Monday 11th December 2017

Resource Clips


April, 2016

ALX Uranium president Jon Armes comments on the latest results from this southeastern Athabasca Basin project

April 29th, 2016

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GTA sells Ivanhoe property to focus on Northshore gold

April 29th, 2016

by Greg Klein | April 29, 2016

An option on the Ivanhoe gold project passes from GTA Resources and Mining TSXV:GTA to Probe Metals TSXV:PRB, allowing GTA to concentrate on its Northshore flagship. Announced April 29, the deal costs Probe $234,000 and 350,000 shares, out of which GTA gets $134,000, 200,000 shares and a 1% NSR. GTA will issue 200,000 shares to the northern Ontario property’s original vendors. The acquisition increases Probe’s West Porcupine project by about 130 square kilometres, to total over 180 square kilometres.

GTA sells Ivanhoe property to focus on Northshore gold

That leaves GTA with a stronger focus on its Northshore gold property in the Hemlo greenstone belt, where the company has additional drilling planned. GTA holds a 51% interest in Northshore and acts as operator in a JV with Balmoral Resources TSX:BAR. GTA has been examining the potential for low-cost mining on a near-surface, high-grade area of the project’s Afric zone.

The Ivanhoe sale “allows GTA to recover much of its expenditures over the last two years while maintaining an upside by receiving shares of Probe, and by retaining an NSR on any future production,” commented president/CEO Wayne Reid. “The company can now concentrate its immediate efforts on evaluating the economics of the open pit potential of the Afric zone. We believe capital requirements would be minimal if contract mining, hauling and milling can be utilized.”

GTA also holds the Auden graphite project in central Ontario and the Burnt Pond copper-zinc project in Newfoundland.

Read more about GTA Resources and Mining.

April 29th, 2016

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Grid energy storage: The next big thing for li-ion? Industrial Minerals
U.S. President Trump? President Clinton? Gold up in both scenarios Streetwise Reports
Tesla will need a lot of graphite and lithium—but China will need even more Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Pay as you go

April 28th, 2016

New gold producer Equitas Resources sees revenue for incremental expansion

New gold producer Equitas Resources sees revenue for incremental expansion

Equitas Resources meets Alta Floresta during due diligence in Brazil.

 

Negotiations with minority shareholders dragged out longer than expected but on April 27 Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT officially made the transition from Labrador nickel explorer to Brazil gold producer. On closing its acquisition of Alta Floresta Gold, Equitas now takes over a modest gold operation with the intention of increasing production—and cash flow—incrementally. Should all go to plan, that would bring a step-by-step payback for each new stage of the operation, as well as funding for further exploration.

That certainly contrasts with the traditional exploration model, with which investors can be quick to show impatience. Equitas experienced that first hand after just one season of drilling its Garland project, despite its compelling nickel-cobalt-copper story south of Voisey’s Bay.

New gold producer Equitas Resources sees revenue for incremental expansion

In operation since June, the Cajueiro project holds potential
for greater recovery, as well as expansion of near-surface oxides.

Looking for alternative financing, then-president/now-chairperson Kyler Hardy learned about Alta Floresta’s Cajueiro project through a friend in the company. Hardy not only liked its potential. He also recognized a good fit between the two companies’ teams.

Alta Floresta brings to Equitas its 100% interest in six gold properties with four production licences, part of a portfolio covering more than 184,410 hectares in Brazil’s central states of Mato Grosso and Para. The flagship Cajueiro project’s Baldo zone has been in operation since June, producing around a kilogram of gold a month. That amounts to recovery of only about 30% to 35%, achieved by running alluvium and saprolite through a sluice box.

Equitas hopes to see considerable improvement within months by installing a gravity plant, then about 85% recovery with carbon-in-leach processing that could begin early next year. Full open pit production would be a longer-term goal.

We expect the payback for each stage in less than a year, much less for the gravity plant. We’re derisking it that way, by building in stages.—Chris Harris, president/CEO
of Equitas Resources

The plan is to “develop the project in stages and each stage has to pay for itself,” explains new president/CEO Chris Harris. “We expect the payback for each stage in less than a year, much less for the gravity plant. We’re derisking it that way, by building in stages. That could also provide cash flow for a sustaining exploration program which we hope would then beget further development.”

Of course these are perilous times for Brazil, now undergoing serious recession, a wide-ranging corruption scandal and impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Compounding the problems are their effect on the Brazilian real, which contrasts with currently high gold prices. “But what that’s doing to our project is creating huge cost compression,” Harris says. “That benefits both capex and opex.” The company has already selected a nearly new gravity plant in the region for purchase. Its price has sunk to less than half of what he projected last year.

Exploration will focus on near-surface oxides, where Equitas sees the greatest potential for resource expansion and low-cost extraction.

Except for one property slightly north, the entire portfolio sits on the Juruena gold belt, which has historic estimates of seven to 10 million ounces of artisanal output. Straddling the border between Para and Mato Grosso states, the 39,053-hectare Cajueiro property’s near-term agenda could include bulk sampling and trenching, as well as diamond and rotary air blast drilling. Exploration will focus on near-surface oxides, where Equitas sees the greatest potential for resource expansion and low-cost extraction.

A just-filed 43-101 technical report recalculates data from a 2013 resource estimate to allow for different gold price and opex numbers. The new study bases a cutoff of 0.25 grams per tonne on a near-surface deposit that can be processed by cyanidation or gravity processing. The report provides separate numbers for four zones of sulphides and oxides.

Total sulphide zones:

  • indicated: 8.64 million tonnes averaging 0.771 g/t for 214,100 gold ounces

  • inferred: 9.53 million tonnes averaging 0.664 g/t for 203,500 ounces

Total oxide zones:

  • inferred: 1.37 million tonnes averaging 1.775 g/t for 78,400 ounces

All four zones show near-surface oxide expansion potential, Equitas states. Five other anomalies offer additional encouragement.

The project has road access to the city of Alta Floresta, 95 kilometres north. A hydro dam now under development should bring electricity within two years, if not sooner.

The arrangement combines talent from both companies. Harris casts a close eye on the accounts, having 30 years’ experience in energy, commodity trading and mining finance with companies like Ernst & Young, CIBC, Enron UK and BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP.

Hardy, through 16 years as a resource sector entrepreneur and executive, demonstrates a facility for operating remote, logistically complex exploration projects. Director Alan Carter, who also sits on the board of Eric Friedland’s Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD, brings 30 years’ exploration experience with the likes of Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO, BHP, and ECI Exploration and Mining, among others.

Equitas Resources closes acquisition of Brazilian gold operation

Cajueiro’s alluvial lure suggests
expansion potential to Equitas.

Co-director David Hodge also serves as president of Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, a project generator that supports several juniors with acquisitions and advisory services. VP of exploration Everett Makela began his career with Inco, eventually retiring as Vale’s (NYSE:VALE) principal geologist for North America. His international experience includes Brazil.

Mike Bennett, a local resident and director of Equitas subsidiary Alta Floresta Mineração, has spent 23 of his 30 exploration years in South America where he took part in three gold discoveries, Puquio North in Bolivia, as well as Coringa and Cajueiro in Brazil.

Also residing locally, Portuguese/English-fluent Richard Crew acts as operations consultant for Alta Floresta Mineração. His 30 years of experience includes positions as operations manager and COO for numerous companies worldwide. Another nearby resident, project manager and exploration geologist Elvis Alves knows the community as well as the minerology.

The deal has Equitas issuing 103.65 million shares to former Alta Floresta shareholders and 5.28 million options, exercisable at $0.15 for three years, to former Alta Floresta option holders. A 1.75% NSR applies to licences acquired two years ago from a former minority shareholder of Alta Floresta.‎

Earlier this month Equitas closed the final tranche of a private placement that totalled $1.5 million from 30 million units. Insiders bought 10.4 million units.

“We’ll be talking about implementing the gravity plant very shortly,” Harris says. “We’ll also be talking about starting our drilling plan, the drill results and possibly a revised 43-101. We’ll have a steady news flow.”

April 28th, 2016

China: Still the world’s number one heavy metal rock star Stockhouse
Germany to consider $1.3-billion electric vehicle sales boost NAI 500
SWOT analysis: Central bank over-reach benefits gold GoldSeek
Grid energy storage: The next big thing for li-ion? Industrial Minerals
U.S. President Trump? President Clinton? Gold up in both scenarios Streetwise Reports
Tesla will need a lot of graphite and lithium—but China will need even more Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Equitas Resources closes acquisition of Brazilian gold operation

April 27th, 2016

This story has been expanded and moved here.

April 27th, 2016

China: Still the world’s number one heavy metal rock star Stockhouse
Germany to consider $1.3-billion electric vehicle sales boost NAI 500
SWOT analysis: Central bank over-reach benefits gold GoldSeek
Grid energy storage: The next big thing for li-ion? Industrial Minerals
U.S. President Trump? President Clinton? Gold up in both scenarios Streetwise Reports
Are the criticisms against Trump’s trade policies fair? Equities.com
Tesla will need a lot of graphite and lithium—but China will need even more Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Umbral Energy gets Tule Valley lithium prospect from Zimtu Capital

April 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | April 26, 2016

Umbral Energy CSE:UMB looks to Utah for lithium following an acquisition agreement with Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC for the Tule Valley project. Tule Valley bears similarities to Nevada’s lithium-rich Clayton Valley “as they are both closed basin and have similar horst and graben structures,” according to Umbral’s April 26 announcement. “The Tule Valley project requires further exploration, including geophysics and drilling, to evaluate potential for a mass brine deposit.”

Umbral Energy gets Tule Valley lithium prospect from Zimtu Capital

The Tule Valley project lies about 190
kilometres southwest of Salt Lake City.

The deal calls for Umbral to pay Zimtu $10,000 and 1.5 million shares on signing, another $20,000 within two months, $30,000 within three months, and $100,000 and 1.5 million shares within a year. A 2% NSR applies, half of which Umbral may buy for $1 million.

“Lithium has gone from a steady, but relatively obscure commodity to being in extremely high demand this year,” said Umbral president Jag Bal. “For an example of this rising demand, one only needs to point to Tesla’s new battery Gigafactory, which will need 15,000 tons of lithium carbonate a year just to get started.”

At Tesla’s Model 3 premiere earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk pronounced the Gigafactory “already operational.” Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Simon Moores estimates at least 12 lithium-ion battery plants are being planned, constructed or expanded to gigawatt-hour capacity by 2020.

Umbral has a three-stage program for the 1,940-hectare property under consideration, which could include soil and surface sampling along with groundwater analysis, a high-resolution gravity survey and data compilation to select drill targets.

Zimtu works with its prospecting partners to connect companies with projects and provide advisory services.

Read about supply-and-demand forecasts for lithium and other energy minerals.

Venture “revitalization” to continue as John McCoach announces retirement

April 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | April 26, 2016

John McCoach leaves the TSXV helm at year-end, the TMX Group TSX:X announced April 26. Until then he’ll continue with the Revitalizing TSXV program and “will help ensure an efficient, seamless leadership transition for the company and our clients,” the exchange stated.

McCoach joined the organization in 2003, spending the last six years as Venture president. TMX has yet to choose a successor.

TSX Venture “revitalization” continues as John McCoach announces retirement

The TMX broadcast centre.
(Photo: TMX Group)

Late last year McCoach outlined a three-part program to cut the Venture’s administrative and compliance costs, increase its investor base and liquidity, and recruit new listings from a broader range of sectors. Following publication of a white paper, the Venture presented town hall meetings across Canada.

McCoach appeared unflappable as he countered criticism from a loud, sometimes angry minority at the Vancouver event. A progress report issued last month noted that feedback prompted some adjustments to the program, notably to find time- and money-saving efficiencies in filing procedures and to address market structure and short-selling rules. “These matters were not among the initiatives outlined in the white paper as they are not within the exchange’s scope and authority, but we commit to working with regulators and the trading community to influence discussions,” the report stated.

But the Venture rejected calls for greater vigilance against “zombie” companies. The decision “has been validated in the vast majority of our conversations with the community,” according to the report. “We will continue to monitor listed companies to ensure they meet continued listing requirements and in cases where they do not, the exchange will work with the listed company on an appropriate course of action.”

McCoach told the Vancouver audience that demotion to the NEX board depends on additional factors besides negative working capital, the key definition of a zombie.

Nevertheless Seguro Consulting president Tony Simon last week released an update to his previous list of zombies. As reported by Jeff Desjardins of Visual Capitalist, 669 Canadian mining stocks (52%) listed on the TSX and TSXV meet Simon’s zombie designation, up from 589 and 40% last year.

Related reading:

The VSE reborn: Juniors, brokers, promoters desert Toronto to revive the Vancouver Stock Exchange

April 26th, 2016

China: Still the world’s number one heavy metal rock star Stockhouse
Germany to consider $1.3-billion electric vehicle sales boost NAI 500
SWOT analysis: Central bank over-reach benefits gold GoldSeek
Grid energy storage: The next big thing for li-ion? Industrial Minerals
U.S. President Trump? President Clinton? Gold up in both scenarios Streetwise Reports
Are the criticisms against Trump’s trade policies fair? Equities.com
Tesla will need a lot of graphite and lithium—but China will need even more Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower