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DOING SOME DIGGING – Money flows to juniors

The year-end holidays have slowed the number of news items crossing this desk with one exceptionjunior companies a...


The year-end holidays have slowed the number of news items crossing this desk with one exceptionjunior companies are raising money hand-over-fist. High commodity prices have boosted interest in these enterprises. No doubt investors are taking a fling in the hopes of getting in on the next big discovery.

The list of such offerings, most of which involve flow-through shares, is long, and most amounts are small. Here’s a partial list of announcements for the first two days of this week.

ANGLO SWISS RESOURCES: $734,000 for working capital.
BALTIC RESOURCES: $638,750 for exploration in Ontario.
BAND-ORE RESOURCES: $210,000 for ongoing exploration.
CANADIAN ZINC CORP: $175,000 for exploration at the Prairie Creek silver project.
CLAUDE RESOURCES: $2.10 million for Canadian exploration expenses.
CONSOLIDATED PUMA MINERALS (a subsidiary of BEMA GOLD): $12.3 million for exploration on PGE properties in western Russia.
DYNACOR MINES: $2.26 million to pay for the acquisition of the Pasto Bueno base metal mine.
ESO URANIUM: $4.7 million for uranium exploration in the Athabasca Basin.
FIRST POINT MINERALS: $150,000 for exploration at Rio Luna gold project.
FORTUNA MINERALS: raised $1.0 million by selling shares to FORTUNA SILVER MINES.
MEGASTAR DEVELOPMENT: $119,000 for gold exploration in Quebec.
MURGOR RESOURCES: $1.39 million for exploration in eastern Canada.
PLATINEX: $598,000 for exploration drilling at the Big Trout Lake property.
SHEAR MINERALS: $1.45 million for diamond exploration in northern Canada.
SIGNET MINERALS: $327,005 for Canadian exploration.
SLAM EXPLORATION: $400,000 for drilling at the Nash Creek base metal project in New Brunswick.
THUNDERMIN RESOURCES: $168,000 and $399,970 for diamond drilling on its Rod-Linda-McKayseff massive sulphide property.
UC RESOURCES: $320,000 for exploration and working capital.
VALGOLD RESOURCES: $330,150 for exploration in Canada.
VULCAN MINERALS: $2.39 million for ongoing exploration and working capital.
WESTERN QUEBEC MINES: $310,000 through the sale of flow-through shares.
WOLFDEN RESOURCES: $21.6 million through the sale of a 9.82% interest to GOLDCORP.

One investor who has been on a spending spree recently is the founder and former head of Goldcorp, Rob McEwen. In August 2005, he became the largest shareholder of US GOLD when he bought a 33.3% interest for $4.0 million. He now holds positions as president, COO, chairman and a director of the company. McEwen is also buying a 23.5% interest in MINERA ANDES for $10 million. In December 2005 he became a director of TONE RESOURCES after he bought 2.5 million shares or 19.5% of the company; he purchased an 18.2% stake in NEVADA PACIFIC GOLD for $5.0 million; and began buying 1.25 million shares of CORAL GOLD at $0.30/each to become a director and executive chairman of the company. Since mid-2005 he has also bought up 17.1% of WHITE KNIGHT RESOURCES and 650,000 common shares of GUYANA GOLDFIELDS.

McEwen is going to be very busy, indeed, if he intends to duplicate his Goldcorp success with one or more of these companies.


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