|IAU, RIO, AXU, SSL|
First, the good news. I-80 Gold aka IAU announced they have already begun shipping ore from the underground gold mine at Granite Creek to Nevada Mines' nearby mill for processing, well ahead of schedule. They plan to increase the ore shipments to 450 tpd by the end of the year and 1000 tpd be the end of 2023. Eventually, once their own mill is refurbished, they will bring ore processing in house, and in the meantime they are busy drilling up new ore in several deposits situated close to existing underground infrastructure on the property
And then the kick in the teeth. The new Chilean government has clearly decided to use Rio2 aka RIO as their whipping boy by arranging for their EIA to be rejected regardless of its content. If you go back through the proceedings, everything to do with the permit was going smoothly until the new government's man was parachuted in, and now he has managed to jam the works.
RIO does have several routes to appeal, and it is interesting that RIO says the IAE not 'rejected', just 'not accepted', which is much more than just a nuance. Follow the IKN blog for more details and updates.
Does this decision turn Chile into a no-go zone for mine developers? It is too soon to say, but I wouldn't want to be, say, management at Los Andes Copper right now.
And another kick in the teeth for me was the predatory takeover bid by Hecla for Alexco aka AXU and their silver mines and mill at Keno Hill in Yukon. Yes, AXU has been have teething problems at their new mines, but there is no doubt that this is a predatory offer if you look at the share price over the long term and take into account the recent sharp selloff in dilver and silver miners. AXU.TO is halted, but the shares trading on the American exchange are trading about 5 cents per share less than the supposed offer of 47 cents US. This reflects that Hecla is offering shares rather than cash, this reflects, and that Hecla trading down 10% today.
The takeover does require 2/3 approval by AXU shareholders, but given their BoD is in favour, I expect the deal will go through. If a better offer does come in, it will have be markedly better, given that there is a $10M break fee.
I have no interest in owning any shares of Hecla, but for now I am just going to sit and watch.
Sandstorm Gold Royalties aka SSL released their usual cursory quarterly report, saying they generated they sold 192000 oz AuEq, a record. They also set a revenue record while maintaining margins, but we'll have to wait for further details.