Development activities at Continental Gold's Buritica high-grade gold project in Colombia.

Development activities at Continental Gold’s Buritica high-grade gold project in Colombia.

Good morning,

Some news of note on a day when Syria is heating up, with Turkish fighter jets shooting down a Russian warplane the NATO member says ventured into its air space. The international incident comes after reports that much of the oil being produced on ISIS-controlled territory – both Russia and the U.S. have been targeting ISIS oil convoys recently – is being sold to Turkey. Here’s the BBC’s report.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of “stabbing Russia in the back” and warned of serious consequences. He’ll be even more displeased at reports the two Russian pilots – who ejected from the plane – were shot and killed by Turkmen rebels as they parachuted to the ground.

The news gave gold a rare, if modest, lift – the yellow metal was up $6 to US$1,075 an ounce in early trading on the spot market.

Continental Gold (CNL-T)
The high-grade Colombian gold developer provided an update on permitting at its Buritica project. The Colombian national government has passed a decree establishing that the national environment authority (ANLA) is the competent authority to review and approve environmental applications for PINES projects (projects of national strategic interest).

Buritica has been designated a PINES project, and company officials say the publication of the decree is the final legal step necessary to facilitate the filing of an updated environmental application amendment.

“The Colombian government has been invariably supportive of the Buriticá project as it is aligned with the government’s national strategic objectives and could, once in full production, approximately double the legal production of gold in Colombia,” stated Continental Gold chairman Leon Teicher. “We expect that, through the PINES program (which is designed to efficiently move projects through the Colombian legal process), ANLA will commence a thorough review of the Company’s comprehensive EIA amendment application upon submission.”

In September Continental withdrew its EIA amendment application from the Department of Antioquia and elevated it to the national level.

As of Nov. 4, Continental had cash and equivalents of US$34 million, enough to last through 2016 and the first half of 2017, the company reported.

NR: Continental Gold provides update on permitting process – Colombia national government publishes decree governing PINES projects

First Mining Finance (FF-V) buys Goldrush Resources (GOD-V)
Keith Neumeyer’s gold-focused First Mining Finance has gobbled up another cash-rich junior, Burkina Faso-focused Goldrush Resources, and deposited US$3M into the “mineral bank” in an all-share deal.

Goldrush has cash of about $3 million and a market capitalization of about $2.5 million, based on the last trade of 1.5 cents. The company also has two net smelter royalties on properties near SEMAFO’s Siou gold mine and Nord Gold’s Bissa gold mine.

The offer represents a premium of about 52% to the 30-day volume weighted average price of each company. Goldrush shares are flat on the year.

The deal comes after Goldrush management looked for but failed to identify a gold project that would move the needle for the company, according to a news release.

“For over a year, we have attempted to acquire a gold project that would significantly enhance shareholder value,” said Goldrush president and CEO Len Brownlie. “After reviewing over 90 projects, we believe that this transaction with First Mining offers the best potential benefit to Goldrush shareholders by enabling them to obtain a premium to the current market price for their shares while continuing to provide them with exposure to gold assets in a larger, more diversified company with sound management and other promising projects that will be well positioned for any eventual rise in the gold market.”

NR: First Mining to Acquire Goldrush Resources Ltd.

Petromanas Energy (PMI-V)
Albania-focused Petromanas has secured a 3,000-horsepower drilling rig that will be shipped to Albania this year or early next year to spud the Shpirag-3 well in Q2 2016.

Shpirag-3 is an appraisal well to the Shpirag-2 discovery, and joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell (75%) is funding the initial US$42.5 million in drilling costs. Petromanas holds a 25% interest in Blocks 2-3 and was advised in August it is the successful bidder for Block 4, which covers 874 square miles southeast of Blocks 2-3.

“We continue to advance our appraisal plan around the discovery at Shpirag-2, even in the face of lower commodity prices, as we look to assess the longer term value of our assets,” said Glenn McNamara, CEO of Petromanas.

NR: Petromanas provides operational update and announces filing of Q3 2015 financial results

Arena Minerals (AN-V)
B2Gold has hit mineralization in an initial 12-hole, 2124-metre drill program at its JV with Arena on the Atacama Copper Project in the Atacama mining district, Arena announced this morning.

Diamond drilling was focused on wide spacing along one vein of the Pampa Paciencia system. Eight initial shallow diamond drill holes covered a large portion of the previously discovered 2.8 kilometre strike length with an average spacing of approximately 500 metres. Highlights included intersects of 8.13 g/t gold and 29 g/t silver over 2.1 metres and 7.71 g/t Au and 46.58 g/t Ag over 3.75 metres.

“We are pleased with B2Gold’s discovery of high grade gold and silver mineralization within the Pampa Paciencia system, and encouraged that results to date have met B2Gold’s expectations,” stated Arena president and CEO William Randall. “We look forward to reviewing the 2016 exploration program and hope for continued success in the New Year.”

B2Gold can earn into 60% of the Pampa Paciencia epithermal gold-silver project, and Arena has similar deals on different properties with Teck and JOGMEC.

NR: B2Gold JV Initial Diamond Drill Results Confirm Large Epithermal System; Follow-up 2016 Program Planned

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Disclosure: Author owns shares of Arena Minerals. This is presented for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. Continental Gold is a CEO.CA sponsor.