Resource companies are becoming increasingly interested in mining opportunities across Eastern Europe as countries there emerge from political turmoil.
This article was originally published on Gold Investing News on October 5, 2014.
Resource companies are becoming increasingly interested in mining opportunities across Eastern Europe as countries look to emerge from political turmoil and use the mining industry to jump-start their economies.
As the political turmoil that has characterized the region for decades looks to subside, mining companies are finding the area not only promising for mineral discoveries, but also hospitable to mining activity. Countries in eastern Europe contain sites that are highly prospective for many different minerals, including gold.
For example, Serbia – a country with a mining history stretching back to Roman times – is seeing a revival in its minerals sector. The country’s mining efforts have lagged since the early 1990s, when civil war ripped through the nation, but the sector is currently rebounding as companies explore the area. Serbia is part of a larger trend of Eastern European countries turning to an active mining market to recover from their own political tensions and troubles on an economic level, reports Reuters.
Here’s a look at five resource companies currently involved in exploring and mining for gold in Eastern Europe.
Lydian International (TSX:LYD)
Lydian International is a gold mining and mineral exploration company operating in Armenia and Georgia. Its Amulsar project in southern Armenia is expected to begin full production in 2016, and hosts measured gold resources of 1.8 million ounces at 1.1 grams per ton. The licenses to the project are 100 percent held by Geoteam, an Armenian subsidiary of Lydian International. The company’s Kela project in Georgia was discovered by its geologists in 2010. Initial exploration has yielded gold sample results from 1 to 4 grams per ton of gold. Lydian believes Georgia is a promising country for mining activity, as it has entered a period of reform and growth.
Dundee Precious Metals (TSX:DPM)
Dundee Precious Metals owns and operates mines in Bulgaria and Armenia, with further exploration properties in Serbia. Its Chelopech gold and copper mine in Bulgaria produced 131,825 ounces of gold in 2013 and is expected to last through 2025. The company’s Kapan copper-gold-silver–zinc mine in Armenia produced 24,360 ounces of gold in 2013. Both operations are underground mines, with minerals processed by crushing, grinding and flotation.
The company is working on gaining approval for plans to develop its Krumovgrad gold and silver mine in Bulgaria as it looks to expand its operations. In July, the Krumovgrad Municipal Council approved the terms of reference for preparing a detailed development plan for the project – a significant milestone on the way to construction.
Gabriel Resources (TSX:GBU)
Gabriel Resources is focused on its flagship Rosia Montana gold and silver project, located in Romania. According to the company’s website, the Rosia Montana region of the country has undergone significant economic decline and environmental damage, but there is now a plan to revitalize the area. The Rosia Montana project is considered to be part of this plan, and Gabriel Resources believes the mine has the potential to make a significant positive contribution to Romania’s gross domestic product.
The development holds measured and indicated resources of 17.1 million ounces of gold, including proven and probable resources. Currently, Gabriel Resources is working on the permitting phase of the project, including environmental approvals. Beyond that, the company also has an exploration project in Romania known as the Bucium project, which includes two deposits that both feature gold mineralization.
Reservoir Minerals (TSXV:RMC)
Reservoir Minerals operates in both Eastern Europe and Africa. Its European projects are in Serbia, where it holds exploration permits in highly prospective areas. The company operates in Eastern Europe through its 100 percent owned operating company, Balkan Exploration and Mining and Tilva. Reservoir is drilling at the Timok project, for which it has an earn in agreement with Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX). Another project, also located at Timok, is 100 percent owned by Reservoir.
In total, the company is involved in 10 projects in Serbia. Most are polymetallic, while two are exclusively gold projects. In July 2014, the company obtained new exploration licenses for copper, silver and gold in Serbia, Romania and Macedonia, expanding its reach in the area. The company has started exploration work at its Nikolicevo permit at its 100 percent owned Timok property as it looks to asses the potential of the property.
Pilot Gold (TSX:PLG)
Pilot Gold has projects in Turkey, a country that is part of Southeastern Europe but falls in the geopolitical designation of Eastern Europe. The company has two gold-copper projects, namely the TV Tower and Halilaga projects.
Those assets are located close to one another in a mining-friendly area that is separated from agriculture and settlements, according to the company’s website. Pilot Gold owns a 40 percent interest in the TV Tower project, with the other 60 percent is owned by a Turkish subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited (TSE:TCK.B). Pilot Gold is operator for the TV Tower project, while the Halilaga project has the same ownership arrangement but is operated by Teck Resources.