Monday 25th September 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘british columbia’

92 Resources adds three Quebec properties to its lithium portfolio

September 21st, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2017

While work continues on the flagship Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY expanded its holdings with three more lithium prospects. All located in Quebec’s James Bay region, the newcomers total 5,953 hectares, with each property showing pegmatite outcrop.

92 Resources adds three Quebec properties to its lithium portfolio

An outcrop on the Corvette acquisition shows coarse-
grained spodumene crystals with lengths up to a metre.

The 3,891-hectare Corvette property hosts an outcrop measuring about 150 metres by 30 metres showing abundant coarse-grained spodumene crystals up to one metre in length, the company stated. Other potential pegmatite outcrops along trend are priorities for follow-up work.

Sitting less than 12 kilometres from an all-weather highway, Corvette covers the eastern continuation of the Guyer greenstone belt, offering precious metals potential as well.

On the 1,109-hectare Eastmain property, 92 Resources interprets a large pegmatite outcrop to be along strike from ASX-listed Galaxy Resources’ James Bay deposit. An all-weather highway passes less than seven kilometres away.

The 953-hectare Lac du Beryl property features several pegmatite outcrops, “many of which display characteristic pathfinder minerals commonly associated with spodumene pegmatites,” the company added. Lac du Beryl sits 16 kilometres from a transmission line.

Three days earlier 92 Resources reported a 97% overall extraction rate on a spodumene-montebrasite concentrate produced from Hidden Lake material. The tests used industry-standard techniques, the company stated. Phase II tests are planned while a two-week channel sampling program wraps up.

In eastern British Columbia, the company also holds the Golden frac sand project, which underwent a 10-day field program this summer.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with 92 Resources CEO Adrian Lamoureux.

92 Resources advances NWT hardrock lithium metallurgy

September 18th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 18, 2017

92 Resources advances NWT hardrock lithium metallurgy

Follow-up tests using standard methods brought high-grade lithium results for 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories. After further work on a spodumene-montebrasite concentrate of 6.16% Li2O produced in July, the company now reports an overall extraction rate of 97%. The tests consisted of roasting followed by acid baking and water leaching, industry-standard extraction techniques for lithium, 92 Resources stated.

The next stage calls for magnetic separation, heavy liquid separation and additional flotation on material collected during the current field program. So far work has used analytical reject material, but whole rock material will be preferred for Phase II, the company added.

Earlier this month a crew returned to the property, about 40 kilometres by road from Yellowknife, for a program of channel sampling and prospecting for additional pegmatites.

The summer agenda also included field work at the company’s Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia. The property sits adjacent to Heemskirk Canada’s Moberly project, a former source of silica sand for the glass industry that’s now being redeveloped as a frac sand production and processing operation.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with 92 Resources CEO Adrian Lamoureux.

Drilling, sampling, optioning: Mountain Boy Minerals updates B.C. activities

September 13th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 13, 2017

Demonstrating that a diverse portfolio doesn’t necessarily mean idle properties, Mountain Boy Minerals TSXV:MTB updated several projects in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.

Drilling has just resumed at Silver Coin, held 20% by Mountain Boy and 80% by joint venture partner Jayden Resources TSXV:JDN. Acting as operator is Sprott Mining Inc on a campaign of about 6,000 metres mostly focusing on stepouts. The agenda also calls for regional exploration on the 1,470-hectare property.

Silver Coin hosts a 2013 43-101 resource that uses a 2 g/t gold cutoff to show a total for four zones:

  • indicated: 702,000 tonnes averaging 4.46 g/t gold, 17.89 g/t silver, 0.88% zinc, 0.33% lead and 0.07% copper

  • inferred: 967,000 tonnes averaging 4.39 g/t gold, 18.98 g/t silver, 0.64% zinc, 0.25% lead and 0.04% copper
Drilling, sampling, optioning: Mountain Boy Minerals updates B.C. activities

Mountain Boy awaits assays from Red Cliff,
where core from five holes has revealed visible gold.

Drilling continues at the Red Cliff property, where 25 holes have been completed so far with assays pending. In July Mountain Boy reported visible gold in the program’s first five holes. Red Cliff also has sampling underway at the Lower Montrose and Waterpump zones. The latter has drilling planned, once sampling assays arrive.

Mountain Boy has a 35% interest in Red Cliff, with JV partner Decade Resources TSXV:DEC holding the rest. The ownership gets more complicated, however, now that the two companies have teamed up on additional claims to the southeast. The acquisition gives the JV an earn-in total of up to 80% of the extension, with 28% to be held by Mountain Boy and 52% by Decade. The size of neither the original Red Cliff property nor the additional claims was reported. Mountain Boy and Decade share overlapping management and directors.

TSXV approval came through earlier this month for Mountain Boy’s 100% options on the Surprise Creek and BA properties, both formerly 50/50 JVs with Great Bear Resources TSXV:GBR. Over $12 million of exploration has gone into the nearby projects over the last 10 years, revealing zones of high-grade zinc, lead and silver, as well as zinc, copper and silver.

Prior to a drill program expected later this month, the 7,472-hectare Surprise Creek has sampling underway on a large barite zone and on areas of VMS mineralization revealed by historic sampling. In July the company announced successful production of a barite concentrate that surpassed American Petroleum Institute standards. The mineral is considered essential to oil and gas exploration.

Additional sampling has taken place on the 9,489-hectare BA VMS project, just north of a 2016 channel sample result that returned 3.84% zinc, 1.25% lead and 108 g/t silver over 15 metres. That included a sub-interval of 5.31% zinc, 1.97% lead and 132 g/t silver over 7.5 metres.

Mountain Boy also optioned 60% of West George, a 288-hectare copper property adjacent to the company’s George copper project that the company now holds 100%. The original George has non-43-101 copper-silver-gold estimates. West George has sampling underway.

Meanwhile assays are pending for recent sampling from MB Silver, a project with historic, non-43-101 polymetallic estimates. In southern B.C., Mountain Boy plans to begin PEA studies on its 100%-held Manuel Creek zeolite project.

The company expects to soon close a private placement of up to $1 million.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Mountain Boy Minerals chairperson René Bernard.

See an infographic about B.C.’s Golden Triangle.

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.

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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, 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.

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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.

92 Resources returns to the field at its NWT hardrock lithium project

September 6th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 6, 2017

Hoping to kick up more evidence of lithium, boots will hit the ground shortly as 92 Resources TSXV:NTY heads back to its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories. The company expects the two-week program to prepare the road-accessible project 40 kilometres from Yellowknife for Phase I drilling later this year.

92 Resources returns to the field at its NWT hardrock lithium project

Plans call for channel sampling on HL6 and HL8, two pegmatites discovered last year that yielded grab samples up to 1.86% Li2O. Prospecting between the HL6 and D12 pegmatites will try to determine whether these two features located about 1.4 kilometres apart could comprise a single body. Regional prospecting will search for additional pegmatites while further channel sampling on the HL1, HL3, HL4 and D12 pegmatites will support ongoing metallurgical tests.

Metallurgical results announced in July on a composite sample from Hidden Lake showed “amenability to simple and conventional spodumene mineral processing methods,” the company stated.

Funding for the field program comes partly from a $140,000 NWT Mining Incentive Program grant.

92 Resources also conducted a 10-day field program this summer on its Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia, adjacent to Heemskirk Canada’s Moberly project. A former source of silica sand for the glass industry, Moberly’s undergoing redevelopment as a frac sand production and processing operation.

Last month 92 Resources appointed former Yellowknife MLA David Ramsay to its board of advisers. As a territorial cabinet minister Ramsay’s responsibilities included Industry, Tourism and Investment (which included mining), Justice and Attorney General, Transportation, the NWT Business Development Corp and the Public Utilities Board.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with 92 Resources CEO Adrian Lamoureux.

Geologist Jody Dahrouge discusses the carbonatite-syenite complex found on Arctic Star Exploration’s Cap project in B.C.

September 1st, 2017

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Geophysics show potential kimberlite expansion on Margaret Lake Diamonds/Arctic Star Exploration’s Lac de Gras JV

August 29th, 2017

by Greg Klein | August 29, 2017

Borrowing techniques that proved successful at Kennady North, Margaret Lake Diamonds TSXV:DIA and Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD announced geophysical results that potentially expand their Diagras property’s known kimberlites. The partners hold 60% and 40% respectively of the joint venture in the Northwest Territories’ diamond-rich Lac de Gras region, where Margaret Lake acts as operator.

Geophysics show potential kimberlite expansion on Margaret Lake Diamonds/Arctic Star Exploration’s Lac de Gras JV

Last spring’s ground program of magnetics, gravity and electromagnetics targeted known kimberlites as well as “unresolved targets generated from public domain data,” the companies stated. Similar techniques have helped Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI further its understanding of the Kennady North property’s Kelvin and Faraday kimberlites.

Results dating to 2005 on Diagras’ Jack Pine kimberlite identified a north-south axis extending more than 500 metres, with about four to five hectares at surface. But recent work north of Jack Pine shows a possible new discovery that’s been named Sequoia. Although verification would call for more drilling, the new findings indicate an anomaly that doubles the geophysical footprint, potentially making this “the largest kimberlite complex in the Lac de Gras field,” according to the partners.

Geophysics around Diagras’ Black Spruce kimberlite show anomalous gravity lows up to about 200 metres south and east of a magnetic low and its corresponding diamondiferous drill results by a previous operator. Again, drilling will be necessary to confirm the presence of additional kimberlite.

The partners also reported other geophysical signatures that might indicate additional kimberlite in and around other known kimberlites on the 18,699-hectare property. Further geophysical evaluations are planned for next spring, along with a drill program.

In addition to its Diagras interest, Margaret Lake holds its namesake Margaret Lake project adjacent to Kennady North. In July, Arctic Star announced plans to acquire the Timantti project in Finland, where due diligence has confirmed the presence of micro-diamonds. Arctic Star also holds the CAP rare earths and rare metals prospect in east-central British Columbia. Early this month the company announced discovery of a carbonatite-syenite complex, an extremely rare occurrence potentially associated with “a plethora of commodities” and “the dominant source for niobium and rare earth elements,” the company stated.

Late last month Arctic Star offered a private placement up to $1.25 million.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Arctic Star president/CEO Patrick Power.

The B.C. Securities Commission warns investors about an entity calling itself the Vancouver Stock Exchange Corp

August 23rd, 2017

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Golden Dawn Minerals prepares for B.C. underground trial mining this year

August 22nd, 2017

by Greg Klein | August 22, 2017

With a dewatering permit now in place, Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM moves closer to trial mining at Lexington, one of its Greenwood holdings in southern British Columbia. A previous company operated the mine from April to December 2008, extracting 5,486 ounces of gold, 3,247 ounces of silver and 860,259 pounds of copper, all of which was processed about 17 kilometres northeast at the Greenwood mill, now a key Golden Dawn asset.

Golden Dawn Minerals prepares for B.C. underground trial mining this year

The Greenwood flotation plant and gold gravity circuit play a
key role in Golden Dawn’s plans to revive nearby former mines.

As dewatering takes place, the company plans to rehabilitate the mine’s two ramps and surface infrastructure. Further rehab, definition drilling, mapping and sampling would follow completion of dewatering. With new data in hand, the company intends to compile a test mine program for zones between the 1,210-metre and 1,175-metre elevations without the additional derisking of a feasibility study.

Production methods under consideration include longhole open stoping, jumbo mining and jackleg/slusher mining.

Crushing equipment and the mill, with a 200-tonne-per-day capacity expandable to 400 tpd, are slated for minor upgrades and refurbishing to prepare them for run-of-mine gold-copper feed expected from Lexington by about mid-November.

The company estimates costs between $3 million and $3.5 million to rehabilitate the mine, extract 5,000 tonnes of feed and refurbish the mill.

The 2,020-hectare property has a 2016 resource that uses a 3.5 g/t gold-equivalent cutoff to show:

  • measured: 58,000 tonnes averaging 6.98 g/t gold, 1.1% copper and 8.63 g/t gold-equivalent for 16,100 gold-equivalent ounces

  • indicated: 314,000 tonnes averaging 6.38 g/t gold, 1.04% copper and 7.94 g/t gold-equivalent for 80,200 gold-equivalent ounces

  • inferred: 12,000 tonnes averaging 4.42 g/t gold, 1.03% copper and 5.96 g/t gold-equivalent for 2,300 gold-equivalent ounces

Lexington comprises one of several former mines in Golden Dawn’s extensive Greenwood portfolio, all proximal to the company’s mill about 500 kilometres east of Vancouver. Golden Dawn’s other nearby past-producing priorities include Golden Crown, with a 2016 gold-copper resource, and the May Mac silver-gold-polymetallic project.

Read more about Golden Dawn Minerals.

Mountain Boy Minerals chairperson René Bernard points out the added potential of barite on a polymetallic B.C. project

August 17th, 2017

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