Junior Mining Speculations

10/03/2003 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Thom Calandra

Editor, The Calandra Report

For over eight years, Thom Calandra has written the StockWatch column for CBSMarketWatch.com. More recently, he launched a financial newsletter, The Calandra Report. In addition to his general market expertise, Calandra is an authority on the metals sector, with a particular affinity for more speculative plays.

"Miners are raking the world's most unlikely places for the next precious metals strike. Copper, nickel, and other metals are in the mix, too. Ivanhoe Mines (CA:IVN   Toronto), which is putting its Oyu Tolgoi Mongolia copper-gold deposit on a fast track to development, is also actively seeking new mines across China. Ivanhoe Mines, and its sister company, Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN NASDAQ) are fast becoming standards for miners that wish to operate in faraway places, such as China. The Canadian company owns, operates or is tenderly exploring promising metals veins in Bulgaria, Inner Mongolia, South Africa and South America. Speculation is that a Chilean company will become a deep-pockets partner with Ivanhoe Mines in its Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposit, which is rapidly becoming one of the world's largest copper (and gold) finds ever."

"Meanwhile, subscribers to The Calandra Report ask me where to locate promising junior exploration companies that are performing ground-breaking geological work. I can report several trends that look promising. One is in Bulgaria, where several companies, including Ivanhoe Mines, are exploring. Bulgaria gold explorer Gabriel Resources (GBRRF pink sheets) is a likely takeover target for an expanding Canadian gold producer. In Mongolia, QGX Ltd. (CA:QGX Vancouver) gets the credit for being among the first to stake potential copper and gold deposits in that promising and newly democratic country. About 18 months ago, Ivanhoe acquired all of QGX's exploration statistics; QGX still gets some participation in the project. Another Mongolian exploration company is EntrĂ©e Gold (CA:ETG  Vancouver), whose soaring shares are still worth less than $20 million Canadian. Finally, for those looking for something a little more rock solid, try on shares of Major Drilling Group (CA:MDD.U Toronto), whose quarterly sales are approaching $40 million. The Canadian company sells drill equipment and services to miners around the world."

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