Thursday, 23 February 2012

Yukon Gold Exploration

The risk of this page is it will quickly become out of date as this is an extremely active area.

Keep Up to Date  - News Feed at (DEAD?)

Survivors? - Jan 2014 Yukon Pavillion at the Vancouver Resource Show

June 2012 Article Reviewing Yukon Explorers "Still in the Game" at the Northern Miner

June 2012 Article at Mineweb - Yukon Juniors with Cash

August 2012 Beacon Rock Research Yukon Report

Mining News North - Regular Updates

Mining News - Mining Explorers - 2012 Edition

On a risk/reward assessment the entire market cap for key explorers in Yukon is now below $1bn, whereas at peak Atac alone reached this valuation. 
Buying in the off-season before drilling might pay reward here. But in a bad market these are the riskiest plays. 
Please ensure your own full update and due diligence before acting on anything you read here.

The discoveries made by Underworld Resources in 2009, (and since acquired by Kinross), have sparked an enormous surge of modern exploration, further discoveries and speculation in the Yukon, Canada, targeting the hard-rock sources of gold historically panned and placer mined in rivers and creeks across the region in the first Yukon Goldrush.
An excellent article overviewing "The Second Yukon Goldrush" 
at Resourceworld Magazine September 2011.

A Recent Mineweb review of "Yukon Companies with Cash to Burn" - May 2012 - Companies are all covered in some detail below.

These discoveries have not been made suddenly.

The story of Shawn Ryan's years of commitment to  prospecting across the region demonstrates impressive sacrifice and subsequent rewards. This has become front page news on the NY Times just as the associated stocks were running to a peak, a lesson !
NY Times Article - Gold Mania in the Yukon
For Up to date articles watch Golden Predator media page

Though a less media friendly story the Archer Cathero group spent years assembling masses of data across the region and found heavy investment from the resource investing legend Rick Rule.

Another mining leader, Bill Sherriff, identified the Yukon early and established his Predator group there. They have gone on to stake very large land packages.

As the staking and company formation has increased a classic "Area Play" has evolved.
The excellent Hard Rock Advisory has produced significant public review here.
(Very sadly David Coffin, one of the brothers writing the HRA, passed away on 17th February 2012, RIP)
Read the excellent 
HRA Report - Gold in the Yukon - The Return of the Area Play
 (written Sept 2010 ). This discusses the likely cycle of "Early adopters", "Also rans", and "weeding out". The identification of companies holding core claims will be important. Watch for the companies which are cashed up and those that have to go to the market on weakness.

See also Yukon Mining Portal - Here
Whitegold District Site here
Coffin present area play discussion
Brent Cook Discusses Exploration in Yukon  < Part 1>    <Part 2>   < Part 3 >

The new exploration companies have also attracted the full complement of stock promoters with all that they bring.
Beware of the pumps; ultimately I do think the Yukon exploration efforts will develop an enormous new gold mining centre over the next decade but fortunes will be made and lost through the drilling and fund-raising cycles.
A number of these "touts" do not mention specific companies, or offer further paid reports. I would say the companies will be on this page, or at the stockgumshoe links. These letters are often promoting some of the "stronger" stocks so I wouldn't dismiss them but you shouldn't need to pay for them.
Here Greg McCoach, a promoter
Luke Burgess
Stock Gumshoe on Matt Badiali Picks

Trading Exploration Stocks - Esp Yukon
As some large promotional groups are active so there can be a lot of activity in the shares which moves them considerably as large numbers are promoted into these stock stories.
Some of these companies, the promoted too, will make large discoveries in the coming years. Investment and speculative success will depend on a long term view, buying a basket when out of favour, and perhaps selling some into strength to build liquidity to expand your core at opportune moments. "Embrace volatility" as Rick Rule and other experienced heads suggest. Buying the news will probably hurt badly here, but a big discovery will build over time.
None, even the best, will go straight up, even if you buy and hold your fellow stock buyers and sellers are some of the most fast moving and speculative in the world. Drawdowns are painful even if you think that you are invested for the longer haul.
So much drilling brings failure to meet expectation and again good stocks can go on sale.
On the other hand one great hole, a second, a third, can see dramatic moves.

Gene Arensburg's "Got Gold Report" follows quite a lot of the Yukon stocks and aims to trade out strength and "Vulture Pick" bargains. A late 2010 article on the Yukon Area Play.

The Yukon brings particular issues for the investor or speculator.
  1. Infrastructure is lacking across much of the region. Very large discoveries in smaller sub-regions will be needed before building can be justified. Some discoveries do look to be moving towards production and will bring initial infrastructure which will benefit neighbours. Victoria Gold is moving to production at Dublin Gulch, and Golden Predator at Brewery Creek.
  2. The harsh climate means that the drilling season can be short. A long "off-season" means that once the possiblity of discovery has passed for the season stocks can sell off aggressively as speculators move on to find more action rather than sit out the off-season. This may, over some number of years, provide a repeatable cycle for the cash rich to buy very good companies at a discount, this would appear to be the case after 2011 for many stocks. Being an area play, with large sums of capital drilling the ground, cumulatively year on year, a few successes could trigger action for all stocks, with a large degree of "near-ology" influencing prices.
  3. The scale of drilling activity in 2011 appeared to catch the drillcore analysis labs and their supply chains unprepared so results were not quickly returned. The timing of newsflow has then been unpredictable.
I shall attempt to review some of the companies involved by "provenance", where the claims came from, flagging the general region / "near-ology" (see maps) and promoters of the stock.
As some of these companies move into a 3rd and 4th year of drilling and exploration two views can be taken of the "older" companies.
a) Are they "past it", haven't found anything and never will. Some of the company names who had Yukon projects and may appear in these lists are already moving on. Outside of the main "provenance" lists take special care to understand details of the company and their projects. Some of these micro-caps may still move dramatically however.
b) Are the older companies finally coming to understand, though soil sampling etc, what they have and where to drill, will 2012 bring the success hoped for in 2009/10/11? The older companies should have secured the best claims, before the also-rans followed along.


See Project Maps Below Stock Price Watchlist

Archer Cathero Group 
  • Strategic Metals (SMD.v) - Website - The core of the Archer Cathero Group. Rick Rule has been an insider. Many prospects already optioned out and investment stakes held by this company. Also holding significant claims which they are exploring themselves (Midas Touch). 
    • 160 Yukon properties staked before the recent "rush". Operating in Yukon since 1965
    • Could consider holding just this Archer Cathero Company as they hold stakes in most of the other companies, see below. 
    • Mar-12 Working Capital $80m. Feb 2012 investment securities portfolio value >$50m, cash ~$30m. Expenditures in 2011 $70m on JV/properties. You might consider that spend either a sunk cost, or an "asset" in knowledge gained.
    • Stake-holdings - optioned out as part of project generator model while retaining stake. @ Mar-12 hold ATC-9.7%, SNG-18.8% , RK-26%, WLV-19.9%, Precipitate-20%, SPD-8.8%
    • Royalties - hold Net Smelter royalties on past and current properties. Looked to monetise. WRN Casino 5% NPI would pay $320 over L.o.m on PFS. Wolverine production 2011.
    • Midas Touch project 1,200 kmsq adjacent to Rakla project. 
    • "Carlin Type" systems Crag properties. Drilling 2012
    • Management hold approx 18%, diluted. Institutions 60%. Sprott 14%, Tocqueville 14%
    • Website
    • Presentation
  • Atac (ATC.v) - The "star" stock to date had a large fall end 2011 and into 2012. Has been up to  $1bn market cap. Excitement about "Carlin style" mineralisation on the Nadaleen trend. Own whole, large, 1600kmsq trend after increasing land package. (Rakla Gold belt = Nadaleen Trend (is Osris, Isis, Conrad) + Rau Trend (is Ocelot & Tiger)). 
    • Feb 2012 ~$20m working capital.
    • Management 6%, SMD 9.7%, Tocqueville Asset Mgmt 14% @ Feb 2012
    • Website
    • Presentation
  • Silver Range (SNG.v) + WT - Spun out of SMD.
    • Feb 2012 Management 15%, SMD 19%
    • State "Exceptional Infrastructure"
    • District scale silver x2. Mount Mye bonanza silver-gold. Tay bulk silver-base. 900kmsq
    • 2012 $10m exploration 4 rigs 16,000m drilling - details
    • Website
    • Presentation
  • Rockhaven - (RK.v) - Klaza Property. Discovery.
  • Wolverine - (WLV.v) - Brent Cook likes. Positive on Geologist. But still holding? - Many properties optioned.
  • Precipitate Gold - (PRG.v) New IPO May 29th 2012 - Options from SMD - SMD will own almost 20% - Note additional interests taken near Goldquest in the Dominican Republic in August 2012.
  • New Dimension Resources (NDR.v) = Options from SMD
  • Bonaparte Resources (BON.v)  - Options from SMD
  • Central Resources (CBC.v) - Options from SMD - Limited financing
  • Alix Resources (AIX.v) - Options from SMD. (MAr 2012 Picking up projects from Corvus nr Pogo)
  • Mill City Gold (MC.v) - Options from SMD
  • Redtail  Resources (RTZ.v) - Options from SMD - Limited financing
Predator Group (Bill Sherriff)
  • Golden Predator (GPD.TO) 
    • 1 million Acres exploration + Path to production at Brewery Creek? Claim year round drill.
    • Hold Silver Predator and Wolfpack stakes
    • 26/3/12 presentation indicates >$18m cash
    • Senior board. Sherriff built and sold Energy Metals for $1.8bn.
    • Sherriff owns 5.5m shares @ Apr-12 : should be more?
    • Royalty Holdings - Primarily Nevada - May monetise?
    • Website
    • Presentation
  • Silver Predator (SPD.TO) - Stakes from SMD & GPD.
  • Wolfpack - to IPO 2012?
  • + Base Metal / Uranium Co.s
Shawn Ryan Properities
  • Kaminak (KAM.v)- Although Kaminak are a prospect generator, part of the Aurora group of companies, they took on the White Gold project (Coffee, others) themselves and have since had good discoveries. State 15% of 150,000 acre Coffee property explored.  Advanced exploration and further plans, 50,000m drilling in 2012. Also 12 projects through Canada. Hemlo, Nunavut & BC, plus Kirkman in Yukon. 4.4% Insiders. 25% institutions.
  • Ryan Gold (RYG.v) - The key question, did Shawn Ryan sell his best properties first, or did he keep his best back? Overall 300k Ha multiple projects including old Valdez Gold's.  Disappointed with first exploration results at Ida Oro - hit but not spectacular. Big directors, Dundee positions.
    • A roundabout way to invest is through Corona Gold CRG.TO a Dundee investment vehicle - Check holdings.
    • @Jul-11 Dundee >18%; Osisko 13%. Shawn Ryan >8% holdings. Raised high cash.
    • Website
    • Presentation
  • Ethos Capital (ECC.v) - Gary Freeman company, have been viewed as promotional hold significant land and discovery near Kaminak. Yukon - plus other Yukon properties including Mascot Creek overall 1100 kmsq. (plus Mexico properties)
  • Arcus Development Group (ADG.v) - In White Gold Region. Also associated the Archer Cathero Group
  • Stina Resources (SQA.v) - Small company but early ground near White Gold (UW/K). Limited exploration. Funded?
  • Smash Minerals (SSH.v) - A newer company but with directors  from Underworld
    • Smash will merge with Prosperity Goldfields (PPG.v) a Quinton Hennigh company.
  • Pacific Ridge (PEX.v) - Directors and institutions
Other Yukon Well Followed Explorers 
  • Rackla Metals (RAK.v) Spin off from Radius (hold %)- Simon Ridgway company. Large areas near Atac / Nadaleen trends plus "Sixty Mile" District. Recent JV back to SMD.
  • Constantine Metals (CEM.v) / Carlin Gold (CGD.v)- JV will > Spinco : Directors in common- K. Wayne Livingstone:  Brent Cook quote, respects the geologist. Using Carlin's experience of looking for Nevada style deposits.
  • Nothern Tiger (NTR.v) - Coffins liked this. Exploration relationship with Capstone - local producer at Minto.
    • 3-Ace property high grade gold 9kmsq
    • Sonora Gulch large copper-gold porphyry prospects
    • Website
    • Presentation
  • Northern Freegold (NFR.v) - Longer established along trend (?) near Kaminak and Western Copper-Gold deposits. Have defined resources and some infrastructure. New financing. New management team. Emphasising reasonable infrastructure and undervaluation compared to others. Grades compared to current producers and other deposits. Point to district scale.
  • Western Copper & Gold (WRN.TO) - Casino project advanced resources 8m oz gold, 4Bn lbs copper- near Kaminak / Ethos. Identify $1bn NPV at long term prices. Suggest low cost producer. Key issue presumably $2bn capex costs, though 2-3 year payback could see tipping point? But see problems for Thompson Creek in delivering ex-Terrane mine. Still look out to 2019 for potential production (no commitments to date)
  • Argus Metals (AML.v) - Coffins?
  • Ansell Capital (ACP.v)
  • Taku (TAK.v) - Involved early but always pointing to large land holdings. Very Promotional ? Deep price crash 2012

Smaller Stocks
  • Goldspike Exploration (GSE.v) 
    •  Website 
    •  Presentation
    • Yukon 40 properties 1000kmsq in Yukon. Near most big "name" projects. Quality? Incl near Coffee staked pre-kaminak? Pat (Pasuale) Dicapo insider (Powerone Capital) see good people page. Little news to date. Only floated July 2011 - Waiting for good market?
    • VIP Property near Kaminak - info
    • Ownership diagram, includes agreements with "goldstrike"
  • Goldstrike Resources (GSR.v)
    • Earn in from Goldspike. Lot of property, 125,000 Ha. Sampled in 2011. Interesting Directors, including Lawrence (Larry) Dick
    • Website
    • Presentation
    • Bullish Stockhouse Review compares initial discovery to Atac and referencing by Archer Cathero group
    • Excitement around "Plateau North" property, increased staked area x10 to 37,000 Ha
  • Independence Gold (IGO.v)
    • Website
    • Fact Sheet
    • 110,000 Ha, large holder in White Gold area
    • Exeter directors on the board + Rob McLeod, ex Underworld.

5 year Charts - To see 2 annual cycles of volatility

For another Yukon exploration list, see the Yukon government exploration companies list here
Lots of other info there too.

White Gold Maps
Kaminak in Relation to Underworld (Kinross)

Kaminak White Gold Exploration (KAM.v)

Ethos Gold (ECC.v)

Ethos Property near Kaminak Coffee

Northern Tiger (NTR.v)

Golden Predator (GPD.TO)

Golden Predator - Big plans, long timescales

Strategic Metals Projects (SMD.v)

Strategic Metal Midas Touch - near Atac
Crag drilling 2012

Atac (ATC.v)

Rackla Metals (RAK.v)

South Eastern Yukon Selwyn Basin Region

Precipitate Gold (New Co.)

Silver Range (SNG.v)

Goldspike (GSE.v)


Carlin Gold / Constantine Metals Joint Venture  - Spinco Name TBC


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  2. Gold explorers invest[GLDX] delivers as per the movements of the name-sake Solactive

    Benchmark. Gold explorers etf, like all other Equity Traded Products [ETPs] is traded during normal market hours and the issuers charge annual expenses as per 65 basis