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  • NioCorp Closes $2.2 Mln Financing, More Than Meets TSX Listing Condition

    NioCorp Developments (CVE:NB)(OTCQX:NIOBF) has completed a $2.19 million private placement financing, satisfying the main condition of its major move to the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    The company said it issued 2.91 million special warrants, including an over-allotment option, at a price of 75 cents apiece.

    Every special warrant can be exchanged for one unit of the company, with each unit made up of one common share and one share purchase warrant. Each whole warrant can be used to buy an additional common share at a price of $1.00, for a period of two years.

    The offering was conducted by Mackie Research Capital Corp (NASDAQ:MRCC), on a bought deal basis, NioCorp said.

    "We are very pleased that when we advised MRCC of our need to raise a minimum $1,000,000 to satisfy TSX listings requirements, MRCC quickly offered a bought deal private placement," said chief executive officer Mark Smith.

    "Due to strong demand the offering was increased and the overallotment option was fully exercised. This shows a great deal of confidence in NioCorp and our Elk Creek project, as we finalize the conditions necessary to complete our listing on the TSX."

    In addition to these latest proceeds, NioCorp said it has also received $325,000 from the early exercise of certain warrants granted as part of a previous financing.

    The new funds will be used for metallurgical studies and pilot plant work at its Elk Creek project in Nebraska, as well as to satisfy the main condition of a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    NioCorp is developing its Elk Creek niobium project, which is expected to reach the feasibility study stage later this year. On Monday, the niobium developer updated its mineral resource estimate for its flagship project in Nebraska to include titanium and scandium.

    NioCorp uncovered that both titanium and scandium can be recovered with simple additions to the existing process flowsheet, providing more revenue streams that would compliment existing ferroniobium production. The newest resource estimate shows contained niobium of 572 million kilograms in the indicated category and 2.16 billion kilograms of contained titanium oxide. In the inferred category, the report shows some 558 million kilograms of niobium and 2.3 billion kilograms of titanium.

    The promise of a high grade niobium supply in North America has already managed to secure NioCorp confidentiality agreements with top investment banks Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

    Indeed, the ore grades at the deposit are among the top three in the world, and the recovery rates promise to "reset the standard for what world class niobium recovery is going to be," according to CEO Smith. The average grade NioCorp is looking at is 0.7% or above, placing it solidly as the third richest niobium ore deposit in the world, behind CBMM and Anglo American, which both operate in Brazil.

    Feb 27 2:23 PM | Link | Comment!
  • SilverCrest Says President And COO To Take Medical Leave, Expected To Return As New CEO

    SilverCrest Mines (TSE:SVL) (NYSE MKT:SVLC) said its president and chief operating officer, N. Eric Fier, who is eventually supposed to succeed the current CEO, will take a partial leave of absence for personal health reasons, the company said today.

    Director Dunham L. Craig will take on Fier's role as president in the interim, and Fier will remain COO until he is able to return to his duties on a full time basis.

    The company said that in Fier's absence, it will rely on the experience of management.

    Fier is pegged to replace current chief executive officer J. Scott Drever when he retires later this year, which is now expected to coincide with Fier's return to the workplace.

    "Eric will need time away from his full slate of corporate responsibilities to recuperate from certain required medical procedures," said Drever in a statement announcing the management moves.

    "Eric is a key member of the SilverCrest team and the Board of Directors. All his colleagues and company employees wish him a speedy recovery so that he may continue his extraordinary contributions to the growth and continued success of SilverCrest."

    SilverCrest said that it has already started the search for a new full time president in anticipation of Fier's return to the company as the new CEO.

    In the meantime, Craig, with more than 26 years of professional mining experience, will take over as president. He has worked in Canada, Central America and Mexico, with groups such as Wheaton River Minerals and Glencairn Gold.

    Last month, SilverCrest posted 2014 production of 2.81 million ounces, six percent higher compared to 2013, with pure silver production jumping 49 percent to 1.16 millon ounces.

    The precious metals miner last year transitioned its Santa Elena mine from an open pit heap leach operation to an underground mine and mill, but encountered some hiccups along the way. The new 3,000 tpd mill was commissioned last August, generating 526,525 tonnes during 7 months of production.

    SilverCrest is projecting production of 4.0 to 4.4 million ounces of silver equivalent this year, with pure silver output alone expected to range between 1.6 to 1.8 million ounces.

    Feb 27 2:21 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Tethys Bolsters Year-End Reserves, Further Build-Up Ahead

    Tethys (TSE:TPL) (LON:TPL) said it has increased its proven reserves by 18 percent and its proven and probable reserves by 7 percent from the previous year period, driven by the company's production performance and successful gas well drilling last year.

    The Central Asia-focused oil and gas producer released an updated year-end reserves report this morning, showing proven, or 1P, reserves of 16.62 million barrels of oil equivalent.

    This is up 18 percent from year-end 2013, representing the highest volume in Tethys's history in this reserve category, it said.

    Proven and probable, or 2P, reserves increased 7 percent to 27.08 million barrels of oil equivalent, the second highest volume ever recorded for the company in this category.

    Tethys produced 0.84 million barrels of oil in 2014 and 4.07 billion standard cubic feet of total gas. The company said its reserve replacement ratio --- which measures the amount of proved reserves added to a company's reserve base during the year relative to the amount of oil and gas produced --- was 163 percent for the 1P category, showing strong organic growth.

    "The growth in booked reserves is a reflection of excellent work in prospect maturation by the Tethys exploration team," said chairman of the reserves committee for Tethys, David Roberts.

    Tethys said its plan for this year will be to mature exploration prospects and monetize gas prospects through development drilling, while also increasing its focus on field equipment.

    "We look forward to building on the figures in the Gustavson report during 2015, and with the reserves update concluded, we intend to issue a new corporate presentation in the coming days," said Roberts.

    In January, Tethys outlined its progress to investors made since the oil and gas company's board and executive management was overhauled late last year. The company said that in addition to cost reductions, a new US$6 million loan and doubled gas production in Kazakhstan, it reached a deal to restructure its Georgian project and remove its current funding obligations of about US$4 million under the farm-out signed in July 2013.

    It also recently received approval from the energy ministry of Kazakhstan to extend its Kyzyloi gas production contract for another 15 years.

    In today's report, the company's proven and probable reserves were estimated to have an after-tax net present value of $185.86 million, discounted at 10 percent.

    Feb 27 2:16 PM | Link | Comment!
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