Both Central and South America are known for their rich mineral wealth and promising geological prospects. Companies in pursuit of silver, copper and rare earth elements join the more traditional gold companies driven by exploration and the pursuit of untapped treasures.
But gold still stands pre-eminent among them all, with a number of high value gold companies struggling to keep the positions atop the hierarchy while other more enterprising juniors rise in the ranks with the hopes of one day taking their place.
Here are four gold juniors, ranked in size by market valuation, that are now poised to make a significant impact on the global mining stage.
1. Calibre Mining
Calibre Mining (TSX: CXB) (OTCQX: CXBMF) is a Vancouver-based gold junior that operates a portfolio of gold mines and exploration projects in Nevada, and Nicaragua, Central America.
The company has a significant presence in Nicaragua’s mining sector and is known for its exploration and production activities in the region.
Calibre Mining’s operations in Nicaragua are primarily centered around the La Libertad and El Limón gold mines. These mines have a history of successful production and are located in the highly prospective Mining Triangle region of Nicaragua.
Calibre Mining’s focus in Nicaragua extends beyond production to exploration and growth. The company actively explores its extensive land package in the region, aiming to discover and develop new gold resources.
The company reported a series of drill results in late October from its 2023 resource expansion drill program at the Libertad Mine complex.
The results from drilling 100 meters below the main Jabali resource confirm mineralization and continuity down-dip, indicating a strong potential for expanding the resource.
Furthermore, scout-level drilling conducted across the property has identified three new target areas located within 10 kilometers of the Libertad mill.
Calibre Mining has a market value of market value of USD$660 million.
2. Mineros SA
Mineros SA (TSX: MSA) is a Colombian-based gold mining company with operations primarily in Colombia and South American countries, including Nicaragua, Colombia, Argentina and Chile.
In Colombia, the company’s mining property, Nechi Aluvial, is situated in the Lower Cauca Region of Antioquia in northwestern Colombia. In Nicaragua, Mineros owns and operates Hemco, a mining venture located in Bonanza, a municipality on the Caribbean Coast in the northeastern region of the country.
Hemco comprises an underground mine and an artisanal mining program. Additionally, in Chile, Mineros is actively involved in the La Pepa Greenfield project through an earn-in partnership with Yamana. This project is situated in the Copiapó region in the northern part of Chile.
Mineros conducts alluvial, underground and open-pit mining, and it also operates an artisanal mining program in Nicaragua.
On September 21, 2023, Mineros S.A closed the sale of its subsidiary, Minas Argentinas S.A., to private mining firm, Eris LLC. This transaction involved two of Mineros’ subsidiaries acting as sellers and transferring all outstanding shares of Minas Argentinas S.A. (MASA) to the buyer.
The transaction produces some changes to Mineros’ guidance and production plans for the year.
Mineros originally anticipated producing between 55,000 and 63,000 ounces of gold at the Gualcamayo Property in 2023. However, after transaction, Mineros now expects to have produced approximately 31,000 to 33,000 ounces of gold at the property in 2023. Consequently, Mineros is currently reevaluating its production for 2023 and intends to provide updated guidance.
Mineros SA has a market value of USD$173 million
3. Mako Mining Corp
Mako Mining Corp (TSXV: MKO) (OTCQX:MAKOF) is a Canadian junior mining company with a significant presence in Central America, primarily focused on gold exploration and development.
One of its key properties is the San Albino Gold Project, located in northern Nicaragua. The San Albino project is considered one of Mako Mining’s flagship assets and has shown promising potential.
It includes a high-grade gold deposit, and the company has been actively working on advancing the project towards production.
Mako Mining Corp recently announced that engineering consulancy, RESPEC, has prepared an updated mineral resource estimate for the San Albino Project, including the Las Conchitas deposit in Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua.
The Las Conchitas project represents an exploration-stage asset with significant gold prospects. Mako Mining has been conducting exploration activities at Las Conchitas to delineate potential gold resources and expand its project portfolio.
“Even after nearly 4 years of depletion from the San Albino mine, our mineral resource is now materially larger and higher grade than the last mineral resource we published over 3 years ago,” said Akiba Leisman, CEO of Mako.
“There was over 100km of new drilling that went into this mineral resource update, which was all funded through operating cash flow, with our last equity raise occurring in July 2020.
Mako has a market value of USD$98 million.
4. Lavras Gold Corp.
Lavras Gold Corp. (TSXV: LGV) (OTCQB: LGCFF) is a Canadian exploration company working in a multi-million-ounce gold district in southern Brazil. The company’s Lavras do Sul Project, situated in Rio Grande do Sul State, comprises primarily an intrusive-hosted gold system with possible alkaline affinity.
The property spans over 22,000 hectares and the company has identified more than 23 gold prospects centered around historic gold workings.
The LDS Project, located in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, is one of these.
It centres around the town of Lavras do Sul. It lies approximately 320 kilometres from the state capital of Porto Alegre, which is reachable by a 4.5-hour drive. The company holds contractual interests in 29 mineral rights, encompassing 22,000 hectares.
Lavras Gold came about as part of an arrangement between Amarillo Gold Corporation and Hochschild Mining PLC (LON.HOC) in 2022, and now Lavras holds a 2 per cent net smelter return (NSR) revenue-based royalty in the Mara Rosa tenements in Goiás State in central Brazil.
This royalty applies to exploration ground covering 6,000 hectares along the Posse structural trend and 59,000 hectares of regional exploration within the Mara Rosa tenements located in Goiás State, central Brazil.
In early October, Lavras Gold Corp extended its drill program from 16,000 meters to 20,000 meters. With two drills currently in operation at the site, the company is actively pursuing further exploration of the Fazenda do Posto discovery within its LDS Project in southern Brazil.
“With the closing of our recent financing, Lavras Gold is well-funded to follow up on its recent discovery at Fazenda do Posto and work to increase the footprint of the Butiá Gold Deposit along the western portion of the property,” said Michael Durose, president and CEO of Lavras Gold.
“We are also continuing with our regional exploration initiatives, including soil sampling, aimed at defining new exploration targets for future drilling.”
Lavras Gold has a market value of USD$66 million.
In the heart of Central and South America’s mineral-rich landscapes, a new generation of enterprising gold juniors is making its mark, eager to seize the opportunities presented by untapped treasures beyond gold. With market valuations on the rise, companies like Calibre Mining, Mineros SA, Mako Mining Corp and Lavras Gold Corp are showcasing their exploration prowess and contributing to the global mining stage.
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