By Justin Reynolds
Is the Golden Panther about to leap to the next level?
“…promising results in Canada or Australia would open the way for further exploration work and prompt the Panther’s share price to keep racing ahead…”
As investors seek safe havens from turbulent economic seas the price of gold has been soaring. The yellow metal has reached heights of $1,785 a troy ounce in the past few days, its highest level for eight years. The price has risen 16pc year this year as unprecedented central bank stimulus to put lockdown economies on life support reduces bond yields and sparks fears of inflation.
Panther Metals PLC, listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE:PALM), is one gold miner working to benefit from the metal’s enduring value. The UK-based company is focused on two gold and metals projects in Canada and Australia.
The Big Bear Gold Project
The Big Bear Gold Project in north-western Ontario covers an area of 46km2 encompassing dozens of mining claims. When first acquired in early 2018 the licence included three legacy sites comprising 69 claim units. Later that year Panther commissioned sampling and prospecting studies to start piecing together and interpreting the asset’s fragmented dataset.
The company has since increased the project’s mining claims (171 at the time of writing), identified several significant soil gold anomalies across four major target areas with rock-chip results exceeding 100g/t gold, and commenced a sampling and mapping programme to identify possible drill and trench targets. The programme includes a helicopter-borne electromagnetic survey able to pinpoint potentially mineralised targets.
Panther believes analysis of the data will allow the company to define a diamond drilling programme and associated bedrock trenching, which will in turn lead to the publication of formal Mineral Resource Estimates. The survey work is navigating delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Marrakai and Annaburroo Gold Projects
The company acquired its Australian assets last year, purchasing the Marrakai and Annaburroo exploration licence areas, near Darwin in Western Australia’s Northern Territory.
The Marrakai Gold Project, covering an area of 10.1km2, is near the Rustlers Roost project, one of the largest gold mines in the region. The Annaburroo Gold Project is a single licence covering an area of 149.8km2 that has been little explored, and where the company hopes gold deposits may have been overlooked.
Initial targeting work is underway using existing remote-sensing and geophysical datasets. Last month the company reported that early results highlight potential for further gold mineralisation at Marrakai, with east and west portions of the tenement remaining completely untested.
As in Canada, fieldwork within the project areas, home to several aboriginal communities, has been delayed due to the pandemic. The Northern Territory’s economy depends on mining, which accounts for 80pc of its income.
Panther raised £823,000 when it moved from the NEX market to the LSE this January, enough to fund its current exploration programme and allow evaluation of other acquisition opportunities. The Australian licences were paid for in shares when the company was admitted to the LSE.
Speaking to TMS, Chief Executive Officer Darren Hazelwood said: ‘The team has worked hard to put all the elements in place to realise the potential value of our assets. We have a highly experienced Board blending the technical and financial experience necessary to manage the risk and reward inherent to mining projects. And we have a great team on the ground.’
Mr Hazelwood acknowledged that the Covid-19 outbreak had presented operational challenges, but said: ‘Our response to the pandemic has demonstrated the versatility and resilience of our network – we’ve been able to adapt to keep our programme moving forwards, drawing on the best technologies and techniques for the task at hand.’
Panther is fully-funded for the rest of this year, but is clear that the company will need a further cash injection to fund further exploration of any opportunities its current programme uncovers. According to its full year results for 2019, published in April, Panther recorded a loss in 2019 after taxation of £749,948 (2018: £519,134). At year-end the company had total cash reserves of £6,328 (2018: £69,517).
Investors seem confident Panther can demonstrate sufficient progress this year to secure the support for further exploration: the company’s share price has risen from 2p at the beginning of April to just under 8p.
Investment in gold is a sensible option for all investors wishing to hedge against economic uncertainties. The more bullish amongst them might want to take a look at this ambitious new entrant to the market, for whom promising results in Canada or Australia would open the way for further exploration work and prompt the Panther’s share price to keep racing ahead…
Catch the latest results video with the CEO below:
The author was paid for this article but does not hold shares in the company.