Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘british columbia’

B.C. Securities Commission under fire as half a billion in penalties remains unenforced

November 21st, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 21, 2017

Although some small cap companies seem to consider regulators the bane of their existence, big-time scammers might take a more benign view. A Postmedia investigation has revealed that the British Columbia Securities Commission—with 234 staffers and a $46.6-million budget—has collected less than 2% of $510 million in fines and payback orders issued over the last decade. The collection rate manages to fall even farther, to less than 0.1%, for 29 such orders of $1 million or more that total $458 million.

B.C. Securities Commission under fire as half a billion in penalties remains unenforced

Although the BCSC responds that the con artists may have hidden their assets or disappeared, journalist Gordon Hoekstra reports, “Postmedia tracked down $31 million in potential assets linked to the fraudsters,” including homes in affluent B.C. suburbs, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

Among available enforcement strategies, the BCSC “can file any of its decisions in B.C. Supreme Court, a simple administrative exercise, which automatically makes the penalties an order of the court,” Hoekstra points out. “If a property has been transferred to someone else, for example, a spouse, to escape a penalty, that may also be considered fraud.”

Regulators in other provinces do somewhat better, according to the study. Securities commissions in Ontario and Alberta achieved 18% collection rates over the last decade, while Quebec reached about 20% over the past four years. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hit nearly 60% during the past five years.

The exposé seems to have taken both of B.C.’s main political parties by surprise. In a written statement NDP Finance Minister Carole James noted the commission operates at arms-length from the government. “We would encourage any proposals from the BCSC on any new mechanisms they may need to collect the fines,” she stated.

“No details were released by James, who ministry officials said was unavailable for an interview, on how the provincial government would follow up or monitor any proposals,” Hoekstra added.

As for the opposition party that had been government during most of the 10-year period, the BC Liberals “said in an e-mail that ‘unfortunately’ no MLAs were available for comment. The Liberals have 41 sitting MLAs, including two finance critics, Shirley Bond and Tracy Redies.”

B.C. government minister Doug Donaldson comments on initial efforts to save the historic Morden Mine structures

November 7th, 2017

…Read more

Gold-copper grades complement Golden Dawn Minerals’ revival of B.C. past-producers

October 31st, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 31, 2017

As drilling continues, Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM released assays from Golden Crown, one of the projects included in the company’s plan to revive southern British Columbia’s historic Greenwood mining camp.

Gold-copper grades complement Golden Dawn Minerals’ revival of B.C. past-producers

So far the current Golden Crown program has sunk 1,488 metres in 21 surface holes. Results show significant gold and copper in massive sulphide zones or veins and adjacent wall rock, with mineralization in the host rock diorite and serpentinite, Golden Dawn stated. “This style of mineralization was not previously recognized and was not systematically tested in the historic drill holes,” the company added.

Some highlights from the project’s King and Winnipeg zones show:

Hole GC17-02:

  • 3.53 g/t gold and 0.11% copper over 12.3 metres, starting at 9.24 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 7.66 g/t gold and 0.13% copper over 4.6 metres)

GC17-05

  • 5.14 g/t gold and 1.18% copper over 7 metres, starting at 14.65 metres
  • (including 12.27 g/t gold and 1.96% copper over 2.7 metres)

  • 12.6 g/t gold, 2.9 g/t silver and 0.26% copper over 0.56 metres, starting at 79.96 metres

GC17-08

  • 7.55 g/t gold 2.4 g/t silver and 0.23% copper over 0.7 metres, starting at 80.52 metres

True widths weren’t available.

Golden Dawn stated the initial results remain consistent with previously reported assays for the project. At a 3.5 g/t gold-equivalent cutoff, Golden Crown’s 2016 resource shows:

  • indicated: 163,000 tonnes averaging 11.09 g/t gold, 0.56% copper and 11.93 g/t gold-equivalent for 62,500 gold-equivalent ounces

  • inferred: 42,000 tonnes averaging 9.04 g/t gold, 0.43% copper and 9.68 g/t gold-equivalent for 13,100 gold-equivalent ounces

Plans call for infill drilling to upgrade the inferred category and for rehab of the historic underground workings prior to bulk sampling and trial mining expected for next year. Released in June, Greenwood’s PEA also recommended further mine planning, along with metallurgical, geotechnical and environmental studies for Golden Crown.

Meanwhile de-watering continues at the former Lexington mine, another focal point in Golden Dawn’s Greenwood portfolio. The company plans to begin wet commissioning of its Greenwood plant once trial mining begins. The Greenwood projects all sit within an approximately 15-kilometre radius of the company’s processing facility, with a 212-tpd capacity expandable to 400 tpd.

Two weeks ago Golden Dawn released high gold grades, along with silver and base metals results, from sampling on some more recently acquired properties in its regional portfolio.

The June PEA focused on the Golden Crown, Lexington and Mae Mac past-producers, along with the plant. With existing infrastructure, Golden Dawn hopes to put the projects back into production without de-risking at the feasibility level.

In September the company closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $2.3 million.

Read more about Golden Dawn Minerals.

Update: Mountain Boy Minerals hits visible gold, high-grade assays up to 14.93 g/t over 8.38 metres in NW B.C.

October 31st, 2017

Update: On October 31, Mountain Boy Minerals announced visible gold had been intersected on Red Cliff’s Waterpump zone, described as a faulted extension of the Montrose zone. Four holes had been completed so far at Waterpump, with at least four to six more to come. The company expects to release more Montrose assays soon.

by Greg Klein | October 26, 2017

With one of three drill campaigns vying for attention this season, Mountain Boy Minerals TSXV:MTB moves the Red Cliff project in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle closer to a maiden resource. The latest assays “continue to indicate a large and extensive mineralized zone that has a length of at least 600 metres, a depth of 600 metres and widths up to 40 metres,” said president Ed Kruchkowski. Highlights included 14.93 g/t gold over 8.38 metres and 9.5 g/t over 10.98 metres.

Mountain Boy holds a 35% interest in the project through a JV that has recently acquired additional claims.

Assays for the project’s Red Cliff and Montrose zones, about 1.2 kilometres apart, were released late last month. The current batch comes from Montrose:

Hole DDH-MON-14

  • 4.95 g/t gold over 3.96 metres, starting at 81.71 metres in downhole depth
Mountain Boy Minerals hits more NW B.C. high grades with 14.93 g/t gold over 8.38 metres

A rig tests the Red Cliff project’s Montrose zone.

DDH-MON-15

  • 3.8 g/t over 2.74 metres, starting at 14.63 metres

  • 3.31 g/t over 2.13 metres, starting at 21.65 metres

  • 6.12 g/t over 2.13 metres, starting at 29.7 metres

DDH-MON-16

  • 6.63 g/t over 9.14 metres, starting at 5.79 metres

DDH-MON-17

  • 6.21 g/t over 9.15 metres, starting at 17.38 metres

  • 7.01 g/t over 2.59 metres, starting at 28.81 metres

DDH-MON-18

  • 4.95 g/t over 7.93 metres, starting at 35.98 metres

  • 14.93 g/t over 8.38 metres, starting at 49.7 metres

DDH-MON-26

  • 4.93 g/t over 3.05 metres, starting at 258.54 metres

DDH-MON-27

  • 9.5 g/t over 10.98 metres, starting at 290.15 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Still to come are assays for 20 other holes. The program drilled five holes on the Red Cliff zone and 35 on Montrose, with a highlight from the latter zone showing 19.9 g/t gold over 4.12 metres. The company now has a crew building a road to move the rig to the Waterpump zone for another eight to 10 holes.

Earlier this week Mountain Boy announced metallurgical results on two composite core samples from a single Red Cliff hole produced recoveries of 94.8% and 97.6% gold, additionally showing potential for lead and copper byproducts.

Also this week Mountain Boy and 65% JV partner Decade Resources TSXV:DEC stated they would buy the Red Cliff vendor’s 1% NSR on a pro rata basis. Mountain Boy’s share will cost $3,500 and 171,428 shares.

Two weeks ago the company released assays from its 20%-held Silver Coin, another Golden Triangle project that had completed 10 holes totalling 1,616 metres out of a 2,000-metre program. Results came in as high as 22.95 g/t gold and 13.1 g/t silver over 2.5 metres; along with 31.02 g/t gold and 28.5 g/t silver over 1.5 metres.

Assays are also pending from the season’s third drill campaign, which consisted of two holes sunk on a barite-sulphide area of Mountain Boy’s 100%-held Surprise Creek project.

The company closed a $586,400 private placement last month.

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

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

Paved with mineralization

October 27th, 2017

Norman B. Keevil’s memoir retraces Teck’s—and his own—rocky road to success

by Greg Klein

Norman B. Keevil’s memoir retraces Teck’s—and his own—rocky road to success

Profitable right from the beginning, Teck’s Elkview mine “would become
the key chip in the consolidation of the Canadian steelmaking coal industry.”
(Photo: Teck Resources)

 

“We were all young and relatively inexperienced in such matters in those days.”

He was referring to copper futures, a peril then unfamiliar to him. But the remark’s a bit rich for someone who was, at the time he’s writing about, 43 years old and president/CEO of a company that opened four mines in the previous six years. Still, the comment helps relate how Norman B. Keevil enjoyed the opportune experience of maturing professionally along with a company that grew into Canada’s largest diversified miner. Now chairperson of Teck Resources, he’s penned a memoir/corporate history/fly-on-the-wall account that’s a valuable contribution to Canadian business history, not to mention the country’s rich mining lore.

Norman B. Keevil’s memoir retraces Teck’s—and his own—road to success

Norman B. Keevil
(Photo: Teck Resources)

Never Rest on Your Ores: Building a Mining Company, One Stone at a Time follows the progress of a group of people determined to avoid getting mined out or taken out. In addition to geoscientific, engineering and financial expertise, luck accompanies them (much of the time, anyway), as does acumen (again, much of the time anyway).

Teck gains its first foothold as a predecessor company headed by Keevil’s father, Norman Bell Keevil, drills Temagami, a project that came up barren for Anaconda. The new guys hit 28% copper over 17.7 metres. Further drilling leads to the three-sentence feasibility study:

Dr. Keevil: What shall we do about Temagami?

Joe Frantz: Let’s put it into production.

Bill Bergey: Sounds good to me.

They schedule production for two and a half months later.

A few other stories relate a crucial 10 seconds in the Teck-Hughes acquisition, the accidental foray into Saskatchewan oil, the Toronto establishment snubbing Afton because of its VSE listing, an underhanded ultimatum from the British Columbia government, getting out of the oyster business and winning an unheard-of 130% financing for Hemlo.

Readers learn how Murray Pezim out-hustled Robert Friedland. But when it came to Voisey’s, Friedland would play Inco and Falconbridge “as though he were using a Stradivarius.” Keevil describes one guy welching on a deal with the (apparently for him) unarguable excuse that it was only a “gentleman’s agreement.”

Norman B. Keevil’s memoir retraces Teck’s—and his own—rocky road to success

Through it all, Teck gets projects by discovery or acquisition and puts them into production. Crucial to this success was the Teck team, with several people getting honourable mention. The author’s closest accomplice was the late Robert Hallbauer, the former Craigmont pit supervisor whose team “would go on to build more new mines in a shorter time than anyone else had in Canadian history.” Deal-making virtuoso David Thompson also gets frequent mention, with one performance attributed to his “arsenal of patience, knowledge of the opponents, more knowledge of the business than some of them had, and a tad of divide and conquer…”

Partnerships span the spectrum between blessing and curse. International Telephone and Telegraph backs Teck’s first foray into Chile but frustrates its ability to do traditional mining deals. The Elk Valley Coal Partnership puts Teck, a company that reinvests revenue into growth, at odds with the dividend-hungry Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Working with a Cominco subsidiary, Keevil finds the small-cap explorer compromised by the “ephemeral response of the junior stock market.” And smelters rip off miners. But that doesn’t mean a smelter can’t become a valued partner.

Keevil argues the case for an almost cartel-like level of co-operation among miners. Co-ordinated decisions could avoid surplus production, he maintains. Teck’s consolidation of Canada’s major coal mines helped the industry stand up to Japanese steelmakers, who had united to take advantage of disorganized Canadian suppliers. “Anti-trust laws may be antediluvian,” he states.

Keevil admits some regrets, like missing Golden Giant and a Kazakhstan gold project now valued at $2 billion. The 2008 crash forced Teck to give up Cobre Panama, now “expected to be a US$6 billion copper mine.” Teck settled a coal partnership impasse by buying out the Ontario Teachers’ share for $12 billion. Two months later the 2008 crisis struck. Over two years Teck plunged from $3.6 billion in net cash to $12 billion in net debt.

But he wonders if his own biggest mistake was paying far too much for the remaining 50% of Cominco when an outright purchase might not have been necessary. Keevil attributes the initial 50%, on the other hand, to a miracle of deal-making.

For the most part Keevil ends his account in 2005, when he relinquishes the top job to Don Lindsay. By that time the company had 11 operating mines and a smelting/refining facility at Trail. A short chapter on the following 10 years, among the most volatile since the early ’70s, credits Teck with “a classic recovery story which deserves a full chapter in the next edition of Never Rest on Your Ores.” Such a sequel might come in another 10 years, he suggests.

Let’s hope he writes it, although it’ll be a different kind of book. As chairperson he won’t be as closely involved in the person-to-person, deal-to-deal, mine-to-mine developments that comprise the greatest strength of this book—that and the fact that the author grew with the company as it became Canada’s largest diversified miner.

Meanwhile, maybe Lindsay’s been keeping a diary.

The author’s proceeds go to two organizations that promote mining awareness, MineralsEd and Mining Matters.

Teck Resources’ Norman B. Keevil recalls the negotiation style of a 1970s British Columbia cabinet minister

October 25th, 2017

…Read more

There’s skiing in them thar hills

October 23rd, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 23, 2017

Some appearances to the contrary, sliding downhill might not be the ambition of every mining company. But Barrick Gold TSX:ABX has a new ski resort under consideration around the site of a southern British Columbia past-producer. Although a local enthusiast says significant progress is imminent, PostMedia reports, a company spokesperson pegs the possible project “at a very, very early stage.”

There’s skiing in them thar hills

Recreational potential around a former underground
mine might offer Barrick an opportunity to diversify its assets.

That’s been the case since at least 2012. According to a Hope Standard account from that year, the miner had a feasibility study underway for an all-season resort around the former Giant Mascot underground mine about 10 kilometres from the town of Hope.

A 1974 B.C. Geological Survey report said Giant Mascot was mined briefly in the 1930s and 1958, then from 1959 to 1973. Production estimates vary, but a 1987 study commissioned for Mascot Gold Mines Ltd said Giant gave up 4.6 million tons containing 71 million pounds of nickel and 31.4 million pounds of copper, “with significant quantities of cobalt,” from 1959 to 1974.

“The mine closed in August of 1974 because of the loss of sales contracts for copper-nickel concentrate in Japan and because of the stringent policies towards the mining industry of the provincial NDP government,” the report stated. The study quoted a 1973 historic, non-43-101 estimate of 951,471 tons averaging 0.75% nickel and 0.3% copper. Operators had given only minimal attention to the mine’s gold, chrome, cobalt and PGM potential, the report added.

Barrick got the property through its 2001 merger with Homestake Mining, according to the Standard. By 2012 Barrick was considering a resort offering fishing, hiking and boating, along with possible ski facilities nearby, the paper noted. Consultations were underway with First Nations and other local communities.

Now PostMedia reports Dennis Adamson, an elected official of the Fraser Valley Regional District “and the project’s No. 1 booster,” says Barrick will soon file a notice of intent.

“I’ve been pushing this for years. It’s the No. 1 question I get,” he said of his 721 constituents. “Not a day goes by when I don’t get someone asking me when the ski hill will be open.”

But Andy Lloyd, spokesperson for the world’s top gold miner, cautioned that any such plan “is at a kind of conceptual stage … a very, very early stage … we wouldn’t want to create a false impression that Barrick is building a resort.”

Something of a higher priority might be Barrick’s relations with Tanzania, where the company holds a 63.9% stake in LSE-listed Acacia Mining, operator of three mines in the country. Barrick has proposed that the government get half the mines’ economic benefits, a 16% interest in the assets and US$300 million from Acacia towards unresolved tax claims.

Acacia says it doesn’t have the dough.

Meanwhile the Canada West Ski Areas Association, PostMedia reported, believes the province already has too many resorts chasing too few skiers.

High-grade sampling adds interest to Golden Dawn Minerals’ Greenwood revival

October 19th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 19, 2017

A company hoping to restart former mines in southern British Columbia’s historic Greenwood camp, Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM announced high-grade sample results from new acquisitions. The news comes as the company drills one of its properties and prepares for trial mining on another of the past-producers in a group of nearby assets that includes a 212-tpd mill.

High-grade sampling adds interest to Golden Dawn Minerals’ Greenwood revival

The Phoenix open pit lies among a group of
prospects that includes the sampling area.

Focusing on properties acquired late last year, some 86 samples were taken, most of them chip samples from outcrop. Among the highlights was a 0.4-metre interval showing 85.9 g/t gold, 29.8 g/t silver and 0.01% copper from the Summit area. The Minnie Moore area came through with 2.68 g/t gold, 1,700 g/t silver, 0.07% copper, 0.41% lead and 0.22% zinc over one metre.

Three one-metre widths from the Silvester K prospect showed:

  • 4.68 g/t gold, 3.1 g/t silver and 0.11% copper

  • 25.5 g/t gold, 7.5 g/t silver, 0.14% copper and 0.01% zinc

  • 10.9 g/t gold, 5.1 g/t silver and 0.02% copper

The most numerous high-grade gold results came from the JD area, where one-metre intervals graded as high as 15.8 g/t, 14.9 g/t, 14.3 g/t, 8.26 g/t, 5.59 g/t and 4.59 g/t gold, along with silver, copper and some lead-zinc.

A grab sample from the Bay area showed 45.1 g/t gold, 7.7 g/t silver and 0.16% copper. An interesting polymetallic chip sample from the Mavis prospect graded 3.79 g/t gold, 503 g/t silver, 0.01% copper, 17.5% lead and 0.18% zinc over one metre.

Overall, the results call for additional exploration and surface drilling on six areas covered by the program, Golden Dawn stated. Meanwhile the company has dewatering underway at Lexington, a nearby past-producer that’s slated for rehab and trial mining. Having given up 5,486 ounces of gold, 3,247 ounces of silver and 860,259 pounds of copper from April to December 2008, the mine shows potential for new production without de-risking at the feasibility stage, Golden Dawn believes. The company plans to start wet commissioning of the mill as trial mining begins.

A concurrent drill program on the Golden Crown property has sunk 19 holes totalling 1,358 metres so far, with results pending.

Last month the company closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $2.3 million.

Read more about Golden Dawn Minerals.

Canadians need to get past the Klondike to understand mining’s contributions: Stan Sudol

October 13th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 13, 2017

Rights offerings to be streamlined, says CSA

Like the nugget in this prospector’s hand, the
Klondike’s place in history looms unrealistically large.

The Fraser, Cariboo and Klondike gold rushes undoubtedly played an important nation-building role, with the latter becoming especially famous “thanks to terrific public relations from writers like Jack London, Pierre Berton and Robert Service,” says Stan Sudol. But how important were those events when the Yukon coughed up about 12 million gold ounces, “small change compared to the Timmins camp which is currently at 73 million ounces and counting!”

In a speech to the Canadian Business History Association Conference the Sudbury native and communications consultant/mining strategist/speech writer/mining blogger related how Ontario’s gold and base metals discoveries far surpassed the western gold rushes for their importance to the Canadian economy. “Notwithstanding the historical hype of the Klondike the two most important mining events in our history are the discoveries of the Sudbury nickel mines in 1883 and the Cobalt silver boom of 1903.”

And, he notes, while London, Berton and Service missed out on these developments, Sudbury did attract the attention of Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Sudol outlines the history of the Ontario and Quebec camps, looking at their social and environmental impacts as well as economic contributions. His compelling account takes readers up to the present, as mining in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut helps create an indigenous middle class.

Read it here on the Republic of Mining.

Mountain Boy Minerals releases high gold grades from B.C.’s Golden Triangle

October 12th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 12, 2017

Impressive assays came with the news released by Mountain Boy Minerals TSXV:MTB as it updated three current drill campaigns in northwestern British Columbia. The Silver Coin property has seen 10 holes totalling 1,616 metres so far out of a planned 2,000-metre program. With assays available from two holes, the company said SC17-442 found a new high-grade zone at surface as well as continuity of the main zone at depth. Results show:

  • 31.02 g/t gold and 28.5 g/t silver over 1.5 metres, starting at 28.71 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 56.3 g/t gold and 30.7 g/t silver over 0.7 metres)
  • (and including 8.9 g/t gold and 26.6 g/t silver over 0.8 metres)
Mountain Boy Minerals releases high gold grades from B.C.’s Golden Triangle

Geology grants the Golden Triangle
spectacular scenery as well as mineral riches.

  • 6.97 g/t gold and 38.3 g/t silver over 1.2 metres, starting at 55.54 metres

  • 11.6 g/t gold and 31.7 g/t silver over 1 metre, starting at 64.21 metres

Hole SC17-443 also hit a new high-grade zone at surface and extended the main breccia zone at depth, with intercepts showing:

  • 22.95 g/t gold and 13.1 g/t silver over 2.5 metres, starting at 15.28 metres
  • (including 108 g/t gold and 51 g/t silver over 0.5 metres)

  • 8.44 g/t gold and 20.4 g/t silver over 6.2 metres, starting at 71.34 metres
  • (including 9.22 g/t gold and 23.6 g/t silver over 5.2 metres)
  • (which includes 15.5 g/t gold and 42.2 g/t silver over 1.5 metres)
  • (and including 12.37 g/t gold and 23.72 g/t silver over 1.7 metres)

True widths were estimated between 60% and 80%.

The campaign intends to extend and upgrade lenses of high-grade gold within the project’s main breccia zone and test targets along strike to the south and a potential sub-parallel zone to the east, Mountain Boy stated. The company holds a 20% stake in the 1,470-hectare project.

Drilling, mapping and sampling continues at Red Cliff, where five holes have been completed on the Red Cliff zone and another 31 on the Montrose zone, about 1.2 kilometres north. Late last month the company released assays from five holes on each zone, with a standout intercept from Montrose grading 19.9 g/t gold over 4.12 metres. Plans also call for one or two holes on Montrose north of Lydden Canyon and eight on the Waterpump zone. Mountain Boy holds a 35% interest in the Red Cliff joint venture and a partial interest in additional claims.

At its 100%-held Surprise Creek project, Mountain Boy has assays pending from two holes sunk on a barite-sulphide area of the Ataman zone.

The company closed a $586,400 private placement in September.

Read more about Mountain Boy Minerals here and here.

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