Thursday 14th December 2017

Resource Clips


August, 2016

Thrifty Scots invent method of extracting gold from discarded electronics

August 31st, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 31, 2016

From Scotland comes a technological breakthrough perhaps inspired by Scottish frugality. The University of Edinburgh announced a new method that could help unlock up to 7% of the world’s gold. That’s the amount estimated to reside in “electrical waste”—old cellphones, TVs, computers and other digital devices. Boffins call the new process considerably more efficient and environmentally friendly than previous efforts.

Thrifty Scots invent method of extracting gold from discarded electronics

Some 300 tonnes of gold go into electronics each year, according to the scientists.

The new method first involves placing printed circuit boards in a mild acid to dissolve the metals. An “oily liquid containing the team’s chemical compound” then separates the gold from other metals.

But the potential for the new process alone isn’t clear. Researchers merely say it “could aid the development of methods for large-scale recovery of gold and other precious metals from waste electronics.”

The university described the study as one of many staff and student-led initiatives “to promote the so-called circular economy, which encourages reuse of materials and greater resource efficiency.”

Saves money too.

Dunnedin Ventures increases till sampling in search of Nunavut diamonds

August 31st, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 31, 2016

With a goal nearly 10 times the size of last year’s program, Dunnedin Ventures TSXV:DVI has a greatly expanded campaign of till sampling underway at its Kahuna project in Nunavut. The company hopes to process this year’s samples in time to guide a winter program on the 13,000-hectare property near Hudson Bay’s northwestern shore.

Dunnedin Ventures increases till sampling in search of Nunavut diamonds

These diamonds from Dunnedin’s Kahuna
project range between 1.18 and 1.7 millimetres.

Using techniques pioneered by Dunnedin adviser Chuck Fipke, last year’s program “identified several new targets consistent with our known diamond-bearing kimberlites, including both dyke and pipe targets, and extensions to known diamond-bearing kimberlites,” said CEO Chris Taylor. “We anticipate that this summer’s 1,000-sample program will define additional targets and will allow us to accurately prioritize sites for upcoming drilling and bulk sampling.”

This field program should cost around $350,000, a relatively low budget due to the proximity of the hamlets of Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet.

The company also keeps busy with diamond recoveries from samples taken last year at the project’s Notch, PST and Kahuna kimberlites. Previous recoveries showed 96 commercial-sized diamonds from PST and another 36 from a Notch sample that was about 40% processed.

In addition Dunnedin has last year’s till samples under evaluation for gold potential.

Having held a series of community meetings recommended by the Nunavut Impact Review Board, Dunnedin plans to submit a revised project proposal to the NIRB. The company currently holds permits to work on federally controlled lands into 2017 and on Inuit-controlled lands into 2018.

Earlier this month Dunnedin appointed two strategic advisers, John Robins and Jim Paterson. Robins’ history with Kahuna dates to early last decade when he founded the company that held the original tenure. He brings to Dunnedin access to a proprietary database of historic results. Robins has been involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions including Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) takeover of Kaminak Gold, where he served as executive chairperson. He remains a director with other companies including Kivalliq Energy TSXV:KIV.

A former director of Kaminak, Paterson serves as CEO/director of Kivalliq, which holds the Angilak uranium deposit in the same region as Kahuna. During his 19 years of experience he’s acted as an executive or director of companies that raised over $175 million.

In early August Dunnedin offered a private placement of $1.3 million.

A January 2015 estimate showed inferred resources for the Kahuna and Notch kimberlites, 12 kilometres apart:

  • Kahuna (+0.85 mm cutoff): 3.06 million tonnes averaging 1.04 carats per tonne for 3.19 million carats
  • (+1.18 mm cutoff): 0.8 ct/t for 2.45 million carats

  • Notch (+0.85 mm cutoff): 921,000 tonnes averaging 0.9 ct/t for 829,000 carats
  • (+1.18 mm cutoff): 0.83 ct/t for 765,000 carats

  • Total (+0.85 mm cutoff): 3.99 million tonnes averaging 1.01 ct/t for 4.02 million carats
  • (+1.18 mm cutoff): 0.81 ct/t for 3.22 million carats

Both dykes remain open along strike and at depth.

Read more about Dunnedin Ventures.

See Chris Berry’s report on long-term diamond demand.

August 31st, 2016

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SEC pays whistleblower $22 million for securities fraud tip

August 30th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 30, 2016

Detailed information and extensive assistance brought an informer more than $22 million, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced August 30. It’s the SEC’s second-highest award, following a $30-million payout in 2014.

The anonymous tipster worked for the offending firm, which wasn’t named by the SEC.

SEC pays whistleblower $22 million for securities fraud tip

“Company employees are in unique positions behind the scenes to unravel complex or deeply buried wrongdoing,” said Jane Norberg, acting chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. “Without this whistleblower’s courage, information and assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own.”

In June 2015, Norberg told an Ontario Securities Commission roundtable that the SEC had paid 17 people a total of more than $50 million over four years of operation. The largest reward at that time was over $30 million. The total now surpasses $107 million, divvied up between 33 recipients.

Rewards can range between 10% and 30% of money collected when sanctions exceed $1 million, the SEC stated. “No money has been taken or withheld from harmed investors to pay whistleblower awards.” The SEC protects tipsters’ confidentiality.

Last month the OSC became Canada’s first regulator to offer such rewards. Payouts can range from 5% to 15% of sanctions and/or voluntary payments by companies of at least $1 million. The maximum reward comes to $1.5 million, but can increase to $5 million should the penalty exceed $10 million.

An e-mail from OSC rep Kate Ballotta confirms that the program has already received tips but doesn’t state whether payouts have been made yet. “Another securities enforcement tool unique to the OSC,” she writes, is the no-contest settlement program in which five cases have resulted in about $200 million being returned to investors.

In Quebec, l’Autorité des marchés financiers launched a reward-less whistleblower program in June, after AMF research found “confidentiality is what primarily motivates whistleblowers to report incidents.”

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada opposed the OSC rewards, arguing they could encourage “bounty-hunting behaviour and framing companies for financial gains.” PDAC also warned that “overly cautious issuers” might face extra costs for additional legal advice.

Assays pending, sampling continues at 92 Resources’ NWT lithium project

August 30th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 30, 2016

While waiting for assays from the property’s LU #12 pegmatite dyke, channel sampling continues on 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Hidden Lake lithium project in the Northwest Territories, the company announced August 30. LU #12 took priority in the Phase II program, having previously given up seven samples ranging between 1.27% and 3.01% Li2O within a 10- by 300-metre area. A crew from Dahrouge Geological Consulting took another 85 samples from 15 channels on the dyke this summer.

Assays pending, sampling continues at 92 Resources’ NWT lithium project

Attention has now turned to three nearby pegmatites observed to have appreciable amounts of spodumene, 92 Resources stated. Channel sampling now underway will test the pegmatites for lithium.

The 1,657-hectare Hidden Lake project sits 40 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, just off Highway 4.

Last month 92 Resources announced its acquisition of the 5,536-hectare Pontax property in Quebec’s James Bay region. Historic satellite imagery and a 1999 government mapping program have shown pegmatite outcrops on the property.

The company raised $318,836 from a private placement in April, followed by $862,820 from exercised warrants in June.

Read interviews with Chris Berry and Jon Hykawy discussing energy metals.

August 30th, 2016

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Future of U.S. mine permitting overhaul hangs in the balance Industrial Minerals
Elon Musk: Einstein or Icarus? Equities.com
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Geophysics narrows targets as Aurvista Gold’s Douay project nears drilling

August 29th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 29, 2016

Preparing for an upcoming drill campaign, Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA announced results of an extensive geophysics program over the Abitibi-region Douay project on August 29. Among results of previous geophysics were EM anomalies consistent with massive sulphides known elsewhere in the Abitibi, Aurvista stated. This time Douay underwent airborne magnetic, time-domain electromagnetic and radiometric surveys.

Geophysics narrows targets as Aurvista Gold’s Douay project nears drilling

Work focused on the central and western portions of the 14,500-hectare property. The TDEM survey outlined seven strong anomalies associated with the strongest previous EM anomalies. The most significant sits proximal to the gold-bearing Main, South and Adam porphyries, with nearby chlorite-sulphide bearing feeder pipes like those “typically found in association with massive sulphide mineralization, yet to be found at Douay,” the company stated.

Aurvista has its team re-logging previous core from 26 sections across Douay to define chemical signatures and alteration mineralogy, and to confirm the suspected source of the volcanic intrusion. With 45,000 metres out of nearly 200,000 metres complete so far, the work presents “a much simpler geological picture than previously interpreted,” the company added.

A 2012 resource estimate used a 0.3 g/t cutoff for eight zones along a five-kilometre trend to a maximum depth of about 400 metres. The total showed:

  • indicated: 2.69 million tonnes averaging 2.76 g/t for 238,435 gold ounces

  • inferred: 114.65 million tonnes averaging 0.75 g/t for 2.75 million ounces

Now Aurvista states, “The previously held interpretation of eight independent higher-grade gold zones is incorrect. Management believes there are additional higher-grade zones … linked by an extensive network of E-W, NW-SE and NE-SW structures in magnetic iron-rich volcanic rocks, but now non-magnetic sulphide-bearing, hosting iron-carbonates alteration, porphyries and/or silica-rich alteration and/or sodium-rich alteration.”

Last month Aurvista closed a $500,000 private placement. The company has 4,000 metres of drilling scheduled to begin in Q4.

Read more about Aurvista Gold.

Equitas Resources drills more near-surface gold while advancing Brazilian project

August 29th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 29, 2016

New gold assays bolster Equitas Resources’ (TSXV:EQT) plan to incrementally expand its Cajueiro project in central Brazil. On August 29 the company reported 33 near-surface intervals from saprolite and bedrock on the project’s Baldo zone, ranging from 0.95 grams per tonne to 4.07 g/t gold.

Equitas Resources drills more near-surface gold while advancing Brazilian project

Drilling helped identify three new target areas at Cajueiro.

The results will also help the company gain a full mining licence, part of a plan to expand recovery from what had been a small alluvial operation by installing a carbon-in-leach plant. Additionally, three other near-surface areas have been identified for further trenching and drilling, including Zona Dois with 300 metres of strike.

Highlights from 37 holes totalling 1,756 metres show:

Hole CJO-0077

  • 1.46 g/t gold over 13.5 metres, starting at 14.2 metres in downhole depth

CJO-0064

  • 1.21 g/t over 10 metres, starting at 10 metres

CJO-0063

  • 1.19 g/t over 8.2 metres, starting at 1 metre

CJO-0090

  • 3.67 g/t over 2.5 metres, starting at 9 metres

CJO-0089

  • 1.95 g/t over 4.5 metres, starting at 10.5 metres

CJO-0080

  • 1.13 g/t over 7 metres, starting at 48 metres

CJO-0057

  • 1.19 g/t over 5.8 metres, starting at 6.2 metres

CJO-0058

  • 2 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 27 metres

True widths weren’t available. The mineralized intervals have also been sent for screen fire assay to test for coarse gold, Equitas stated.

Two additional holes were drilled at Cajueiro’s highly prospective Crente zone. Sunk below a former garimpeiro pit, they tested a new interpretation suggesting a steeply dipping mineralized trend intersected by an historic result of 2.37 g/t over 31 metres. Equitas expects those results by mid-September.

The latest assays follow trenching results announced in July that featured 24.26 g/t over two metres, 18.86 g/t over two metres and 1.4 g/t over 12 metres. Further trenching and drilling will feed a resource update for the 39,053-hectare project. Using a 0.25 g/t cutoff, four zones of sulphides currently total:

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

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

Four zones of oxides total:

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

Near-surface oxides remain the company’s focus.

Plans to expand Cajueiro incrementally originally called for installation of a gravity plant, to be followed by a CIL plant. But metallurgical results announced earlier this month convinced the company to skip the first stage and go straight to CIL processing.

In late July the company closed an over-subscribed private placement of $861,000. Equitas has also been working towards completion of a US$6-million private equity financing that would include US$5 million in revolving loans and a US$1-million warrant exercise.

Read more about Equitas Resources’ Cajueiro gold project.

August 29th, 2016

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China’s overseas M&A spree comes at lowest costs since 2012 NAI 500
Future of U.S. mine permitting overhaul hangs in the balance Industrial Minerals
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Indian gold spending is set to get a boost from a strong monsoon season Stockhouse
Exploration stock surges on project LOI SmallCapPower
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

The optimistic route

August 26th, 2016

As one Ring of Fire road study disappoints proponents, another surfaces

by Greg Klein

A 2013 expression of Ring of Fire optimism now sounds dispiriting: “With the support of the critical parties, planning and permitting for the main all-weather access road could be completed in 2014, and actual construction operations could commence in 2015.” That was the conclusion of a study commissioned by KWG Resources CSE:KWG three years ago but not published until August 26.

The company posted the 18-page “preliminary scoping exercise” on its website four days after CBC reported that a federally and provincially funded study on the same subject had been completed but not released. Although anticipated to herald a breakthrough, that study simply called for more study, the network stated. Moreover the report didn’t even consider a route to the proposed mining region, focusing only on connecting four native bands with a highway.

As one Ring of Fire road study disappoints proponents, another surfaces

Warmer temperatures make winter roads increasingly
unreliable, according to a KWG-commissioned study.

Release of the $785,000 report would be up to the four communities that led it, Ontario mines minister Michael Gravelle told the CBC. The network somehow obtained a copy but quoted only a few short excerpts. KWG president Frank Smeenk tells ResourceClips.com he wanted to counter disappointment with “an alternative that is feasible, financeable and attractive.”

KWG’s study estimated the cost of connecting its proposed north-south rail line with an existing road near Pickle Lake, about 305 kilometres west, between $83.6 million and $99.9 million. Trunk roads to four reserves would add another $36.1 million to $73.1 million. The four communities total roughly 2,500 people, according to numbers then available to the researchers.

The study didn’t consider expenses related to potential cultural or archaeological surveys, or the environmental assessment.

As for the region’s existing winter road, access “appears … increasingly unreliable as a consequence of warmer winter temperatures.”

Socio-economic benefits would include training and employment, as well as easier access to health care, police, schools and social services. The road would lower shipping and personal travel costs. Economic spinoffs could encourage growth in forestry and tourism, along with industrial, mechanical, transportation, commercial, financial and legal sectors, according to the study.

It was conducted by GreenForest Management, a Thunder Bay-based firm whose previous work included planning, construction and maintenance of 700 kilometres of all-weather roads north of Sioux Lookout and of 360 kilometres of all-weather roads north of Nakina.

Smeenk calls the report, which cost KWG between $25,000 and $35,000, “a good news story” that counters disappointment in the government-funded study.

While a proponent of a north-south railway, Smeenk says year-round east-west road access will be “a necessary ingredient to building the rail, which in turn is a necessary ingredient to creating a mining camp at the Ring of Fire.” A railway would be necessary to develop chromite deposits, the company argues.

But Noront Resources TSXV:NOT proposes to develop its Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper-PGE project first, using an east-west road. That company holds about 75% of the region’s claims, having closed a 75% acquisition of MacDonald Mines Exploration’s (TSXV:BMK) RoF properties this week. Noront holds 70% of the Big Daddy chromite deposit and 85% of the McFaulds copper-zinc deposits. Noront is also KWG’s largest shareholder.

KWG holds 30% of Big Daddy, an 80% option on the Koper Lake project/Black Horse chromite deposit and 15% of McFaulds.

KWG has an agreement with China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group to conduct a feasibility study on a link to a Canadian National Railway TSX:CNR line 340 kilometres south. China Railway expects to add that to the Ring of Fire library by year-end.

News of the government-funded study prompted opposition politicians to criticize the federal and provincial Liberals. But the proposals seem mired in the duty to consult. On August 25 the Globe and Mail stated it obtained that report’s three-page conclusion. “Some of the unresolved issues include who would own and manage the roads and how the new road connections would affect social assistance payments,” the paper stated. “Some social programs pay more to residents of remote fly-in communities.”

Late August 26 the G&M said it now had the entire 147-page final report, which estimated road-building costs between $264 million and $559 million. “Among the positives, people said road access would make it easier for parents to visit children who must move away to attend high school,” the story noted. “Cheaper food and other goods from the south are also viewed as a benefit, along with new links between first nations communities. Common concerns were that a road could bring more hunters from the south, which could negatively affect trap lines and other traditional hunting practices. Many fear that more drugs and alcohol could reach the communities.”

Clearly nothing is going to be built in that part of Canada without social licence.—Frank Smeenk,
president of KWG Resources

While emphasizing the positive, Smeenk seems resigned to slow progress. “Clearly nothing is going to be built in that part of Canada without social licence,” he emphasizes. “We’ve flown a number of trial balloons on how that might best be accomplished. The best is that the first nations whose traditional territories will be traversed by this transportation infrastructure should be equal partners in it. So we’ve proposed to the first nations of Webequie and Marten Falls that we create an equal partnership in both the mine and transportation.”

In June KWG announced that chiefs of those bands were considering a proposal to place its mining claims in a limited partnership to be held half by KWG and half by the two communities. To buy their way in, KWG offered the bands a non-recourse loan of $40 million.

This week a Webequie drum group opened a new drill program at Eagle’s Nest “to ensure minimal disturbance to the land and water and for the health and safety of the workers,” Noront stated. The project reached feasibility in 2012. Earlier this month, in apparent expectation of the latest government-funded study, Noront said it “anticipates that mine construction will begin in 2018 when road construction starts, resulting in first concentrate production in 2021.”

Despite pessimistic reports of the government-funded study, Noront reiterated its expectation that Ontario will “make a joint announcement with local first nations regarding plans for a shared regional access road before the end of this year.”

The province has committed $1 billion for RoF infrastructure and has asked Ottawa for matching funds.