Saturday 18th November 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘brazil’

Emerita Resources JVs on Spanish zinc project next to high-grade former mine

October 26th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 26, 2017

A successful public tender brings Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO an acquisition hosting extensions of an adjacent past-producer characterized as “among the richest zinc mines in the world.” Through a newly formed JV, the company gets a 50% stake in the Plaza Norte project in northern Spain’s Reocin Basin. The neighbouring Reocin mine produced about 62 million tonnes averaging 11% zinc and 1.4% lead up to 2003.

Emerita Resources JVs on Spanish zinc project next to high-grade former mine

The regional government of Cantabria tendered 13,800 hectares of claims that lapsed when Reocin shut down. “Based on a rigorous review of [historic] drilling data, we are confident that we have selected the claims with the highest potential,” said Emerita president/CEO Joaquin Merino. “We are also extremely pleased with the strong support received from the community and government to date.”

Emerita will act as project operator on behalf of JV partner the Aldesa Group, a specialized construction and infrastructure firm with international operations. The tender granted rights to Plaza Norte for three years with an option to renew.

Emerita has been studying historic data from the property since mid-2016, building a database of over 300 holes totalling approximately 73,000 metres. The Plaza Norte claims cover most of the drilling area, including those with high-grade intervals, the company stated. Some examples include 9.72% zinc over 18.96 metres and 7.05% over 8.2 metres. The core was placed under government storage.

The JV will submit exploration plans to the government within four months.

Cantabria infrastructure includes an industrial port and an excellent rail and road network, Emerita added. Glencore operates a zinc smelter about 180 kilometres by road from Plaza Norte.

Regarding its bid on another Spanish project, last month Emerita reported encouraging news about the Paymogo property in Andalusia. After a competing bid was selected, a court ruled the process invalid, ordering bids to be re-assessed. The company expressed confidence that its bid would prevail if the process “eliminates the illegal criteria and leaves the legal criteria as originally scored.”

Paymogo hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 1.1% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

In March the company announced progress on another disputed Andalusian tender, this one for the Aznalcollar zinc project.

Earlier this month the company announced conditional TSXV approval for its acquisition of the Salobro zinc project in Brazil. Salobro comes with an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc.

In June Emerita announced an option to acquire the Falcon Litio MG project, adjacent to Brazil’s only lithium mine.

Emerita also holds the Sierra Alta gold property in northwestern Spain.

Spanish court decision a positive step for Emerita Resources’ proposed zinc acquisition

September 29th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 29, 2017

A court ruling bodes well for Emerita Resources’ (TSXV:EMO) bid to acquire a Spanish zinc project with an historic deposit, the company says. In appealing a 2014 decision that awarded the Paymogo property to another bidder, Emerita argued that the process involved procedural errors and lacked impartiality. Now the Upper Court of Andalucia has declared the tender invalid and ordered that the bids be reassessed, the company reported on September 28. Emerita believes that if the reassessment “eliminates the illegal criteria and leaves the legal criteria as originally scored” the company’s bid will be accepted.

Emerita stated it didn’t know when the panel members would reconvene “or how they will approach the reassessment.”

Emerita has an exceptional technical team in Spain and a great depth of experience in delineating and developing these types of zinc deposits and is ready to advance the project quickly should it be awarded the tender.—David Gower,
chairperson of Emerita Resources

The ruling marks “a strong endorsement for the region as a place to conduct business to see that the rule of law is transparently and fairly administered,” said company chairperson David Gower. “Emerita has an exceptional technical team in Spain and a great depth of experience in delineating and developing these types of zinc deposits and is ready to advance the project quickly should it be awarded the tender.”

The company has also disputed Spain’s tender process for the Aznalcollar zinc project. In March Emerita stated that the Seventh Provincial Court of Seville rejected a request to dismiss a criminal case against a competing bidder, the Andalucian government panel responsible for awarding the project and Andalucia’s former director of mines.

Calling the decision a positive step in resolving the Aznalcollar dispute, Emerita CEO Joaquin Merino said the company “strongly believes that it is the only qualified bidder.”

Paymogo consists of two areas about seven kilometres apart that have seen extensive drilling, La Infanta and Romanera. The latter hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate dating to the 1990s that showed 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 1.1% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

Aznalcollar also has an historic, non-43-101 estimate, this one showing 71 million tonnes averaging 3.86% zinc, 2.18% lead, 0.34% copper and 60 g/t silver.

In July Emerita announced plans to acquire the Salobro zinc project in Brazil, with its historic, non-43-101 estimate of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc.

The company holds the Sierra Alta gold project in Spain.

Crucial commodities

September 8th, 2017

Price/supply concerns draw end-users to Commerce Resources’ rare earths-tantalum-niobium projects

by Greg Klein

“One of the things that really galls me is that the F-35 is flying around with over 900 pounds of Chinese REEs in it.”

That typifies some of the remarks Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE president Chris Grove hears from end-users of rare earths and rare metals. Steeply rising prices for magnet feed REEs and critical minerals like tantalum—not to mention concern about stable, geopolitically friendly sources—have brought even greater interest in the company’s two advanced projects, the Ashram rare earths deposit in northern Quebec and the Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southeastern British Columbia. Now Commerce has a list of potential customers and processors waiting for samples from both properties.

XXXX

F-35 fighter jets alongside the USS America:
Chinese rare earths in action.
(Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Of course with China supplying over 90% of the world’s REEs, governments and industries in many countries have cause for concern. Tantalum moves to market through sometimes disturbingly vague supply lines, with about 37% of last year’s production coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo and 32% from Rwanda, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. One company in Brazil, Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM), produces about 85% of the world’s niobium, another critical mineral.

As Ashram moves towards pre-feasibility, Commerce has a team busy getting a backlog of core to the assay lab. But tantalum and niobium, the original metals of interest for Commerce, have returned to the fore as well, with early-stage exploration on the Quebec property and metallurgical studies on the B.C. deposit.

The upcoming assays will come from 14 holes totalling 2,014 metres sunk last year, mostly definition drilling. Initial geological review and XRF data suggest significant intervals in several holes, including a large stepout to the southeast, Grove’s team reports.

“We’re always excited to see this project’s drilling results,” he says. “We know we’re in carbonatite basically all of the time and over the last five years, in all the 9,200 metres we’ve done since the last resource calculation, we’ve basically always hit more material than was modelled in the original resource—i.e. we’ve always found less waste rock at surface, we’ve always hit material in the condemnation holes and we’ve always had intersections of higher-grade material. So all those things look exciting for this program.”

Carbonatite comprises a key Ashram distinction. The deposit sits within carbonatite host rock and the minerals monazite, bastnasite and xenotime, which are well understood in commercial REE processing. That advantage distinguishes Ashram from REE hopefuls that foundered over mineralogical challenges. Along with resource size, mineralogy has Grove confident of Ashram’s potential as a low-cost producer competing with China.

As for size, a 2012 resource used a 1.25% cutoff to show:

  • measured: 1.59 million tonnes averaging 1.77% total rare earth oxides

  • indicated: 27.67 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO

  • inferred: 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO

A near-surface—sometimes at-surface—deposit, Ashram also features strong distribution of neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium, all critical elements and some especially costly. Neodymium and dysprosium prices have shot up 80% this year.

XXXX

Commerce Resources’ field crew poses at the Eldor property,
home to the Ashram deposit and Miranna prospect.

Comparing Ashram’s inferred gross tonnage of nearly 220 million tonnes with the measured and indicated total of less than 30 million tonnes, Grove sees considerable potential to bolster the M&I as well as increase the resource’s overall size and average grade.

This season’s field program includes prospecting in the Miranna area about a kilometre from the deposit. Miranna was the site of 2015 boulder sampling that brought “spectacular” niobium grades up to 5.9% Nb2O5, nearly twice the average grade of the world’s largest producer, CBMM’s Araxá mine, Grove says. Some tantalum standouts showed 1,220 ppm and 1,040 ppm Ta2O5. Significant results for phosphate and rare earth oxides were also apparent.

Should Miranna prove drill-worthy, the synergies with Ashram would be obvious.

That’s the early-stage aspect of Commerce’s tantalum-niobium work. In B.C. the company’s Blue River deposit reached PEA in 2011, with a resource update in 2013. Based on a tantalum price of $381 per kilo, the estimate showed:

  • indicated: 48.41 million tonnes averaging 197 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,610 ppm Nb2O5 for 9.56 million kilograms Ta2O5 and 77.81 kilograms Nb2O5

  • inferred: 5.4 million tonnes averaging 191 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,760 ppm Nb2O5 for 1 million kilograms Ta2O5 and 9.6 million kilograms Nb2O5

Actually that should be 1,300 kilograms less. That’s the size of a sample on its way to Estonia for evaluation by Alexander Krupin, an expert in processing high-grade tantalum and niobium concentrates. “As with Ashram, we’ve already found that standard processing works well for Blue River,” Grove points out. “However, if Krupin’s proprietary method proves even more efficient, why wouldn’t we look at it?”

We’re always excited to see this project’s drilling results. We know we’re in carbonatite basically all of the time and over the last five years, in all the 9,200 metres we’ve done since the last resource calculation, we’ve basically always hit more material than was modelled in the original resource.—Chris Grove,
president of Commerce Resources

Back to rare earths, Commerce signed an MOU with Ucore Rare Metals TSXV:UCU to assess Ashram material for a proprietary method of selective processing. Others planning to test proprietary techniques on Ashram include Texas Mineral Resources and K-Technologies, Rare Earth Salts, Innovation Metals Corp, the University of Tennessee and NanoScience Solutions at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

Should proprietary methods work, all the better, Grove states. But he emphasizes that standard metallurgical tests have already succeeded, making a cheaper process unnecessary for both Blue River and Ashram.

Potential customers show interest too. Concentrate sample requests have come from Solvay, Mitsubishi, Treibacher, BASF, DKK, Albemarle, Blue Line and others covered by non-disclosure agreements. Requests have also come for samples of fluorspar, a potential Ashram byproduct and another mineral subject to rising prices and Chinese supply dominance.

A solid expression of interest came from the province too, as Ressources Québec invested $1 million in a February private placement. The provincial government corporation describes itself as focusing “on projects that have good return prospects and foster Quebec’s economic development.”

Also fostering the mining-friendly jurisdiction’s economic development is Plan Nord, which has pledged $1.3 billion to infrastructure over five years. The provincial road to Renard helped make Stornoway Diamond’s (TSX:SWY) mine a reality. Other projects that would benefit from a road extension towards Ashram would be Lac Otelnuk, located 80 kilometres south. The Sprott Resource Holdings TSX:SRHI/WISCO JV holds Canada’s largest iron ore deposit. Some projects north of Ashram include the Kan gold-base metals project of Barrick Gold TSX:ABX and Osisko Mining TSX:OSK, as well as properties held by Midland Exploration TSXV:MD.

But, Grove says, it’s rising prices and security of supply that have processors and end-users metaphorically beating a path to his company’s door. And maybe nothing demonstrates the criticality of critical minerals better than a nearby superpower that relies on a geopolitical rival for commodities essential to national defence.

Emerita Resources targets high-grade Brazilian zinc project drilled by Vale

July 14th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 14, 2017

Historic high zinc grades amid regional infrastructure have Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO planning to take on a new acquisition in east-central Brazil. Backed by 40 holes totalling 13,885 metres of drilling, the 1,210-hectare Salobro zinc project in Minas Gerais state comes with an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc. One historic intercept graded 10.39% zinc and 2.13% lead over 13.92 metres.

Emerita Resources targets high-grade Brazilian zinc project drilled by Vale

Mineralization occurs in three lenses, all remaining open, the company stated. Emerita has already commissioned a 43-101 technical report.

The project’s mineralization “was delineated by the highly respected technical group of Vale [NYSE:VALE] and remains open for future expansion,” said Emerita chairperson David Gower. “The project is located in an area with excellent infrastructure and a supportive environment for responsible mine development. Emerita has an exceptional technical team in Brazil and is ready to advance the project quickly.”

Local infrastructure includes paved roads, rail, water, power and cell phone reception, the company added.

The deal would resolve a legal dispute over Salobro between Vale and IMS Engenharia Mineral. Under a definitive agreement with Emerita, Vale would withdraw its ownership claim against IMS in return for US$6.5 million over seven years from Emerita, which would also cover Vale’s legal costs of about US$245,000.

Emerita and IMS have signed a binding LOI to create a subsidy to be held 75% by Emerita and 25% by IMS. IMS would then transfer its Salobro rights to the new entity in return for one million Emerita shares. The subsidiary would hold Salobro until Emerita completes its schedule of payments to Vale. Emerita would have the right to acquire the 25% IMS stake for C$2 million and one million shares. Emerita and IMS expect to sign a definitive agreement within 90 days.

Emerita also announced the termination of a non-binding LOI to acquire the Masa Valverde zinc project in Spain. But the company remains committed to another Spanish project, Aznalcollar, which hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 71 million tonnes averaging 3.86% zinc, 2.18% lead, 0.34% copper and 60 ppm silver. The property is subject to a legal dispute in which Emerita alleges another company was wrongfully granted ownership. In an update last March, Emerita said a Seville court “has indicated that this result is highly irregular, inconsistent with the laws and regulations governing public tenders in Spain and further investigations need to be made to determine if there were any criminal acts committed in connection therewith.”

More critical than ever

April 13th, 2017

The USGS promotes awareness about essential resources and their supply chains

by Greg Klein

Let’s call it Critical Minerals Awareness Month. The U.S. Geological Survey hasn’t actually labelled April that way, but the agency does have a “big push” underway to inform American decision-makers and the general public about the country’s often tenuous hold on commodities vital to the economy and security of that country. Of course those concerns apply to its allies as well.

The USGS promotes public awareness about essential resources and their supply chains

“We decided to do a big push on critical minerals in April largely because we’ve got several big publications coming out on the subject,” USGS public affairs specialist Alex Demas tells ResourceClips.com.

“One of the things we’ve been focusing on is supply chain security, so with the sheer number of mineral commodities that are used in the United States, and the number of them deemed critical, we felt it was important to emphasize where a lot of those mineral resources are coming from and if there are any potential issues in the supply chain, getting them from the source to the United States.”

Computers provide an obvious example, increasing their use from “just 12 elements in the 1980s to as many as 60 by 2006,” points out one recent USGS news release. Smartphones offer another example. Looking back 30 years ago, “‘portable’ phones were the size of a shoebox and consisted of 25 to 30 elements,” states another USGS release. “Today they fit in your pocket or on your wrist and are made from about 75 different elements, almost three-quarters of the periodic table.”

Larry Meinert, USGS deputy associate director for energy and minerals, pointed out some of the sources. “For instance, the industrial sand used to make the quartz in smartphone screens may come from the United States or China, but the potassium added to enhance screen strength could come from Canada, Russia or Belarus. Australia, Chile and Argentina often produce the lithium used in battery cathodes, while the hard-to-come-by tantalum—used in smartphone circuitry—mostly comes from Congo, Rwanda and Brazil.”

That brings an ominous warning. “With minerals being sourced from all over the world, the possibility of supply disruption is more critical than ever.”

The campaign also reveals the agency’s methods for tracking this essential stuff. A USGS-designed early warning system described as “mathematically rigorous and elegant” helps the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency monitor a watch list of about 160 minerals. Not all have been labelled critical, but those so defined can change due to technological development and geopolitical conflict.

The USGS itself tracks something like 90 minerals important to the American economy or security but sourced from about 180 countries. For last year the agency identified 20 minerals on which the U.S. relied entirely on imports and 47 on which the country imported more than half its supply.

Not all the source countries are always best buddies with the West. China supplies most of America’s mined commodities, including 24 of the 47 minerals supplied 51% or more by imports. Among the critical items are rare earth elements, 100% imported, over 90% directly from China and much of the rest through supply chains originating there.

As a supplier, Canada came a distant second, the chief provider of 16 minerals, not all of them critical. Runners-up Mexico, Russia and South Africa were each chief suppliers for eight American mineral imports.

Among the research reports coming soon will be “a compendium of everything the USGS knows about 23 minerals critical to the United States,” Demas says. “It’s going to cover the industry side of things, the reserves, production, shipment, etc. It’s going to cover geology and sustainability. Each chapter on each mineral will have a section on how this can be mined sustainably so we can meet our needs not only today, but also in the future.”

In part the publications target “decision-makers in Congress, as well as the Defense Department and others who use mineral resources,” Demas adds. But he emphasizes the campaign wasn’t motivated by the proposed METALS Act (Materials Essential to American Leadership and Security). Currently before U.S. Congress, the bill calls on government to support domestic resources and supply chains of critical and strategic minerals. On introducing the bill, Rep. Duncan Hunter argued the risk of foreign dependence to national security “is too great and it urgently demands that we re-establish our depleted domestic industrial base.”

As Demas notes, “Since we are a non-regulatory, non-policy agency, we don’t directly influence policy. But we do want policy-makers to have our tools available so they can make the best science-informed decisions.”

And while this month will see special attention to critical minerals, Demas says the subject’s an ongoing concern for the USGS. Some of the reports coming out now will be updates of annual publications.

“We’re really trying to promote the idea that USGS has a lot of really useful information that we put out all the time,” he adds. “This information will hopefully be useful to people when they’re considering where their resources are coming from.”

Follow USGS news here.

Read about the West’s dependence on non-allied countries for critical minerals here and here.

USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

April 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 5, 2017

USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

Many and various are the sources of smartphone minerals.
(Map: U.S. Geological Survey)

 

In another article warning of foreign dependency, the U.S. Geological Survey uses smartphones as a cautionary example. Looking back 30 years ago, “‘portable’ phones were the size of a shoebox and consisted of 25 to 30 elements,” pointed out Larry Meinert of the USGS. “Today they fit in your pocket or on your wrist and are made from about 75 different elements, almost three-quarters of the periodic table.”

USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

Smartphones now require nearly 75% of the periodic
table of the elements. (Graphic: Jason Burton, USGS)

The increasing sophistication of portable communications results from a “symphony of electronics and chemistry” that includes, for example, “household names like silicon, which is used for circuit boards, or graphite used in batteries. Then there are lesser known substances like bastnasite, monazite and xenotime. These brownish minerals contain neodymium, one of the rare earth elements used in the magnets that allow smartphone speakers to play music and the vibration motor that notifies you of new, funny cat videos on social media,” the USGS stated.

Almost as varied are the sources. “For instance, the industrial sand used to make the quartz in smartphone screens may come from the United States or China, but the potassium added to enhance screen strength could come from Canada, Russia or Belarus. Australia, Chile and Argentina often produce the lithium used in battery cathodes, while the hard-to-come-by tantalum—used in smartphone circuitry—mostly comes from Congo, Rwanda and Brazil.”

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are also sources of conflict minerals.

“With minerals being sourced from all over the world, the possibility of supply disruption is more critical than ever,” Meinert emphasized.

The April 4 article follows a previous USGS report on an early warning system used by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency to monitor supply threats. In January the USGS released a list of 20 minerals for which the country relies entirely on imports. Whether or not by design, the recent awareness campaign coincides with a bill before U.S. Congress calling on government to support the development of domestic deposits and supply chains for critical minerals.

See an illustrated USGS report: A World of Minerals in Your Mobile Device.

Read about the West’s dependence on non-allied countries for critical minerals here and here.

Emerita Resources signs LOI for Spanish zinc project

March 20th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 20, 2017

Update: On July 14, 2017, Emerita Resources announced that the Masa Valverde LOI had been terminated.

 

Set to resume trading on March 22, Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO has due diligence planned for a VMS property in an infrastructure-rich region of southern Spain. The non-binding letter of intent concerns the 1,400-hectare Masa Valverde zinc project in Andalusia’s Iberian pyrite belt.

Emerita Resources signs LOI for Spanish zinc project

The property “hosts a classic, polymetallic, volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit that is locally enriched in gold and contains zinc-rich massive sulphide zones and a copper-rich zone as is characteristic for VMS deposits,” Emerita stated. “Drilling to date has outlined a sulphide body that is greater than 1,200 metres long and greater than 200 metres wide.” Mineralization remains open, the company added.

Subject to approvals and a 60-day due diligence period, the property would cost Emerita €4.5 million over two years plus a 2.5% NSR. The vendor also retains an offtake option.

Located in a region active in base metals mining, local infrastructure includes paved roads, rail, power, water and ports.

Following a March 10 halt, Emerita resumes trading on March 22.

The company also reiterated its commitment to another Andalusian project, the Aznalcollar zinc-lead-copper project. Emerita’s acquisition of the asset was confirmed in an October court ruling.

Additionally, the company holds the Sierra Alta gold project in northwestern Spain, Las Morras gold project in western Spain and the Falcon Litio MG lithium project in Brazil.

Equitas Resources highlights third Brazilian project with 92.19 g/t gold over 2 metres

November 29th, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 29, 2016

Another high-grade assay brings another project to prominence among Equitas Resources’ (TSXV:EQT) 12-property Brazilian holdings. Announced November 29, a channel sample on the Nova Canaa property revealed 92.19 grams per tonne gold over two metres. The news comes two weeks after the company released grab samples as high as 1,022.98 g/t gold at the Crepori project.

Equitas Resources highlights third Brazilian project

Garimpeiro production at the 9,694-hectare Nova Canaa property in the Juruena gold belt extracted an estimated 225,000 ounces from 1975 to 1992. The channel sample comes from approximately 20 metres’ depth in an adit at the Galopeira zone, where the Bodao vein has so far been traced for about 200 metres, averaging one to two metres in width. Previous drilling at Galopeira sunk 18 holes for 2,993 metres, with three intervals showing gold results of 7.2 g/t over 2 metres, 14.2 g/t over 2.9 metres and 17.2 g/t over 1.5 metres.

At the property’s Medeiro zone, 20 out of 95 grab samples previously collected within a one-kilometre radius assayed between 1.38 g/t and 69.5 g/t gold.

Plans for Nova Canaa include mapping and sampling, induced polarization and magnetics prior to drilling.

The announcement brings to light a third priority in Equitas’ 202,000-hectare Brazilian portfolio. Along with Crepori, the company holds the Cajueiro project, where an April resource update recalculated 2013 data for four zones of sulphides and saprolite oxides. Using a 0.25 g/t cutoff, the project’s sulphides total:

  • indicated: 8.64 million tonnes averaging 0.771 g/t for 214,100 ounces gold

  • inferred: 9.53 million tonnes averaging 0.664 g/t for 203,500 ounces

Using the same cutoff, four zones of oxides come to:

  • inferred: 1.37 million tonnes averaging 1.775 g/t for 78,400 ounces

Equitas intends to return the 39,053-hectare Cajueiro flagship to production, beginning with a 600-tonne-per-day carbon-in-leach plant, then building the operation incrementally. A resource update and PEA are planned by mid-2017, following last summer’s 37-hole, 1,756-metre program at the project’s Baldo zone, which showed 33 near-surface mineralized intercepts. Additionally, two infill holes at the Crente zone brought near-surface gold results of 1.12 g/t over 31 metres and 1.03 g/t over 29 metres.

The company foresees a 12- to 24-month timeline to production. A trial mining licence has been granted, while environmental permits are pending.

Earlier this month Equitas offered a private placement of up to $500,000.

Infographic: Countries of origin for raw materials

November 16th, 2016

Graphic by BullionVault | text by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | November 16, 2016

Every “thing” comes from somewhere.

Whether we are talking about an iPhone or a battery, even the most complex technological device is made up of raw materials that originate in a mine, farm, well or forest somewhere in the world.

This infographic from BullionVault shows the top three producing countries of various commodities such as oil, gold, coffee and iron.

Infographic Countries of origin for raw materials

 

The many and the few

The origins of the world’s most important raw materials are interesting to examine because the production of certain commodities is much more concentrated than others.

Oil, for example, is extracted by many countries throughout the world because it forms in fairly universal circumstances. Oil is also a giant market and a strategic resource, so some countries are even willing to produce it at a loss. The largest three crude oil-producing countries are the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia—but that only makes up 38% of the total market.

Contrast this with the market for some base metals such as iron or lead and the difference is clear. China consumes mind-boggling amounts of raw materials to feed its factories, so it tries to get them domestically. That’s why China alone produces 45% of the world’s iron and 52% of all lead. Nearby Australia also finds a way to take advantage of this: It is the second-largest producer for each of those commodities and ships much of its output to Chinese trading partners. A total of two-thirds of the world’s iron and lead comes from these two countries, making production extremely concentrated.

But even that pales in comparison with the market for platinum, which is so heavily concentrated that only a few countries are significant producers. South Africa extracts 71% of all platinum, while Russia and Zimbabwe combine for another 19% of global production. That means only one in every 10 ounces of platinum comes from a country other than those three sources.

Graphic by BullionVault | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Equitas Resources samples 1,022 g/t gold at undrilled Brazilian project

November 15th, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2016

A “spectacular” gold assay among other high-grade grab samples gives the Crepori project greater prominence in Equitas Resources’ (TSXV:EQT) 202,000-hectare Brazilian portfolio. Five out of 10 initial surface samples surpassed eight grams per tonne, reaching as high as 39.26 g/t and 1,022.98 g/t gold. The 8,323-hectare property in the prolific Tapajos Gold Belt remains to be drilled.

Equitas Resources samples 1,022 g/t gold at undrilled Brazilian project

Previous garimpeiro mining focused on two gold-bearing quartz vein systems, Picarreira and Boiadeiro, Equitas reported. Picarreira has been traced over 400 metres of strike on surface, averaging six metres in width. Soil and chip samples suggest the strike could increase significantly to the northeast, the company added. The 39.26 g/t sample came from Picarreira, while Boiadeiro revealed the 1,022.98 g/t sample.

“It is remarkable that Crepori has remained essentially untested particularly given the outstanding gold grades achieved and significant extent of the known mineralized vein system defined to date,” said VP of exploration Everett Makela.

The company now plans mapping and sampling, followed by induced polarization and magnetics prior to drilling.

Last month Equitas announced near-surface results for two infill holes on its Cajueiro project in central Brazil, with assays of 1.12 g/t gold over 31 metres and 1.03 g/t over 29 metres (not true widths). The results followed a successful 37-hole, 1,756-metre summer program that found 33 mineralized near-surface intervals.

An April resource update recalculated 2013 data for Cajueiro’s four zones of sulphides and saprolite oxides. Using a 0.25 g/t cutoff, the project’s sulphides total:

  • indicated: 8.64 million tonnes averaging 0.771 g/t for 214,100 ounces gold

  • inferred: 9.53 million tonnes averaging 0.664 g/t for 203,500 ounces

Using the same cutoff, four zones of oxides total:

  • inferred: 1.37 million tonnes averaging 1.775 g/t for 78,400 ounces

Also last month the company acquired two properties totalling 18,000 hectares in the Juruena Gold Belt, roughly 180 kilometres southeast of Cajueiro.