breaking ground at karma

Breaking Group at Karma (True Gold)

Mark O'Dea's True Gold Mining Inc. (TGM) remained unchanged at 37.5 cents on 370,000 shares. The company has begun building a $132-million gold mine at its Karma project in Burkina Faso. To commemorate the occasion, the company invited 1,500 locals to the mine site last week for a groundbreaking ceremony. There, Naaba Keba, the region's tribal king, and several Burkinabe government officials helped True Gold's president, Dwayne Melrose, shovel the first Karma dirt. True Gold has had only co-operation from the locals so far, and the company hopes such ceremonies will help keep it that way. Money will not be a problem, thanks to executive chairman O'Dea's financing efforts. True Gold has $70-million in cash and Mr. O'Dea has lined up another $160-million in debt. He has been promoting the Karma mine since late 2012, when his Blue Gold Mining Inc. took over Mike McInnes's Riverside Resources Inc. (and its Karma project) to become True Gold. Since then, Mr. O'Dea has closed almost $100-million in equity financings, to which he attracted two bigger names, Teck Resources Ltd. and Liberty Metals, a Boston-based insurance company. For his services last year, Mr. O'Dea received $225,000 in salary plus $475,000 in other compensation. His management company, Oxygen Capital Corp., received $1.9-million.

Mr. O'Dea is best known for his Fronteer Gold Inc., a Nevada gold explorer where he helped raised $530-million in financings before Newmont bought the company for $2.3-billion in 2011. Mr. O'Dea received $6.5-million for his 470,000 shares. He is chairman of Fronteer's spin-out, Pilot Gold Inc.(PLG: $1.36), which has $15-million to drill at its Kinsley Mountain gold property (Nevada) this summer. Pleasing Kinsley assays have helped the stock up from 80 cents this year. Mr. O'Dea has also been busy at Laurentian Goldfields Ltd. (LGF: $0.35), where he and his Oxygen Capital just helped close an $8.5-million financing to acquire some gold properties in Ontario. Rob McEwen bought $3-million of that 25-cent-unit placement, acquiring 12.4 per cent of the company -- 17.5 per cent if he exercises his warrants (six million shares at 50 cents).