Meet the New Fiore Gold20 min read


Fiore Gold has a market cap of roughly CAD$70 million. Its new flagship asset – the permitted and operating heap leach Pan Mine – has had over US$200 million spent on exploration and development to date, including the completion of 127 drill holes for 45,665 feet by GRP in 2016…

Fiore’s predecessor company, GRP Minerals, purchased the mine out of bankruptcy in 2016 for approximately US$5 million. Furthermore, the company estimates the mine will produce between 35,000-40,000 ounces of gold in 2018, with “significant expansion potential.”

Expansion potential is a broad, high level term; so let’s take a look at what Fiore means by this. Also, let’s examine the company’s market valuation while keeping in mind Fiore has approximately CAD$25 million in cash, according to its October 2017 corporate presentation, representing roughly 30% of its current market cap.

Transition from Exploration to Production

Fiore Gold picked up the Pan Mine in a business combination with GRP Minerals; former Fiore shareholders saw their shares diluted as a result of the transaction. This somewhat complex merger led to what became a rather lengthy trading halt for the company as well, presumably as it went through regulatory review. After being halted on June 12th, the company came to trade on October 2nd. Most noteworthy about the transaction is that Fiore’s new asset now makes it a producer with exploration upside, as opposed to a pure exploration play which it previously was when we started covering it.

Fiore’s Share Price Trades Lower

Fiore’s shares hit a high of CAD$1.10 on October 2nd, the day the company resumed trading; however, its shares began to grind lower, bottoming at CAD$0.69 later in the month. It closed trading yesterday at CAD$0.66 (one penny above its low since resuming trading). From our perspective, and perhaps to be expected, it appears Fiore is building a new shareholder base of investors seeking leverage to proven ounces in the ground and permitted production rather than a grass roots exploration play that can create value via, and almost solely because of, successful drilling programs. Although still in the same sector, Fiore’s shareholder base profile may be changing.

Fiore’s New Focus | Nevada Gold Production

Fiore’s producing Pan Gold Mine is located in the heart of U.S. gold country: Nevada. Nevada’s history of gold production needs little explaining to our readers. When it comes to mining gold, it’s world-class in every respect.

N.B. We witnessed Fiore’s Chile exploration project first-hand. Check out our site visit from late-2016 below in case you missed it. Chile, the world’s largest copper producing nation, also produces a respectable amount of gold; but, its gold production pales in comparison to the United States, or even Nevada. In 2016, Chile produced a total of 40.7 tons of gold. The U.S. produced some 225.7 tons, of which Nevada accounted for about 170 tons…

 

Global Leader in Gold Production: Nevada

After steadily declining for a few years, starting in 2011, gold production in Nevada rose 2.4% in 2016 to nearly 5.47 million ounces.

nevada
chart source: The Nevada Division of Minerals

 

Nevada is home to two of the world’s top-five gold mines. And, according to Fiore’s corporate presentation, the top 16 Nevada mines contain 69.8 million ounces of gold reserves.

Fiore Gold’s 2 Key Nevada Gold Assets

The Pan Mine is a Carlin-style, open-pit, heap-leach mine in east-central Nevada, approximately 28 km southeast of the town of Eureka, on the prolific Battle-Mountain – Eureka gold trend.

According to Fiore,

“Fiore’s predecessor company GRP Minerals purchased the mine out of bankruptcy in 2016 for approximately US$5 million, and immediately began a program to correct the operational issues that had impacted the mine under the previous owners. These corrective measures included:

  • A 15,400-metre program of infill drilling to better define the geology, and increase confidence in the mineral resources and reserves
  • Commissioning SRK to carry out a new Feasibility Study and Resource and Reserve Estimate based on the new drilling, as well as information gained during previous mining operations at Pan.
  • Rehabilitation of the existing leach pad to correct the previous low-permeability issues that had existed under the previous operator
  • Opening the North Pit and instituting a blending strategy with rocky and clay-rich ore to ensure that permeability problems do not re-occur
  • Improved grade control sampling procedures
  • Commissioning of the onsite grade control assay laboratory
  • Assigning a geologist to oversee grade control and provide geological controls on mining
  • Improved operating procedures on the leach pad and at the ADR plant

An updated Reserve and Resource Estimate was published in July 2017 by SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc., incorporating the 15,400 m of additional drilling carried out in 2016 by GRP.”

 

These measures appeared to have been productive, as the company reported on October 31st that, Pan Mine Achieves Record Ore and Gold Production. Furthermore,

“Mine production in September totaled 445,228 tons of ore and 411,402 tons of waste, already exceeding our targeted ramp-up to 14,000 tons per day (tpd) of ore by January 2018, and a significant step up from the 10,425 tpd of ore mined in August. Gold production for September was 1,602 ounces, an increase of over 160% from the previous month. Both ore and gold production have set a new record for the Pan Mine since mining was restarted in March of 2017.”

Heap Leach 101 – Fiore Updates Expansion Plans at Pan Mine

Fiore explained a basic principle of heap leach mining in a recent press release.

“As in any heap leach operation, increases in gold production will lag behind ore production, so we expect to see further increases in gold production in October as a result of September’s increased ore production.”

And that,

“Fiore is targeting a steady-state mining rate of 14,000 tons of ore per day by January 2018, with projected gold production of 35-40,000 ounces in fiscal 2018 (October 2017 through September 2018).”

GRP Minerals’ work in 2016 and 2017 produced a mineral resource and reserve estimate.

Pan Mine Mineral Resource Estimate

pan mine

Note: NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Pan Mine, White Pine County, Nevada, June, 2017. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that any part of the Mineral Resource will be converted into a Mineral Reserve. Pit-constrained resource based on US$1350/oz gold, cutoff grade of 0.17g/t gold for North & Central zones, 0.14 g/t gold for South zone, North and Central area recoveries of 62% for Au and a Southern area recovery of 85% for Au, a mining cost of US$2.20/t, an ore processing and G&A cost of US$3.91/t, and a pit slope of 50 degrees in the North and 45 degrees in the South and Central Areas;. Numbers in the table have been converted to metric units and may not sum due to rounding.

Pan Project Mineral Reserve Estimate as of March 16, 2017

pan mine

Source: SRK, 2017, NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Pan Mine, White Pine County, Nevada, June, 2017

• Reserves stated in the table above are contained within an engineered pit design following the US$1,200/oz Au sales price Lerchs-Grossman pit

• Reserves for South Pan and South Satellite Pits are based upon a minimum 0.14 g/t Au Internal CoG, using a US$1,200/oz-Au sales price and a Au Recovery of 85%, an Au Sales cost of US$3.48/oz, Ore and Waste Mining Cost = US$2.34/t, Processing and G&A Cost = US$4.19/t and a 4% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR)

• Reserves for North Pan, Red Hill and Central Pan are based upon a minimum 0.21 g/t Au Internal CoG, using a US$1,200/oz-Au sales price and a Au Recovery of 62%, an Au Sales cost of US$3.48/oz, Ore and Waste Mining Cost = US$2.34/t, Processing and G&A Cost = US$34.19/t and a 4% NSR

•Mineral Reserves stated above are contained within and are not additional to the Mineral Resource. Numbers in the table have been converted to metric units and may not sum due to rounding

For more information on the Pan Mine Project please click here.

 

Obviously, as is the case for virtually every mining or exploration company, Fiore aims to build on these resources at Pan. The company concluded its October 31st news release by explaining,

“Exploration work aimed at increasing the resource and reserve base at Pan is also ongoing, with a number of drill targets identified proximal to both the North and South Pits. Drilling is expected to commence in early 2018.”

Gold Rock – The Second Piece of the Nevada Puzzle

Also located along the Battle Mountain-Eureka Trend, about 10 miles south from the Pan Mine, lies Fiore’s Gold Rock Project which consists of a 20,300-hectares contiguous land package. Much less developed than Fiore’s Pan Project, The mineralisation at Gold Rock is hosted by the folded and faulted Joanna Limestone Formation, nevadawhere the historical resource covers only about 3 km of a >10 km long belt. This belt contains the same folded and faulted Joanna Formation, displaying strong Carlin-style alteration (silica flooding, jasperoids) and coincident gold and pathfinder element anomalies throughout its strike length.

At least nine distinct targets defined by Carlin-type structure, geochemistry and alteration have been located by surface sampling and mapping, and all permits are in place to begin drilling in early 2018.

Fiore reported, “In addition to exploration activities, the permitting regime is well advanced with the Federal mine permitting process nearing completion. The EIS Record of Decision is expected in Q1 2018 for a full open-pit heap leach mining operation at Gold Rock.”

Read more about the Gold Rock Project here.

Fiore has a stated goal of 150,000 ounces of production. While it won’t happen overnight, and is far from a certainty, the market will know soon enough if the company is moving in the right direction.

Fiore Gold | Quest to 150,000 ounces

Fiore Gold has growth ambitions which includes a production goal of 150,000 ounces of gold per year. It aims to achieve this, in part, through an expansion at its already permitted and producing Pan Mine. Furthermore, by developing its Gold Rock asset and the consolidation of acquisition targets identified. Regarding future acquisition targets, Fiore reports in its updated investor presentation that, “preliminary discussions [are] underway.” And that they are, “Targeting near-production deposits in the 800 koz – 1 Moz range.”

From our experience of covering the industry for roughly a decade, these sizes of deposits can be overlooked by majors because they are often looking for much larger scale (somewhere typically around 3 million ounces or more).

nevada gold mines
source: Fiore Gold corporate presentation

 

Recognize that we are biased as Fiore is an advertiser client. Please take responsibility for practicing your own thorough and independent due diligence. Learn about the risks associated with investing in small-cap resource companies of this nature. Pick your spots.

Let’s be clear… Fiore has several hoops to jump through if it is to hit 150,000 ounces of annual production. But, with its team, led by Tim Warman, Ken Brunk, Frank Guistra and Paul Matysek, and significant cash on hand (approx. $25 million according to its October corporate presentation), it is hard to argue they are not well-positioned compared to many other juniors with similar market caps.

Frank and Paul need no introduction and are industry titans. Tim Warman, if you remember from our original report on Fiore, has held board or senior leadership roles with some of the most successful exploration and development companies of the past decade, which have together discovered over 30 million ounces of gold.

With exploration work ongoing at the Pan Mine and drilling expected to commence in early 2018, investors won’t have to wait long for results.

All the best with your investments,

 

PINNACLEDIGEST.COM

Fiore Gold Stock Information:

Stock symbol: F – Trades on the TSX Venture

Market cap (approx): CAD$70M

Share price: CAD$0.66

 

Online Resources

VISIT FIORE ONLINE

SEDAR FILINGS

Fiore Gold Corporate Presentation

Fiore Gold Corporate Presentation

Disclosure, Risks Involved and Information on Forward Looking Statements:

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Important: Our disclosure for this report on Fiore Gold Ltd. applies to the date this report was released to our subscribers (December 1, 2017) and posted on our website. This disclaimer will never be updated.

In all cases, interested parties should conduct their own investigation and analysis of Fiore Gold Ltd. (“Fiore” or “Fiore Gold” or “the Company”), its assets and the information provided in this report. Prospective investors not willing and able to risk a loss of their entire invested capital must not consider purchasing shares of Fiore Gold.

 

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All statements in this report, other than statements of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or future performance. Forward-looking statements contained in this report regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.

All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein including, without limitation, the plans for future exploration, projections for fiscal year 2018, expectations regarding leach pad construction and its capacity, growth potential and development of the Pan Mine and the Gold Rock Project, goal to become a 150,000 ounce/year gold producer, planned gold production for the Pan Mine, plans to acquire additional near-production assets, mining rates, future impacts of operational improvements, and other statements, estimates or expectations are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Fiore Gold to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in this report. Such factors include, among others, the following risks: risks related to the Pan Mine and the Gold Rock Project, risks related to the successful integration of the businesses of the two companies mentioned in this report; risks related to international operations; risks related to general economic conditions, actual results of current exploration activities, unanticipated reclamation expenses; the need for additional financing; reliance on key personnel; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; fluctuations in prices of metals including gold; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, increases in market prices of mining consumables, possible variations in ore reserves, grade or recovery rates; failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour disputes, title disputes, claims and limitations on insurance coverage and other risks of the mining industry; delays in the completion of exploration, development or construction activities, changes in national and local government regulation of mining operations, tax rules and regulations, and political and economic developments in countries in which Fiore Gold operates, the volatility of Fiore’s common share price and volume and other factors identified in Fiore’s filing with Canadian securities regulatory authorities.

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This report and/or supportive documents used in the research process of this report may use the term “Inferred Resources”. U.S. investors are advised that while this term is recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the Securities and Exchange Commission does not recognize it. “Inferred Resources” have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of “Inferred Resources” may not form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. U.S. investors are also cautioned not to assume that all or any part of an “Inferred Mineral Resource” exists, or is economically or legally mineable.

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