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In December MGX released at- or near-surface assays for eight drill holes on Driftwood’s Eastern zone. All ended in magnesite mineralization, which was observed to 57 metres in depth and suggested the zone remains open at depth, MGX stated.
Calling the results “very encouraging,” Kikauka noted a relatively high silicon dioxide content that could be removed by flotation while “other compounds of interest (magnesium oxide, calcium oxide and iron oxide) approach the specifications required for producing calcined or dead-burned magnesite that are suitable materials for export markets.”
Of magnesite’s main products, dead burned magnesia and electro-fused magnesia are mostly used to line refractory furnaces. Caustic calcined magnesia finds uses in fertilizer and feedstock, hydrometallurgy for nickel, copper and cobalt, pulp and paper production, and water treatment.
In many respects this is not so much a mining story but more of a business story.—Dave Hodge,
president of Zimtu Capital
While Driftwood continues through the consultative stage of its provincial mining lease application, MGX has been taking on other B.C. industrial minerals opportunities. In November the company announced eight magnesite prospects acquired by staking, giving MGX the majority of B.C.’s known magnesite occurrences. Two of them enjoy close proximity to Driftwood.
That same month marked MGX’s strategic alliance with Zimtu and Electra Gold TSXV:ELT to develop further industrial minerals properties in B.C. Among other features, the deal gives MGX a 50% earn-in on Electra’s Longworth silica property, for which MGX would spend $100,000 within a year and complete a resource estimate within 18 months. The 1,084-hectare property, accessible by logging roads and located four kilometres from power and the CN main line, is considered one of the province’s top silica occurrences by the B.C. Geological Survey. Outcrop samples from the project’s Snow claim have shown consistent grades around 99% silicon dioxide over an area covering about 400 metres in length and width.
High-purity silica makes its way into materials used in construction, electronics, solar panels and wind turbines, as well as health and cosmetic products. It can also be used to make ferrosilicon which, with magnesium oxide, can be used in the production of magnesium metal. Additionally, the property might hold frac sand potential.
Electra, which also holds a portfolio of B.C. jade properties, currently mines another industrial mineral, chalky geyserite. Also known as aluminum silica, it’s extracted from a Vancouver Island quarry and shipped to a Seattle customer. Last year’s sales totalled $1.2 million. Under a technical services agreement signed in January, MGX will analyze the mine plan, verify previous mapping and assay data, and review the mine’s logistics before recommending improvements.
The following month MGX staked another B.C. magnetite prospect, the 81-hectare Haig claims and, in early March, signed an acquisition agreement with American Manganese for the 166-hectare Koot claims, a prospect for high-purity silica.
While industrial minerals, with their ready markets and near-term potential, remain MGX’s focus, the company’s portfolio doesn’t stop there. Thirty kilometres northeast of Thompson Creek Metals’ (TSX:TCM) Mount Milligan copper-gold mine, MGX holds the 10,200-hectare Fran property. Historic drilling revealed grades as high as 3.84 grams per tonne gold over 27.6 metres (including 10.62 g/t over 8.3 metres) and 2.1 g/t over 39.7 metres (including 5.99 g/t over 7.4 metres).
Disclaimer: Zimtu Capital Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Zimtu Capital.
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