by Stockwatch Business Reporter
New York spot gold dropped $40.10 to $1,860.00 on Wednesday, taking the gold-laden TSX-V down another 37.66 points to 677.04 while the TSX gold index shed 20.17 points to 348.60. Canadian gold miners followed bullion lower today, led by New Gold Inc. (NGD), which slid 30 cents to $2.14 on seven million shares. A new technical report for the Haile mine in South Carolina, which pegged the net present value of the operation at $930-million (U.S.) -- or $1.1-billion (U.S.) for those more optimistic -- could not save Oceanagold Corp. (OGC) from a dismal day. Oceanagold slumped 24 cents to $2.24 on 5.45 million shares.
Daniele Spethmann's Warrior Gold Inc. (WAR) closed unchanged at 10 cents on 826,000 shares on word that it has drilled a 74-metre zone averaging 1.22 grams of gold per tonne at its Goodfish-Kirana project in the Kirkland Lake area of Northeastern Ontario. The assays are from Warrior's nine-hole drill program, completed in July, with seven holes testing the A zone and two probing the C zone.
The lengthy hit, which tested the A zone, was swelled by a 7.4-metre interval that returned 6.7 grams per tonne -- not a surprise as the company's geologists had eyeballed visible gold within the core. They spied gold in a deeper interval as well, one that has produced 16 grams per tonne over 0.7 metre, also within the long hit. Beyond the long interval but still within the encouraging hole was a seven-metre zone that averaged 4.07 grams of gold per tonne, aided by a one-metre interval that assayed 22.6 grams per tonne.
Eight of the nine holes produced gold, and while there were some encouraging grades, there were no other lengthy hits. A second hole produced a 7.5-metre strike deep within the A zone, but it averaged just 0.57 gram per tonne. Meanwhile, a three-metre hit in the C zone produced 3.93 grams of gold per tonne and a two-metre interval managed 3.41 grams per tonne.
Ms. Spethmann, president and chief executive officer, was predictably excited by the results of a program that "intersected anomalous and high-grade gold," including one of the highest-grade intervals drilled by Warrior to date. (She was "very pleased" last year, when Warrior drilled a 2.45-metre interval in the C zone at Goodfish that averaged 21.33 grams per tonne and a 5.37-metre interval in the A zone that returned 9.04 grams of gold per tonne.)
Warrior, then called War Eagle Mining Co., acquired Goodfish-Kirana in early 2018 when it absorbed Ms. Spethmann's Champagne Resources Ltd. Ms. Spethmann, who took the top job at the merged company, mounted a modest drill program later in 2018, but with just so-so results. (The best hole returned 1.2 grams of gold per tonne over 10.53 metres.)
Ms. Spethmann, a geologist, sounded very much like a scientist in a promoter's chair when she cheered the "valuable geological information" that the five-hole program produced, adding that the results would be "fundamental to guiding the project" and would provide the technical foundation needed to "make decisions going forward." Unfortunately, every step forward on Warrior's stock chart has been followed by an equal or larger step in reverse.
Jared Scharf's Desert Gold Ventures Inc. (DAU) fell two cents to 15 cents on 1.02 million shares. The company has received assays of up to 3.94 grams of gold per tonne over four metres from the Sorokoto North zone, a new zone identified at its SMSZ project in western Mali. Encouraging assays were also obtained from other new zones: A hit at Kolon produced 3.96 grams per tonne over three metres and a seven-metre interval at Soa South produced 0.89 gram of gold per tonne.
Mr. Scharf, CEO, was "very encouraged" by the three new discoveries, and by the results from an earlier find at Barani Gap. He says that the new assays have continued to expand the scope of recently discovered gold mineralization at Barani Gap, where a three-metre interval returned 2.13 grams per tonne, while the new finds lend encouragement that the company will find more gold zones. Mr. Scharf says that Desert Gold's "recently topped up treasury" provides the funds to further advance and test the targets as they are developed.
Desert Gold raised $6.82-million at 28 cents in August, but to get Desert Gold moving higher, Mr. Scharf will need more assays from SMSZ like those from the Barani East zone in summer, when a 13.5-metre interval returned 4.76 grams of gold per tonne, and a 25-metre encounter at Gourbassi East returned 3.09 grams per tonne over 25 metres.
Desert Gold acquired key parts of what is now its SMSZ project in early 2019 when it merged with Tim McCutcheon's Ashanti Gold Corp. Ashanti had been producing promising assays from the Kossanto East area before the merger, but so far, Desert Gold's program has fallen short of those results. As a result, any foray that Desert's stock makes above the 20-cent mark has proven to be short lived.