Monday 5th December 2016

Resource Clips


October, 2016

Voltaic Minerals signs MOU for lithium brine extraction tests and marketing program

October 31st, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 31, 2016

Moving forward with its Green Energy project, Voltaic Minerals TSXV:VLT plans to team up with Enertrex Corp to study lithium brine extraction and a possible global marketing program. Under an MOU announced October 31, Enertrex would determine whether its selective lithium process might be used commercially at the 1,683-hectare Utah property.

Voltaic Minerals signs MOU for lithium brine extraction tests and marketing program

The process “replaces solar evaporation and much of the traditional chemical treatment to remove impurities such as magnesium, calcium and boron,” Voltaic stated. “A key cost driver for a successful lithium project is managing the prohibitive cost of impurity removal from a solution.”

The first of three phases would test a synthetic mixture resembling historic results collected from the property. Should that prove successful, optimization of the process would follow, as well as testing other lithium brines and feed stocks. Phase III would call for construction and demonstration of a pilot unit to test the lithium-bearing solution and determine operating costs. This step would also test brine from other sources.

The companies expect each phase to take 90 days. Should all three phases prove successful, the partners will work together to commercialize the process, with Voltaic having exclusive rights to market the procedure.

Earlier this month Voltaic announced completion of a 3D model supporting historic evidence of a brine reservoir extending over 16 square kilometres.

The Green Energy project sits 30 kilometres from rail and power.

October 31st, 2016

Crowdfunding experts spill their secrets for a successful campaign Equities.com
Chris Berry: Strategic overview of the cobalt market The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Recommended reading: When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse Streetwise Reports
Do DRC politics spell further price rises for cobalt? Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Central banks fear exposure of their interventions, so GATA presses on GoldSeek
Australian legislators tighten up on miners Industrial Minerals
Three reasons why we’re in a silver bull market: David Morgan SmallCapPower
The downfall of the mainstream media Stockhouse

Conuma Coal Resources president Mark Bartkoski remarks on stakeholder support as a former Walter Energy mine re-opens in B.C.

October 28th, 2016

…Read more

King’s Bay Gold to acquire never-drilled copper-cobalt property in Labrador

October 28th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 28, 2016

An intriguing chance find has King’s Bay Gold TSXV:KBG hoping the Trans-Labrador Highway will be a road to discovery. That’s the story behind the company’s October 27 announcement of a definitive agreement to acquire the Lynx Lake copper-cobalt property in south-central Labrador.

King’s Bay Gold to acquire never-drilled copper-cobalt property in Labrador

Powerlines and the Trans-Labrador Highway
run adjacent to the Lynx Lake copper-cobalt property.

As Newfoundland was building the highway in 2008, a provincial contractor with prospecting experience noticed evidence of disseminated and massive sulphides, King’s Bay geologist/director Nick Rodway explains. Some geological sleuthing eventually drew the contractor to the property’s east side, where a quarry had been blasted for aggregate.

Grab samples assayed the following year showed non-43-101 results up to 1.39% copper, 0.94% cobalt, 0.21% nickel and 6.5 g/t silver. Regional low-res magnetic surveys undertaken by the province and preliminary work in 2014 with a hand-held EM-16 device suggest strong conductors underlying the area.

Grab samples taken on the property’s west side in 2015 brought non-43-101 results up to 1.03% copper, 0.566% cobalt, 0.1% nickel, 5 g/t silver, 0.36% chromium, 0.39% molybdenum and 0.23% vanadium.

With a team returning to Lynx Lake next week, King’s Bay intends to conduct a sampling program to bring 43-101 results, along with further EM-16 surveys. Should all go to plan, airborne geophysics could follow this winter.

Open to year-round work, highway-accessible and with adjacent powerlines, the 20-square-kilometre property sits about 100 kilometres southeast of the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Subject to approvals, the acquisition costs King’s Bay $100,000 over three years and 900,000 shares over two years. On October 27 the company also announced a private placement of up to $1 million.

The news comes amid growing concerns over future cobalt supply. Nearly 60% of global production comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country rife with political instability and conflict mining.

At the same time increased demand comes from “the energy storage revolution,” reports Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Its data shows “2015 total global supply at 100,000 tpa, of this the battery market consumed 48,000 tpa.

“With a lithium-ion battery production surge well underway—and Benchmark recently revising its megafactories tracker to now 14 that are under construction ranging from three- to 35-GWh capacity—lithium-ion battery demand for cobalt is set to exceed 100,000 tpa by 2020.”

October 28th, 2016

Chris Berry: Strategic overview of the cobalt market The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Recommended reading: When Money Dies: The Nightmare of the Weimar Collapse Streetwise Reports
Guess what the most stable economies in the world are right now Equities.com
Do DRC politics spell further price rises for cobalt? Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Central banks fear exposure of their interventions, so GATA presses on GoldSeek
Australian legislators tighten up on miners Industrial Minerals
Three reasons why we’re in a silver bull market: David Morgan SmallCapPower
The downfall of the mainstream media Stockhouse

An expert view

October 27th, 2016

ALX Uranium’s new CEO Mark Lackey discusses the commodity and the company

by Greg Klein

Thirty-six years in key positions give Mark Lackey a well-rounded perspective on the uranium sector. Added to that is an investor’s outlook gained by experience in the brokerage industry. A prolific media commentator—with over 300 TV appearances—he’s frequently asked to discuss commodities, often focusing on uranium trends and uranium companies. Lackey spoke with ResourceClips.com on October 26, the day he joined ALX Uranium TSXV:AL as president/CEO/director.

Industry expert Mark Lackey takes the helm at ALX Uranium

Mark Lackey brings extensive
expertise to ALX Uranium.

Lackey has served as Bank of Canada economist responsible for U.S. economic forecasting and senior commodities manager at the Bank of Montreal. Stints with Gulf Canada, a uranium producer like many other oil companies of the time, and Ontario Hydro, a major uranium consumer, enhanced his supply/demand insight.

That uranium career includes his 16 years in the brokerage industry, serving with Brawley Cathers, Blackmont Capital, Hampton Securities and Pope & Company. More recently he’s been executive VP at CHF Investor Relations and technical adviser at Presmont Group.

To those who watch uranium, its underachieving price hasn’t just been an ongoing disappointment. It’s a source of frustration to those who’ve made bullish forecasts. Lackey has been less surprised than others, however.

“I spoke at a conference last year and might have been the only one who thought uranium was actually going to go down this year,” he recalls. “It did go down, but way more than I thought, which was about $29 or $28. I thought everybody else was too optimistic about Japan restarting all the units and we’ve seen excess supply coming out of places like Kazakhstan. So the weakness this year didn’t surprise me.”

History gives him a sense of perspective, not to mention optimism. “I’ve seen this from $8 in the late ’90s to $136 in 2007. It fell during the 2008 recession, then came back nicely to $72 in 2011, the day Fukushima was hit. So we’ve had some big moves both ways over the years but now we’re down to a price that’s not sustainable. How many new mines would you get at these prices? I can’t think of too many unless you find something huge in the Basin, because high-volume, low-grade projects in many other places have people looking for $50 to $60—not $21.”

ALX Uranium’s new CEO Mark Lackey discusses the commodity and the company

He sees a number of price catalysts over the next few years: increased buying from utilities, a possible reduction in Kazakhstan supply, Japanese restarts and nuclear expansion elsewhere.

Kazakhstan provided 39% of world supply last year (compared with Canada’s 22%). But Lackey wonders whether low prices will force the global leader to cut output. Kazakhstan has been disregarding a 2011 self-imposed production cap of 20,000 tonnes per year, the World Nuclear Association states. WNA data attributes last year’s output to 23,800 tonnes.

As for Japan, it “will have to do something ultimately,” Lackey maintains. “There are 51 of the 54 reactors idled, that’s six or seven billion dollars a plant, roughly three or four hundred billion dollars of infrastructure. Thirty of the units have been tested positively. There are political concerns and the closer you are to Fukushima the more difficult it would be to restart them, but southern Japan doesn’t seem to have the same anti-nuclear view. Japan’s burning a lot of coal, they’re burning LNG and I hear from my sources that there are brownouts and blackouts. You can’t have that in an industrial country.”

Japan’s restarts would have a symbolic effect. But it is, after all, just one country. “There are about 60 plants under construction around the world right now, and more and more of them are coming into play,” Lackey points out.

“It’s cleaner than most baseload sources and relatively cheap. The planet has 1.2 billion people with no power and another two billion with just intermittent power.”

As someone who’s been watching uranium companies for 36 years, I’ve seen it’s the team you have, the projects you have and the jurisdiction you’re in.—Mark Lackey,
president/CEO of ALX Uranium

Although near-term price scenarios can certainly influence investors, there are other priorities in assessing junior explorers. “As someone who’s been watching uranium companies for 36 years, I’ve seen it’s the team you have, the projects you have and the jurisdiction you’re in. My favourite jurisdiction’s been the Athabasca Basin. It’s got the highest grades and Saskatchewan’s a great province to work in.

“I follow the companies in this space and I can see that ALX has a very strong board, management and technical staff,” he adds. “I’m extremely bullish about uranium and extremely excited about working with such an impressive team. It’s a great opportunity and I’m glad to be part of it.”

Lackey replaces Jon Armes, who steps down to pursue other opportunities but stays on as a consultant. During his six years of leadership at ALX and its predecessor Lakeland Resources, Armes helped build one of the Athabasca Basin’s largest and most prospective uranium exploration portfolios. Most recently he negotiated the Hook-Carter transaction that benefits ALX with the budget and experience of Denison Mines TSX:DML.

Battery infographic series Part 4: The critical ingredients needed to fuel the battery boom

October 27th, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | October 27, 2016

The Battery Series will present five infographics exploring what investors need to know about modern battery technology, including raw material supply, demand and future applications.

 

The critical ingredients needed to fuel the battery boom

 

We’ve already looked at the evolution of battery technology and how lithium-ion technology will dominate battery market share over the coming years. Part 4 of the Battery Series breaks down the raw materials that will be needed for this battery boom.

Batteries are more powerful and reliable than ever and costs have come down dramatically over the years. As a result, the market for electric vehicles is expected to explode to 20 million plug-in EV sales per year by 2030.

To power these vehicles, millions of new battery packs will need to be built. The lithium-ion battery market is expected to grow at a 21.7% rate annually in terms of the actual energy capacity required. It was 15.9 GWh in 2015, but will be a whopping 93.1 GWh by 2024.

Dissecting the lithium-ion

While there are many exciting battery technologies out there, we will focus on the innards of lithium-ion batteries as they are expected to make up the vast majority of the total rechargeable battery market for the near future.

Each lithium-ion cell contains three major parts:

1. Anode (natural or synthetic graphite)

2. Electrolyte (lithium salts)

3. Cathode (differing formulations)

While the anode and electrolytes are pretty straightforward as far as lithium-ion technology goes, it is the cathode where most developments are being made.

Lithium isn’t the only metal that goes into the cathode—other metals like cobalt, manganese, aluminum and nickel are also used in different formulations. Here’s four cathode chemistries, the metal proportions (excluding lithium) and an example of what they are used for:

 

Cathode Type Chemistry Metals needed Example Use
NCA LiNiCoAlO2 80% Nickel, 15% Cobalt, 5% Aluminum Tesla Model S
LCO LiCoO2 100% Cobalt Apple iPhone
LMO LiMn2O4 100% Manganese Nissan Leaf
NMC LiNiMnCoO2 Nickel 33.3%, Manganese 33.3%, Cobalt 33.3% Tesla Powerwall

 

While manganese and aluminum are important for lithium-ion cathodes, they are also cheaper metals with giant markets. This makes them fairly easy to procure for battery manufacturers. Lithium, graphite and cobalt are all much smaller and less-established markets—and each has supply concerns that remain unanswered:

    South America: The countries in the Lithium Triangle host a whopping 75% of the world’s lithium resources—Argentina, Chile and Bolivia.

    China: 65% of flake graphite is mined in China. With poor environmental and labour practices, China’s graphite industry has been under particular scrutiny and some mines have even been shut down.

    Indonesia: Price swings of nickel can impact battery makers. In 2014, Indonesia banned exports of nickel, which caused the price to soar nearly 50%.

    Democratic Republic of Congo: 65% of all cobalt production comes from the DRC, a country that is extremely politically unstable with deeply rooted corruption.

    North America: Companies such as Tesla have stated that they want to source 100% of raw materials sustainably and ethically from North America. The problem? Only nickel sees significant supply come from the continent.

Cobalt hasn’t been mined in the United States for 40 years and the country produced zero tonnes of graphite in 2015. There is one lithium operation near the Tesla Gigafactory 1 but it only produces 1,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year. That’s not nearly enough to fuel a battery boom of this size.

To meet its goal of a 100% North American raw materials supply chain, Tesla needs new resources to be discovered and extracted from the U.S., Canada or Mexico.

Raw material demand

While all sorts of supply questions exist for these energy metals, the demand situation is much more straightforward. Consumers are demanding more batteries and each battery is made up of raw materials like cobalt, graphite and lithium.

Cobalt:

Today about 40% of cobalt is used to make rechargeable batteries. By 2019, it’s expected that 55% of total cobalt demand will go to the cause. In fact, many analysts see an upcoming bull market in cobalt.

In many ways, the cobalt industry has the most fragile supply structure of all battery raw materials.—Andrew Miller,
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

    Battery demand is rising fast

    Production is being cut from the Congo

    A supply deficit is starting to emerge

Graphite:

There are 54 kilograms of graphite in every battery anode of a Tesla Model S (85 kWh). Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts that the battery anode market for graphite (natural and synthetic) will at least triple in size from 80,000 tonnes in 2015 to at least 250,000 tonnes by the end of 2020.

Lithium:

Goldman Sachs estimates that a Tesla Model S with a 70-kWh battery uses 63 kilograms of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE)—more than the amount of lithium in 10,000 cell phones. Further, for every 1% increase in battery electric vehicle market penetration, there is an increase in lithium demand by around 70,000 tonnes LCE per year.

Lithium prices have recently spiked but they may begin sliding in 2019 if more supply comes online.

The future of battery tech

Sourcing the raw materials for lithium-ion batteries will be critical for our energy mix. But the future is also bright for many other battery technologies that could help in solving our most pressing energy issues.

Part 5 of the Battery Series will look at the newest technologies in the battery sector.

See Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the battery infographic series.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

October 27th, 2016

Do DRC politics spell further price rises for cobalt? Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Central banks fear exposure of their interventions, so GATA presses on GoldSeek
How bad is the Deutsche Bank situation? Equities.com
Australian legislators tighten up on miners Industrial Minerals
Rally time for gold and silver equities: Michael Ballanger Streetwise Reports
Three reasons why we’re in a silver bull market: David Morgan SmallCapPower
The downfall of the mainstream media Stockhouse
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Diamond explorer Dunnedin Ventures ponders its B.C. gold-copper porphyry project

October 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 26, 2016

Diamond explorer Dunnedin Ventures ponders its B.C. gold-copper porphyry project

Primarily focused on Nunavut diamond exploration, Dunnedin Ventures TSXV:DVI has launched a technical and strategic review of its Trapper gold project in northwestern British Columbia.

The 40-square-kilometre property lies adjacent to Brixton Metals’ (TSXV:BBB) Thorn project and hosts the Ring zone “with over 10 kilometres of strike surrounding a porphyry centre, with gold-rich polymetallic mineralization drilled across 2.2 kilometres and associated surface copper porphyry showings,” Dunnedin stated.

Over $4 million of exploration included a 42-hole, 8,580-metre program completed in 2011. Some highlights showed:

Hole TG-11-011

  • 1.71 g/t gold, 5.6 g/t silver, 1.01% lead and 0.25% zinc over 34.11 metres, starting at 106.89 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 92.8 g/t gold, 18.8 g/t silver, 0.13% lead and 0.12% zinc over 0.41 metres)
  • (and including 3.9 g/t gold, 27 g/t silver, 9.11% lead and 0.91% zinc over 3.39 metres)

Hole TG-11-038

  • 1.68 g/t gold, 1.8 g/t silver, 0.02% lead and 0.07% zinc over 15 metres, starting at 122.5 metres
  • (including 5.08 g/t gold, 4.4 g/t silver, 0.05% lead and 0.13% zinc over 4.23 metres)
  • (which includes 21.8 g/t gold, 11.9 g/t silver, 0.15% lead and 0.36% zinc over 0.62 metres)

Hole TG-11-039

  • 1.01 g/t gold, 2.3 g/t silver, 0.02% lead and 0.13% zinc over 30 metres, starting at 67.5 metres
  • (including 2.19 g/t gold, 2.7 g/t silver, 0.06% lead and 0.3% zinc over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 2.98 g/t gold, 4 g/t silver, 0.04% lead and 0.09% zinc over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 2.64 g/t gold, 2.5 g/t silver and 0.35% zinc over 2.34 metres)

Hole TG-11-040

  • 1.19 g/t gold, 1.8 g/t silver, 0.01% lead and 0.07% zinc over 27.5 metres, starting at 132.5 metres
  • (including 11.15 g/t gold, 5.7 g/t silver, 0.03% lead and 0.17% zinc over 2.5 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

“The property overlies an unusually gold-rich porphyry copper complex including drill-ready copper porphyry and gold-rich semi-massive sulphide stockwork,” commented CEO Chris Taylor. “Dunnedin is conducting a comprehensive review of this 100%-owned project to determine how best to unlock its value for shareholders.”

The company has also been finding gold on its flagship Kahuna diamond project, with evidence from 2015 till sampling—just recently evaluated for gold—and from historic rock samples.

This year’s program collected 10 times as many till samples as 2015, gathering 1,111 samples to be analyzed for diamond indicator minerals and gold. The company also staked another 25,000 hectares, increasing Kahuna to about 60,000 hectares.

Read more about Dunnedin Ventures.

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

Pistol Bay Mining plans November drilling on Dixie zinc projects in Ontario

October 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 26, 2016

It’s neither the land of cotton nor of traditional jazz, but of zinc with additional metals. And that’s why Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST has a November drill program planned for three of its western Ontario Dixie properties. Totalling about 1,900 hectares, Dixies 17, 18 and 19 host lenses of volcanogenic massive sulphides with zinc, copper, silver and minor gold in the Confederation Lake greenstone belt southeast of Red Lake.

Pistol Bay Mining plans November drilling on Dixie zinc projects in Ontario

All three have historic zinc-copper assays.

A review of previous geophysics will help determine drill targets for the three zones. Additionally, Pistol Bay proposes confirmation holes for Dixie 17 and 18.

Also on October 25, the company announced a private placement of up to $820,000. Pistol Bay closed a $563,450 placement in August.

Earlier this month the company announced a letter of intent to acquire regional properties from AurCrest Gold TSXV:AGO, which would make Pistol Bay the greenstone belt’s largest claimholder. The 5,136-hectare package includes a zinc-copper-silver resource and an historic, non-43-101 estimate.

In Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, the company has a joint venture with a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary on the C-5 uranium property. Having earned 75% of its option so far, Rio intends to acquire the full 100%.

See an infographic: Eleven things every metal investor should know about zinc.