ounces) by next year.

In total, the company has 1,836 tons (40.8 million ounces) in gold reserves, and is the world’s third largest by this criterion.

Since 2009 gold production in the Far East and Russia has increased sharply, aided by a state-sponsored effort to boost gold production after a steep decline from 2000-2009. Gold production in the first quarter of 2013 increased 6% year-on-year to 320,000 ounces. Sales were estimated at $524 million, according to a company trading update from April 2013.

Also according to the report, gold production in 2013 has been reconfirmed between 1.59 and 1.68 million ounces, excluding assets in Kazakhstan.

Billionaire oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov is the Chairman of the Board, and approved the $31.3 million Natalka capital expenditure in 2008. The company said it would spend $14 million throughout May to install a ‘pilot plant’ and another $8.7 million to complete a feasibility study.

Refined Gold Production


Refined gold production, 000 oz Q1 2013 Q1 2012 Change
Olimpiada 156.6 156.6 -
Blagodatnoye 86.5 83.6 3%
Titimukhta 34.0 21.8 56%
Verninskoye 11.0 6.4 71%
Alluvials 0.7 1.0 -30%
Kuranakh 31.8 33.1 -4%
Total refined gold production from continuing operations 320.5 302.4 6%

Chief Executive Yevgeny Ivanov told Reuters in January he expected the Natalka plant to be fully operational by 2012-2013, a launched which has been repeatedly postponed. In the second quarter of 2013, Polyus will review the option to start production at Natalka in winter 2013-2014.

Presently the pilot plant is equipped with mining equipment, drilling rigs, trucks, loaders, and cranes.

Two dormitories that sleep 275 were commissioned last year and were completed in the first quarter of 2013, and currently 1,400 personnel are employed, according to the company’s website. By 2014, the plant will staff 2,000, and by 2023 upwards to 3,500.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June gold futures lost $13.3, down to $1,412 per troy ounce. Prices fell on the news of unemployment in Britain.


Unigold Inc. – Discovering Gold in the Dominican Republic

Gold Investing News Featured Stock

Unigold Inc. Unigold Inc. (TSXV:UGD) is a Canadian-based exploration and development company with several perspective gold projects in the Dominican Republic. The Company’s main focus lies within its wholly owned 22,616 hectare Neita Concession, a potentially world-class polymetallic ore body in the Candelones Target Area. Unigold is a significant mineral property holder in the Dominican Republic, with land holdings and options covering over 110,000 hectares.

Gold zone over 1,100 m of strike and growing at Candelones and Candelones Extension100% ownership of the Neita propertyWorking towards an NI 43-101 resource estimate for CandelonesWell-funded with $8.1 million cash in the bankExperienced management with proven track record of discovery and developmentGrowth opportunity with multiple targets identifiedWorld class deposit potential

Neita is Unigold’s flagship project and one of our four contiguous projects within the Dominican Republic. The Neita concession totals 22,616 hectares, and is located approximately 200 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Santo Domingo. Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, is roughly 100 kilometers northeast of the project. The western limit of the Nieta property is defined by the Haitian border.

The Neita property lies within the Greater Antilles volcanic arc that extends from the island of Hispaniola through Cuba. The geology of the property is similar to extremely prospective mineral belts which host numerous mines and significant exploration projects, including Pueblo Viejo which has a proven and probably reserve estimates of 25.3 million ounces of gold. Unigold considers this belt to be one of the most prospective and underexplored gold regions in the world.

Three distinct types of mineralization are recognized on the Nieta property: volcanic hosted massive sulphide (VHMS), ephithermal, and porphyry.

The (VHMS) Candelones zone has many of the signatures of world class deposits, and is interpreted as being within a field of multiple large volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposits (VHMS). Drilling has demonstrated the zones are locally stacked, indicating numerous mineralizing events over significant period geological time. Drilling results to date combined with geologic mapping and induced polarity (IP) surveys support that the Company is on the way towards the discovery of a potential major VHMS district. There are numerous targets that have not yet been drilled. Moving forward, the Candelones zone is Unigold’s top priority.

The MGN target is a zone of high sulphidation which is common in the vicinity of large VHMS type deposits. Trenching and geochemical sampling yielded a grade of 2.68 g/t gold over thirty-five meters.

The Jimenez, and Noisy targets represent the low sulphide epithermal deposits on the Nieta, and both have the potential for high-grade veining. Initial sampling on a small vein on the Jimenez, returned values of 12.6 g/t gold. Additionally, chalcocite, and the important copper mineral bornite are also found in the veins.

The third deposit type in the Corozo zone corresponds to porphyry copper mineralization; which is typically low-grade, bulk tonnage, and amenable to cost effective open-pit-mining techniques. Diamond drilling over 120 meters returned copper values of 0.1%.

These different deposit types represent specific and unique geologic events that remobilized the metal into economically concentrations; each had distinct alteration, and mineralization packages. Positive drill results obtained in the 2012 program are scheduled for further drill testing and exploration in 2013, with the priority focusing on the Candelones zone.

Unigold’s optioned property: the Los Guandules concession is adjacent to the Neita property and holds 100% exclusive exploration rights. The 13,386 hectares concession covers the favourable geologic structure that trends southeast from the Neita property. Extensive soil and stream sampling on the property has uncovered several gold and copper-gold anomalies. Field exploration has yielded gold values of up to 8 g/t. Los Guandules contains a large hydrothermal alteration zone of altered volcanics centred on the northwest trending regional structure. Erratic blocks encountered in the area were reported in the 1980’s and ran up to 7.9% copper, with historical trenching returning values of upwards of 2.4 g/t gold over 29 meters with additional anomalous copper and silver values. The gold mineralization at Los Candelones is a epithermal vein system and occurs within a stock work associated with indicator minerals: chalcopyrite, sphalerite, pyrite, galena, plus traces of minor silver.

The gold mineralization occurs within a 1,200 by 600 meter soil anomaly, and was confirmed through geophysical identification by an Induced Polarity survey (IP), which corresponded to sulphide mineralization encountered in the soil anomoly.

Unigold purchased an option to acquire the El Carrizal Concession in 2010. The 16,376 hectare El Carrizal Concession lies between the western Neita Concession and the eastern Sabaneta Concession and is contiguous with both. This strategic acquisition creates one of the most extensive and contiguous land packages in the Cretaceous mineral belt of north-western Dominican Republic.

The latest acquisition complements Unigold’s land package in the Dominican Republic and provides Unigold with an unprecedented strike length of favourable stratigraphy in this highly prospective area of the country. Soil sampling and prospecting will facilitate identifying the areas with the most potential on this large, underexplored property.

Unigold Inc. is a Canadian based mineral exploration and development company with several prospective gold properties in the mining friendly jurisdiction of the Domincan Republic. Positive drill results on the company’s flagship Neita property has spurred further development and exploration planned in 2013. The Company’s other projects are at a less advanced stage, but remain good targets based on positive initial results.

Mr. Andrew Cheatle, P.Geo., MBA, ARSM – President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director

Mr. Cheatle is a Professional Geoscientist with over twenty-five years of mineral extraction, development, consulting, and exploration experience in the gold sector with senior and junior mining companies and an international consultancy. He has previously held numerous senior management positions with Anglo American Corporation and JCI Limited. As Chief Geologist with Goldcorp Inc./Placer Dome Inc he successfully led a team that significantly expanded the Musselwhite Mine’s mineral reserves and resources leading to strategic mine development and expansion. Recently, Mr. Cheatle has held senior and executive positions in the junior gold exploration sector and as a Principal Geologist with AMEC plc. Mr. Cheatle holds a MBA from Capella University (USA) and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London. He is also a Councillor and member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

John Green – Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Green has over thirty-years of experience working with both producing and exploration and development stage companies in the mining sector. Mr. Green has worked with Falconbridge Limited, Lac Minerals Limited, AfriOre Limited, Platexco Inc., and Intrepid Minerals Ltd. in a variety of roles including CFO and Director. For seven years prior to joining Unigold, as Controller of High River Gold Mines Ltd., he was closely involved with the financing and construction of two new open-pit gold mines. Mr. Green has a MBA in finance and is a member of the Society of Management Accountants.

Joseph Hamilton, P.Geo, CFA – Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Hamilton is a Professional Geologist with over fourteen years of mineral exploration experience in addition to over seven years as a mining analyst in the investment industry and three years’ experience in mining development. He is currently the CEO of Malbex Resources and a Managing Director of Primary Capital. He previously has held senior management positions with Noront Resources and African Copper Plc. In addition to being a P.Geo. in Ontario, Mr. Hamilton is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member of the CFA Institute and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Charles Page, M.Sc., P.Geo. – Director

In addition to being a Professional Geologist, Mr. Page has acted as senior officer, director and CEO for several publicly traded junior resources companies and currently is President and CEO of Queenston Mining Inc. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Page has developed, organized and implemented major exploration projects in several mining camps in Canada and in the Republic of Cuba. He is familiar with all aspects of exploration from grass-roots projects to feasibility studies, production and mine closure. His primary geological expertise is in Precambrian gold and base metal, epithermal gold, porphyry copper-gold and disseminated gold deposits. He is also a director of Alexandria Minerals Corporation