Frik Els

Frik has worked as a financial journalist for 15 years covering a variety of industries for several publications including British Airways in-flight magazine, Business Insider, Investment.com, Driving.ca, YCharts and Business in Vancouver. Frik presented at the Global Mining Summit in Las Vegas, Resources Investment Conference in Vancouver, Mines & Money London and has been interviewed on Korean state TV and CBC radio. (DISCLAIMER: Frik Els does not own shares or hold positions in any of the equities he writes about. Nothing written should be viewed as a solicitation to buy or sell any securities.)

Pan Terra clinches African gold and copper deal

Mitchell Adam, President and CEO of Vancouver-based Pan Terra Industries announced on Thursday it has entered into a deal to acquire 80% of Namibia’s Congo Namibia Trading, a private gold and copper exploration company. Under Thursday's letter of intent, TSX-Venture listed Pan Terra will pay C$300,000 in cash and issue 3m shares as well as 3m share purchase warrants priced at C$0.73. Congo Namibia Trading holds 100% interest in five exclusive prospecting licenses in the Tsumeb Copper Belt in Namibia as well the rights to acquire 51% stake in an Angolan and a Zimbabwean gold joint venture.

Reports: Western Australia hikes iron-ore royalties, angers miners

The Western Australian government on Thursday introduced a phased increase on its royalty rates applying to iron-ore mines, a move it says will create A$1.9bn in additional revenue. Australia’s Association of Mining & Exploration Companies […]

Reuters: Quality issues threaten India iron ore sales to China

Reuters reports that world number three supplier India's iron ore exports and prices could be hit by quality issues raised by China on $2.2bn worth of shipments. India sends almost all its exports to China, trade worth around $1.5bn per month. During the first four months of 2011, over a third of India's exports to the Chinese province of Jiangsu were substandard, China's General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a notice posted on its website.

Christian Science Monitor documents gold's journey around the world

Amid growing interest in bullion as a hedge against the dollar and inflation and a renewed rally in gold and precious metals prices, Christian Science Monitor, documents gold’s journey around the globe in a fascinating and extensive photo-essay.

Casablanca Mining narrows loss, increases assets

California-based Casablanca Mining reported first quarter results that consolidated the gains made by the exploration and intellectual property rights company in 2010. Total assets increased to $3.8m and net loss declined to $0.01/share. Construction of Sulfatos Chile Copper Sulfate plant using the company’s patented electrolysis extraction process was continued. Casablanca also said it is in negotiation to acquire further gold mining properties in Chile and has some 43-101 technical reports in progress.

Investors worried about bullion’s direction should look east

Many investors are calling into question billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros’s commitment to gold. With higher highs no longer a regular occurrence in the gold market, some see Soros’s dumping of gold ETFs as a clear sign that the party is over. But as trading in the first Asian precious metal futures contract opens on Wednesday, bearish investors may want to take a cue from the millions — maybe billions — of investors in India, China, Vietnam and across the region who are pouring money into gold and are willing to pay a premium.

Extorre’s Cerro Moro receives development go-ahead

TSX and Amex-listed Extorre Gold Mines took a step closer to the development of its flagship mine Cerro Moro in Argentina on Tuesday with the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment and the purchase of the 14,000 ha that cover the project. Extorre, which was spun out of Exeter Resource Corporation last year, said the Project Pre-Feasibility Study is expected in June 2011 and start-up for the high grade gold and silver mine is scheduled for 2012. Capital costs for the mine are some $130m and cash costs are estimated at $201/ounce. Extorre is worth close to $800m on the TSX and is sitting on roughly $33m in cash. The company also owns the Don Sixto projects, and other mineral exploration properties in Argentina.

While the REE market has come down to earth, no-one is rushing for exits

After sitting idly by and watching China monopolize the industry – the country is responsible for upwards of 95% of global supply – a rush to bring rare earth mine to production is on: There are now 251 rare earth projects being undertaken by 165 different companies in 24 countries. While prices have been rising rapidly, rare earth production is an expensive and complex undertaking. Very few projects can be developed for under $1bn and as the rest of the world shuttered rare earth mines metallurgical skills languished along with it.

Paladin enjoys record revenues, sees no impact from Fukushima

In results released on Friday, Australia’s Paladin Energy showed a 47% increase in production from its Namibian and Malawian operations and record revenues of $208.7m on the back of a 31% increase in sales volumes for the nine months to March. The company said despite the concerns about the nuclear energy market following the tsunami damage to Japan’s Fukushima plant, it believes supply and demand imbalances will only widen in future as more plants, such as the 25 under construction in China, come on stream. Paladin is on an aggressive growth drive. Stage 3 of the expansion of its Langer Heinrich mine that would bring capacity to 5.2m lb is 92% complete and in February 2011 the company announced that it completed its acquisition of the uranium assets of Aurora Energy in Labrador, Canada for C$260.8m.