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Westward Gold [CSE-WG] Exploring in the heart of Nevada’s elephant country

Many people think Nevada has been picked over, and if there was something to be…

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This article was originally published by Resource World

Many people think Nevada has been picked over, and if there was something to be discovered, it would have been by now, but these properties were never any operator’s core assets, kind of a back of the closet thing.

Location, location, location, it’s as important in mineral exploration as real estate. So, if you’re out to discover a new mineral deposit, there’s no better place to start looking than close to a big one that’s already been found. Then the next thing to do is to hire the same people who found those nearby deposits in the first place, and that’s exactly what Westward Gold [CSE: WG] has quietly done in the heart of Nevada’s elephant country.

In April 2021, a little-known company with a graphite deposit in northern Ontario, IM Exploration (the name has recently changed to Westward Gold) closed a deal on a 3,300-acre non-core asset (165 contiguous unpatented mineral claims) from Starcore International Mines Ltd (TSX: SAM) best known for their operating San Martin gold-silver mine in Querétaro State, Mexico.

Then in July 2021, the company picked up another 3,872 acres (188 contiguous unpatented claims) immediately to the east, consolidating a 7,358-acre land package in the heart of Nevada’s historically prolific Battle Mountain – Eureka Trend. The trend is a 280 by 40-kilometer corridor known for hosting multiple large Carlin-style precious metal deposits and being considered one of the best gold mining districts in the world.

By August 2021, Westward Gold had a consolidated land package of underexplored property, 14-kilometers south of Barrick and Newmont’s Cortez Mine and about 22 kilometers south of Barrick’s North Pipeline Mine, two of the largest mines on the Trend. In addition, the properties are in the backyard of Barrick’s past producing heap leach Toiyabe-Saddle Mine to the south (the open pit mine operation produced a total of about 90,000 ounces of gold from 1987 to 1993).

“Many people think Nevada has been picked over, and if there was something to be discovered, it would have been by now, but these properties were never any operators’ core assets. So they’ve always been a kind of afterthought, with minimal exploration work done,” says Colin Moore, President of Westward Gold.

The two properties, named the Toiyabe Gold and Turquoise Canyon Projects, have been poked and jabbed by miners before looking for high-grade, near-surface deposits. Still, there has been no systematic large-scale exploration across both properties.

 Toiyable Gold Project

Limestone outcrop with calcite veining

The Toiyabe Gold Project, which lies on the western side, is the more advanced of the two projects. There’s been activity here since the 1960s. Almost 370 holes were drilled, mostly on the southeastern portion of the property in what’s called the Courtney area. In 2009, a 43-101 technical report produced for American Consolidated Minerals Corporation identified a historical mineral resource of 4,975,000 tons at an average of 1.2 g/t, totalling 173,562 ounces of gold, but most of the drill holes were shallow, ending in mineralization, and this is where the Westward technical team believe the true opportunity lies.

There were some splashy grades from the near-surface historical assays, (12.85 g/t gold over 6 metres between 42.6 m and 48.6 m); 14.83 g/t gold over 1.6 metres (between 14.6 m and 16.2 m), 10.92 g/t gold over 4.6 metres between 54.8 m and 59.4 m) and 26.6 g/t  gold over 3 metres between 71.6 m-74.6 m, yet the majority of these holes were confined to the fault zones and where they did go deeper the grade got lower, but the intervals start getting wider. For example, 18 metres of 2.027 g/t gold from 296.5 m to 314.8 m; or 4.095 g/t gold from 266.7 to 279.8 metres, suggesting the host rock is amenable to the dissemination of mineralization.

“Part of our thesis here is that those nearer surface structures were fed by a larger deeper zone, which we’ll start looking at when we drill deep diamond drill holes next spring,” says Moore.

Right now, VP of Exploration, David Browning, a former senior geologist with TerraCore is using hyperspectral imaging technology to analyze almost 40,000 feet of historical drill core, (9,000 ft / 2,750 meters of diamond drill core and 30,000 ft / 9,150 meters of reverse circulation) and chips samples to better understand the stratigraphy, alteration, mineral presence, mineral chemistry, and mineral grain size.  The results of the hyperspectral imagery will also be used as a comparative tool to infer any potential similarities to well-understood deposits in the district.

“We are fortunate to have access to the legacy core and chip samples, and we intend to gather as much information as possible from them. The work conducted on the property to date does not give us a fulsome understanding of the subsurface geology and structure; this analysis will build on that and serve well for future drilling campaigns,” says Browning.

Turquoise Canyon Project

Turquoise Soil Sampling

Exploration on the Turquoise Canyon Project has been limited historically. There have been some surface activities, but no historical drilling and the theory is the gold zones discovered in the Courtney Area of Toiyabe may extend onto the Turquoise property right next door. So as a starting point, a fixed-wing airborne hyperspectral survey of the property with extensions from the eastern and southern boundaries (including Toiyabe) was recently completed and will analyze a 69-square-kilometre area in and around the land package.  The survey should help find surface expressions of structures and surface alteration areas and help better understand the underlying structure of both properties.

One final project underway is a 17-kilometer induced polarization (IP) survey across six lines at the southwest portion of Turquoise Canyon and will complement two historical IP lines done by previous operators.

All the geological information gathered from the three programs will be collated and be used to identify potential targets for drilling in the first half of 2022.

Rule number two: Invest in management

The most important investment consideration after location for early-stage companies like Westward Gold is, who have you got on the team? In this case, CEO Raymond Harari, a merchant banker, and Colin Moore, President, a corporate finance professional and co-founder of Momentum Minerals, are at the helm of the Company. There’s also with some big hitters on the Board including Mark Monaghan, the founder and managing partner of Dalvay Capital Corp, David Kelly, a 30-year mineral exploration professional with a host of successes under his belt, Warren Beil, a corporate and securities lawyer and John Dewdney, the CEO of Crowsnest Advisory Service.

What should be of particular interest to investors is the four notable names on the technical advisory team assembled by Westward Gold. Dr. Chis Osterman, an exploration geologist with 40 years of experience in Nevada. Richard Bedell, best known as the co-founder of AuEx Ventures, credited for discovering the Long Canyon deposit later sold to Fronteer Gold and ultimately sold to Newmont Mining for $2.3 billion. Steven Koehler, a 30-year geologist with expertise in the Carlin and Battle Mountain – Eureka Trends in Nevada, has been directly involved in eleven Carlin-type gold discoveries, six of which have become producing mines. Notably, Mr. Koehler was Senior Geologist on the initial discovery team at nearby Cortez Hills, which was developed into a 10+ million-ounce gold deposit. Finally Dr. Alan Carter, the co-founder of both Peregrine Metals and Cuprum Resources, which were sold to Stillwater Mining and B&A Mineracao, respectively.

“We have put together a strong young management team with a solid mix of senior advisors with decades of experience finding mines. Many of our technical advisors wanted to be involved in this project. After seeing the technical reports and walking the ground, it’s led them to think there are a lot of similarities here to Barrick’s Cortez Hills deposit 10 kilometres away,” says Moore.

Systematic property-wide exploration takes time, but with these types of speculative projects, time and money go hand in hand.

Overall, the company’s in pretty good shape financially. The market cap is C$5.6 million with about C$1.1 million in the treasury (as of October 4, 2021).  There are 46.35 million shares outstanding, 5.2 million warrants priced at $0.25, and 4.2 million options, held mainly by management and advisors, so there’s still lots of room for raising equity without dilution, which Westward Gold will need to do to finance next year’s proposed exploration plan.

The shares in the company are held tightly, with Starcore at 8.8%, First Mining Gold at 2.6%, Keith Neumeyer 0.9% and the directors and insiders own 26.1%.  The remaining shares are held mostly by brokers and retail investors, and the trading volumes average between 40,000 and 400,000 shares per day, with highs reaching 730,000 shares on recent positive news flow.  This year (2021) the stock has traded at a high of C$0.33 and a low of C$0.04.

Long-term obligations

Westward Gold carries a light debt load. The company acquired the option to earn 100 percent ownership in the Toiyable Gold Project by issuing Starcore Mining International 4,100,000 common shares priced at $0.15 and a cash payment of US$150,000. Twenty-five percent of the shares were released three-months after the closing of the transaction, with another 25% every three months after that. In addition, Westward Gold is making an aggregate total payment to Minquest for a total of US$760,000 based on the following cash payment schedule.

  • US$100,000 on May 31ˢᵗ, 2021
  • US$120,000 on October 15ᵗʰ, 2021
  • US$140,000 on October 15ᵗʰ, 2022
  • US$400,000 on October 15ᵗʰ, 2023

Westward Gold expanded its Nevada footprint in July by acquiring Momentum Minerals and its option to earn a 100% ownership position in the Turquoise Canyon Property. The all share transaction saw approximately 19,817,400 IM Exploration shares issued to the shareholders of Momentum Minerals.

Last word

According to Moore, in an ideal world, next year would have Westward Gold with boots on the ground conducting a 2-phase drill program with 4-5000-metres of combined program reverse circulation and diamond drill holes on targets selected based on this year’s field activities.

“We will likely need to go back to the market In the coming months and would be looking for a small financing to complete next year’s planned drill campaign,” says Moore.

For speculative mineral exploration investors, as far and junior exploration companies, Westward Gold has location, eager management, experienced advisors, and lots of blue-sky potential going for it.

“I like to say that we’re Nevada’s best-kept secret. We’ve been heads down over the summer, building the team and executing on our exploration plan, so in a way, this fall will be our coming out party. I’m confident we’ve done the right work this year and I view Westward Gold as a growth story, and a value play right now,” says Moore.




Author: Resource World

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Energy & Critical Metals

Hyperion Metals increases Tennessee land position at Titan Project by 78%

Special report: The company’s land consolidation strategy has rapidly grown its landholdings by 419% from its initial 2,100-acre position in … Read…

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The company’s land consolidation strategy has rapidly grown its landholdings by 419% from its initial 2,100-acre position in September 2020.

Hyperion Metals has increased its land position at the Titan Critical Minerals Project by 78% in west Tennessee, USA by 4,794 acres to 10,905 acres, enabling further growth in the resource.

Since September 2020, Hyperion (ASX:HYM) has grown its landholding by 419% from its initial 2,100 acre position.

These new landholdings include mineral rights contiguous to the recently reported mineral resource estimate at the Titan Project of 431mt at 2.2% THM, which established the project as the largest titanium, zircon, and rare earth minerals project in the US.

Hyperion has also acquired land positions over greenfield locations up to 80km from the Titan Project, with planned exploration work on these properties to help guide future land consolidation.

‘Compelling combination of scale and grade’

HYM managing director and CEO Anastasios Arima said Titan has a “compelling combination of scale, grade, high value critical mineral products, low-cost inputs, world class infrastructure and location” and looks forward to rapidly advancing the critical mineral project.

“We are also highly appreciative of the deep support we have received from the local west Tennessee community that will help us to establish zero carbon, sustainable, critical material supply chains for advanced American industries,” he said.

Major automotive, battery and chemical operations near the Titan Project. Pic: Supplied.

The company says its landholdings benefit from significant cost advantages due to the location and proximity to low cost, world-class infrastructure. That’s expected to provide material cost and logistics advantages compared to projects located in more remote areas.

These factors have contributed to a huge amount of recent investment in Tennessee, highlighting the region as a leading jurisdiction for business, including by major auto manufacturers Ford and Volkswagen, world leading battery producers LG Chem and SK Innovation, as well as major chemical organisations and end users including Chemours.

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Hyperion Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post Hyperion Metals increases Tennessee land position at Titan Project by 78% appeared first on Stockhead.


Author: Special Report

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REZ levels up with maiden Granny Venn gold pour

Special Report: Richard Poole-led REZ has joined the ranks of producers with the maiden gold pour completed from its Granny … Read More
The post REZ…

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Richard Poole-led REZ has joined the ranks of producers with the maiden gold pour completed from its Granny Venn deposit.

Sydney-based Resources & Energy Group (ASX:REZ) has showed off the very first gold bullion produced from its Granny Venn mine, part of the Menzies project in Western Australia.

https://twitter.com/REZ_GOLD/status/1452785965076926468

The first toll treatment for the Granny Venn cut back has reached the midway mark, which resulted in the first gold pours for the project yesterday morning at the Lakewood mill.

A total of 22.84kg of gold doré was produced from the pour and is now being dispatched to the Perth Gold Mint for determination of assay for out-turn certification.

Resources and Energy Group
Plate 2 gold pour and CIL leach bar 14.88kg

Before REZ and BM Mining restarted mining at Granny Venn in early July this year, no mining activity had taken place in 23 years.

Around 17,000 tonnes of Granny Venn ore has been processed since the toll milling campaign began in mid-August.

REZ and BM Mining partnered up under a profit-sharing agreement back in March to exploit the economically recoverable remnant resources at the Menzies project.

BM Mining is part of the BM Geological Services (BMGS) group of companies that have been active in the mining industry in the Goldfields of Western Australia since 2003.

Executive Director Richard Poole said the maiden gold pour represented a pivotal moment in REZ’s growth as it transitioned from exploration to production.

“We would like to congratulate BM Mining, which has done an exceptional job in assisting us in reaching this production milestone and completing the maiden gold pour at the Lakewood mill.” – Executive Director Richard Poole  

“Since acquiring ground in the East Menzies Goldfield, the company has moved rapidly to identify and commercialise resources, whilst maintaining a vigorous exploration strategy which has delivered some outstanding results for gold at Gigante Grande, and for nickel at Springfield.”

REZ’s near-term goal is to mine 120,000 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 2.3 grams per tonne (g/t) to produce 8,800oz of gold.

At today’s high Aussie dollar gold price, that would fetch roughly $21.1m, nicely boosting REZ’s coffers to help fund its continued exploration.

The original Granny Venn open pit, which was developed by Money Mining and Paddington Gold in 1997-1998, was based on a pit design optimised at a gold price of $454/oz. The gold price is now 5x that.

And making it even more lucrative for REZ is the fact that under the profit-sharing deal with BM Mining, REZ didn’t have to shell out a dime to get Granny Venn back in operation, with BM Mining covering the $3m capital outlay required.

The initial production campaign is scheduled to be completed in late December.

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Resources & Energy Group, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post REZ levels up with maiden Granny Venn gold pour appeared first on Stockhead.


Author: Special Report

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Lithium darling Vulcan Energy calls a halt in the wake of J Capital short report

Activist short seller J Capital Research has put ASX market darling Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) in its cross hairs, calling the … Read More
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Activist short seller J Capital Research has put ASX market darling Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) in its cross hairs, calling the company a “wannabe lithium miner” which “based highly optimistic assumptions for (its) project on work done by small consultancies that were owned by management and acquired by Vulcan.”

Vulcan Energy, J Capital — game on

Vulcan owns the Zero Carbon Lithium Project in Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley, where it promises to produce both renewable electricity and lithium on a ‘carbon negative’ basis from deep geothermal wells.

Excitement around the project has seen Vulcan raise more than $300 million from investors this year alone, secure lithium offtake deals with Umicore and LG and bring Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart on board as a backer.

The company’s shares are up more than 6,000% since its management engineered a reverse takeover of minerals explorer Koppar Resources, having dropped in recent weeks from a high of more than $16 — 80x Vulcan’s 20c share price in early 2020.

That market exuberance transferred through to Kuniko (ASX:KNI), an arguably run of the mill Scandinavian base metals explorer spun out of Vulcan that mooned on listing in August.

Vulcan has also been the subject of some scepticism. While it maintains both its component parts of geothermal energy generation and direct lithium extraction are well understood and existing commercial technologies, no geothermal lithium project has entered commercial production to date.

“They claim the project is a twofer: profitable geothermal power and “green” lithium,” J Capital’s Tim Murray wrote in the note, titled ‘Vulcan: God of Empty Promises’.

“Neither assertion is likely to be true. ”

“Our research shows that the project may never actually get under way: the costs are higher than the company claims, output will be lower, the environmental impact is brutal enough that public outcry will block permits, as has happened before in the area, and the quality of the lithium resource is low.

“Many experts agree with us that this project is a non-starter.”

What was Vulcan’s response?

Pre-market indicators on Commsec suggested Vulcan, which was trading at $14.99 and a market valuation of $1.87 billion, was looking at 13% hit to its share price on the open this morning (now more like 10% according to Commsec).

It is now in a trading halt to prepare a detailed response to the J Capital Research note, after issuing a brief riposte this morning.

In it, Vulcan took aim at Murray’s background, as well as J Capital’s disclaimer that it plans to profit off shorting the stocks it reports on and does not hold an Australian Financial Services License.

“The report is authored by a Mr. Tim Murray, co-founder of J-Capital, who according to his own bio has lived in China for 19 years and has a degree in “Chinese Political Economy”,” Vulcan said.

“Based on his online profile, it is not apparent that Mr. Murray has any technical qualifications in geothermal energy or lithium extraction.”

“Mr. Murray’s report makes a large number of inaccurate statements and assertions regarding Vulcan and its Zero Carbon Lithium Project — in particular its Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) published over nine months ago.

“Given the warning on J Capital’s website, it is clear the report is merely an attempt to profit from ‘shorting’ Vulcan.”

Vulcan went on to trumpet the “globally unique experience in geothermal energy project development and direct lithium extraction” across its 80 person team, saying it was committed to delivering the project.

“We are highly motivated towards achieving our goals of decarbonising these industries, and will always happily dedicate time and effort to answer any questions about our Zero Carbon Lithium Project that come from stakeholders with a genuine interest in the Company and the Project,” Vulcan claimed.

A more detailed response to the claims made in the J Capital report appears to be on its way.

What did J Capital claim?

J Capital claimed in its report that several positive claims made by Vulcan in its January pre-feasibility study were inflated. The PFS gave the Zero Carbon Lithium Project a 2.8 billion Euro NPV.

Murray said “assumptions in the PFS that beautify the project are easily disproved.”

He claims Vulcan has likely overstated its flow rates and recoveries in the PFS, and ignored evidence of community opposition to geothermal energy projects in Germany and adjacent regions of France.

He also criticised the use of Vulcan co-founder Horst Kreuter’s consultancy Geo-T, later purchased by Vulcan, in its PFS.

Murray claimed Kreuter received 1.5m performance shares on the successful completion of the PFS, and resigned as a director on March 25.

Vulcan also acquired Gec-co, which had worked on the PFS, having appointed its CEO and owner Thorsten Weimann as COO of Vulcan.

“Gec-co and GeoT provided a key assumption for the PFS, for flow rate, that is unrealistic,” Murray claimed.

“The recovery rate for lithium is also unrealistic. Realistic assumptions would halve the output of lithium and kill the commercial viability of the project.”

Among a litany of other claims, J Capital says Vulcan has published an unrealistic production schedule and is likely to face significant public opposition, something MD Francis Wedin said was not likely in an interview with Stockhead in July, and that geothermal wells often have a high failure rate.

Although it released a statement this morning, Vulcan requested a trading halt “pending an announcement to the market in order to prepare a response to an online report.”

Vulcan Energy share price today:

 

The post Lithium darling Vulcan Energy calls a halt in the wake of J Capital short report appeared first on Stockhead.





Author: Josh Chiat

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