Wednesday 19th December 2018

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘Champion Iron Ltd (CIA)’

Aurvista Gold advances Abitibi project with drilling, hiring, buying

February 2nd, 2017

by Greg Klein | February 2, 2017

Having raised $7.5 million last year in three private placements at increasing prices, Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA outlined aggressive plans for its Douay gold-base metals project in Quebec’s Abitibi region. Along with the announcements came new expertise introduced February 2.

Exploration manager Alex Horvath’s 30-year career includes service as COO/VP of exploration for Champion Iron TSX:CIA, where he played a major role in the Bloom Lake acquisition. He also spent 20 years with Asarco Inc and Asarco Exploration, taking part in exploration, project generation and ore reserve estimates, among other responsibilities.

Aurvista Gold advances Abitibi project with drilling, hiring, buying

As mineral co-ordinator of resources and project development, Peter Karelse brings three decades of experience in exploration, resource development, and both underground and open pit mining. He’s helped bring three projects into production.

Database co-ordinator Antoine Yassa’s CV shows a 35-year international background using database management and software for resource estimates, project evaluation and resource modelling.

With a 40-year involvement in precious metals, base metals, chromium, lithium, graphite and uranium exploration and mining projects, Yvan Bussières takes the role of Douay gold project co-ordinator.

The new faces “bring a significant amount of both intellectual capital and operational experience and will be key members of the company as we grow our strong foundation of quality gold resources,” said president/CEO Jean Lafleur.

Two days previously the company announced the buy-back of a 1.5% NSR on 32 claims within Douay from Northern Abitibi Mining TSXV:NAI for $325,000. Aurvista CFO Bryan Keeler said the purchase “cleans up project ownership, improves the Douay economics and opens up opportunities in future financing.”

The entire geological picture of Douay was changed from a convoluted mixture of poorly understood and unrecognizable rock units and unconnected mineralized zones to now well-recognized volcanic rocks and a porphyries package typical of Abitibi belt gold-bearing deposits.

With a 74-hole, 30,000-metre drill program that began testing nine targets last month, the company vowed to move into “a more aggressive exploration stage by adding additional gold mineralization within a series of east-west corridors, termed the Adam Creek gold deposit, covering for now a minimum 10 kilometres by three kilometres of prime exploration ground.”

A Q2 resource update will take into consideration re-interpreted historic core as well as new assays. Preliminary metallurgical tests have also begun.

Among last year’s accomplishments, the company stated, “the entire geological picture of Douay was changed from a convoluted mixture of poorly understood and unrecognizable rock units and unconnected mineralized zones to now well-recognized volcanic rocks and a porphyries package typical of Abitibi belt gold-bearing deposits. At Douay, these rocks structurally host for now an identified minimum of 11 gold-bearing lenses. The 10-kilometre-long gold system remains open along the remaining 10-kilometre strike length and at depth below 300 metres.”

Using a 0.3 g/t cutoff, a 2012 resource for eight zones along a five-kilometre trend totalled:

  • indicated: 2.69 million tonnes averaging 2.76 g/t for 238,435 gold ounces

  • inferred: 114.65 million tonnes averaging 0.75 g/t for 2.75 million ounces

The resource stopped at a vertical depth of about 400 metres.

Of the 14,520-hectare property, Aurvista holds a 100% interest in 13,310 hectares, a 90% interest in 20 hectares and a 75% interest in the 1,190-hectare North West zone. The latter comprises a JV with 25% partner SOQUEM, the mineral exploration branch of the provincial government’s Investissement Québec.

Read more about Aurvista Gold.

Champion Iron begins financing on signing $53.3-million deal to buy Bloom Lake

December 11th, 2015

by Greg Klein | December 11, 2015

Obviously betting on better times ahead, Champion Iron TSX:CIA announced a definitive agreement December 11 to buy the Labrador Trough property abandoned by Cliffs Natural Resources NYE:CLF. Still subject to court approval, Champion subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore would get the assets for $10.5 million, around $41.7 million in environmental costs and about $1.1 million in bond obligations. Now all the company has to do is raise the money.

Champion’s bid was approved last spring by a court-appointed monitor of Cliffs affiliates now under bankruptcy proceedings. Champion expects to close in Q1 2016.

Bloom Lake is considered an exceptional opportunity for Champion and one that would not have presented itself without the challenges of the current downturn in bulk commodities.—Michael O’Keeffe, CEO/chairperson of Champion Iron

To help fund the deal, the company also announced a private placement of up to $25 million. Commitments totalling up to $15 million have already come in from two parties, one of them controlled by Champion CEO/chairperson Michael O’Keeffe, who could end up with as much as 19.95% of the company. “Additionally, discussions with strategic partners, funds, government agencies and private investors are at an advanced stage” that might help finance up to two years of care and maintenance “should low iron ore prices prevail during this period,” Champion stated.

Champion sees a potential increase in annual maximum production, previously six million tons of iron fines at 66% iron, to over seven million tons at a similar grade. The company also hopes to reduce costs substantially.

In November last year Cliffs estimated another $1.2 billion would be needed to make Bloom Lake viable. But Champion’s announcement stated, “Even with an extended care and maintenance and planned upgrade period, Bloom Lake could potentially become one of the lowest capital cost iron ore mines in the world.”

Quebec’s Plan Nord fund has put up $20 million to study the feasibility of a new rail line linking the Bloom Lake-Fire Lake region with the St. Lawrence deep-water port of Sept-Iles. Two railways already serve the Trough, one of them a private carrier operated by an ArcelorMittal subsidiary.

Last May Quebec economy minister Jacques Daoust said the province was open to the idea of investing in Cliff’s former Bloom Lake assets. The company’s subsidiary suspended operations late last year before entering creditor protection in January.

In April Cliffs sold its Ring of Fire chromite deposits to Noront Resources TSXV:NOT for US$27.5 million.

Plan Nord progresses as companies team up with Quebec on rail feasibility

October 21st, 2014

by Greg Klein | October 21, 2014

A feasibility study into a third Quebec railway to the Labrador Trough is back on track, according to October 21 announcements from Champion Iron TSX:CIA and Adriana Resources TSXV:ADI. The companies have joined the Quebec government in a new entity called la Société ferroviaire du Nord québécois, société en commandite (SFNQ) to oversee the technical and economic report.

Champion Iron, Adriana Resources team up with Quebec on railway feasibility

The news follows a bill tabled by the provincial Liberals on September 30 to revive Plan Nord, the massive infrastructure program that had been sidelined by the former Parti Quebecois government. The province now intends to create la Société du Plan Nord to co-ordinate development beyond the 49th Parallel, with $63 million budgeted for this year and up to $2 billion by 2035. The bill allocates a $50-million investment in Gaz Métro LNG to expand production and storage of liquefied natural gas, which would be trucked to Stornoway Diamond’s (TSX:SWY) Renard mine, scheduled to open in 2016. LNG transport to other projects would follow.

Quebec will provide up to $20 million for the feasibility. But the companies’ contributions are less clear. Adriana’s late afternoon announcement didn’t specify a contribution. The company takes part through its Lac Otelnuk joint venture, held 40% by Adriana and 60% by Hong Kong-based WISCO International Resources Development & Investment. Champion listed its share as sunk costs valued up to $6 million. That company takes part through its now wholly owned subsidiary, Champion Iron Mines Ltd.

As a separate company in 2013, Champion Iron Mines failed to find private and public backers for a 310-kilometre rail connection between the southern Trough and the deep sea port of Sept-Iles that was expected to cost $1.33 billion. Earlier that year CN TSX:CNR suspended its feasibility study on an estimated $5-billion, 800-kilometre link to the same port.

Currently two railways connect Sept-Iles with the resource-rich region straddling the Labrador border. The Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway runs a 415-kilometre route to Labrador City. A private line operated by an ArcelorMittal subsidiary serves its Mont-Wright operation.

Other companies have been invited to take part in the feasibility study, which would envision a common carrier.

Among noteworthy aspects of Plan Nord is the government’s confidence that future commodity markets will justify large-scale investment—and that Quebec sometimes prefers to invest in, rather than subsidize, industry. Apart from Gaz Métro, the government’s Investissement Québec unit sees opportunities in a number of ventures including Stornoway, in which the province is acquiring an approximately 29% stake.