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Cambridge House International president Jay Martin looks forward to the San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit on November 20 and 21

November 14th, 2017

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Finance legend James Rickards to speak at San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit

October 19th, 2017

October 19, 2017

His book titles hardly suggest an optimistic outlook. But for James Rickards, pessimism has proved no impediment to profit. Others might benefit from his success when he appears as keynote speaker at the Silver and Gold Summit to be held in San Francisco on November 20 and 21.

Finance legend James Rickards to speak at San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit

Rickards’ books have been translated into 14 languages.

A New York Times bestselling author whose work has been translated into 14 languages, his books include Currency Wars, The Death of Money, The New Case for Gold and The Road to Ruin. Rickards serves as chief global strategist for Meraglim Inc, which provides a new technology for predictive analytics in capital markets. He also edits the newsletter Strategic Intelligence and sits on the advisory board of the Center for Financial Economics at Johns Hopkins. An adviser on international economics and financial threats to the U.S. Department of Defense and the American intelligence community, Rickards served as a facilitator of the Pentagon’s first-ever financial war games.

This year’s Silver and Gold Summit features over 30 speakers with some of the best-known names including Marin Katusa, Frank Holmes, Rick Rule and Doug Casey. Their insights will complement an event showcasing 70 exhibitors and offering pre-booked one-on-one meetings to connect investors with companies.

Watch this space for new additions to the speaker list.

To save 25% on admission click here and enter promo code RESOURCE25.

Read more about the San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit.

Golden gateway

October 13th, 2017

San Francisco’s Silver and Gold Summit 2017 bridges investors and opportunities


What a year it’s been for some of the rare metals, energy metals and base metals that have shaken the markets. Still, precious metals have a way of retaining their distinctive allure. That helps explain why they get top billing as the Silver and Gold Summit returns to San Francisco on November 20 and 21, in an event that promises to be bigger than ever.

“Precious metals are a lot of what you’ll see at this show and the roots of this conference are based in the silver and gold market,” explains Cambridge House International president Jay Martin. But he emphasizes that they won’t monopolize the agenda, as some exhibitors and speakers have other commodities and strategies in mind.

San Francisco’s Silver and Gold Summit 2017 bridges investors and opportunities

Exhibitor space sold out early with 70 companies, Martin says. “We’re going to cap it at that. When you cap it like that you can maintain the quality.”

The speaker list, on the other hand, has many more presenters to come. Apart from big names like Katusa, Holmes, Rule and Casey, “we’ll be adding probably about 50 speakers to the agenda,” Martin says. “When we build this program we look at about two dozen topics in the mineral sector, then we drill down to what we see as demand, what investors are asking for. Then we assemble the topics and fill the speaker list from there.”

Through surveys, outreach programs, focus groups and social media, Cambridge House and co-producer Katusa Research determine “what attendees want to learn about, what’s getting traction, what’s controversial or exciting.”

Playing to what he calls “a healthy retail market,” the event shares similarities with the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, returning next year on January 21 and 22. “It’s easy to get to San Francisco from anywhere, so we see a lot of traffic coming in from all over the U.S. and Canada. But I’d say the number #1 difference with the San Francisco/Oakland area is there’s a larger appetite for wealth preservation. You’ll also see some content about new asset classes that are competing with gold, like cryptocurrencies.

“You’ll definitely hear speakers address questions about cryptocurrencies’ validity as an asset class for wealth preservation. That’s a big debate right now. People are asking if bitcoin is the new gold, and people will want to hear what our experts have to say about that. I anticipate that being a very large feature.”

With every single show we’re getting better at connecting investors with the opportunities they’re specifically looking for.—Jay Martin, president of
Cambridge House International

Other goals include “educating people on the opportunities in small cap mineral exploration. And with every single show we’re getting better at connecting investors with the opportunities they’re specifically looking for. We offer matchmaking services to help companies and attendees meet and discover opportunities.”

The summit’s online concierge service lets attendees schedule one-on-one appointments with exhibitors, and also lets exhibitors schedule appointments with speakers and qualified buyers. “That makes everyone’s time more productive,” Martin points out. “On top of that, we’re always reaching out to funds we know and investors we know to make sure they’re meeting the people they should be meeting.”

That promises to make a busy two days, especially since Martin expects about 1,500 attendees, up considerably from last year’s 800. The turnout follows a “phenomenal response” to the International Metal Writers Conference held in Vancouver last May.

“There’s a lot of demand now for high-quality junior mining deals on a global scale,” he adds. “We’re seeing more international traffic coming to the shows. We’re seeing more companies getting pre-booked prior to the event for one-on-one meetings.”

The heightened quest for investor intel comes amid unsettling geopolitical and domestic circumstances. “It’s such a volatile time in the States right now, unlike any year I’ve ever seen,” Martin notes. “I think investors are more aware that it’s up to them to take care of themselves and make smart investment decisions. I think investors are getting more intelligent and more productive with their time at our conferences. That’s great to see.”

The Silver and Gold Summit takes place at San Francisco’s Hilton Union Square from November 20 to 21. To save 25% on admission click here and enter promo code RESOURCE25.

New to mining? Or want a refresher course? Consider the Mining Insight Seminar, a two-hour separate ticketed event offering an overview of the industry, its economics and stakeholder considerations.

Who gets a stake in this strategic U.S. asset—the Russian billionaire, the Chinese company or both?

June 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 16, 2017

Efforts to reduce U.S. dependency on Chinese rare earths took an uncertain turn on June 15 as a group representing three American firms and a Chinese REE producer placed the winning bid for Mountain Pass. But the sale of bankrupt Molycorp Minerals’ former California mine, until its 2015 shutdown the only REE operation in the U.S., faces a number of challenges.

Who gets a stake in this strategic U.S. asset—the Russian billionaire, the Chinese company or both?

Mountain Pass: Could one rival bidder get the
mine while another holds the mineral rights?

The US$20.5-million top bid came from MP Mine Operations LLC, which “includes two noteholder groups from Molycorp’s original bankruptcy as well as Chinese investor Shenghe Resources Shareholding Co Ltd,” reported Shenghe Resources Holding is a Chinese company engaged in smelting, deep processing and sales of rare earths and other metals, according to Bloomberg, which notes Shenghe is a subsidiary of the China Geological Survey Institute of Multipurpose Utilization of Mineral Resources.

The bid surpassed a US$20-million stalking horse from ERP Strategic Minerals, part of the U.S.-based ERP Group of companies headed by Tom Clarke. The American billionaire credits his group with “a strong track record of restarting mines acquired out of U.S. bankruptcy and Canadian CCAA situations.” ERP planned to work with Pala Investments, headed by Russian-born billionaire Vladimir Iorich, and ASX-listed Peak Resources for financial, technical and operational support of the Mountain Pass mine and processing facility.

ERP had challenged the rival bid in court, saying the offer could be blocked by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment or other regulators, stated. The journal quoted ERP arguing that, without a pre-bid review, “the stalking horse bidder will be prejudiced by having to compete against unfair, non-complying bids, and there is a real risk of a flawed auction and a failed sales process.”

Who gets a stake in this strategic U.S. asset—the Russian billionaire, the Chinese company or both?

Bankrupt Molycorp’s former assets include an REE processing facility.

A judge allowed the auction to proceed, “setting the stage for a sale hearing on June 23,” added. The site previously reported that the hearing was scheduled to consider objections from three federal regulatory agencies that say the former operation’s permits can’t be transferred through the auction.

According to Peak Resources, ERP will file an objection to the auction by June 19 “and may consider other legal remedies” prior to the June 23 hearing.

But members of the winning group already hold the mineral rights, according to the Financial Times. Last month the paper stated the rights are held by MP Mine Operations members JHL Capital Group and QVT Financial, both Molycorp creditors, along with Oaktree Capital. The American firms planned to work with Shenghe, the Chinese REE processor.

Contemplating a successful ERP bid prior to the auction, “Mr. Clarke said his group could still use the mine site to process material from elsewhere if they did not get the mineral rights—but he hoped to negotiate for them if he wins,” the paper added.

Mountain Pass went on care and maintenance in 2015 after Molycorp piled up some US$1.7 billion in debt. That left Lynas Corp’s Mount Weld operation in Western Australia as the world’s only significant source of rare earths outside China, which produces and processes about 90% of global supply.

The U.S. Geological Survey considers rare earths critical to the country’s economy and defence. Under the proposed METALS Act, a bill before U.S. Congress, the federal government would support the development of domestic sources and supply chains for critical minerals including rare earths.

U.S. Congress to vote on support for domestic critical materials supply lines

March 9th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 9, 2017

With an eye to national defence, American lawmakers will decide whether their government should help develop domestic supplies of rare minerals. A Congressional bill introduced March 7, Rep. Duncan Hunter’s proposed METALS Act (Materials Essential to American Leadership and Security) would offer a number of inducements to create supply lines for strategic and critical commodities.

U.S. Congress to vote on support for domestic critical materials supply lines

A “dangerous lapse in the supply chain for strategic and
critical materials” will be examined by the U.S. Congress.

“The U.S. must no longer be wholly dependent on foreign sources of strategic and critical materials,” said Hunter, a veteran of two combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. “The risk of this dependence on national security is too great and it urgently demands that we re-establish our depleted domestic industrial base.”

Pointing to China’s lockhold on over 90% of global rare earths supply, Hunter argued the U.S. has “ceded” its ability to produce REEs. Following the bankruptcy of the last U.S. rare earths miner, Molycorp “sold a portion of its assets to the Chinese,” said a statement from Hunter’s office. “The mine is now being considered for purchase by a firm with ties to a Russian billionaire.”

As reported by the Wall Street Journal last month, a group including Vladimir Iorich’s Pala Investments has offered US$40 million for Molycorp’s former Mountain Pass mine in California. The METALS Act would prohibit foreign acquisition of American rare earths deposits.

It would also provide five-year interest-free loans for new production or manufacturing techniques involving strategic or critical minerals. Additionally, Washington would reimburse defence programs for higher costs of domestic products. Funding would divert 1% of Department of Defense administration spending, Hunter said.

The act would also bar foreign interests from sourcing American supplies of ammonium perchlorate, a propellant for rockets and missiles. The bill further calls for a study on the viability of using thorium-fuelled nuclear reactors in naval vessels.

Besides encouraging supply chains essential to national security, the bill “supports the U.S. domestic industrial base by aiding domestic investment opportunities,” according to Hunter’s office.

Speaking with last month, David S. Abraham expressed skepticism about Hunter’s proposal. “Most bills on critical materials have not passed and his bills usually have the least chance of passing…” said the author of The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age. “That’s not to say the U.S. hasn’t given money to metallurgy and mining before, but with the exception of some dabbling in beryllium in the ’90s, I can’t recall a time where the U.S. was really investing in mines from a defence perspective.”

But Washington defence lobbyist Jeff Green told of “a totally different dynamic” in circles of power that would be willing to “invest in America to protect our national security and grow our manufacturing base.”

A January report from the U.S. Geological Survey stated the country was wholly dependent on foreign sources for 20 minerals last year, some of them considered critical or strategic “because they are essential to the economy and their supply may be disrupted.”

As of press time Hunter’s office hadn’t responded to an interview request.

Crown Mining begins metallurgical study of California copper deposits

December 14th, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 14, 2016

Crown Mining TSXV:CWM expects to have a metallurgical review of its Moonlight-Superior copper deposits finished in Q1, the company announced December 14. The study aims to verify recoveries found by Placer-Amex in the 1960s and update processing cost estimates. The northern California deposits sit about two kilometres apart.

Crown Mining begins metallurgical study of California copper deposits

Depression-era copper prices
shut down the former Superior mine.

Crown also reported receipt of an engineering and economic report on Moonlight-Superior that includes an examination of previous resource estimates and of Whittle pit shells using different copper prices. The report will be used to consider commissioning a PEA, the company stated.

Previous owners released a resource for Moonlight in 2007 and Superior in 2013. Using a 0.2% cutoff, the estimates showed:


  • indicated: 146.5 million tonnes averaging 0.32% for 1,044 million pounds copper

  • inferred: 80 million tonnes averaging 0.28% for 496 million pounds


  • inferred: 54.4 million tonnes averaging 0.41% for 487 million pounds

The deposits form part of Crown’s 18,000-hectare Lights Creek property, which also includes the Engels deposit. At a 0.2% cutoff, its 2013 resource showed:

  • inferred: 2.6 million tonnes averaging 1.05% for 60 million pounds

Totals for the three deposits come to 1.044 billion pounds indicated and 1.043 billion pounds inferred. Superior and Engels operated between the 1890s and 1930s. Moonlight was a 1960s discovery.

Crown now plans a small drill program to better define and assess the higher-grade areas of Moonlight-Superior.

Read more about Crown Mining.

Crown Mining president/CEO Stephen Dunn discusses copper’s prospects and his company’s Lights Creek project in California

July 22nd, 2016

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Preparing for the rally

July 1st, 2016

Crown Mining readies its California copper project for the anticipated upturn

by Greg Klein

The timing may well prove fortuitous. Crown Mining’s (TSXV:CWM) Lights Creek copper project really came together in February with a 100% option on Moonlight, making it the largest of three deposits on the company’s northeastern California property. President/CEO Stephen Dunn says it took him a year and a half to persuade Canyon Copper TSXV:CNC to part with the asset. Now Dunn believes his company’s well-positioned to benefit from the upturn that’s forecast for copper in the coming years.

Crown Mining readies its California copper project for the anticipated upturn

Forecasts for the conductive commodity
call for a supply deficit later in the decade.

The 18,000-hectare property comes with a lot of history—not to mention a lot of copper. Mining began in the 1890s, with the Engels and Superior deposits churning out around 161.5 million pounds of copper, 23,000 ounces of gold and 1.9 million ounces of silver during the peak years from 1914 to 1930. The Depression-era copper crash shut down both mines.

Fast-forward to the ’60s, when a Placer Dome predecessor explored the property and discovered Moonlight. But copper “was struggling at 60 cents,” Dunn recalls. “At the same time Placer was working on getting Gibraltar into production. They put Moonlight on the back burner and ended up dropping the entire project when they became a gold company.

“Some former Placer guys picked up the project, which went through a few public companies.” Dunn says he picked up Engels and Superior after one company went bankrupt. Negotiations delivered Moonlight in February.

Engels sits a little over four kilometres east of Moonlight, with Superior in the middle. “The deposits are all part of the same system, the Lights Creek stock, one great big intrusion,” Dunn says. Resource estimates were calculated in 2007 for Moonlight and 2013 for Superior and Engels. Using a 0.2% cutoff, the three deposits total 1.044 billion pounds indicated and an almost equal 1.043 billion pounds inferred. The breakdown for each deposit shows:


  • indicated: 146.5 million tonnes averaging 0.32% for 1,044 million pounds copper

  • inferred: 80 million tonnes averaging 0.28% for 496 million pounds


  • inferred: 54.4 million tonnes averaging 0.41% for 487 million pounds


  • inferred: 2.6 million tonnes averaging 1.05% for 60 million pounds

Crown has Moonlight and Superior under focus, seeing open pit potential in both. Local infrastructure includes a paved road linking Lights Creek with a highway less than 12 kilometres away, about the same distance as a railway. Power lines are about three kilometres away. Dirt roads connect the three deposits.

There’s community support too, Dunn adds. “Every time I’m there people ask, ‘When are you going to open that mine?’ They want it. They want the jobs.”

The company now has to determine how much work will be necessary to take the project to PEA. To answer that, Crown has an outside firm reviewing all data to decide how much, if any, additional drilling and metallurgy would be necessary. That review, expected to finish by September, would help Crown advance Lights Creek as economically as possible.

Crown Mining readies its California copper project for the anticipated upturn

The former Superior mine comprises one of three
deposits in Crown’s Lights Creek copper project.

But for the time being the company’s well-financed, having raised almost $458,000 between April and June. That followed a $120,000 private placement the previous February. Management and insiders hold about 30%.

Looking into the future, Dunn sees Crown as likely bait for a joint venture or takeover.

Copper’s downturn dragged the metal’s spot price from nearly $4.50 a pound five years ago to less than $2 in January, a seven-year low. Since then, peaks and valleys have suggested an upward trend to some observers. The Thomson Reuters GFMS Copper Survey 2016 predicts the surplus continuing through 2018. “Even so, there is no doubting that the current low price environment is sowing the seeds for the next boom as projects are shelved, delayed, sold or abandoned completely,” according to the study.

In March Reuters stated miners and investors were looking at copper projects in anticipation of a deficit by the end of the decade. Bloomberg reaffirmed those sentiments in April, reporting that big miners were hanging onto copper assets while unloading other projects. The conductive commodity proves vital to many uses, not the least of which is electrical expansion in developing countries.

“At $2.50, people will still wonder if the upturn’s real,” Dunn says. “But if copper crosses $3, the takeovers will occur. There aren’t a lot of big copper deposits that aren’t already controlled by a big miner or a JV. If we attract a partner, that will be great. If we can hang around until the takeovers happen, then all the better. Either way, the shareholder benefits.”

He describes Crown as “a cheap option on copper” when comparing market cap with pounds in the ground. “My personal view is that copper’s going to have a hell of a run after this five-year downturn. If you do believe copper’s the place to be, there aren’t a lot of cheap options. We’re one of them. We need copper to move past $2.50 but when it does, Crown is one company that’s going to do well.”

Exploring opportunity

June 17th, 2016

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

by Greg Klein
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A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum


“There’s excitement in the air,” said Cambridge House International founder Joe Martin. That’s the mood he senses as junior explorers emerge from the downturn. And certainly optimism was evident on June 14 as more than 450 people converged on the Vancouver Commodity Forum for an afternoon of expert talks amid a showcase of two dozen companies. Keynote speakers included Martin, Chris Berry of the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online and Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Lithium, not surprisingly, stood out as a commodity of interest. While cautioning against over-enthusiasm for the exploration rush, Berry and Hykawy each affirmed the need for juniors to find new sources of the metal. Cobalt and scandium featured prominently too, as did other commodities including what Kaiser called “the weird metals”—lesser known stuff that’s vital to our lives but threatened with security of supply.

Kaiser also noted he was addressing a crowd larger than his last PDAC audience, another indication that “we’ve turned the corner.”

Attendees also met and mingled with company reps. Potential investors learned about a wide gamut of projects aspiring to meet a growing demand for necessities, conveniences and luxuries.

Presented by Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, the forum’s success will make it an annual event, said company president Dave Hodge. Berry emceed the conference, holding the unenviable task of “making sure Dave stays well-behaved.”

Read interviews with keynote speakers:

Meet the companies

Most companies were core holdings of Zimtu, a prospect generator that connects explorers with properties and also shares management, technical and financing expertise. Zimtu offers investors participation in a range of commodities and companies, including some at the pre-IPO stage.

After sampling high-grade lithium on its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories earlier this month, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY plans to return in mid-July for a program of mapping, exposing spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes, and channel sampling. The company closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $318,836 in April. Hidden Lake’s located near Highway 4, about 40 kilometres from Yellowknife and within the Yellowknife Pegmatite Belt.

With one of the Athabasca Basin’s largest and most prospective exploration portfolios, ALX Uranium TSXV:AL has a number of projects competing for flagship status. Among them is Hook-Carter, which covers extensions of three known conductive trends, one of them hosting the sensational discoveries of Fission Uranium TSX:FCU and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. ALX’s strategic partnership with Holystone Energy allows that company to invest up to $750,000 in ALX and retain the right to maintain its ownership level for three years. ALX closed a private placement first tranche of $255,000 last month, amid this year’s busy news flow from a number of the company’s active projects.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD boasts one of northern Canada’s largest 100%-held diamond exploration portfolios. Among the properties are the drill-ready Stein project in Nunavut and others in the Lac de Gras region that’s the world’s third-largest diamond producer by value. North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR holds an option to earn up to 55% of Arctic Star’s Redemption property.

Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA considers its Douay property one of Quebec’s largest and last undeveloped gold projects. The Abitibi property has resources totalling 238,400 ounces of gold indicated and 2.75 million ounces inferred. Now, with $1.1 million raised last month, the company hopes to increase those numbers through a summer program including 4,000 metres of drilling. Douay’s 2014 PEA used a 5% discount rate to forecast a post-tax NPV of $16.6 million and a post-tax IRR of 40%.

Looking for lithium in Nevada, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA now has a geophysics crew en route to its Kibby Basin property, which the company believes could potentially host lithium-bearing brines in a similar geological setting to the Clayton Valley, about 65 kilometres south. Results from the gravity survey will help identify targets for direct push drilling and sampling.

A mineral perhaps overlooked in the effort to supply green technologies, zeolite has several environmental applications. Canadian Zeolite TSXV:CNZ holds two projects in southern British Columbia, Sun Group and Bromley Creek, the latter an active quarrying operation.

With a high-grade, near-surface rare earths deposit hosted in minerals that have proven processing, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE takes its Ashram project in Quebec towards pre-feasibility. The relatively straightforward mineralogy contributes to steady progress in metallurgical studies. Commerce also holds southeastern B.C.’s Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit, which reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.

Permitted for construction following a 2014 PEA, Copper North Mining’s (TSXV:COL) Carmacks copper-gold-silver project now undergoes revised PEA studies. The agenda calls for improved economics by creating a new leach and development plan for the south-central Yukon property. In central B.C. the company holds the Thor exploration property, 20 kilometres south of the historic Kemess mine.

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CMC Metals to offer $1-million private placement as it prepares to mill California gold

February 10th, 2016

by Greg Klein | February 10, 2016

A private placement of up to $1 million would help CMC Metals TSXV:CMB put a California mill back in operation to process stockpiled material. The offer will follow a 1:7 share rollback that received TSXV approval on February 10.

CMC Metals to offer $1-million private placement as it prepares to mill California gold

Pictured here under development, the lined tailings pond has been completed and CMC plans to have the mill operational within 90 days.

CMC holds a 50% stake in the Radcliff gold mine and 100% of the Bishop mill, both near the Nevada border in southeastern California. The company plans to make Bishop operational within 90 days and begin processing Radcliff material. Already complete at the mill is an upgrade to U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration standards, as well as installation of an assay lab and a new lined tailings pond, CMC stated. Further work will include installing bird netting and drilling a vadose zone well to monitor for contaminants.

Part of the 670-hectare World Beater property, the fully permitted Radcliff has stockpiled material ready for processing. Last year project operator and 50% mine owner Pruett-Ballarat Inc reported it had connected an adit to a high-grade mineralized zone.

A 2012 resource estimate used a cutoff of 0.685 grams per short ton to show:

  • indicated: 2.13 million tons averaging 3.22 grams per ton for 200,900 ounces gold

  • inferred: 263,000 tons averaging 3.53 grams per ton for 27,100 ounces gold

A 5% NSR applies to the mine.

CMC’s private placement will consist of up to 10 units at $0.10, with each unit consisting of one share and one warrant. Two warrants will get one share at $0.12 for two years. Insiders will subscribe to over half the placement, the company added.

CMC also holds two silver properties in south-central Yukon, Silver Hart and Logjam.