Anaconda Mining grows footprint in Atlantic Canada, creates ExploreCo

At Point Rousse, Anaconda’s flagship asset on the Ming’s Bight Peninsula in Newfoundland’s Baie Verte mining district, a small open-pit mine has been turning out 16,000 ounces of gold a year since it reached commercial production in August 2010. (Photo by David Howells. Courtesy of Anaconda Mining.)

Junior gold producer Anaconda Mining (TSX: ANX) is stepping up efforts to expand its footprint in little-explored Atlantic Canada by creating ExploreCo, a new wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on early-stage exploration projects in the area.

The Toronto-based company, which already operates the Pint Cove open-pit mine in Newfoundland’s Baie Verte mining district, is also optioning its Cape Spencer gold property, located east of Saint John, New Brunswick, as part of its plans to grow through mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

Anaconda has been busy trying to grow through mergers and acquisitions. Last year, it acquired its first project in Nova Scotia — Goldboro — through the acquisition of Orex Exploration.

In March last year, Anaconda took over Orex Exploration via a share swap worth about $12 million, gaining access to the Goldboro gold project about 185 km northeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The company has also grown its footprint in Newfoundland through option deals and staking from 7 to nearly 200 sq. km across four projects, including Point Rousse, Anaconda’s flagship asset on the Ming’s Bight Peninsula in the province’s Baie Verte mining district.

Also in Newfoundland, Anaconda is developing its Great Northern project, which includes two gold deposits, Thor and the recently acquired Rattling Brook. The latter was added in February, after buying it from Kermode Resources.

“There is an opportunity to capitalize on the resurgence in early-stage, Atlantic Canada gold exploration properties and we have assets that we believe have the potential to generate significant value,” President and CEO Dustin Angelo said in the statement.

“We feel that the Great Northern Project and the recently optioned Cape Spencer Gold Property have the potential to be cornerstone assets in our new venture, and the new wholly-owned subsidiary will enable the focus and priority required to generate value,” Angelo added.

The Appalachian geological region has numerous multi-million-ounce gold deposits, with about 30% of them located in Atlantic Canada, made up of four provinces located on the country’s Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec: the three Maritime provinces —New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia — and the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Much of the resource growth in the area has occurred only in the last decade, as investors are slowly discovering the region’s potential.