Thursday 17th August 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘copper’

Jon Armes outlines Kapuskasing’s zinc, copper and cobalt projects in Newfoundland and Labrador

August 8th, 2017

…Read more

Infographic: The Yukon, where mineral potential is coming of age

August 8th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | August 8, 2017

In a remote corner of Canada’s north lies the Yukon—a territory that is renowned for both its legendary mineral potential and its storied mining history.

But while the Yukon only produced 2.2% of Canada’s gold in 2016, the territory’s considerable potential may finally be getting realized in a big way. In the last few years globally significant discoveries have been made and now mining giants such as Barrick Gold TSX:ABX, Goldcorp TSX:G and Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM are making their moves into the Yukon to get in on the action.

A coming of age story

This infographic comes from Strikepoint Gold TSXV:SKP and it showcases some of the reasons why the most important chapter in the Yukon’s mining story may just be beginning.

The Yukon: Where mineral potential is coming of age

 

Although the Yukon has been known for a long time to possess incredible mineral potential, it is only in the last few years that signs have been pointing towards this being realized in the form of globally significant discoveries, investment from major players and mines being built.

A new era in the Yukon

For gold to be produced, it must first be discovered. The Yukon has been home to some of Canada’s most exciting discoveries in the last 10 years. The new project pipeline contains impressive deposits but, even more importantly, it contains some impressive names.

White Gold

Famously found by prospector Shawn Ryan and Underworld Resources in 2008, the White Gold discovery triggered much of the modern interest in the Yukon. Kinross Gold TSX:K purchased Underworld Resources for $139.2 million at the height of the gold market. More recently, major Agnico Eagle has bought into the district for $14.52 million.

Coffee project

Discovered in 2010, this project is just kilometres away from the White Gold project. It too is based on Shawn Ryan’s claims. Most recently, Goldcorp bought the project for $520 million through its acquisition of Kaminak Gold.

Casino project

Currently under environmental review, this massive porphyry deposit owned by Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN could be the largest mine in Yukon history, if constructed. Right now the deposit has reserves of 4.5 billion pounds of copper and 8.9 million ounces of gold.

Rackla

The only Carlin-style district in Canada, this project is being advanced by ATAC Resources TSXV:ATC. Recently ATAC generated headlines with an investment from Barrick, which put in $8.3 million while also committing up to a further $55 million to earn 70% of the property’s Orion project.

Eagle Gold

Eagle Gold is on track to become the Yukon’s largest gold-only mine in history. Victoria Gold TSXV:VIT, the project’s owner, expects its first gold pour in 2019. Currently the property’s Eagle and Olive deposits have 2.66 million ounces of gold in reserves.

Major arrivals

In the last year or so some of the world’s most prolific gold miners such as Barrick, Goldcorp and Agnico Eagle have set up shop in the Yukon—and it could be a sign that the territory is close to reaching its ultimate potential as a top-tier mining destination.

Here are some of the other reasons that miners and investors are looking northwards:

1. Government support

The Yukon government is well known for supporting prospectors and miners developing projects. Current programs include the Yukon Mineral Exploration Program, which provides a portion of risk capital to help explorers locate and grow deposits, as well as the Fuel Tax Exemption, which makes miners and other off-road industries exempt from fuel taxes.

2. A rich mining history

From the placer mining of the famous Klondike gold rush to the mining today in the Yukon, the territory has always welcomed mining. In fact, mining is still the most important private industry today in the Yukon by GDP share (19%).

3. First Nations approach

First Nations and the Yukon government have recently championed a new “government-to-government” relationship to ensure that industry, the territorial government and First Nations are on the same page for mineral projects.

4. Momentum

From Shawn Ryan’s discoveries to the arrival of majors in the region, it has been an eventful decade for Yukon miners. Many expect the best is yet to come.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Robert Friedland’s favourites

July 28th, 2017

Unprecedented demand calls for unparalleled grades, the industry legend says

by Greg Klein

For all that’s being said about lithium and cobalt, Robert Friedland argues that the energy revolution also depends on copper and platinum group elements. Of course he has a stake in them himself, with Kamoa-Kakula and Platreef among his current enthusiasms. Still, whether motivated by self-interest or not, the mining titan whom Rick Rule calls “serially successful” presented a compelling case for his favourite metals at the Sprott Natural Resource Symposium in Vancouver on July 25.

We’re living in “an era of unprecedented change,” said Ivanhoe Mines’ TSX:IVN founding chairperson. China’s the main cause. That country’s “breeding mega-cities prodigiously.” But one result is “incredibly toxic air… with a whole suite of health effects” from heart attacks to stroke, asthma to Alzheimer’s.

Unprecedented demand calls for unparalleled grades, the industry legend says

A crew operates jumbo rigs to bring
Ivanhoe’s Platreef mine into PGM production.

China’s not alone. Friedland pegs current global population growth at 83 million a year, with a projected 8.5 billion people populating the planet by 2030. Five billion will inhabit urban areas. Forecasts for 2050 show 6.3 billion city-dwellers. But China, notorious for its poisoned atmosphere, “is on an air pollution jihad.” It’s an all-out effort to turn back the “airpocalypse” and, with a command economy, a goal that shall be achieved.

The main target will be the internal combustion engine, responsible for about 60% of urban air pollution, Friedland said. China now manufactures 19 million cars annually, he adds. The country plans to increase output to 60 million, a goal obviously contrary to the war on pollution unless it emphasizes electric vehicles.

Like others, Friedland sees massive disruption as the economics of EVs overtake those of internal combustion engines, a scenario he expects by 2022 or 2023.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries (comprising 4% lithium, 80% nickel sulphate and 15% cobalt) has sent cobalt prices soaring. But bigger EVs will likely rely on hydrogen fuel cells, he pointed out. They’re already used in electric SUVs, pickup trucks, double-decker buses in London, trains in Germany and China, and, expected imminently, autonomous air taxis in Dubai.

Hydrogen fuel cells need PGMs. If only one-tenth of China’s planned EV output used the technology, demand would call for the world’s entire platinum supply, Friedland said.

“I would rather own platinum than gold,” he declared. Additionally, “there’s no platinum central reserve bank to puke out platinum.”

Ivanhoe just happens to have PGMs, about 42 million ounces indicated and 52.8 million ounces inferred, at its 64%-held Platreef project in South Africa.

Unprecedented demand calls for unparalleled grades, the industry legend says

Underground development progresses at the Kansoko mine,
part of the Kamoa copper deposit and adjacent to Kakula.

Electricity for the grid also ranks high among China’s airpocalyptic priorities. A study produced for the United Nations Environment Programme credits the country with a 17% increase in renewable electricity investment last year, most of it going to wind and solar. Almost $103 billion, China’s renewables investment comes to 36% of the world total.

Just as EVs remain more copper-dependent than internal combustion, wind and solar call for much more of the conductive commodity than do other types of electricity generation. Friedland sees additional disruptive demand in easily cleaned copper surfaces now increasingly used in hospitals, care homes, cruise ships and other places where infectious diseases might lurk.

He sees a modest copper supply deficit now, with a crisis possibly starting as soon as 2019. The world needs a new generation of copper mines, he said, repeating his unkind comparison of today’s low-grade, depleting mines to “little old ladies waiting to die.” The world’s largest producer, the BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP/Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO Escondida mine in Chile, is down to a 0.52% grade.

Copper recently hit a two-year high of about $6,400 a tonne. But, citing Bernstein data, Friedland said new mines would require a $12,000 price.

Not Kamoa-Kakula, though. He proudly noted that, with an indicated resource grading 6.09%, it hosts “the richest conceivable copper deposit on this planet.”

I’ve never been as bullish in my 35 years on a project.—Robert Friedland

A JV with Ivanhoe and Zjin Mining Group each holding 39.6% and the DRC 20%, Kamoa-Kakula inspires “a plethora of superlatives.” The veteran of Voisey’s Bay and Oyu Tolgoi added, “I’ve never been as bullish in my 35 years on a project.”

The zillionaire likes zinc too, which his company also has in the DRC at the 68%-held Kipushi project. With a measured and indicated grade of 34.89%, the Big Zinc zone more than doubles the world’s next-highest-grade zinc project, according to Ivanhoe. There’s copper too, with three other zones averaging an M&I grade of 4.01%.

“Everything good in the Congo starts with a ‘K’,” he said enthusiastically.

But recklessly, in light of the DRC’s controversial Kabila family. In June Ivanhoe was hit by reports that the company has done deals with businesses held by the president’s brother, Zoe Kabila, although no allegations were made of wrongdoing.

The family has run the country, one of Africa’s poorest, since 1997. Current president Joseph Kabila has been ruling unconstitutionally since November, a cause of sometimes violent protest that threatens to further destabilize the DRC.

As the New York Times reported earlier this month:

An implosion of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country almost the size of western Europe, could spill into and involve some of the nine countries it borders. In the late 1990s, neighbouring countries were sucked into what became known as the Great War of Africa, which resulted in several million deaths.

Friedland’s nearly hour-long address made no mention of jurisdictional risk. But the audience of hundreds, presumably most of them retail investors, responded warmly to the serial success story. He’s the one who, after Ivanhoe languished at five-year lows in early 2016, propelled the stock more than 300% over the last 12 months.

King’s Bay prepares for Newfoundland copper-cobalt field program

July 26th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 26, 2017

Update: Effective August 14, 2017, King’s Bay Gold begins trading as King’s Bay Resources TSXV:KBG.

Copper-cobalt findings dating to the 19th century have King’s Bay Gold TSXV:KBG about to begin Phase I exploration on its Trump Island project off Newfoundland’s northern coast. The company has a team ready to study historic data prior to geophysics and grab sampling on the 200-hectare property. Depending on results, Phase II could incorporate drilling.

King’s Bay prepares for Newfoundland copper-cobalt field program

The property’s exploration history dates to 1863, when a Cornish miner sunk a six-metre shaft to follow a zone of massive chalcopyrite. Mineralization reportedly expanded with depth but the technology of the time prevented further excavation. Nevertheless the Cousin Jack reportedly shipped to Wales high-grade copper-cobalt material archaically recorded as “40 pounds per fathom.”

Grab samples collected near the shaft in 1999 showed historic, non-43-101 results up to 3.8% copper, 0.3% cobalt, 2.9 g/t gold and 10.9 g/t silver.

Located seven miles south of the town of Twillingate, Trump Island has boat access to a highway 1.5 kilometres away.

Last month King’s Bay reported geophysical results from another copper-cobalt project, this one along a provincial highway in Labrador. Airborne VTEM over the 24,000-hectare Lynx Lake property revealed a shallow anomaly of high resistivity about 400 metres in diameter and 50 to 300 metres in depth. The results came from the project’s West Pit, where historic, non-43-101 grab samples showed up to 1.03% copper, 0.566% cobalt, 0.1% nickel, 5 g/t silver, 0.36% chromium, 0.39% molybdenum and 0.23% vanadium.

Lynx Lake’s summer agenda includes higher-resolution ground geophysics, possible stripping to expose bedrock south of the pit and follow-up work on historic soil samples on the property’s southeastern area, along with mapping and sampling over both areas.

The company’s portfolio also includes three Quebec properties with historic, non-43-101 cobalt results.

Earlier this month King’s Bay closed a first tranche totalling $316,250 of a private placement offered up to $725,000. The company expects to close the second tranche by the end of August. King’s Bay closed a previous financing of $938,752 in January.

Read about cobalt supply and demand.

See an infographic about cobalt.

Barite concentrate from Mountain Boy Minerals’ B.C. project surpasses industry standards

July 18th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 18, 2017

It’s a commodity essential to oil and gas drilling and one that the North American industry relies mostly on imports. But Mountain Boy Minerals TSXV:MTB has found barite on its Surprise Creek property in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle. Now metallurgical tests have produced a concentrate that far exceeds standards of the American Petroleum Institute, the company announced July 18.

Barite concentrate from Mountain Boy Minerals’ B.C. project surpasses industry standards

Mountain Boy explores the Golden Triangle for base
and precious metals, as well as industrial minerals.

“We are talking about a mineral which, according to the 2016 USGS report on barite, sells for an average of $198 f.o.b. mill with industry relying on imports for 78% of its needs,” said chairperson René Bernard. “With this knowledge in hand we can now promote our location within short trucking distance to deep water port, infrastructure, metal credits and proximity to key markets to attract industry partnerships. Our goal is to have a 43-101 industrial mineral resource later this year after all drilling is completed.”

Flotation tests were applied to a VMS-mineralized intercept that assayed 0.12 g/t gold, 28 g/t silver, 1.21% zinc, 0.03% lead, 0.31% copper and 46.73% barite over 18.94 metres. The hole remained open as drilling was suspended due to bad weather.

Flotation first separated copper and zinc, producing a concentrate of 26.2% copper at 70.5% recovery and 53.8% zinc at 89.1% recovery in an open cycle batch test. Higher recovery would be anticipated in a closed circuit test, the lab reported.

The tailings then underwent open circuit flotation, producing 91.6% BaSO4 at 83.2% recovery. The lab estimated that locked cycle tests could bring barite recovery closer to 90%.

The core comes from a drill hole on the Ataman zone, which extends over 1,200 metres of strike and comprises one of a number of the 100%-optioned property’s VMS zones. Last year’s surface work found a 25-metre-wide barite zone with significant base metals values 120 metres west of the hole, Mountain Boy stated. “Surface work also indicated barite zones extending to the mountaintop.”

This year’s Surprise Creek plans include further definition of sulphide/sulphide-barite zones and natural barite veins, along with additional metallurgical work on 2017 drill core, as well as the 43-101 resource.

Reporting on another northwestern B.C. project earlier this month, Mountain Boy announced the third hole in a row showing visible gold from its 35%-held Red Cliff property.

The company’s Golden Triangle portfolio also includes a 100% option on the BA project; a 20% stake in Silver Coin, a gold-silver-base metals project with a resource estimate; the MB property, with historic, non-43-101 polymetallic estimates; a 50% stake in the George property, with non-43-101 copper-silver-gold estimates; the American Creek and Bear Valley silver-base metals projects; as well as copper-gold claims. In southern B.C., Mountain Boy plans to begin PEA studies on its Manuel Creek zeolite project.

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

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

Ken Lapierre discusses Rockcliff Copper’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake portfolio of projects

July 17th, 2017

…Read more

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.”

Visual Capitalist: How commodities performed in H1 and why they’re very cheap

July 5th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | July 5, 2017

If you’re looking for action, the commodities sector has traditionally been a good place to find it.

With wild price swings, massive up-cycles, exciting resource discoveries and extreme weather events all playing into things, there’s rarely a dull day in the sector. That being said, it’s hard to remember a more lacklustre period for commodities than the last couple of years.

For commodity bulls, the good news is that the sector is no longer tanking. The bad news, however, is that all the recent action has been in relatively niche sectors, as metals like cobalt, zinc and lithium all have their day in the sun.

At the same time, the big commodities (gold, oil, copper) have all slid sideways, having yet to revisit their former periods of glory.

Commodity winners so far

Before we highlight why commodities could still be cheap, let’s look at recent performance to get some context. Here are the commodities that have positive returns in H1 2017 so far:

How commodities performed in H1 and why they’re very cheap

 

Palladium is the best performer in 2017 so far, and it has now almost passed platinum in price. That would be the first time since 2001 that this has happened, and for the stretch of 2007 to 2012 it was even true that palladium traded at a $1,000 deficit to platinum.

Agricultural goods like rough rice, lean hogs, oats and wheat have also gotten more expensive so far this year. Meanwhile, metals like gold, copper and silver have seen modest gains—but only after dismal performances in the last part of 2016.

The losers so far

Here is the scoreboard for the commodities in negative territory, with the most noticeable losses in sugar and energy.

How commodities performed in H1 and why they’re very cheap

 

Are commodities cheap?

From the post-crisis bottom in 2009 until today, the S&P 500 is up a staggering 215.4%.

During that same timeframe, most major commodities crashed and then went sideways. The Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) is down roughly 31.2%, which is a strong juxtaposition to how equities have done.

This extreme divergence can be best seen in this long-term chart, which compares the two indices since 1971.

How commodities performed in H1 and why they’re very cheap

 

In other words: Despite the lack of action in commodities that we noted earlier, the sector has never been cheaper relative to equities, even going back 45 years.

That means that there could be some much-needed action soon.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Three in a row as another hole hits visible gold for Mountain Boy Minerals

July 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 5, 2017

The first three holes testing the Montrose zone of Mountain Boy Minerals’ (TSXV:MTB) Red Cliff project have all revealed yellow-tinged core. With assays still to come, the company announced visible gold in galena-sphalerite stringers at depths lower than expected, showing up at core lengths of 163 metres, 227 metres and 229 metres in a wide mineralized intrusive. Two weeks earlier Mountain Boy reported similar results for the second hole of the Phase I underground program in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.

Three in a row as another hole hits visible gold for Mountain Boy Minerals

While assays are pending, the core looks
pleasing to Mountain Boy Minerals.

Another three holes have been completed on the property’s Red Cliff zone, about 900 metres south of Montrose. Findings so far indicate a mineralized zone five to six metres wide with strong chalcopyrite-pyrite within quartz veins and silicified intrusive, Mountain Boy stated.

Mountain Boy has a 35% interest in the joint venture, while Decade Resources TSXV:DEC holds the rest. Adjacently north, Decade works towards a 100% interest on the Silver Crown 6 claim. North of Silver Crown 6, Mountain Boy holds a 100% interest in the MB property, with historic, non-43-101 polymetallic estimates. Decade’s 100%-held Red Cliff Extension claim sits along the east side of Silver Crown 6.

Mountain Boy’s other Golden Triangle interests include a 20% stake in Silver Coin, with a 2011 gold-silver-zinc resource; 100% options on the Surprise Creek base metal-silver-barite project and BA silver-lead-zinc project; a 50% stake in the George property, with non-43-101 copper-silver-gold estimates; the American Creek and Bear Valley silver-base metals projects; as well as copper-gold claims. In southern B.C., meanwhile, the company’s Manuel Creek zeolite project has PEA studies slated to begin.

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

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

A cornucopia in B.C.

June 30th, 2017

Isabel Belger discusses precious and base metals, industrial commodities with René Bernard of Mountain Boy Minerals

 

Isabel Belger discusses precious and base metals, industrial minerals with Rene Bernard of Mountain Boy Minerals

Isabel Belger

Isabel: I would like to introduce the new chairman of Mountain Boy Minerals TSXV:MTB, René Bernard. Hi René, it is a pleasure to talk to you again and congratulations on becoming chairman. Tell us a little bit about your background, and the decision for you to become chairman of Mountain Boy Minerals.

René: Thank you Isabel, it is always a pleasure to talk to you. Several years ago, I researched a number of junior exploration companies to invest in. I came across Mountain Boy Minerals and was attracted by their 20% carried interest in the Silver Coin property, a 43-101 resource next to a mature mining camp, and their ownership in several other properties with high-grade gold and silver mineralization. After my initial investment, I started talking to management and had an opportunity to visit the properties. As my share position grew over time I offered the company experience I had gained as CEO, president and director of several listed companies in the mineral resource sector. When I agreed to be a director, I was asked by the board to be chair and to actively help with their vision to advance the company’s mining assets.

Isabel: Mountain Boy Minerals projects are all in British Columbia. Could you give a little overview of your properties?

René: Ed [Kruchkowski], our president and CEO, has worked as a geologist in the Golden Triangle of northwestern B.C. for decades. This has allowed him to acquire over time some of the most promising properties. All of our properties, from the gold-rich Silver Coin and Red Cliff claim blocks to the MB Silver, which hosts Bonanza-grade silver mineralization, to the two large VMS zones present on the BA and Surprise Creek properties, have the potential to be operating mines. Not to take away from our precious and base metal assets, we also find industrial metals in our properties which could be profitably mined due to the proximity of roads, power and a deep water port within 30 to 40 kilometres. Earlier this year, we acquired a zeolite property in southern B.C. which is also close to the markets this mineral targets for its use.

Isabel: What have been the highlights so far?

René: There are many, but what comes to mind is the 43-101 report on the Silver Coin showing a large gold resource, our continued success in drilling into high-grade gold mineralization at Red Cliff, and our recent acquisition of the 50% interest in the BA and Surprise Creek properties.

Isabel: Cobalt and lithium have gained a lot of attention within the last year or so. MTB owns properties with the interesting commodities barite and zeolite. Could you explain to the readers what these two (maybe not so well known) commodities are used for and shed some light on why they are interesting?

Isabel Belger discusses precious and base metals, industrial minerals with Rene Bernard of Mountain Boy Minerals

René Bernard took up Mountain Boy
Minerals’ board leadership in May.

René: There would be no oil and gas exploration as we know it today without barite. It is a heavy non-metal mineral which is used as a weighing agent in drilling fluids to control pressure. There are no real alternatives to the use of this mineral. It is deemed a critical mineral as there is not enough local supply to meet demand. As per USGS, 78% of the North American demand was met through imports in 2016, mostly from China, India and Morocco. The USGS quotes the average value per ton as $198 f.o.b. mill. Our situation is unique in that we identified … barite within a large VMS system. The embedded barite zones also carry significant base and precious metal values, as observed by surface sampling and drilling, which adds value in the processing stage. The property is within eight kilometres of a B.C. Hydro transmission line and within 30 minutes’ trucking distance to the deep water port of Stewart.

At our zeolite property we have large zeolite beds with similar favourable infrastructure. Zeolite is called the mineral of a thousand uses. You will see its application in agriculture, water filtration, municipal wastewater treatment, oil spill and soil remediation, and much more.

Isabel: What‘s your strategy and your next steps with the two projects, maybe relating to how much easier it is to produce these in comparison to gold, and how that could help to make revenue—which could be used for developing the other projects?

René: On the barite project, we need to establish a 43-101 resource through systematic drilling. We have submitted material to an analytical lab to show metal recovery and barite specification through gravity and flotation treatment. Later in the year we will have to perform larger-scale testing to show that the process will work in a large operation. We will soon seek to engage industry partners in this exciting discovery.

At the zeolite property we are in the process of conducting several studies which will help us to get the support of the provincial government and local First Nations stakeholders in applying for a quarry licence in the future. We will also need to block out significant volumes through drilling and trenching, and submit samples for testing. The idea has been floating within the company to engage an engineering firm to test for processes to create a slow-release fertilizer. A value-added product like this could be marketed in large quantities and add great value for the company.

Isabel: What is the most exciting thing happening right now at Mountain Boy?

Isabel Belger discusses precious and base metals, industrial minerals with Rene Bernard of Mountain Boy Minerals

An intercept from late last year on the Ataman zone of Mountain Boy’s
50%-held Surprise Creek project showed 4.31% zinc, 44.75 g/t silver,
0.33% copper and 67% barite over 4.58 metres.

René: Our current drill program on the Red Cliff property, which started a couple of weeks ago, and getting ready to do work on the Ataman zone, a 600-metre-wide VMS system we discovered recently on the Surprise Creek property.

Isabel: What are the plans for the rest of 2017?

René: To do good work in advancing our properties with a focus on near-production opportunities. On the corporate side, we will focus on showing our shareholders and potential shareholders the value we see in our different properties. We will reach out to the mining and petroleum industry to attract potential equity partners. These partners would offer more to us than just money; their experience with commodities such as gold, silver, zinc, as well as barite and zeolite, and how to mine them and bring them to market. The company will be in early consultation with provincial and local government and the representatives of First Nations communities.

Isabel: How much money do you have in the bank?

René: Money is always a rare commodity with junior mineral explorers as we are tasked to spend it in developing our properties as soon as we receive it. We are contacting potential industry partners for financial participation and will work with the investment industry and individual shareholders to secure the funds necessary.

Isabel: How much of Mountain Boy is held by the management?

René: Management owns approximately 40% of the outstanding shares. We want to show our investors and co-owners that we truly believe in the value of our assets.

Isabel: What do you like about the mineral exploration business?

René: It is exciting and highly rewarding once an economic resource has been discovered and developed.

Isabel: What is your favourite commodity and why?

René: I like gold; though we all like gold (laughs). I favour silver and zinc to be champions due to depleting stockpiles and ever-increasing uses. I like the practical applications industrial minerals such as barite and zeolite are sought for and how fast they can be brought into production with minimal investments, creating much-desired cash flow.

Isabel: Where do you see the gold price?

René: Somewhere within $1,100 and $1,400 from the understanding I have about the markets and what drives supply and demand.

Read more about Mountain Boy Minerals here and here.

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