Wednesday 26th October 2016

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘b.c.’

Commerce Resources announces successful close of 2016 field season

October 20th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 20, 2016

A series of hydrogeological tests concluded the 2016 field season as Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram rare earths deposit moves towards pre-feasibility. Last month the company finished the year’s definition drilling and environmental data collection on the northeastern Quebec project.

“With the three main field objectives now completed, drill core processing and sample collection for analysis are the next steps,” the company stated.

Commerce Resources announces successful close of 2016 field season

Still to come are assays from the season’s
14-hole, 2,000-metre, near-surface drill campaign.

The hydrogeological data will help evaluate sub-surface water flow and slope stability of different pit shell configurations. The environmental program included surface water and groundwater samples for baseline data collection and related studies. Last June the Quebec government granted Commerce $300,000 towards studies to optimize tailings management.

The season’s drill program sunk 14 holes totalling about 2,000 metres on the deposit’s northern, western and southern margins. While assays are pending, “initial geologic review and portable XRF data indicates significant mineralization is present over appreciable widths in several holes,” Commerce added. The goal is to expand and upgrade the project’s 2012 high-grade, near-surface resource.

The company keeps busy on a number of fronts as the project advances. Metallurgical studies have simplified Ashram’s flowsheet and shown a potential byproduct in fluorspar. Ashram’s rare earth elements mostly appear in monazite and to a lesser extent bastnasite and xenotime, minerals that dominate commercial extraction processes. Ashram’s REE distribution shows enrichment in the critical and magnet feed elements neodymium, praseodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.

While rare earths remain the company’s focus, a sampling program on the same property but one kilometre from the deposit brought a “spectacular” result of 5.9% niobium pentoxide last month. Forty out of 64 samples graded above 0.5% Nb2O5, with 16 surpassing 1%. Significant tantalum, phosphate and rare earth oxide grades were also found.

In August the company closed a private placement of $551,040 and the second tranche of a short-form prospectus that totalled nearly $1.45 million.

Commerce also holds the Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southeastern British Columbia, which reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Copper North Mining drills porphyry copper-gold in northern B.C.

October 20th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 20, 2016

Having released a PEA for its Carmacks copper-gold-silver project in the Yukon the previous week, Copper North Mining TSXV:COL reported drill results from the northern British Columbia Thor project on October 20. After two previous holes on the 20,000-hectare property’s Thor West area came up dry, a Thor East hole did better:

Hole TH16-01

  • 0.14% copper and 0.045 g/t gold over 107.6 metres, starting at 11.65 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.23% copper and 0.069 g/t gold over 37.13 metres)
  • (which includes 0.28% copper and 0.087 g/t gold over 23.85 metres)

True widths were unavailable.

Copper North Mining drills porphyry copper-gold in northern BC

Samples from the property’s Thor East area
show oxide-weathered granodiorite.

Traces of copper continue beyond that intercept to the end of the hole at 169.16 metres, the company stated. “The transition from stronger mineralization and quartz-veining at the top of the hole to weaker copper mineralization and phyllic alteration at depth suggests that drill hole TH16-01 may flank a mineralized porphyry centre.”

Next steps would include ground surveys at Thor East and evaluating multiple geochemical targets and alteration zones, the company added. Field work has already identified multiple targets over a four-by-six-kilometre area southeast of TH16-01.

“The large area of porphyry alteration and gossan zones remain an attractive exploration target,” commented president/CEO Harlan Meade. “The Thor project provides Copper North with an opportunity to explore for porphyry copper-gold type mineralization in the slopes and valleys 20 kilometres to the south of the Kemess South mine and mill complex.”

The former mine now lies within AuRico Metals’ (TSX:AMI) Kemess Underground gold-copper-silver property.

Copper North holds a 100% option on Thor, which has a road and power line passing through the property.

The company closed private placements totalling $279,050 this month.

Read more about Copper North Mining.

Golden Dawn Minerals to expand southern B.C. portfolio of past-producers

October 18th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 18, 2016

Golden Dawn Minerals to expand southern B.C. portfolio of past-producers

Several former mines dot southern B.C.’s Greenwood camp.


Another 10,400 hectares with former mines would increase Golden Dawn Minerals’ (TSXV:GOM) presence in southern British Columbia’s historic Greenwood mining camp. Under a binding letter of intent announced October 18, the company would acquire Kettle River Resources, a subsidiary of New Nadina Explorations TSXV:NNA. Golden Dawn already has a portfolio of former mines within a 15-kilometre radius of its 200-tpd Greenwood mill, about 500 kilometres east of Vancouver.

The new acquisition would include the Tam O’Shanter project, the Sylvester K zone, some tailings sites, the former Phoenix mine and the Bluebell/Oro Denoro Eholt properties.

Golden Dawn has previously explored Tam O’Shanter along with a contiguous property, identifying an inferred resource for both.

Phoenix was mined between 1900 and 1978, producing over a million ounces of gold, 18 million ounces of silver and 575 million pounds of copper. Golden Dawn sees potential for new copper-gold finds.

Golden Dawn Minerals to expand southern B.C. portfolio of past-producers

Golden Dawn’s current portfolio includes the Greenwood mill.

The Sylvester K zone has a strike length of about 150 metres, with thickness up to 12 metres. Mining in 1989 extracted a reported 5,090 tonnes of material averaging 5.1 g/t gold.

Three tailings sites are associated with Phoenix. Metallurgical studies suggest re-grinding and cleaner flotation might offer potential for a copper-gold concentrate.

The Bluebell/Oro Denoro Eholt property has undergone exploration and mining since the 1890s, with a number of recent showings. Among the results, trenching at the Minnie Moore area in 2007 found silver grading 414 g/t over 8.5 metres, 1,044 g/t over 6.2 metres and 432 g/t over 5.8 metres. A drill core assay showed 77.3 g/t silver over 5.3 metres.

The properties come with a database representing 120 years of mining and exploration records.

Subject to a 90-day due diligence period and approvals, the package would cost Golden Dawn a non-refundable $80,000 on signing and another $15,000 by November 26. Those deposits would form part of a $1-million payment due on closing. New Nadina would also get $600,000 in Golden Dawn shares and a 1% NSR, half of which may be bought back. The companies expect to consummate by about January 31.

Late last month Golden Dawn issued a progress report on its work to reactivate the former May Mac, Lexington and Golden Crown mines, along with the nearby Greenwood mill. Trial mining could begin at Lexington in Q2 or Q3 next year, the company reported. Golden Crown, another gold-copper past-producer, could re-open in Q2 2018.

Golden Dawn has also been drilling May Mac and the Amigo past-producer about a kilometre south. The company expects to close a metals streaming deal this month.

Roderick Haig-Brown: A legendary figure in conservation and resource education

October 11th, 2016

by Stewart Muir | posted with permission of Resource Works | October 11, 2016

Forty years ago, British Columbians lost a towering figure of resource wisdom with the passing of this author and educator. Could his example be helpful to those caught up in today’s resource culture conflicts?

October 9 marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Roderick Haig-Brown, a legendary British Columbia angler and conservationist who was a prolific author and television personality in the mid-20th century. His name remains well known because, among other reasons, it is on a provincial park and his home in Campbell River is a museum. He was also a logger, an administrator, a university chancellor and a member of the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission.

Roderick Haig-Brown A legendary figure in conservation and resource education

Roderick Haig-Brown: 1908-1976

Here is what Haig-Brown said of his work in conservation:

I have been, all my life, what is known as a conservationist. It seems clear beyond possibility of argument that any given generation of men can have only a lease, not ownership, of the earth; and one essential term of the lease is that the earth be handed down on to the next generation with unimpaired potentialities. This is the conservationist’s concern.

Among a lifetime of legendary accomplishments, Haig-Brown’s 1961 book The Living Land: An Account of the Natural Resources of British Columbia might not stand out. Yet it is a remarkable work. In addition to documenting the natural wealth of the province, The Living Land also defined the conservation imperative in the context of meeting human needs through natural resources.

Haig-Brown was writing at a time when resource management as we know it today was being invented and British Columbia was on the cutting edge of developing responsible theory and practice.

Conservation is a dynamic, not a static, conception, he wrote:

It does not mean simply hanging onto things, like a miser to his gold. It means putting them to use, seeking a valuable return for them and at the same time ensuring future yields of at least equal value. It means having enough faith in the future to respect the future and the needs of future people; it means accepting moral and practical restraints that limit immediate self-interest; it means finding a measure of wisdom and understanding of natural things that few peoples have attained…

Haig-Brown had a reputation for tempering reason with passion. His approach was “infused with knowledge and tempered by responsibility, decency and fair play,” and this is the underpinning of The Living Land. Those with businesses, professions and trades in the resource sector are typically well aware of the need to take a responsible approach to their work, and they would be unlikely to find much to disagree with in Haig-Brown’s body of work. Issues like First Nations self-reliance and climate were, in their specifics, beyond the scope of his work and his times. The moral compass Haig-Brown possessed was a durable instrument that served him reliably on all the challenges he encountered. Those concerned with today’s resource issues can still find meaning in The Living Land.

Haig-Brown published The Living Land as a way to share his resource knowledge with the general public. Since Haig-Brown’s passing in 1976, conservation has been overshadowed by the very different influence of environmentalism.

Fear, distrust and a sustained attack on all of our democratic institutions are the primary tools of too much modern environmental activism. These tools are deployed with considerable success. Cynicism and subterfuge are routinely used to advance agendas that harm working people and do little if anything for the environment.

Haig-Brown would have rejected this strain of modern eco-activism just as passionately as he loved and conserved natural places.

Taking a conservationist’s approach is one way for resource people to engage constructively with the public. Haig-Brown pioneered an approach that we could do worse than learn from.

Resource Works is a non-profit society that encourages “respectful, fact-based dialogue on responsible resource development in British Columbia.” Executive director Stewart Muir is an award-winning author and journalist who contributed to The Sea Among Us: The Amazing Strait of Georgia. This book won the Vancouver Aquarium Coastal Ocean Award for Conservation and Research Communication, the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the American Fisheries Society’s Haig-Brown Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize and the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.

Golden Dawn Minerals updates program to revive historic B.C. camp

September 28th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 28, 2016

A September 28 progress report shows Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM advancing plans to re-open three former mines and a mill in southern British Columbia. The company’s Greenwood precious metals project consists of the May Mac, Lexington and Golden Crown past-producers, all within 15 kilometres of the project’s 200-tpd Greenwood mill. Golden Dawn closed the acquisition of Lexington, Golden Crown and the gravity-flotation plant earlier this month.

Golden Dawn Minerals updates program to revive historic B.C. camp

Golden Dawn hopes to begin trial mining
at the Lexington past-producer next year.

Work has begun on the mill’s transition from eight years of care and maintenance to active service, with plans calling for bulk samples from May Mac, a former silver-gold mine, to be processed early next year. Should all go to schedule, trial mining would begin at Lexington in Q2 or Q3 next year and Golden Crown would re-open in Q2 2018. Both were gold-copper operations.

The company has a permit application pending to de-water Lexington. Rehab has begun on three adits at May Mac, prior to underground drilling. Surface drilling will also test May Mac’s historic Skomac vein system. On completion of surface and underground exploration, May Mac bulk sampling would begin in Q1.

At the company’s Amigo past-producer about a kilometre south of May Mac, drilling has been underway since the beginning of September, with assays pending. Those two mines should undergo around 2,500 metres by year-end.

The company expects to close a gold streaming deal for the Lexington and Golden Crown mines in late October. Under terms announced in a July LOI, the agreement would bring Golden Dawn US$3 million on signing and another US$1 million on reaching a production target.

Two weeks ago the company closed a private placement first tranche of $696,324. Earlier this month Golden Dawn announced a convertible security would net the company $2.4 million to help finance the project acquisition.

The assets are located near the town of Greenwood, about 500 kilometres east of Vancouver.

B.C. coal mine comes back as province and new owner fast-track restart

September 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 26, 2016

More than two long years after shutting down and less than two short weeks after its acquisition closed, northeastern British Columbia’s Brule coal mine is moving from care and maintenance to production. The province’s Ministry of Energy and Mines confirmed the restart on September 23.

Along with Wolverine and Willow Creek, Brule’s one of three regional coal assets picked up by privately owned Conuma Coal Resources from Walter Energy Canada, a holding company for U.S.-based Walter Energy Inc. The latter entity shut down the Peace River-region projects in April 2014, throwing 695 people out of work. Walter Energy Inc was one of a number of coal giants that filed for bankruptcy the following year.

B.C. coal mine comes back as province, new owner fast-track restart

Conuma will act as a contract miner for Walter until permits can be transferred, according to the province. The re-start should eventually restore about 170 jobs. Plans call for the mine to be “fully staffed and operating at full production levels by December 2016,” the ministry stated. “The company estimates it will produce two million tons of metallurgical coal annually from the Brule mine.”

The open pit deposit has “proven to yield a very strong and highly sought-after metallurgical-quality coal,” added Conuma president Mark Bartkoski. “The co-operation between the previous owners, the local communities, numerous First Nations groups, the ministry and Conuma was unprecedented and will quickly result in blessing numerous families with employment opportunities.”

The company also proposes to bring Wolverine back to life. Timing depends on Conuma’s “ability to complete the necessary work to satisfy all its permit requirements,” the province stated.

A new company led by experienced coal miners, Conuma benefits from Walter’s debt and coal’s resurgence, co-owner Ken McCoy told the Tumbler Ridge News. “When Walter bought this property, they bought it right at the very top of the market. They paid over $3 billion for it, and as soon as they bought it, it started going down, down, down. If you look at the graph, we bought it right at what we think is the bottom. Now the market has turned up. In the last two months, the price of this coal has gone up significantly, which justifies us to come in and open these coal mines up.”

Conuma is a member of the ERP Group of Companies built around West Virginia-based ERP Compliant Fuels, which bundles reforestation carbon credits with coal sales “to produce a ‘compliance instrument’ effectively reducing carbon dioxide emissions.” But Conuma has no carbon offset plans for the time being, McCoy told the Tumbler Ridge News.

University of British Columbia research associate Murray Allan discusses the Yukon-Alaska Metallogeny project

September 23rd, 2016

…Read more

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon/NWT projects with B.C. LNG

September 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2016

Liquefied natural gas would be the fuel of choice to electrify two potential northern mines, according to a memorandum of understanding announced September 21. Casino Mining and Selwyn Chihong Mining said the proposed deal with Ferus Natural Gas Fuels would cut costs as well as CO2 emissions.

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon projects with B.C. LNG

LNG could overcome diesel dependency
in grid-less regions of the North.

Through its subsidiary, Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN has the Casino gold-copper-molybdenum project undergoing environmental assessment. Selwyn Chihong’s Selwyn zinc-lead project currently moves towards pre-feasibility.

The plan would have Ferus build an LNG plant at Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia’s Peace River oil and gas region. Ferus built and operates Canada’s first merchant LNG plant in northwestern Alberta. A related company, Eagle LNG Partners, has an LNG plant under construction in Florida. Ferus stated it provides LNG and compressed natural gas fuelling services including liquefaction, compression, storage and delivery to the oil and gas, mining, marine, rail and power generation sectors.

The plan “may also benefit neighbouring mines, industries and communities currently powered by diesel, by making the LNG more broadly available,” commented Ferus president/CEO Dick Brown.

“Neighbouring” might cover a lot of ground. Casino’s located in west-central Yukon. Selwyn straddles the Yukon/Northwest Territories border.

But for the time being the Coffee gold project, Yukon’s likeliest new mine and located only about 30 kilometres northwest of Casino, sticks to a diesel-fuelled plan. Low diesel costs ruled out “the additional $1.5-million capital expense associated with LNG storage and vaporization,” according to last January’s feasibility study. “If in the future diesel fuel costs increase, significant power generation cost savings may be realized by substituting LNG for diesel.”

Goldcorp TSX:G subsidiary Kaminak Gold hopes to begin Coffee construction in mid-2018.

Backers of the Fort Nelson proposal anticipate two phases of development to be commissioned in 2020 and 2022.

Commerce Resources samples high-grade niobium outside its Ashram rare earths deposit

September 13th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 13, 2016

A “spectacular” niobium assay has Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE enthused about an exploration target one kilometre from its Ashram rare earths deposit. A sampling program on the northern Quebec Eldor property strengthens the Miranna area’s niobium-tantalum-phosphate potential, with results up to 5.9% niobium pentoxide. But excited as the company is, work continues to focus on Ashram’s pre-feasibility studies.

“That’s the highest grade niobium sample I have ever seen on the planet,” says president Chris Grove. “I’ve never seen anything higher. This is spectacular.”

Commerce Resources samples 5.9% Nb2O5 outside its Ashram rare earths deposit

A serene-looking camp contrasts with activity
elsewhere on Commerce Resources’ Eldor property.

Of 64 samples, 40 assayed above 0.5% Nb2O5, with 16 surpassing 1%. The program also found significant grades of tantalum, phosphate and rare earth oxides. Two samples each graded above 1,000 ppm Ta2O5 and 1% Nb2O5, while several samples revealed more than 10% P2O5.

The samples also showed appreciable REE mineralization associated with the niobium, Commerce added.

The finding brings to mind the origin of Commerce, which was created around the Upper Fir project in southeastern British Columbia. The property’s Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.

Niobium’s price explosion in late 2006 sent Commerce looking for additional deposits, Grove says. That led the company to Eldor. But Ashram’s initial drill results switched the focus to rare earths.

And while Miranna now presents additional multi-commodity potential, work will continue to focus on Ashram’s pre-feas, Grove emphasizes.

The Miranna samples come from a glacial train of niobium-tantalum-phosphate mineralized boulders believed to be near their source. Some mineralized samples hold magnetite, suggesting a magnetic signature to the source. The company says a magnetic high immediately south, which appears to coincide with the train’s apex, could mark the bedrock source.

Previous mineralogical work indicates that Miranna’s niobium and tantalum mineralization is hosted by pyrochlore, the world’s dominant mineral source of niobium, Commerce stated. The pyrochlore’s coarse grains would also benefit recovery.

Meanwhile work continues at Ashram, where a near-surface program of 14 holes totalling 1,600 metres began last month. Metallurgical studies at a mini-pilot plant have simplified the project’s flowsheet. Busy on a number of fronts, a company priority remains producing samples to send to potential JV or offtake partners, who might then take part in the pre-feas.

“It would make sense to have a potential partner offer input on what our production scenario would be,” Grove points out. “We have a huge deposit and we can go bigger, go smaller or stay the same. So advice from a potential partner does make sense before we actually complete the pre-feas.”

Using a 1.25% cutoff, Ashram’s 2012 resource shows 1.59 million tonnes averaging 1.77% total rare earth oxides measured, 27.67 million tonnes averaging 1.9% indicated and 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% inferred. The near-surface deposit remains open to the north and south, and at depth.

Ashram hosts REEs largely in monazite and to a lesser extent bastnasite and xenotime, minerals that dominate commercial extraction. Ashram’s distribution shows enrichment in the critical and magnet feed elements neodymium, praseodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Drilling to begin at Copper North Mining’s Thor project in B.C.

September 9th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 9, 2016

In a program announced early last month, Copper North Mining TSXV:COL has a rig in place at its Thor project in northwestern British Columbia. The first hole will target Thor East Area 3, which hosts “numerous small veins with copper and gold, and extensive alteration zones,” the company stated.

Drilling to begin at Copper North Mining’s Thor project in B.C.

Copper-stained granodiorite crops up
on Copper North’s Thor project.

Another hole will test the Thor West Area, defined by an induced polarization anomaly covering two kilometres by 2.5 kilometres, flanking a road to the former Kemess mine. Another Thor West hole has been planned 1.5 kilometres away, on the anomaly’s northern section.

Further drilling depends on results for these initial holes.

The campaign’s goal is porphyry copper-gold mineralization near the past-producing Kemess South open pit and mill complex, now within AuRico Metals’ (TSX:AMI) Kemess Underground gold-copper-silver property.

“The drill holes are very widely separated and may confirm the interpreted widespread mineral zones,” Copper North added. The company holds a 100% option on the approximately 20,000-hectare property.

In the Yukon, meanwhile, the flagship Carmacks copper project advances through the final stages of a PEA study. The company plans to improve on a 2014 PEA by factoring in gold and silver recovery.

Read more about Copper North Mining.