Friday 17th November 2017

Resource Clips


April, 2017

April 28th, 2017

Will the financial markets experience a United Airlines moment? Equities.com
Sinking loonie a blessing to Canadian gold miners Streetwise Reports
World depends on a lithium economy Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Why the big banks are terrified of Le Pen winning (but not BREXIT or Trump) GoldSeek
China’s new special economic zone evokes memories of Shenzhen Stockhouse
Fused magnesia prices increase in China Industrial Minerals
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Mining methods: Block caving Geology for Investors

Having loved and lost, a man offers to sell a diamond engagement ring that he insists was worn by Satan herself

April 27th, 2017

…Read more

Ben Ainsworth passes away at 76

April 27th, 2017

April 27, 2017

A geologist of considerable accomplishment and reputation, Benjamin “Ben” Ainsworth passed away peacefully on April 25 at the age of 76. Among other positions held during his career, he was founding director of ALX Uranium, where he inspired the following tribute:

“We at ALX, and our industry as a whole, have lost a giant in Ben Ainsworth,” said Warren Stanyer, chairman of ALX. “Ben was first a gentleman and second an explorationist who always believed a new discovery was just around the corner. His intelligence, imagination, perseverance and above all his regard for others will be sorely missed.”

Ben Ainsworth passes away at 76

Garrett and Ben Ainsworth at
their Patterson Lake South discovery.

Ben earned an honours degree in geology at the University of Oxford in 1962 and was soon inducted into a successful career as an exploration geologist, gaining his early experience in Ireland and Ghana. He joined Placer Development in 1965 and worked there for 21 years, holding assignments throughout Canada and later in Chile. From 1968 to 1978, his principal area of work related to the research and application of geochemistry for mineral exploration. Ben carried out extensive exploration work in British Columbia and the Yukon, which led to the 1972 discovery of the world class Howard’s Pass lead-zinc deposit. He received considerable recognition for that discovery and was later appointed exploration manager for Placer.

In 1986, Ben and David Jenkins formed the consulting firm of Ainsworth-Jenkins Holdings. The first years of the practice focused on gold and silver in Nevada and northern tier states in Mexico, drawing on experience gained from working on similar projects for Placer. Ainsworth-Jenkins was involved with the reactivation of the Huckleberry porphyry copper-gold project financed by New Canamin Resources in the period 1992 to 1994, which was placed into production in 1997. The Ainsworth-Jenkins team was also responsible for the concept, design and implementation of a 1995 exploration program that lead to the discovery of the first reported marine alluvial diamonds in the territorial waters of Sierra Leone.

Ben’s career contained many milestones in both mineral discoveries and in public service, where he acted for provincial and federal governments in mineral project assessments. He also served on many committees liaising between our industry and government agencies to promote the sustainable growth of mineral exploration and development in Canada.

Most recently, Ben and his son Garrett Ainsworth were jointly awarded the 2013 Colin Spence Award by the Association for Mineral Exploration for their role in the discovery of the Patterson Lake South uranium deposit (now the Triple R deposit) located in the Athabasca Basin. That discovery was yet another hallmark of the quality of work Ben contributed throughout his career in his quest to find world class mineral deposits.

Many will follow in his footsteps but few will fill his shoes.

April 27th, 2017

Four reasons Aristotle liked gold Equities.com
Sinking loonie a blessing to Canadian gold miners Streetwise Reports
World depends on a lithium economy Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Why the big banks are terrified of Le Pen winning (but not BREXIT or Trump) GoldSeek
China’s new special economic zone evokes memories of Shenzhen Stockhouse
Fused magnesia prices increase in China Industrial Minerals
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Mining methods: Block caving Geology for Investors

Golden Dawn Minerals reports up to 246 g/t silver, 2.69 g/t gold over 3.71 metres at B.C.’s Greenwood camp

April 26th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 26, 2017

Once again confirming mineralization beyond the former May Mac mine’s #7 level, Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM boasts silver and gold 70 metres northwest, 20 metres above and up to 120 metres below the adit. Assays released April 26 follow a batch released in early March, part of 31 underground holes totalling 3,834 metres sunk since late last year to test the Skomac and parallel veins.

Golden Dawn Minerals reports assays from B.C.’s Greenwood camp

Located 15 kilometres from May Mac, Golden Dawn’s Greenwood
gravity-flotation mill has a 200-tpd capacity expandable to 400 tpd.

May Mac comprises one of several southern British Columbia past-producers that Golden Dawn hopes to resurrect, all within range of the company’s Greenwood mill. Golden Dawn has a 43-101 technical report underway on the entire portfolio, including an updated PEA for its Lexington and Golden Crown projects.

Some standout assays from May Mac’s current crop include:

Hole MU 17-12

  • 335 g/t silver, 7.53 g/t gold, 0.2% lead and 0.5% zinc over 0.46 metres, starting at 30.93 metres

MU 17-14

  • 252.6 g/t silver, 0.93 g/t gold, 9.9% lead, 4.3% zinc and 0.1% copper over 2.57 metres, starting at 105.92 metres
  • (including 494.5 g/t silver, 1.21 g/t gold, 19.6% lead, 8% zinc and 0.1% copper over 1.29 metres)

  • 49.5 g/t silver, 12.55 g/t gold, 1.4% lead, 2% zinc and 0.1% copper over 0.56 metres, starting at 129 metres

MU 17-16

  • 246 g/t silver, 2.69 g/t gold, 1.3% lead, 0.9% zinc and 0.1% copper over 3.71 metres, starting at 70.76 metres
  • (including 472 g/t silver, 4.42 g/t gold, 11.3% lead, 4.7% zinc and 0.1% copper over 0.35 metres)
  • (and including 911 g/t silver, 9.53 g/t gold, 1.1% lead, 1% zinc and 0.2% copper over 0.55 metres)

MU 17-21

  • 58.8 g/t silver, 16.17 g/t gold, 2.3% lead, 3.3% zinc and 0.1% copper over 0.56 metres, starting at 15.84 metres
  • (including 90.5 g/t silver, 23.7 g/t gold, 3.7% lead, 5.5% zinc and 0.1% copper over 0.31 metres)

True widths weren’t available.

Having transferred the rig from underground drill station #3 to #2, work continues before moving to station #1. Subject of focus are the Skomac, Rose and West veins in a campaign expected to finish next month.

Other May Mac work awaits permit approvals. One application concerns additional surface drilling northwest along strike of the mine, where the company sees potential for mineralization up to another kilometre on the Skomac and parallel structures. The company also seeks approval to extend the #7 level northwest for additional drilling and a bulk sample of up to 10,000 tonnes.

Metallurgical tests have taken place on a May Mac composite core sample, with additional tests of tailings now underway to support processing at the mill, 15 kilometres from the mine.

Also proximal to the mill is Golden Dawn’s Golden Crown property, which has an application pending for surface drilling up to 10,000 metres. The company has preparations underway for field work at the recent Kettle River acquisition, which hosts 70 showings including 29 historic mines.

Golden Dawn also plans to begin dewatering its Lexington mine once spring weather allows.

Along with the mill, the former May Mac, Golden Crown and Lexington mines constitute the focal points of Golden Dawn’s Greenwood portfolio. Given the infrastructure in place, the company might decide to undertake trial mining and processing without the de-risking of a feasibility study.

In February Golden Dawn received a US$4-million advance on a gold purchase agreement.

Rockcliff Copper drills new VMS zone on its northern Manitoba Snow Lake portfolio

April 26th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 26, 2017

Rockcliff Copper drills new VMS zone on its northern Manitoba Snow Lake portfolio

A third hole from this year’s Phase II campaign hit a new volcanogenic massive sulphide zone on the Talbot property, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU announced April 26. The company holds a 51% option with Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM on the property, part of Rockcliff’s Snow Lake project in northern Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake camp.

Hole TB-020 follows two holes released earlier this month. TB-020 and TB-019 tested the approximately 400- by 1,000-metre North Lens deep conductive plate, finding VMS mineralization 250 metres apart. Conductivity increases for an additional 800 vertical metres below TB-020, while mineralization remains open in all directions, Rockcliff stated.

Results for the newly released hole show:

  • 0.81% copper, 0.67 g/t gold, 1.91% zinc and 17.03 g/t silver for 2.4% copper-equivalent over 6.65 metres, starting at 1,030.13 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.44% copper, 1.66 g/t gold, 5.16% zinc and 26.5 g/t silver for 5.38% copper-equivalent over 1.92 metres)

  • 0.57% copper, 0.07 g/t gold and 5.77 g/t silver for 0.64% copper-equivalent over 16.91 metres, starting at 1,120.26 metres

Most large VMS mines in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake mining camp are comprised of multiple stacked VMS-rich lenses that were identified initially as geophysical conductive plates and the Talbot property appears to have those same attributes.—Ken Lapierre,
president/CEO of Rockcliff Copper

True widths weren’t available.

“Most large VMS mines in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake mining camp are comprised of multiple stacked VMS-rich lenses that were identified initially as geophysical conductive plates and the Talbot property appears to have those same attributes,” said Rockcliff president/CEO Ken Lapierre. The company plans further drilling this year to test the plate’s potential.

A January 2016 resource gives the Talbot deposit an inferred total for three zones:

  • 2.17 million tonnes averaging 2.8% copper, 2.4 g/t gold, 2.2% zinc and 54.6 g/t silver for 133.6 million pounds copper, 165,400 ounces gold, 107.4 million pounds zinc and 3.81 million ounces silver

Rockcliff’s Snow Lake project consists of several properties, with drilling planned this year on the Bur zinc project, Rail copper-polymetallic deposit and Penex zinc property, as well as Talbot. Other recent company news includes the discovery of a large conductive plate below the down-dip continuation of the historic Pen zinc deposit that neighbours Penex, and last month’s start of airborne and ground geophysics on the Laguna gold property.

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

April 26th, 2017

Asia still dominates North America for battery supply chain security Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Why the big banks are terrified of Le Pen winning (but not BREXIT or Trump) GoldSeek
Four maps to help explain war in the Middle East and North Africa Equities.com
China’s new special economic zone evokes memories of Shenzhen Stockhouse
Fused magnesia prices increase in China Industrial Minerals
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Fission’s Ross McElroy discusses Patterson Lake South Streetwise Reports
Mining methods: Block caving Geology for Investors

Lithium-ion’s bigger picture

April 25th, 2017

Chris Berry looks beyond exploration and mining to the battery supply chain

by Greg Klein

He dates it to what he calls “lithium’s Big Bang,” the February 2014 announcement of Tesla’s first gigafactory. New investment rejuvenated the juniors, as they set out in search of new supply. But “it’s not just the metals and mining space that’s seen an influx of capital,” Chris Berry points out. As an independent consultant to asset managers, he’s spent a lot of time over the last 18 months “talking to what I call new types of money that are trying to understand the lithium-ion space.”

He brought his perspective to Vancouver on the April 21 stop of the Benchmark Mineral Intelligence World Tour.

Chris Berry looks beyond exploration and mining to the battery supply chain

Although lithium prices continue their ascent, the battery-powered revolution is “really rooted in economics,” explained the president of House Mountain Partners and editor of the Disruptive Discoveries Journal. “I don’t think this technology-driven deflation in battery prices can really be stopped…. Lithium-ion battery prices have fallen 60% in the last three years alone, just since the gigafactory announcement.”

With more battery megafactories coming (Benchmark currently tracks 15 existing or planned projects), he believes price deflation will “continue, perhaps intensify, for the next five to 10 years.”

That can only encourage further electric vehicle sales. And apart from the practical advantages of EVs, driving them is “a really transformative experience. There really is nothing like it,” he maintains.

There’s no questioning future demand for energy minerals, he insists. But there is a question of whether supply “will overshoot or undershoot.”

Even so he sees “a very robust supply chain response” that goes beyond Albemarle NYSE:ALB, FMC NYSE:FMC and SQM NYSE:SQM to include, for example, Intel’s $15-billion takeout of driverless car designer Mobileye, Chinese EV/energy storage manufacturer BYD’s plans to boost its battery production to megafactory stature and Beijing-based search engine giant Baidu’s cash injection into NextEV. “This entire lithium-ion supply chain is continuing to grow, continuing to see huge investment,” Berry emphasized.

“The beauty of it is there are a number of different ways you can gain exposure.” Fund managers and others with deep pockets might compare Albemarle with SQM, but Berry suggested also comparing the “risk/reward paradigm” of such companies with an outfit like Nano One Materials TSXV:NNO, a Vancouver-based company working to transform battery design.

Chris Berry looks beyond exploration and mining to the battery supply chain

Chris Berry: “This entire lithium-ion supply
chain is continuing to grow, continuing
to see huge investment.”

Of course the pace of new development raises questions about operating margins. “Does it make sense to focus on a company like Albemarle that has a 40% EBITDA profit margin?” he asked. “Or does it make sense to go further down the supply chain and think about a company like Panasonic, much different than Albemarle but still heavily invested and involved in the lithium supply chain? The challenge, I would argue, with Panasonic is that they are going to get a tremendous amount of competition from BYD, Tesla and a number of other battery manufacturers. So the profit margin of Panasonic, despite being one of the biggest players in the space, is going to shrink.”

Looking back at lithium exploration and development projects, Berry said different extraction technologies offer miners and would-be miners additional opportunities to leverage themselves to investors.

For all that, one of Berry’s concluding remarks must have taken many attendees by surprise. Benchmark managing director Simon Moores asked why attention so often focuses on lithium and not other battery materials.

Berry’s response? “I would actually be the most optimistic about nickel, cobalt and lithium in that order.” But noting China’s long-term strategy in building supply chains, he added, “The interesting thing about lithium relative to other niche metals is that China doesn’t have a stranglehold on it.”

Nevertheless, he cautioned, about 60% of battery capacity comes from China.

Read about Simon Moores discussing the rise of battery megafactories.

April 25th, 2017

Asia still dominates North America for battery supply chain security Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Why the big banks are terrified of Le Pen winning (but not BREXIT or Trump) GoldSeek
Four maps to help explain war in the Middle East and North Africa Equities.com
China’s new special economic zone evokes memories of Shenzhen Stockhouse
Fused magnesia prices increase in China Industrial Minerals
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Fission’s Ross McElroy discusses Patterson Lake South Streetwise Reports
Mining methods: Block caving Geology for Investors

Vote Mining brings industry awareness to B.C. election discourse

April 24th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 24, 2017

With a British Columbia election underway, the province’s Vote Mining campaign spotlights a key industry. A non-partisan program, its backers maintain, it’s a way to raise awareness of mineral exploration and extraction by three advocacy groups: the Mining Association of B.C., the Association for Mineral Exploration and the Mining Suppliers Association of B.C.

Jobs became an election focus as soon as the writ dropped. Hoping to avoid a 2013 replay, the NDP this time seems determined to match the incumbent BC Liberals’ attention to the issue. That would make mining and exploration all the more prominent when, according to the Mining Suppliers Association, over 30,000 direct and indirect B.C. jobs stem from the sector.

As MABC president/CEO Karina Briño pointed out, “Mining contributed $7.78 billion to the B.C. economy in 2015 and contributed $476 million in payments to government, supporting important social programs such as schools and hospitals.”

VoteMining.ca provides plenty of digestible info on mining’s contribution to B.C.’s economy and revenues, the wide range of jobs, skills and professions involved, the sector’s importance to First Nations and virtually every region of the province, as well as the province’s importance to global mining.

The website also offers a list of suggested questions to ask candidates and links to four party platforms. Infographics by Visual Capitalist provide, for example, a crash course in mining equity financing and some examples of our dependency on mined commodities.

“B.C.’s mineral exploration and mining industry remains a major driver for the provincial economy,” noted AME president/CEO Gavin C. Dirom. “As partners in the Vote Mining campaign, we wish to provide British Columbians with factual information that will showcase how important it is for candidates and voters to support such a critical industry that creates local opportunities for people living in every region of the province.”

Follow Vote Mining on Twitter: @VoteMining