Here’s a look at three mining stocks that had some of last week’s highest trading volumes (or the most shares exchanged between buyers and sellers).
Oro is a gold miner and explorer with two properties in Mexico. Its 100 percent owned, 118,000-hectare Trinidad property is located two hours southeast of the port city Mazatlan. A 2011 estimate shows that the property has an indicated resource of 248,610 ounces of gold plus an inferred 52,245 ounces.
The company also owns the 2,750 hectare El Compas property in Zacatecas State. This property is the site of the El Compas mine, which operated from 2003 to 2007.
Oro completed a resource estimate on the property in 2010. Results showed an indicated resource of 74,000 ounces of gold and 1.1 million ounces of silver, along with an inferred 54,000 ounces of gold and 641,000 ounces of silver.
Oro is now the target of a takeover offer from US-based investment fund Wexford Capital LP. On June 13, Wexford issued a press release saying it intends to make an unsolicited takeover offer of $0.11 a share for all of Oro’s outstanding common shares.
The following day, Oro responded, saying that it had not yet received a formal offer from Wexford, and recommending that Oro shareholders wait for the company’s board of directors to review any bid before acting.
Oro is now trading at $0.105, just below Wexford’s offer price. That indicates shareholders do not anticipate a higher offer from Wexford or another bidder.
Opawica Explorations (TSXV:OPW) was the fourth-most traded stock on the TSX Venture Exchange on Friday, with a trading volume of 2,075,400 shares. The stock soared 14.29 percent on the day, settling at $0.04 after climbing as high as $0.065.
The company’s Atikwa Lake gold property in Ontario is the site of an open-pit copper and gold mine that started up in 1970 and closed in 1973. During that time, a mill on the site processed an average of 500 tonnes of ore per day. Opawica’s 2011 drilling program identified significant gold mineralization below the former mine and in other areas of the property.
Opawica shareholders must still approve the deal at a special meeting on July 30, but the companies expect to complete the transaction by August 31. Opawica said it’s selling these properties to focus its exploration efforts on its Bro property in the Yukon.
The company is focused on increasing production at its 44,000 acre Patos-Marinza heavy oil field in South-Central Albania. Bankers says Patos-Marinza is the largest onshore oil field in continental Europe, with reserves of 7.7 billion barrels.
Since it took over in 2004, the company has increased Patos-Marinza’s production from 600 barrels per day to over 14,000. However, production has been flat over the first five months of the year, mainly because Bankers is facing a number of development challenges, such as interference from old well bores, sand, and water.
The company’s technical team is now working on overcoming these setbacks, including adjusting its drilling techniques. Bankers feels it will have these changes in place by the fourth quarter of 2012.
In addition, early last week, the company was the target of a protest by residents of the Albanian village of Zharres, who claimed that Bankers is causing panic and damaging their homes by using underground explosions to extract oil. The protesters also opened valves on Bankers’ storage tanks and released 1,000 tonnes of oil. The company estimates that this action caused about $1 million of damage.
Bankers denied the charge, stating “[w]e … declare that none of our hydrocarbon operations causes explosions or earth tremors,” said the company’s Albania general manager, Leonidha Cobo.
Albania’s National Resources Agency met with the company and the protesters to negotiate a solution, and said it will conduct a scientific investigation.
Securities Disclosure: I, Chad Fraser, hold no positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article.