by Stockwatch Business Reporter
New York spot gold rose $3.20 to $1,801.80 on Monday. The TSX-V fell 18.22 points to 666.49 while the TSX gold index slid 12.47 points to 346.43. High-flying Victoria Gold Corp. (VGCX) soared to $16 then fluttered earthward, ending the day down 51 cents to $14.92 on 146,000 shares. The company is ramping up production at its Eagle mine in Yukon. In June, Eagle produced nearly 14,000 ounces of gold. Oceanagold Corp. (OGC) also took a hit, dropping 28 cents to $3.11 on 3.49 million shares. The company will reveal its Waihi dream sheet results later this week.
Dr. Timothy Coughlan's Royal Road Minerals Ltd. (RYR) gained two cents to 39 cents on 2.58 million shares on word that it has drilled a 65-metre interval averaging 6.9 grams of gold per tonne at its Luna Roja project in northeastern Nicaragua. The glittering hit, which included a 41-metre zone averaging 10 grams per tonne, came from a hole designed to test the downdip extension of mineralization encountered in a hole last fall. That test returned 2.8 grams per tonne over 49 metres, aided by a 22-metre subinterval that assayed 5.3 grams per tonne.
Royal Roads received assays from eight other holes in this latest batch of results. Two of the tests failed to encounter significant gold and two others were abandoned before reaching the target, but the other four produced lesser, but still promotable amounts of gold. One hole produced 2.7 grams per tonne over 12 metres, another 1.2 grams per tonne over 30 metres.
Dr. Coughlan, president and chief executive officer, says that the latest assays "answer key questions" regarding grade distribution and depth potential at Luna Roja, adding that it now appears that the system is characterized by steeper-dipping, higher-grade, breccia bodies surrounded by lower-grade mineralization. Both styles of mineralization, he cheers, show promise of extending gold mineralization at depth, which will be an important parameter in terms of quantifying over one million ounces of gold potential at Luna Roja.
Royal Road acquired a 50-per-cent interest in 75,000 hectares of ground in Nicaragua in 2017 through an arrangement with a Colombian company. It has since focused its program on two areas, Luna Roja and Caribe, both of which have been yielding gold assays from drilling. Indeed, there seemed nothing to distinguish one prospect form the other -- both were producing grades of just over one gram per tonne across significant intervals -- until Luna Roja began yielding the high-grade hits last year.
Drilling is expected at Caribe later this year, but much of its hope is infested with weasels: Geological observations, the company muses, may be interpreted to imply that the initial drilling was located on the outlying alteration of a nearby porphyry gold and copper system. Meanwhile, at Luna Roja, the 3,000-metre follow-up drill program continues, with the aim of extending the mineralization further and testing some new targets.
Michael England's Sky Gold Corp. (SKYG) rose one cent to 17.5 cents on 6.44 million shares. The company said late Friday that it was offering up to 20 million shares at 10 cents, seeking $2-million for exploration on its newly expanded Mustang property and the nearby Virginia project in central Newfoundland. Sky Gold was a six-cent stock into late June, but it leapt to 12 cents in early July, on a then multiyear record volume of 2.36 million shares, and to 16.5 cents last Friday, on 2.35 million shares.
Sky Gold acquired Mustang early this year in what Mr. England, president and CEO, calls an "active, emerging gold district." The company expanded the property in spring, adding 1,425 hectares joining the 420-hectare eastern block and the 150-hectare western block. The company points to old drill data from Mustang dating back to the 1980s, when Noranda Exploration Co. Ltd. drilled up to 1.27 grams of gold per tonne over 11.3 metres, but Mr. England is far more enthused with assays from a rival prospect.
That prospect, Queensway, is being worked by the private New Found Gold Corp., which wowed gold bugs and Howe Street promoters early this year, hitting a 19-metre near-surface interval that averaged 92.86 grams of gold per tonne, aided by a six-metre interval averaging 285.2 grams per tonne. (Within days, New Found Gold had a plan to go public through the reverse takeover of Mexican Gold Corp. (MEX: $0.105), but that arrangement fell apart a few weeks later. At last report, New Found Gold was looking to complete an initial public offering.)
Meanwhile, Mr. England -- the veteran Howe Streeter that he is -- has been tirelessly promoting Sky Gold's Mustang and its smaller Virginia property in light of the glittering hit at Queensway, which occurred about five kilometres northeast of Mustang and a similar distance south of Virginia. It appears that Mr. England's promise of an "inaugural drill program" later this summer has the market's juices flowing.