Monday, June 26, 2006

Bema Gold AGM June 21/06

BGO AGM June 21/06
McKenzie Room/Waterfront Hotel

The biggest nugget culled from the AGM was that Bema will start trading on the NYSE. At 6am on July 14/06, Clive Johnson will ring the opening bell at the NYSE. Bema will then be in the big leagues.

Nugget #2 was that fast tracking at Kupol will make Bema almost twice as fast as the avg mining co in building a mine. According to Mr Johnson, the average mining co takes about 10 years to build a mine – Kupol is projected to be built by 2008. BGO started working on Kupol in 2003.

Nugget #3 was the JV with Anglogold in Colombia. Over 120M oz have been mined there throughout the centuries. President Uribe was elected recently and he is rightist, unlike Colombia’s neighbours – Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and he is very keen on mining.

(Greystar Resources is already there – they have an inferred resource there of 4.4M oz of gold. Their June5/06 news release headline says it all - Step-out hole yields 74.16 g/t over 3 metres at Angostura in NE Colombia. Greystar was the co that had a worker kidnapped in 1999, forcing them to leave the country. The fact they’re back indicates that the FARC/para-military groups/drug cartel/guerillas situation has improved. BHP also has a nickel mine in the area.)

Colombia fits in with Bema’s risk plays in Chile in the 80s and Russia in the late 90s. They’re getting in early.

But the big news in my opinion is that Bema has now established relationships with the big boys – Newmont with Victoria resources, Anglogold Ashanti with the Colombia projects, Barrick with CC, Kinross with Refugio. Just need a JV with GoldFields.

There were other nuggets but it’s hard remembering all of them but I will try to update as much as possible.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Consolidated Puma Minerals AGM June 15/06

CPW Agm June 15/06

I’ve been to quite a few AGMs of the Bema Group in the last few years. Nothing could match the fireworks at the Arizona Star AGM a couple of years ago when the Friedberg group attempted their initial takeover maneuver.

This is my second CPW AGM where I’m the only retail shareholder.

Directors present: Tom Garagan, Jerry Korpan, Steven Kay,
Geologist present: Mark Ward – 3 years with CPW

6 directors voted in.

Asked about the $12.3 M financing in 2005 & 15,000 metres of drilling to done in 2006, this compares to $2-4M spent on drilling 14,500 metres in 2004 and 2005.
The total amount of financing certainly raised my eyebrows when I first heard it. That's a lot of money raised for such a sleeper of a company. (Per financial statements, they have about $8M in the bank.)

Mr Garagan replied that previously they were taking baby steps, now they have the money to really do some drilling this year.

There was a News Release on the day of the AGM.
Asked about the interpretation of the NR, what is the Pd/Pt ratio all about?
Example: Hole #P-456 has Pt graded at 3.70 g/t, while Pd is at 8.01 g/t giving a Pd/Pt ratio of 2.2. Apparently the higher the ratio the better it is, although I might have heard wrong. Checking Kitco, I see Platinum is at $1152 and Palladium at $292. So I’m a bit confused, don’t you want more Pt than Pd – implying a lower Pd/Pt ratio? I’ll query further at the BGO AGM this week.

Here’s a nugget tossed in by IR (Mr McLean) – On the latest Barrick MD&A (Management Discussion and Analysis), they mention Federova in the Kola for the first time. Federova is 50 km from the Puma properties and a feasibility study is possible in 2006. Check out ABX MD&A pdf (p.11) on Sedar.

CPW hopes to have converted their present exploration license to a production license by 2008.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

AGM Strathmore Minerals Corp May 29/06

AGM Strathmore Minerals Corp (STM) (Disclaimer : subject to further editing)

Met with Steve Khan, director, Bob Hemmerling, secretary of Strathmore and about 8-10 other shareholders at a large dining table at the Metropolitan Hotel. Everyone else from the company was out in the field.

An AGM at the Met conjured up visions of a nice breakfast spread. Then reality intruded. Only muffins, coffee and juice were available. This certainly wasn’t anything like a meal at Diva at the Met.

The meat was in the informal Q & A with Mr Khan. He had lots of good insight to share.

First things first – I opened up the press kit. The first article I saw was a Stock Interview.com headline that asked the question ‘uranium to head north of $500/pound?’

Sprott analyst Kevin Bambrough made a hypothetical case for $500 spot uranium, under an extraordinary emergency supply crunch, by answering the question: ‘How much would people pay before they shut it (a nuclear plant) down if there is a shortage of uranium?’ His point was that the cost of uranium in the nuclear fuel cycle is minimal and would not register any concern on the man-in-the-streets’ radar until uranium gets to such a price as $500.

The second article was a Washington Post article ’Going Nuclear’ written by former Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore. Leading greens are now embracing nuclear. You can already see the pro-nuclear ads on ROB-TV, trying to educate the public about nuclear energy.

Updates –

STM will spend between $6-8M in expenditures this year.

Dieter Lake, Quebec - Drill program to begin June 2006. Updated 43-101 compliant resource calculation to be completed soon. 90% done but the geologist writing it is out working in the field. Basically, they need to be in the office to finish writing it up.

Church Rock, New Mexico – continue permitting process.
Roca Honda, New Mexico – 43-101 compliant resource calculation completed. Prefeasibility studies underway. Permit application to follow.

The New Mexico projects are a production profile play – application is a 3 year process
-there are a dozen sub-contractors there already, but they have to go through studies for water, archaeology, reclamation, environmental, stream settlement. Then it’s another 3 years for the submission process to the NRC & EPA.

This process could be expedited with
1) a greater push from President Bush for alternative energy sources and
2) URX (?-nothing in google) has passed through hurdle already. It took 6 years but precedent is set and there are now public records of the submission process. Companies following URX might get a more positive reception.

Production possible in 2011.

Wyoming – lots of data with a few junior geologists going through it. (President of STM, Mr. Miller was a member of the Wyoming legislature.)

Waterbury Lake, Saskatchewan – 3000 meter drill program underway. Results expected mid-summer 2006.

Davy Lake, Saskatchewan – Summer ground geophysics program to identify drill targets.
(Dr. Franz Dahlkamp, a professor at the University of Bonn, identified this area as potential target.)

Other Athabasca properties – complete airborne geophysical programs on Western Athabasca properties; JV non-core properties.

Other insights

Mr Khan said that utilities played a big role in the late 70s. In the near future, he foresees companies (ie Japanese trading companies) that sell to the utilities might be making deals with companies like STM to secure long-term supply of U. Apparently, a Japanese trading co has such a deal with URX.

I asked if there was an equally onerous oversight process in Canada. Mr Khan answered yes and no. Saskatchewan is very pro-mining, Feds also, but what could hold back things would be environmental and maybe, aboriginal issues.

Sprott Asset Management holds 19.9% of STM. Other European and hedge funds are involved. Other institutional holders include Mavrix Fund Management, International Value Management (IVM) BV, BluMont Capital Corp, Raiffeisenbank Kleinwalsertal AG and AFIMa. (Aside – What is the Canada Alt Monthly Report? It was the source for Sprott’s Jan 05 holdings).

There seems to be a lot on the plate for STM, but they appear to have the management and geological experience to pull it off. There may now be over 200 uranium companies but the barrier to entry is high as there is a lack of qualified geologists. The bad uranium years bought its toll - there are not that many geologists graduating. The old pros are locked away with plays like STM but newbies face a large learning curve.