Sunday 28th May 2017

Resource Clips


All posts by Greg Klein - Resource Clips

Alex Demas of the U.S. Geological Survey discusses recent USGS publications on critical minerals

May 26th, 2017

…Read more

May 26th, 2017

Metals and electric cars—A revolution in the making Geology for Investors
Two ways to beat the odds with mining investment Streetwise Reports
Lithium-ion batteries now sell for less than $140 per kWh Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
An unexpected change in gold’s seasonal trading pattern Stockhouse
U.S. State Department memo explains policy to drive gold out of financial system GoldSeek
Brazilian alumina trihydrate exports to U.S. rise almost 150% Industrial Minerals
Poverty is going extinct but the middle class is still in trouble Equities.com
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Saskatchewan Mining Association chairperson Jessica Theriault signals “growing leadership role of women in mining”

May 25th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 25, 2017

The director of environmental affairs for The Mosaic Company NYSE:MOS, Jessica Theriault has been elected to lead the Saskatchewan Mining Association board. A former SMA director and member of its environment committee, she has an environmental engineering degree and MBA from the University of Regina, along with 19 years of environmental experience in Saskatchewan potash mining.

Saskatchewan Mining Association chairperson Jessica Theriault signals “growing leadership role of women in mining”

Jessica Theriault

Theriault succeeds Neil McMillan, who serves as chairperson of Cameco Corp TSX:CCO.

“Given the importance of mining to the Saskatchewan and Canadian economies, and the strength of our industry’s reputation, my focus as chair will be to ensure that we continue to deliver, but also drive improvements across the sector,” said Theriault.

Elected as SMA vice-chairperson was Tammy Van Lambalgen, VP of corporate affairs and general counsel for AREVA Resources Canada.

Although the SMA already has a female president in Pamela Schwann, the association noted that Theriault will be the first woman to lead its board. Her election, along with that of Van Lambalgen, “represents a significant milestone in signalling the growing leadership role of women in mining,” the SMA stated. “It also shines a light on the diversity of rewarding careers for women in the mining sector in Saskatchewan, home to global mining and exploration companies and the top jurisdiction in the world for attracting mineral investment according to the annual Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies.”

The news follows last week’s appointment of Edie Thome as president/CEO of the British Columbia-based Association for Mineral Exploration, which already had a female chairperson in Diane Nicolson. But in 2002, when the position of AME president was voluntary and the executive director was the staff lead position, Shari Gardiner served as president.

That province lost a prominent female industry spokesperson in April, however, when Karina Briño stepped down as B.C. Mining Association president/CEO to take on a mining role in her native Chile.

Earlier this month Saskatchewan mining companies pledged $1 million to the International Minerals Innovation Institute to help encourage greater employment of women and natives in the industry.

Rockcliff Copper readies for gold exploration on three of its northern Manitoba projects

May 25th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 25, 2017

Now known chiefly for VMS deposits, Manitoba’s Snow Lake actually began as a gold mining camp. With active projects in both categories, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU outlined near-term plans for three gold properties on May 25: Dickstone North (DSN), Laguna and Snow Lake Gold (SLG). The summer exploration will precede autumn drilling at Laguna.

Field work on Rockcliff’s 100%-held DSN will focus on a fault zone where historic, non-43-101 gold results included grab samples up to 34 g/t and channel samples up to 104.5 g/t over 0.25 metres. Work will also examine a 12-kilometre strike length that was overlooked by previous operators, Rockcliff stated.

Rockcliff Copper readies for gold exploration on three of its northern Manitoba projects

With a 100% option on the former Laguna gold mine, the company plans to resume this year’s surface and airborne geophysics following spring breakup. Intermittent mining on a single vein between 1916 and 1939 produced over 60,000 ounces from tonnage averaging 18.7 g/t. Rockcliff has previously announced surface grab samples ranging from trace to over 600 g/t. The geophysics will be followed by Laguna’s first drill program in over 70 years.

Another 100% option, SLG will undergo geological work on a major regional structural break with several areas of high-grade gold potential, the company added.

The three programs comprise just part of Rockcliff’s busy 2017 agenda for its approximately 45,000-hectare Snow Lake portfolio. The package also includes two copper-polymetallic deposits with resource estimates and four zinc deposits with historic, non-43-101 estimates, all within trucking distance of two Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM plants.

“While we remain committed to advancing our core VMS properties we cannot underestimate the primary lode gold potential of our project which includes Manitoba’s first and highest-grade gold mine,” said Rockcliff president/CEO Ken Lapierre. Last month the company announced a new VMS zone on the 51%-optioned Talbot property, where Phase II drilling has been producing copper-gold-zinc-silver results.

In addition to Talbot and Laguna, the company has drilling planned this year for its Bur zinc property and Rail copper-gold-silver project.

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

May 25th, 2017

Metals and electric cars—A revolution in the making Geology for Investors
Two ways to beat the odds with mining investment Streetwise Reports
Lithium-ion batteries now sell for less than $140 per kWh Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
An unexpected change in gold’s seasonal trading pattern Stockhouse
U.S. State Department memo explains policy to drive gold out of financial system GoldSeek
Brazilian alumina trihydrate exports to U.S. rise almost 150% Industrial Minerals
Poverty is going extinct but the middle class is still in trouble Equities.com
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

‘Everyone’s hiring again’

May 24th, 2017

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting presages a wave of M&A

by Greg Klein

As an executive search firm, the Mining Recruitment Group might serve as a bellwether for the industry. Founder and self-described mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says, “I put together management teams for companies, I connect people with opportunities and opportunities with people.” In that role, he experienced the upturn well before many industry players did.

To most of them, the long-awaited resurgence arrived late last year. Pollard saw it several months earlier.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

“The market came back in a huge way, at least in the hiring side, early last year when my phone started ringing a hell of a lot more,” he explains. “There was a huge volume. And what I’ve found is that the available talent pool for executives shrank in a period of about six months. In January 2016, for example, I was working on a search and there was almost a lineup out the door of some really big-name people. What I’m finding now, a year and a half later, is that the available talent has almost evaporated. It’s much harder to recruit for senior positions.”

Lately his work suggests another industry development. “The major upturn I’m seeing in the market now is a huge demand for corporate development people who can do technical due diligence on projects. Over the last few years large mining companies and investment banks cut staff almost to the bone in that regard because no one was interested in doing deals or looking at acquisitions.”

Just completed, his most recent placement was for Sprott. “They had me looking for someone with a technical background who can do due diligence for their investments. In doing so I spoke with everyone on the street, from investment banks to some big name corporate development people and they all said the same thing: Everyone’s hiring again. These are people who couldn’t get job offers a year ago, now every single candidate on the short list for this last search has multiple offers from companies looking to get them. I haven’t seen that in five years.

“So that leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams. I see that as a major sign that you’re going to see M&A pick up in a huge, huge way, probably over the next three to six months.”

An early example would be last week’s Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD buyout of Integra Gold TSXV:ICG—“one of my best clients over the years”—in a deal valued at $590 million.

Mining headhunter Andrew Pollard says executive recruiting could presage a wave of M&A

Andrew Pollard: Executive recruiting “leads me to believe companies have been staffing up their corporate development teams.”

“I think there’s leverage for other companies to start pulling the trigger faster because they’re adding the expertise to get these things done.”

Having founded the Mining Recruitment Group over a decade ago at the age of 20, “a snotty kid” with only a single year of related experience, he’s placed people in companies with market caps ranging from $5 million to well over $200 million. Now in a position to pick and choose his assignments, Pollard’s business concentrates on “the roles that will have the most impact on a company’s future.” That tends to be CEO, president, COO and board appointments.

Last year he placed five CEOs, as well as other positions. Among those assignments, Pollard worked with Frank Giustra on a CEO search for Fiore Exploration TSXV:F and filled another vacancy for Treasury Metals TSX:TML as it advances Goliath toward production.

But the hiring surge coincides with an industry-wide recruitment challenge. Pollard attributes that to a demographic predicament complicated by mining’s notorious cyclicality.

During the 1990s, he points out, fewer people chose mining careers, resulting in a shortage of staffers who’d now be in their 40s and 50s. Greater numbers joined up during the more promising mid-2000s, only to “get spat out” when markets went south. Now Pollard gets a lot of calls to replace baby boomers who want to retire. Too many of those retirements are coming around the same time, he says, because stock losses during the downturn had forced executives to postpone their exit.

Now, with a wave of retirements coinciding with a demographic gap, Pollard sees a “perfect storm to identify the next batch of young leaders.”

But he also sees promise in a new generation. That inspired him to assemble Young Leaders, one of two panel discussions he’ll present at the International Metal Writers Conference in Vancouver on May 28 and 29.

“By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.”

By talking with some very successful executives age 35 and under, I want to show that we need to look at people one generation younger, and foster and develop this talent.

Well, it’s either talent or a precocious Midas touch that distinguishes these panel members. Maverix Metals TSXV:MMX CEO Dan O’Flaherty co-founded the royalty/streaming company just last year, already accumulating assets in 10 countries and a $200-million market cap.

As president/CEO of Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH, Jordan Trimble proved adept at fundraising and deal-making while building a 250,000-hectare uranium-thorium exploration portfolio in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Integra president/CEO Steve de Jong raised the company from a $10-million market cap in 2012 to last week’s $590-million takeout.

And, demographic gap notwithstanding, Pollard’s second panel features three other success stories, just a bit older but with lots of potential left after guiding three of last year’s biggest M&A deals. They’ll take part in the Vision to Exit discussion, which closes the conference on May 29.

Eira Thomas burst into prominence at the Lac de Gras diamond fields where she discovered Diavik at age 24. Her most recent major coup took place last year on the Klondike gold fields with Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) $520-million buyout of Kaminak Gold.

Featherstone Capital president/CEO Doug Forster founded and led Newmarket Gold, producing over 225,000 ounces a year from three Australian mines and enticing Kirkland Lake Gold’s (TSX:KL) billion-dollar offer.

Now chairperson of Liberty Gold TSX:LGD and a director of NexGen Energy TSX:NXE, Mark O’Dea co-founded and chaired True Gold Mining, acquired in April 2016 by Endeavour Mining TSX:EDV. Three other companies that O’Dea co-founded, led and sold were Fronteer Gold, picked up by Newmont Mining NYSE:NEM in 2011; Aurora Energy, sold to Paladin Energy TSX:PDN in 2011; and True North Nickel, in which Royal Nickel TSX:RNX bought a majority interest in 2014.

“We’ll be looking at how they go into deals, what their philosophy is, what’s their current reading of the market and what they’re going to do next. They each have a big future ahead of them.”

Pollard’s two panel discussions take place at the International Metal Writers Conference on May 28 and 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Pre-register for free or pay $20 at the door.

In all, the conference brings generations of talent, expertise and insight to an audience of industry insiders and investors alike.

Read more about the International Metal Writers Conference.

Equitorial Exploration expands Utah lithium claims

May 24th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 24, 2017

Pleased with geophysical results from its Tule Valley lithium project in Utah, Equitorial Exploration TSXV:EXX has increased its holdings to take in the entire Tule Valley Basin. A ground gravity survey shows “the Tule Valley fill has a depth of over 500 metres in the western portion of the property” and “the valley fill deepens further than 500 metres heading east from the current claim blocks,” Equitorial stated.

Equitorial Exploration expands Utah lithium claims

As a closed basin, Tule Valley might
host an extremely mineralized brine.

As a result the company staked another 1,092 hectares, expanding the property to about 2,792 hectares. Equitorial plans to drill the property this season.

The company also has discussions underway with other parties to assess methods of extracting metals from water.

Equitorial characterizes the Tule Valley as a closed basin in which surface water and groundwater flowing into the basin have no escape route. Surface evaporation leaves minerals dissolved in brines and evaporation pools. In that respect Tule Valley might be similar to Nevada’s Clayton Valley, the company added.

The road-accessible property sits about 190 kilometres from Salt Lake City.

Equitorial’s two other lithium projects include the Gerlach property in Nevada, which the company describes as an under-explored closed basin “in an area structurally comparable to that of Clayton Valley.” In the Northwest Territories, the company holds the Little Nahanni Pegmatite Group property, for which Equitorial filed a 43-101 technical report last March.

Pistol Bay Mining president Charles Desjardins begins a state-of-the-art re-examination of Ontario’s Confederation Lake

May 24th, 2017

…Read more

May 24th, 2017

Two ways to beat the odds with mining investment Streetwise Reports
Lithium-ion batteries now sell for less than $140 per kWh
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
An unexpected change in gold’s seasonal trading pattern Stockhouse
U.S. State Department memo explains policy to drive gold out of financial system GoldSeek
Brazilian alumina trihydrate exports to U.S. rise almost 150%
Industrial Minerals
Poverty is going extinct but the middle class is still in trouble Equities.com
Great deposits of the world—Mount Isa zinc-lead-silver, copper deposits Geology for Investors
John Kaiser talks cobalt, graphite, zinc, uranium, tungsten SmallCapPower
Lithium Q1 2017 review and risks—The train keeps a rollin’ The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Visual Capitalist: Electric vehicles are poised for their Model T moment

May 23rd, 2017

by Chris Matei | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | May 23, 2017

Electric vehicles are poised for their Model T moment

 

When automobiles first debuted in the United States, they faced a classic chicken-and-egg problem. On the one hand, autos were custom-made luxury items, affordable only to a niche market of affluent individuals. On the other hand, there was little incentive for most people to buy automobiles in the first place, as the system of roads in America was woefully underdeveloped.

Henry Ford managed to solve the chicken-and-egg problem with the Model T, the first product of its kind to reach the mass market. But today, there’s also another auto industry visionary facing a similar challenge in the 21st century: Elon Musk and his company, Tesla.

Similar tracks

Electric vehicles are poised for their Model T moment

 

Ford’s assembly line and uncomplicated design allowed for cheaper pricing, which helped Ford sales take off. With many new Model Ts hitting the road, the United States government was able to generate enough revenue from gasoline taxes to enable the sustainable development of roads.

More roads meant a renewed desire for more Model Ts to populate those roads, and so on. This was the start of a trend that sees 253 million cars on American roads a century later.

 

Electric vehicles are poised for their Model T moment

 

Cost and infrastructure: Duelling priorities

Fast-forward to today, and vehicle buyers have concerns not unlike those of early automobile adopters at the turn of the 20th century. Aside from the price of purchasing a new vehicle, most prospective buyers of electric vehicles cite charging availability and maximum travelling range as their biggest challenges.

 

Electric vehicles are poised for their Model T moment

 

Fortunately, EV prices are already falling due to advancements in the production of one of their key components: the lithium-ion battery packs that power them.

At one point, battery packs made up one-third of the cost for a new vehicle, but battery costs have dropped precipitously since 2010. That said, automakers like Tesla will need to continue to make progress here if they hope to match the growth and saturation of their forebears at the turn of the 20th century.

Charging ahead of demand

A study by the National Science Foundation’s INSPIRE project found that the current amount of money disbursed as tax credits to new electric vehicle buyers (currently up to $7,500 per vehicle) would have been sufficient to build 60,000 new charging points nationwide.

The growth of charging station infrastructure is already astonishing. New public outlets have been added at a 65.3% CAGR between 2011 and 2016, and further growth will open even more roads to long-distance EV travel and network effects.

According to the math of the study, new charge stations would have a bigger effect on the EV market than the tax credits, and could increase EV sales by five times the amount.

 

Electric vehicles are poised for their Model T moment

 

In short, charging stations will be to Tesla what roads were to Ford: the means by which they can reach lofty new heights of market dominance. Infrastructure development may be the “push” that electric vehicles need to get them over the early adoption barrier and into the mainstream. Combined with falling costs and improved efficiency, electric vehicles could create a Ford-like transformation within the automotive industry in a very short time.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.