Friday 17th November 2017

Resource Clips


December, 2016

December 23rd, 2016

Lithium recycling still “too expensive” Industrial Minerals
What are the risks of a U.S.-China trade war? Stockhouse
Brace yourself for Italy’s bankruptcy Equities.com
The war on cash and then on gold GoldSeek
China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Jonathan Goodman reveals Ned’s mining investing tip SmallCapPower
Central banks and their role in financial turmoil Streetwise Reports
Unicorns versus dinosaurs—Who wins the debate over growth versus profitability? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Molybdenum: Commodity overview Geology for Investors

Diamonds—2016 glitter in review

December 22nd, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 22, 2016

The stones began the year still mired in their 2015 slump, in which rough prices reportedly fell 15%. The two biggest players, representing nearly two-thirds of global production, didn’t exactly agree on strategy. De Beers cut production and lowered prices while Alrosa initially boosted production, held prices stable and stockpiled some output. By April De Beers raised prices and Alrosa lowered production. The following month had De Beers talking about a “fragile recovery.”

Diamonds—2016 glitter in review

Sales records for polished got pulverized, though. In May Sotheby’s raked in $32 million for the 15.38-carat Unique Pink in a jewelry sale that totalled a world record $175.1 million. The next day Christie’s scooped up $58.25 million for the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, “a new record price for any gemstone and per carat.”

Rough rode roughshod over records, too. The week before Sotheby’s and Christie’s big sales, Lucara Diamond TSX:LUC got $63.11 million for its fresh-from-the-mine 812.77-carat Constellation. High expectations led to disappointment in late June, however, when the company rejected a $61-million offer for its 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona rough stone, the second-biggest diamond ever found. Lucara wanted at least $70 million.

As for Canadian diamond mining, it thrived.

A 100-million-carat production milestone brought celebrations to Diavik, the Northwest Territories JV of Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO and Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC. In July Dominion finally decided to add the Jay pipe and its 78.6 million carats to the company’s majority-held Ekati mine.

The year brought new mines to Canada too. Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond producer in 13 years, was officially opened in September by partners De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV. October saw Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY do the same at Renard, Quebec’s first diamond mine. It reached commercial production just days before Christmas.

Looking at potential mines-to-be, Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD took its Chidliak project on Baffin Island to PEA in July. In Saskatchewan’s Fort à la Corne region, meanwhile, Shore Gold TSX:SGF continued working on a feasibility update for its majority-held Star-Orion South project. Back in the NWT, Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI completed its maiden resource in December.

The company’s Kennady North project sits in the same Lac de Gras region hosting Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué. November marked the 25th anniversary of the Chuck Fipke/Stewart Blusson Ekati discovery that triggered the world’s biggest staking rush, brought diamond mining to Canada and helped transform the diamond industry.

In December the vertically integrated company Almod Diamonds announced plans to broaden the NWT diamond industry, the backbone of the territorial economy, by re-opening a Yellowknife cutting and polishing facility.

A few days after that announcement, the allure of diamonds played out differently in an Atlanta department store. Eighty-six-year-old Doris Payne, a determined, unrepentant and often unsuccessful diamond thief, wracked up another arrest. She’s been stealing stones for over sixty years.

December 22nd, 2016

What are the risks of a U.S.-China trade war? Stockhouse
Brace yourself for Italy’s bankruptcy Equities.com
The war on cash and then on gold GoldSeek
E-scrap: A vicious cycle? Industrial Minerals
China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Jonathan Goodman reveals Ned’s mining investing tip SmallCapPower
Central banks and their role in financial turmoil Streetwise Reports
Unicorns versus dinosaurs—Who wins the debate over growth versus profitability? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Molybdenum: Commodity overview Geology for Investors

December 21st, 2016

What are the risks of a U.S.-China trade war? Stockhouse
Brace yourself for Italy’s bankruptcy Equities.com
The war on cash and then on gold GoldSeek
E-scrap: A vicious cycle? Industrial Minerals
China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Jonathan Goodman reveals Ned’s mining investing tip SmallCapPower
Central banks and their role in financial turmoil Streetwise Reports
Unicorns versus dinosaurs—Who wins the debate over growth versus profitability? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Molybdenum: Commodity overview Geology for Investors

December 21st, 2016

What are the risks of a U.S.-China trade war? Stockhouse
Brace yourself for Italy’s bankruptcy Equities.com
The war on cash and then on gold GoldSeek
E-scrap: A vicious cycle? Industrial Minerals
China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Jonathan Goodman reveals Ned’s mining investing tip SmallCapPower
Central banks and their role in financial turmoil Streetwise Reports
Unicorns versus dinosaurs—Who wins the debate over growth versus profitability? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Molybdenum: Commodity overview Geology for Investors

A 2016 retrospect

December 20th, 2016

Was it the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

by Greg Klein

Some say optimism was evident early in the year, as the trade shows and investor conferences began. Certainly as 2016 progressed, so did much of the market. Commodities, some of them anyway, picked up. In a lot of cases, so did valuations. The crystal ball of the industry’s predictionariat often seemed to shine a rosier tint. It must have been the first time in years that people actually stopped saying, “I think we’ve hit bottom.”

But it would have been a full-out bull market if every commodity emulated lithium.

By February Benchmark Mineral Intelligence reported the chemical’s greatest-ever price jump as both hydroxide and carbonate surpassed $10,000 a tonne, a 47% increase for the latter’s 2015 average. The Macquarie Group later cautioned that the Big Four of Albermarle NYSE:ALB, FMC Corp NYSE:FMC, SQM NYSE:SQM and Talison Lithium had been mining significantly below capacity and would ramp up production to protect market share.

Was this the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

That they did, as new supply was about to come online from sources like Galaxy Resources’ Mount Cattlin mine in Western Australia, which began commissioning in November. The following month Orocobre TSX:ORL announced plans to double output from its Salar de Olaroz project in Argentina. Even Bolivia sent a token 9.3 tonnes to China, suggesting the mining world’s outlaw finally intends to develop its lithium deposits, estimated to be the world’s largest at 22% of global potential.

Disagreeing with naysayers like Macquarie and tracking at least 12 Li-ion megafactories being planned, built or expanded to gigawatt-hour capacity by 2020, Benchmark in December predicted further price increases for 2017.

Obviously there was no keeping the juniors out of this. Whether or not it’s a bubble destined to burst, explorers snapped up prospects, issuing news releases at an almost frantic flow that peaked in mid-summer. Acquisitions and early-stage activity often focused on the western U.S., South America’s Lithium Triangle and several Canadian locations too.

In Quebec’s James Bay region, Whabouchi was subject of a feasibility update released in April. Calling the development project “one of the richest spodumene hard rock lithium deposits in the world, both in volume and grade,” Nemaska Lithium TSX:NMX plans to ship samples from its mine and plant in Q2 2017.

A much more despairing topic was cobalt, considered by some observers to be the energy metal to watch. At press time instability menaced the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produces an estimated 60% of global output. Far overshadowing supply-side concerns, however, was the threat of a humanitarian crisis triggered by president Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his mandate on December 20.

Was this the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

But the overall buoyant market mood had a practical basis in base metals, led by zinc. In June prices bounced back from the six-year lows of late last year to become “by far the best-performing LME metal,” according to Reuters. Two months later a UBS spokesperson told the news agency refiners were becoming “panicky.”

Mine closures in the face of increasing demand for galvanized steel and, later in the year, post-U.S. election expectations of massive infrastructure programs, pushed prices 80% above the previous year. They then fell closer to 70%, but remained well within levels unprecedented over the last five years. By mid-December one steelmaker told the Wall Street Journal to expect “a demand explosion.”

Lead lagged, but just for the first half of 2016. Spot prices had sunk to about 74 cents a pound in early June, when the H2 ascension began. Reaching an early December peak of about $1.08, the highest since 2013, the metal then slipped beneath the dollar mark.

Copper lay at or near five-year lows until November, when a Trump-credited surge sent the red metal over 60% higher, to about $2.54 a pound. Some industry observers doubted it would last. But columnist Andy Home dated the rally to October, when the Donald was expected to lose. Home attributed copper’s rise to automated trading: “Think the copper market equivalent of Skynet, the artificial intelligence network that takes over the world in the Terminator films.” While other markets have experienced the same phenomenon, he maintained, it’s probably the first, but not the last time for a base metal.

Was this the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

Nickel’s spot price started the year around a piddling $3.70 a pound. But by early December it rose to nearly $5.25. That still compared poorly with 2014 levels well above $9 and almost $10 in 2011. Nickel’s year was characterized by Indonesia’s ban on exports of unprocessed metals and widespread mine suspensions in the Philippines, up to then the world’s biggest supplier of nickel ore.

More controversial for other reasons, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte began ordering suspensions shortly after his June election. His environmental secretary Regina Lopez then exhorted miners to surpass the world’s highest environmental standards, “better than Canada, better than Australia. We must be better and I know it can be done.”

Uranium continued to present humanity with a dual benefit—a carbon-free fuel for emerging middle classes and a cautionary example for those who would predict the future. Still oblivious to optimistic forecasts, the recalcitrant metal scraped a post-Fukushima low of $18 in December before creeping to $20.25 on the 19th. The stuff fetched around $72 a pound just before the 2011 tsunami and hit $136 in 2007.

$6.6-million gold mining scam nets four-year jail terms

December 20th, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 20, 2016

Two conmen who touted a Tanzanian gold mining stock now face prison time and restitution orders, the Ontario Securities Commission announced December 20. William Wallace and Robert Heward were each sentenced to four years and ordered to pay back $6.67 million to approximately 105 people who invested in Londoni Gold Corp. The pair were convicted of fraud, illegal distribution and unregistered trading. The last two charges brought concurrent 18-month sentences.

We will continue to seek prison sentences for individuals who commit crimes like these, which have a devastating impact on the lives of people and their families.—Jeff Kehoe,
OSC director of enforcement

Despite never having been registered with the OSC and having no prospectus for their company, the two sold Londoni shares between December 2009 and December 2013. In doing so they misrepresented the project’s operations, management, viability and production potential, the court heard. “A significant portion” of the money they raised financed their personal lifestyles.

They first appeared in a Toronto court in September 2014.

“This case sends a strong message to individuals engaged in securities fraud and illegal distributions that they will be held accountable for their misconduct,” said OSC director of enforcement Jeff Kehoe. “We will continue to seek prison sentences for individuals who commit crimes like these, which have a devastating impact on the lives of people and their families.”

The charges followed an investigation by the Joint Serious Offences Team, a partnership of the OSC, RCMP Financial Crime program and Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch.

December 20th, 2016

What are the risks of a U.S.-China trade war? Stockhouse
Brace yourself for Italy’s bankruptcy Equities.com
The war on cash and then on gold GoldSeek
E-scrap: A vicious cycle? Industrial Minerals
China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Jonathan Goodman reveals Ned’s mining investing tip SmallCapPower
Central banks and their role in financial turmoil Streetwise Reports
Unicorns versus dinosaurs—Who wins the debate over growth versus profitability? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Molybdenum: Commodity overview Geology for Investors

Aurvista Gold reinforces EM prior to drilling Abitibi property

December 19th, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 19, 2016

Following up on last summer’s airborne EM, Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA plans to complete a ground survey on its Douay gold project by next month. The company describes the University of Toronto Electro-Magnetic system as “different from other EM systems in that it can detect good EM conductors in the presence of poorer ones…. UTEM sees both the freely decaying and directly driven part of the magnetic field. It is this second aspect that makes UTEM unique and so important in detecting and characterizing extremely conductive deposits such as massive sulphides.”

Aurvista Gold reinforces EM prior to drilling Abitibi property

Aurvista’s Douay project gained a nearly
$6-million private placement last month.

The survey will target three near-surface conductive bedrock anomalies surrounding the Abitibi project’s South porphyry. Last summer’s EM also found four anomalies proximal to the Casa Berardi deformation zone, northwest of the Adam Creek gold deposit.

Aurvista considers one of the current targets, anomaly E, most promising because of its location near the gold-bearing Main, South and Adam porphyries. “There are chlorite-sulphide bearing feeder pipes nearby as observed in drill holes DO-92-24 and DO-11-34, typically found in association with massive sulphide mineralization, yet to be found at Douay,” the company stated.

The other two targets, anomalies F and G, are larger “but are believed, based on nearby re-logged drill core from the Phase I program, to be related to sulphide mineralization.”

Last week the company announced it had chosen seven drill locations to update resources for four of the project’s zones. Eight zones were included in a 2012 resource estimate that used a 0.3 g/t cutoff and totalled:

  • 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

In November the company closed a private placement of $5.99 million.

Of the 14,520-hectare project, Aurvista holds 100% of 13,310 hectares, 90% of 20 hectares and 75% of 1,190 hectares.

Read more about Aurvista Gold.

December 19th, 2016

E-scrap: A vicious cycle? Industrial Minerals
China threat sparks Hitachi’s four-fold graphite anode expansion Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Jonathan Goodman reveals Ned’s mining investing tip SmallCapPower
Inflationary expectations in 2017 keep the polish on gold Stockhouse
Future of crowdfunding panel at Crowd Invest Summit West delves into broad potential for industry Equities.com
The Americans’ president: Trojan, traitor or tried and true? GoldSeek
Central banks and their role in financial turmoil Streetwise Reports
Unicorns versus dinosaurs—Who wins the debate over growth versus profitability? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Molybdenum: Commodity overview Geology for Investors