There were some insider buys of note in last night’s SEDI filings, including Osisko founder Robert Wares picking up some AZ Mining (he’s a director there) and a rather large bet on B2Gold by one of its directors.
AZ Mining (AZ-T)
Geologist Robert Wares, an AZ Mining director, bought 100,000 shares at 37 cents on Monday. He owns 3.6 million shares, a 2.2% stake.
The purchase came on the same day AZ Mining updated the resource at its 80% owned Hermosa project in Arizona. The Taylor deposit at Hermosa contains 39.4 million tonnes grading 11.04% zinc equivalent, at a 6% ZnEq cut-off (the other minerals are silver and lead).
Wares is chief geologist for Osisko Gold Royalties (OR-T) and was founder of the original Osisko. Richard Warke, AZ Mining’s chairman, used to work with Murray Pezim and is a founder of several successful mining plays, including Augusta Resource (sold for $666 million in 2014) and Ventana Gold (sold for $1.5 billion in 2011).
The Hermosa resource update was good for a 40% gain in AZ’s stock, which was last trading at 42 cents.
Royal Nickel (RNX-T)
A day after Royal Nickel announces it was diversifying into gold and copper production, executives were buying shares in the public market.
President and CEO Mark Selby and Chairman Scott Hand – former CEO of Inco – each picked up 100,000 shares at 21 cents on Tuesday, and CFO Timothy Lee Hollaar also bought 25,000 shares at the same price. Hand is the executive with the largest ownership stake, about 1.5% of shares outstanding.
Monday’s foray into gold and copper lifted Royal Nickel shares from 16 cents to the current 21-cent level.
The deal will see the company – the owner of the Dumont nickel project in Quebec – buy VMS Ventures (VMS-V), part-owner of a Manitoba copper mine, and acquire a stake in Salt Lake Mining, an Australian nickel and gold miner.
Related reading: Royal Nickel diversifies with gold, copper acquisitions | Globe
Director Jerry Korpan bought 400,000 shares of the mid-tier gold producer at $1.12 in the public market yesterday, taking his stake to 2.3 million shares.
Korpan is the former managing director of Yorkton Securities and was a director of Bema Gold, the B2Gold predecessor that was taken out by Kinross (K) for $3.1 billion in 2006.
B2Gold president and CEO Clive Johnson won the Murray Pezim Award for Perseverance and Success in Financing Mineral Exploration at AME-BC’s annual awards ceremony in Vancouver on Jan. 27. Pezim’s son Michael, a Vancouver surgeon, presented the award.
The shares have struggled along with the rest of the mining complex, dropping about 23% in January and more than 55% in the last year. However, the stock has bounced back sharply since bottoming below 90 cents in late January.