Gold Summary for Jan. 11, 2019
NEW YORK spot gold rose $1.20 to $1,287.20 on Friday. The TSX Venture Exchange added 4.84 points to 601.77 and the TSX Gold Index gained 0.84 point to 179.26. Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) was stronger today. It gained 15 cents to $16.52 on 8.16 million shares. The stock got as high as $19 in December, up from $12.50 in mid-September when the company revealed its plan to merge with Randgold Resources Ltd., but it has not done as well since the merger closed at the start of 2019.
Jim Greig and John Williamson’s Benchmark Metals Inc. (BNCH), down two cents to 18 cents on 337,000 shares, has received assays of up to 10.99 grams of gold and 819 grams of silver per tonne over 3.95 metres from drilling at the Phoenix zone at its Lawyers project in the Golden Triangle district of northwestern British Columbia. The assays, from another four holes
of the company’s fall drilling program, produced other high-grade hits, including 6.39 grams of gold and 469.76 grams of silver per tonne over 6.95 metres. (In November, a pleased Mr. Williamson, chairman and chief executive officer, cheered the assays from the first hole of Benchmark’s inaugural drill program, which returned 6.15 grams of gold and 124.37 grams of silver per tonne over 4.36 metres.)
Mr. Williamson had called that result “outstanding,” but he offered no opinion of the latest results, other than to note that the company’s work “has delineated new targets and expanded gold and silver mineralization” within the three-kilometre-long Lawyers trend, which includes the Phoenix, Phoenix East, Cliffs Creek and Dukes Ridge zones. (Investors were freer to express their opinions and emotions: Benchmark dipped to a low of 16 cents in intraday trading.) “Rediscovering gold and silver” is the focus of Benchmark’s promotion, and it is an apt description of Lawyers, which produced 171,000 ounces of gold and 3.7 million ounces of silver many years ago. The company declared a maiden — for it — resource estimate for the Cliffs Creek portion of the project last year, listing 550,000 tonnes inferred at 4.51 grams of gold and 209.15 grams of silver per tonne; about 80,000 ounces of gold and 3.7 million ounces of silver.
The Edmonton-based Mr. Wil liam son has be en CEO since last March, when the Vancouver-based Mr. Greig gave up one of his titles. Mr. Greig had been getting $144,000 as president and CEO and he probably still is, as salaries rarely drop when a management team expands. Indeed, Benchmark is now spending nearly three times as much on management expenses as it did before Mr. Williamson arrived. Peter Miles and Buddy Doyle’s Sanatana Resources Inc. (STA), unchanged at 4.5 cents on 370,000 shares, says that a new surface access agreement with local landowners will allow the company to receive a prospecting licence for its 26,400-hectare Tirua project in the Solomon Islands. Sanatana is chasing the East Kolo epithermal gold target at Tirua and Mr. Miles, president and CEO, is predictably enthused about the project. He says that he and his crew recently paid a field visit to Tirua — the dark days of early winter are a wonderful time for a South Seas getaway — and the visit “reinforced our opinion” of the geological potential of the project and highlighted Sanatana’s ability to work in the region.
Mr. Doyle, vice-president of exploration, was more technical in his enthusiasm. He says that previous work at Tirua focused on its porphyry copper and gold potential, but Sanatana will focus on the epithermal target, which is nine kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide. Mr. Doyle offers plenty of geological jargon to support his case - and finds a way to toot his own horn as a published author on such matters — but he does not yet offer any specifics of what Sanatana will do once it gets its licence.
Mr. Miles, a Vancouver resident, has been collecting $120,000 per year as president and CEO for the past few years. Mr. Doyle was not collect ing any sal ary from Sanatana at last report. Alex Klenman’s Nexus Gold Corp. (NXS), up 2.5 cents to 13.5 cents on 1.66 million shares, has acquired the 509-hectare New Pilot gold project in south-central British Columbia. (To do so, it paid 3.5 million shares to the vendor, who just happens to be Warren Robb, a Nexus director and its senior vice-president of exploration.) Neither Mr. Klenman, president and CEO, nor Mr. Robb have yet said what Nexus has planned for the project.
New Pilot, which has seen sporadic exploration since the 1940s, was worked in the 1990s by Cogema Canada Ltd., which collected about 100 grab samples that assayed as high as 111 grams of gold per tonne. (In all, five of the samples assayed higher than 10 grams per tonne.) In addition to other work, Cogema completed chip sampling that produced 4.03 grams of gold per tonne over 10 metres, and a 100-me tre d rill pro gram that yielded one gram of gold per tonne over 10.5 metres.