Mining « Mining Blog

Patagonia goes Canadian

8. December 2011, Comments (1)

“It has taken about a year, but on Wednesday shares of Patagonia Gold PLC will be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange” noted Barry Critchley in the Canadian Financial Post (FP).

But despite having a market capitalization of more than $600-million, it is hard to see how this company could deliver “production”, other than by a small test plant in Lomada de Leiva, Santa Cruz (Bill Humphries, chief executive of the gold company, set a target of 200,000 ounces of production by 2015).

Patagonia Gold has been proudly mentioned as a “national” company by the Mining Secretary of Argentina, Jorge Mayoral. It was formed after Brancote Holdings sold the Esquel project to Meridian Gold in 2002. According to FP, “another goal of listing on the TSX is to increase the ownership of Patagonia held by North American investors. Currently it’s about 7% but figures can at least triple that”.

Patagonia Gold is fairly tightly held:

The Miguens family from Argentina has a 38% stake; BlackRock 9.5%; Insiders 6%; Barrick 3.5%; and Van Eck 3.5%.

The company failed to develop the Huemules project near Esquel, Chubut, after the Meridian debacle in 2003.

In response to massive protests, the government passed a ban on mining exploration in the western part of the province (where the Huemules project is located) in 2005.

Patagonia Gold also owns vast concessions in the central part of the province, near Pan American Silver’s Navidad project. In the same area, Lonmin Plc developed the Angela mine (once the third producer of gold in Argentina), closed back in 1992. Sir John Craven, former director of Lonmin Plc, is now on the board of Patagonia Gold.

For the Spanish version of this posting, see:

Four Big Australian banks reject funding for coal project

25. May 2011, Comments (1)

Australia’s four major banks have rejected funding a coal-fuelled power plant proposed for Victoria, raising doubts about its viability despite its controversial approval by the Environment Protection Authority.

The Authority had cleared the way for Melbourne coal technology company HRL to build what would be the state’s first new coal plant in nearly 20 years which, it was claimed, would employ new gasification technology, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions from brown coal power by about a third, to “roughly the level of modern black coal stations” – as if this could possibly be classified as in any way combating adverse climate change.
According to The Saturday Age newspaper, . ANZ, Westpac, the Commonwealth, and National Australia Bank have each stated they would not contribute funds to the plant
Westpac spokeswoman Jane Counsel indicated the bank did not consider it a clean coal project, but went on to say that the bank. ‘will continue to consider financing coal projects in the future” though “ our focus is very much on supporting those projects that use cleaner and more efficient technologies and are making the transition to a carbon-constrained operating environment’
And a report by consultants Deloittes released this week by Energy Minister Martin Ferguson found no major financial institutions were investing in new coal power projects in Australia, beyond some refurbishments in Western Australia.