Resource News

Released annually, the list ranks the TSX Venture Exchange’s strongest performers across five sectors: clean technology, diversified industries, oil and gas, technology and life sciences and, of course, mining.

The release of the TSX Venture Exchange’s TSX Venture 50 list is always exciting. Put out annually, it ranks the exchange’s strongest performers across five sectors: clean technology, diversified industries, oil and gas, technology and life sciences and, of course, mining.  

Companies were chosen using an equal weighting of four measures: market cap growth, share price appreciation, trading volume and analyst coverage. Time listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and closing share price and market cap on December 31, 2014 are other factors that were taken into account.

On the mining side, this year’s list is weighted heavily towards gold companies, with six companies focused on the yellow metal making the list. It’s rounded out by members of the niobium, copperuranium and lithium sectors.

Here’s a look at those companies as well as a brief overview of what they’re currently up to.

1. Niocorp Developments (TSXV:NB)

Vancouver-based Niocorp is developing the Nebraska-based Elk Creek niobium deposit, which it says is North America’s highest-grade, largest-tonnage niobium project.

The company recently finished a three-stage infill drilling program at the project, and used the results to update the NI 43-101 resource estimate for it. Indicated tonnage now sits at 81.2 million tonnes, while the indicated grade is 0.71 percent Nb2O5; the contained Nb2O5 in the indicated mineral resource totals 578 million kilograms.

2. Excelsior Mining (TSXV:MIN)

Excelsior’s focus is on developing its Gunnison copper project, located within Arizona’s copper porphyry belt. A prefeasibility study indicates that it will have a pre-tax NPV of US$1.24 billion at a 7.5-percent discount, a pre-tax IRR of 59.7 percent and a payback period of 1.8 years; that’s all based on an initial production rate of 110 million pounds a year and a copper price of US$2.75 per pound.

Most recently, the company released an update on the feasibility study that’s in the works for Gunnison, noting that metallurgical, resource and hydrological programs are moving forward.

3. Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV:NEV); current price: $0.43; 52-week move: +24.64 percent; 52-week high: $1.50.

Gold exploration company Nevada Sunrise, is, as its name suggests, focused on properties located in Nevada. Golden Arrow, its most advanced project, is located along the northeastern margin of the Walker Lane Structural Belt, and hosts a measured and indicated resource of 296,500 tonnes at an average grade of 0.024 ounces per tonne (oz/t) gold and 0.33 oz/t silver. Its calculated inferred resource totals 50,400 ounces gold at an average grade of 0.013 oz/t and 1,249,000 ounces of silver at an average grade of 0.33 oz/t; that’s contained within 3,790,000 tonnes.

The company also holds about a 21-percent interest in the Kinsley Mountain gold project, which is operated by Pilot Gold (TSX:PLG).

4. NexGen Energy (TSXV:NXE)

NexGen is a uranium exploration and development company with projects in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, a well-known uranium hot spot. Its focus is the Arrow zone at its Rook I project, which it discovered in early 2014.

Already in 2015 NexGen has put out plenty of news. It began a 18,000-meter drill program at Arrow at the beginning of the year, and has already released the first set of results from it. Encouragingly, so far all holes have intersected “substantial broad mineralization, including the most intensive to date characterized by massive visible pitchblende mineralization and intensive off-scale radioactivity from >10,000 to 60,000 cps.”

5. Roxgold (TSXV:ROG)

The last few months have been a little tough for Roxgold. Its share price was buffeted in November 2014 when an uprising hit Burkina Faso, where its Yaramoko gold project is located, and more recently Credit Suisse (NYSE:CSpulled out of funding that same project.

However, speaking to Resource Investing News (RIN) at the recent Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (VRIC), John Dorward, Roxgold’s president and CEO, was upbeat about the environment in Burkina Faso, as well as about finding another lender. And for good reason — the company announced on February 11 that BNP Paribas (EPA:BNP) has signed a commitment letter with Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking to provide a US$75-million debt facility for Yaramoko.

6. Ascot Resources (TSXV:AOT)

Ascot Resources has three projects: Dilworth/Premier, Swamp Point and Mt. Margaret. The first two are located in British Columbia, while the third is in Washington. Interestingly, while Dilworth/Premier is a gold-silver-base metals project and Mt. Margaret is a copper-gold-silver-moly project, Swamp Point is a sand and gravel deposit.

The company’s most recent news was put out in December, when drilling intersected 753 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 1,190 g/t silver over 0.73 meters at Premier.

7. Bacanora Minerals (TSXV:BCN)

Mexico-focused Bacanora has two projects on the go. It’s investigating the feasibility of bringing its Magdalena borate project into production within the next two or three years, and is also working on its Sonora lithium project, which is made up of five concession blocks: Buenavista, San Gabriel, Ventana, Fleur and El Sauz.

2015 has so far been fairly quiet for the company, but in January it received results from 24 reverse-circulation drill holes completed at the Buenavista concession in December. Colin Orr-Ewing, Bacanora’s chairman, said at the time, “[t]hese results have confirmed that significant thicknesses and grades of lithium-bearing clays occur within the southern part of Buenavista.”

8. Kaminak Gold (TSXV:KAM)

Kaminak made waves repeatedly in 2014, particularly when it announced plans to move directly to the feasibility stage at its Yukon-based Coffee project following a positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA). Based on RIN’s conversation with President, CEO and Director Eira Thomas at VRIC, it sounds like 2015 is likely to bring more of the same — Thomas emphasized that there will be plenty of metallurgical and drill results for shareholders to look forward to.

Most recently, the company released the results of 2014 infill drilling at Cofee, noting that highlights include 12.95 g/t gold over 9.14 meters, 9.22 g/t gold over 11 meters and 6.41 g/t gold over 15 meters.

9. Red Eagle Mining (TSXV:RD)

Vancouver-based Red Eagle is focused on developing the Santa Rosa gold project in Colombia, where 45,000 meters of core drilling have been completed, along with a September 2014 feasibility study that supports project development. Project financing and permitting are advanced, and the company hopes to start production in 2016.

Not much news has been released by Red Eagle so far in 2015, but on February 3 the company did complete a US$1 million financing with a strategic investor.

10. Columbus Gold (TSXV:CGT)

Exploration and development company Columbus Gold operates in both Nevada and French Guiana, but in 2015 has concentrated its efforts on the latter. Since the start of the year, it’s put out a slew of news from its Paul Isnard project in that area, and it doesn’t look set to slow down any time soon. In fact, on Tuesday, the company released results from the Montagne d’Or deposit at the project; the results will ultimately be used to complete an updated resource estimate for the deposit, and a PEA for the deposit is expected in the spring.


Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Related reading: 

John Dorward of Roxgold: Yaramoko is a Genuinely Unique Project

Eira Thomas of Kaminak Gold: ‘It’s Going to be a Fast Pace for 2015’

Columbus Gold Making Progress Towards PEA for Montagne d’Or


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