Thoughts of Fiji conjure up the tropics, beaches and sunshine, but the island nation is also noted for its mineral production. The Vatukoula mine, in operation for over 80 years, has produced more than seven million ounces of gold.
Vying to join its ranks on the politically stable and mining friendly island are Lion One Metals Limited (LIO:TSX.V; LOMLF:OTCQX) and Thunderstruck Resources Ltd. (AWE:TSX.V; THURF:OTC.MKTS), two companies at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Thunderstruck Resources is an early stage exploration company with an extensive portfolio of properties on Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. The company is conducting exploration activities at its large land package—covering 4% of Viti Levu—of "100% owned high grade zinc, copper and gold assets," it reported in mid-May. According to Thunderstuck, it is "building on extensive prior results that point to the potential for large mineralized systems."
At the end of May, Thunderstruck closed an oversubscribed private placement, raising over $200,000, selling 2.2 million units at $0.09 each. Each unit contained one common share and one share purchase warrant, with the option to buy a common share for $0.15 until May 2021.
"Lion One Metals is well positioned to continue on the path to construction and production." - Derek Macpherson, Red Cloud Klondike Strike
Lion One's 100%-owned Tuvatu project is at a much more advanced stage and is on track to put into production Fiji's next mine. The company just announced a US$40 million debt financing package to develop the mine and build a processing plant for its fully permitted project. The financing is with Sinosteel Equipment & Engineering Co. Ltd. and Baiyin International Investment Inc. Sinosteel will be the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor for the project, and Baiyin will be the gold doré offtaker.
The agreement is for a five-year term at a 7.5% interest rate. There will be a principal holiday and capitalized interest for either the earlier of two years from first draw, or three months after achieving commercial production. There also will be a Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty of 2.25% on the first 350,000 ounces of gold produced. There is also an option to increase the financing by US$10 million.
Analyst Derek Macpherson of Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc. noted on June 4 that with the debt financing in place, Tuvatu construction is expected to ramp up and views this as "very positive."
Macpherson also noted that the "PEA (2015) outlines initial capital investment (excluding working capital) for Tuvatu at US$48.6M. With exploitation permits in-hand and C$21.6M (US$16.6M) in cash, the company is well positioned to continue on the path to construction and production."
"Lion One continues exploration activities for which we believe could be a long-lived mine." - Mike Niehuser, Scarsdale Equities
Analyst Mike Niehuser of Scarsdale Equities wrote on June 6, "The PEA assumed modest capital costs and efficient mining of high-grade gold resources, resulting in significant cash flow, which may rapidly repay capital and fund mine development and additional exploration of prospective gold targets."
Niehuser also stated, "We expect that Lion One will announce an updated capital cost budget that should be within expected variances of the PEA. It appears that the facility should be adequate to cover the construction and capital costs with cash on hand. The terms appear to be competitive and do not include hedging or prepayment fees. Lion One continues exploration activities for which we believe could be a long-lived mine."
Scarsdale Equities maintains a Buy rating and a target price of CA$1.40 on Lion One, which is currently trading at around CA$0.63.
While Lion One has been securing financing for the project, it also has continued exploration activities. Following the release of an off-the-charts surface sample of 502 g/t gold over 0.70 meters in February, on June 7, the company announced that follow-up work has mapped "more than 20 previously undefined mineralized structures at the Jomaki-Ura Creek prospect areas and identified potential geological extensions on the main mineralized zones inside the Tuvatu Mining Lease."
Stephen Mann, Lion One's managing director, stated, "In the Tuvatu resource area, approximately half of the 40 veins identified to date have sufficient sample data from drilling to merit inclusion in a resource estimate. We've now identified more than 20 mineralized veins at surface in the Jomaki-Ura Creek area where strong multi-element anomalism suggests potential scale and signature comparable and possibly larger than the main resource area at Tuvatu."
Lion One has about 102 million shares outstanding, 109 million fully diluted. Management owns 22% of the shares and Donald Smith & Co owns 14%, Franklin Precious Metals Fund 9.99% and JP Morgan Asset Management UK 6%.
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1) Patrice Fusillo compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise reports as an employee. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc., Lion One Metals Ltd., June 4, 2016
Part of Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc.'s business is to connect mining companies with suitable investors that qualify under available regulatory exemptions (the "Red Cloud KS Business"). Red Cloud Klondike Strike Inc., its affiliates and associates, and their respective officers, directors, representatives, researchers and members of their families (collectively, "Red Cloud KS") may hold positions in the companies mentioned in this publication and may buy or sell, or buy and sell their securities or securities of the same class on the market or otherwise. Additionally, Red Cloud KS may have provided in the past, and may provide in the future, certain advisory or corporate finance services and receive financial and other incentives from issuers as consideration for the provision of such services.
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Disclosures from Scarsdale Equities, Lion One Metals Ltd., June 6, 2018
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Scarsdale Equities LLC, at the time of publication, does not make a market in any security.
The author does not have a financial interest Lion One Metals Limited (LIO.V) covered in this report.
Part of the author’s compensation may consist of a portion of the commissions generated by transactions in this issuer's securities placed at Scarsdale Equities LLC for the credit of the author.
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