Thursday 24th May 2018

Resource Clips


All posts by Greg Klein - Resource Clips

May 24th, 2018

American Default: New book examines dollar devaluation and gold confiscation of 1933 GoldSeek
Soda ash: How the market never moved to oversupply Industrial Minerals
Cut-off grade: Introduction to an overlooked yet critical concept in mining and resource investing Geology for Investors
The U.S. dollar rally is doomed Streetwise Reports
The funniest jokes about economists Equities.com
Gold love trade looks promising in India and China Stockhouse
Panasonic reduces Tesla’s cobalt consumption by 60% in six years, but cobalt supply challenges remain Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Copper-cobalt producer Katanga plunges on DRC legal woes SmallCapPower
Volatility in lithium: A gift or a curse? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Infographic: The history of North American co-operation on aluminum and steel

May 23rd, 2018

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist

As the global rhetoric around trade heats up, aluminum and steel are two metals that have been unexpectedly thrust into the international spotlight.

Both metals are getting considerable attention as journalists and pundits analyze how tariffs may impact international markets and trade relations. But in that coverage so far, one thing that may have been missed is the interesting history and context of these metals, especially within the framework of trade in North America.

Aluminum and steel in North America

This infographic tells the story of an ongoing North American partnership in these goods, and how this co-operation even helped U.S. and Canadian efforts in World War II, as well as addressing other issues of national security.

 

The history of North American co-operation on aluminum and steel

 

Aluminum and steel are metals that are not only essential for industry to thrive, but they are also needed to build infrastructure and ensure national security.

Because of the importance of these metals, countries in North America have been co-operating for many decades to guarantee the best possible supply chains for both aluminum and steel.

The history: Aluminum and steel

Here are some of the major events that involve the two metals, from the perspective of North American trade and co-operation.

1899
The Pittsburgh Reduction Company, later the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), begins construction of a power plant and aluminum smelter in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec.

1901
The company produces the first aluminum ever on Canadian soil.

1902
This Canadian division is renamed the Northern Aluminum Company

New uses and WWI

1903
The Wright brothers use aluminum in their first plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1908
The first Model T rolls off the assembly line, and steel is a primary component.

1910
The U.S. and Canadian steel industries surround the Great Lakes region. At this point the U.S. produces more steel than any other country in the world.

1913
The U.S. passes the Underwood Tariff, a general reduction in tariff rates that affected Canadian exporters. Zero or near-zero tariffs were introduced for steel. (The Canadian Encylopedia)

1914
At this point, 80% of American-made cars had aluminum crank and gear cases.

World War I
The Great War breaks out. It’s the first ever “modern war” and metals become strategically important in a way like never before. For the first three years, the U.S. helps the Allies—including Canada, which is already at war—by providing supplies.

Steel was crucial for ships, railways, shells, submarines and airplanes. Meanwhile, aluminum was used in explosives, ammunition and machine guns. The Liberty V12 engine, which powered Allied planes, was one-third aluminum.

During this stretch, America produced three times as much steel as Germany and Austria. By the end of the war, military usage of aluminum is sucking up 90% of all North American production.

Inter-war period

1919
After the war, the interruption of European aluminum shipments to North America drives up Northern Aluminum sales to the United States. In 1919, U.S. aluminum imports from Northern Aluminum total 5,643 tons, while all European producers add up to 2,360 tons.

1925
After aluminum gains post-war acceptance from consumers, Alcoa uses this new momentum to strike a deal to build one of the world’s greatest aluminum complexes in Quebec on the Saguenay River.

These facilities become the base for Northern Aluminum, which changes its name to the Aluminum Company of Canada (Alcan). By 1927, the area includes a new company town (Arvida), a 27,000-ton smelter and a hydro power plant. This complex would eventually become the world’s largest aluminum production site for WWII.

1929
The Roaring Twenties saw consumer culture take off, with auto and appliance sales escalating. Steel and aluminum demand continues to soar.

World War II

1940
Canada and the U.S. establish the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, still in operation today. Near the same time, the Canadian-American defence industrial alliance, known as the Defence Production Sharing Program, is also established.

1941
Canada and the U.S. agree to co-ordinate production of war materials to reduce duplication, and to allow each country to specialize, with The Hyde Park Declaration of 1941.

The record proves that in peaceful commerce the combined efforts of our countries can produce outstanding results. Our trade with each other is far greater than that of any other two nations on earth.—Harry Truman,
33rd U.S. president, 1947

The principles of this declaration recognize North America as a single, integrated defence industrial base.

1942
Canada builds the Bagotville airbase to protect the aluminum complex and hydro plants of the Saguenay region, which were crucial in supplying American and Canadian forces. A Hawker Hurricane squadron is permanently stationed to protect the area.

1945
The Saguenay facilities were so prolific that Canada supplied 40% of the Allies’ total aluminum production.

Cold War and North American integration

1952
The U.S. focuses on Canadian resources after the President’s Materials Policy Commission warns of future shortages of various metals, which could make the U.S. dependent on insecure foreign sources during times of conflict.

1956
Canada and the U.S. sign the Defence Production Sharing Agreement, which aims to maintain a balance in trade for defence products. At this point, Canada relies on the U.S. for military technology—and the U.S. relies on Canada for important military inputs.

1959
The St. Lawrence Seaway opens, providing ocean-going vessels access to Canadian and U.S. ports on the Great Lakes. This facilitates the shipping of iron ore, steel and aluminum.

1965
The Canada-U.S. Auto Pact allows for the integration of the Canadian and U.S. auto industries in a shared North American market. This paves the way for iron ore, steel and aluminum trade.

1989
The U.S. and Canada sign a free trade agreement, which eventually gets rolled into NAFTA in 1994.

Modern aluminum and steel trade

2007
U.S. Steel buys the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco) for $1.9 billion.

Today
The U.S. and Canada are each other’s best international customer for a variety of goods—including steel and aluminum.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Emerita Resources releases first zinc-lead assays from its Salobro project in Brazil

May 23rd, 2018

by Greg Klein | May 23, 2018

The near-term goal is a 43-101 resource to replace an historic estimate as drilling continues at Emerita Resources’ (TSXV:EMO) Salobro zinc project in eastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Out of a planned 23-hole, 3,500-metre campaign, the crew has so far sunk 15 holes totalling 2,133.9 metres, with the first two assays released May 23.

Infill hole DDH-001 was collared within 24 metres of an exceptional historic Vale NYSE:VALE interval of 10.39% zinc and 2.13% lead over 13.92 metres. The new hole revealed:

  • 4.05% zinc and 1.24% lead for 5.29% zinc plus lead over 9.62 metres, starting at 257.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 9.74% zinc and 3.66% lead for 13.4% zinc plus lead over 2.72 metres)
Emerita Resources releases first zinc-lead assays from its Salobro project in Brazil

A high-grade historic zinc estimate from
Vale brought Emerita Resources to Brazil.

DDH-002 extended an historic mineralized zone approximately 30 metres up-dip, with an assay grading:

  • 5.15% zinc and 0.51% lead for 5.66% zinc plus lead over 3.32 metres, starting at 108.38 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Vale’s historic, non-43-101 estimate came to 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent using a 3.5% zinc-lead cutoff. Emerita hopes to increase those numbers in a 43-101 resource scheduled for July. The company filed a 43-101 technical report on the 1,210-hectare property in March.

The current program includes six large-diameter holes to collect 400 kilograms of material for metallurgical tests.

Emerita closed its 75% acquisition of Salobro in March, with the right to take on the remaining 25% from IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. The region’s infrastructure includes paved roads, cell phone reception, rail, power and water.

Emerita also partners in a 50/50 joint venture on Plaza Norte, a northern Spain zinc-lead project with considerable historic work and regional infrastructure that sits adjacent to the former Reocin mine that produced about 62 million tonnes averaging 11% zinc and 1.4% lead up to 2003. With drill permitting underway, Emerita could produce a maiden resource for Plaza Norte in early 2019.

Last December the company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $4.24 million.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Preparations move Belmont Resources toward Nevada lithium drilling

May 23rd, 2018

by Greg Klein | May 23, 2018

With approval now in from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA comes closer to activating a rig on its Kibby Basin lithium project. The next step calls for an application with the Nevada Division of Minerals to carry out exploration drilling, sample soils and groundwater, and install a water well to test flow rates for any aquifers that are encountered.

Preparations move Belmont Resources toward Nevada lithium drilling

This year’s magnetotelluric geophysical program helped identify
drill targets for Belmont Resources’ Kibby Basin lithium project.

“This is an important step in the progress of our assessment of the potential brines below the Kibby property,” stated president/CEO James Place. “The proposal submitted to the BLM was for work of a significant scope, including water well installation and monitoring, so the quick approval is a sign that the federal regulators are satisfied with the details of our plans.”

Located 65 kilometres north of Clayton Valley, the 2,760-hectare property underwent deep-sensing magnetotelluric geophysics earlier this year, finding a conductive zone that starts at about 500 metres in depth. The program followed last year’s initial drill campaign that sunk two holes totalling 624 metres. Core samples graded between 70 ppm and 200 ppm Li2O, with 13 of 25 samples surpassing 100 ppm.

Last week Belmont announced the appointment of Ian Graham to the company’s advisory board. A former principal geologist with De Beers’ South African division, he also spent 15 years with Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO where he took part in evaluation and pre-development projects including the Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories and the Resolution copper deposit in Arizona. He also oversaw permitting for the Eagle nickel mine in Michigan and played a key role in the initial economic assessment for the Bunder diamond project in India. More recently Graham served as CEO of United Energy Corp, which held a Nevada lithium project.

Belmont also holds the Mid-Corner/Johnson Croft property in New Brunswick, where historic, non-43-101 sampling has shown zinc, copper and cobalt potential. In Saskatchewan the company shares a 50/50 interest with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT in the Crackingstone and Orbit Lake uranium properties.

Last month Belmont closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $198,000.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Belmont CFO/director Gary Musil.

May 23rd, 2018

American Default: New book examines dollar devaluation and gold confiscation of 1933 GoldSeek
Soda ash: How the market never moved to oversupply Industrial Minerals
Cut-off grade: Introduction to an overlooked yet critical concept in mining and resource investing Geology for Investors
The U.S. dollar rally is doomed Streetwise Reports
The funniest jokes about economists Equities.com
Gold love trade looks promising in India and China Stockhouse
Panasonic reduces Tesla’s cobalt consumption by 60% in six years, but cobalt supply challenges remain Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Copper-cobalt producer Katanga plunges on DRC legal woes SmallCapPower
Volatility in lithium: A gift or a curse? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Commerce Resources sees additional opportunity in U.S. critical minerals strategy

May 22nd, 2018

by Greg Klein | May 22, 2018

Taking another step to enhance national security, the U.S. Department of the Interior has formally accepted a draft list of 35 minerals deemed critical to the American economy and defence. Resulting from a presidential order to reduce reliance on essential raw materials from potentially unreliable or unfriendly sources, the list received 453 public comments after being compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey. The agenda now moves to the strategy stage, with a final report expected by August on approaches to cut dependence. Topics will include:

Commerce Resources sees additional opportunity in U.S. critical minerals strategy

  • the status of recycling technologies

  • alternatives to critical minerals

  • options for accessing critical minerals from allies and partners

  • a plan to improve geological mapping in the U.S.

  • recommendations to streamline lease permitting and review processes

  • ways to increase discovery, production and domestic refining of critical minerals

The Americans’ heightened interest in sourcing these necessities from allies and partners brings to mind companies like Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE, which has two advanced-stage Canadian properties hosting four critical minerals. At the company’s northern Quebec Eldor property, Commerce undertakes pre-feasibility studies on the Ashram deposit, hosting a rare earths resource with fluorspar byproduct potential. In central British Columbia, the company holds the Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit. Those two metals are also the subject of early-stage exploration on Eldor, a few kilometres from Ashram.

“Ultimately, what’s obvious from this critical minerals list is the U.S. government’s interest in cutting the Chinese umbilical cord,” points out company president Chris Grove. “A commonality that we at Commerce keep hearing is anxiety from companies in all of the major markets outside China—Japan, Korea, Germany, Austria, the U.S., France—companies in all these countries are concerned about future supplies of these commodities and they don’t want to have to depend on them from China. Essentially, the theme of this critical commodities list is getting it from somewhere besides China.”

And although China looms large, it’s not the only source of dubious reliability.

“There’s a huge increase in risk once you step outside North America. With our locations, we definitely benefit from that negation of jurisdictional risk.”

Mineralogy reduces another category of risk. “Looking at the specifics of our projects, both Ashram and Blue River are processed very positively with standard techniques,” Grove adds. “We’re not re-creating the wheel here, we’re not re-splitting the atom. Well-understood metallurgical processes work on both of our projects.

“Meanwhile we have ongoing optimization work on Ashram and also on the flowsheet for Blue River and there will be more data released in a timely manner on these potential successes.”

The company has early-stage prospects too, emphasized by especially high-grade niobium, along with tantalum, on the Miranna claims. Located on the same Eldor property hosting Ashram, the project has a 43-101 technical report now nearing completion. Subject to exchange approval, Miranna would then come under a 75% earn-in by Saville Resources TSXV:SRE.

USGS data accentuates American reliance on foreign sources for Commerce’s four minerals. Data from 2013 to 2016 shows the U.S. imported 78% of its rare earths from China, with much of the other 22% originating in Chinese-produced concentrates. China produced only 8% of American fluorspar imports, but Mexico supplied 71%. U.S. imports of tantalum minerals came 40% from Brazil and 26% from Rwanda, while America’s tantalum metal originated 23% in China and 12% in Kazakhstan. An overwhelming 72% of niobium, a crucial component to military, infrastructure and other uses, came from Brazil—most of it from a single company.

Read more about Commerce Resources here and here.

May 22nd, 2018

American Default: New book examines dollar devaluation and gold confiscation of 1933 GoldSeek
Soda ash: How the market never moved to oversupply Industrial Minerals
Cut-off grade: Introduction to an overlooked yet critical concept in mining and resource investing Geology for Investors
The U.S. dollar rally is doomed Streetwise Reports
The funniest jokes about economists Equities.com
Gold love trade looks promising in India and China Stockhouse
Panasonic reduces Tesla’s cobalt consumption by 60% in six years, but cobalt supply challenges remain Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Copper-cobalt producer Katanga plunges on DRC legal woes SmallCapPower
Volatility in lithium: A gift or a curse? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence comments on Bolivia’s lithium prospects

May 18th, 2018

…Read more

May 18th, 2018

Soda ash: How the market never moved to oversupply Industrial Minerals
Cut-off grade: Introduction to an overlooked yet critical concept in mining and resource investing Geology for Investors
The U.S. dollar rally is doomed Streetwise Reports
The funniest jokes about economists Equities.com
Gold love trade looks promising in India and China Stockhouse
New loan sharks entering the credit card business GoldSeek
Panasonic reduces Tesla’s cobalt consumption by 60% in six years, but cobalt supply challenges remain Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Copper-cobalt producer Katanga plunges on DRC legal woes SmallCapPower
Volatility in lithium: A gift or a curse? The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Caught on camera: The International Mining Investment Conference 2018

May 17th, 2018

by Greg Klein | May 17, 2018

Caught on camera International Mining Investment Conference 2018

Investors gathered as resource companies delivered presentations at IMIC 2018.

 

It was a near-record turnout, declared Andrew Pollard. But he quickly admitted that the numbers came from the same guy who inflated attendance figures for Donald Trump’s inauguration. Whether caused by gold’s sudden swing south of $1,300, Vancouver’s first hot summer weather of the year or an experiment in mid-week scheduling, the May 15 to 16 International Mining Investment Conference drew a surprisingly less-than-capacity crowd. Yet enthusiasm remained for a strong agenda with over 30 speakers, including some new faces. Among other topics, the wide-ranging content brought a reinforced emphasis on energy minerals. Exhibits featured over 70 resource companies.

Here’s a quick look at some of the happenings. Videos of all talks and panel discussions will appear on the Cambridge House International website in about 10 days.

 

Caught on camera International Mining Investment Conference 2018

Gianni Kovacevic, Simon Moores and
Chris Parry discussed the future of energy.

 

Caught on camera International Mining Investment Conference 2018

Jayant Bhandari offered practical tips
as well as controversial perspectives.

 

Caught on camera International Mining Investment Conference 2018

Some events drew SRO audiences.

 

Caught on camera International Mining Investment Conference 2018

Mike Hodge, Jared Rushton, Scott Rose and Dave Hodge
of the Zimtu Capital team brought levity to market discussion.

 

Simon Moores met with audience members after hosting
the Vancouver stop of the Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
World Tour 2018.

 

SmallCapPower interviewed David Morgan.

 

The word on the street came to the convention centre floor.

 

Andrew Pollard brought an entertaining style
to his panel of precocious mining titans
Brian Paes-Braga and Steve de Jong.

 

Caught on camera International Mining Investment Conference 2018

Kitco News’ Daniela Cambone interviewed Brent Cook, Ivan Bebek and E.B. Tucker.

 

Cambridge House now has planning underway for the Extraordinary Future conference in Vancouver from September 19 to 20, followed by the Silver and Gold Summit 2018 in San Francisco from October 28 to 29.