I was in Morocco two weeks ago just before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha [The Festival of Sacrifice]. I've never seen so many nervous sheep before. I was there on Wednesday and Thursday. Eid al-Adha was on Saturday. Six million sheep in Morocco didn't make it until Sunday. No wonder they were so nervous.
This past year has taken me to 20 or so projects. In Mid-November I got a call asking if I was interested in visiting a gold project in Morocco. I had plans for going to the San Francisco Gold show so I changed my ticket to fly to Paris and on to Casablanca directly from the show.
We are in the midst of a perfectly ordinary correction in gold and silver. I was dead wrong on my call on November 30, the actual top was a couple of days later. In hindsight it's easy to see that it was a top, people were way too eager to make calls for gold to go to $1650 and $2000 and $3000 and $5000. It may do it but nothing goes up day after day after day without taking a break.
I don't think the correction will last for long. The guy who has made the best calls for the last year is Bob Hoye. He thinks it will be a short correction.
Gold shares on the other hand, especially those of the juniors, didn't do much as gold rocketed and I don't see much of a downside for them. In historic terms, the XAU over Gold ratio is still at a record low. Gold shares are cheap and I suspect next year will be the long-awaited barnburner.
I remain convinced that the best shares to buy are those with production or near-term production. Maya Gold & Silver is such a near-term production story and I really liked my short visit.
Maya President Guy Goulet picked me up at the Casablanca airport after my flight from Paris. We drove down to Marrakech to spend the night prior to going out into the field the next day. All I can say for Morocco is that all mining projects should be located near such a beautiful city. We were on paved highways all the way to the project and the hotel in Marrakech was the nicest I've stayed in this year.
Maya Gold's primary project is the Amizmiz project some 60 km south of Marrakech in Morocco right on the edge of the Atlas Mountains. Maya is in the process of buying 10% of the project from Accord Minerals and has an option on another 60% from a private Moroccan Company.
The Amizmiz project consists of five permits covering an area of 80 square kilometers. Maya is paying $1.25 million for the property, issuing 500,000 shares and has a $3.8 million dollar work commitment over four years.
Maya and her predecessor company have spent some $2.5 million Canadian on the project to date doing surface samples, 1000 meters of drilling and 225 meters of adit development. A 1000-kilo bulk sample returned 96.6% recovery. Two drills have been mobilized and have begun a 7500-meter drill program with completion planned for February of 2010.
Channel sampling and drill results to date have revealed excellent results. In what Maya calls the TRNA zone, a channel sample showed an average grade of 26.16 g/t gold over .98 meters. In the TRNC zone, samples came up 9.46 g/t gold over 1.68 meters. The first drill results came out on November 23rd and showed 25.16 g/t gold over 1.5 meters.
Maya Gold is the sort of young, aggressive - with a totally clean history - mining company that is well worth buying. They will have drill results coming out for the next three months. The company only went public in July of 2008. Their initial focus was a mining district in Mexico. When this project in Morocco came available Guy immediately shifted his focus.
The high-grade veins offer a near-term potential for production. A local businessman interested in financing the equipment to get into early production on a contract basis has approached Maya. In addition, a surface deposit called the T Colline contains oxide mineralization sampling between 1 and 3 g/t gold that may be suitable for heap leaching.
Maya is a young, tightly held exploration company with a big potential in Morocco. A due diligence report done for a major brokerage firm suggested a potential for up to 5 million ounces of gold. While highly speculative at this point, nothing that I saw would indicate otherwise. They are in a mining area in a friendly mining country.
The company has home run potential and with a total market cap of about $12 million Canadian, is not overvalued. I saw the veins and the core and the area. It convinced me to go and buy some shares. I really like the company and the management. Some good results from the ongoing drill program could blast the shares higher.
Maya will soon be an advertiser, we do own shares and we are biased. You get the benefit of your own due diligence so we suggest highly that you look into the company.
The photo gallery of my trip is here.
Maya Gold & Silver