There are some additional bits of information that have emerged over the last several weeks that I do not recall being discussed in light of recent announcements.
1. The updated drilling program is "a 9,400 metre (65 holes) diamond drilling program at Steenkampskraal where the Company now has five drill rigs operating onsite." Five drill rigs? That seems like a large number and the only reason for so many is to complete this drilling program quickly. That averages out to 13 holes per rig and 145 metres per hole. Does anyone have insight on the average time it takes a diamond drill to drill 150 metres?
2. Part of the delay in the PEA was to gather "additional metallurgical testing". It is worth remembering that metallurgy is LeVier's forte. He was in charge of developing, evaluating, and implementing large-scale extraction methods at Newmont.
3. The PEA is now starting to sound more like a PFS or a FS (feasibility study). The benefit of a PEA is that you are allowed to include inferred resources in the economic study whereas in a PFS or FS you cannot incluce inferred resources and are limited to indicted mineral resources. For a recent discussion of new rules regarding PEA versus PFS/FS see http://www.osler.com/NewsResources/Default.aspx?id=4849
Part of the rationale for the expanded drilling program is to move more resources over to the indicated category. "Infill drilling on areas of lower data density in order to upgrade Inferred Mineral Resources to the Indicated category," (from the Sept 28 news release). This may be a critical element here as it relates to long term sales contracts and bank financing. One or both may be requiring indicated resources and unwilling to sign/lend based on inferred resources.
4. If #3 is correct, then the released NI43-101 with the Dec 15 report date was simply an update for us shareholders to meet as much of the promised informational release as possible and that NI43-101 will be updated with (a) the 55 holes still pending and (b) radiological extrapolation (remember that the correlation between radiation and TREO was r=.95) on the infill holes to increase the indicated resource level.
It seems like GWG is serving two or three masters at the moment. They are trying to provide us shareholders with as much information in a timely manner as they can as they negotiate with buyers (and bank financing presumably, hopefully!). These latter parties will have different needs which may have required several iterations on the PEA and delaying it until sufficient data are available before releasing it to all.
This is my optimistic assessment of the situation. Remember that the original driving force behind the decision to conduct a PEA was NOT for shareholder information and to validate wwwater's projections, but rather to use as a springboard to raise additional capital. When GWG announced (LeVier's decision it appears) to NOT extend the warrants at .45/share, they appear to have ruled out raising capital through equity dilution. The goal then is not to pump the stock prices in order to raise sufficient capital, but to pursue other avenues for financing. If they were interesting in just pumping the stock, they would have released the PEA last week or so. Instead it appears that they made a strategic course correction in the PEA towards more of a PFS/FS. In the end it may be called a PFS.