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Orvana – New Copper Mine for Western U.P.

Project would employ 100 residents for at least 10 years

The closures of the Smurfit Stone Paper Mill and White Pine Copper Refinery have made it a tough year for the Western U.P. but the Canadian based Orvana Company has announced it’s moving forward with plans for a new copper mine in Gogebic County.


If all goes well, County Road 519 could soon become much more traveled – taking at least a hundred residents back to work.

It’s all a part of the Copperwood Project – a plan by the Orvana Resources U.S. Corporation to open a temporary mine north of Wakefield.

“Geologists have known there was a steady ore body there for years; it was just a matter of time before mineral rights were secured,” says Project Coordinator Dave Anderson. ?”We’re hoping to build a copper mine to last for about 10 and a half years.”

The company just finished a mandatory two year environmental study of the site. Now they’re working to submit their permit application by next spring and also receiving assistance from the Western U.P. Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) in obtaining federal grants.

“They have to upgrade County Road 519 and punch up a new road to the mine site,” says WUPPDR Executive Director Kim Stoker. ?”Our job is to assist the road commission and coordinate activities with MDOT.”

Construction on the Copperwood mine could begin by 2012 with production starting up a year later.

Everyone involved with the project is hoping the mine will have a positive effect on the local economy, even after production stops.

“This is a seed,” Anderson says. ?”We’ll leave behind infrastructure – water infrastructure, improved roads and improved power grid systems – and those infrastructure elements should be used to develop other types of businesses.”

Orvana says they’ve had local support from the beginning but they plan to keep the public up to date as the project progresses.

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New Zealand Gold Miner Continues Shining Run

The stellar run by OceanaGold, which continues to find more ore at its two New Zealand mining sites was well illustrated in the September quarter.

OceanaGold Corporation (ASX, TSX, NZX: OGC), which is domiciled in Melbourne but has the Toronto Stock Exchange as its home bourse had a net earnings for the September quarter of US$13.7 million (NZ$18.28 million) and, at $42.6 million (NZ$56.8 million), a 9% improvement in EBITDA over the previous quarter.

Gold production for the quarter totalled 68,763 ounces, realising a year-to-date total of 201,595 — in line with company projections.

There have been improved mining and milling rates at the Fraesers open cut and Frasers underground operations at Macraes, north of Dunedin on the South Island, resulting in a 20% increase in production when compared to the previous quarter.

A New Zealand exploration program added 3,600 metres of underground drilling completed at Frasers Underground at Macraes and 7,600m of drilling at Globe Deeps at its Globe-Progress mine at Reefton on the South Island’s West Coast.

Mill throughput of Macraes ore for the September quarter was 1.48 million tonnes, compared to June quarter’s 1.34 Mt and the grades treated were generally higher. Cash operating costs were $US568/ounce (NZ$758/oz) compared to June quarter $US564/oz. A key factor for this was the progressively weakening American dollar, as the company pointed out that since June the $US had declined 10% to the $NZ.

The operating margin grew to US$664/oz (NZ$885/oz) compared to US$627/oz (NZ$836/oz) for June.

The Globe-Progress mine, which delivers a concentrate to the Macraes pressure oxidation plant, mined 14% less ore in the quarter due mainly to wet conditions on the West Coast that gave mining equipment poor access to the pit floor.

Gold production attributable to Reefton was 19,031 oz, 7,000 oz less than the June quarter.

OceanaGold’s executive chairman, Jim Askew, said the company’s third quarter results demonstrated higher cash operating margins and solid cash flows from our NZ operations.

With the resumption of development of the Didipio gold-copper project in the Philippines “the company will be well positioned for ongoing earnings growth and expansion”.

“Didipio represents a long life mine with robust economics that, after allowing for copper by-product credits, will create a cash cost profile that aims to put the company within the lowest quartile amongst its peer group,” he said

Since releasing the quarterly results, OceanaGold separately released a new technical report that provides positive signs for lifting the mothballs of this project and have it contributing to group production within two years. This year’s group production from NZ operations was estimated to be between 270,000-300,000 oz.

Source

IMF Sold 1.04 Mln Ounces of Gold in September

Oct 29 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund sold 1.04 million ounces (32.3 tons) of gold in September, well above the amount sold in August, an IMF spokesman said on Friday.

The sale was part of a plan announced late last year for the Fund to sell 403.3 tonnes of gold to boost its lending resources. The fund said the sale would avoid disruptions to the gold market, which has been buoyed by huge liquidity injections of central banks around the world.

The IMF sold 320,000 ounces to Bangladesh, the spokesman said.

Source

Trick or Treat?

By Bob Weir, Managing Director, Research Services

Trick or Treat is fast approaching. This annual holiday is celebrated every October 31. It had its roots in Europe and came to North America with the Irish immigrants when they were escaping the Great Famine of the 1840s. The day features the colours orange and black, symbols like the jack-o’-lantern, and kids trick-or-treating.

So, what is this year’s “Trick” and what the “Treat”?

The Trick, we think, was the maudlin fear of a double-dip recession, and the consequent move, almost stampede, by investors into bonds. Bond prices now look substantially over-priced, noted economists’ viewpoints notwithstanding. Even if they are not considered over-valued, the upside potential seems so much less than the downside risk. Also, current bond prices do not reflect the view held in many quarters, this one included that, as a result of the bloated stimulus programs with more possibly to come, inflation in the long-run has nowhere to go but up. We hate to use, that is, mis-use or over-use the word “bubble”, but there is increasing literature circulating that we are in or approaching a “Bond Bubble”. So, Beware!

The Treat, we think, is the slowly-emerging recovery of the uranium industry. Okay, we know, we used uranium as last year’s Treat. And here we are again. But we promoted our positive opinion on uranium throughout this past year on many occasions in the Clarion. Finally, it looks like our prognostications are coming true.

The price of U3O8 is slowly rising. From a 2010 low of US$40.25/lb., the current spot price is US$52.00/lb (October 25) according to The Ux Consulting Company. This is the first time north of 50 in months!

The all-time high was reached in May 2007 at US$138.00/lb, which represented a “bubble”. (There’s that word again!). But the price went into free-fall shortly after. As a result, until recently, uranium and uranium stocks were pretty much ignored. Uranium stocks are now on the move upwards. With a stress on “long-term”, we think that it is certainly not too late to climb aboard the uranium train.

This article is written by Bob Weir of eResearch and with their kind permission, O B Research has been privileged to publish their work on our website. To find out more about eResearch and their free newsletter service, please visit: