By Ted Niles
On February 1 and 2 Rare Earth World will host the Technology Metals Summit 2012. Co-produced by Pro-Edge Consultants Inc and Market Edge Media, the summit seeks to “bring the industry and investors together for a better understanding of rare earths and critical metals.” Tracy Weslosky, Chairman of REE World and CEO of Pro-Edge, speaks with ResourceClips.com about the event.
Q: Tell us about the Technology Metals Summit 2012 and how it came to be.
A: I looked around at the International Rare Earth Summit in Pittsburgh last winter and thought, ‘If we’re going to be in Pittsburgh, why are we not in Toronto?’
The idea for the Technology Metals Summit is to inspire interest in rare earths, create real debate and educate industry investors. Until now, there wasn’t a forum for this. We’ve got some of the smartest, rare earths über-geeks on the planet coming together here. For instance, we have Dudley Kingsnorth. He’s a rock-and-roll star in the rare earth industry. From Lynas Corporation to Molycorp, every rare-earth company on the planet quotes Dudley Kingsnorth in their power points. They often disagree with him but always quote him. We’re going to be doing a live feed on Thursday morning at 8am where he’s going to be giving us his forecast for 2016 and 2020 on the Chinese export quotas and what they’re going to mean to the industry. You’ll hear it first at our event.
Q: What makes rare earth elements so important?
A: The rare earths are a moderately abundant group of 17 elements comprising 15 lanthanides, scandium and yttrium. This group of metals was so shrouded in complexity that it took 151 years from the discovery of the first rare earth element in 1794 to the final element discovered in 1945. I think James Hedrick put it best when he said, “Rare earths are the economic and technologic foundation of a safe and secure nation. To possess them imparts independence, immunity to coercion and the tools to invoke scientific advancement.”
I think what everyone is missing in the rare-earths sector—the one thing that investors need to understand about the rare-earth industry that they’re missing—is that the current pace of technological change in the world requires rare earth elements. I believe that supply is on an upward trend, but that demand is likely to be exponential over the next few decades. There are no producers outside of China. A common misconception is that we don’t have to worry because we have suppliers outside of China. We don’t. Lynas is fighting to become a producer, and Molycorp are only light rare earths.
We basically have the entire industry here —Tracy Weslosky
Q: Given our heavy dependence on Chinese production of rare earths and that country’s recent severe reduction of exports, what is the outlook for the industry moving forward?
A: We were all upset for many years over being dependent on the Middle East for oil. We are presently completely dependent on the Chinese for many of our green energy, clean technology applications and for a lot of our military applications. This is one of the reasons rare earths are also known as critical metals. China supplies the resource we need to have a competitive advantage moving forward. You want to drive a hybrid car, you’re going to be dependent on the Chinese. What will it take for a rare-earth project outside of China to compete successfully with the various Chinese mines currently in production? Luck. No non-Chinese mine can really compete against Bayan Obo production, where the rare earths are a byproduct of iron-ore niobium production, essentially a free extra. If China wanted to sell this, it could sell it at any price.
The Technology Metals Summit is so important for educating the industry and investors because the industry is evolving so quickly, and there’s so much misinformation. There are going to be issues addressed at this event that most people don’t even consider. Items like thorium and metallurgical extraction processes. There are very few people on the planet with experience of heavy rare-earths metallurgical extraction processes, and we have one of the senior experts in the world coming over from Russia. Very few people have these skills, so the problem the industry is facing is a shortage of talent. The idea that we want to produce is great but to actually find the people that can do it? We stopped producing rare earths in North America in the early 1980s. There’s six people over 70 who are experts that are available in North America.
Q: What can attendees of the Technology Metals Summit expect to take away from it?
A: My goal in this event is to inspire interest, create debate and educate the industry and investors on rare earths, rare metals and critical metals. This is one of the most intensively competitive sectors in the resource sector bar none. The race to produce is the number one issue. We have over 60 CEOs that will be speaking on panels. We basically have the entire industry here. The Technology Metals Summit will make for a very knowledgeable and savvy investor in this very exciting market.
Ms Weslosky is also the Senior Editor of RareMetalBlog.com
Finore Mining Inc CNX:FIN announced results from its Läntinen Koillismaa Project in north-central Finland. Highlights include
0.48 g/t palladium, 0.18 g/t platinum, 0.15 g/t gold, 0.28% copper and 0.19% nickel over 44 metres
(including 0.71 g/t palladium, 0.27 g/t platinum, 0.17 g/t gold, 0.38% copper and 0.27% nickel over 13 metres)
0.38 g/t palladium, 0.14 g/t platinum, 0.12 g/t gold, 0.2% copper and 0.14% nickel over 12 metres
(including 0.63 g/t palladium, 0.23 g/t platinum, 0.19 g/t gold, 0.33% copper and 0.24% nickel over 5 metres)
0.03 g/t palladium, 0.01 g/t platinum, 0.07 g/t gold, 0.1% copper and 0.11% nickel over 0.8 metres
Under an option with Nortec Minerals Corp TSXV:NVT, Finore may earn an undivided 80% interest in the project.
Finore CEO Ian Laurent remarked, “We are extremely pleased with these results from hole 2 confirming the extension of mineralization along strike to the west. It is interesting to note that the precious metal grades are nearly double their grades estimated in the inferred mineral resource on the Haukiaho Deposit. We recognize that this is just the beginning, as we still have another two kilometres of strike to drill-test at Haukiaho.”
Finore Mining Inc.
Disclaimer: Finore Mining Inc is a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Finore.
by Greg Klein
Levon Resources Ltd TSXV:LVN announced the completion of a preliminary economic assessment for its Cordero project in Chihuahua State, Mexico. The PEA projects a 15-year mine life for the first four stages of open-pit mining, with an internal rate of return of 19.5%. Capital costs are estimated at $646.8 million, operating costs at $13.82 per tonne, with a 5.5-year base-case payback. The estimate projects potential metal production over the 15 years of 131.16 million ounces silver, 190,000 ounces gold, 1.37 billion pounds of zinc and 1.03 billion pounds of lead. Cordero is calculated to have a pre-tax NPV of $652.6 million at a 5% discount rate.
The Cordero project has indicated resources of 164.8 million tonnes grading 22.55 g/t silver, 0.078 g/t gold, 0.41% zinc and 0.25% lead. It has inferred resources of 49 million tonnes grading 21.88 g/t silver, 0.037 g/t gold, 0.40% zinc and 0.29% lead.
President/CEO Ron Tremblay tells ResourceClips.com, “We started on the project three years ago. When we started, nobody had recognized the bulk-tonnage potential of the project. Vic Chevillon, my VP Exploration, had looked at projects like [Goldcorp's TSX:G] Peñasquito, so we recognized certain key rock types that the previous people never recognized. We started drilling, and of course we’ve come up with a rather large resource.
We have roads, transportation: anything that we need to build a mine is certainly there—Ron Tremblay
“The project is wide open—we haven’t finished drilling it off—and normally you would drill it off, then come up with the economics. But we felt we needed to start looking at them. Originally, we were just doing it for internal use, but the market was requesting it, so it became something that we would publish. So we ended up working on a smaller pit design for the time being to give us an idea of where we’re at in the first stages. We’ve just started our Phase 4, 130,000-metre drill program, so there’s an awful lot more drilling to do before we’re ever going to be in a position to actually figure out how big this thing is going to be. But we needed to put something together to show the market, investors and institutions that, yes, the economics are there, and this is what they look like for the first four stages. Ultimately, we’ll be looking at a much larger pit and a much larger mill, but we’re very happy with the way it’s come together.
“We should be having an updated resource calculation coming up in the not too distant future, which will give a better idea of where the latest round of drilling has taken us to,” Tremblay continues. “Bearing in mind that a lot of that drilling is delineation drilling—we’re trying to find the edges of the deposit—so obviously not a lot of the holes are going to hit. There will be some expansion, but we don’t know how much until we do it.
“We’re also working on the outlying exploration up in Porfida Norte—another belt 10 kilometres to the north. Some news on that should be coming out shortly. We also have the Perla area to the south. We’ve been doing some initial work down there with sampling, etc. There’s going to be more geophysics, more engineering, more drilling, and we’re just going to continue to build and expand the project.
“We’re not a mining company; we’re an exploration company. We believe that there will be enough interest out there, and certainly there has been so far. We’ve signed a number of confidentiality agreements, and all we can say is that we have quite a number of large companies that have a keen interest in our project. So we see the indications out there. We’re capable of bringing in the right people to continue to expand the project, but we don’t think ultimately that we’re going to be the ones running the mine. We think that it’s the type of thing that a major mining company probably might end up taking over.
“The infrastructure is fantastic. A lot of that will be in the PEA when it comes out—we have 45 days to have the actual document out. We have power; we have water; we have a good area for the tailings. We have roads, transportation: anything that we need to build a mine is certainly there. So from an infrastructure standpoint we’re in very good shape. We’re close to a good-sized city, Parral, which is only 35 kilometres away, and we’re only 10 kilometres off the main north-south highway. So we have good access, and we have all of the necessary ingredients to build a project without any extraordinary expenses.”
Levon is well-funded moving forward, Tremblay reports. “We’ve got just over $60 million in the bank. The program that we’re working on—the Phase 4 program—that’s a $25-million budgeted program that will probably take us sometime into 2013. So we’re in good shape. We’ve got lots of money for what we need to do, and I think we’ll be moving forward very nicely from here.
“If you look at the NPV for the base case, after taxes you’re looking at about $5 per share value, so obviously we’re undervalued,” Tremblay concludes. “We’ve just put out the news, and it takes the market and analysts time to digest this. They’ll start giving their opinion to the public, and we should start to grow. Also, we’re expecting to be upgrading our listing to the senior board—probably within two weeks. All these things will help us.”
by Ted Niles
Explor Resources Inc TSXV:EXS announced assays from its Timmins Porcupine West gold property near Timmins, Ontario. Results include
2.31 g/t gold over 5 metres
2.26 g/t over 3.9 metres
3.18 g/t over 2.3 metres
5.12 g/t over 5.7 metres
2.7 g/t over 2.6 metres
2.2 g/t over 3.6 metres
5.35 g/t over 1.5 metres
6.2 g/t over 4.5 metres
114.76 g/t over 7.8 metres
3.81 g/t over 2.9 metres
5.93 g/t over 1.5 metres
President/CEO Chris Dupont said, “We continue to be extremely pleased and encouraged by these excellent drill results. The continuity of the mineralization from hole to hole as well as the grade encountered to date with the increasing width as we go to depth are very significant in terms of establishing a large, potentially mineable gold resource.”
by Ted Niles
Yukon-Nevada Gold Corp TSX:YNG announced assay results from Starvation Canyon project of its Jerritt Canyon gold operation in Nevada. Highlights include
6.86 g/t gold over 6.9 metres
7.68 g/t over 9.2 metres
18.86 g/t over 29 metres
6.31 g/t over 7.6 metres
9.5 g/t over 9.2 metres
9.6 g/t over 4.6 metres
4.29 g/t over 3.1 metres
12.69 g/t over 16.8 metres
4.42 g/t over 3.1 metres.
Jerritt Canyon has proven and probable reserves of 717,000 ounces gold and resources of 2.39 million ounces in the measured and indicated categories.
Senior Director, Institutional Investor Relations
or Nicole Sanchez
Investor Relations Manager
604.688.9427 x 224
by Ted Niles
Goldgroup Mining Inc TSX:GGA announced results from its Caballo Blanco Gold Project in Veracruz State, Mexico. Assays include
0.6 g/t gold over 197.1 metres
0.88 g/t over 67.3 metres
0.49 g/t over 116 metres
0.84 g/t over 66.6 metres
0.64 g/t over 79.3 metres
0.39 g/t over 90 metres
President/CEO Keith Piggott stated, “We are pleased with these new diamond drill results, which continue to confirm, define and expand La Paila Zone. As we continue to receive positive results from our 2011 drill program and conduct our additional 30,000-metre drill program in 2012, we expect to increase resources at La Paila Zone, as the zone currently remains open to the south and southwest. Furthermore, the management expects to identify new zones of mineralization in both the Northern Zone and Highway Zone through our 2012 drill program.”
or Stephanie Batory
by Greg Klein
Brazilian Gold Corp TSXV:BGC announced assays from the Jau Target of its Surubim Project in the Tapajós region of northern Brazil. Highlights include
0.84 g/t gold over 82 metres
(including 13.8 g/t over 4 metres)
0.27 g/t over 96 metres
(including 0.51 g/t over 32 metres)
0.32 g/t over 54 metres
1.35 g/t over 12 metres
1.16 g/t over 12 metres
3.39 g/t over 4 metres
CEO/Director Ian Stalker commented “The company is delighted to have discovered gold mineralization in its first holes at the Jau Target. The drill program has outlined substantial near-surface gold mineralization that has the potential for low-cost open-pit extraction. The company is currently evaluating the continuity of the mineralization to determine if the drill spacing is sufficient for an independent NI 43-101 inferred resource estimate to be completed at this time, which would further add to the updated NI 43-101 resource estimate for our São Jorge Project due to be completed this quarter. In addition to drilling at Jau, we have been busy with geochemical and mapping programs at the Mariazinha Target, which is located 15 kilometres northeast of Jau, as well as reviewing the results of the airborne geophysical survey completed in 3Q 2011 that we expect to generate a number of high-priority targets for follow-up exploration.”
or Joanne Yan
or Tom Hart
by Greg Klein
Probe Mines Limited TSXV:PRB announced results from its Borden Lake gold project near Chapleau, Ontario. Assays include
0.4 g/t gold over 53.5 metres (including 1.1 g/t over 12 metres)
1 g/t over 8 metres
0.4 g/t over 126.4 metres (including 1 g/t over 7 metres)
0.4 g/t over 81 metres (including 1 g/t over 6 metres)
0.6 g/t over 84 metres (including 1.9 g/t over 8 metres)
0.6 g/t over 50.9 metres
1.1 g/t over 111 metres (including 5.6 g/t over 9 metres)
President David Palmer commented, “We are very encouraged by results from the project to date. The Borden Lake gold discovery is continuing to distinguish itself in infill and expansion drilling and has quickly grown to a stage where more rigorous evaluation is warranted, while the exploration drilling further along trend has indicated a geological setting similar to the Borden Lake gold zone with the potential to host related mineralization. Owing to this potential, the positive early results and the large number of targets that remain to be tested, we will continue to expand the exploration drilling program outside of the main zone area.”
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or Karen Willoughby
by Ted Niles