Saturday, February 03, 2007

Roca Mines (ROK - Venture)

Roca -- British Columbia's next new mine.

Roca began operations about 5 years ago as a junior explorer, and is posed to open the MAX Molybdenum mine later this spring.

An agreement to acquire the Max Molybdenum Project was made in 2004. The project previously had work expenditures of $14.9 million spent by Newmont Mines and Esso Minerals Canada from 1975 to 1982. Poor molybdenum prices led to its "demise."

In 2004 over 1100 meters of drill results by Roca confirmed high grade mineralization, -- grades that are an order of magnitude greater than many operating mines -- and the fast track was born. By August 2004 they had acquired 100% interest in crown grants, mining leases, mineral claims contiguous to the original MAX claims and original data detailing previous exploration. By September the mineral resource had been brought up to 43-101 compliant.

In 2005 the company decided to go for a small, fast-tracked mine. In November 2005, working with the mining friendly government of British Columbia, a permit was granted which allowed for the development and operation of an underground mine and onsite concentrator.

By August 2006 the acquisition of Max Molybdenum was complete. In order to fast track production, the company has made use of existing production-sized underground access to the deposit. They have completed the purchase of 1000 tone per day mill and concentrator.

The fast track has not been without a few bumps. Revelstoke had record high snow fall this year, the annual average, 21 feet, had fallen by December leading to construction problems and some delays, making the project fall about 4 months behind schedule. But, the plan was also changed from 500 tonnes per day to 1000 tonnes per day or doubling the planned production.

The numbers work out to about 3 million pounds of molybdenum production planned for 2007, and that can be completed in roughly 150 days, leaving opportunity to potentially increase production. At today's prices, 3 million pounds of molybdenum fetches about $75 million.

Additionally, Roca has other properties for potential development, the Foremore VMS-Gold Project, which has an exploration program for 2007 to investigate the Northern Zone which shows precious and base metal grades within the edges of the system drilled so far. The SeaGold Property is an early stage exploration project covering 40 square kilometers 35 km north of Barrick Gold's Eskay Creek gold/silver mine.

Roca's market cap is a mere $82 million.

Roca is a value-priced cash cow ready to roll.

Check out their presentations.

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