LONDON, ENGLAND–(Marketwired – April 29, 2013) - Condor (AIM:CNR), a gold exploration company focused on delineating a large commercial reserve on its 100%-owned La India Project in Nicaragua, which hosts a CIM compliant Mineral Resource of 2,375,000 oz gold at 4.6g/t, is pleased to announce that a 2000m drilling programme has commenced on the Central Breccia area. The drilling programme has two objectives: Firstly, to prove a maiden gold mineralised resource on the Central Breccia. Secondly, to drill beneath the soil anomalies identified near to the Central Breccia to test for further buried gold mineralised breccia systems.
LONDON, ENGLAND–(Marketwired – April 25, 2013) - Condor (AIM:CNR), a gold exploration company focused on delineating a large commercial reserve on its 100%-owned La India Project in Nicaragua, which hosts a CIM compliant Mineral Resource of 2.4Moz gold at 4.6g/t, is pleased to announce that it has commenced a geotechnical drilling programme of ten drill holes for 1,700m on La India open pit resource.
See original here: Condor Gold plc Geotechnical Drilling on La India Project, Nicaragua
KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – March 24, 2013) - FISSION ENERGY CORP. Fission Energy Corp. (“Fission” or “the Company), and its 50% Joint Venture partner Alpha Minerals Inc., are pleased to report initial assay results from the ongoing winter drill program on its Patterson Lake South (PLS) Property. These assay results are from drill hole PLS13-038, the first hole drilled on the R390E zone.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – March 24, 2013) - Alpha Minerals Inc. (“Alpha” or “the Company”) (TSX VENTURE:AMW) (FRANKFURT:E2GA), and its Joint Venture partner Fission Energy Corp. are pleased to report initial assay results from the ongoing winter drill program on its Patterson Lake South (“PLS”) Property. These assay results are from drill hole PLS13-038, the first hole drilled on the R390E zone.
Thousands seize chance to profit from abandoned wells in spirit of enterprise denied under former military regime
At the end of the last dirt road in Thayet, Maung Ko Oo, 25, is standing thigh-deep in a pit of crude oil, his longyi tied up high around his waist, a sweaty vein of black tar streaked across his forehead. His boss – a round-faced man sporting a baseball cap and ruby ring – is standing over him, shouting out orders to the half-dressed men relaying oil-filled buckets to the huge barrels lining their station.
As the early afternoon sun arcs high over these dusty hills in central Burma, the men climb atop the barrels and pour in the oil bucket by bucket, then roll the filled barrels up a ridge and into the back of a truck. All around them, thousands of workers are doing the same – digging for oil, drilling for oil, collecting the oil, and selling it off to local refineries – in unregulated, artisanal pits which they claim can fetch up to 300 barrels of crude oil a day, worth $3,000 (£2,000) at local market prices.
“This is easy money,” says boss Ko Win Shwe, a former miner who moved hundreds of miles to this settlement of huts and tents to find his fortune. He waves his hands to take in the barren earth stilettoed with oil-blackened drills and bares a toothy grin. “See all this land?” he says, his rubies glinting in the sun. “I bought all of it for $4,000 six months ago and struck lucky last week. Now I get 200 barrels a day. It’s easy! Such easy money.”
About 2,000 people already live here, but many more are arriving daily in search of opportunity, entrepreneurship and independence – all denied under the military regime that ruled the country for nearly 50 years. Oil was first discovered by the British in the 19th century, but the wells were abandoned, and now it is the enterprising locals who have tapped into this plentiful resource – some of whom claim to have earned millions of dollars doing so.
“We have our eyes and ears open, always, because wherever and whenever the government stops drilling, then we move in,” says Aung Win, a self-styled “oil boss” in a purple dress shirt, cowboy hat, flipflops and wraparound sunglasses. “Sometimes it can take a year for the oil to come out, so you just wait, and sometimes you have to move on. In my 24 years doing this, I’ve had to move 49 times to follow the oil.”
Here in Thayet, a township caked in dust about seven hours north of Rangoon, the oil rush began in 1989 after a farmer found crude near his land. Soon thousands of people had flooded the village, including students whose classes were cut short after the 1988 uprising. Those who have remained here since – along with a handful of wives and a fair few children – clamber under wooden derricks fashioned from bamboo and rope, the drills between them squelching out crude oil that runs into large open pits lined with tarpaulin.
Everywhere one looks, there is oil: in the fumes floating up in the midday heat, in the black rivulets snaking down the hillside, in the old barrels littering the land. But this is not the biggest “oil town”, says Aung Win: just a few hours away, roughly 20,000 drillers dig for crude at Su Win, and another 10,000 are in the neighbouring Khing Taung village.
Prospecting is a costly gamble. Land costs about $4,000 an acre, drills are $2,000, and permits – whose prices vary – must be purchased from the local refineries. Most drillers pool their resources and their profits, says boss Ko Win Shwe, as many start out drilling by hand until they can afford a generator and engine. “But it’s really paying off the officials that’s expensive,” says Aung Win, shaking his head. “They want to be taken out to sing karaoke and drink all night – it can cost $1,500 just for the bribe!”
The opportunities for wealth may be great, but there are no health and safety rules here, no environmental protection, no employee regulations.
Work continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and fires are a common hazard: earlier this month five men were killed when a cooking flame rollicked across the hills and nearly spread into the pits themselves.
Up at the local refinery small no-smoking signs, weathered and curling from the sun, dot the bamboo fence, but barrels of oil are stored in thatched huts and men drill nearby with cheroot (local cigars) at their lips.
“There are oil fields to the left and right all along the Irrawaddy river, and still so many basins all over [Burma] that we haven’t explored or developed yet – but the problem is that there is no good estimate of how much oil is in place,” says oil and gas expert KK Hlaing of Smart Technical Services, which helps local and international companies drill for oil. “There are around 14 basins in [Burma] but only three or four have been properly commercialised.”
As Burma has opened up under the presidency of Thein Sein, whose quasi-civilian government ended five decades of military rule in 2011, about 18 onshore blocks are now up for grabs by foreign and local firms looking to cash in on the nation’s great oil and gas reserves.
That alone may explain why government officers trailed the Guardian to various drilling sites and demanded to see travel visas, and why a very different oil rush is taking place in Rangoon.
At the Myanmar oil and gas summit earlier this month – which cost £1,500 a person to attend and was sponsored by Halliburton and the Malaysian oil firm Petronas, among others – executives spoke of the pros and cons of investing in Burma. “There is a boom here but, like in many other countries in the region, we’re the bad guys,” said one, warning that “big business can be blamed” for anything that goes wrong. He pointed to Burma’s lack of arbitration, dodgy track record in policing and the suspended Myitsone dam project as lessons to be studied.
For those drilling for oil near Thayet, however, short-term gains far outweigh any long-term fallout. Aung Win claims he lost $2m last year because of faulty drilling and dodgy business practices, and just last week lost another $70,000 at a well a few hours away. “But this is the only industry in Burma where you can lose $70,000, let alone make it,” Aung Win explains. “Nothing else in this country gives you money like this.”
Nearly everyone agrees. “It’s easy to lose the money if you don’t invest it in other areas, because sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” says Zaw Min Tun, 37, a former farmer who has built a new house for his family and pipes his oil earnings into carwash businesses. “We just lost $50,000 because we drilled and couldn’t find any oil. But I would still recommend this business to anyone, with no reservations.”
It is impossible to verify the wealth of these seeming gamblers, but KK Hlaing says that it is highly unlikely any of them are able to tap more than 30 barrels a day due to the fact that most are drilling between 300 metres and 762 metres (1,000ft and 2,500ft), “and most of the good oil is 10,000ft or below”. In Thayet, many houses are painted in bright greens and blues and the women wear emerald and ruby earrings – but much of the village life still seems impoverished, with most villagers choosing to work at the local weapons and concrete factories instead of in the oil fields.
Still, the richest driller in this “oil town” is Kyi Nai, 41, a lithe man with a crew cut and betel-stained teeth who says he has earned $300,000 in the past six months alone. “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and I’ve never hit oil like that,” he says with a grin. “My hard work finally paid off. My wife is happy – she likes money.”
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 3, 2013) – Soltoro Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:SOL) has completed six additional diamond drill holes at the El Rayo primary silver project in Jalisco, Mexico to test for sulphide mineralization at depth below the known Las Bolas deposit. Results have been received from four holes to date. On January 18, 2013, Soltoro announced results from drill hole Ray 12-152 which intersected 91.3 metres of 129 g/t silver equivalent including 11.2 metres of massive sulphide mineralization grading 537 g/t silver equivalent encountered at the base of the hole. The four holes drilled along strike from hole RAY12-152 at 50 metre spacings all encountered sulphide mineralization extending the deep sulphide zone 200 metres along strike (Ray13-158 is pending). Ray13-155 is a step-out hole drilled below Ray12-152. Results are as follows:
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Fire River Drills 5.35 Metres Grading 53.98 g/t Gold at Nixon Fork
VANCOUVER, Feb. 28, 2013
VANCOUVER, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Fire River Gold Corp. (TSXV: FAU),
(OTCQX: FVGCF), (FSE: FWR) (the “Company” or “Fire River”) is pleased
to announce results from its November and December 2012 underground
diamond drilling program (Figure 1 and 2) at its wholly owned Nixon
Fork Gold Project in Alaska.
HUDSON RESOURCES INC. (“Hudson” or “the Company” – TSX-V: “HUD”, OTCQX: “HUDRF”) is pleased to announce the 2012 drill results for the Sarfartoq light rare earth element (“REE”) project in Greenland. A total of 5,555 meters of diamond core drilling was completed in connection with rare earth exploration and development. Nineteen holes were drilled in the vicinity of the ST1 Zone resource. The other four were exploration holes drilled on the south side of the carbonatite at the ST24 target. Complete drill results are presented in Table 2 below and a map of the drill locations will be available on the Company’s website.
2012 Drill Program Highlights:
- Sixteen drill holes surrounding and infilling the ST1 Zone resource area contained high-grade intersections including:
- 6 meters of 6.05% TREO (SAR12-03)
- 6 meters of 4.91% TREO (SAR12-01)
- 8 meters of 4.61% TREO (SAR12-15)
- 6 meters of 4.34% TREO (SAR12-15)
- Wide zones of neodymium mineralization at ST1 continue to demonstrate the high proportion of neodymium that has been outlined in the resource.
- Drill results confirm continuation of high-grade mineralization at depth.
James Tuer, Hudson’s President, stated, “We are very pleased with the results from our 2012 drill program. We have continued to demonstrate that the mineralization extends to the northeast and have intersected some of our highest-grade material as we move in that direction. Drilling to the south confirmed that the mineralization continues at depth with a high ratio of neodymium to total rare earth oxides at 23%. We expect that these results will increase the overall grade and tonnage of the resource when they have been incorporated into the resource model”.
“Going forward, our efforts at the ST1 Zone will focus on defining the metallurgical flow sheet as we have already outlined a sufficiently large and potentially economic deposit. We expect to have our flow sheet completed by the end of the second quarter of this year. This is a relatively low-cost exercise but it is critical in demonstrating the viability of a REE deposit.”
“The bulk of the Company’s capital budget for 2013 will be focused on our White Mountain anorthosite project, where the Company has made substantial progress in a relatively short time. We expect to have significant updates on this project over the next several months.”
The ST1 Zone at Sarfartoq represents one of the industry’s highest ratios of neodymium and praseodymium to TREO, averaging 25%, based on the inferred resource. Based on the latest resource model, the ST1 Zone contains over 27 million kilograms of neodymium oxide and 8 million kilograms of praseodymium oxide, which are the key components in permanent magnets and the fastest growing sector of the rare earths industry.
Table 1: 2012 High-Grade Intercepts of Neodymium and Praseodymium Oxide.