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Posts tagged ‘Azimut Exploration Inc (AZM)’

Week in review

November 23rd, 2012

A mining and exploration retrospect for November 17 to 23, 2012

by Greg Klein

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Quebec’s new royalty regimen “in a matter of months”

The new Parti Quebecois government unveiled its first budget this week without changing the royalty or tax code for miners. But, the Globe and Mail reported Wednesday, that could change early next year. The PQ wants to extract another $388 million from the industry. “We started working on a new framework and this regime will come into force in a matter of months,” the G&M quoted Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau.

During last summer’s election campaign, Marceau’s party talked of imposing a 5% royalty on all minerals extracted, regardless of a company’s profit. The PQ also proposed a 30% tax on all mining profits above 8%, to rake in the $388 million over five years.

A mining and exploration retrospect

Jean-Marc Lulin, president/CEO of Azimut Exploration TSXV:AZM and outgoing president of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, told the G&M, “Our competitive advantage in the world lies in our legal, political and fiscal regime. You can’t toy with that without putting investments at risk.”

The government said it will consult with the industry prior to implementing changes.

The PQ also campaigned on revisions to the previous Liberal government’s Plan Nord infrastructure program. Last week’s news about how the government and Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY will divide costs to built a road to the company’s Renard project, however, shows no real change to the plan so far.

Nuclear defence

“More people die from coal pollution each day than have been killed by 50 years of nuclear power operations—and that’s just from lung disease. If you include future deaths from global warming due to burning fossil fuels, closing down nuclear power stations is sheer madness.”

So concluded Gwynne Dyer’s column in Wednesday’s Georgia Straight, a left-wing Vancouver weekly. Nuclear energy, he said, “is a kind of witchcraft” that scares people “at least in the developed countries. [The Greens’ anti-nuclear campaign] cannot be logically reconciled with their concern for the environment, given that abandoning nuclear will lead to a big rise in fossil fuel use, but they have never managed to make a clear distinction between the nuclear weapons they feared and the peaceful use of nuclear power…. Fortunately, their superstitious fears are largely absent in more sophisticated parts of the world. Only four new nuclear reactors are under construction in the European Union, and only one in the United States, but there are 61 being built elsewhere. Over two-thirds of them are being built in the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), where economies are growing fast and governments are increasingly concerned about both pollution and climate change.”

Read more about nuclear energy, and uranium supply and demand, here.

Yet coal continues its breathtaking expansion

Nearly 1,200 new coal plants worldwide are in the planning stages, MarketWatch reported on Wednesday. China and India account for about 76%. The global top five coal burners are China, U.S., India, Germany and Japan.

MarketWatch cited a report from the World Resources Institute that listed Japan, China and South Korea as the world’s biggest importers. “In Japan, as pressure mounts to phase out nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster, coal imports are likely to continue to grow.”

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Grade A

November 29th, 2011

Eastmain Advances Quebec Gold Projects

By Greg Klein

“What sets this project apart from many others is the grade of the open pit,” says Eastmain Resources TSX:ER President/CEO Donald Robinson of his flagship Clearwater Gold-Tellurium Project in the James Bay region of Quebec. “Right now, it’s 5.7 grams gold per tonne, which is three to five times higher than many of the projects out there. So our No. 1 goal is to make the resource bigger. We’ve been doing that over the last five months.”

Eastmain Advances Quebec Gold Projects

As of April, the open-pit resource estimate for Clearwater’s Eau Claire Deposit came to 2.73 million tonnes grading 5.72 g/t for 502,000 gold ounces measured and indicated and 1.4 million tonnes grading 2.83 g/t for 127,000 gold ounces inferred. Eau Claire’s underground resource came to 630,000 tonnes grading 6.46 g/t for 130,000 gold ounces measured and indicated and 3.92 million tonnes grading 7.21 g/t for 910,000 gold ounces inferred.

“It was clear that the greatest potential would come by expanding the near-surface, open-pittable resources,” Robinson reports. “We’ve outlined an area immediately to the west of the defined resource that’s at least 500 metres long. We’ve got about 60 drill holes into it so far. The best hole is just under 18 grams across 12 metres. There’s more than two dozen holes that have visible gold in quartz-tourmaline veins. The footprint of the pit looks like it’ll grow at least twice as big as it was.”

Assays released November 7 include

  • 5.82 g/t gold and 12.3 g/t tellurium over 16.5 metres
    (including 25.1 g/t gold and 54.2 g/t tellurium over 3.5 metres)
  • 15.5 g/t gold and 19.9 g/t tellurium over 3.5 metres
  • 3.38 g/t gold and 4.08 g/t tellurium over 13 metres
    (including 35.6 g/t gold and 51.9 g/t tellurium over 1 metre)
  • 19.2 g/t gold and 88.8 g/t tellurium over 2 metres
  • 2.24 g/t gold and 1.53 g/t tellurium over 12 metres

Robinson hopes to have an updated resource by June 2012, this time including tellurium. Exploration Manager Catherine Butella explains, “Tellurium has been a by-product of the copper-refining process, but now with the new leach methods, it’s no longer extracted that way. Right now tellurium is sold on base-metals spot prices, but it’s perceived to have a lot more worth. There are certain experts who think it’s going to be priced like a precious metal. It’s used in passive solar power, as a coating on windows, the coating on the back of DVDs and CDs, and it’s going to be used as the new phase change technology [used in rewritable DVDs and CDs]. It’s got a lot of uses, and there’s very little around. It’s one of the rarest metals out there.”

Robinson waxes optimistic about the possible production scenario. “At these kinds of grades, a mill at 2,000 tonnes a day will generate 100,000 ounces annual production. The capital cost of this project has advantages, not only because you don’t have to build a 60,000-tonne-a-day mill, but because we’re two kilometres from a road and five kilometres from the cheapest power in the world. It gets even more exciting—our largest stockholder is building the first mine in the district, 50 kilometres to the north.” Goldcorp TSX:G, which holds 8% of Eastmain, has slated its Éléonore Gold Mine for 2014 production.

Next in importance after Clearwater is the company’s self-titled Eastmain Gold-Silver-Copper Project, which has an historic, non-43-101 resource estimate of 800,000 tonnes grading 9.95 g/t gold for 255,750 gold ounces.

“We just completed 14,000 metres of drilling at Eastmain.” Robinson says. “The property comes with 100 square kilometres, and the mine trend is at least 10. There are underground workings and there’s a ramp into the property. There’s a mine camp that was built; it’s permitted; there’s an airstrip, fuel farm and—God love the Quebec government with their Plan Nord—they’re now converting the old winter road that services the property into a permanent road.”

The company also acts as project operator on Éléonore South, holding 36.8% in the JV with Goldcorp (36.8%) and Azimut Exploration TSXV:AZM (26.4%). The early-stage gold project lies adjacent to Goldcorp’s Éléonore development.

This year we’ve had the largest program in the history of the company, 46,000 metres of drilling and a $10-million budget. We’ll do it again, at least as big, in 2012 —Donald Robinson

Last August, Eastmain JV’d with Honey Badger Exploration TSXV:TUF, granting it an option to earn an initial 50% in the Radisson Gold Project. Eastmain holds 12 properties altogether, all in Quebec’s James Bay region, some of which are also available for options.

“This year we’ve had the largest program in the history of the company, Robinson says, “46,000 metres of drilling and a $10-million budget. We’ll do it again, at least as big, in 2012.”

At press time, Eastmain had 95 million shares trading at $1.26 for a market cap of $119.7 million. Analysts believe the share price will rise higher. Robinson explains, “Casimir Capital have a target of $2.25, Macquarie have just upped their target to $2.75, and Rodman & Renshaw out of New York have a target of $2.82.”

Robinson concludes, “We’re in the best mining district in the world; we have mine-ready infrastructure and two high-grade gold deposits. They look like they’re mineable using open pit methods, and Clearwater is going to be a mine. We’ve been endorsed by one of the largest gold miners in the world, and a number of research firms follow us. There’s a lot of third-party scrutiny on us, and so far they like what they’ve seen.”

Eastmain reports Quebec results of 49.9 g/t Gold, 0.67 g/t Tellurium over 2m

October 21st, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningEastmain Resources Inc TSX:ER announced assays from its Clearwater Project in northern Quebec. Results include

49.9 g/t gold and 0.67 g/t tellurium over 2 metres
(including 84.8 g/t gold and 1.08 g/t tellurium over 1 metre)
3.8 g/t gold and 4.8 g/t tellurium over 17 metres
(including 19.5 g/t gold and 23 g/t tellurium over 2.5 metres)
9.25 g/t gold and 10.7 g/t tellurium over 4.3 metres
(including 22.6 g/t gold and 25.9 g/t tellurium over 1.5 metres)
6.77 g/t gold and 0.57 g/t tellurium over 4 metres
(including 52.8 g/t gold and 0.01 g/t tellurium over 0.5 metres)

The project has an April 2011 resource estimate of 3.35 million tonnes grading 5.39 g/t for 582,000 ounces gold measured and indicated, and 5.32 million tonnes grading 5.96 g/t for 1.02 million ounces inferred.

Exploration Manager Catherine Butella tells ResourceClips.com, “We have good grades for both gold and tellurium. Tellurium has been a by-product of the copper-refining process but now with the new leach methods it’s no longer extracted that way. Right now tellurium is sold on base metals spot prices, but it’s perceived to have a lot more worth. There are certain experts who think it’s going to be priced like a precious metal. It’s used in passive solar power, as a coating on windows, the coating on the back of DVDs and CDs, it’s going to be used as the new phase change technology [used in rewritable DVDs and CDs]. It’s got a lot of uses, and there’s very little around. It’s one of the rarest metals out there.

I think it bodes well that we have a very good project with good resources and quality ounces close to surface—Catherine Butella

“The tellurium market is picking up. Right now the price is between $100 and $500 a kilogram, and in the last five years it’s gone there from $40. The last spot price I looked at was around the $400 mark. It’s certainly increasing in value, and I think as technology develops it’s going to become more and more valuable,” she says.

“We’re going to continue drilling and building this resource. We certainly think that the project has a lot of merit. We’ve made a lot of new discoveries this summer and plan on continuing to show that these can add resources to the project. What we’re seeing now is very near surface, so we think it’s amenable to open pit. It’s our plan to continue with the drilling and make this thing as big as we can.

“Going into production isn’t our priority at this point,” she adds. “I won’t say ‘never,’ but our game plan right now would be to sell it to a producing company. But that may change.

“We have excellent infrastructure. We’re five kilometres from power and about two kilometres from roads.

“Clearwater is our flagship. We are also working quite steadily on the Eastmain Mine Property, which has some historic resources. That would probably be the next project in line. Our Eleonore South Project is a joint venture we have with Goldcorp and Azimut, and we are the operator on that. We have a total of 12 projects in the James Bay district.

“We did a little bit of work on a property Radisson last year and the year before, and this year we have joint-ventured it to Honey Badger. We hope to be drilling our Reservoir Project this winter as well. We’re doing things a bit at a time on the others. Some of those properties are available for options. We certainly will continue to focus on our flagship.”

Despite tumbling share prices elsewhere, Eastmain’s stock has risen from $0.98 on September 29 to $1.25 today.

“We’ve had a lot of good news,” Butella says. “We’ve had continued good drilling results from Clearwater. We took a hammering prior to a lot of the other companies, so we’ve managed to hold our own since then. I think it bodes well that we have a very good project with good resources and quality ounces close to surface. We’ve got some good institutional support as well. Goldcorp is our largest shareholder.”

In conclusion she says, “We have certainly seen a lot of encouragement in the core that we’ve just sent to the lab. We have a lot of visible gold, and generally that means we will see some good assay results when they come back.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Donald J. Robinson
President/CEO
or Catherine Butella
Exploration Manager
519.940.4870

by Greg Klein