- The Quiet Summer of 2011, and Honest Work
- Respectable Showing For the Diamond Sector at PDAC 2011
- PDAC 2011 – this March
- Promising Diamond Find by Metalex in Northern Ontario, Plus Grades from Chidliak and Movement at Renard
- Peregrine Finds 1.15 Carat Diamond at Chidliak
- Stornoway Diamond Corp. Works to Expand Resources at Renard Project
- 2010 Toronto Resource Investment Conference
- Newsworthy Week For Canadian Diamond Companies
- Different Types of Diamonds at Fort à la Corne
- Kimberlites and Diamonds of Western Canada
5034 AAD Aappaluttoq Aber Diamonds ABX ACS AEM Ag Agnico-Eagle Mines Agrium Alberta Alto Ventures Amarillo Amaruk AMEC Amerigo Archangel Diamond Archon Minerals Ltd. Arctic Arctic Star Diamond ARG Argentina Argyle Ashton Mining Canada Attawapiskat ATV ATW ATW Venture Corp. Au Australia AUY Avalon Rare Metals Avanti Mining Corp. Aviat AVL Baffin Island Barrick Bathurst Beluga BHP BHP Billiton Birch Mountains Bling Blue Note Mining Blue Pearl Cluster BN BRIC Buenaventura Buffalo Head Hills Bunder Burnstone Ventures Inc. BVE BVN Canada Candente Candle Lake Canterra carbonatite Caribou Castillian CCE Chariot Resources CHD Chidliak Chile Chris Jennings Chuck Fipke Churchill Churchill craton CL CLF Cliffs Co Codelco Coloured Gemstones Commerce Resources Contact Diamond Corporation copper CTM Cu Cullinan DDN DeBeers Diamond Diamondex Diamonds Diamonds North Dianor Diavik Diopside dividend DNT DO-27 DOR DSP Eastmain Resources Ekati El Teniente emerald EnCana Corp. ER EuroZinc Exotic Metals FALC FGE FGT First Nickel Inc. Fiskenaesset FNI FNV Forest Gate Fort a la Corne Foxtrot Franco-Nevada G Gahcho Gahcho Kue Gem Diamonds geologic terms glossary gold Goldcorp GPR Great Panther Resources Great Panther Silver Greenland Grib Grizzly Discoveries Inc. Gualcamayo Guanajuato Guaniamo GZD Harry Winston Hawthorne Gold Hearne HGC Hibou HUD Hudson Resources Hunter Exploration HW HWD IME In Indicator Minerals indium interview iron Jericho Jericho Diamond Mine Jigsaw K K-2 Kahuna Kennady Lake Killiq kimberlite Kinross KWG Kyle Lake Lac De Gras Las Aguilas lead Leadbetter Lesotho Letseng Li limestone lithium Lockerby LUC Lucara Lukoil LUN Lundin Mining Lynas Lynx Mapimi Marifil Mines Ltd. market hype MAT Matamec Exploration Inc. Metalex Ventures Mexico Mexivada MFM Mina El Carmen Mo molybdenum Monument Diamond Project Motapa Mothae Mountain Province Diamonds MPV MTC MTP MTX Muskox Kimberlite natural gas Nb NEM Neuqen Basin New Gold Newmont New Nadina Diamonds Ltd. NGD Ni NI 43-101 nickel niobium NMC NNA Noront NOT Notch Nunaminerals Nunavut oil Orion Otish Pascua Llama Pb PC Gold Pd PDAC Pedernal Peregrine Peregrine Diamonds Petra Diamonds PGD PGE PGM PKL placer platinum Pogo Mine potash Potash Corp. pre-feasibility PST003 Pt Punta Colorado Qavvik Qilaq QUA Quadra Mining QUC Quebec Quebect Quest Rare Metals Quest Uranium rare earth elements Rare Element Resources Raytech Metals Corp. Re REE Renard RES Restigouche rhenium Rio Colorado Rio Narcea Rio Tinto RSC RTP ruby San Antonio San Juan San Roque sapphire Saskatchewan SGF Shear Diamonds Shear Minerals Shore Gold silver SL Snap Lake Sola Resource Corp Soltoro SOQUEM Inc. SRM Star Stewart Blusson stockhouse.com Stornoway Stornoway Diamonds Strange Lake Strateco Resources SWY Ta TAH Tahera tantalum TCK.A TCK.B TCM Teck Cominco Terrane Metals Tesla TGX Thompson Creek Metals Thor Lake TIF Tiffany & Co. Topia Topia Mine Toronto Resource Investment Conference Triex True North Gems TRX Tsa Da Glisza Tuktu Tuktu-1 Tunerq tungsten Tuzo Type IIa U uranium VAA Vaaldiam Mining Inc. VALE-INCO Veladero Venezuela Victor WDO Wesdome Western Troy Capital Resources WRY WWW International Diamond Consultants Ltd. Yamana Gold Inc. YRI zinc Zn
- July 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
Posted by David
This Sunday March 7th to Wednesday March 10th will see the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and its environs overrun with geologists, students, executives, reporters, salesmen, and the much-maligned investor relations personnel at this year’s PDAC International Convention.
While the trade show section is prohibitively expensive for most ($210-$710, seniors and students get in cheap), the other half of the show, the Investor’s Exchange is free. This sections is where all of the publicly traded mining companies have their booths. They range in size from independent prospectors, exploration-juniors (PC Gold, Diamonds North Resources, Terrane Metals), near-production juniors (Stornoway Diamond Corporation, Shore Gold), producing intermediates (Yamana Gold, New Gold, Harry Winston, Thompson Creek Metals), and large-caps (Rio Tinto, Goldcorp, Vale). For an idea of participating companies and the show layout, check out their Virtual PDAC Interactive Floorplan and Event Planner. Booth space in both sections of the event are completely sold out. I suppose the minerals industry hasn’t imploded after all.
As an independent investor, this is your chance to speak with company management face-to-face, handle the rocks (see the Core Shack exhibit), and meet other investor’s and geologists. Whether you are happy or displeased with a company’s performance, this is the event in the mining and minerals exploration industry. Though, from a student’s point of view, I routinely recommend not eating at the convention as the food is typically awful and overpriced in my experience. Check out the Royal York Hotel in the evenings for any after-hours festivities.
For diamond bugs, drop in on the Monday afternoon series of talks 2-4pm in room 716. Some true gems (pardon the pun) are there to spread their wisdom. Kimberlite petrologists, gemologists, and CEOs make an appearance.
Let me know how you did at the PDAC…
Posted by David
Now that commodities have recovered slightly and the stock indexes appear to be climbing out of the financial hole that was March 2009, investors – both institutional and individual, appear to be breathing some life into the mining juniors that have been so beaten down. The ones that remain solvent anyways.
On the diamond front, things are pretty quiet. Gold and silver, followed by base metals, have been attracting most of the press in regards to this resurgence. The return of capital to the diamond industry has been pretty subdued. However, this is not to say that is has been forgotten.
An example is with Harry Winston Diamond Corp. that has seen is share price double to about $7/share in the past couple of months when some smart investors thought it may not be a bad idea to hold share in one of the highest grade gem diamond mines in the world (their retail arm notwithstanding). Kinross had the right idea when it acquired a 19.9% stake in the company during the lows of March.
Motapa Diamonds Inc., a junior diamond explorer in Lesotho has also doubled since the New Year as it is in the process of being acquired by Lucara Diamond Corp. (TSX.V-LUC). Their Mothae project draws many parallels with that of the nearby Letseng mine, well-know for its relatively abundant diamonds of exceptional size and quality (about 20c).
Gearing Up For a Recovery
The Canadian exploration front has been even more low-key. The only significant new find has been Peregrine Diamond’s Chidliak property on southern Baffin Island as discussed in a previous article. Other juniors are conserving their cash and focusing on their best projects. Stornoway recently announced that it would commence further drilling on their Renard project to prove up their case for a mine there. The only other project they are looking at now is the Aviat kimberlite complex on the Melville Peninsula in Nunavut having gotten some promising number from samples taken there last year. Smaller companies are having to conduct private placements at still-low share prices in order to pay for critical work on their properties. Such is the case with Dianor Resources issuing shares at $0.10 to pay in part for a 50 000 t bulk sample at their diamond-bearing Leadbetter conglomerate property near Wawa, Ontario.
Stagnation of Diamond Prospecting in Canada
Comparatively speaking, other companies have not had it so rosy. Shear Minerals is looking at a dearth of funding for its main project: Churchill after its partner, Stornoway, decided not to participate in the recent exploration season in order to fund the abovementioned projects. Like many other companies that previously had diamonds as their sole focus, Diamonds North has been looking at the potential for metals on its properties in the Arctic after some samples this winter showed an unexpected scarcity of diamonds. To round things off, Shore Gold, a classic punching-bag/favourite for many diamond investors is still trying to figure out how to reconcile low grades with ~100m of glacial overburden atop their kimberlites in Saskatchewan. Although they did recover a 7.99 c diamond from a mini-bulk sample recently taken by large diameter drilling to add to their promising repertoire of large diamonds found in the Fort a la Corne cluster. A more thorough discussion of the Fort a la Corne kimberlites can be found here.
Choose Your Partners Wisely
A third set of companies with promising properties appear to be in limbo. Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. is still at loggerheads with partner De Beers over the timeline from the rich Gahcho Kue diamond deposit in the Northwest Territories in spite of an updated mineral resource estimate released in late May. DeBeers is having a headache of its own through its majority holding of thinly-traded Archangel Diamonds Corp. with continued legal struggles with Russian companies (chiefly LUKoil) over the massive Grib diamond deposit in northwest Russia. De Beers, like many other companies seeking to do business in Russia, is learning that when you get into bed with Ivan (particularly on his turf); he usually ends up on top.
Recovery is a long way away. Especially in the diamond sector as it was already lagging near the tail end of the resource bubble that popped last year. But as with panning for diamonds, the companies with little weight and substance will be washed away by the financial currents and the gems will be left behind.
Disclaimer: The author owns shares in HW, SWY, and SRM. This article is based on the personal opinions and experience of the author. Please conduct due diligence when investing. ©KIM Report 2009 www.kimreport.com
Posted by David
During this seemingly never-ending drop in equity prices, many analysts are recommending that now is the time to buy stocks as so many solid companies are trading at deep discounts. But what companies does one invest in currently? In terms of resource stocks, most are trading at 70-90% below their stock price last winter. Metal prices have yet to properly recover and most producers have either gone to great lengths in cutting production costs or have shut down their operations. Explorers have also strongly cut back on projects for 2009 or have gone into “hibernation mode” in an effort to preserve their remaining cash until this crisis abates and future private placements can be made.
There are some case examples for optimism however: Harry Winston recently reported net earnings of $1.17/share for Q3 compared to loss of $0.13/share in the previous year’s quarter. Retail jewellery sales offset decreased earnings from sales of rough diamonds due to decreased production resulting from grade variation in the main kimberlite pipe at the Diavik mine: A-154 South. Another case is the small-cap silver producer Great Panther Resources, mentioned in an earlier case study article, that has managed to reduce their operating costs from about $11/oz. to $7.40/oz. in the face of <$10/oz. silver (although we have seen a bit of recovery in the metals over the course of the week). However, news of this was later added to by the announcement of dilution in the form of a $2.7 million private placement. On the exploration end, Shear Minerals continues to discover more kimberlites with high diamond counts on its Churchill property. But, as with Great Panther, this was also followed by the announcement by Shear of a $1.18 million private placement and thus shareholders would see further dilution. In the meantime, Shear’s JV partner at Churchill, Stornoway Diamond Corp. has decided to focus the bulk of its resources into developing its Renard property into a mine. Although its Aviat project on the Melville Peninsula is a definite target for further exploration in 2009. True North Gems is preparing its Aappaluttoq ruby project in Greenland for mine permitting. This will allow them to sell the large stockpile of gems they have acquired from sampling over the past few years. Diamonds North, buoyed by high diamond counts from some of their kimberlites this year, is planning for a modest exploration program in 2009 and is currently working on finishing this year’s mini-bulk sampling program. There are many other companies like those aforementioned that are meeting or exceeding their stated goals. Positive news releases (e.g. this one), however, are promptly ignored by the market -or at least the retail investors.
An unavoidable fact is that the manufacturing and housing sectors are in a tight retraction worldwide. Commodities used in these fields: base metals, iron, aluminum, petroleum, and even some precious metals (silver, PGEs) will continue to see lessened demand as consumers disappear. Many analysts suggest that the US dollar is due for a significant collapse due to the variety of debts piled on America by the Bush government. Traditionally, this would cause investors to flock to precious metals (primarily gold) and other forms of solid investments (diamonds, other rare gemstones, etc.) in order to preserve their capital until the malaise has passed. This bodes well for companies mining and exploring for these commodities. Another silver lining to this recession is that low oil prices have given miners and explorers a break in operating costs via cheaper fuel.
The real challenge is in determining which of these companies will survive the downturn until they can start to benefit from increased demand. Factors to look for are a strong treasury, a demonstrated history of cutting costs, a willingness to open new revenue streams, and management ownership. Management must make serious decisions on whether to conserve cash and limit exploration activities or to spend to continue adding value to their properties. Often the latter involves offering new shares at the currently extremely low market prices in order to raise that cash as banks loans are not forthcoming.
Currently, there are excellent opportunities for investment in mining and exploration stocks. In particular, there is potential in the diamonds sector as it was already undervalued prior to the current crisis and diamond prices are more firm than that of other commodities. A final factor to consider is that tax-loss selling at the end of this year will result in further devaluation of many companies, adding to the allure for bargain hunters. For those who actually have cash left to invest at this point, a long term (3-5 yrs) outlook is mandatory. Those who do their homework and invest in a non-reactionary fashion will definitely benefit when this bear turns into a bull.
Disclaimer: The author holds 20 shares of HW, 4000 of SWY, 500 of SRM, 500 of GPR, and 1000 of TGX., most of which were bought at much higher prices than current. This article is based on the opinion and experience of the author. Please do your own due diligence when investing.
Posted by David
A rather vocal minority of Diamonds North (DDN) shareholders responded quite negatively to earlier criticisms of the company in regards to discussion on whether or not it was reading too much into rather high diamond counts from its Amaruk property.
Having attended the CEO’s (Mark Kolebaba) presentation to a sparse crowd at the 2008 Toronto Resource Investment Conference (Wake?) October 4th, it appears that DDN is not resting on its laurels and is attempting to make something of the encouraging results seen thus far from its arctic properties. Mr. Kolebaba gave a strong presentation outlining the importance of further diamond exploration in a market were the last significant deposit to start producing was Diavik in 2001 (no, Jericho does not count).
DDN’s main property, Amaruk, consists of ~2 million acres in Nunavut containing 29 kimberlite bodies. Many more geophysical targets remain to be drilled for kimberlite. Garnets from till samples in the region show strong G10 and G9 geochemical signatures (strong indicator minerals for peridotitic diamonds), with a minor eclogitic garnet component in terms of chromium and calcium contents.
One major criticism of the news release last March regarding the ~7 diamonds/kg result was that only 81.75 kg of rock from the Tuktu-1 kimberlite was sampled. Such a small sample is easily skewed to economic or uneconomic numbers by the addition or subtraction of a few carats, respectively. Mr. Kolebaba’s company is working to firm up the numbers for Amaruk by taking mini-bulk samples of 20 t from Tuktu-1, -2, and -3, and 15 t from the Qavvik body.
Larger sample sizes lower uncertainty and are especially important to diamond mining as even economic pipes have low absolute concentrations of diamond (well below 1% by weight). These samples have a higher chance of capturing economically viable macrodiamonds, rather than just the microdiamonds found do far. The mini-bulk sample is an important step as the Amaruk property moves from the reconnaissance stage towards the evaluation stage.
Interestingly, DDN’s share price has not been pounded down as badly as some other diamond juniors. It closed Friday at $0.40 down only 50% from its traditional support level at $0.80. Part of this may be due to loyal investor support, and the other part is that it has stumbled upon a potential base metals deposit also on the Amaruk property known as the Tunerq prospect. Rather than put it aside or option it out, DDN has decided to run with the prospect. Grades of up to 2.49 % Ni, 0.56% Cu, and 0.05% Co have been encountered in sulfides during drilling. An opportunistic and adaptable attitude by management should help keep the company’s head above water in a market that currently does not favour any sector, let alone diamonds.
Disclaimer: The author owns no shares of DDN. This article is based on the personal opinions and experience of the author. Please do your own due diligence when investing.
Posted by David
During the beating that has recently fallen upon the diamond exploration sector, good news, when it actually comes, is generally ignored. This is why I found it surprising when Diamonds North Resources (TSX.V-DDN) stock took off like a rocket when it reported a diamond count of approximately 7 diamonds/kg from a bulk sample. Stock price rose from $0.79 to $2.07 over two days in early January. The stock quickly corrected to about the $1.40 level the week after that. The gains had fully evaporated by March and the stock has now returned to the $0.80-$0.85 level.
The company stated that the 7 diamonds/kg value from their Tuktu-1 kimberlite in their Amaruk project is significant because just 1 diamond/kg is considered good for exploration results. This is a misleading statement. When you get down to the fundamentals, there are three compulsory values one must consider when evaluating a diamond deposit:
1) GRADE: in c/t or c/100t
2) VALUATION: average US$/c value of the stones from the deposit
3) TONNAGE: total amount of mine-able rock present
Diamond counts are nice to have; they tell you that the kimberlite is diamondiferous. After all, only 5% of all kimberlite bodies are diamondiferous. Keep in mind, however, that only about 5% of diamondiferous kimberlites are economic. Only two of the 550 diamonds from the 81.75 kg Tuktu-1 bulk sample are greater than 0.5 mm in diameter. Most of the diamonds recovered from the sample are microdiamonds. It is true, that microdiamond populations can be extrapolated to estimate macrodiamond grade. This method is used to estimate diamond content of a kimberlite without spending vast sums on huge bulk samples. Should the microdiamond counts be encouraging (as they seem to be at Tuktu-1) much larger bulk samples will follow with the aim of getting enough macrodiamonds for proper grade and valuation estimates.
For example, the Argyle mine in Western Australia has a diamond grade of around 7 c/t, almost twice that of Diavik (Both mines are operated by Rio Tinto plc.). The mine also has a rather high diamond count. Yet the average gem value is less than $25/c, and lower once you remove the rare pink diamonds found there from the population.
As a side issue, some diamonds from the Amaruk property (it is not indicated what sample(s) they come from) are pictured on the company website. A glaring omission on these images, one that any junior geology student would be penalized for, is the lack of a scale bar. From the images, the diamonds could be 0.1 mm or 1 cm across. Although, due to the lack of a scale, I suspect they are on the smaller side of the spectrum. This is also seen with other “instructional” diagrams on the website such as indicator mineral train maps that lack legends, scales, and so forth.
Another piece of mixed news from the Tuktu-1 samples is the types of microdiamonds recovered. Most were clear white octahedra. Assuming that any macrodiamonds would follow that morphology, this would indicate a high US$/c value for the stones. What is missing is any note in the report of fragments of larger stones that would indicate the presence of a significant macrodiamond population.
The main point in this article is that for a stock to more than double on mere diamond count data, however encouraging, is a good example of carefully worded (properly “hyped” if you will) news releases and emotional investing. Many diamond juniors, particularly those exploring in Canada, have found diamondiferous kimberlites. One would certainly hope that after a few years of diamond prospecting a company would have found some diamonds. However, the real question is whether the deposit is actually economic. Speculatively investing in diamond exploration stocks is often more dangerous than in other resource stocks as diamond deposits tend to be more complex. The pay-off for both company and investor can be significant, but this prospect is often paired with equally significant risk. Knowing what to look for in a project can decrease investment risk and helps differentiate hype from true ‘hidden gems’.
To those that sold off quickly at the $2.00 mark, congrats. Whether you just wanted to take a quick profit, or saw through the hype, it is the same in the end. Those who bought high or failed to sell, perhaps some more meaningful news in the future will produce lasting gains in the stock price.
Disclaimer: This article is based on the personal opion and experience of the author. The author does not hold stock in any of the companies mentioned. Please due you own due diligence when investing.