Positive progress for DGR Global’s mining investments as BHP takes a bite

DGR Global ASX SolGold BHP Guyana Goldfields
BHP has entered into an agreement with Guyana Goldfields to acquire a 6.1 per cent interest in SolGold, the majority owner and operator of the Cascabel porphyry copper-gold project in Ecuador.

Exploration investment house DGR Global (ASX: DGR) has this week reported significant business developments in four of its daughter companies which have minerals projects at various stages of emergence.

With the company receiving a major boost this week from news out of Ecuadorian copper-gold explorer SolGold.

SolGold

SolGold (DGR has a 12% equity stake), listed on the London and Toronto stock exchanges, announced this week that BHP Billiton Holdings (ASX: BHP) had acquired an interest in 103,125,000 ordinary shares of 1 penny each in the capital of the company, representing approximately 6.1% of SolGold’s issued share capital.

The shares were acquired from Canadian mid-tier gold producer Guyana Goldfields Inc at a 20% premium to the 20-day volume weighted average price (VWAP) for trading in SolGold’s shares on the LSE.

The transaction is expected to equate to approximately US$35m and represents a return of 3.5 times the price Guyana initially paid for the shares.

SolGold is the majority owner and operator of the Cascabel porphyry copper-gold project in Ecuador, a highly-prospective nation and key focus for BHP.

“Consistent with our positive long-term outlook, copper is a key exploration focus for BHP as we seek to replenish our resource base and grow this important business,” BHP chief executive officer, Andrew Mackenzie said of the investment in SolGold.

The current value of DGR’s investment in SolGold is approximately $95m.

IronRidge Resources

In August, AIM-listed IronRidge (DGR has a 24.3% equity stake) released high-grade results from a first-phase reverse circulation drilling program at its Ewoyaa lithium project in West Africa.

Initial assay results received for 4180 metres of the total 8090m program returned multiple broad intersections at a 0.5% lithium oxide cut-off.

Best results were 128m at 1.21% lithium oxide fom 3m, including 70m at 1.53% lithium oxide from 13m (with 5m at 2.57% lithium oxide from 38m) and 16m at 1.36% lithium oxide from 115m.

IronRidge said a high-grade mineralised zone remains open to the north extension and north-east zone of Eowyaa, where visual logging of RC drill chips indicated the presence of coarse spodumene crystal fragments within drilled pegmatite intervals.

The company is awaiting results of drilling in these areas.

IronRidge was founded by DGR to to focus on the discovery of high-quality projects in Africa and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2015.

The current value of DGR’s investment in IronRidge is approximately $29 million.

Aus Tin Mining

This week, Aus Tin (ASX: ANW) (DGR has an 18.2% equity stake) confirmed pre-regulatory approvals for Stage 1 of its flagship Taronga tin project in northern New South Wales are advancing and it is on track to satisfy all outstanding requirements for the Lease Application 554 with the NSW Department of Planning & Environment.

Approval for the tailings storage facility design at Taronga has been received and the company is progressing a construction certificate for the mine with the local Glen Innes Severn council.

A draft mining operations plan will be submitted to NSWDPE once a mining lease has been granted.

At Aus Tin’s Granville East mine in Tasmania, pre-production activities are close to completion including construction of water management infrastructure, waste rock emplacements and crushing pads.

Mining of waste rock has commenced with temporary drilling equipment ahead of a blast hole production drill due to be mobilised this month.

A reverse circulation drilling program at Aus Tin’s Mt Cobalt project, near Gympie in Queensland, will kick off in October over previously undrilled target areas and zones of high magnetic susceptibility.

The current value of DGR’s investment in Aus Tin is approximately $5m.

Dark Horse Resources

Australian minerals explorer Dark Horse Resources (ASX: DHR) (DGR has a 17.2% equity stake) this week announced the acquisition of the San Jorge lithium brine project covering the San Francisco salar and salt lake basin in Argentina’s highly-prospective Catamarca province.

The project was acquired from an Argentine national and includes 15 granted exploration licences spread over 366 square kilometres of the salar and surrounding basin, located within the southern end of Argentina’s “lithium triangle”.

Environmental permits have already been granted, allowing Dark Horse to commence detailed exploration including initial surface sampling activities to understand the chemistry of the salar.

Geophysics will also be carried out to determine the size and geometry of the basin, and define drilling targets and mineralisation potential.

Dark Horse has an option to earn 100% of the San Jorge project for a series of staged payments over a five-year period totalling US$4.5 million, together with annual exploration commitments totalling US$2.95m.

At the company’s La Tapias mine lithium project in Cordoba province, a reverse circulation drilling program has been put on hold pending the completion of assay result evaluations expected by month end.

Geological reconnaissance also continues at Dark Horse’s El Totoral licence in San Luis province to delineate definitive drilling targets, and the company is also finalising program designs for ongoing exploration of its gold properties at Santa Cruz and Rio Negro.

The current value of DGR’s investment in Dark Horse Resources is approximately $3.3m.

DGR provides initial seed funding and management support to secure assets in subsidiaries and develop these assets to more advanced funding stages.

At midday, shares in DGR Global were trading 10% higher at $0.110.

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