Friday, December 17, 2010

Minera Andes announces updated NPV for Los Azules - $496M to $2.9 Billion

I guess Rob McEwan is really giving MAI shareholders a nice Christmas present this year...lotsa lotsa copper!

Our longtime stock pick, TNR Gold Corp, has seen some share price appreciation from this development already but still vastly undervalued giving its paltry market cap of $0.17 x 120M shares = $20.4 Million market cap.

Compared to the meteoric rise of Minera Andes share price of late, TNR is an undervalued play for copper in Argentina and for a potentially large stake in the ever-growing Los Azules project.

Just how amazing is the LA project??

1. Initial capital $2.9 billion expenditure - yes it's large, but read on...
2. Payback in 3 years. THREE!!
3. Mine life of 25 years.

Now, I'm not mathematician and CFA, but 25-3 = 22 years producing copper for hungry China and India tells me this could is going to be an amazingly profitable mine.

The previous NPV was adjusted from $2.2 longterm copper price to $3/lb, indicating a much more realistic longterm projection now that copper is well close to $4/lb.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN for TNR Shareholders?

In really simple terms, let's take $2.8 billion and assume TNR's portion is a mere 10% of the entire property. Not even including Escorpio IV which the project also needs for waste and tailings.

Using Expected Value of an Outcome (EV) and Probability theory we can infer the value of TNR below. This is with a very aggressive 20% discount on legal risks and 20% additional on copper value, post EV discount of 50% for lawsuit.

I've attached Expected Value theory below for those who has not seen it. I think it's a reasonable way to look at this scenario.

Even in worst case, TNR shareholder should expect at least 400% gain from current share prices.

I'm long TNR - are you?

$ 2,800,000,000

Valuation NPV Los Azules ( 2011+)


Potential TNR ownership

$ 280,000,000

$ Value of TNR claims

$ 140,000,000

50/50 Expected outcome of Lawsuit


Legal Risks


Longterm Copper Price Fluctuations

$ 89,600,000


TNR Shares/Out

$ 0.75

$Value/Share (NAV without lithium)

$ 0.17

Current Share Price


Potential Gains

Expected Value of an Outcome

Some games are considered more risky than others based on their probabilities of winning and their expected value. The expected value is what the player can expect to win or lose if they were to play many times with the same bet. For example, when playing Roulette, let’s say that a player bets $10 on red, with a payout of 1:1. The expected value of that bet played over and over can be expressed as follows.

The winning amount for one bet is $10
The losing amount for one bet is -$10

Expected value is calculated as follows:

[(probability of winning)(amount won per bet) - (probability of losing)(amount lost per bet)]

We can represent this mathematically using the values from above:

This means that if a player were to make this same bet of $10 on red over and over again, the player can expect to lose $0.53 for each bet of $10. A player has better chances of winning money with a positive expected value.

Minera Andes estimates $2.8-billion (U.S.) Azules NPV

2010-12-16 16:12 ET - News Release

Mr. James Duff reports


Minera Andes Inc. has released the results of an updated preliminary assessment on its 100-per-cent-owned Los Azules copper project located in the San Juan province of western-central Argentina. It is based on the updated resource estimate announced in Stockwatch in June, 2010, and higher base case metal price assumptions. Amounts are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.

Highlights using a copper price of $3 per pound.

Base case pretax net present value is $2.8-billion, and the internal rate of return is 21.4 per cent at a discount rate of 8 per cent.

Life-of-mine cash operating costs are 96 cents per pound of copper, net of gold and silver byproduct credits.

Initial capital is $2.9-billion.

Capital payback is in three years.

Mine life is 25 years.

Rob McEwen, chairman and chief executive officer of Minera Andes, said: "We are advancing the engineering studies on Los Azules to systematically derisk the project. The field season is just getting under way, and we are currently mobilizing the first two of five drill rigs to the project. In addition to continuing the infill and step-out drilling, we will start to test some of the newly identified deeper geophysical targets this season."

Los Azules copper project is an advanced-stage porphyry copper exploration project located in the cordilleran region of San Juan province, Argentina, near the border with Chile. The deposit is a typical porphyry copper system in that the upper part of the system consists of a barren leached cap, which is underlain by a high-grade secondary enrichment blanket, and the primary mineralization below the secondary enrichment zone extends to at least 650 metres, which are the depth of the deepest holes drilled to date. The deposit is approximately one kilometre wide by four kilometres long, and it is open in several directions.

Highlights of the updated preliminary assessment are shown in the attached table. Details may be found in an updated technical report which will be posted on SEDAR following the issuance of this news release.


NPV ($3/lb Cu, 8-per-cent discount rate) $2,826-million

IRR 21.4%

Initial capital expenditure $2,851-million

LOM average operating costs $7.82/t ore

LOM C-1 cash costs (net byproduct credits) $0.96/lb Cu mined

Nominal mill capacity 100,000 tpd

Annual throughput 36 million tonnes

Mine life 25.4 years

Life-of-mine strip ratio 1.37

LOM average annual copper-in-concentrate production 169,100 tonnes

First five years average annual copper-in-concentrate

production 226,500 tonnes

All monetary amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.

The PA is preliminary in nature and includes the use of inferred resources,

which are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic

considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as

mineral reserves. Thus, there is no certainty that the results of the PA

will be realized. Actual results may vary, perhaps materially. The level of

accuracy for preliminary assessment estimates is approximately plus or

minus 35 per cent.

Compared with the previous preliminary assessment released in March, 2009, the net present value discounted at 8 per cent has increased to $2.9-billion from $496-million, and the internal rate of return has increased to 21.4 per cent from 10.8 per cent. In addition, the payback of preproduction capital has decreased to 3.1 years from 6.4 years from the start of production.

The main driver of the improved project economics is that the base case copper price has been increased from $1.90 per pound to $3 per pound. Specifically the higher copper price added approximately $3.2-billion to the NPV, and the increased resources added approximately $2.1-billion.

The benefits of the higher copper price and increased resources were significantly offset by increases in the estimated operating costs ($695-million), capital costs ($100-million), and export retention taxes and royalties ($3.4-billion).

The updated preliminary assessment also incorporates updated property status and ownership information, revised locations for the project facilities, and an updated geological interpretation.

Project economics

The preliminary assessment contains a cash flow valuation model based upon the geological and engineering work completed to date and technical and cost inputs developed by Samuel Engineering Inc., Ausenco Vector and MTB Project Management Professionals Inc. The base case was developed using long-term forecast metal prices of $3 per pound for copper, $980 per ounce for gold and $15.60 per ounce for silver.

This news release has been submitted by Jim Duff, chief operating officer of the corporation. For further information, please contact Mr. Duff, or visit the company website.

Scientific and technical information

The information presented in this press release has been reviewed and approved by the qualified persons responsible for the technical report that presents the results of the updated preliminary assessment. They are: Kathleen Altman, PhD, PE, Robert Sim, PGeo, Bruce Davis, PhD, FAusIMM, Richard Jemielita, PhD, MIMMM, William Rose, PE, and Scott Elfen, PE. All are independent qualified persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (standards of disclosure for mineral projects). Mr. Sim, Mr. Davis and Mr. Rose are responsible for the mineral resource estimate. Mr. Davis is responsible for the quality control for the assaying of Los Azules drill core. All samples were collected in accordance with industry standards. Splits from the drill core samples were submitted to the ACME sample preparation laboratory in Mendoza, Argentina, and then transferred to ACME's laboratory in Santiago, Chile, for fire assay and ICP analysis. Accuracy of results is tested through the systematic inclusion of standards, blanks and check assays. Mr. Rose is responsible for developing the mine production schedule and participating in the resource estimate. Mr. Elfen of Ausenco Vector is responsible for information about environmental liabilities, environmental permitting and the geotechnical designs used for the study. Mr. Jemielita is responsible for information about the geological setting, deposit types, mineralization, exploration and drilling. Ms. Altman, Samuel Engineering, is the principal author of the report with specific responsibility for mineral processing and metallurgical testing, the capital and operating cost estimates, and the economic evaluation.

Mineral resources are generated using ordinary kriging with a nominal block size of 20 by 20 by 15 metres. Block grade estimates are derived from drill hole sample results and the interpretation of a geologic model, which relates to the spatial distribution of copper, gold, silver and molybdenum in the deposit. There are a total of 114 drill holes in Los Azules database with a cumulative length of 30,997 metres and a total of 15,260 samples analyzed for a suite of elements, including total copper, gold, silver and molybdenum. A total of 58 of the drill holes have some portion of the sample intervals tested for sequential copper analysis. This information contributed to the development of the mineral zone domains. The portion of the new mineral resource that has been defined as indicated is based on a drilling configuration that exhibits the degree of continuity required for higher-level mineral resources. Inferred mineral resources are limited to blocks within a maximum distance of 200 metres from a drill hole. As required by NI 43-101, the possible future economic viability of the mineral resource has been exhibited by restriction within a pit shell derived about the copper content in indicated and inferred class blocks at a copper price of $2.50 per pound, total operating costs of $5.25 per tonne and an average pit slope of 34 degrees. Mineral resources are presented at a cut-off grade of 0.35 per cent copper, which is the same base cut-off grade used in the 2008 mineral resource estimate. These are mineral resources, not mineral reserves.

For further information in respect of Los Azules project, please refer to the technical report entitled, "Canadian National Instrument 43-101 technical report, updated preliminary assessment, Los Azules project, San Juan province, Argentina," dated Dec. 1, 2010. This report will be made available on SEDAR concurrent with the filing of this news release.

We seek Safe Harbor.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rush for Rare Earth Elements (REE) from Japan and Korea

Rare earth elements (REE) are hot - and TNR Gold mining junior has one of the biggest carbonatite complex that's similar to Rare Element Resource's project at Bear Lodge.

RES shares (amongst other REE stocks) have returned nearly 20X (that's 2,000% return) over the last 2-3 years. Incredible!

Last month, China put a temporary ban on exports of rare earth elements to Japan, a vital resource to the country's high-tech industry.

Japan is beginning to actively pursue the recycling of e-waste in a new process called “urban mining” to mitigate the country's dependence on China for the metals.

Urban mining is the recycling of obsolete or outdated electronics for metals including precious, base, and rare earth elements. These electronics include computers, televisions, cell phones, printers, PDAs, and thousands of other devices commonly used in offices, homes, and by people on the go.

Urban mining can be a very profitable business. A tonne of cell phones, for example, contains more gold than a tonne of ore from a typical gold mine.

An average gold mine produces 5 grams of gold per tonne of rock whereas cell phones contain 150 grams per tonne or more.

In addition, a tonne of cell phones contains 100 kilograms of copper and 3 kilograms of silver, as well as other valuable metals—all of which have been soaring in price.

In the video clip below, Reuters reports on a new push for the urban mining of rare earth elements in Japan:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Minera Andes hits high grade gold in takeover prime area in Argentina, TNR.v,,, ABX

Goldcorp's recent takeover of Andean in Argentina marks a sign of things to come with gold hovering at close to historic all-time highs at $1371/oz.

The Argentinean province of San Juan and Salta means other miners in the area have gained the spotlights from investors and media alike.

Ironically, the San Jose project which junior miner Minera Andes hold is a solid grade gold and silver producer that Goldcorp founder Rob McEwan operates (and owns 33%).
If he founded Goldcorp and left, isn't it ironic that Goldcorp is returning to the same area that Minera Andes and TNR Gold have been at all these years?

In addition to that, since the last time we covered MAI - share price has erupted to over $2/share CAD, marking almost a 300% profit for those who averaged down to MAI during the slowtimes of even the summer 2010.

This came about primarily with rumors with MAI takeover and another discovery at San Jose mine that could easily increase production in the coming years. But also we believe it's attributed to copper recovering to its former highs in 2008.

MAIs train might have left the station but you can still play a great investment with TNR Gold - albelt disputedPublish Post they still hold claims to 25% back-in on the large Los Azules project.

We've been right here a few times on Mining101 and this is why we have readers daily who has come here to learn more about investing. Do your own due dilligence - we have, and we have done well during this quiet recovery!

Friday, October 1, 2010

TNR Gold rebounds on Shotgun Million Oz Gold deposit acquisition from NovaGold TNR.v, NG, MAI, CUM, BAJ

As always, our favorite gold jr miner rebounds back from the slight dip in share price to the $0.20+ range. What's interesting is other investors in TNR have noticed the strange pattern in selling, literally 500 shares every 3 minutes - suggesting someone is trying to artificially keep the stock price down...!?

Another shareholder "257value" from another investment board has noticed this and captured 20 trades the last 2-3 days to document this pattern

It's impossible for someone to be selling 500 shares every few seconds for the last week...!! I know it may sound like a conspiracy theory but...could it be MAI shorting TNR to push the price down and mount a takeover for Los Azules....??

Keep your heads up fellow shareholders - management has re-assured us nothing has changed about their projects and progress - just a large position being liquidated resulting in the drop..look at it yourself!

Recent Trades - Last 10 of 156
Time ET Ex Price Change Volume Buyer Seller Markers
15:42:02 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:39:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:36:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:33:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:30:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:27:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:24:00 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:21:06 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:18:04 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:15:04 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia

Time ET Ex Price Change Volume Buyer Seller Markers
15:56:16 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:53:27 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:50:38 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:47:50 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:45:02 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:42:02 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:39:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:36:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:33:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
15:30:01 V 0.16 0.00 500 9 BMO Nesbitt 85 Scotia K
When you wonder who might be stand to benefit from this share price fluctuation, especially taking into account many of the shares are bought and sold between the same brokerage (Scotia, for example) - it may be an accumulation of shares by a new group.

What new group will do this and benefit?

Los Azules come to mind. Losing potentially 25% of the northern high grade portion is a huge risk - especially from a junior miner worth less than $25 million market cap.

Rob McEwan has publicly announced his love for gold and copper - it wouldn't be surprising now that the Hoschild Mining lawsuit has wrapped up that he tries to clean up Los Azules. The lawsuit leaves a blemish on his excellent portfolio of projects in Minera Andes.

After all, he holds 33% of the stock himself and proudly advertises it on the front page of the MAI presentation.

Calculating copper at a mere $0.01 a lb, he believes Los Azules is easily worth $125M + 250M (gold and silver) credits.

LinkBy the same logic if Los Azules is worth $375M at the top end, a 15% would equate to $56 million, not account for Escorpio IV.

The current market cap of TNR Gold at $0.20/share with 123 million shares outstanding is a paltry $24.6M.

Why pay a higher price if you don't have to?

It'll be very interesting to watch this unfold. All I know is I'm holding onto my TNR shares, they might be onto something here...

To make things even more interesting, with gold above $1,300, TNR has acquired the remaining interest in a million oz. (historic resource) called Shotgun.

Last drill hole in 2007 was
210.5 metres grading 1.29 g/t Au - can you imagine what that will mean for TNR in today's gold market?

Vancouver B.C.: TNR Gold Corp. ("TNR" or the "Company") is pleased to announce an increase to a 100% undivided ownership interest in the Shotgun project in Southwestern Alaska (the "Property") through the acquisition of NovaGold Resources Inc.'s ("NovaGold" or the "Vendor") outstanding 50%.

Key Highlights:
• Acquires NovaGold's 50% interest in the Property to increase it's ownership to 100%;
• 6,000,000 shares and 3,000,000 warrants in the Company for consideration of NovaGold's 50% interest;
Shotgun Ridge contains a Non NI43-101 historical resource of 980,000 ounces grading 0.93 g/t*;
210.5 metres grading 1.29 g/t Au at Shotgun Ridge indicates higher grade feeder zone open at depth; and
• $8 million spent on the project to date by the Company and previous operators.

"The Shotgun property is a major gold asset and the successful unification of a 100% interest translates into a significant increase in inherent value for the Company" states Gary Schellenberg, CEO -- TNR Gold Corp. "The current economic climate is ideal for the advancement of a project such as this and we look forward to the opportunity to realize its potential"

NovaGold has agreed to sell its remaining 50% participating interest in the Property (the "Interest") to the Company in consideration for receiving an aggregate of 6 million common shares and 3 million share purchase warrants in the capital of the Company. In addition, a 2% net smelter returns royalty from mineral products produced from the Property will be granted to the Vendor by the Company, which can be purchased by the Company for USD 5 million any time prior to a production decision having been made.

Each share purchase warrant shall entitle the Vendor to acquire one common share in the capital of the Company for a period of three years following the completion of the purchase and sale of the Interest (the "Closing Date") at a price of C$0.20 per share from the Closing Date until the date which is one year from the Closing Date, at a price of C$0.25 per share from the date which is one year and one day from the Closing Date until the date which is two years from the Closing Date and at a price of C$0.30 per share thereafter until the expiry date.

Shotgun Project

The Shotgun project is located 175 kilometres south of Donlin Creek within the Kuskokwim Gold Belt in Southwestern Alaska, an area emerging as a world-class gold district hosting more than 40 million ounces of aggregated gold resources. The Shotgun project includes a number of prospects, including Shotgun Ridge and nearby Winchester. Donlin is an intrusion-associated system and represents one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world. The Company believes that there are several key similarities between prospects in the Shotgun Project area and that of the Donlin Creek gold deposit as well as other intrusion associated deposits.

Previous work at Shotgun Ridge by NovaGold has estimated a historical resource of 980,000 ounces grading 0.93 gram per tonne (g/t) at a cut-off of 0.5 g/t*.

The Company built on NovaGold's previous exploration work on Shotgun Ridge and a subsequent drill program in early 2006 reported a 210.5 metre intersection grading 1.29 g/t Au, which has led to the identification of two higher grade feeder zones and leaves the mineralization open at depth. This discovery intersection has yet to be followed up and an updated NI43-101 compliant resource has yet to be estimated. To date there has been 4,095 metres of drilling at Shotgun Ridge.

*(Not a NI43-101 compliant resource. A qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources, the issuer is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources and the historical estimate should not be relied upon. This resource estimate is quoted from the Technical Report on the Shotgun-Winchester Project, SW Alaska. 7 March 2008 and available on

The Winchester zone is an underexplored intrusion-associated gold prospect situated approximately 16 km south of Shotgun Ridge. The full extent of mineralized sills and dykes at Winchester is unknown since only 1.5 kilometres out of the 8 kilometre long ridge, host to numerous unexplained gold geochemical anomalies, has been explored in detail. Drilling during 2005 and 2006 identified gold-bearing sills in the eastern end of the Winchester zone. To date there has been 1,653 metres of drilling at Winchester.

Although the style of gold mineralization in sills at Winchester is quite different from the quartz-breccia stockwork that hosts the gold at Shotgun Ridge, the two prospects are geochemically very similar and are considered to be part of the same overall system. TNR believes a major structural axis, encountered in several drill sections, is critical to the mineralization and runs parallel to the ridge at Winchester. The next phase of exploration at Winchester will extend into the untested area along the ridge to the west in the direction of the structural axis.

The other two prospects that make up the Shotgun property are Shot and King. Shot contains some of the strongest geochemical anomalies on the Property and needs to be tested for similar mineralization to that found at Winchester. King includes several unexplained geochemical anomalies as well as a drill ready breccia zone.

John Harrop, P.Geo, is the company's qualified person on the project as required under NI 43-101 and has reviewed the technical information contained in this press release

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Los Azules gets more attention TNR.v CUM.v,

Copper has rebounded nicely from a demand shock thanks to the confirmation of a boom in China and India (BRIC nations). A well known Investment Banker said it best - you can't beat the desire of 3 billion people in China aiming to improve their lives and infrastructures in their country.

You need copper for the wiring, reinforcements, beams - anything to do with building and electronics.

In addition to surging foreign currency supplies - China has been on a buying spree of Canadian resources - seeing as how TSXV and Canada has only been welcoming China investment (CIC Fund + Teck Cominco anyone?), this is something we only expect more and more.

The Globe & Mail is a well known independent newsprint (outside of the Conrad Black empire of Vancouver Sun, Province, and National Post), so when a copper junior buyout list was summarized, many of the companies on the list surged on just how undervalued many of the groups are.

Specifically, the legal disputed project Los Azules, which had only been growing in resource since we first covered the project as one of the crown jewels in junior miner TNR's portfolio.

MAI and TNR promptly surged a bit the following days after the article - it is good to be ahead of the trend here at Mining101.

We'd also like to note since the security review of MAI - the NI-43101 resource has been upgraded to nearly 13.2 + billion lbs of copper, 1 million ounce of gold, and 10+ million oz silver. This should've certainly placed MAI in a much higher spot.

The recent Andean ( buyout in Argentina is right nearby - should only indicate these stocks TNR / MAI should have plenty of room to move up.

TNR Gold Corp's current market cap is a paltry $24 million.

At a conservative 15% equity interest in Los Azules, not even accounting for the critical infrastructure property that Escorpio IV brings to the table, using realistic 50% of Minera Ande's current market cap.

Minera Andes (
$1.20/share x 264 million shares o/s = $317 million
at 50% of market cap for Los Azules = $158 million

15% of Los Azules = $23.78 million
Say a small flat fee for rights to Escorpio IV ~ $2.5 million.
TOTALS only to $26.25 million
This is already more than what the market cap of TNR is telling us its worth, and International Lithium ($15 million value) hasn't been spun off yet either!

This is a great buy IMO and Mining101 is still fully behind the team at TNR Gold Corp. We only hope that they can get ILC public faster as various other groups are beginning to work on their lithium deals in South America again and TNR cannot afford to fall behind further.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:22 PM

Junior producers likely to benefit from China’s appetite for copper

Simon Avery

What are we looking for?

China has a voracious appetite for copper. Demand for the red metal is traditionally a harbinger of economic strength and is used extensively in construction, transportation, electronics, plumbing and even in the currencies of nations themselves. China consumes 39 per cent of global production but has only about 6 per cent of the world’s reserves.

CIBC World Markets analyst Ian Parkinson has done an extensive review of junior copper producers that trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, combing through more than 160 companies and more than 200 projects to determine which players are most likely to draw the acquisitive eye of large mining companies and sovereign wealth funds in China, India, Brazil and other developing economies. He says merger and acquisition activity is set to ramp up in the space and investors who choose the most attractive junior players will see substantial returns. “In very simplistic terms, we believe if you’re long what China’s short, you’re in a good position.”

The screen

Mr. Parkinson zeroed in on junior copper producers with “pounds in the ground” that he calculated would be on the radar screens of international investors.

He created a weighting formula to capture how the market values these firms. In the process he looked at historical transactions and total acquisitions costs, and he weighed resource criteria, including deposit size and grade as well as mining methods and proximity to infrastructure and markets. He assessed the grade of projects with the assumption that higher-grade products typically carry lower operating costs, and he calculated cash costs of production as well as capital expenditure required on a per-pound basis.

In terms of valuations, he used enterprise value divided by the amount of reserves. He also looked at market capitalization relative to the required initial capital in an effort to gauge how the market is valuing the likelihood of the companies actually building their projects.

What did we find?

At the top of the list of 25 stands Duluth Metals Ltd., which is in the advanced stages of mineral exploration and has completed preliminary economic assessments on a large underground site in northeaster Minnesota.

Number two ranked PolyMet Mining Corp. is developing a copper-nickel-precious metals project in northeastern Minnesota and owns a crushing and milling facility and other infrastructure nearby. The state government is close to completing an environmental review and the company will begin project construction upon receipt of permits, Mr. Parkinson says.

The third ranked firm is Western Copper Corp., a Vancouver-based entity spun out from Western Silver Corp. in 2006. It holds significant gold, copper and molybdenum resources and reserves in four Canadian properties, he says.

“We would say this group [of 25] represents some of the best junior Americas-focused copper names currently listed on the TSX and a basket approach with the group could be advantageous for investors,” Mr. Parkinson says.

CIBC Junior Copper Rankings
Company Ticker CIBC
Strategic Partnership
Duluth Metals Ltd DM-T 4.95 218 1 Antofagasta has 40% interest in Nokomis
PolyMet Mining Corp POM-T 6.75 225 2 Glencore owns 6.3% and Cliffs Natural Resources owns 6.1%
Western Copper Corp WRN-T 7.65 105 3
Terrane Metals Corp TRX-X 7.85 639 4 Proposed acquisition by Thompson Creek Metals
Augusta Resource Corp AZC-T 8.75 360 5 HudBay owns 11% (13.6% fully diluted)
Antares Minerals Inc ANM-X 9.55 251 6
Far West Mining Ltd FWM-T 9.85 273 7 Quadra FNX owns 7.9% (14.64% fully diluted)
Copper Fox Metals Inc CUU-X 10.05 211 8
Minera Andes Inc MAI-T 10.85 262 9
Nevada Copper Corp NCU-T 10.95 165 10 Capstone owns 11.1% (14.4% fully diluted)
Coro Mining Corp COP-T 11.55 57 11
Redhawk Resources Inc RDK-X 11.65 49 12
Candente Resource Corp CDG-T 12.65 35 13
Baja Mining Corp BAJ-T 13.55 136 14 25% partner on Boleo with a consortium of South Korean companie