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Affinity Metals Corp. $ Enters into Agreement to Acquire the West Timmins Gold Property $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 9:18 AM on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
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  • The project is adjacent to Melkior’s Carscallen project
  • Melkior recently made a significant gold discovery at Carscallen.
  • Plan to begin drilling the first target in the very near future

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – May 26, 2020) – Affinity Metals Corp. (TSXV: AFF) (“the Corporation”) (“Affinity”) is pleased to report that it has entered into an option agreement with an arm’s length third party to acquire up to a 90% interest in the West Timmins Gold property located approximately 29 km southwest of Timmins, Ontario, Canada.

The property package consists of 20 mineral tenures spanning 429 hectares. The property directly adjoins to the west and along geological strike to the Melkior Carscallen project with both properties optimally located directly along the northern flank of the prolific Destor Porcupine Fault Zone. Melkior very recently made a significant gold discovery that has attracted not only the market’s attention but also the interest of Kirkland Lake Gold to participate in furthering exploration of the Melkior project model through joint participation.

The ground making up the West Timmins Gold property was included/highlighted as a specific project example which meets exploration model recommendations as outlined within the 2012 published, Timmins Resident Geologist Report: “Recommendations for Exploration – Gold in Felsic Intrusions”. The geological model and potential of the West Timmins Gold property correlate positively with the recent Melkior Carscallen exploration advancements and the West Timmins Gold property potentials are based on the same geological model to that of the neighboring Melkior project.

The West Timmins Gold property is road accessible with a major highway (101) and regional scale power utility transmission lines passing directly through the property. Both Induced Polarization and Acoustic EM geophysics surveys have been conducted on the property and will assist in guiding future exploration.

The West Timmins Gold property is located along the same structural and geological trend which hosts the Pan American Silver “Timmins West Mine” located approximately 13 km to the east along highway 101 and is also in close proximity to the Timmins mining camp, which is a major structural control corridor that has produced over 75 million ounces of gold.

A Timmins West “staking rush” this past week has resulted in the recent acquisition of over 300 square kilometers of additional claims being positioned by area play participants which now surround both the Melkior – Carscallen and Affinity – West Timmins Gold projects.

Robert Edwards, CEO of Affinity stated: “We are very excited to have added the West Timmins Gold project to Affinity’s portfolio. It diversifies the Company’s Canadian exploration exposure to another very mining friendly jurisdiction in Canada. The seasonal window for exploration is much longer than at our flagship Regal Project, which allows for exploration on the West Timmons Gold property without taking away the focus on the Regal. The project is optimally located in the very prolific Timmons township area, immediately adjacent to Melkior’s Carscallen, which has attracted significant market attention the past few weeks with their recent gold discovery. We believe that the West Timmins Gold property has significant and similar discovery potential and we plan to begin drilling the first target in the very near future.”

The West Timmins Gold property is being acquired through a staged option agreement with terms/payments as follows:

Affinity will drill 500 meters within a specific drill target as directed by the property optionor. Upon the completion of the initial 500 meters of drilling, Affinity will elect to either abandon the option or continue and earn a 70% interest by paying the optionor $15,000 cash, issuing 300,000 Affinity shares, and drilling an additional 700 meters in a specified target(s) as directed by the optionor.

Within 120 days of completing/fulfilling the 70% option terms, Affinity may elect to earn an additional 10% (for a total of 80%) by issuing the optionor 500,000 Affinity share purchase warrants, granting a 1% NSR and paying a corresponding $25,000 cash advance royalty payment, and by drilling an additional 4,800 meters (6,000 meters total) on drill targets specified by the optionor.

Within 120 days of completing/fulfilling the 80% option terms, Affinity may elect to earn an additional 10% (for a total of 90%) by drilling an additional 4,800 meters (10,800 meters total) on drill targets specified by the optionor.

All shares or warrants issued under this agreement will be subject to a statutory 4 month hold period. This agreement is subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.

About Affinity Metals

Affinity is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of strategic metal deposits within North America.

In addition to this West Timmins Gold acquisition, Affinity is advancing the Regal Project located near Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. The Regal property is located in the northern end of the prolific Kootenay Arch and hosts two major geophysical anomalies as well as three past producing mines. Recent drill results included a new silver discovery with an 11.10 meter interval of 143.29 g/t silver which included a 0.55 meter interval of 2,612.0 g/t silver.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Robert Edwards, CEO and Director of Affinity Metals Corp.

The Corporation can be contacted at: [email protected].

Information relating to the Corporation is available at:

The Forecast For Silver In 2020-2021 SPONSOR: Affinity Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 12:25 PM on Friday, May 22nd, 2020
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Sponsor: Affinity Metals Corp. (TSX-V: AFF) is a Canadian mineral exploration company building a strong portfolio of mineral projects in North America. The Corporation’s flagship property is the drill ready Regal Property near Revelstoke, BC where Affinity Metals is making preparations for a spring drill program to test two large Z-TEM anomalies. Click Here for More Info

This has been a tumultuous year for investors, with Brexit, negative bond yields, a global trade war, an oil price crash and, of course, a worldwide pandemic that’s ushered in what’s expected to be the worst recession since the Great Depression. The question, then, is whether our money can be safely invested anywhere.

Fortunately, many experts are bullish about precious metals. Although the price of gold has risen roughly $400 per ounce in the past year, some analysts suggest that silver may be the better buy in the medium- and long-term.

As the CEO and founder of an online alternative investment brokerage, I’m constantly keeping my finger on the pulse of what precious metals experts forecast for the years ahead. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at the silver forecast for 2020 and 2021 to give investors an idea of what they can expect.

How Has Silver Fared So Far In 2020?

Let’s first assess the recent performance of silver bullion during this time of uncertainty. Although the price of silver has fallen since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, its value has held considerably well compared to the U.S. stock market. During the worst of the stock sell-off in mid-March, May silver futures dropped $0.48 to roughly $12.34 per ounce, according to, while the S&P 500 had fallen 27% year to date on March 18.

Virtually every asset price fell in March due to the “sell what you can” mentality many investors held during this frantic period of uncertainty driven by the coronavirus and an oil price war. However, allocating a portion of your portfolio to silver bullion would have softened the blow caused by the coronavirus sell-off.

Is Silver Susceptible To Price Suppression?

It’s worth noting neither the U.S. federal government nor the Federal Reserve system can assert significant control over the price of silver. In 2019, the U.S. accounted for an estimated 3.6% of global silver production (980 metric tons), compared to Mexico and Peru, which produced 6,300 and 3,800 metric tons, respectively. Therefore, the price of silver is ultimately beholden to global market forces rather than domestic price manipulation.

Silver And Industry

Silver is a metal with many industrial applications. In 2018, silver was heavily utilized for industrial manufacturing — in particular, for use in photovoltaic solar panels, brazing alloys and solders, electronics and ethylene oxide. This figure doesn’t include silver used in the production of jewelry, which required another 200 million-plus ounces that year.

What’s particularly noteworthy about silver’s industrial usage is that it’s prominent in the production of solar panels and batteries, which bodes well for the metal’s long-term price. The worldwide market for solar energy was expected to rise in value from $52 billion in 2018 to $223 billion by 2026.

Key Factors That Could Influence The Price Of Silver In The Near Term

In an article forecasting the price of silver in 2020,’s Valerie Medleva mentioned that silver tends to perform poorly when the U.S. dollar is strong. The article went on to note that in Q4 2018, the price of silver fell 14% when the U.S. dollar performed well.

Although the U.S. dollar is currently strong, the Fed has recently cut interest rates to effectively zero, which could weaken the dollar, so it remains to be seen how this will impact the price of silver through the year. A strong dollar generally signals a weak silver price, and though there are exceptions, such as we saw in 2018, high interest rates tend to mean higher silver prices. In other words, if the dollar weakens, we could have two competing forces pushing the price of silver up and down simultaneously.

Regarding supply, a January 2020 report by Scotiabank determined the global supply of silver is “fundamentally oversupplied” but remains attractive to investors as a gold proxy. The authors note that silver can play an important role as a currency hedge, and upside growth is expected due to modest increased industrial demand. Overall, the report is mixed about silver prices for 2020, estimating possible outcomes of $15-$23 per ounce, depending on gold performance and demand drivers. The authors estimated that $17.50-$21 per ounce is the fair, market-aligned range for silver in the year ahead.

And according to technical analysts at FX Empire, silver is trending to the upside as price pullbacks throughout April have been met with quick buys from investors looking to fill their pockets with the white metal. They note a critical resistance point at $15.50 per ounce. If silver settles above that mark, that will open the path for it stabilizing around the $16.50 level seen before the crisis.

The Takeaway: A Worthwhile Hold But Not Without Risk

The general consensus among market watchers, researchers and precious metals experts is that the long-term forecast for silver is positive. Although no asset is without downside risk, the case for silver is supported by heavy industrial use as well as its strategic importance as a currency hedge during times of uncertainty. However, the strength of the dollar will play an important role in silver’s performance.

In short, silver is an alternative investment that’s a relatively safe option in a highly volatile market. Many analysts are optimistic about silver prices in the short and medium term. Regardless of how silver performs in the months ahead, the metal remains a strategic hold for many investors looking to minimize risk, diversify their portfolio and safeguard their wealth during times of heightened volatility.


Affinity Metals Corp. Congratulates Advisor Ronni Stoeferle on Upcoming “In Gold We Trust” 2020 Publication and Announces Granting of Incentive Option $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 10:00 AM on Thursday, May 21st, 2020
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Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – May 21, 2020) – Affinity Metals Corp. (TSXV: AFF) (“the Corporation”) (“Affinity”) congratulates Advisor Ronni Stoerferle regarding the upcoming much anticipated May 27th publication of the 2020 edition of the “In Gold We Trust” report.

The “In Gold We Trust” report is the preeminent research report for the gold industry as it relates to the state of the global economy in general. The 2020 edition will be in excess of 350 pages of all things gold (and silver). The Wall Street Journal has referred to the report as the “Gold Standard of Gold Research”. The report is free and is available for download on May 27th at the following web address:

Startseite 2024

In Gold We Trust

Ronni Stoeferle, Founding Affinity Advisory Board Member, and Rob Edwards, Affinity CEO were recently interviewed on the Agoracom network. The interview covers key information regarding the present state of the gold and silver market as well as Affinity’s Regal Project. The interview may be viewed here:

Granting of Incentive Options

The Corporation has granted a total of 1,000,000 incentive stock options under the Corporation’s stock option plan to certain Directors, Officers, Contractors and Advisors of the Corporation. The options were granted at a deemed price of $0.17 and are exercisable until May 20, 2030. The incentive options are subject to a hold period of four months and a day from issuance.

The granting of options is subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.

About Affinity

Affinity Metals is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on advancing the Regal polymetallic project located near Revelstoke, British Columbia.

Drill results from preliminary drilling on the Regal project were recently announced and included a significant new silver discovery in the Allco area of the property with drill hole #10 intersecting 11.10 meters of 143.29 g/t silver including 0.55 meters of 2612.0 g/t silver. This intersection also carried high grade zinc and lead with some copper.

Planning for the upcoming Regal exploration program is underway with details to be announced once finalized.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Robert Edwards, CEO and Director of Affinity Metals Corp.

Contact information for Mr. Edwards is [email protected]

Secular Gold Bull Resumes with Force SPONSOR: Affinity Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 12:50 PM on Monday, May 11th, 2020
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Sponsor: Affinity Metals Corp. (TSX-V: AFF) is a Canadian mineral exploration company building a strong portfolio of mineral projects in North America. The Corporation’s flagship property is the drill ready Regal Property near Revelstoke, BC where Affinity Metals is making preparations for a spring drill program to test two large Z-TEM anomalies. Click Here for More Info

COVID-19: The Pin that Punctured the Credit Balloon

Gold is on the cusp of breaking out to all-time highs in U.S. dollars and has already done so in virtually every other currency. Gold mining stocks continue to lag the metal and, in our opinion, represent a compelling investment opportunity at this moment. The COVID-19 pandemic panic was merely the black swan that punctured a financial market asset bubble that took almost a decade to inflate.

Think of the pandemic as the pin that punctured the credit balloon. In a few months, the pandemic will ease (hopefully) with the formulation of a COVID-19 vaccine, widespread testing and other responses that will surely come from the healthcare industry. However, the fiscal and monetary policy damage committed by all governments to save the world has created a debt hangover that will linger for years. Economic growth will rebound but only to subpar levels once extreme health-related restrictions are lifted and “stimulus” kicks in.

The requisites for robust economic growth most likely to misfire are investment confidence and bank lending. Both have been severely compromised. Whether this landscape evolves into a long stretch of deflation or combusts into untamed inflation remains to be seen. What seems quite apparent is that traditional Keynesian stimulus measures are in their endgame. They will most likely deliver only steadily diminishing returns. Starkly opposite economic outcomes are possible from this policy morass; both would be positive for gold but negative for real returns on fixed income or equities.

Q1 Marks a Pivotal Turning Point for All Asset Classes

As of this writing, gold is trading about 10% less than its all-time high of US$1,900 attained nine years ago (September 2011). In effect, it has gone nowhere for a decade despite a tectonic shift in the investment and economic outlook. A lengthy correction lasting until 2016 and subsequent churning resulted in the establishment of a powerful multi-year basing structure. From this base and with strong macroeconomic tailwinds, we believe new highs well above $1,900 can be achieved over the next four years.

Despite enthusiastic advocacy and much chatter from investment luminaries, including Ray Dalio, Jeff Gundlach, Seth Klarman and others, gold remains severely and inappropriately underrepresented in the portfolios of fiduciaries, endowments and family offices. Flows into channels such as gold-backed exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) have been strong relative to previous low levels, but must still be considered a trickle in terms of what could still come. 

 Figure 1. Gold-Backed ETFs Reach Record Levels
Global gold-backed ETFs added 298 tonnes and net inflows of US$23 billion in Q1 2020 — the highest quarterly amount ever in absolute U.S. dollar terms and the largest tonnage additions since 2016.
Source: World Gold Council. Data as of 3/31/2020.

In our opinion, the first quarter of 2020 will mark a pivotal, secular turning point for all major asset classes including equities, bonds, gold and currencies. A return to the pre-2020 financial market normalcy and investment complacency is unlikely. In our view, consensus hopes remain high that the credit smash is only a temporary repercussion of the health scare. We disagree and suggest the effects will be long lasting.

Despite the solid price gains achieved by gold in the past two years, there is much more upside to come as investors gradually give up on repeated equity market bottom fishing and the hope of a return to financial market normalcy. A full reversal to the previous complacency cannot take place following a brief crash. The mood change will more likely become pervasive after grueling stretches of disappointing returns from previously successful investment strategies.

Unprecedented Central Bank Monetary Expansion

In our view, the decade preceding 2020 was characterized by the systematic stifling of price discovery for interest rates and the appropriate dependent valuations for financial assets. Such distortion was made possible only by unprecedented central bank balance sheet expansion that encouraged, abetted and rewarded risk taking in the form of ever greater leverage.

The prolonged somnolence of gold was among the most egregious price distortions of the previous decade and this suppressed interest in the metal as a risk mitigator and portfolio diversifier. Disinterest was fed in large part by the nearly universal expectation that the past would always be prologue and that highly leveraged financial and economic structures would perpetually result in outsized returns. In our view, the greatest change stemming from the credit bust will be a mood shift or paradigm change in the opposite direction.

At gold’s previous peak in 2011, the combined balance sheets of the U.S. Federal Reserve (“U.S. Fed”) and the European Central Bank (“ECB”) totaled approximately US$5.5 trillion. Today, that number is more than $11.4 trillion and rapidly moving higher. The USD gold price is still lower than nine years ago. In our view, gold price is still well below where it should be and will likely trade higher in the new macro landscape.

 Figure 2. Pandemic Policy Response Pushes Global Balance Sheets to Record Levels
Source: Bloomberg. Data as of 3/31/2020.

Gold Mining Stocks are Inexpensive

If gold is not correctly priced for what has transpired and what lies ahead, gold mining stocks are even more inappropriately priced. Based on current metal prices, most companies are generating positive earnings and cash flow and in many cases, free cash flow that can be applied to higher dividend payouts. Compared to other sectors of the economy, the gold mining industry stands almost alone in looking forward to strong 2020 earnings and a positive outlook for 2021.

2020 free cash flow yields for large-cap producers range from 3%-7% and 6%-25% for intermediate producers based on conventional sell-side research. The stats are similar or better for 2021 based on spot gold prices. As Figure 3. shows, mining stocks are inexpensive in absolute terms and have never been so cheap relative to the gold price. 

Figure 3. Gold Equities Are Undervalued Relative to Bullion
Ratio of XAU Index to Spot Gold (12/23/1983-3/31/2020)

Since 2008, the relative valuation of gold equities to gold bullion has fallen 75% from the prior 25-year average. The ratio of the XAU Index to spot gold averaged 0.2497x for a quarter century through 2008. As of 3/31/2020, the ratio was 0.0501x.

It is undoubtedly true that the industry will suffer health-related mine shutdowns and other shortfalls this year. Much of the disruption potential has already been broadcast and priced into the market. Some downside news may still have yet to surface. However, most miners are not financially levered and should be able to survive a few quarters of lower or no production. Unlike the airline, leisure, retail and manufacturing sectors, gold not produced today should grow in value and be produced at higher prices and lower costs next year and those beyond. It is not the same story for many other sectors of the economy. Based on fundamentals, gold stocks are inexpensive. By contrast, several other sectors of the economy could face long stretches of poor earnings, bad news flow and financial woes.

The gold mining sector registered a decline of approximately 20% in Q1 (as measured by GDX2) as shares did get battered by indiscriminate liquidations during March. However, as of this writing, two weeks after the close of the quarter, most shares trade near to where they stood at the beginning of the year, and have certainly registered outstanding performance in relative terms. It is remarkable that the largest sector ETF, GDX, suffered outflows of $381 million3 during the quarter at what could be the threshold of an upside breakout. In a favorable cycle for the gold price, mining stocks have historically delivered outperformance 3 to 5 times that of the metal itself.

Gold mining shares continue to be viewed by investors with deep skepticism as reflected by valuation and flows. When we scan Figure 4, it appears to us that the sector is on the verge of an upside breakout from a multi-year base should our assessment of the macroeconomic environment prove correct.

Figure 4. NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index (HUI4)

Monetary and Fiscal Policy Going Ballistic

There is no need to belabor the obvious. However, the consequences of these actions have yet to be priced into the financial markets or gold. The risk parity trade has fallen short, partly because bonds were caught up in the indiscriminate liquidations of Q1. Looking forward, bonds may no longer be able to play the safe haven role they traditionally filled to balance equity risk. The vacuum could be filled in part by increased gold exposure for all classes of investors. Sovereign credit liquidity injections are likely to remain significant and permanent. The bond market has become socialized. Owning Treasury bonds of any duration could become akin to parking Treasury bills, with little upside and considerable risk of impairment through inflation. Gold is the antidote to the fixed-income investor’s dilemma.

Gold is extremely under-owned, under-represented, and poorly thought of in the circles of conventional investment thinking. It is still considered to be a fringe asset. Just ask Goldman Sachs which recently advised its clients:

 “We concluded then (2010) that gold does not have a role as a strategic asset class in clients’ already well-diversified portfolios. We have updated the research and the evidence is even more compelling today than it was then.” (4/5/2020; Goldman Sachs Investment Strategy Group)

We remind the reader that Goldman is the same firm that in December 2019 declared the U.S. economy to be “recession proof” and then in March 2020 cautioned that stocks had substantial further downside:

“Overall, the changes underlying the Great Moderation appear intact, and we see the economy as structurally less recession prone today.” (12/31/2019; Goldman economists Jan Hatzius and David Mericle)

“Goldman Sachs on Friday dramatically cut its U.S. economic forecast, saying it now expects GDP to decline by 25% in the second quarter of 2020 because of the coronavirus panic.” (3/20/2020; Business Insider)

“What is your estimate for the S&P 500 by yearend 2020? David Kostin, “3400.” (1/2020; GS Podcast, David Kostin Goldman, U.S. chief equity strategist and Jake Siewert) 

“Kostin thinks the market goes lower. ‘In the near term, we expect the S&P 500 will fall towards a low of 2000.’” (3/22/2020; Yahoo Finance)

Goldman’s commentary is, in our opinion, a reasonable proxy for conventional wisdom. One could easily find other embarrassing examples of mainstream thinking ignorant of the best-performing asset class (by far) versus equities and bonds since 2000.

Contrarians and value investors, take note! The secular gold bull that began in 2000 and corrected for a few years has returned to life with renewed vigor. Pullbacks — price declines during this uptrend — should be bought. The setup for gold and gold mining shares ticks every box for highly rewarding investment returns.

Figure 5. Gold Has Outperformed Stocks, Bonds and USD over the Past 20 Years
Returns for Period from 12/31/1999-4/13/2020

Source: Bloomberg. Period from 12/31/1999-4/20/2020. Gold is measured by GOLDS Comdty; US Agg Bond Index is measured by the Bloomberg Barclays US Agg Total Return Value Unhedged USD (LBUSTRUU Index); S&P 500 TR is measured by the SPX; and the U.S. Dollar is measured by DXY Curncy. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Figure 6. Gold Provides Portfolio Diversification
Gold provides diversification in a portfolio, and has low correlation with other asset classes. The period measured is April 1, 2015 to April 1, 2020.

* Source: World Gold Council. Period from April 1, 2015 to April 1, 2020, based on monthly returns. Gold is measured by the LBMA Gold Price; stocks by the S&P 500 Index; commodities by the Bloomberg Commodity Index;  Bonds by the BarCap Treasuries and Corporates.

1The S&P 500 or Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a market-capitalization-weighted index of the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies. You cannot invest directly in an index. TR, “Total Return”, represents the index with dividend income reinvested.
2VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) seeks to replicate the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index (GDMNTR), which is intended to track the overall performance of companies involved in the gold mining industry.
4The NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index (HUI) is a modified equal dollar weighted index of companies involved in gold mining.


Barrick Eyes Deals as Profit Surges 55% on Higher Gold Prices SPONSOR: Loncor Resources $ $ $ $RSG $ $GOLD $NEM

Posted by AGORACOM at 10:27 AM on Friday, May 8th, 2020

Sponsor: Loncor, a Canadian gold explorer controlling over 3.6 million high grade ounces outside of a Barrick JV. The Ngayu JV property is 200km southwest of the Kibali gold mine, operated by Barrick, which produced 814,000 ounces of gold in 2019. Barrick manages and funds exploration at the Ngayu project until the completion of a pre-feasibility study on any gold discovery meeting their Tier One investment criteria. Newmont $NGT $NEM owns 7.8%, Resolute $RSG owns 27% Management owns 29% Click Here for More Info

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  • Concerns about the health of the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic have boosted ‘safe-haven’ gold by 12%

Barrick Gold Corp posted a nearly 55 per cent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday as gold prices surged, bolstering its ability to snap up mines including in copper, its chief executive said.

Concerns about the health of the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic have boosted “safe-haven” gold by 12 per cent so far this year, while copper, seen as a bellwether for economic health, is down about 15 per cent.

Barrick CEO Mark Bristow has previously said the world’s No. 2 gold miner could raise its exposure in copper because of its expected higher use in electrification.

He added on Wednesday the relative price performance between copper and gold made deals more attractive.

“(A stronger balance sheet) improves our capacity to take up opportunities that might arise in the short to medium term given the dynamic nature of the global economy,” Bristow told Reuters.

He did not elaborate, but has expressed an interest in acquiring Freeport-McMoran Inc’s flagship Grasberg mine.

Barrick, which maintained its quarterly dividend of 7 cents per share, trimmed its annual production forecast for gold after shutting its mine in Papua New Guinea.

The Canadian miner now expects attributable gold production of 4.6-5.0 million ounces versus 4.8-5.2 million previously.

The government of Papua New Guinea announced in April it would not renew a 20-year special mining lease for the Porgera gold mine, which is jointly owned by Barrick and China’s Zijin Mining, due to environmental damage and social unrest.

Barrick (Niugini) Limited, the local venture in which both miners have a 47.5 per cent stake, had produced about 597,000 ounces of gold in 2019 from the Porgera mine.

Barrick has said it will contest the move, which it regards as “tantamount to nationalization without due process,” and in the meantime has placed Porgera on temporary care and maintenance, while suspending 2020 guidance for the mine.

Bristow said a mediator would be appointed to help negotiations if initial talks between the government and Barrick failed.

The company, with operations in North and South America and Africa, has not closed any of its mines due to coronavirus restrictions which have hit competitors.

Larger rival Newmont, which was forced to shutter some mines in Canada and South America, warned on Tuesday of a financial hit in the second quarter.

Barrick’s first quarter production fell 9 per cent to 1.25 million ounces. Excluding one-off items, Barrick reported a profit of 16 cents per share, in line with analyst estimates.


The Fed Can’t Print Silver SPONSOR: Affinity Metals $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM at 11:21 AM on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
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Sponsor: Affinity Metals Corp. (TSX-V: AFF) is a Canadian mineral exploration company building a strong portfolio of mineral projects in North America. The Corporation’s flagship property is the drill ready Regal Property near Revelstoke, BC where Affinity Metals is making preparations for a spring drill program to test two large Z-TEM anomalies. Click Here for More Info

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information Richard (Rick) Mills, Ahead of the Herd

April 27, 2020 ( Newswire) Silver prices will test $19 an ounce later this year on the back of heavy investment demand, as the coronavirus continues to depress markets and push investors in the direction of safe havens like precious metals.

That is the conclusion of The Silver Institute’s annual World Silver Survey, compiled by research firm Metals Focus and released in April.

Silver prices are driven by mine supply/ recycling and demand from both retail/ institutional investors and industry.

Over half of silver demand comes from industrial uses like solar panels, electronics and automotive parts. (Around 20 grams of silver are required to build a solar panel)

While most of the world’s mined gold is still around, either cast as jewelry, or smelted into bullion and stored for investment purposes, the same cannot be said for silver. It’s estimated around 60% of silver is utilized in industrial applications, leaving only 40% for investing. Of the 60% used for industrial applications almost 80% ends up in landfills.

The drop in demand for most goods and services owing to covid-19 doesn’t exempt silver – industrial fabrication is seen falling by 7%, along with jewelry and silverware offtake – but the report projects these declines will be offset by a 16% increase in silver bar and coin demand. There is also expected to be strong inflows into silver-backed ETFs as well as net buying by institutional investors on both the futures and OTC markets.

And while the white metal, sometimes called “poor man’s gold”, is expected to be in surplus again this year, the Silver Institute says the glut will be limited (to 14.7 million ounces, 53% smaller than in 2019), by a number of government shutdowns in top producers Mexico and Peru. As of April 3rd silver mine closures had restricted 40% of global production.

The Silver Institute therefore expects silver prices, currently trading around $15 an ounce, to hit $19/oz before year-end, possibly even outperforming gold on the back of its historically low relative value. If that happens, it would be a repeat of silver’s pattern last year.

Catching gold’s wave

In analyzing silver we also need to look at gold. The precious metals often follow each other’s price movements and they are frequently found together in mineral deposits.

Silver and gold both spiked last summer after the US Federal Reserve began cutting interest rates to deal with slowing global growth and signs of a worsening US economy. In July the Fed lowered rates three times before freezing the federal funds rate at a range of 1.5 – 1.75%. (they have subsequently been cut to near 0%)

Rate cuts, along with similarly dovish policies among other central banks, a record $17-trillion of negative-yielding sovereign debt, and safe-haven demand due to tensions with Iran, to name a key issue, powered the precious metals to new heights.

Silver prices rose 15% in 2019, helped by a 12% increase in silver investment demand – the highest annual growth since 2015. 

The onset of the coronavirus, first appearing as an epidemic in China, then spreading to Iran and South Korea, before becoming a full-blown pandemic in mid-March, has meant high volatility for gold and silver.

We’ve seen gold spike on safe-haven demand, as investors piled into gold ETFs, US Treasuries and the US dollar, only to fall sharply mid-March, as traders sold their gold holdings to cover losses in other assets

Since the beginning of April gold has surged, reclaiming $1,700/oz on the back of a record $2.2 trillion spending package announced by the US government, to combat the economic fallout from covid-19.

Other central banks have launched huge stimulus measures to head off, or more likely dampen, the effects of a global recession or even depression.

On April 14 Comex gold futures for June delivery vaulted to $1,785 an ounce, the highest since October 2012. Although gold prices have slipped back a bit, currently trading around $1,720/oz, some analysts see the potential for another leg up. Bloomberg quoted Hans Goetti, founder and chief executive officer of HG Research, saying:

“What’s happening here is that the Fed is expanding its balance sheet and every other central bank in the world is doing the same,” he told Bloomberg TV. “What you’re looking at is massive currency debasement in the long term. That’s the major reason why gold is higher, and I would think that over the next few weeks or months, we’re probably going to retest the high that we saw in 2011” (when gold passed an all-time high of $1,900/oz).

Another factor in gold’s favor is negative real interest rates.

Many countries including the United States have seen bond yields approach or even go below 0%. When real rates (yield minus rate of inflation) turn negative, investors tend to rotate from bonds into gold.

And while securities analysts quoted by Bloomberg expect the Federal Reserve’s renewed quantitative easing, combined with large fiscal stimulus (spending), could see long-end rate rise during the recovery phase of coronavirus, they don’t see that happening without inflation, “which should keep real rates suppressed.”

This week, Bank of America released a forecast predicting gold will rocket as high as $3,000 an ounce within 18 months.

According to Marketwatch, BofA Global Research raised its 18-month price target from an earlier $2,000, citing the prospects of endless monetary expansion from central banks, including the Federal Reserve, to limit the economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rather lofty upside gold price forecast from Bank of America continues to echo in the marketplace with the widely publicized quote ‘the Fed can’t print gold’ a very strong point for the bull camp,” analysts at Zaner Metals wrote in a daily update.

As we showed in a previous article, there is a close relationship between gold and debt-to-GDP ratios.

Undervalued silver

Gold and silver prices are often compared, to get a sense of which direction each are headed. The gold-silver ratio is the amount of silver one can buy with an ounce of gold. Simply divide the current gold price by the price of silver, to find the ratio.

When gold is over-valued compared to silver, investors take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity, by selling some of their gold holdings to buy silver. The opposite occurs when silver is over-valued compared to gold. In that situation, precious metals investors sell silver to buy gold.

The higher the number, the more undervalued is silver.

The current gold-silver ratio, 113:1, is double the historical ratio of 50-60 ounces of silver to one ounce of gold, meaning that silver is highly undervalued compared to gold. It means an investor with an ounce of gold could sell his gold for 113 ounces of silver.

All the bullish factors for gold are in place: a “black swan” event that has created huge fear and uncertainty, imploding global stocks and sending traders/ investors flocking to the safety of havens like the US dollar, US Treasuries and precious metals. The demand for Treasuries has pushed up their prices, causing their yields to fall to new lows. Negative real yields (yields minus inflation) are bullish for gold, and we expect real yields to remain negative for some time.

Remember, gold rises proportionally to debt. As long as governments are wrangling the coronavirus, we fully expect national debt piles to keep growing. Indeed the political pressure on governments to help the most vulnerable in society, for fear not only of losing power, but in some countries, extreme social unrest, is bound to keep the stimulus taps gushing.

While demand for silver, like for most industrial metals, will fall during this period of virus-related uncertainty, after the pandemic is beaten, we expect it to come roaring back, and the extremely out-of-whack gold-silver ratio to correct, in silver’s favor.

Silver mines, ranked

Silver supply is sensitive to mine production cuts – as we have seen recently with coronavirus-related stoppages. However, silver is also vulnerable to supply slippage, more so than gold, because there are relatively few pure-play silver mines.

Only around 30% of annual supply comes from primary silver mines while more than a third is produced at lead/zinc operations and a further 20% is from copper mines. Over two-thirds of the world’s silver resources are sourced from polymetallic ore deposits.

That makes silver quite a bit different from gold, in that primary gold deposits, with relatively few other minerals, are common. Large deposits of gold are also found in copper-gold porphyries.

Not so for silver, which most often has to be coaxed out of lead and zinc ores, followed by mines specializing in copper and gold, in that order.  Only twenty eight percent of global silver production is sourced from primary silver mines. Last year’s World Silver Survey delineated the world’s largest primary silver mines. Topping the list was Fresnillo’s Saucito mine in Mexico, which in 2018 produced 19.9 million ounces. Second spot went to Polymetal’s Dukat mine in Russia (16.5Moz), followed by Buenaventura Mines’ Uchucchacua mine in Peru, producing 15.4Moz. According to the US Geological Survey, Mexico is by far the largest producer, outputting 6,300 tonnes in 2019, followed by Peru and China, at a respective 3,600t and 3,800t. Next on the list are Russia, Poland and Australia. Global silver production in 2019 totaled 27,000 tonnes, or 868 million ounces. 

Where are the world’s largest silver mines, including mines that produce silver as a by-product of other metals?

The 2020 Silver Survey has KGHM Polska Miedz’s three copper-silver mines in Poland – Lubin, Rudna and Polkowice-Sieroszowice – leading by a long shot, at 40.2Moz in 2019.

That is almost twice the production of number 2 Penasquito (22.7Moz) and over double Dukat’s 19.3Moz. Saucito, ranked highest last year in primary silver mine production in 2020, is the fourth-largest mine in the world containing silver and other metals.


Poland’s Kupferschiefer silver

State-run Polska Miedź (KGHM) is the second largest silver producer in the world, behind only Fresnillo, and the sixth biggest copper miner. 

Why is so much silver produced from one company, KGHM Polska Miedz, versus Mexico and Peru, which are more closely associated with silver mining?

To know the answer, we must first understand Poland’s giant “Kupfershiefer” copper-silver deposits, of which the Lubin, Rudna and Polkowice-Sieroszowice mines, containing 1.4 billion ounces of silver reserves, are a significant part.

Sedimentary-hosted stratiform copper deposits are among the two most important copper sources in the world, the other being copper porphyries. They typically range from 1.6 million to 170 million tonnes copper ore, grading between 0.7% and 4.2%, with a median of 14 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.6% Cu, according to a 2019 academic paper, ‘The Kupferschiefer Deposits and Prospects in SW Poland: Past, Present and Future’.

Sedimentary copper deposits are formed in ocean basins, where copper and other minerals travel up through porous lithologies such as sandstone and become trapped in the upper sequence of sandstone and overlaying it black shale and limestone.

Red-bed deposits, so named due to oxidation resulting from exposure to the atmosphere, are divided into volcanic and sedimentary.

Kupferschiefer deposits are similar to red-beds but larger, even regionally extensive. They typically form in a marine setting, after land is gradually submerged into a shallow sea, then overlain by sedimentary rocks – which formed from the gradual deposition of the carcasses of dead sea creatures, onto the ocean floor.

A classic “Kupferschiefer” consists of three main layers – sandstone, bituminous shale and limestone overlain by evaporates often containing oil and gas. Copper-containing fluids migrate up through the sandstone and get trapped by the carbon-rich copper shale. This is where most of the mineralization is concentrated, although it can also be found in the sandstone, limestone, or a combination of all three layers.

The Kupferschiefer copper belt that underlies Germany and Poland is among only three giant sediment-hosted copper deposits in the world. It is also within an elite 1% of deposits that contain over 60 million tonnes of copper.

Orebodies can range in thickness from 0.3 m, contained largely within the black shale of the Kupferschiefer sensu stricto, up to more than 50 m, where sublevel stoping, backfilling, and pillar mining reflect the pervasive mineralization, states a research paper.

According to the Polish Geological Institute, Poland holds the largest economic copper resources in Europe, about 36 million tonnes, and the most anticipated economic silver resources on the continent, about 3.4 billion troy ounces.

Other metals recovered from copper ores at Poland’s Kupferschiefer deposits include gold, platinum, palladium and rhenium.

Despite being a small country, about the size of New Mexico, Poland produced 54.6 million ounces of silver in 2019, up 18% from 2018, mainly as a product of copper mining.

The richest silver deposits are located in the Lower and Upper Silesia regions, where the first shallow mines pre-date the Roman Empire, going back as far as 1136 AD.

According to the US Geological Survey, the massive volume of metal in Poland’s Kupferschiefer deposits is due to continuous mineralization that extends down dip and laterally for kilometers.

Identified resources within the giant Lubin-Sieroszowice deposit, are 1.6 billion tonnes of ore containing 30.3 million tonnes of copper and 2.7 billion ounces of silver, at average grades of 1.63% Cu and 57 g/t Ag. Reserves are 23.7 million tonnes copper and 1.4 billion ounces silver.

The strongest copper sulfide mineralization occurs in the black clay shales, including chalcocite, bornite, covelline and chalcopyrite, accompanied by minerals associated with silver, native silver, lead, zinc, cobalt and nickel.

A comparison at this point is interesting. #1 primary silver mine Saucito contains 130.3Moz in reserves, at an average silver grade of 272 g/t Ag. #2 is Dukat, with 93.4 Moz in reserves averaging 4.1 g/t Ag. The third largest primary silver mine, Uchucchacua, has 98.5Moz at 294.2 g/t.

Lubin-Sieroszowice dwarfs all three, at 10 times the reserves of Saucito, 15 times those of Dukat, and 14 times Uchucchacua’s. (Saucito and Uchucchacua are admittedly much higher-grade)

Minerals from three underground mines – Lubin, Polkowice-Sieroszowice and Rudna – are extracted using the room and pillar method at depths of between 600 and 1,250 meters. Expected minelife is 50 to 60 years, producing at a rate of 30 million tonnes a year. Consider that three of the four original mines have been producing since the late 1960s. They’ve already been going for 50+ years, yet they have another 50-60 more years to go and mineralization is open down dip.

The earliest exploration dates back to 1914, when German geologists conducted studies of the Zlotoryja region, and later, Grodziec. The first mine, Lena, started in 1936 but production was halted due to the onset of World War Two.

In 1959, 24 drill holes outlined the Lubin-Sieroszowice deposit, found at depths of between 400 and 1,000 meters. A resource estimate tallied indicated resources of 1.364 billion tonnes of ore grading 1.42%, containing 19.34 million tonnes of copper and about 1.157 billion ounces of silver.

Copper mining began in 1968 with the commissioning of two mines, Lubin and Polkowice.

According to KGHM’s 2019 results, the Lubin, Polkowice-Sieroszowice and Rudna mines produced 1,400 tonnes of silver last year, or 45 million ounces, at an average 48.7 g/t Ag.

In 2014, a project called “Deep Glogow” began mining from below the 1,200m level, using infrastructure from Rudna and Polkowice-Sieroszowice. The project contains 265.5 million tonnes grading 1.6% copper and 54 g/t silver, and has a minelife of 40 years.

There are also three undeveloped deposits to the north with identified resources (2018) of 139,535 million tonnes of ore including 2.2 million tonnes of copper and 356.3 million ounces of silver. And this year, 2020, Zielona Góra Copper (a Canadian company) documented a new Cu-Ag deposit “Nowa Sól” located northwest from the Lubin area. This new deposit has an estimated resource of 848 MT of copper and 0.036 MT of silver.

CESAR copper+silver project

The reason we have spent so much time writing about Poland’s Kupferschiefer is because of Max Resources (TSX.V:MXR).

Since November, Max’s geological teams have been identifying copper and silver targets within a 120 km x 20 km area, at their CESAR copper+silver project in northeastern Colombia.

Max field crew has been mapping copper-silver bearing stratabound horizons, rock chip channel sampling across mineralized beds and wall rock and following continuity of identified horizons along strike, to determine potential size prior to drilling.

The Vancouver-based company sees similarity of mineralization at the CESAR project to Kupferschiefer as a new giant sediment-hosted coppersilver mineralized system.

In a Feb. 27 news release, Max notes that its recent AM North and AM South discoveries are hosted in well-bedded sandstone-siltstone similar to KGHM’s monster “Kupferschiefer” mines in Poland.

In an earlier interview with AOTH, Max’s head geologist, Piotr Lutynski, said Colombia’s stratigraphy is similar to his homeland, Poland, and its cluster of Kupferschiefer sediment-hosted copper-silver deposits.

The last news release from CESAR concerns the AM South discovery – which features a stratabound copper-silver horizon, with mineralized structures totaling over 5 km of strike length. Earlier this year, sampling from 0.1 to 25-meter intervals returned highlight values of 5.4% copper and 63 g/t silver.

Having recently discovered a 10-meter by 2-meter panel which returned copper and silver grades of 3.5% Cu + 26 g/t Ag, the 1.4-km stratabound copper-silver horizon has been extended 1,000m, to 2,400m. (2.4 km).

Max also reported a new discovery, AM-2, located 500 meters south of AM-1. The new zone extends for 1,000 meters, and is open along strike and dip. The fact that it is parallel to AM-2 strongly suggests stacked horizons.

Assays at AM-2 are pending.

The CESAR project and its potential to be a Kupfershiefer analogue has grabbed the attention of one of the most important research centers in the world for the study of these sedimentary-hosted stratiform copper deposits which are also large repositories of silver.

In the press release below, Max says it has sent surface rock samples extracted from CESAR’s stratabound copper-silver mineralization horizons to the University of Science and Technology’s Department of Economic Geology, located in Krakow, Poland. Researchers at the university, which has worked extensively with KGHM in Poland, will conduct mineralogical and geochemical studies on the samples; also, a Masters-level student is planning on writing a thesis paper on the results.

Vancouver B.C., April 21, 2020 – MAX RESOURCE CORP. (“Max” or the “Company”) (TSX.V: MXR; OTC: MXROF; Frankfurt: M1D2) is pleased to report the involvement of the University of Science and Technology (“AGH-UST”), Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, Department of Economic Geology (“AGH”), Krakow, Poland in a study of the sediment-hosted copper-silver mineralization of the CESAR project, located 420-km north of Bogota, in NE Colombia.

Max has dispatched surface rock samples extracted from the CESAR stratabound copper-silver mineralized horizons to AGH. From these samples, AGH will conduct various mineralogical and geochemical studies.

AGH Professors and teaching staff have a long history of cooperation with KGHM Polska Miedz (“KGHM”), the largest copper producer in Europe and the worlds largest silver producer. AGH will leverage their extensive knowledge of KGHM’s world renowned Kupferschiefer sediment-hosted copper-silver deposits in Poland, on the academic study of CESAR.

Max and AGH agreed that results from the study on CESAR may be used for public presentations and scientific papers. In addition, discussion have commenced with respect to an AGH M.Sc. student focusing their thesis on selected material sent from the CESAR project.

AGH-UST in Krakow, Poland has a distinguished history and a deep understanding of sediment-hosted copper-silver deposits, due to their extensive work with Kupferschiefer, established in Poland as a world-class producer of copper and silver since 1968, also producing, gold, palladium, platinum and rhenium as by-products.

“We anticipate the scientific team from the Department of Economic Geology will play a significant role in identifying the similarities with Kupferschiefer and unlocking the ultimate potential of CESAR,” Max CEO, Brett Matich, commented.

“Max’s CESAR project in Colombia provides for significant exposure to both copper and silver, and notably silver has increased from a low of $11.74 per ounce in March to a high of $16.06 in April,” Mr. Matich concluded.

Max cautions investors that mineralization at Kupferschiefer is not necessarily indicative of similar mineralization at CESAR.


Investment demand for silver looks solid, with no end in sight to the low-interest-rate/ loose monetary policy direction of central banks, combined with record-breaking stimulus packages being passed by governments, as the coronavirus crisis rages on.

Adding higher demand due to shrinking silver supply, lower grades, and less by-product credits from falling lead and zinc mine production, we see a floor forming under silver prices.

The 113:1 gold-silver ratio is very high by historical standards. This is a warning to investors that at any time, the ratio could correct, either meaning a move up in silver prices or a move down in gold prices. Trust me, gold is not going down anytime soon, meaning silver prices must eventually correct.

The coronavirus has lit a fire under gold prices, which have burned past $1,720 an ounce. Historically, silver rides the wave started by gold.

As long as governments are wrangling the coronavirus, we fully expect national debt piles to keep growing. Gold prices rise proportionally to debt.

Consider what a $10 trillion Fed balance sheet will do to the debt-to-GDP ratio. Consider what it will do for gold and silver!

Despite broad-based market volatility, now is an unbelievably good time to be investing in precious metals. Buying physical gold and silver won’t hurt you, but high prices do not make an attractive entry point and we don’t see a significant pullback happening anytime soon.

Historically, and especially so today, the greatest leverage to rising precious metals prices has been owning the shares of junior resource companies focused on acquiring, discovering and developing precious metals deposits.

Identifying who owns the most attractive silver, in the ground, that can be bought at historically low valuations would seem to me a very prudent investing strategy at the moment.

For the last several months I’ve been following Max Resource Corp. as it develops CESAR. Max’s goal is to bring in a major as a partner, that can help finance a drill program at CESAR and bring it to a resource, then, fingers crossed, complete the rest of the steps (PEA, prefeasibility study, feasibility study, permits, etc.) required to build a mine.

We are also encouraged to see interest expressed by AGH-UST university in Poland, where some of the people most familiar with Kupfershiefer-type deposits, other than KGHM, will study samples from Max’s CESAR to see if there is a correlation. That’s exciting.

Could Max be sitting on another Kupfershiefer? Time will, as always, tell. But by the time we get a definitive answer I would expect the share price to have already runaway.

Richard (Rick) Mills

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