With the debate about inflation raging on as to whether it’s transitory, or what the definition of transitory even is, we are starting to see gold catch a bit of a bid of late. In early September I wrote an article about whether it was time to invest in gold or gold producers. In the article, I looked at the technicals for the commodity and wasn’t convinced it was a buy (or a sell) at the time, but I did suggest that it would be a whole different story if the price spent a few days above US$1,850. Guess what? As of yesterday’s close, gold has closed above this significant threshold for 5 consecutive days. I’m now changing my tune and would suggest the gold trade looks a lot more interesting at the moment.
Correspondingly, one would anticipate that if the underlying commodity starts to look like an appealing trade then so should those companies involved in gold exploration and production as well. After all, the rising tide for uranium has certainly lifted all boats from what I can see, and quite significantly in many cases. With that in mind today we are going to look at a company that is incorporated in the Isle of Man but has gold projects in Canada and Australia. Listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, Panther Metals PLC (LSE: PALM) invests in or acquires companies or projects within the natural resources sector which have the potential for growth and value generation over the medium to long term. The Company does have a couple of interesting nickel-cobalt prospects in Western Australia and a few other resource targets in Canada but, given my introduction, I will stick to the gold prospects for now.
We’ll start with the Canadian assets because there is a little more explaining required for the structure of the Australian properties. Panther has three assets all located in Ontario, Canada, in and around the north shore of Lake Superior. In late September the Company announced it had begun drilling a 400m hole at its Dotted Lake Property located approximately 20 km from Barrick Gold Corporation’s renowned Hemlo Gold Mine. Gold prospects on the property include 23.3 g/t Au over 0.3m and 9.0 g/t Au over 0.4m from channel sampling with reconnaissance rock-chip grades of up to 16.95 g/t Au along a 2km shear-zone. At the Obonga Project the Company announced in early October that it would drill up to three diamond core holes seeking to test the Wishbone volcanogenic massive sulphide prospect. There is also the Big Bear Project which consists of mineral claims covering an area of 42km2 over highly prospective and under-explored greenstone stratigraphy.
Skipping across to the other side of the world, Panther has numerous assets in both the Northern Territory and in Western Australia. The catch is that Panther Metals PLC is currently spinning out these assets into Panther Metals Limited (PML) which should begin trading on the Australian Securities Exchange on December 10, 2021. Upon completion of this transaction Panther Metals PLC will hold 36.6% of PML. Given that Panther is a project generator this transaction made sense to provide the working capital to develop the Australian portfolio. Part of the PML IPO was the issuing of new shares resulting in A$5 million being raised to fund the advancement of these assets.
Now that we have the housekeeping details out of the way let’s start with the key Western Australia assets. The Merolia Project comprises a series of largely contiguous exploration licenses located 35 km to the southeast of the town of Laverton in the Eastern Goldfields Province of Western Australia. The area around Laverton includes several major gold mines, including Granny Smith (3 Moz), Sunrise Dam (8 Moz) and Wallaby (8 Moz), and many other significant gold deposits. It is one of the most prolific gold producing areas in Western Australia and is consequently well-serviced by infrastructure and has a skilled local workforce. Previous drilling across this prospect area includes 8m at 6.7 g/t Au at Burtville East and 9m at 46.5 g/t Au at Ironstone. Approximately 15km to the west of Laverton lies the Red Flag Project with its best near surface drill intercept of 2m at 9.2 g/t Au.
The Northern Territory assets include the Annaburroo and Marrakai gold projects, which comprise two granted licenses covering a total area of 160km2, located 70km to the southeast of Darwin. Both license areas are close to good infrastructure and the Toms Gully and Rustlers Roost deposits, which are owned by China Hanking Holdings Limited. Previous drilling in the area provided intercepts including 2m @ 9.32 g/t Au and 2m @ 5.74 g/t Au.
This interesting Company provides you a couple of options for participation. If you are more of a fan of the Australian assets, you can simply wait a few weeks and trade PML directly. If you are like me and think the more prospects the merrier then you can go with the parent company Panther Metals PLC and gain exposure to the Canadian assets as well.