Wednesday 13th December 2017

Resource Clips


September, 2016

Cry, the resource-rich country

September 30th, 2016

Legal or illegal, South African miners face perils numerous and deadly

by Greg Klein

South African gold mining really got its start with an 1886 discovery and subsequent rush at Langlaagte, then an isolated farm. Already the world’s largest diamond producer, the country went on to become the behemoth of global gold reserves until 2007. But all that wealth left a damning legacy in an extensive network of abandoned tunnels that lure illegal and desperate gold hunters, often to their deaths. A cave-in and several fatalities in mid-September brought Langlaagte back to international prominence. It’s just one of many such stories playing out in South Africa.

The rising death toll shows the problem’s “spiralling out of control,” Bloomberg quoted Christo de Klerk. Addressing a Johannesburg news conference on September 27, the CEO of Mines Rescue Services said his highly trained volunteer group had recovered 24 bodies so far this year, the largest number in seven years of records.

Legal or illegal, South African miners face perils numerous and deadly

The impetus to Johannesburg’s growth came
from an industry with a highly disturbing death rate.

Even this year’s total marks “the tip of the iceberg,” he stressed. Maybe 90% of the casualties never get reported, which would mean hundreds of missing people have died in their graves.

Speaking with Warren Dick of MineWeb.com, de Klerk explained that many of the mines have been abandoned for 60 to 70 years, lacking maps or plans. Without ventilation, gas build-ups can occur. Moreover the diggers often target the pillars, increasing their instability and exacerbating an already dangerous enterprise.

It’s no way to live and a horrible way to die, as shown by some very disturbing photos released by de Klerk’s organization.

This is the world of the zama-zamas, people who might live underground for months at a time. Often working in gangs, they haul in explosives, generators and stockpiles of food, de Klerk told Bloomberg.

Deprived of sunlight for so long, “their skin turns grey,” Matthew Hart wrote in his 2013 book Gold: The Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal. “The wives and prostitutes who live with them turn grey. In South Africa they call them ghost miners. They inhabit an underground metropolis that in some goldfields can extend for 40 miles, a suffocating labyrinth in which the only glitter is the dream of gold.”

Gang warfare delivers additional menace. De Klerk said most of the illegal miners come from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, whose factions fight underground turf wars. His rescuers have encountered murder victims, in one case a grisly pile of 10 bodies that had been shot execution style, he told MineWeb.com.

The deadly business puts conflict gold on the market. A spokesperson for the SA police elite Hawks unit told Hart that organized crime sends the illicit gold to the Persian Gulf, India and Russia, where it’s laundered into the legitimate bullion trade. “Big players” in police and government support the trade, he said. A 2001 industry study by Peter Gastrow “reached the same conclusion: that an untouchable elite was behind the theft of gold,” Hart wrote.

While rogue miners are said to be predominantly immigrants, they include some South Africans, even legitimate mine employees looking for extra income. In February Sibanye Gold NYSE:SBGL reported two contractors became trapped after entering an abandoned part of the company’s Cooke mine at the end of their shift.

That same day Sibanye reported a fatality in one of its own operations. The SA industry remains deadly, legal or illegal. Harmony Gold Mining NYSE:HMY, for example, reported six separate fatalities so far this year, nearly reaching last year’s total of seven.

In the first eight months of this year 61 people died in South African mines, according to Department of Mineral Resources numbers reported by MiningWeekly.com. Last year’s 12-month total came to 77, according to the industry’s Chamber of Mines.

But in February the Mail and Guardian stated the number of accidents, fatal or not, had risen by 500 in the 12 months prior to February. “In the past five years, there have been at least eight accidents a day in mines, injuring more than 15,000 people,” wrote Athandiwe Saba.

That’s not counting occupational diseases. Earlier this month acting chief mines inspector Xolile Mbonambi told an industry conference that 6,577 cases of mining-related diseases were recorded in 2014, MiningWeekly.com reported. Interim figures for 2015 show a slight improvement in the number of silicosis cases but an increase in TB, which Mbonambi called “an indictment on the industry broadly.”

“Moreover, he highlighted that the repercussions of fatalities extended well beyond the boundaries of mines and had substantial socio-economic impacts, affecting the poorest of the poor locally and communities of neighbouring countries the most,” MiningWeekly.com added.

As for the violence, it doesn’t end with gang rivalries. Rival unions have been killing each other’s members at the rate of several murders a year. Meanwhile the newcomer Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union gains members at the expense of the National Union of Mineworkers. Some observers attribute the NUM slide to a lack of confidence following Marikana, where in a single burst of gunfire police killed 34 striking platinum miners in 2012.

If there’s truth to the accusations, South African mining might harbour yet another threat. After Sikhosiphi Bazooka Radebe was gunned down in front of his family last March, some people attributed the murder to his work as an anti-mining activist.

September 16 marked the 30th anniversary of the country’s Kinross disaster, which killed 177 miners.

Infographic: 41 interesting facts about Tesla Motors

September 30th, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | infographic by Jennings Motor Group | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | September 30, 2016

For investors, Elon Musk is a polarizing figure.

He clearly sees the big picture and has started multiple companies that could be considered extremely successful by almost any criteria: Paypal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Solar City are all valued at over $1 billion—an impressive feat, to be sure.

Musk also continually aims to bring us game-changing technologies that will improve society. The Hyperloop, Gigafactory 1 and a colony on Mars are just some of his recent ideas or contributions. Like them or hate them, they are bold and audacious plans. That’s just something we don’t see enough of these days.

By the same token, Elon Musk often gets ahead of himself. He sees things so well in advance that his projections and goals often don’t end up being grounded in reality. For example, the Wall Street Journal has reported here that Tesla failed to meet more than 20 of his projections, missing 10 of them by nearly a year on average.

These types of misses don’t sit well with investors, some of who already think the stock could be overvalued. After all, despite the optimism around future prospects for Tesla Motors, the company has technically lost $2.5 billion since its inception.

Regardless of where a person stands on Tesla and Elon, the story remains downright fascinating for many reasons.

The following infographic comes to us from Jennings Motor Group and it covers 41 facts on Tesla as well as Elon Musk—the driving force behind the company.

Infographic: 41 interesting facts about Tesla Motors

Infographic by Jennings Motor Group | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

September 30th, 2016

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Macri’s Argentina: a good investment? Industrial Minerals
Wells Fargo and the toxic culture of passing the buck Equities.com
Africa has world’s largest in-situ gold reserves and resources NAI 500
China facing full-blown banking crisis, world’s top financial watchdog warns GoldSeek
Michael Campbell: Hillary or Donald—Who cares? Stockhouse
Resource junior jumps on sample results SmallCapPower
Post-summer outlook for metals investing Streetwise Reports
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Franco-Nevada CEO David Harquail explains his family’s $10-million donation to the university, part of $114 million in recent pledges for mining-related studies

September 29th, 2016

…Read more

September 29th, 2016

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Africa has world’s largest in-situ gold reserves and resources NAI 500
China facing full-blown banking crisis, world’s top financial watchdog warns GoldSeek
Michael Campbell: Hillary or Donald—Who cares? Stockhouse
Resource junior jumps on sample results SmallCapPower
Post-summer outlook for metals investing Streetwise Reports
The lithium-ion revolution: Four slides from the Benchmark World Tour 2016 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
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Golden Dawn Minerals updates program to revive historic B.C. camp

September 28th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 28, 2016

A September 28 progress report shows Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM advancing plans to re-open three former mines and a mill in southern British Columbia. The company’s Greenwood precious metals project consists of the May Mac, Lexington and Golden Crown past-producers, all within 15 kilometres of the project’s 200-tpd Greenwood mill. Golden Dawn closed the acquisition of Lexington, Golden Crown and the gravity-flotation plant earlier this month.

Golden Dawn Minerals updates program to revive historic B.C. camp

Golden Dawn hopes to begin trial mining
at the Lexington past-producer next year.

Work has begun on the mill’s transition from eight years of care and maintenance to active service, with plans calling for bulk samples from May Mac, a former silver-gold mine, to be processed early next year. Should all go to schedule, trial mining would begin at Lexington in Q2 or Q3 next year and Golden Crown would re-open in Q2 2018. Both were gold-copper operations.

The company has a permit application pending to de-water Lexington. Rehab has begun on three adits at May Mac, prior to underground drilling. Surface drilling will also test May Mac’s historic Skomac vein system. On completion of surface and underground exploration, May Mac bulk sampling would begin in Q1.

At the company’s Amigo past-producer about a kilometre south of May Mac, drilling has been underway since the beginning of September, with assays pending. Those two mines should undergo around 2,500 metres by year-end.

The company expects to close a gold streaming deal for the Lexington and Golden Crown mines in late October. Under terms announced in a July LOI, the agreement would bring Golden Dawn US$3 million on signing and another US$1 million on reaching a production target.

Two weeks ago the company closed a private placement first tranche of $696,324. Earlier this month Golden Dawn announced a convertible security would net the company $2.4 million to help finance the project acquisition.

The assets are located near the town of Greenwood, about 500 kilometres east of Vancouver.

September 28th, 2016

Six key findings from the IM Battery Show ’16 Industrial Minerals
Africa has world’s largest in-situ gold reserves and resources NAI 500
China facing full-blown banking crisis, world’s top financial watchdog warns GoldSeek
Michael Campbell: Hillary or Donald—Who cares? Stockhouse
Resource junior jumps on sample results SmallCapPower
Post-summer outlook for metals investing Streetwise Reports
The lithium-ion revolution: Four slides from the Benchmark World Tour 2016 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Why this former Lehman trader is so bearish on Canada Equities.com
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Aurvista Gold defines Abitibi targets for November drilling

September 27th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 27, 2016

As a comprehensive program of analyzing and relogging previous drill core continues, Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA prepares to resume drilling its Abitibi-region Douay project in Q4. So far 74,580 metres of core from 228 historic holes have been re-logged, the company reported September 27. Another 23,830 metres from 105 historic holes remain. The program will also consider previous Aurvista drilling of 127 holes totalling 42,955 metres.

Aurvista Gold defines Abitibi targets for November drilling

The campaign has taken around 19,000 readings of core using a handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) for geochemical analysis. About 7,000 more readings are expected, the company stated.

Aurvista has identified nine east-west shears and three subparallel structural domains on the property.

“The company believes that it can link the known gold zones to specific shears and potentially predict where to find additional gold mineralization,” said president/CEO Jean Lafleur. “Even more critical in terms of the overall potential, there are two distinct but overlapping metal signatures at Douay. The first is a primary volcanogenic massive sulphide of copper-zinc affinities crosscut by a secondary shear-hosted gold system. This interpretation is very similar to the Doyon-Bousquet-Laronde mining camp located 100 kilometres south-southwest of Douay, along the Cadillac-Larder Lake Deformation Zone.”

Aurvista anticipates sinking 4,000 metres from mid-November into the new year. The property has electrical grid connection and road access to a highway five kilometres away leading to Val-d’Or, 165 kilometres south.

In July the company closed a $500,000 private placement that followed a $1.1-million placement completed in May.

Kapuskasing Gold drills near-surface 4.68 g/t over 1.6 metres in northern Ontario

September 27th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 27, 2016

A brief drill program of three shallow holes confirmed significant gold mineralization on the Rollo project in northern Ontario, Kapuskasing Gold TSXV:KAP announced September 27. The 150-metre summer campaign tested continuity of the property’s Racicot gold showing. The previous summer’s channel sampling found results up to 8.82 g/t gold over 0.6 metres. Grab samples assayed 1 g/t, 1.89 g/t and 11.41 g/t gold.

Kapuskasing Gold drills 4.68 g/t over 1.6 metres in northern Ontario

Some highlights from the most recent program show:

Hole RO-16-01

  • 3.24 g/t gold over 0.7 metres, starting at 8.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 2.32 g/t over 0.5 metres, starting at 10.6 metres

Hole RO-16-02

  • 3.3 g/t over 0.9 metres, starting at 8.2 metres

Hole RO-16-03

  • 4.68 g/t over 1.6 metres, starting at 14 metres
  • (including 8.05 g/t over 0.8 metres)

True widths were unavailable.

Results support an interpretation that associates mineralization with a red syenite dyke that strikes approximately 100 degrees, the company stated

Located along a projected extension of the Destor-Porcupine fault zone, Rollo sits between IAMGOLD’s (TSX:IMG) Cote Lake gold deposit and Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) Borden gold project. Last week Richmond Minerals TSXV:RMD announced results from its Ridley Lake property about three kilometres southwest of Rollo, hitting up to 1.26 g/t gold over 33 metres, including 4.11 g/t over 7 metres.

Future plans for Kapuskasing include additional drilling and ground geophysics. The company intends to resume work this autumn.

A 10-hole, 1,000-metre program at Kapuskasing’s West Keefer property found no significant gold but did identify lithologies favourable for hosting mineralization, the company added.

Kapuskasing holds seven gold properties along extensions of the Destor-Porcupine structure or the Borden gold project. The company closed a $246,600 private placement in July.

September 27th, 2016

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