MEDELLIN – Colombians say tranquillo for patience. For calm. The prospector Robert W. Allen knows tranquillo.
One of the Arkansas native’s Colombia metals prospectors is going public in Canada next week: Continental Gold will trade on the senior exchange using the ticker symbol CNL. For more than 20 years, Mr. Allen’s Grupo de Bullet has been poking around and staking claims on the gold, silver and copper properties that are packaged into Continental Gold.
“I remember when …” he tells us this week at a hotel in this city of 4 million tranquillos y tranquillas. The oil, gas and coal developer spends a lot of time here in the city of eternal spring. Bob Allen remembers when, in 1981, it was so bang-bang-shoot-‘em-up in Medellin that wearing helmets on motorcycles was outlawed. Those hired los asesinos de moto – sicarios. Killers. (I was here that long ago, so I remember.)
“Do you remember the Hunt Brothers, silver and all,” he says. “Some people don’t.” (My wife’s father, another Arkansas native, Charles Thurman, recalls one of the Hunt brothers saying, “Well, if you know what your net worth is … you can’t have much of a net worth.”)
Mr. Allen did business with the Hunts in the 1980s. He did business in the Deep South of the USA. He also did business in Colombia when the only natural resources most people knew about from this gorgeous country were entrepreneurs named Pablo Escobar and political groups named M-19.
Flash forward 10 years to the 1990s. Mr. Allen and his Grupo de Bullet were surveying properties in just about every department across this country, once regarded as South America’s most prolific producer of gold.
“Not too many people from up north doing anything back then,” he says. “You had Raul Madrid. Serafino of course (Serafino Iacono). Robert Carrington. Maybe one or two others.” (That’s Bob Allen on the left and Bob Carrington of Colombian Mines on the right.)
Continental Gold will be worth about $105 million and maybe more when it starts trading next week. Its biggie project is Buritica in Antioquia Department, a two-hour drive from Medellin. Stuart Moller, VP of Exploration, showed Ticker Trax (that’s me) the existing mine and exploration prospects at Buritica in December.
“We were lucky,” says Mr. Allen. “We hooked up with Ari Sussman in Toronto, and it looks like he is going to do Continental some very good service.”
Ari Sussman for his part tells me he was lucky to hook up with Mr. Allen. Ari Sussman is the financier who put together several projects, most notably Colossus Minerals (TSX: T.CSI, Stock Forum) in Brazil, a gold and platinum prospect that is fascinating geologists and investors these days. “Smart as a whip and a real gentleman,” Mr. Sussman says about Bob Allen.
Bob Allen, when you chat up names and the associated porphyry and VMS polymetallic details of just about any region of Colombia, has text and footnotes in his head. Mention the gold prospects in and around Anori, where both Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY, Stock Forum) and (TSX: T.YRI, Stock Forum) and Bob Carrington’s Colombian Mines (TSX: V.CMJ, Stock Forum) own mines or concession rights/applications, and he says, “Oh yes, they have something there, and that Bob, he has something around what they have, and we have what surrounds that.”
The Anori project, like lots of areas of Colombia, is featured by auriferous quartz veins and small gold mines … and the ever-present alluvial gold deposits. Continental Gold, Grupo de Bullet, AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU, Stock Forum) and CMJ are in that area.
We asked Bob Allen one question that cut to the quick – and no, it was not about the University of Arkansas Razorbacks’ athletic programs. It was about the possibility of some Grupo de Bullet or Continental Gold concession striking a mother lode just as Ventana Gold (TSX: T.VEN, Stock Forum) did in the California-Vetas District near Bucaramanga.
“Well, with all humility, yes, if you look at what we own and who our partners are,” he says, accompanied by his VP of corporate development for Grupo de Bullet, James Felton, “our Grupo de Bullet has a JV with AngloGold Ashanti -- La Niebla. That’s right there around their Coloso deposit. We have Caramanta right here in the department of Antioquia, just north of Medoro’s El Marmato district (TSX: V.MRS, Stock Forum) and not far from Venecia, and that is where Colombian Mines also has something … and B2 Gold (TSX: T.BTO, Stock Forum). So yes.”
Please see our continuing Colombia coverage and our library of articles on the subject of Colombia metals prospectors. Here are several articles, some from our Ticker Trax service and some from our free Stockhouse service:
Barato, muy barato
When you come you come to Colombia, where we still are as of today, you come across sellers everywhere who hawk goods and remind you, if you pass on the street or beach opportunity, that it is all “barato, muy barato.”
Barato is in the eye of the buyer. True barato can mean just plain cheap – for a reason. The other day, we paid 10,000 Colombian pesos, or $4 USA, for a nice looking set of sandals. Darn it – one of them dissolved in the first rain storm we endured in Covenas on the northeastern coast of Colombia. That’s true “cheap.”
Here is a list of a handful of Colombia gold-silver-copper prospectors and their ballpark market worths. (Apologies in advance if I am 5 percent to 10 percent off on these capitalizations.) We here at home own CMJ, a Ticker Trax Planetary Prospect, and non-Planetary Prospects Medoro Resources (MRS) and Bellhaven Copper & Gold (BHV). We here at home also took place in a recent private placement of Sunward (SWD), developer of Georges Juilland’s Titiribi gold property and its Murindo copper property:
- Ventana Gold $940 million Canadian
- Greystar Resources (TSX: T.GSL, Stock Forum) $500 million
- Medoro Resources (TSX: V.MRS, Stock Forum) $250 million
- Sunward Resources (TSX: V.SWD, Stock Forum) $120 million
- Galway Resources (TSX: V.GWY, Stock Forum) $90 million
- Colombian Mines - please see photo of core from fresh drill holes at Yarumalito; assay results from at least three holes are due by month’s end
- Antioquia Gold (TSX: V.AGD, Stock Forum) $22 million
- Bellhaven Copper & Gold (TSX: V.BHV, Stock Forum) $20 million
- Soon-to-be publicly traded Continental Gold (CNL) This is Bob Allen and Ari Sussman’s collection of properties, including Berlin and Buritica in the department of Antioquia. Please see above.
Big footnote: Carla Resources and its La Gran Colombiana Mine and other holdings in and around Segovia and Remedios are now part of my notebook. Carla Resources’ principals are Jaime Gutierrez and Jorge Jaramillo Pereira, both 48. I have met them. Mr. Gutierrez has a long family history, as in more than a century, of operating gold and other metals refiners and construction companies. Mr. Pereira worked at Colombia’s Ministry of Mines for 16 years – into 2007. Carla owns 32,000 hectares of titles and applications to title in Antioquia and Choco departments.
Carla Resources is quite possibly the next cog in someone’s big wheel, Mr. Jaramillo Pereira tells me. Carla, he says April 12 in Medellin, is in conversations with Louis Saenz of Peru, Rugby Resources of Australia, Medoro Resources and Continental Gold, among others. Also: B2Gold (TSX: T.BTO, Stock Forum).
Mr. Gutierrez sits on the board of Bob Allen and Ari Sussman’s Continental Gold. Small world, this Colombia. Both principals tell me Carla quite possibly could see itself aligned in the same power-axis as Continental Gold or Bob Allen’s large Colombia portfolio of properties, Grupo de Bullet. Mr. Gutierrez also has a take on Medoro’s continued and hard-won efforts to extract the maximum potential from historic mines at El Marmato and Frontino Mine, both in Antioquia.
“Look,” he tells me over a coffee in Medellin, “Frontino is a Pandora’s Box. No one no matter how many assays and tests knows whether Frontino has another 4 million ounces of gold. Or 8 million ounces. The only thing we know is that the people who work on behalf of Medoro, Serafino Iacono for instance, and Juan Manuel Pelaez, have a track record of success with government, with labor and with sticky financial issues. These people know how to handle ‘bad’ things in Colombia, which is a very good country. Plus, they made a lot of money with (oil producer) Pacific Rubiales (TSX: T.PRE, Stock Forum) in a very short period of time. A lot of their connections here made money, too. That can’t hurt.”
I endorse as a researcher only one of these companies here at Ticker Trax: CMJ for the scope of its in-country holdings. Of the rest, I am fairly sure that longtime copper and gold prospector and engineer Georges Juilland’s Titiribi (SWD) will become a consistent producer of low-grade gold in sizeable quantities. But then again, I own shares of Sunward via a private placement. I am considering taking part in a placement of shares of Serafino Iacono’s new gold and copper amalgamation, owner of Zancudo near Titiribi and a potential part owner of Frontino Mine, among other Colombia properties.
In addition, based purely on barato, I am purchasing more shares of Bellhaven, Julio Benedetti’s Panama and Colombia gold and copper prospector. When I see for a second time that company’s Colombia properties in the department of Bolivar in Colombia (San Lucas, Rio Magdalena alluvial workings, etc.), I will consider placing the shares of our list of Planetary Prospects. No guarantees. Mr. Benedetti and a fund manager oft-cited here, geologist Paul Zweng of Honolulu, have assembled what looks like a credible panel of advisors and directors for Bellhaven. We expect to see additional properties added to the company’s gold-related Colombia prospects.
(My apologies for not inserting Spanish accent marks, such as the one that deserves to be placed above the second syllable of Choco. My apologies if any of the financing amounts in this report are off – as I am working without my database here in Colombia.)
InvestFest in Las Vegas – Join Stockhouse for a drink on the house June 4 at InvestFest. The gathering will feature investment masters who are making headway in today's marketplace. I’ll be there. It’s called InvestFest 2010. Please visit:: www.stockhouse.com/products/investfest2010.
WHEN: June 3 to June 6.
WHERE: Green Valley Ranch Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s a five-star resort minutes from the Vegas strip.
Special Offer to Ticker Trax subscribers: $197. Please book your resort rate as well by calling 1-866-782-9487. Quote: InvestFest.
Several speakers will be distributing gifts.They include:
- Brain Tracy’s book: “The Way to Wealth: Success Strategies of Wealthy Entrepreneurs”
- Garrett Gunderson’s book: “Killing Sacred Cows”
- Bill Walsh’s CD Program “The Ultimate Success Secret”
- Two grand prizes of a Whistler Lodge Presidential Suite in British Columbia, Canada.
(All photos by Thom Calandra.)
Thom Calandra and his family own shares of each of the Planetary Prospects in Ticker Trax. Thom’s family holdings are available for all to see on Stockhouse, the Canada publishing company. Thom’s holdings are listed for Stockhouse members at www.Stockhouse.com under the “portfolio setting” for user TCALANDRA. It is public and free to view. He and his family own recently minted gold and silver coins and shares of about 22 public and two private companies. Thom Calandra and his family own each of the Planetary Prospects in Ticker Trax.
THOM CALANDRA of Ticker Trax helps his audience find value in a quagmire of investment choices. Thom co-founded CBS MarketWatch and MarketWatch.com. As the voice of Thom Calandra's StockWatch and The Calandra Report, Thom pegged $300-ounce gold as a long-term hold in 1999 and in 2000. He has been covering life-sciences and natural resources since 1988.
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Ticker Trax™ is published by Stockhouse Publishing Ltd. Ticker Trax is an information service for subscribers and neither Stockhouse nor Thom Calandra is a broker or an investment advisor. None of the information contained therein constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Calandra or Stockhouse that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Ticker Trax does not purport to tell or suggest the investment securities subscribers or readers should buy or sell for themselves. Subscribers and readers of Ticker Trax should conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decisions. Ticker Trax will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader’s reliance on information obtained in the reports. Subscribers and readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions. Opinions expressed in Ticker Trax are based on sources believed to be reliable and are written in good faith, but no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to their accuracy or completeness. All information contained in Ticker Trax should be independently verified. The editor and publisher are not responsible for errors or omissions or responsible for keeping information up to date or for correcting any past information. Ticker Trax does not receive compensation of any kind from any companies that may be mentioned in the report. Any opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. Owners, employees and writers may hold positions in the securities that are discussed in Ticker Trax. PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL THOM SEEKING PERSONALIZED INVESTMENT ADVICE, WHICH HE CANNOT PROVIDE. Copyright 2010 all rights reserved.