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SOURCE: ProspectingJournal.com – At this week’s European Union summit, the reaction upon Germany’s rejecting further injections into the region’s current bailout were swift, as European stocks tumbled at the mere mention of holding back.

This pull back plus recent North American downswings have left investors with a field of bargains to choose from in the aftermath. But among the sour news, those embedded in the metals sector are seeing hopeful signs on the horizon, with commodities like copper once again strengthening, and the fact that more stimulus has yet to hit the market from the European central banks in question. It’s at these low points that a strong move can emerge.

While increases in the money supply typically lead to increases in metal prices, it’s worthwhile to look at North American entities that stand to gain from operating in the European countries with depreciating economies. Operating costs become relatively lower, and opportunities to expand land positions open up.

One can look at a company like European Goldfields [EGU – TSX], which benefited overnight with an increase in share price from $9.96 to $12.34 today. Finance squeezes such as this benefit the slightly larger players, as banks become more hesitant to loan to small operations, but continue to lend to the big boys. With this comes an environment that breeds increased M&A.

An easy example of this would be yesterday’s acquisition of Quadra FNX by Polish copper miner KGHM for $3 billion. All it took for European Goldfields to start grabbing headlines in the aftermath was to announce that it too has been receiving approaches. With land positions in Greece, Romania and southeast Europe, EGU looks quite attractive when properties appear on an overlay on a map.

Shifting one’s gaze to another portion of the map in southeast Europe sits another Canadian-based player, a junior, with near-term production possibilities and funding already in place. Tirex Resources [TXX – TSX.V] and its significant land package in Albania has already attracted not only a billion dollar private company set to bring the company to production, but an incredibly rare vote of confidence from the European Bank for Resource Development (EBRD), in the form of funding; a first for any mineral exploration outfit.

Enjoying the spoils of first-mover status, Tirex’s land position holds an abundance of prior mines and is set for a modern-day overhaul. Led by a management team with a track record of wealth creation in these types of geological settings, Tirex is set for the near term with substantial cash flow from copper-gold production that’s been targeted.

On top of its production that’s set to commence, Tirex has announced plans to continue exploration targeting of world-class discoveries upon production startup. With huge backers for a small company like the $20 billion EBRD, and an enhanced climate for M&A, Tirex could be another entity ready to benefit from the current staggering going on at the European Summit.

But for companies like Tirex and European Goldfields, the gains from steady inclines of base metals like copper (which continues to steadily recuperate from the historic drop from $4 to $3 per pound) should increase cash flows for further growth. What will eventually happen to Europe in the fallout from these stalled stimulus talks is up for grabs, as headlines change with the tide. But then again, what will happen for companies with cash in hand in the land of depressed value is a much easier outcome to forecast.

G. Joel Chury
ProspectingJournal.com

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Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc., which owns the ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article. Tirex Resources is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.



Peru: An Emerging Power in the Global Gold Hunt

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SOURCE:  ProspectingJournal.com— Peru has a rich precious metals history. This diverse Andean nation, once a victim of Spanish looting, is now the largest silver producer in the world, the second largest copper and zinc producer and the sixth largest gold producer. The richness of its mineral deposits stems from a dramatic landscape consisting of soaring mountains, winding valleys, stark deserts, dark jungles and lonely coastlines. More than 7% of global mining exploration occurs on this unforgiving terrain, where historical production collides with modern geological technology. The Peruvian mining industry represents about 60% of the country’s export earnings.  Earnings from mining are expected to grow 6% annually through 2011-13.

But with a landscape as diverse as this, miners have to pick and choose locations carefully.

Ancash & Cajamarca Regions

Two regions which should be on the radar of eager gold and silver investors are the Ancash and Cajamarca in northern Peru. Both Ancash’s and Cajamarcas’ economies are largely made up of gold, silver, copper and zinc mining.

Gold and silver production and exploration in these regions are a clear example of the capital and muscle needed to survive in the Peruvian Andes. This high-elevation, mineral rich area, which has been on the list of eager juniors for decades, currently persists mainly on the activity of the world’s two biggest gold miners:

 

Minera Yanacocha – Newmont Mining

Newmont Mining’s [NMC – TSX] legendary Yanacocha mine is a joint-venture project with Peruvian Company Buenaventura and the International Finance Corporation, which own 43.65% and 5%, respectively. Yanacocha is the largest gold mine in Latin America and is not only considered to be the second largest gold mine in the world, but also one of the most profitable.

The Yanacocha consists of three active open pits, with production having exceeded 26 million ounces (US$7 billion) since the mine opened in 1993. Located only 48 kilometres from city of Cajamarca, the mine produced 1.5 million ounces in 2010 and has reported 5 million ounces of gold reserves as of December 2010.

Considering Newmont’s recent stock rocketing in the past six months, buoyed by positive third-quarter results and ongoing production and exploration around the globe, the Company’s stock price may scare away smaller investors. Then again, the recent dip below $70 could also be seen as a gift by many who believe gold is about to go parabolic in the face of worldwide currency destruction.

Pierina - Barrick Gold

 Not to be outdone by its competitor, the world’s largest gold producer, Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX – TSX], has two key mines in the regions: Alto Chicama & Pierina. Of the two, the Pierina’s mine life has recently been extended to the end of 2014 due to the rising gold price and increased interest in Peru’s gold potential. An open-pit operation, Pierina produced 191,000 ounces of gold at $434 per ounce in 2010 and recorded proven and probable mineral reserves as of December of 791,000 ounces of gold. Considering that Barrick recently reported record net earnings of 45% to CAD $1.37 billion for the 3rd quarter, investors should look for future exploration and increased production in the Ancash region.

Much like Newmont, investors may hesitate on following such a high-priced stock. But judging from Barrick’s recent price volatility, a result of the volatile yet upward-moving gold price, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the stock on the dips.

Yanamina Gold Project – Coronet Metals

For those with shallower pockets and hopes for higher gains, Coronet Metals [CRF – TSX.V] offers an alternative to the nearby majors that may add another producing mine to the Ancash region. A junior gold exploration and development company, Coronet is presently developing its Yanamina Gold project, which Coronet recently purchased from Latin Gold Limited. Yanamina is an advanced-stage project with an initial inferred and indicated resource of approximately 286,000 ounces of gold grading between 1.6 and 2.0 grams/tonne and 1,400,000 ounces of silver grading on average of 8 grams/tonne.

The project represents an ideal opportunity to catch the attention of the two previously mentioned majors, as it is an open pit, heap leach gold operation. Exploration on the area has revealed a low sulphidation epithermal Au-Ag deposit, with indicated ounces mentioned above, and substantial upside potential. Coronet reports good existing infrastructure in the region, along with an initial mine life estimate of 8+ years.

On top of the development of the Yanamina project, Coronet has also recently announced an agreement to evaluate re-processing up to 950,000 of gold tailings in Peru. The project is located 16 km below the Yanamina project and will give Coronet the opportunity to demonstrate its adherence to corporate social responsibility and best practices in the area. Mr Joel Dumaresq of Coronet says, “ This low-capital project could move Coronet into gold and silver production with the objective of generating sufficient free cash flow to cover the Company’s overhead. The contractors are already permitted and completion of due diligence is targeted for Q1, 2012.”

2011 And Beyond

As the Yanamina gold project and the re-processing of gold tailings unfold, expect to hear a growing buzz from the Ancash region.

As the global gold hunt heats up in the face of financial calamity, well-placed juniors such as Coronet may deliver significant rewards to savvy investors.

Chris Devauld
Prospecting Journal

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Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc., which owns the ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article. Coronet Metals is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.


High Gold Price Brings Miners to Nicaragua

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COMMENTARYProspectingJournal.com—For those who read our previous article on Nicaragua, it’s a predictable surprise that, thanks to foreign investment, this tiny nation has reported an economic surge for 2011. And having recently won yet another election, President Daniel Ortega has promised to create a more accepting environment for miners. His continued role in the country thus comes as a relief, as Nicaragua’s role in the modern gold rush has likely just begun.

As we noted back in June, mining development in Nicaragua is well underway, with the junior, mid-tier and senior companies all competing for a slice of the country’s mining-friendly jurisdiction along the Central American Gold Belt. This legendary “belt,” which stretches from Costa Rica to Guatemala with a total of more than 20 million ounces of historic gold production, is largely unexplored and has become a hotbed for exploration and production. To date, a mere handful of companies are chipping away at the underground wealth, with several on our watch-list leading the charge:

B2Gold Corp.

B2Gold Corp. [BTO – TSX] shareholders have taken quite a nice ride since our June article, as great news of production and exploration targets have propelled the Company into the spotlight.

Having just acquired an interest in Auryx Gold Corp’s Namibia projects, BTO is rapidly expanding its reach, which rests on its increasing gold production in Nicaragua. The Company’s two Nicaraguan mines—Limon and La Libertad—have contributed greatly to a strong Third Quarter Report, illustrating adjusted net earnings for the quarter of US$18.3 million ($0.05 per share) compared to $8.8 million ($0.03 per share) in the same period last year. Cash flow from operating activities was $20 million (up 48% from 2010), placing the Company in a strong position with $73.6 million in cash as of September 30, 2011. Consolidated gold production for the third quarter was 34,303 ounces at $529 per ounce: the La Libertad open pit mine (100% owned) produced 24,227 ounces at an average grade of 1.72 grams per tonne; the Limon open pit and underground mine (95% owned) produced 10,076 ounces.

The La Libertad mine is scheduled to produce approximately 80,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold annually at an estimated cash cost of $500 per ounce, with the property’s currently planned open pits, situated along a 20 kilometre belt of mineralization, creating excellent potential to increase the reserves and mine life.

More information on the Limon mine and other projects is available here.

Golden Reign Resources

Not to be outdone, shareholders of Golden Reign Resources [GRR – TSX.V] have witnessed a similar roller coaster of profits and subsequent buying opportunities as GRR’s stock follows the volatile gold price and the flow of positive news.

GRR’s flagship project—the San Albino-Murra Gold Concession— has undergone an extensive 2011 drilling program that consists of 70 drill holes totaling approximately 16,000 metres. Highlights of the 2010 exploration program include 3.83 metres of 24.98 g/t Au and 17.65 g/t Ag, with 2.0 metres of 39.30 g/t Au and 21.0 g/t Ag. Early highlights of the 2011 program include 12.0 metres of 16.37 g/t Au and 23.45 g/t Ag, with 7.0 metres of 22.92 g/t Au and 32.43 g/t Ag.

With the 2011 drill program designed to expand on the highly successful 2010 program, GRR has gained considerable attention and has recently mobilized a third drill to test the San Pablo and Las Conchitas areas of the Southern (San Albino) District. With a property including a major concession of 87 square kilometres valid for 25 years, the buzz surrounding this junior is clearly growing.

Corazon Gold Corp.

Another exploration company to keep an eye out for is Corazon Gold Corp. [CGW – TSX.V], whose Santo Domingo concession places the company in fresh drilling territory, surrounded by B2Gold, with promising drilling results thus far.

Located 125 kilometres northeast of Managua and 10 kilometres east of B2Gold Corp.’s La Libertad Mine, Santo Domingo’s exploration data is impressive. Mapping and drilling have recorded the following: “bonanza”-grade gold veins and a cumulative 15 km of major quartz veins with composite vein widths in excess of 3 metres, surface veins generally oxidized to a depth of 70 metres, and extensive sampling of ‘mill feed’ revealing values up to 38.45 g/t Au and 577.90 g/t Ag.

The Phase 1 drilling program finished recently, with 34 exploratory holes revealing grades as high as 27.50 g/t Au at 0.3 metres, 17.47 g/t Au at 1.25 metres and 16.81 g/t Au at 0.35 metres. Highlights from the program are as follows:

A recent news release highlights the discovery of a new high-grade mineral structure, known as El Portillo vein, which cuts 0.45 metres grading 21 g/t gold and returning a drill intercept of 2.85 metres of 7.89 g/t gold. With the Phase 1 drilling program now completed and Phase 2 just underway, we are intently listening for more news from this promising structure.

Click here for a map showing the current drill holes and vein structures. 

To request more information, please click here or contact investor relations at info@corazongold.com  / 1 604 629 9670.

Going Forward

Although President Ortega is widely known for his anti-capitalist views, Nicaragua’s mining potential is strong. Ortega has been careful to encourage foreign investment, resulting in the economy growing 4.5% last year with expected growth of 4% next year. Producer B2Gold has generated a strong business model from its two mines, while exploration companies such as Golden Reign and Corazon have capitalized on under-explored regions and historically sound concessions, thus far producing excellent results and catching the attention of many investors. A handful of other juniors, such asCalibre Mining Corporation [CXB – TSX.V], Cassius Ventures [CZ – TSX.V], FDG Mining [FDG – TSX.V] and Caza Gold Corporation[CZY – TSX.V] are also on the ground, with many more hoping to enter the game. Going forward, expect to hear more about this little-known Central American country, as the modern gold rush takes debt-ridden nations back to the conquest for precious metals.

Chris Devauld
ProspectingJournal

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Disclaimer: the author does not own any shares of the mentioned companies. Corazon Gold Corp. is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.


Adamus Resources + Endeavour Mining = Perfect Synergy

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SOURCE – ProspectingJournal.com – During this last August, in the waning days of North American summer and Australian winter, Adamus Resources[ADU – ASX] and Endeavour Mining[EDV – TSX] announced a “merger of equals,” which would entail the creation of a multi-mine operating entity emerging as a gold production leader in West Africa.

Each company would bring their own blend of strengths and market-perceived weaknesses to the table, virtually erasing doubt with the flick of a pen.

In Adamus’ case, the merger represented unilateral dismantling of its US$60M project loan principal obligation, with Endeavour agreeing to wipe clean this debt. On top of this strategic implementation of capital, was an additional US$100M investment slated to reduce the heavy gold hedge volumes that the Australian-based Adamus was on the hook for.

For Endeavour, it was not only a sign to investors that the large cash volumes that had been sitting on the sidelines would be implemented appropriately, but that the company was engaged in its goal to increase production.

Through the merger, the combined entity crosses the coveted mid-tier mark of 100,000 ounces of gold production at an earlier date than both companies would’ve achieved on their own.

Without the merger, Endeavour’s estimated production to end 2011 would be 84,000 ounces, whereas Adamus’ would be 88,000. Combined, the production of the new entity is 172,000 ounces, with an estimated cash cost per ounce of $575-$625.

By 2013, with the anticipated production of Endeavour’s Agbaou Mine in Côte d'Ivoire, the partnership will eclipse the 250,000-ounce gold production mark and have a combined resource of 3.5M oz, thus truly putting the new entity in a new room of peers.

While the numbers in the gold production column rise with the merger, so too does the respectability of the combined management teams.

Endeavour comes to the table with a single mine in West Africa producing 84,000 ozs of annual production, a Cote d’Ivoire project now in feasibility, US$195M of cash and marketable securities, an undrawn US$100M acquisition facility and a financially oriented management team.

Adamus also brings a “new” producing West Africa mine with 88,000 ozs of annual production, extensive exploration land position and a valuable reputation of building on time and on budget.

With its latest mine-building project completed (Nzema in Ghana), Adamus’ team of mine builders are now available to be deployed on the next project, which according to the schedule laid out by Endeavour is pointing towards Agbaou. Ideally for both companies, Agbaou will not require the gold hedgebook that Nzema was saddled with (275,887 ozs at US$1,075). Through the merger, this Nzema hedge will be significantly reduced, and new capital facilities are opened up for the company’s use.

From the sidelines, the merger makes sense. Pre-merger, each company is considered “small” with ~US$300M market caps each, which reduces market visibility and the participation of institutions, thus presenting weaker opportunity for growth and acquisitions. As well, the market typically discounts valuations on single-mine operators compared to multi-mine operators.

Both parties need to approve the merger to make the deal official. So far, the merger has passed the vetting of the Australian government.

"The merger combines two junior gold producers and creates a platform for West African growth,” states Neil Woodyer, CEO of Endeavour Mining, “The merged entity has a strong production growth profile, excellent exploration potential and a focused acquisition strategy. It will have the management and financial strength to carry out its plans.”

With government approval out of the way, the final steps lay with the shareholders of each party. Endeavour shareholders are set to meet on November 25, 2011, while Adamus shareholders are set to meet on November 28, 2011.

Already, Adamus dispatched the Scheme Booklet pertaining to the merger to its shareholders on October 25, 2011, falling in line with the scheduled closing of the merger in December 2011.

Given the optics of the deep synergy of the deal, we anticipate that Endeavour and Adamus will become a new multi-mine entity.

G. Joel Chury
ProspectingJournal.com

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Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc. which owns theProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article. Endeavour Mining is a sponsor ofProspectingJournal.com.


Albania Economy Surges with Canadian Resource Investment

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SOURCE - ProspectingJournal.com – According to Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Albania’s economy increasedduring the first 9 months of the year, fueled by increased exports of goods and resources. Though the country still has a long road ahead of it in terms of living up to its growth potential, and before it joins the EU in 2015, this emerging economy is being stoked by outsiders, including a pair of first-movers from Canada looking to bring new methods of development to old resource discoveries.

While skepticism may be directed towards Albania’s forward-looking success, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty yesterday painted a slightly bleaker outlook for Canada’s economy. Amidst these two differing stances, the unseemly relationship between the two countries was addressed last week at the first ever Canadian-Albanian Business Forum held in Tirana, Albania, which welcomed Canada’s primary first-movers in the Albania resource sector: Banker’s Petroleum [BNK – TSX] (oil and gas) andTirex Resources [TXX – TSX.V] (VMS minerals).

Two months on the heels of the first US-Albania Investment Forum held in New York City, the Canada/Albania connection was celebrated and reinforced with appearances by Abby Badwi (CEO of Bankers Petroleum) and Bryan Slusarchuk (CEO of Tirex Resources), whose companies’ actions better represent a new era of resource sector development in Albania. While Badwi and Slusarchuk typically face scrutiny from prospective investors back home, their companies have each received an unlikely vote of confidence from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The EBRD represents an accumulative business volume of $20B invested across 29 countries from central Europe to central Asia, but within Albania’s natural resource sector, only two investments have been made: Bankers in oil and gas, and Tirex in mining. In fact, of the 3,268 projects the bank has participated in since 1991, the $10.5 million investment by EBRD in Tirex’s Mirdita Project is the bank’s first support of the mining exploration industry.

Initially the EBRD’s stance on mining has been heavily risk-averse since its inception, straying away from speculative sectors and preferring companies capable of generating cash flow. But, in this case the EBRD played its hunch successfully, as Tirex has announced it is targeting commercial scale copper and gold production within the next 90 days. All this was done through fast-track plans that didn’t require a corresponding share dilution.

The strategy for both Bankers and Tirex hasn’t necessarily been overly creative or unique. Bankers built itself to $1.5B market capitalization by simply bringing modern exploration and development techniques to develop the Patos-Marinza and Kucova heavy oilfields, first discovered in 1929. Conversely, Tirex at a $60 million market cap is 12-18 months behind Bankers as far as advancing technically in Albania, but its strategy is similar in that it is conducting modern exploration and development in a VMS district containing copper-zinc-gold-silver that was worked on by Albanian state-run programs between the 1940s and 1980s. Only time will tell whether Tirex can achieve the same success in mining that Bankers has so far in oil and gas.

Tirex’s copper and gold production is right around the corner, with help not only from the EBRD, but from a $1 billion/year mining partnership with Ekin Maden (a private Turkish mining company). Over its huge land package hosting 17 known historical deposits, 9 of which were former producing mines, Tirex has to-date invested $25 million in the project, including: flying Albania’s first ever airborne geophysical survey, identifying more than 110 geophysical anomalies (most of which have never been drilled), drilling 3 areas of the land package and carrying out significant ground geophysical and geochemical work.

With work being done by the likes of first movers like Bankers Petroleum and Tirex, Albania’s natural resource sector stands to gain from direct investment and present-day technological advancement. While still one of the poorest countries in Europe, Albania’s development is riding a wave of growth echoed by Berisha’s statements last week. Boasting a flat tax rate of 10%, a membership in NATO and an upcoming 2015 entry into the EU, confidence among Albanians regarding the future of their country is riding high.

Whether foreign markets reflect that sentiment is still undecided. As well, an ongoing evaluation of the country’s ability to become a resource industry leader is being updated with each news release coming out of the country. It is likely that through the actions of Tirex and Bankers the market will see whether each company’s belief in Albania’s potential is not only merited, but whether Albania is indeed the next European resource leader.

G. Joel Chury
ProspectingJournal.com

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Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc., which owns the ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article. Tirex Resources is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.


VIDEO - ProspectingJournal.com - After a busy summer that included the completion of two wells intended to expand its resources to the Northeast, Encanto Potash [EPO - TSX.V] and the Muskowekwan First Nation ("MFN") are now looking forward to the newly rescheduled treaty land designation vote which was delayed due to heavy case loads at the Federal level. The EPO/MFN partnership currently awaits the completion of their drilling program, the TLE designation vote and release of a significantly expanded resource estimate over the coming weeks as Encanto continues its development of the MFN Property.

In this, the third installment of ProspectingJournal.com's interviews with the parties involved in the partnership, Encanto CEO Jim Walchuck explains the potential involved with the partnership, and how advantageous to investors it would be to establish Canada's next producing potash mine. Along with the economic benefits of a potash producing mine, Walchuck explains his intentions to foster a healthy environment for the Muskowekwan people to live, work and thrive for generations to come.

G. Joel Chury

Disclaimer: The host does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the video. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc. which owns ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this video. Encanto Potash is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.

 

 


Silver and Gold Fear: How Scared Do They Want You to Be?

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COMMENTARY – ProspectingJournal.com – It’s unclear as to what gold and silver bugs have to complain about recently.  The market has given them two, count’em, TWO big discounts with which to start buying in with both hands this year, and yet the recent kaboom in silver prices from a couple weeks ago has many heading for the hills and sinking their chances with the bonds and dollars. Sure, the headlines haven’t been friendly to gold and silver lately, especially when all one sees is one of the biggest drops in ten years. But, what these headlines should be reading is “SILVER AND GOLD, NOW ON SALE (for a limited time only)!” What’s to complain about?

It’s becoming more acceptable these days for financial advisors to suggest bulking up your portfolio to contain at least 5%-10% in silver. If you’re not at that percentage, now wouldn’t be a bad time to reconsider and inflate your position.  In times of turmoil, it’s a nice hedge. In the unlikely event that the economy turns itself around and faith returns to the markets, then the remaining 90% of your portfolio will be your top performer… so win-win. As Dr. David Eifrig of DailyWealth states, “Just like I wear my seat belt while driving, I own silver and gold – just in case.”

But, if you’re a believer in precious metals already, then this advice isn’t new to you. What may be worth noting is how much trouble you might be having convincing those that you care about to take such precautionary measures. It can be difficult to prove your stance on gold and silver when the short-term snapshot looks so unappealing. Perhaps you’re being ignored for your contrarian streak, or because the world hasn’t fallen into total chaos as you’ve warned. Alas, we cannot forget the rise from the drubbing silver took in April to its $42 high in August. Like when Rocky wouldn’t listen to his trainer Mickey Goldmill, silver just won’t stay down!

Click to read the entire article

G. Joel Chury
ProspectingJournal.com 

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Disclaimer: The author of this article does not hold shares of any of the ETFs mentioned in this article.

 


NEWS – ProspectingJournal.com – There are many correlations between Fantasy Sports Managers and Stock Portfolio Managers. Both do extensive research with regards to how they fill their rosters and each group seems to be on the cutting edge of reacting to breaking news.

But over the last few weeks a divergence in attitude has separated these two groups into the optimists and the pessimists. To Poolies, this September/October has represented the return of NFL and NHL fantasy drafts. For the investment community, managers have had to endure bleaker storylines that include Greece, Wall Street Protests and QE3.  Yet for some stock enthusiasts a crossover stock game has emerged that combines the relative risk-free excitement of a sports pool with picking stocks. It’s called StockPools.com and it’s bringing some fun back to the market, while providing stress-free research and education on stocks, not athletes.

Launched late this summer, StockPools.com has already gained attention and sign-ups from experts to amateurs with its ease of entry, exposure to multiple sectors and above all the lure of the prize. Each week $1000 is up for grabs to the winner whose picks performed the best, while a grand prize of $25,000 in physical gold is dangled to the player crafty enough to pick the top performer in each category.

In the first official tally upon the launch, Vancouver resident Eric Kaczmarowski surged in the dying minutes of the market day to clinch the inaugural $1000 prize. A boost from an unlikely candidate in Athabasca Uranium [UAX – TSX.V], which gained 2.5% in the closing minutes of the market, pushed his “team” of stocks (under the username squeak) over the edge to make him $1000 richer.

 “It was kind of cool to see because I wasn’t doing very well through the week until the very last day,” says Kaczmarowski. “That’s when I saw myself earlier in the day moving up from about 50th place at the start to the top at the very last moments of the trading day. I didn’t pass into first place until the last two minutes of the market. They contacted me by email about 30 minutes after it closed and I received my prize within a week. I was really impressed by their turnaround.”

Unlike stock trading simulators, StockPools simplifies the categories by allowing even the most novice traders a chance to win. Like an office hockey pool, players must select their picks from each of the categories: Gold Producers, Gold Juniors (North America), Gold Juniors (Rest of the World), Silver Producers, Silver Juniors, Agricultural, Uranium, Oil, Base Metals and Copper Juniors.

At first, the sign-up for Kaczmarowski was done for fun, but the lessons learned through his playing did eventually impact his own personal portfolio. The push from Athabasca Uranium’s last minute surge did eventually lure Kaczmarowski to pick up real world shares since accepting his winnings. Along with Athabasca, some of Kaczmarowski’s picks included gold producer Nevsun Resources [NSU – TSX], silver producer Great Panther Silver [GPR – TSX], copper junior Crazy Horse Resources [CZH – TSX.V] and base metal explorer Tirex Resources [TXX – TSX.V]

“Generally the companies I’ve been investing in have been small cap mining companies, but being that there’s ten different sectors to choose a company from on the site, and the fact that you have to choose at least one from each sector, it does bring you contact with a lot of different companies that I wouldn’t have gone after or started looking at.”

Based out of Vancouver, StockPools.com is set to begin October on a philanthropic theme, with $1 for every sign-up going to the Canucks Place Pediatric Hospice Palliative Care charity. The target is for $15k to be donated upon the close of the campaign, and based on the site’s referral incentives the group should meet its target.  A referral bonus of 10% on top of the winnings already going to the winner is given to the referrer of that winner; thus giving potential of $100 or even $2500 if the referrer refers a perfect portfolio picker.

“I have referred some friends, but unfortunately none of them have won yet,” says Kaczmarowksi. “That said, when one of them does, I’d gladly surrender the bragging rights, which I probably wouldn’t do in a sports pool.”

“I’ve won sports pools before, but those winnings didn’t carry the same monetary value. One thing I do really like aboutStockPools is that it's a stock game that you don’t have to put anything in, other than enter your email address, sit back and make good picks.”

G. Joel Chury
ProspectingJournal.com


COMMENTARYProspectingJournal.com—If there’s one thing that the global financial mess is teaching us, it’s that way of the future will have to be commodities. I’m not just talking about the fact that central banks are buying up precious metals to prepare for the upcoming currency wars; everything that is real—from potash to oil to silver to aluminum—will matter. “Information economies,” as nice as they sound, are nothing more than gutted middle classes and non-existent manufacturing bases. And their complicated financial systems based on massive leveraging, un-backed currencies and infinite growth theories are failing.

Real assets will remain real measures of wealth when the dust settles. This is why, despite the world’s reluctant jump into financial darkness, mining exploration is soaring. Exploration budgets for metals, for instance, are expected to hit a record of more than $17 billion (US) this year—a 50% increase from 2010. According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, almost 1,400 mining deals worth about $71 billion were announced in the first six months of 2011, making it the busiest half-year in the history of the sector.

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First Nation Invests in Potash in Saskatchewan

Posted by: ProspectingJournal

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ProspectingJournal

ANALYSIS – ProspectingJournal.com – Upon returning from my latest site visit and video shoot detailing a partnership for potash in Saskatchewan between Encanto Potash [EPO – TSX.V] and the Muskowekwan First Nation (MFN), I was pleased to see that the relationship was healthy and the company is poised to make the gains I’d read about before the trip. Often we can glean from press releases that a relationship is mutually beneficial, but until you see the two parties interact first hand you can’t be sure. As a former surface land man, I’ve seen plenty of less-than-ideal interactions between landowners and their potential lease holders, but when it came to interviewing EPO’s President and CEO Jim Walchuck and the MFN’s Chief Reginald Bellerose it couldn’t be clearer that the two parties are comfortable and happy to be in business with one another. That said, my biggest lessons from the trip came from learning about the Muskowekwan First Nation.

 

As our crew set up the cameras for the equipment and measured our light levels, I had a chance to walk around the school that stood as a pillar of hope in the middle of the community. Slogans adorned the hallways aimed at teaching mutual respect, quelling bullying and increasing self-esteem. But when I talked to the elders and to the people who came by to take part in our ProspectingTV shoot, I learned that these slogans might not be enough for the children who will someday be the next group of elders in charge of the community’s stewardship.

What I saw was a community in need of a boost, and a concern for well being that spanned generations. These people weren’t just concerned about their current situation, but for the hopes and dreams of their children and the generations to follow. The elders were genuinely worried about what could be done to break the cycle of despair on the reserve that too often results in either their children moving away to far off communities for work, or staying and giving up hope.

Through developing their reserve’s ample potash resource, the Muskowekwan are poised to receive bountiful gifts from the land, not only in the form of royalties and infrastructure development, but in jobs and a lifted sense of self-esteem. There is plenty of potash in Saskatchewan, and the Muskowekwan sit right in the sweet spot surrounded by numerous producing mines. Given the recent release of Encanto’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), which includes a plan for solution mining over conventional mining, it seems that the Muskowekwan people will benefit from this partnership for many years.

The PEA was a company milestone for Encanto, as well as for the Muskowekwan people. It outlined a mine life of nearly 56 years, and that’s not including the additional Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) lands that would add 15,500 acres to the package and could possibly extend the mine life by decades.

Whether or not these additional TLE lands will be designated for development will be announced after October 1, 2011. The vote will take place both on the Home Reserve near Lestock, Saskatchewan, and through mail-in ballots, under the authority of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AAND). Both Walchuck and Chief Bellerose are confident in the upcoming results, based on responses from preliminary meetings. Based on the responses I received from the people I talked to, the Chief and CEO were on the right track, and the message contained in the PEA should only help the situation.

What the PEA delivered was a message of hope to a people in need of reinforcement. While solution mining lowers the overall manpower requirements, it will likely increase the opportunities for employment by First Nation members, with a roster of 320 full time employees scheduled to be needed. For the MFN this means more work available, while for EPO it means a higher NPV and lower Capex compared to conventional mining.

One significant meeting was with Chad Owen Blind who waited eagerly throughout the day for his chance to weigh in on the potential of the partnership. Chad had worked in other parts of the province from general labour to night security, as well as moonlighting as a semi-pro wrestler thus proving himself more than employable off the reserve.  A potash mine would mean that he could work near his home, sleep in his own bed, and be near his own family without going elsewhere to earn an income. There's plenty of mining related work for potash in Saskatchewan, but for Chad and others like him there's none currently near home.

For Chad, the Encanto partnership represents a homecoming of sorts, and a vision of what his community could become.

G. Joel Chury
ProspectingJournal.com
Twitter: @GJoelChury

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Disclaimer: The host does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the video. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc. which owns ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this video. Encanto Potash is a sponsor of ProspectingJournal.com.

 


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