Wednesday 13th December 2017

Resource Clips


February, 2016

Rick Rule offers anecdotal evidence to forecast the bull market’s return

February 29th, 2016

…Read more

February 29th, 2016

The gold market rigging story could be called “The Bigger Short” GoldSeek
Electric car war sends lithium prices sky high Stockhouse
What could an EU Brexit mean for British minerals businesses? Industrial Minerals
Why Brent Cook and Joe Mazumdar are doubling down on exploration and insights Streetwise Reports
Canadian gold miners keen to tap equity market as gold price pops NAI 500
Is the deflation trade over? Equities Canada

Chris Berry ponders a non-Chinese rare earths supply chain

February 28th, 2016

by Greg Klein | February 28, 2016

In his latest Zimtu Research report, analyst Chris Berry considers the viability of a rare earths supply chain independent of the Middle Kingdom. China continues to mine about 90% of world supply, consume about 70% of world supply and dominate metallurgical expertise. But the risk of not developing supply and expertise outside China looms large, he argues.

China could end the current low-price, oversupply situation by cracking down on illegal mining and environmental destruction—or by simply flexing its geopolitical muscles. Moreover, security of supply remains a concern for Western countries: “The United States and her allies would like to make sure that the F-35 stays in the air when it’s really needed.”

Western attempts to find substitutes have had uneven results, Berry finds, and sometimes mean switching one REE for another. “Multiple industry sources have indicated that minimizing dysprosium in magnet feed, for example, means increasing the percentage of neodymium or praseodymium.”

With low prices prevailing and financing an ongoing challenge, mining costs and metallurgical realities take priority. A potentially successful approach would be to develop “a deposit that produced a mixed rather than separated REE concentrate and passed this on to the next piece of the supply chain. To be sure, margin would be forfeited as separated oxides command a premium, but the stark economic realities of the REE mining space dictate that a new business model be created.”

Berry’s eight-page report provides a clear, insightful look at this challenging imperative.

Download Building A Non-Chinese Rare Earth Supply Chain.

See more from Zimtu Research.

B.C. miners to face higher fines, longer prison terms in Mount Polley aftermath

February 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | February 26, 2016

Delinquent miners in British Columbia could face up to $1 million in fines and three years in jail under a Mines Act amendment introduced February 25. The province vowed to impose stricter enforcement and heavier penalties in response to the collapse of a nearly 40-metre-high tailings dam at Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Mount Polley copper-gold mine in August 2014.

Currently, court-imposed penalties can range up to $100,000 and a year’s imprisonment. The government can also issue a stop-work order or cancel a mine permit. But in addition to the stronger court deterrent, the new regs will allow B.C. to fine companies without prosecution.

BC miners to face higher fines, longer prison terms in Mount Polley aftermath

The amendment will bring the Mines Act “in line with other provincial natural resource legislation, including the Environmental Management Act, the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Oil and Gas Activities Act, all of which include administrative monetary penalties and more severe penalties for court convictions,” according to a government statement.

The legislation results from investigations by B.C.’s chief mines inspector and an independent panel of three engineering experts into the Mount Polley disaster. Twenty-six recommendations called for stronger regulation, as well as better corporate governance and engineering practices.

In January 2015 the panel attributed the collapse to a deposit of glacial till eight metres below the base of the dam, which the designers didn’t properly understand. A review of other mines this year found “no immediate risks or safety concerns” with other tailings dam foundations, the province stated.

The government noted that the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia will introduce improved guidelines for dam site assessments and that the Mining Association of Canada has issued recommendations following a review of its own tailings management requirements.

B.C. also plans to require all operating mines to establish independent boards to provide “third-party advice on the design, construction, operation and closure” of tailings facilities.

Speaking to the Vancouver Sun, B.C. NDP mining critic Norm Macdonald charged the governing B.C. Liberals are “deeply beholden to these mining interests and their record over time has been a record of leniency and a lack of proper oversight.”

Macdonald told the paper B.C. hadn’t been using enforcement tools already in place. “He added that not using a $1-million fine is no different than not using a $100,000 fine,” the Sun stated.

Indeed, a Sun investigation last year “found that no fines had been levied in the courts under the Mines Act since 1989. Instead, the mines ministry issued orders in an effort to remedy workplace and safety violations: 2,712 between 2005 and 2013. The Sun’s investigation also showed that inspections by geo-technical engineers fell dramatically after the Liberals came to power in 2001. While inspections had increased in recent years, none were carried out at Mount Polley in 2009, 2010 and 2011.”

Another Mount Polley outcome could be participation by Alaskan natives and government in B.C. environmental reviews, under a memorandum of understanding signed by the two governments in November.

Mount Polley resumed operations in August 2015, a year after the disaster.

February 26th, 2016

Electric car war sends lithium prices sky high Stockhouse
What could an EU Brexit mean for British minerals businesses? Industrial Minerals
Why Brent Cook and Joe Mazumdar are doubling down on exploration and insights Streetwise Reports
Canadian gold miners keen to tap equity market as gold price pops NAI 500
Monopoly is going cashless. Could we be next? GoldSeek
Is the deflation trade over? Equities Canada

The Hook-Carter claims

February 25th, 2016
Cameco bolsters its PLS presence as ALX Uranium tightens its land position

Before-and-after maps show geographical advantages to both Cameco and ALX Uranium.

The high-grade camp

February 25th, 2016

Cameco bolsters its PLS presence as ALX Uranium tightens its land position

by Greg Klein

Renewed interest in the southwestern Athabasca Basin area’s Patterson Lake South camp comes from Cameco Corp TSX:CCO, as the giant signs a purchase agreement with ALX Uranium TSXV:AL. The merchandise consists of 27 claims totalling 7,064 hectares peripheral to ALX’s Hook-Carter property. That leaves ALX with a more closely consolidated PLS camp position of 16,461 hectares.

Cameco bolsters its PLS presence as ALX Uranium tightens its land position

Most of the vended claims are isolated from Hook-Carter’s main contiguous block, states ALX’s February 25 announcement. They also “include a small, northeastern portion of the main block, covering ground with depths to the unconformity much deeper than the main parts of the property where ALX intends to focus its exploration.”

The development might portray Cameco in an acquisitive mood, following the previous day’s news that the company had optioned 60% of CanAlaska Uranium’s (TSXV:CVV) West McArthur project in the eastern Basin.

ALX president/CEO Jon Armes says the Hook-Carter transaction benefits both parties. ALX gets $170,000 and, on some claims, a 1% net refining returns royalty that can be reduced to 0.25% by paying ALX $750,000. Other claims have a 2% NRR reducible to 1% for $500,000. Cameco, he says, gets to “tidy up its land position” in the PLS area, making concerted exploration more viable.

“A lot of that ground is 600-plus metres to the unconformity,” Armes points out. “When you start drilling 1,000-metre holes at $400 a metre, that’s quite a costly endeavour for a junior. When you’ve got little bits and pieces, you’re not typically going to drill a 16-hectare piece when you’re surrounded by Cameco.”

The sale “provides ALX with some significant hard dollars, certainly more than we paid in our staking and other costs, and we maintain a small underlying royalty,” he adds. “The chance of Cameco making a discovery northeast of us would only benefit us.”

Cameco bolsters its PLS presence as ALX Uranium tightens its land position

Before-and-after maps show geographical advantages to
both Cameco and ALX Uranium. Click for a larger view.

ALX retains land covering the Patterson corridor, hosting three attention-grabbing projects, as well as the parallel Carter and Derkson corridors. Winter plans currently under evaluation include ground electromagnetics to define deep conductors and possibly drilling, Armes says.

Encouraging news continues from the camp’s standouts, Fission Uranium’s (TSX:FCU) Patterson Lake South, NexGen Energy’s (TSXV:NXE) Arrow zone and Bow discovery, and the Cameco/AREVA Resources Canada/Purepoint Uranium TSXV:PTU Spitfire zone.

Fission’s $7.9-million, 39-hole, 13,000-metre winter program aims to expand the Triple R deposit and do some exploration too. On the latter front, one hole recently added 135 metres to the project’s potential strike, now consisting of five zones along a 2.47-kilometre trend. Three of the zones lie outside Triple R’s January 2015 resource. That estimate, showing 79.61 million pounds indicated and another 25.88 million pounds inferred at shallow depths, formed the basis of a September preliminary economic assessment envisioning PLS as potentially one of the world’s lowest-cost uranium mines.

In January Fission closed an $82.2-million strategic investment, giving a Chinese uranium trader nearly 20% of the company.

Next-door neighbour NexGen has six rigs drilling a 30,000-metre winter program on the Rook 1 project’s Arrow zone. Last month the company announced its best assay so far, 10% U3O8 over 78 metres, including 38.29% over 12 metres. The project’s previous record-holder was 9.72% over 35.5 metres.

Earlier this month came more superlatives—Arrow’s “most significant accumulations of massive pitchblende” and scintillometer results showing the project’s “most intense mineralization to date.”

More recently NexGen added 25 metres to Arrow’s strike, now 670 metres with a lateral width of up to 235 metres and mineralization ranging from depths of 100 metres to 920 metres. The zone remains open in all directions and at depth. NexGen plans Arrow’s maiden resource for H1 release.

The company closed a $21-million bought deal in December, following last May’s $23.74-million private placement.

At Spitfire, project operator Purepoint announced an expansion to the mineralized area early this month with a 130-metre stepout that returned 0.67% eU3O8 over 10.1 metres, including 9.2% over 0.6 metres. Results came from a downhole probe that measures uranium oxide-equivalent. The winter schedule calls for at least 14 holes and 6,000 metres. Purepoint holds a 21% stake in the joint venture, with big guys Cameco and AREVA sharing the rest. Purepoint ended last year by closing a $204,000 private placement.

Looking at the Basin’s opposite side, ALX also announced assay results from last fall’s seven-hole, 1,005-metre campaign at Gibbon’s Creek. Although significant radioactivity failed to materialize, anomalous uranium (up to 297 ppm), nickel, copper and boron came from the basement near a previous hole that showed strongly anomalous geochemical pathfinders. ALX will evaluate further exploration after integrating drill results with regional and property-scale data.

With Hook-Carter now under consideration for ground EM and a possible drill program, the company last month announced exploration plans for four other projects. On the agenda are ground gravity for Gorilla Lake and Perch, a radon-in-lake survey for Lazy Edward Bay and ground EM for Newnham Lake. ALX holds one of the Basin’s largest uranium portfolios.

Late last month the company closed tranche two of a private placement totalling $358,500.

February 25th, 2016

Eric Coffin can see the end of the gold bear market and this is what he is doing about it Streetwise Reports
Canadian gold miners keen to tap equity market as gold price pops NAI 500
Monopoly is going cashless. Could we be next? GoldSeek
Russia scopes out moon-mining of rare earths Industrial Minerals
“What you don’t realize is…” Public companies clear the record on what you missed Stockhouse
Is the deflation trade over? Equities Canada

February 24th, 2016

Eric Coffin can see the end of the gold bear market and this is what he is doing about it Streetwise Reports
Canadian gold miners keen to tap equity market as gold price pops NAI 500
Monopoly is going cashless. Could we be next? GoldSeek
Russia scopes out moon-mining of rare earths Industrial Minerals
“What you don’t realize is…” Public companies clear the record on what you missed Stockhouse
Is the deflation trade over? Equities Canada

Infographic: The minerals behind solar energy

February 23rd, 2016

Posted with permission of Resource Works | February 23, 2016

“Mining is not antithetical to a green economy; it’s a necessity.” That’s how David S. Abraham expressed it in The Elements of Power. But it’s a point not always realized by some environmentally conscious people. Miners, of course, have an obligation to follow strict environmental standards. But without mining, green energy’s impossible.

Resource Works, a non-profit society that encourages “respectful, fact-based dialogue on responsible resource development in British Columbia,” produced this infographic looking at just one aspect of green energy, the minerals comprised in solar panels.

Most important is silica but even coal comes into play.

The minerals behind solar energy

Posted with permission of Resource Works.