Turkey: Sandstorm will receive a $200m gold stream on the Hod Maden project
In exchange, Sandstorm will receive a $200m gold stream on the Hod Maden project and a 34% interest in Royalty North Partners.
Canada’s Royalty North Partners (RNP) has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Sandstorm Gold to purchase non-royalty and non-stream assets.
The deal involves the sale of a 30% stake in the Hod Maden gold-copper project in north-eastern Turkey.
Under the LoI, Sandstorm Gold will also transfer its 25% stake in Entrée Resources to Royalty North Partners and a $10m cash contribution.
Entrée Resources holds a 20% stake in the Hugo North Extension project, a portion of the Hugo Dummett deposit at the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia.
The transaction is structured as a reverse takeover of Royalty North. Upon completion of the deal, RNP will change its name to Horizon Copper.
In exchange for the sale, Sandstorm will receive a $200m gold stream on the Hod Maden project, around 34% interest in Royalty North Partners, and $95m debenture in Horizon Copper.
Sandstorm Gold president and CEO Nolan Watson said: “Streamline is a key theme for Sandstorm this year.
“The transformation of the Company’s interest in Hod Maden into a gold stream is integral to our corporate strategy of unlocking the hidden value in Sandstorm’s portfolio.”
The proposed transaction would allow Sandstorm Gold to position itself as a pure-play precious metals streaming and royalty firm.
Watson added: “The launch of Horizon Copper is an elegant solution that maintains excellent exposure to the upside at Hod Maden while also opening new doors for creating value for both entities
“I am excited as Sandstorm moves forward as a pure-play streaming and royalty company with a partnership that can help us acquire precious metal by-product streams on high-quality copper assets.”
The transaction is slated to complete in the second half of this year.
In 2022, Sandstorm Gold expects its attributable gold equivalent production to range between 65,000oz and 70,000oz.
Upon completion of the deal, the company anticipates its production to reach more than 100,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2025, Mining Technology writes.
Turkey’s exports from mining have reached new pandemic heights, increasing by 48% in the first nine months of 2021
Turkey’s exports from mining have reached new pandemic heights, increasing by 48% in the first nine months of 2021, reaching a healthy $4.38 billion with China, the U.S. and Spain topping the list of destination countries
Turkey’s mineral exports increased by 48% in the January-September period of 2021, compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching $4.38 billion (TL 45.71 billion), Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said Tuesday.
Dönmez drew attention to the record energy and mineral prices being witnessed in Turkey and the rest of the world.
“We were affected by this process, of course, but compared to the rest of the world, Turkey recovered faster than other countries”, he said.
“Our mineral exports increased to $4.38 billion in the first nine months of 2021. Compared to the same period of the previous year, our exports increased by 48%. Last September, we exported $584 million from mines. Compared to the same period of the previous year, we achieved an increase of 39%.”
China, the United States and Spain were the top three exporting countries, with Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Albania and Serbia recently added to the list of Turkey’s export markets.
The mining industry’s contribution to Turkey’s gross domestic product has massively increased from TL 11 billion in 2009 to TL 59.2 billion in 2020, Dönmez said.
Dönmez emphasized that the environment and sustainability are among the top priorities, noting that the transformation of sectors to promote sustainability will be carried out within the framework of the European “Green Deal.”
“Turkey has the largest reserves in the world in boron, perlite, trona, pumice, bentonite, pyrophyllite, feldspar, zeolite, barite, magnesite, chrome, lignite, gypsum, marble and cement raw materials,” he said.
Of the 90 types of minerals produced around the world, Turkey has 80, he said.
Technological advancements and further research and development are necessary to reap the full benefits of such large reserves, he added.
Dönmez noted that within the scope of the national mining policy, a model that creates more end products would be implemented.
“These mines are ours and we also have the infrastructure, human resources, entrepreneurs and technology to mine them. Most importantly, we have self-confidence now. We have businesspeople who say we can do it, we can handle this job, and take the responsibility without hesitation.”
Dönmez also added that female employment in the mining sector rose by 106% in 2019 compared to 2010, reaching 5,732 while male employment decreased by 2% to 117,212 in the same period.
Planting and cultivating trees at old mine sites is an ongoing endeavor, Dönmez said, highlighting that 10 million trees have been planted over the course of 29 years.
“We produced 6,500 liters (1,717 gallons) of olive oil from approximately 7,700 olive trees that we planted in our fields under the Aegean Lignite Enterprise Directorate in Soma, Manisa,” he said and added, “We will always do our work by saying ‘people and the environment first, then mining.”
CVMR’s investment in two high grade graphite mines in Turkey
CVMR Corporation’s Managing Director in Turkey, Mr. Mehmet Bozdemir, announced CVMR’s investment in two high grade graphite mines in Turkey. CVMR has been producing graphene and graphite from CO2, CO, methane, and coal in the past 7 years. However, ‘Producing graphite and graphene from a natural source of graphite would be far less complicated and cheaper’ emphasises Mr. Bozdemir.
CVMR’s proprietary technologies have moved forward in the past 36 years by inventing new processes and new products at an astonishing pace. Besides the production of carbon-based products, the company can refine 36 different metals including all the rare earth element (REE) and platinum group of metals (PGM) using vapour metallurgy processes. It produced its first self-assembled graphene nanostructures that can absorb heat directly from the sun and convert that heat to electricity, two years ago.
CVMR’s unique refining technological platforms use an inexpensive but highly sophisticated proprietary system that uses recycled reagents in their gaseous form to vaporize various metals from their ore concentrates. It can mix and then refine laterite and sulphide ores in one combined process without any emissions into the atmosphere. The process is capable of refining various laterite and sulphide ores without polluting the air, water, or soil. It can recycle EV batteries, rare earth magnets and radioactively contaminated metals.
The driving force behind all these breath-taking innovations is the Chairman and CEO of CVMR group of companies, Kamran M. Khozan, and his management team of some 350 scientists, chemical engineers and process engineers headed by their Chief Operating Officer N. Victor Emanuel. The company has some 57 seminal patents and about 150 patented new inventions to its name. It is based in Torontowith operations in 18 countries.
About seven years ago CVMR demonstrated that it could convert CO2, CO, methane and coal to graphene, graphite using its CVD proprietary process.
The cheapest and the most abundantly available source of graphene and graphite is coal and mineral graphite. Burning them is hazardous to our health, converting them to graphene and graphite and myriad of their derivative products has proven to enhance our technologies and indeed with numerous applications in the medicine to improve our lives.
Using graphene, we can now study a new class of two-dimensional materials with unique properties. Graphene transistors are substantially faster than silicon transistors and result in more efficient computers. Graphene is suitable for producing transparent touch screens, light panels, and solar cells. When mixed with plastics, graphene can turn plastics into conductors of electricity while making them more heat resistant and mechanically robust. Satellites, airplanes, and cars are gradually being manufactured out of the new carbon-based composite materials. Application of graphite and graphene in medicine is astronomical.
The exceptional chemical, biological and physical characteristics of carbon-based nanomaterials have attracted the attention of scientists and large multinational coal mining and oil refining corporations in the past five years. The earlier scientific attempts were focused on the conversion of coal to alternative fuels for use in automobiles, tar for use in construction of roads and buildings, and variety of lubricants used in machines and processing plants. The processing methods used to convert coal to these products were gasification, liquefaction and hydropyrolysis.
Today, however, the demand for the development of nanomaterials using environmentally friendly technologies has changed the nature of these processes and the form and use of the products that can be developed. The reagents used in these processes and the synthesis techniques employed to grow nanomaterials from carbon-based materials employ mostly coal, mined graphite, CO2, and methane as sources of inexpensive and abundant raw material.
All these value-added, highly sophisticated materials can be produced from various types of coal such as lignite, bituminous and anthracite. These new nanomaterials have applications in the production of energy, biomedicine, aerospace, batteries, electronics, computers, and composite materials used in the aerospace, automotive, and defence industries.
In developing these products, CVMR selects the most economic combination of value-added products, given the feed material’s characteristics, market potential of the products to be chosen and the potential for generating maximum revenue. ‘A diverse portfolio when chosen carefully can mitigate sales and marketing risks’ sates Kamran Khozan.
The predominant techniques employed currently to synthesize carbon-based nanomaterials from coal are:
1) Thermal Plasma (requiring high levels of energy);
2) Arc Discharge methods;
3) Laser Ablation; and
4) Chemical Vapor Deposition or CVD.
The latter method, CVD, is based on a platform discovered some 110 years ago. It has been further developed and applied to 36 different metal concentrates by CVMR and its organo-chemical-based processes. As a cost-effective method it has been expanded by CVMR to apply to coal as a source of inexpensive feed material.
Mr. Khozan pressed home the point by stating, ‘We plan to mine the graphite mines in Turkey and convert the mined graphite to products that today’s industrial market is hungry for. This, we hope will spearhead a new industrial sector in Turkey and beyond.’
Ariana Resources almost doubled estimates at its Turkey Kepez North mine
Anglo-Turkish precious metals miner Ariana Resources has almost doubled its estimates for gold reserves at the Kepez North site in Turkey.
The reassessment to 36,400 Troy ounces is a 97% increase on the last survey in 2020, and 310% on a feasibility survey conducted in 2013.
Optimism over the increase in the average grade of gold to 7.14 grammes per tonne and of silver to 64.65 grammes per tonne was matched by a “substantially improved” resource classification.
Although subject to further checks, the mine is expected to increase extraction rates both in gold and silver. The figure for silver reserves has been upgraded to 329,400 ounces. Progress will be helped by the addition of five new diamond drill holes, announced on 30 June, which will capture 81% of the total resource by volume and more than 87% by weight. Kepez North is part of the Zenit Madencilik joint venture with Proccea Construction and Ozaltin Holding, of which Ariana Resources owns a 23% stake.
Commenting on the results of the latest survey, Ariana managing director Dr Kerim Sener said: “This is a great outcome from the recent drilling undertaken in the Kepez area. We remain highly encouraged by this area as a potential source of very high-grade mineralisation.
“Based on the significant increase in the resource at Kepez… the joint venture has taken the decision to bring the drill rig back to this area to complete further drilling.
“This work, in addition to further mining studies and associated permitting is being expedited in order to bring this area forward in the mining schedule. Importantly, the geometry of the mineralisation lends itself well to near complete resource extraction.”
New Turkish gold mine to contribute 100-ton annual gold production target
Last year, despite Turkey’s high gold potential, imports worth $25 billion were also made, Mehmet Yılmaz said – a result of high domestic interest. Due to this demand, gold imports increased the foreign trade deficit, which can only be reduced with domestic production. Yılmaz told Anadolu Agency (AA) that investments enabling the country to reach its gold production potential should be evaluated within a “strategic” scope to reduce Turkey’s foreign trade deficit. Turkey’s 42 tons of gold production last year provided some $2.4 billion (TL 20.06 billion) to the national economy, and newly discovered reserves and its mining facility will further contribute to Ankara’s 100-ton annual gold production target, the chairperson of the Gold Miners Association said.
“We have enterprises producing gold at international standards and gold refineries. We have a Precious Metals Market at Borsa Istanbul that manages its imports and very strong jewelry industry,” he said, adding that all must benefit.
Pointing out that hundreds of specialists have been trained to carry out jewelry design, craftsmanship and marketing at international standards, Yılmaz further commented that Turkey is one of the rare countries that carry out all production steps from raw material to final product in the gold industry. Last year, some 11.5 tons of produced gold was paid to the state as tax and permit fees, Yılmaz said.
Highlighting Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank’s announcement last week about the 20 tons of gold reserves – with a market value of $1.2 billion – at Koza Altın’s Mollakara mining facility in the eastern Ağrı province, Yılmaz said: “We have been able to convert 1,500 tons of our 6,500 tons of gold potential into producible gold reserves. The gold mine facility, whose foundation was laid in Ağrı, will make a significant contribution to our country’s annual gold production target of 100 tons.”
Noting that gold mining in Turkey is carried out at European standards, Yılmaz said, “It is done with the same technology and methods in our country as gold is sought, extracted and separated with cyanide in developed countries such as Canada, the U.S., Australia, Finland or Sweden.”
He added that the country had to do the same in terms of sustainable mining as well.
Varank on June 10 announced the new gold reserve discovery in the country’s east, along with 3.5 tons of silver reserves with a market value of $2.8 million.
The minister said at the time “the reserve found has a much richer content compared to similar mines in our country, with a grade value of 0.92,” he said, noting that they “will ensure that this reserve is brought into the economy in an environmentally friendly manner.”
Koza Altın is expected to invest a total of $160 million in the gold mining facility. The company was seized and handed over to Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) due to its links to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which was behind the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
A total of 197 drillings have been carried out in the Mollakara gold and silver project so far, according to the minister. The first gold casting in the mine, which will also have a processing facility, is aimed to be made in the last quarter of 2022. The enterprise, where 500 people will be directly employed, will see indirect employment that would reach 2,300 people.
Three Azerbaijani mines were granted to two Turkish companies
With a presidential order signed by Ilham Aliyev, the operating rights of three mineral mines in Azerbaijan were granted to two Turkish companies; The Qasqacay, Elbeydas and Agduzdag mines were transferred for the purpose of study, research, exploration, development and exploitation based on a 30-year contract, said the presidential order.
According to the order, Turkey’s Eti Maden will operate the Qasqacay mine, while Artvin Maden will have the Elbeydas and Agduzdag mines.
Aliyev also instructed the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry and the Economy Ministry to prepare contracts for the operation of the mines within three months and to sign them with the companies.
The Agduzdag mine is located in the southeastern part of the Kalbajar region, which was recently liberated after a nearly three-decade occupation by Armenian forces.
During a 44-day conflict last year, which ended in a truce on Nov. 10, 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Karabakh from Armenia’s occupation.
The cease-fire was seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.
A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the cease-fire. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed in the region.
Alamos Gold to file claim against Turkey over Kirazil gold mine
Turkish Kirazli gold mine was originally projected to produce about 100,000 ounces of gold per year over a six-year period. Located in Mount Ida, also known as Mount Kaz, the project was met with resistance from local residents as well as politicians in 2019 after large areas of forest were razed in preparations for the gold mine. Alamos Gold acquired rights to develop the land in 2010 and said it had since invested over $250 million for the project, but halted construction after the Turkish government did not renew the company’s mining licenses.
The Canada-based mining company Alamos announced it would seek more than $1 billion from Turkey for “expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment” regarding a halted gold mining project in the country’s northwestern Canakkale region. In a statement, Alamos said its Netherlands-based office would file an investment treaty claim against Turkey over the controversial Kirazli gold mine project, which stalled in October 2019 after its mining concessions expired amid protests against the development.
“We have been shut down for over 18 months in a manner without precedent in Turkey, despite having received all the permits required to build and operate a mine,” John A. McCluskey, president and CEO of Alamos Gold, said in a statement, adding, “The Turkish government has given us no indication that relief is in sight, nor will they engage with us in an effort to renew the outstanding licenses.”
Since the project stalled, Alamos said it tried to resolve disputes with Turkish officials, though efforts fell short when the company’s forestry permit expired late last year and the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry revoked Alamos’ mining license in March. The decisions would lose Turkey half a billion dollars in future economic benefits, according to the company.
In addition to the $1 billion treaty claim, which is based on the value of Alamos’ Turkish assets, the company also plans to take a $215 million impairment charge in its second quarter. Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Turkish citizens organized protests against the Kirazli mine in 2019 over the project’s planned use of cyanide, a toxic chemical used in gold extraction that can contaminate water resources and cause extensive harm to the environment.
Dogu Biga Mining, a Turkish subsidiary of Alamos, also came under scrutiny after the company allegedly razed four times the number of trees than plans indicated in the mine area. In 2019, the Turkish forestry charity TEMA claimed nearly 200,000 trees were cut on the project site in contrast to Dogu Biga’s previously announced target of 46,000 trees.
In a 2019 interview with Reuters, McCluskey said the company had allocated millions of dollars to reforestation efforts, adding concerns over environmental damage and potential cyanide leaks were fueled by politically motivated “misinformation.”
Ali Furkan Oguz, a lawyer and former head of the Canakkale Bar Environmental and Urban Law Commission, said the Kirazli mine is one of several extraction projects in Mount Ida and that he would continue efforts to ensure Alamos’ permits are not renewed.
Oguz said he filed a criminal complaint to the Canakkale prosecutor’s office over the razed forest areas in Mount Ida that has yet to be finalized after two years of legal proceedings.
“We expect urgent rehabilitation work in the region where trees have been unfairly cut down and the natural landscape has been destroyed,” Oguz told Al-Monitor.
He added, “Authorities should not greenlight environmental impact assessments for projects that destroy nature,” warning of “irreparable damage.”
Following the revocation of Alamos’ mining concessions in March, Ahmet Senturk, general manager of Dogu Biga, said the company retained a mining license good for 60 years, telling Bloomberg Alamos was “waiting patiently” for permits to develop of the area, though future delays could result in court proceedings.
Koc Holding to acquire majority in 12 Irish gold mines
The Turkish Gold Miners Association forecast that Turkey’s 2021 gold output will amount to at least 45 tonnes, surpassing last year’s record-high of 42 tonnes.
London-listed Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) has signed a letter of intent with Turkey’s Demir Export—a subsidiary of conglomerate Koc Holding—to establish a JV, namely Demir Export JV, on an earn-in basis to operate 12 gold mining licences in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, according to a stock exchange filing by Conroy
The licences in question relate to Conroy’s 65-km district scale gold trend in the Longford-Down Massif in the vicinity of Clontibret village, located along the border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. As is the case in respect of gold mines in Turkey, gold miners in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have to deal with sometimes hostile public reaction against gold mining, with inhabitants and residents worried about the potential for environmental destruction. Such destruction continues around the world, but Conroy says it is operating in line with commitments to environmentally compatible gold extraction.
Two licences, with reserves of 517,000 ounces, are located in Clontibret village in Northern Ireland, while nine licences apply to territory in the Republic of Ireland. According to the inked letter of intent, Demir will initially inject €1mn into the JV.
In the first earn-in phase, it will spend €4.5mn and earn 25% in interest.
In the second phase, it will spend €4.5mn and earn an additional 15% in interest.
And, in the final phase, it will earn an additional 17.5% in interest.
Option to dilute
Following the final phase, Conroy will have the option of retaining its 42.5% stake or diluting its stake via other options set out in the agreement.
Conroy, which also has eight gold mining licences in Finland, previously signed a proposed JV with Azerbaijan-based and London-listed Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) in regard to the licences in question, but the agreement in question has been terminated following the agreement with Demir. Conroy’s Finland licences, as well as one licence in Ireland, do not fall under the scope of the agreement with Demir, and the company is retaining 100% ownership in them.
However, Demir has been granted a right of first refusal on these licences in relation to any potential JV arrangements made by end-2021. Demir Export, one of a wide range of companies owned by Istanbul-listed conglomerate Koc Holding (KCHOL), has operated gold, iron, coal, zinc and copper mines in Turkey since 1957.
In February, London-listed Ariana Resources (AAU) established a JV with Turkish partners Ozaltin and Proccea in respect of the Kiziltepe gold mine in the Mardin province of Turkey
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold and Turkey’s Eti Bakir discussed mining cooperation
Eti Bakir is subsidiary of Turkey’s energy company Cengiz Holding that holds a leading position in the copper and metallurgical industry of Turkey and the region.
Azerbaijan’s gold mining company AzerGold CJSC and Turkey’s Eti Bakir company have discussed cooperation in the mining sector between the two countries, AzerGold CJSC has reported.
During the meeting held on March 12, AzerGold’s Chairman Zakir Ibrahimov noted that Azerbaijan’s liberated Karabakh region has great economic potential as well as resources that open up great opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the mining sector. He noted that AzerGold, as a state company is always ready to cooperate with Turkey in this sphere.
He further said that AzerGold plans to commission six more gold deposits, including the sulfide phase of the Chovdar gold deposit, as well as one polymetallic and four copper ores in 2021-2027.
Eti Bakir’s Chairman Sheref Chengiz, reminded the agreement signed between the Azerbaijani government and Eti Bakir back in February 2021 in Ankara as part of the Turkish-Azerbaijani business forum. He stressed that the agreement will make an important contribution to the partnership in the mining sector.
Furthermore, the sides discussed the study of the latest technologies used in the mining sector and in geological exploration.
Dogu Biga Mining aims to achieve 100 t of gold output in Turkey
Dogu Biga Mining’s first project, the Kirazli gold and silver mine located in the northwestern province of Canakkale, has reached the construction stage and is waiting for its license to be extended. The other two projects, the Agi Dagi and Camyurt mines, are also located in the Canakkale province and will be developed after the Kirazli project. After the construction stage, which is expected to last approximately one year, the company said it will start production and looks to contribute to the country’s gold production goal. Dogu Biga Mining aims to achieve some 100 tonnes of gold production through its three project sites that will become operational soon, Istanbul-based media reported. This production volume corresponds to an economic value of some 48.2 billion lira ($6.6 billion/5.4 billion) in total, Daily Sabah quoted the company as saying earlier.
Turkey aims to reach a level where it produces 100 metric tonnes of gold per year in the next five years, Daily Sabah also said. The country produced a record-high 42 tonnes of gold in 2020, up from 38 tonnes in 2019, according to local media reports published last month. According to information published on the website of Alamos Gold, the Kirazli mine will have the capacity to produce close to 3 tonnes of gold per year on average, while the Agi Dagi and Camyurt mines will have an average annual production capacity of over 5 tonnes and some 2.6 tonnes, respectively. The amount to be paid to the country as tax through the Dogu Bida Mining’s projects is estimated to be around $1.72 billion (1.4 billion euro), the company noted. Dogu Biga Mining added that it looks to employ 1,000 people directly, and 2,000 people through service procurements.
The Kirazli property consists of 1,541 hectares of mineral tenure in two contiguous licenses. Mineral rights for all concessions comprising the Turkish assets are controlled by Dogu Biga, according to information published on the website of Alamos Gold.
Alamos Gold maintains an administrative office in Turkey’s capital Ankara as well as exploration offices in the towns of Etili and Sogutalan in the Biga district. These offices support the activities of the Canadian company at Kirazli, as well as the Agi Dagi and Camyurt projects which are located nearby.