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Western Potash TSX:WPX, not a road trip participant but a co-sponsor with Zimtu of Munich’s Edelmetallmesse, has raised full funding to build a downsized but upwardly scalable potash solution mine in southern Saskatchewan. The company unveiled a revised preliminary economic assessment last summer that proposed horizontal drilling and selective mining to slash capex to $80.6 million. An $80-million financing closed in September, giving a Chinese private equity firm a 51% stake in Western, while a second financing raised the total to $80.7 million. With provincial environmental approval now in place, the Milestone project has all major permits complete.
The quest for diamonds drew Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD to Canada’s north, where the company holds one property in Nunavut and two in the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region, the world’s third-largest supplier of the gems by value. Historic work indicates the company’s T-Rex property hosts over a dozen kimberlites, most of them diamondiferous. The other NWT project, in which JV partner North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR covers costs, has targets identified for potential 2016 drilling.
Zimtu also pursues Lac de Gras diamonds on the Munn Lake project, held by the company and a staking partner and known to hold two diamondiferous kimberlites. This marks the 14,000-hectare property’s first program of modern exploration.
An engineering study commissioned by GTA Resources and Mining TSXV:GTA has outlined potential for a small-scale, relatively low-cost gold mine on the company’s 51%-held Northshore project on western Ontario’s Hemlo-Schreiber Greenstone Belt. GTA has also been sampling gold at its Ivanhoe project in Ontario and, in Newfoundland, has expanded its Burnt Pond zinc-copper claims eight kilometres on strike from Teck Resources’ (TSX:TCK.A and TCK.B) Duck Pond mine.
In central Yukon, Copper North Mining’s (TSXV:COL) flagship Carmacks project has prefeasibility studies underway for a revised metallurgical flowsheet intended to cut costs at the proposed copper-gold-silver open pit. With plans to expand the resource, the company began Phase II drilling last week. Copper North also holds an historic resource at its Redstone copper-silver project in the NWT’s Nahanni mining district and a 100% option on the Thor porphyry copper prospect in north-central B.C.
With its Zim frac sand project in B.C. and Mitchell Lake uranium property in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY maintains an “opportunistic” outlook for new acquisitions.
In anticipation of a TSXV listing, Nickel One holds the Tyko project in Ontario’s Thunder Bay mining division, where past drilling has found nickel, copper and platinum group mineralization. Prospecting and a VTEM survey have identified further targets.
An oil and gas junior, Cardiff Energy TSXV:CRS holds interests in four U.S. projects and plans expansion into western Canada. Last week the company announced completion of lateral drilling at the Clayton #1H in Texas, where Cardiff’s partner reported “numerous strong gas kicks and oil shows.”
Moving into a renewable resource, the conference also presents True Leaf Medicine International CSE:MJ. While awaiting approval to produce and distribute medicinal marijuana, the company has launched a line of hemp-based dog chews in the U.S. and Canada, and plans European operations next year.
So runs the gamut, from dog chews to diamonds and including a range of potential from early-stage to advanced.
“We’re certainly proud of the fact that Zimtu and its portfolio of companies are moving straight ahead in spite of the tough market conditions,” says Hodge. “We’ll have some new opportunities for European investors too, but more importantly we’ll be back with the companies we told them about in the past. European investors like to see you during the good markets and the bad markets, and it’s in the really tough markets that we stand out.”
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