The Dominican Republic is the larger of two Caribbean nations on the island of Hispaniola, with its smaller neighbor being Haiti. Often referred to simply as the DR, the Dominican Republic is increasingly developing a reputation as a small nation with big opportunities for gold miners.
The Pueblo Viejo mine, a 60/40 joint venture between Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX,TSX:ABX) and Goldcorp (TSX:G,NYSE:GG) that achieved commercial production in January, has certainly helped boost the nation's reputation.
Pueblo Viejo is a polymetallic deposit with 15 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves and a mine life of over 25 years. And with a price tag of about $3.7 billion, it is the largest investment that has been made in the island nation. However, it is far from the only one.
Also found in the region are Perilya's (ASX:PEM) Cerro de Maimon copper-gold mine, PanTerra Gold's (ASX:EVG) Las Lagunas gold tailings project and Xstrata's (LSE:XTA) Falcondo nickel complex.A host of junior miners, including Everton Resources (TSXV:EVR), Precipitate Gold (TSXV:PRG), Santo Mining (OTC Pink:SANP), Unigold (TSXV:UGD) and GoldQuest Mining (TSXV:GQC) have also been attracted to the Dominican Republic: Everton Resources has gold, silver and copper properties in the Dominican with land claims totalling over 300 square kilometers. In January, a study from the University of Barcelona confirmed the discovery of a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) and VMS-epithermal deposit at Everton's Ampliación Pueblo Viejo II concession, adjacent to Barrick and Goldcorp's Pueblo Viejo mine. New survey and assay results were also announced from the Ponton and Jarabacoa properties in March. Precipitate Gold has two concessions adjacent to the Romero and La Escandalosa projects, two of GoldQuest's discoveries. Survey results completed in December 2012 have refined and expanded two target areas, the Mechor and Ginger Ridge gold zones. Santo Mining has seven claims on the island. Its Walter mineral claim is within a mile of Pueblo Viejo. Unigold is concentrating its endeavors on the Candelones zone of its Neita property. Its share price gained 164 percent in 2012 following drill results that included 69.4 meters at 3.75 g/t gold and 20.2 meters at 2.6 g/t gold. Last November, Unigold announced the discovery of a new area of mineralization on the Neita property. GoldQuest was the darling of the junior gold mining sector last year. Its stock price increased by 726-percent in 2012 after the company returned an impressive set of drill results from its Romero project. While the stock has since fallen from those dizzying heights, the company rose 30 percent last month after it announced the discovery of a new copper- and gold-bearing trend.