Canadian Mining Journal

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MERGERS: Juniors to watch as M&A heats up



The Gold Report recently published a report by Thibault Lepouttre of Caesars Report in which the author speculates on several Canadian juniors that might become targets of acquisition as precious metals prices rise.

First on his list is Columbus Gold Corp. of Vancouver. Columbus owns the Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. Russian firm Nord Gold is earning a 50.1% stake in the advanced exploration project, but given Nord Gold’s propensity to buy out its partners (as was the case when it acquired High River Gold Mines in 2012), Nord Gold may become sole proprietor before long.

According to Lepouttre, Silver Standard Resources of Vancouver is mulling a joint venture agreement with Golden Arrow Resources, also based in Vancouver. The two have adjoining properties in Argentina. Evidently there is an agreement on the table whereby Silver Standard can earn a 75% stake in the Chinchillas silver-lead-zinc property belonging to Golden Arrow. Chinchillas would make an excellent source of ore for Silver Standard’s Pirquitas mill when the mine there is exhausted.

Southern Silver Exploration of Vancouver could be a fine acquisition for someone. It’s share price has increased tenfold since it announce that its Cerro Las Minitas silver-lead-zinc project is larger than originally believed. The current resource estimate is 113 million AgEq oz, and the company is aiming for 200 million oz. According the Lepouttre that target is conservative.

Vancouver’s Integra Gold Corp. continues to expand the mineralization at its Lamaque South gold property near Val d’Or, QC. The preliminary economic assessment is delayed as drilling results from the high grade No.4 Plug are incorporated into the resource estimate. A greater net present value could make Integra a sought-after target. Eldorado Gold Corp., also of Vancouver, already holds about 15% of Integra.

Lepouttre has a couple thoughts on uranium, too.

Another Vancouver company, NexGen Energy is making waves with the results of drilling at its Rook I project, where the Arrow uranium deposit is shaping up nicely. Located on the southwest rim of the Athabasca Basin, the company released a maiden resource estimate that included more than 200 million lb of uranium oxide.

Right next door to Rook I is the Patterson Lake South project belonging to Fission Uranium Corp. where the Triple R deposit contains 110 million lb of uranium oxide, and the resource is growing, perhaps to 150 million lb or more. Denison Mines mounted a failed takeover of Fission last year, but that doesn’t mean no one else is interested, especially if a big miner could gain control of both NexGen and Fission Uranium.

(N.B. – That’s not to say all these juniors are going to be gobbled up soon, but merely that there may be some interesting deals on the horizon. – M.S., editor)