The third quarter of 2013 will not go down as a memorable quarter for most junior gold companies. As the gold price continued to fall - pressured by statements from the US Federal Reserve about scaling back quantitative easing, a strengthening US economy, and Indian restrictions on gold imports - the valuations of many gold exploration companies stayed depressed.a However, it was not all bad news. Over the summer, drill programs were started and completed, attractive drill results were published, and several companies completed either financings or acquisitions of companies and properties. Here's a look at some of the junior gold companies that stood out in Q3. Started drilling In mid-July, Barisan Gold Corp (TSXV:BG) restarted exploration drilling at its Upper Tengkereng porphyry prospect in Indonesia. The company mobilized a drill rig and started drilling in late August after the Ramadan holiday. It planned to drill up to 3,000 meters, targeting high-grade zones intercepted in Hole UTD-002. On Aug. 1,a Colombian Minesa(TSXV: CMJ)astarted drillingaitsaYarumalito porphyry gold project. The 3,500- to 4,000-meter drill program is being managed and funded by Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK,TSX:TCK.B), which has an option agreement with Colombian Mines valued at $15.5 million.aUnder the agreement, Teck may earn up to 70 percent of the project by spending at least $10 million on exploration and making combined cash payments and private placements of $5.5 million. In mid-AugustaTarsis Resourcesa(TSXV:TCC)astarted exploring its Yago gold-silver property in Mexico, which it recently acquired from Almaden Mineralsa(TSX:BRI,OTCQX:BRIZF) entered into an agreement withaBrazilian Gold Corporation (TSXV:BGC), where Brazil Resources will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Brazilian Gold for approximately $13.5 million. PEA In the third quarter, Santa FeaGold Corporation (OTCBB:SFEG),aMoss Lake Gold Mines (TSXV:MOK), andaMajestic Gold Corp. (TSXV:MJS) all announced positive preliminary economic assessments (PEAs).
Santa Fe Gold's PEA estimates that revenues from the Carache and Lucas deposits would total $1.35 billion at a three-year average gold price of $1550 per ounce, with production of 874,000 ounces of gold from two open cut mines over an operating life ranging from 9 to 18 years.The PEA for the Moss Lake gold deposit in Ontario indicates an open-pit mine capable of averaging 244,000 ounces of gold a year for a 10-year minelife. Majestic Gold Corp. (TSXV:MJS) announced that SRK Consulting China Ltd. completed and delivered a positive PEA for the Song Jiagou Gold Project located in Shandong Province, China. Production In mid-August, Detour Gold (TSX:DGC)acommencedacommercial production at its Detour Lake mine in Northeastern Ontario. The company has a 2013 gold production target of 270,000 ounces and is focused on optimizing operating performance at the mine and mill to achieve 90 percent of nameplate capacity (55,000 tpd) by year end. Also in August,aKlondex Minesa(TSX:KDX,OTCQX:KLNDF)adeliveredathe first shipment of mineralized material from the Fire Creek gold deposit to Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM,TSX:NMC) for processing. The Fire Creek project is located in North-central Nevada. A July agreement with Newmont includes the processing of up to 9,000 tons of mineralized material in 2013. Shipments may continue through the end of 2014 as high-grade material is generated. In September Coronet Metals Inc. (TSXV:CRF,OTCQX:CORMF) started commissioning its Liberty Gold Processing Facility in Nevada, which will provide capacity of 20 tons of concentrate a dayain the first phase. Coronet also said it intends to raise $600,000 in a non-brokered private placement. Financings Raising money is tough in these markets, but some junior gold miners managed to swing financings in Q3. Here is a selection. Richmont Minesa(TSX:RIC,NYSE:RIC)aclosedaa Senior Secured Credit Facility for up to C$50 million with Macquarie Bank to advance its Island Gold Deep project in Ontario. "The loan provides Richmont with additional flexibility and financial strength to unlock Island Gold Deep's potential and allow the Corporation to enter its next phase of growth," Richmont President and CEO Paul Carmel said in a statement.
Northern Vertex Mininga(TSXV:NEE)aannouncedathat it will proceed with a private placement equity financing totalling approximately $5 million. Proceeds will go towards reactivating the Moss mine gold-silver heap leach project in Arizona, where Northern Vertex has an earn-in agreement with Patriot Gold (OTCMKTS:PGOL).Colossus Mineralsa(TSX:CSI)aannouncedaan equity financing worth $33 million. Net proceeds from the offering will be put towards its Serra Pelada gold-platinumagroup metals project in Brazil, including completion of the processing plant, a dewatering system and working capital. Teck Resources (NYSE:TCK, TSX:TCK.B) Canada's largest diversified mining company, became a shareholder in Midas Gold (TSX:MAX) through aa$9.8 million private placement. The purchase of 12,740,000 common shares gives Teck a 9.9 percent stake in Midas, which is developing the Golden Meadows gold-antimony-silver project in Idaho. The financing comes after aadealaannounced in May whereby Midas sold a 1.7 percent net smelter return royalty on production from Golden Meadows to Franco-Nevada (NYSE:FNV, TSX:FNV) for $15 million. Securities Disclosure: I, Andrew Topf, hold stock in Teck Resources. Related reading: Gold's Impact on the Global Economy: $210 Billion Why Don Coxe Expects Gold to Soar on Good Economic News Taking Stock: Q3 2013 Gold Juniors Round-Up from Gold Investing News