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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cascabel - after a metric f-tonne of drilling

DISCLOSURE: I own shares in SolGold

Drill results have been spewing from Sol Gold this year and I've been too lazy to bother updating my model, but as people have been irritating me, I've decided to undertake the herculean task of bring in more than 135Km of DH data into some sort of semblance.

I've probably failed, but the 3D model looks pretty (link), and that is the only thing that is important.

Cop-out section: A lot of drill hole information (e.g. final hole lengths etc.) wasn't included in the press releases and on the maps accompanying the recent press releases there are so many holes.

like a orgy of rabid worms

You can see that there are holes over holes over holes, to such an extent that even Sol Gold aren't able to accurately label them!

The deposit with 2 holes with the same name

Basically, what I'm trying to say is, take my results with a pinch of salt, I've tried to do the best I can, but I don't know how accurate my model is, so beware.

Before I started compiling the data, I was concerned that the majority of the drilling was focusing on the high-grade core initially defined in 2017 and that all Sol Gold will have done is simply moved a chunk of the Inferred Resources into the Indicated category, which would be regarded as a bit of a failure after drilling so many holes and spending so much money.

In addition, when you pull apart the assays, we see time and time again, that in reality the >1% CuEq mineralization is restricted to quite narrow zones, surrounded by sub-economic (<1%CuEq) mineralization.

Back in January (link) I updated my original model to try and replicate the official SRK resources, and here is my latest version that (tries and probably fails) incorporates as much of the data as possible.

I've been a bit handicapped by the fact that Sol Gold haven't released assays for every hole drilled, just summary results from the best ones.

Here it is:

Table from January 2018 post

The changes are moderate:

  • Specific Gravity - 2.77, taken from the technical report - 
  • Global resources (>0.3% CuEQ) increased by ~37%
  • High-grade resources (>0.9% CuEq) increased by just 12%
Overall, a bit disappointing.

Just a quick question for people in the mining bizz, this paragraph caught my eye in the Alpala technical report

US$5M is a lot for a PEA, isn't it?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Silver Viper - forked tongue stuck in your mouth?

Hello Silver Viper minerals, how did the drilling go at Clemente?

You mobilized rigs back in October 2017 (link), started the 2000m program a couple of weeks later (link), and since then absolutely nothing, nada, zilch.

ohhh, sorry, my mistake, you've dropped the property (link), were the results that bad? Pro-tip - you probably want to include that PR on the website.

I wonder if we'll see the same with the drilling at La Virginia? You've told us that you have mobilized the rigs (link) a couple of weeks ago, and so we should be having a "drilling has started" PR sometime next week...or are they already turning?.

BTW, if you do get something interesting, please don't repeat your mistake with Orex Minerals and forget to raise money when the share price was high....

Bitch raising money at $0.08

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sokoman - thar be gold en those swamps

Sokoman have been releasing some interesting results from their Moosehead project (link and link) , the first set released in July managed to catch some money from Eric Sprott (link), but the good news is, he's still in the money.

However, whne you look at the data, you will notice:

  1. There has been a crap load (~113 holes) of drilling on this project
    • 7 holes by Teck in 1999
    • 91 holes by Agnico from 2001 to 2004
    • At least 15 holes by Sokoman
  2. Virtually all of Sokoman's holes are exploring the West Trend, the area that didn't give us the thick high-grade intercept that send the share price soaring.

lots and lots of drilling, not all of it new..

So 12 of the 13 holes on this map (holes 14 and 15 aren't shown on the map accompanying the PR  for some reason), are exploring the very well drilled West Trend, and just one, little, lonely hole, MH-18-01 has been drilled to explore the East Trend.

I've tried to compile as much information as possible into Leapfrog Geo, and here is my pathetic attempt here (link). Please note that it is quite low quality, I had to guess the dip of the drill-holes (I assumed -60 for historic holes and -45 for the 2018 DH, unless there was evidence on plan maps and sections) and their hole lengths. So it is inaccurate, but gives a general feel.

So, by far, hole MH-18-01 has easily been best hole drilled this year, and one of the best intercepts on the project, but why haven't there been more holes drilled around it? If the hole naming convention is logical, it was the first hole drill on the property, hit a high-grade structure and since then, Sokoman haven't drilled a single hole around it to see what it is doing. Instead, they drilling lots of holes into an area that has received considerable drilling before. Why?

  1. All of the historic core as been lost and they are doing confirmation drilling?
  2. Don't want to ruin a good story with the truth machine? 

I'm going to give the the benefit of the doubt, in none of the presentations (including several from Altius) do they show any pictures of old core, so we have to assume that it doesn't exist.

I've tried to compile as much data as I can from the various presentations. We can see that the West Trend is very well drilled (even before the recent drilling) and most of the although high-grade and generally very narrow, and furthermore, most of the high-grade intercepts have had a plethora of holes drilled around them to see what the mineralization is doing. As we haven't been given any assays form these holes, I'm going to assume that they didn't hit anything good (i.e. >1 g/t Au).

Here is hole  MH-18-01, a wide bonanza zone, here is a photo:

(Hard)core porn
And an annotated version:

Oh no, virtually all of the gold is restricted to that quartzy-veiny bit (the white stuff) in the middle, with the surrounding boring grey rock rock with just a smidge of gold. So a big round of applause to Sokoman for that lovely example of grade smearing, however they could have done:

  • 385.85m grading 1.35 g/t Au

I know the hole only went to 250m, but you can't BS-stats.

Why don’t we look at the other intercepts? Please note, I don’t have any info for the pre-2018 drilling, so the section shows approximately where the holes were drilled, but no results.

Section 1: Holes MH-18-02, 03, 12 and 09 (looking East – North to the left)

We see narrow high-grade mineralization, with a minor >1 g/t Au halo. It was a shame that hole 09 was lost before reaching target depth as these holes appear to have defined a gold zone over for 60m down dip. Nothing out of this world, but does show a narrow gold bearing structure with local high-grade mineralization.

Section 02: Holes MH-08, 10 and 13

Similar story, narrow high-grade with a minor ~1 g/t Au halo.

Section 03: Historical drilling

Some very high-grade hits (>400 g/t Au), but again very narrow, and it look like (even though I don’t have the data), that the follow-up holes were not able to find the continuation of mineralization. For me, the data is telling us that at Moosehead, the gold is restricted to narrow, 0.1-1.5m wide quartz veins with a minor Au halo. Unless the ‘new discover’ zone is very different, the mineralization looks too narrow and inconsistent to suggest that there is a large, high-grade deposit to be found at Moosehead.

The fact that >100 holes have been drilled on the project without defining any resources or discovering any zones of consistent mineralization indicates that they probably don’t exist.  My gut feel is that the mineralization in the East and West zones consist of narrow high-grade intervals that will be smeared out in the PRs to make them look wider and better than what they really are.
For Sokoman to make a go of it, they need to drill some more holes in the East Zone to follow-up on hole MH-18-01 and start drilling some of the other structures/anomalies so that they can keep the market happy with new discoveries.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Southern Silver - the bermuda triangle strikes again

There seems to be a common theme among Mexican exploration companies to start drilling and then to 'forget' the results.

Defiance have been excellent, Minaurum are jealously copying their example, and now Southern Silver have decided to join the cool gang and invoking the spirit of Donald Judd, and presenting results with the goal to rid them of the promotionalist's reliance on the referential results from drilling and presenting news in pieces that are free from emotion.

Either that, or the results have been shite..

With Southern Silver
  • May 14th (link) - crews mobilized to drill Pene el Diminuto - Hazaah
  •  July 19th (link) - second rig on site to drill the epithermal targets at CLM west.
 I'm not concerned by the CLM west drilling, it is testing a conceptual idea, the drilling at CLM was meant to hit mineralization along strike from the current resource and hit it close to surface, but you would have expected them to have hit something in the last 3 months....

The tequila curse strikes again....

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Advance Gold - some drill results!!!

Drill results are like buses, you wait for ages, then 2 come along.....(link and link)

I was getting scared, maybe Mexico has become the Bermuda triangle of drill-results, with gangs of chihuahuas running around eating them up...

However, I want to direct this post to ABL and Julio Pinto Linares, PGeol. Wow, what a load of howlers you've made, let's go through them:
  • You couldn't quite manage to add up the sample thicknesses from hole AGT-01
    • Original - 3m @ 9.4 g/t Au
    • Updated - 1.7m @ 9.46 g/t Au (link)
  •  You didn't manage to send all of the vein for assaying (link)
  • If you are going to release all the assays from you drill program, a good pro-tip is - try to include the over-limit assay results, unless you want to maintain the audience's suspense (is it 101 g/t Ag or 10000000000000000001 g/t Ag?!?!?!?!?!)

but the good news is, you're using a certified, internationally recognized assay lab, I tip my hat to you...

Hey, what's multiple cock-ups between friends....

Fortunately, the great man himself, on gave us this gem...


Grade isn't important in the oxide zone for these veins? So those old-timers were just moving rusty rock around Central Mexico for fun? Well, it kept them out of the bean fields....

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Garibaldi - Nickel Mountain, the quest to find Voisey's Bay 2

Now that the black flies, mosquitoes and other nasty biting monsters of the Canadian Arctic have defrosted, some disturbed by the drilling that has been going on for the last 7 weeks at Nickel mountain (link),  but apart from that, we haven't heard anything else.

This would represent a subtle change from last year, when they were rushing out press releases, some just a week after drilling commenced (link and link) telling us about the massive, massive sulfide hits. Why no promo PR's now? 

You told us back at the start of June that drilling had commenced with 2 rigs, and by now, assuming they haven't broken down, you should have drilled 3000-3500m* by now.

(*my assumption is based on the drilling rates for drill-hole EL-17-01, where the hole was drilled to a depth of 332m over 8 days (24 Aug 2017 to 1st Sept 217)).

So no news on massive intercepts, I mean, the initial holes were going to focus on defining the Discovery zone and "systematically step out from EL-17-14, testing for nickel-copper-rich magmatic sulphide mineralization to the south where promising conductive targets have been defined by geophysical surveys".

I'm guessing it must have been the timing of the financing......

Monday, July 23, 2018

AntaKori update

A quick Anta Kori update from the latest round of drilling (link) from a couple of weeks ago. The results were good, with holes AK10 and 13 hitting thick zones of copper and gold mineralization.

Holes 11 and 12 were relatively poor, but if we look at the drilling in a bit more detail, we can see that there is a geological reason for this.

Let us go through each hole.


This hits lots of mineralization, all nicely skarn mineralization and appear to be sitting above/over an interpreted porphyry. It is strange that historic holes SDH-033 didn't hit anything, but where it entered the limestone we can see that it appears to have intersected some post mineral intrusive and southern legacy were focusing on the high-sulfidation mineralization.


This hole was a bit crap, but really it was unlucky, it managed to drill a load of young, post mineral (?) volcanics that have stoped out (removed) the skarn and HS mineralization The narrow intervals could be fragments of skarn (xenoliths) in the volcanics.


On the surface, another poor hole, but it didn't intersect the limestone that hosted the great zone intersected by hole AK-18-009 and terminated in the upper volcanics hosting the high-sulfidation mineralization. But if you look at this section, we have holes AK14 and 17 and these should get some juicy hits


Almost the twin of hole AK10. Best grades were in the HS zone near surface, and in the underlying limestone the hole hit a well mineralized (>0.5% CuEq) skarn zone.

You can get the LF viewer file from here (link)

On the plan map and sections we have are shown the location, direction and inclination for some more holes, here are my predictions:

  • AK14 - this is a steeper hole drilled from the same platform as hole 12. I'm guessing that it will hit ~300m @ >1% CuEq starting from ~240m depth.
  • AK15 - drilled 100m east from hole AK10. My guess is that it'll get 160m @ >1.0% Cu Eq from 150m depth (Skarn mineralization), before drilling into the underlying fine grained sediemnts which will contain ~0.5% CuEq from 320-400m depth.
  • AK16 - almost vertical hole being drilled from the same collar as AK13. I'm guessing that it will return similar grades to hole AK2 (330m @ 0.66% CuEq)
  • AK17 - also drilled from the AK12 pad, it should hit a nice interval of >1% CuEq from 150 to 520m
  • AK18 - Hole drilled way out to the east exploring the near-surface high-grade (HS) hits in holes SRC-007, SDH-044. This hole could be an interesting one to watch, as if they find decent skarn mineralization over east, then there is potential for decent resource expansion.
  • AK19 - main target appears to be the near-surface HS mineralization. The majority of this hole appears not to be on the Regulus concession
  • AK20 - HS exploration hole to the north of the deposit, exploring the high-grade HS mineralization intersected in holes SDH-005 and 010. It appears that the majority of the hole will be outside the Regulus concessions.
So, it should be an interesting couple of months..

Monday, July 9, 2018

Pretium - at last....

Brucejack's Q2 production figures were released today (link), and from the nearly >C$2.50 share price increase over the last month (including 13% today) you can tell that the market was happy, as  for the first time, the mine has expectations!

At last the head grade is approaching the reserve grade!
Let us break down the figures.

Au production

Blue = actual; red = planned (PEA); Green - difference

They were slightly under (3,300 ounces) from the Planned production figure outlined in the PEA, but a 3% difference isn't a huge amount for a nuggety gold deposit.

Au Head-grades

A huge change
Slightly under (14.9 vs 15.4), but a huge turnaround from the previous quarter.


Still great!

Mill Throughput - quarterly

Slight dip, probably due to a planned shutdown for maintenance (probably 3 days in total).

Mill throughput - daily

We can see a dip in Q2, the mill was operating ~100 tonnes below capacity (2604 tpd vs 2700 tpd).

Now the hard part - they have to maintain it, as they can't use the 'ramping-up' excuse anymore if they don't meet their projected production figures.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Altar - It's all about that As

Altar project, has a problem...

Come on babe, I'm about to put it down
And all that As
Go ahead and lock the door, you're about to work it out
And all that As
Won't you lead me to your whoopee spot?
Oh it don't make no sense all of that As you got
'Cause I done called it too that you see booty flu
With all that As

Oh baby all that As

Whip your hair in those stiletto heels
And all that As
I'm about to dress you up in hundred dollar bills
And all that As
Driving me crazy baby don't you pump the brakes
You better call the cops, I'm about to steal the cakes
On all the evidence they got my fingerprints
On all that As

Oh baby all that As

Or visually,
Source: 2013 technical report - Stillwater mining
This shows that there is an ~inverse ratio between As and Cu. So, high-As in the low grade (<0.4% Cu) and lowish As in the high-grade (.0.5%) core. However, we still see that concentrates produced by Altar will probably contain at least 1% As.

Why is this a problem? Penalties - here is a nice article for a few years back from International Mining (link). Highlights:

  • China Imposes a limit of 0.5% As on imported base metal concentrates
  • Few smelters will treat >1% As and will charge a penalty to do so (link)

It's all about that As

Monday, July 2, 2018

Siesta time GMV?

Darn, those technical reports must be hard, look at poor GMV Minerals, requiring an additional 2-3 weeks to file a technical report (link).

Shame that was >2 months ago.....

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Nuggety Gold deposits

As we are drawing to the end of Q2 (or H1) for 2018 and we are all looking forward to Pretium's Q2 production figures from Brucejack, I've decided to do some edumacation.

Here is a nice article on evaluating high-nugget effect gold deposits like Brucejack, Pilbara etc. It is packed full of geo-porn (too explicit to reproduce here), so open the Kleenex, get something to lubricate your parts and have a gander.

Here is the link

Monday, June 18, 2018

Defiance Anomalies

Well feck my arse, Defiance have found some geofizz anomalies at San Acacio (link). Would these be the same as the huge silver anomalies that were announced in March?

You know, the ones where you still, after >7 months, haven't managed to release any results. I ahve to say, your property must be amazing, that none,not a single one of the holes drilled as part of your 5000m program that commenced in November of last year, hit a single interval that contained a moderate amount of silver. How shite is San Acacio?

Will we ever see these results, or was this a quick PR to hide Roger's resignation that was kindly squeezed in at the bottom of the PR?

Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on the AERI geophysical method, Defiance states:

Geophysicists, joining an dole line somewhere near you.

the exploration Silver Bullet, a a perfect, all singing and all dancing geophysical technique. However, I'm a bit skeptical, probably due to my lack of knowledge in the method, and I haven;t been able to fund much online, nothing about its "proof-of-concept testing resulting in multiple new discoveries in North America". So if anyone has some info, I would love to have a look.

Let's have a look at this anomaly..

I like the fact that only a small part of the survey area covers the resource

This survey area is different to the other, a dodgy drawing.

I love the way that you can't really relate the geofizz plan maps or sections to anything else. We can see that the Copper zone anomaly is 200-300m wide.

Defiance tell us that the anomaly compares favorable with geophysical images from the Cozamin Mine operated by Crapstone, so why don;t we compare the anomaly to a long section from Cozamin.

that massive triangle to the left.
huge isn't it....

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Maple Syrup....


uh.....uh....uh.....again...again....mooooree....come on, don't stop...oh....oh...YES... YES...YES...uuuuhhhhh...uuuhhh...ohhhhh...aaaarrghhh

I just love spreading maple syrup on my toast, smearing it to cover all corners so that with every bite I get that sweet golden taste between my lips.

but the other thing that is great to smear are gold assays....

it only took the gold from one Junior Exploco PR to kill this woman....

Maple gold recently reported some excellent results from Douay (link), but again we see that the BS-is strong with this one....

Wow, massive gold zones....

thick intercepts.....

Here is a leapfrog view on the holes in this PR (link), I'm hoping to have time to compile more data from it...

Here are the back calculated grades, removing the impact of the high-grade intervals.

aaaaand now they're gone

As we can see that most of the gold is found in a narrow high-grade zone and the majority (a small 137.2m) grades a lot less than 1 g/t Au.....

and here it is visually....

lots of nothing...

So all the gold disappears,  imagine what would happen if a handsome, chiseled, well-groomed newsletter writer had expressed some concerns with these results.......

Friday, June 8, 2018

Aguinaga - initial results.


I apologize, in my last post on Aguinaga I made a prediction that the initial drilling would intersect:

Unfortunately, I don't think the results will be very special, I'm guessing that they come in around the 0.4-0.6% CuEq level.


The core photos from hole 01 look a bit anemic. They look similar to the low grade holes at Alpala, that typically ran around 0.5% CuEq (typically 0.3% Cu and 0.1-0.2 g/t Au)

This is what we got:

I'm sorry to inform you that I was correct, and I'm as concerned as you all are about this accidental correctness. I promise that it won't happen again.

I was disappointed that they didn't break down the results, or tell us how much the CuEq value came from copper and gold.

However, in the March PR (link) we were told:

So what happened to the other 100+m of strong mineralization? Is Aguinaga suffering from Cordoba syndrome - the copper mineralization was in the other half of the core that didn't get sent to the lab.

I've updated the Leapfrog View for Aguinaga (link). I've had to estimate the down-hole depth to mineralization as the "from" and "to" information wasn't included in the PR.

A quick exploration comment, the footprint of the Aguinaga porphyry looks relatively small, I'm concerned that a few of the proposed holes (including hole 3 and 4 that are currently underway) may miss it.

Will all the holes hit the target?

TL:DR version - Aguinaga isn't looking very special and the lack of disclosure on the results is really irritating. I would like to see a proper table showing a proper break-down of results.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Ermitaño - a low key resource

We got a rather low-key PR from Evrim about the maiden resource at Ermitaño (link), which was surprising as there have been several PRs with some very good drill results recently (link).

Realistic metal prices....not!
This equates to approx. 3.5Mt @ 4.0 g/t Au and 68 g/t Ag or 4.93 g/t AuEq (358 g/t AgEq), which represents 95% of all new inferred resources found by First Majestic.

It looks very interesting, especially for an initial resource. However, there isn't  much information on the project, all we get is a simple plan map...

and a long section..

Low grade zones always are on a diet, whereas high-grade area (like small dogs) expand to fill as much space as possible...
These holes are very widely spaced (>100m), and have First Majestic inflated the tonnages by using a very big search radius (i.e. using all of the drill-hole data no matter how far apart they are)?

Here is a Leapfrog view of the data (link). I had to use trigonometry to estimate the hole lengths and dips, and so they will be a bit out.

My long section (looking north - east to the right). Showing DH intercepts and 50m, 100m and 200m radius buffers.
Drill-hole spacing to define a resource varies by the deposit style and metal distribution, so here are some examples for similar (Epithermal) deposits to see what they used for inferred resources:

La Guitarra - First Majestic

Los Gatos (Sunshine Precious Metals)

San Jose (Quintana Resources)

San Martin (First Majestic)

Santa Elena (First Majestic)

We can see that there are many different criteria, but in general we get:

  • Indicated Resources ~50m sample/drill-hole spacing
  • Inferred Resources >50m (but anything massively over 100m is unrealistic).

So First Majestic do seem to be pushing the limits for the resources limits at Ermitaño, nothing major, but a hole drilled between 06 and 10 would be a good idea to increase confidence, especially in the western area where the few, high-grade holes are >100m apart.

The fact that First majestic plan to drill 18,000m at Ermitano is very positive, it shows that they are confident in finding new zones and expanding on the known resources, but it would be nice to have a bit more information (e.g. where the heck is the Aitana vein located) showing targets and proposed exploration areas.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Platosa - Mexico's highest cost silver mine

huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugnn Platosa mmm mmmm MMMMMmmmm

Halve production and double costs
You could run out of lube reading through the drill results press releases (linklinklink, and link) and Kleenex while reading the PEA.

even the exchange rate works in their favour

An IRR of just 118% with some very conservative metal prices. This mine must make money hand over fist. So why have Brendan and his team raised ~C$41.6M since Q3, 2015?

  • C$6.6M in Nov 2015
  • C$2M in Osisko (Oban) shares for the DeSantis Property
  • C$3M in march 2016 from Sprott
  • C$15.2M in July 2016
  • C$14.8M in Sept 2017
According to the PEA, this mine should produce an embarrassing amount of money?

Let us check that visually, this is just a quick graph showing cumulative net profits or loss compared to cumulative funds raised.

Ohh, so they've actually made a cumulative loss of ~C$24M since mid-2015, with just 1 quarter (Q4, 2017) out of the past 11 where they have made a profit, and even after the "turnaround"

It is nice to see another successful mining company with a mine matching its PEA.

What is cool is, their current working capital is ~C$14.5M, which means that they have already started to chip away at the C$14.8M they raised last year, so hopefully with the Hecla lease they'll actually make some money before they have to raise some more.....