Wednesday 30th September 2020

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘fluorite’

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project

September 10th, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 10, 2020

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find increased fluorspar mineralization in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project

A map approximates the fluorspar mineralized
trend found within the property’s wider niobium trend.

 

By focusing on some critical minerals another was neglected, these companies realized. Already aware of niobium, tantalum and phosphate, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE re-assayed core extracted last year and in 2008 on northern Quebec’s Niobium Claim Group project. The area in focus was the property’s Mallard prospect.

Located two kilometres from Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) advanced-stage Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit, Saville operates the earlier-stage, 1,223-hectare Niobium Claim Group on a 75% earn-in from Commerce.

Originally, only the highest-grade intervals were assayed for fluorine. But a review of two programs of historic drilling and Saville’s own 2019 Phase I campaign outlined a previously under-rated fluorspar trend within the project’s niobium trend. 

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find increased fluorspar mineralization in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project

Fluorspar shows its true colours in this 2008 core.

A second look at selected intervals supports that analysis. The re-assayed intervals confirm “a broad and extensive fluorspar mineralized trend at Mallard, which extends for at least 600 metres along strike and is open to the northwest, southeast, down-dip, and is interpreted to continue to surface,” the companies stated. “The trend remains to be delineated significantly outside of the core Mallard area.”

One 2008 intercept originally graded 30.7% CaF2 over 22.3 metres. New assays show that interval to be part of a wider zone grading 21.5% over 38.6 metres. Additionally, the intercept shows niobium, tantalum and phosphate at moderate grades of 0.36% Nb2O5, 103 ppm Ta2O5 and 5.3% P2O5.

Another 2008 hole hadn’t previously been assayed for fluorspar. It now shows 8% CaF2 over 47.2 metres, including 23.6% over five metres.

A 2019 hole reached 8.4% CaF2, 0.36% Nb2O5, 122 ppm Ta2O5 and 5.4% P2O5 over 22.5 metres, including 11.9% CaF2 over six metres. This interval extends at depth a 2010 hole that assayed 14.8% CaF2 over 6.2 metres. These results suggest continuation northwest along strike.

Another 2019 hole now shows 8.5% CaF2 over six metres.

True widths were unavailable.

Saville plans a 3D model of the trend to locate targets where high-grade fluorspar-bearing carbonatite might overlap with high-grade niobium-bearing carbonatite.

Fluorspar, niobium, tantalum and rare earths all appear on the U.S. list of 35 critical minerals. Along with phosphate rock, they also make the recently released EU list of 30 critical raw materials. In June Canada and the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to the Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration announced in January, which would encourage investment and development for North American mining projects and supply chains.

As part of the EU plan to secure critical materials, this week the European Commission stated that “pilot partnerships with Canada, interested countries in Africa and the EU’s neighbourhood will start as of 2021.”

Meet the Zimtu teams

September 3rd, 2020

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

by Greg Klein | September 3, 2020

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

 

Their projects span early exploration to advanced development. Their goals include base, precious and critical minerals, but also extend to technology and energy. A wide range of potential comes to the fore on September 10, when Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC presents a Zoom conference highlighting eight of its colleague companies.

Below we offer an overview of each company. But first here’s how to take part.

To attend, RSVP MPatience@Zimtu.com.

The event takes place September 10 at 8 a.m. Vancouver/Pacific time, 11 a.m. Toronto/Eastern time, 5 p.m. Frankfurt/Central European time.

Click this link to connect.

If prompted, enter meeting ID 868 2490 1684 and meeting passcode 679221.

To take part by phone, dial by location:

Canada toll-free
855 703 8985     

U.S. toll-free
833 548 0276
833 548 0282
877 853 5257
888 475 4499       

Germany toll-free
0 800 000 6954
0 800 000 1590

Switzerland
+41 43 210 71 08
+41 44 529 92 72
+41 22 591 00 05
+41 22 591 01 56
+41 31 528 09 88
+41 43 210 70 42

Meeting ID: 868 2490 1684

Click here to find your local number.

 

And here are the companies

 

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD

Promising geology and proven methodology will come together at Arctic Star Exploration’s (TSXV:ADD) Diagras project in the Northwest Territories’ diamondiferous Lac de Gras region. Currently holding 40% of a joint venture, the company intends to assume operation and increase its ownership when spring offers optimum work conditions.

In addition to drilling, Arctic Star’s plans include gravity and electromagnetic surveys on seven of the property’s 21 known kimberlites. The gravity/EM approach follows that of Kennady Diamonds, which successfully employed the methodology on its Kennady North project two kilometres away. In 2018 Kennady North was acquired by Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPVD, De Beers’ JV partner on the adjacent Gahcho Kué mine. Gravity and EM have so far found five drill targets at Diagras.

Arctic Star’s 100%-held Timantti diamond project in Finland hosts nine known diamondiferous kimberlites. With some 150 kilograms of samples ready for processing, ground work is expected to resume once pandemic conditions allow.

Read more about Arctic Star Exploration.

 

Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Once re-opened, Lost Sheep will be
America’s only producing fluorspar mine.

The U.S. currently imports its entire supply of this critical mineral but Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS plans to change that soon by opening the country’s only fluorspar operation. Production at Utah’s Lost Sheep mine could begin this autumn without de-risking through successive PEA and feasibility studies, but with the apparent confidence of the Mujim Group. The multinational fluorspar mining and distribution company visited the property earlier this year prior to buying a 9% stake in Ares.

Three of five exploration holes found visible fluorspar, while assays have just been released from 12 holes totalling 900 metres of delineation drilling. Results show high grades over wide intervals from near-surface and at-surface intercepts. Metallurgical tests have upgraded Lost Sheep material above 97% CaF2, achieving the level of higher-priced acidspar.

Ares also holds the Liard fluorspar project in northern British Columbia. Seven areas of the highway-accessible 476-hectare property host historic, non-43-101 estimates.

Read more about Ares Strategic Mining.

September 9 update: Ares launches this summer’s second drill program at Lost Sheep.

 

Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Well-understood host minerals, distribution of magnet
feed elements and a friendly jurisdiction distinguish
Commerce Resources’ RE-fluorspar project.

Few if any elements dominate concern about critical minerals like rare earths. That places all the more focus on Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit, an advanced-stage Quebec project that also hosts one of the world’s largest fluorspar resources. While working towards pre-feasibility, the company has metallurgical studies advancing on a number of levels, benefiting not only Ashram but the creation of supply chains independent of China. The deposit’s carbonatite-hosted mineralization and relatively simple monazite, bastnasite and xenotime mineralogy complement conventional rare earths processing. Metallurgy has also upgraded Ashram’s fluorspar content to higher-priced acidspar.

Ashram also features a strong presence of high-demand magnet feed elements neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium. Work is underway to upgrade the 2012 resource that used a 1.25% cutoff to show:

  • measured and indicated: 29.27 million tonnes averaging 1.9% total rare earth oxides and 2.94% fluorine

  • inferred: 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO and 2.21% F

The deposit starts at surface.

Looking at other critical minerals, Commerce also holds the advanced-stage Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southern British Columbia.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

September 10 update: Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project.

 

Core Assets Corp CSE:CC

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Historic results, more recent sampling and a
greater understanding of regional geology prompted
Core Assets’ major land expansion in B.C.

Determined to become a major explorer in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, Core Assets Corp CSE:CC started trading in July, then began September with a nine-fold property expansion. The inspiration for boosting its Blue and Silver Lime holdings to 14,815 hectares comes from continual advancements in the understanding of porphyry, skarn and carbonate replacement-type deposits globally and in the Triangle itself.

The new ground covers the Llewelyn fault zone, which the company believes to be the main transport corridor for high-grade metals found on the property at surface. An historic, non-43-101 drill hole at Blue reached 0.27% copper over 173.2 metres. Grab samples from 2018 graded up to 1.57 g/t gold, 46.5 g/t silver and 8.46% copper.

The 2018 grab samples from never-drilled Silver Lime included 1.16 g/t gold, 913 g/t silver, 12.45% zinc and 20% lead. Core’s regionally experienced team plans a regional magnetic survey over the property.

Watch an interview with the Core Assets team.

 

Dimension Five Technologies CSE:DFT

Creating high-value products, even energy, from waste materials is the goal of Aduro Energy, now subject of an LOI for a reverse takeover by Dimension Five Technologies CSE:DFT. Founded in 2012, Ontario-based Aduro has developed a smart chemistry approach using three water-based technologies to transform diverse feedstocks that include renewable oils as well as waste plastics, foams and rubber. The result can be new plastics, foams, hydrocarbon fuels or specialty chemicals.

Aduro has its three areas of technology—trademarked as Hydrochemolytic Plastics Upgrading, Hydrochemolytic Renewables Upgrading and Hydrochemolytic Bitumen Upgrading—now undergoing demonstration and commercialization stages.

Learn more about Aduro Energy.

 

Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Despite extensive previous mining, Aznalcollar
hosts an impressive historic base metals estimate.

Most of Spain’s bullion came from the New World but Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO believes there’s untapped gold-silver potential on its Paymogo polymetallic project. Located amid former and current operations in southern Spain’s Iberian Pyrite Belt, Paymogo’s Romanera deposit hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 2.2% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44.4 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

Eight kilometres away, Paymogo’s Infanta area has historic, non-43-101 reports of high-grade copper-lead-zinc-silver intervals. While preparing an exploration permit application, Emerita is compiling data from 51 holes at Romanera and 48 at Infanta for a digital database to guide another round of drilling.

The company also awaits a court decision regarding a disputed tender for the Aznalcollar zinc-lead past-producer on the same Iberian belt. In May Emerita signed a binding letter agreement to earn a 55% interest in the Sierra Alta gold property in northern Spain. Company assets also include a 50% JV interest in the Plaza Norte zinc project near Spain’s northern coast.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

September 9 update: Emerita releases historic assays prior to drilling Paymogo.

 

Saville Resources TSXV:SRE

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Saville outperformed historic intercepts with its
Phase I drill program on the Niobium Claim Group in Quebec.

Two kilometres from Commerce Resources’ Ashram RE-fluorspar deposit, another company explores for other critical minerals—niobium and tantalum. Working on a 75% earn-in from Commerce, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE has also found fluorspar potential on the early-stage Niobium Claim Group.

Saville sunk five holes last year in a promising Phase I campaign on the property’s Mallard prospect. Along with historic results, three drill programs total 14 holes and 3,537 metres on Mallard. Each program surpassed its predecessor for grades and widths while expanding three zones of mineralization that remain open in all directions. Encouraging historic drill results have also come from the project’s Northwest and Star Trench prospects. Yet to be drilled are other high-priority areas, especially Miranna where high-grade boulder samples have reached an exceptional 5.93% Nb2O5.

The property’s host rock predominates in pyrochlore-group minerals and/or ferrocolumbite, amenable to familiar processing methods as the world’s main source of niobium supply.

September 10 update: Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project.

 

Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR

Intermittent green electricity, grid backup and off-grid supply call for long-term electrical storage. Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR has made inroads into New York by offering a low-cost, reliable approach.

The company’s system stores electricity in zinc particles, avoiding expensive battery minerals like lithium, vanadium and cobalt. When the storage system provides electricity, zinc particles combine with oxygen. When the system recharges, the zinc particles are regenerated and oxygen is returned.

Storage can be scaled from 20 kW to megawatts, making Zinc8’s system suitable for microgrids and utilities. The latter have already shown interest. 

In January the New York Power Authority, America’s largest public power organization, selected the Zinc8 system out of more than 60 contenders for a commercial or industrial demonstration facility. Two months later Digital Energy Corp chose Zinc8 to install a 100 kW/1.5 MWh storage system at a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Brooklyn. Buoyed by New York interest, Zinc8 has since created a U.S. subsidiary.

Read an op-ed by Zinc8 president/CEO Ron MacDonald.

 

The Zoom with Zimtu event takes place September 10 at 8 a.m. Vancouver/Pacific time, 11 a.m. Toronto/Eastern time, 5 p.m. Frankfurt/Central European time. Click here and learn how to attend.

 

Commerce Resources’ rare earths-fluorspar project featured on two presentations at Conference of Metallurgists

August 20th, 2020

This story has been updated and moved here.

Ares Strategic Mining appoints Keith Minty project manager for U.S. fluorspar property

August 19th, 2020

by Greg Klein | August 19, 2020

A shares-for-debt agreement solidifies the participation of a seasoned mine-builder in a near-term production plan. On August 19 Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS announced the appointment of Keith Minty P.Eng. as VP/project manager for its Lost Sheep fluorspar project in Utah. The company hopes to begin production as early as autumn of this year, making the operation the sole fluorspar mine in the U.S.

Under the agreement Minty will settle $14,100 of present invoices and 60% of future invoices through shares. The company “welcomes Mr. Minty to its shareholder base and draws great confidence from the endorsement and assessment he has made of the company’s potential,” Ares stated.

Last June president/CEO James Walker told ResourceClips.com that Minty “helped put nine mines into production that are way bigger than ours.”

Ares Strategic Mining appoints Keith Minty project manager for U.S. fluorspar property

Ares plans to re-open a permitted former fluorspar operation
as the United States’ sole producer of this critical mineral.

In 2000 Northern Miner named him Mining Man of the Year for turning around the Lac des Iles PGM mine in Ontario now held by Impala Canada. The publication credited Minty with exploration that expanded the operation, as well as corporate housecleaning and a technical review of mining and processing operations.

“His project development experience will be an invaluable asset to the company during the development stages of our Lost Sheep mine,” commented Walker. “We consider his involvement to be a major validation of our plans and future ambitions.”

The company plans to move to production without de-risking at the PEA or feasibility levels. Fluorspar, also known as fluorite and calcium fluoride (CaF2) is considered a critical mineral in the U.S. and EU. The U.S. currently has no significant domestic production. The 586-hectare Lost Sheep property is permitted for mining.

The company has assays pending from last spring’s 12-hole, 900-metre drill campaign and has conducted metallurgical tests to upgrade Lost Sheep material to higher-grade, higher-priced acidspar. Last month Ares contracted P&E Mining Consultants to complete a mine plan for Lost Sheep.

Ares also holds the 476-hectare Liard property in northern British Columbia, an April acquisition that came with historic, non-43-101 fluorspar estimates.

Read more about Ares Strategic Mining.

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources announce fluorspar trend on Quebec niobium property

July 23rd, 2020

by Greg Klein | July 23, 2020

Further analysis of previous drilling shows further critical mineral potential for an early-stage project. Saville Resources TSXV:SRE has identified an encouraging fluorspar trend in the Mallard area of its Niobium Claim Group following review of assays showing niobium, tantalum and phosphate, as well as fluorspar.

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources announce fluorspar trend on Quebec niobium property

Saville operates the 1,223-hectare project on a 75% earn-in from Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE that calls for $5 million of spending within five years. Two kilometres away, Commerce moves its Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit towards pre-feasibility.

Saville’s review covered results from historic drilling as well as last year’s five-hole, 1,049-metre program. Overall, three drill campaigns have totalled 14 holes and 3,537 metres.

The study outlines a fluorspar trend within the primary niobium trend that’s “broader and more extensive than previously understood,” the company stated. Stretching laterally at least 600 metres, the fluorspar trend remains open to the northwest, southeast and down dip, “and is interpreted to continue to surface where it is obscured by a shallow veneer of overburden,” Saville added. “Fluorspar mineralization is readily observable to the naked eye as the fluorspar present is purple in colour and relatively abundant where grades are of interest.”

The company now plans to have assay pulps undergo laboratory fluorine analysis.

Fluorspar, niobium and tantalum have been designated critical minerals by the United States. A number of American initiatives to secure domestic and allied sources include the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives and now faces Senate debate. In June Canada and the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to the Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration announced in January, which would encourage investment and development for North American mining projects and supply chains.

Commerce Resources reports high grades over wide intervals at Quebec rare earths-fluorspar project

November 28th, 2019

by Greg Klein | November 28, 2019

With core moved from the storage vault to the lab, new assays further confidence in a resource update anticipated for next year as the Ashram deposit advances towards pre-feasibility. The results come from a 14-hole, 2,014-metre program sunk in 2016 but only recently assayed for budgetary reasons. Now cashed-up Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE unveils an impressive batch of near-surface rare earths and fluorspar intercepts from the northern Quebec property.

Commerce Resources reports high grades over wide intervals at Quebec rare earths-fluorspar project

Among the highlights are one of the project’s best-yet intercepts: 2.38% rare earth oxides over 64.54 metres, with sub-intervals including 3.02% over 28.35 metres. Another standout shows 1.71% over 221.95 metres, including 2.18% over 36.16 metres. Yet another hole boasts 2.16% over 53.55 metres. (True widths were unavailable.)

These are near-surface results, starting at downhole depths of 66.5 metres, 2.69 metres and 1.54 metres respectively.

Another critical mineral and one not factored into Ashram’s previous PEA, fluorspar also comes through in impressive grades, such as 7.2% calcium fluoride over 221.95 metres, including 11.5% CaF2 over 36.16 metres. Metallurgical studies currently underway work on upgrading the fluorspar to higher-priced acid grade in a flowsheet that would provide both rare earths and fluorspar concentrates, improve RE extraction and reduce tailings. The Colorado lab will also produce samples to meet requests from potential customers.

This round of definition drilling targeted the deposit’s northern, western and southern margins with holes spaced 50 metres apart, and in some cases 25 metres apart. Additional drilling at 25-metre centres may take place.

Using a 1.25% cutoff, Ashram’s 2012 resource estimate showed:

  • measured: 1.59 million tonnes averaging 1.77% total rare earth oxides

  • indicated: 27.67 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO

  • inferred: 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO

The carbonatite-hosted deposit features relatively simple monazite, bastnasite and xenotime mineralogy, familiar to conventional rare earths processing

Anticipated for the coming year is Ashram’s first resource update since 2012, factoring in 9,625 metres of drilling since then. Previous drilling followed mineralization from near-surface to depths beyond 600 metres where mineralization remains open, as evidenced by 4.13% REO over 0.6 metres beginning at 599.9 metres’ depth.

Work continues as the United States and other allied countries show increasing concern about China’s domination of several critical minerals with a special focus on rare earths but also including fluorspar, tantalum and niobium. Commerce also holds the advanced-stage Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southern British Columbia.

About two kilometres from Ashram, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE operates the Niobium Claim Group under a 75% earn-in from Commerce. After releasing niobium-tantalum-phosphate results last June, Saville now has the project’s fluorspar potential under evaluation.

Earlier this month Commerce closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $2.51 million. Another placement in August garnered $413,749.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Commerce Resources’ rare earths project shows fluorspar byproduct potential

March 1st, 2016

by Greg Klein | March 1, 2016

Metallurgical tests bring further encouragement for a possible byproduct from Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram rare earths deposit in Quebec. A Colorado lab has produced over 50 fluorspar concentrates through the project’s base case beneficiation flowsheet, comprised of flotation, leaching and magnetic separation, Commerce announced March 1. The mini-pilot plant concentrates fluorspar with rare earths until the final stage of processing, when a fluorspar concentrate is separated from the rare earths concentrate.

Commerce Resources’ rare earths project shows fluorspar byproduct potential

Outcrops bearing rare earths overlay
Ashram’s shallow, high-grade deposit.

Fluorspar, also known as fluorite and measured in calcium fluoride (CaF2), comes in two grades. Acidspar, or acid grade, finds uses in hydrofluoric acid necessary for fridges, freezers and air conditioners. Metspar, or metallurgical grade, is used to make steel, aluminum, ceramics and glass. China, and to a lesser extent Mexico, dominate global fluorspar production, Commerce noted.

In one of Ashram’s best concentrates so far, the lab produced 42% total rare earth oxides at 76% recovery along with approximately 75% CaF2 at 80% recovery. The project’s fluorspar concentrates have averaged between about 75% and 94%, which could potentially be sold as metspar without further processing.

The byproduct would result as a final tails product of the primary REE recovery process, requiring no additional cost to produce and could potentially reduce the volume of tailings.

In addition, Commerce plans tests to try upgrading the metspar concentrate into the more highly priced acidspar. Offtake discussions are underway with several interested parties, the company added.

The potential byproduct wasn’t factored into Ashram’s preliminary economic assessment. The project now moves toward pre-feasibility.

Commerce emphasizes Ashram’s relatively simple mineralogy, potentially allowing for a low-cost operation. Early last month the company announced tests indicating the process might eliminate one of two leaching stages while maintaining efficiency.

As pre-feas work advances, the company continues to raise money. In early January Commerce closed the second tranche of a private placement that totalled $1.97 million. Late last month the company filed a final short form prospectus for an offer of between $1 million and $3 million, with a 15% over-allotment option.

Additionally, Commerce sees joint venture potential in its Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southeastern British Columbia, which has a 2011 PEA and 2013 resource update.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Read Chris Berry’s report: Building a Non-Chinese Rare Earth Supply Chain.

Commerce Resources president Chris Grove discusses the Ashram rare earths deposit in Quebec

July 3rd, 2015

…Read more

Ashram advances

May 20th, 2014

Favourable mineralogy helps Commerce Resources move its Quebec rare earth project towards pre-feasibility

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

On schedule and under budget, winter-spring drilling at Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit in northern Quebec wrapped up last week, bringing one of the world’s largest rare earth projects closer to pre-feasibility. Ashram advances at a time when China’s “costs of producing ‘cheap’ rare earths are becoming increasingly unsustainable in terms of the environment, the availability of reserves, the health of its communities and the political ramifications,” according to a 28-page report by Secutor Capital Management. The study adds that China “is beginning to worry about its own domestic supply, as China is its own biggest customer.”

Favourable mineralogy helps Commerce Resources move its Quebec rare earth project towards pre-feasibility

The Ashram deposit makes Commerce Resources “one of the most
advanced REE juniors in regards to metallurgy which, in the REE space,
is everything,” according to a report by Secutor Capital Management.

That puts an interesting perspective on Commerce, “one of the most advanced REE juniors in regards to metallurgy which, in the REE space, is everything,” Secutor analysts Arie Papernick and Lilliana Paoletti stated. “The Ashram project hosts a substantial resource with a well-balanced rare earth oxide (REO) distribution. The deposit is enriched in light and heavy rare earths, including all five of the critical elements. The mineralogy is simple due to the presence of the minerals monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime, which currently dominate commercial processing. Unlike many of its competitors, Commerce is able to produce a 43.6% total rare earth oxide (TREO) mineral concentrate due to the deposit’s simple mineralogy, allowing significant cost reductions.”

According to Ashram’s 2012 preliminary economic assessment, the extent of those critical elements—neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium—is “unusual in carbonatite deposits and especially those of such tonnage and grade.”

That resource used a cutoff of 1.25% total rare earth oxide to estimate a measured and indicated 29.3 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO, and an inferred 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO.

As the Secutor report emphasized, “REE mineralization is virtually completely contained within the minerals monazite, bastnaesite and xenotime, allowing Commerce Resources to use standard processing techniques. In the REE industry, the ability to use conventional metallurgy and processing is rather unique. Only four REE-bearing minerals out of over 200 have ever supplied the market in a material fashion. These four minerals currently, and historically, dominate commercial REE processing and are host to the REEs at Ashram.”

The 43.6% TREO concentrate, at a recovery of 70.7%, comprises “one of the highest-grade REE mineral concentrates which we are aware of produced by a junior mining company globally.”

It’s considerably higher than that of Ashram’s 2012 PEA, which anticipated reaching a target of 20% TREO at a recovery of 60% to 70% “through an established and commercially proven technology.” Yet the PEA’s base case considered a concentrate grading 10% TREO at 70% recovery.

In the REE industry, the ability to use conventional metallurgy and processing is rather unique.—Secutor Capital Management analysts Arie Papernick
and Lilliana Paoletti

The study used a 10% discount rate to project Ashram’s pre-tax, pre-finance net present value at $2.32 billion and a 44% internal rate of return. The capex, including contingency, came to $763 million with payback in 2.25 years. The PEA envisioned a 4,000-tonne-per-day open pit operating for 25 years—based on just 15% of the total resource.

And although rare earth prices have dropped since 2012, “the project remains robust,” Secutor maintains.

The higher-grade concentrate, with its capex and opex ramifications, is just one of the reasons analysts Papernick and Paoletti see a potentially more impressive pre-feas. Ashram’s infrastructure costs might benefit from proximity to the Lac Otelnuk iron project, 80 kilometres south. A joint venture of Adriana Resources TSXV:ADI and WISCO International Resources Development & Investment, it’s the “largest iron ore deposit in Canada with the potential of becoming one of the largest in the world,” according to Adriana. The project’s 2011 PEA calculated a $12.9-billion capex which included power and, via the link at Schefferville 165 kilometres southeast, railway to the deep sea port of Sept-Iles. Since then the Quebec government has indicated it will only permit a multi-user rail service.

Lac Otelnuk has full feasibility scheduled for completion by year-end.

Next Page 1 | 2

Prima’s TSX Venture debut

April 19th, 2013

Prima Fluorspar advances a critical mineral in a safe jurisdiction

by Greg Klein

Next Page 1 | 2

Is this any time to join the TSX Venture? According to Prima Fluorspar Corp TSXV:PF president/CEO Robert Bick, his company’s April 19 trading debut comes at exactly the right time. He maintains Prima has a necessary commodity for a niche market, a big, high-grade, near-surface historic resource, a strong team with past success and the likelihood of future interest from some very big players.

For all that, fluorspar’s hardly well-known. Yet it’s all around us. The lower-priced metallurgical grade finds its way into iron, steel, aluminum and cement. As for the pricier acid grade, modern refrigeration wouldn’t exist without it. Most new medicines rely on its derivatives. An EU-designated critical mineral, fluorspar plays a crucial role in producing a wide range of products we’d rather not live without. As emerging countries improve their living standards, those societies will find fluorspar products increasingly important.

Purple fluorspar right at surface offers encouraging signs for Prima’s Liard project in B.C.

Purple fluorspar right at surface offers encouraging signs
for Prima’s Liard project in B.C.

That probably explains China’s export restrictions. It’s both the fluorspar world’s largest producer and largest consumer, in the latter role mostly as a manufacturer of goods for export. Last year the country produced 61% of global supply, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, a slight decrease from the previous year. Mexico produced another 17.5% in 2012, with third-place Mongolia offering a mere 6%, demonstrating the enormous imbalance in world production.

Prices, meanwhile, have climbed 225% between 2005 and 2012.

Despite China’s overwhelming share of production, the country’s expected to become a net importer within five years. As Simon Moores of the authoritative journal Industrial Minerals has explained, country risk was a major factor in fluorspar’s designation as a critical mineral.

Located in a friendly jurisdiction, Prima’s Liard fluorspar project looks all the more appealing. The northern British Columbia property holds 22,500 hectares along the Alaska Highway in a region that is, by B.C. standards, not particularly rugged. And there’s certainly fluorspar in them there hills.

Chemical companies absolutely need what we do and there have been companies in Europe in the past, for example Bayer, who actually did their own fluorspar mining. But chemical companies have no idea what exploration is all about.—Robert Bick, president/CEO
of Prima Fluorspar

Some 3.2 million tonnes grading 32% calcium fluoride (CaF2, also known as fluorite), according to an historic, non-43-101 resource. That’s a big, high-grade—albeit non-compliant—asset that the Prima team plan to prove up and expand. “With fluorspar projects, it’s very difficult to get such high-grade deposits,” says geologist Neil McCallum of Dahrouge Geological Consulting. “And most of the high-grade deposits out there are vein-type deposits where you might only have widths of one or two metres. So we’ve got pretty wide mineralization. What we tested was exposed on surface.”

The 61 historic holes found 20 showings, seven of them major, along a 30-kilometre strike potential. Prima’s preliminary work last fall tested two showings to find channel samples of 23.76% CaF2 over 19.55 metres and 23.49% over 74.55 metres. By spring or early summer McCallum plans to be back with a field crew doing geophysics and setting up a base camp prior to this year’s drill campaign of up to 100 holes and 10,000 metres.

“We’ll mostly do confirmation holes until we get the geophysical results. Then we’ll focus on building resources. What we’re aiming for is something that could be mined cheaply. Having something at surface that’s open-pittable will be important,” McCallum explains.

“With rare earths and a lot of the specialty metals, a project sinks or floats on the right metallurgy,” he adds. “But with most fluorspar deposits, it’s a fairly simple process.” Historic metallurgical tests brought results over 97% CaF2, the threshold for the more expensive, more highly demanded acid grade fluorspar, known as acidspar. More recent improvements in metallurgical science suggest even better results to come, McCallum points out.

Next Page 1 | 2