Alamos CEO John McCluskey said the offer by Alamos represents a better deal for shareholders.“The company that would be created by the combination of Alamos and Aurizon represents far greater value than the highly-leveraged, hedged, debt-laden, financially constrained company proposed by the Aurizon board through the Hecla merger,” McCluskey said. Other company news Two people died on Wednesday after thousands swarmed a gold mine operated by African Barrick Gold (LSE:ABG) in Tanzania. The Daily News reported that a woman was shot dead and a man died from wounds from a sharp object, when about 4,000 people invaded the site to steal gold sand. African Barrick Gold also said this week it is losing its chief financial officer, Kevin Jennings, who has accepted a position at an un-named mining company in Canada. Tanzania-focused ABG launched a review of its operations earlier this year aimed at reversing three consecutive years of declining gold output. Last year the company was targeted for takeover by China's largest gold company, China National Gold Group, but the talks came to nought. Canadian company Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD,NYSE:EGO) faced more protests this week over its Perama Hill mine in Greece. The unrest comes on the heels of a violent attack on February 17th in which nearly 40 armed intruders stormed the facility setting offices and set machinery on fire. Opponents of the copper-gold mine are concerned about pollution and the fact that the Greek government does not receive royalties from mine concessions. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM,LSE:FQM) more than doubled its quarterly profit due to higher copper and gold sales. The base metal miner announced on Wednesday its net earnings for the fourth quarter were $186.7 million, or 39 cents a share, compared to 16 cents per share or $76 million in the year-ago quarter. The results beat analyst expectations of 33 cents per share, Reuters reported.
Death of Chavez creates questions for foreign oil, gold companiesThe death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died from cancer on Tuesday, is creating uncertainty, and possibly hope, in the gold and oil sectors in which the South American dictator exerted considerable influence. Chavez nationalized oil and gas companies in Venezuela, which has the world's largest oil reserves (outside of OPEC), and that led to a flight of capital and talent from the country. A quasi-nationalization strategy aimed at the gold industry in 2011 had the state collect a 13 percent royalty on gold produced from large operations, and forced foreign mining companies to become minority partners with the government. (See Monday's coverage in Oil Investing News of what the death of Chavez means for the oil industry). Paulson gold fund down 26 percent Hedge fund billionaire John Paulson has been hurt by gold's stagnation in 2013. His $900-million Gold Fund, which invests in bullion-related equities and derivates, is down 26 percent so far this year, reported Bloomberg. Gold is entering its longest slump in 16 years, having fallen for the fifth straight month, but Paulson said in a letter to investors that he believes in the longterm outlook for the precious metal. Gold traded flat this week as investors waited to see a key economic indicator due out Friday, the February US employment report. At the close of trading on Thursday, COMEX gold for April delivery was up $1.10 at $1,576 an ounce, while spot gold was down $8 at $1,577. Junior company news Aldridge Minerals (TSXV:AGM), a small-cap junior developing a gold and polymetallic VMS project in Turkey, saw a 40 percent jump in its stock price on Tuesday ahead of a prefeasibility report due out this month. MINING.com reported the shares changing hands at over 14 times regular volumes to reach a daily high of 61 cents, surpassing a market cap of $30 million. Its Yenipazar property contains 900,000 ounces of indicated gold, nearly 30 million ounces of silver and over 200 million pounds of copper, according to a November 2012 updated resource estimate.
Orsa Ventures (TSXV:ORN) entered into a joint venture purchase agreement with Americas Bullion Royalty (TSX:AMB) and Golden Predator Mines US Inc. to acquire a 50-percent joint venture interest in the Angel's Camp Property at Quartz Mountain in Oregon. Through an Option Agreement with Seabridge Gold (TSX:SEA,AMEX:SA), Orsa and Orsa Min control the other 50 percent of the joint venture interest in the Angel's Camp Property.Parkside Resources (TSXV:PKS) received the first core samples from its 2013 winter drill program at Forester Lake. Grades up to 16 grams per ton were identified from nine drill targets. Prosperity Goldfields (TSXV:PPG) has just commenced a 4,000-meter, 18-to-20 hole drill program on its Kiyuk Lake gold project in Southern Nunavut. Investors should be on the lookout for the first set assay results in April. Geologix Explorations (TSX:GIX) anticipates that SRK will complete its prefeasibility study on the Tepal gold-copper project in Mexico in the first quarter of 2013. Securities Disclosure: I, Andrew Topf, do not hold equity interests in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Related reading: What Hugo Chavez's Illness Means for Venezuelan Mining Hecla Trumps Alamos with $796-million Offer for Aurizon from Gold Investing News