Saturday 19th August 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Hudbay Minerals Inc (HBM)’

Rockcliff Copper readies for gold exploration on three of its northern Manitoba projects

May 25th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 25, 2017

Now known chiefly for VMS deposits, Manitoba’s Snow Lake actually began as a gold mining camp. With active projects in both categories, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU outlined near-term plans for three gold properties on May 25: Dickstone North (DSN), Laguna and Snow Lake Gold (SLG). The summer exploration will precede autumn drilling at Laguna.

Field work on Rockcliff’s 100%-held DSN will focus on a fault zone where historic, non-43-101 gold results included grab samples up to 34 g/t and channel samples up to 104.5 g/t over 0.25 metres. Work will also examine a 12-kilometre strike length that was overlooked by previous operators, Rockcliff stated.

Rockcliff Copper readies for gold exploration on three of its northern Manitoba projects

With a 100% option on the former Laguna gold mine, the company plans to resume this year’s surface and airborne geophysics following spring breakup. Intermittent mining on a single vein between 1916 and 1939 produced over 60,000 ounces from tonnage averaging 18.7 g/t. Rockcliff has previously announced surface grab samples ranging from trace to over 600 g/t. The geophysics will be followed by Laguna’s first drill program in over 70 years.

Another 100% option, SLG will undergo geological work on a major regional structural break with several areas of high-grade gold potential, the company added.

The three programs comprise just part of Rockcliff’s busy 2017 agenda for its approximately 45,000-hectare Snow Lake portfolio. The package also includes two copper-polymetallic deposits with resource estimates and four zinc deposits with historic, non-43-101 estimates, all within trucking distance of two Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM plants.

“While we remain committed to advancing our core VMS properties we cannot underestimate the primary lode gold potential of our project which includes Manitoba’s first and highest-grade gold mine,” said Rockcliff president/CEO Ken Lapierre. Last month the company announced a new VMS zone on the 51%-optioned Talbot property, where Phase II drilling has been producing copper-gold-zinc-silver results.

In addition to Talbot and Laguna, the company has drilling planned this year for its Bur zinc property and Rail copper-gold-silver project.

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

Rockcliff Copper drills new VMS zone on its northern Manitoba Snow Lake portfolio

April 26th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 26, 2017

Rockcliff Copper drills new VMS zone on its northern Manitoba Snow Lake portfolio

A third hole from this year’s Phase II campaign hit a new volcanogenic massive sulphide zone on the Talbot property, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU announced April 26. The company holds a 51% option with Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM on the property, part of Rockcliff’s Snow Lake project in northern Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake camp.

Hole TB-020 follows two holes released earlier this month. TB-020 and TB-019 tested the approximately 400- by 1,000-metre North Lens deep conductive plate, finding VMS mineralization 250 metres apart. Conductivity increases for an additional 800 vertical metres below TB-020, while mineralization remains open in all directions, Rockcliff stated.

Results for the newly released hole show:

  • 0.81% copper, 0.67 g/t gold, 1.91% zinc and 17.03 g/t silver for 2.4% copper-equivalent over 6.65 metres, starting at 1,030.13 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.44% copper, 1.66 g/t gold, 5.16% zinc and 26.5 g/t silver for 5.38% copper-equivalent over 1.92 metres)

  • 0.57% copper, 0.07 g/t gold and 5.77 g/t silver for 0.64% copper-equivalent over 16.91 metres, starting at 1,120.26 metres

Most large VMS mines in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake mining camp are comprised of multiple stacked VMS-rich lenses that were identified initially as geophysical conductive plates and the Talbot property appears to have those same attributes.—Ken Lapierre,
president/CEO of Rockcliff Copper

True widths weren’t available.

“Most large VMS mines in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake mining camp are comprised of multiple stacked VMS-rich lenses that were identified initially as geophysical conductive plates and the Talbot property appears to have those same attributes,” said Rockcliff president/CEO Ken Lapierre. The company plans further drilling this year to test the plate’s potential.

A January 2016 resource gives the Talbot deposit an inferred total for three zones:

  • 2.17 million tonnes averaging 2.8% copper, 2.4 g/t gold, 2.2% zinc and 54.6 g/t silver for 133.6 million pounds copper, 165,400 ounces gold, 107.4 million pounds zinc and 3.81 million ounces silver

Rockcliff’s Snow Lake project consists of several properties, with drilling planned this year on the Bur zinc project, Rail copper-polymetallic deposit and Penex zinc property, as well as Talbot. Other recent company news includes the discovery of a large conductive plate below the down-dip continuation of the historic Pen zinc deposit that neighbours Penex, and last month’s start of airborne and ground geophysics on the Laguna gold property.

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

Rockcliff Copper flies geophysics over former high-grade gold mine in Manitoba

March 6th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 6, 2017

In the property’s first program of its kind, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU has a state-of-the-art magnetometer survey now airborne over its Laguna gold project in Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake camp. Plans call for ground-based induced polarization to follow on the 3,499-hectare past-producer optioned in September. The property forms part of Rockcliff’s high-grade Snow Lake portfolio, which includes four other projects slated for drilling this year.

Rockcliff Copper flies geophysics over former high-grade gold mine in Manitoba

An historic sample of Laguna gold on
display at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum.

A helicopter-style drone will fly “extremely tightly spaced lines with high-density ground sampling distances without the need for line-cutting,” the company stated. “It is now possible to resolve individual magnetic anomalies that were previously indistinguishable when surveyed using conventional ground and airborne surveys.”

Initial ground geophysics will consist of 65 kilometres of gradient IP, which provides advantageous economics, signal-to-noise readings, lateral resolution and depth penetration, Rockcliff added.

Grab samples from four vein systems released in January ranged from 0.01 grams per tonne up to 25 g/t and 34.77 g/t gold. The field program “discovered that the gold mineralization is structurally controlled and associated with much thicker zones of gold-rich quartz stockwork systems not previously identified or reported in historic documents,” said president/CEO Ken Lapierre. “The detailed drone magnetometer and the IP surveys will play a pivotal role in following and identifying the horizontal and lateral extent of the known high-grade stockwork systems … With this Phase I geophysical data, we will be one step closer to our first drill program on the Laguna gold mine trend and the first on this trend in over 70 years.”

Located 20 kilometres from Hudbay Minerals’ (TSX:HBM) Snow Lake gold mill, Laguna produced over 60,000 gold ounces from one vein during intermittent mining between 1916 and 1939.

Last month Rockcliff reported drill results from its 51%-optioned Talbot copper-polymetallic VMS project, with grades up to 3.48% copper-equivalent over 16.08 metres. The current program has 7,000 metres planned by spring break-up. An inferred resource for three zones totals 133.6 million pounds copper, 165,400 ounces gold, 107.4 million pounds zinc and 3.81 million ounces silver.

The company’s 2017 agenda also calls for drilling on the Bur zinc project, Rail copper-polymetallic deposit and the Penex zinc project, which Rockcliff announced staking just last week. Less than 200 metres from the historic Pen deposit, Penex has a deep-penetrating EM survey already underway.

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

Rockcliff Copper reports assays, geophysics from Flin Flon-Snow Lake

February 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | February 16, 2017

As drilling continues on its Talbot property in Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake camp, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU reported promising assays and geophysics on February 16. The copper-polymetallic VMS deposit forms part of the company’s approximately 45,000-hectare Snow Lake portfolio. Rockcliff holds a 51% option on Talbot from Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM.

Hole TB-017 on the deposit’s main lens, “in an area void of drilling,” returned the following assays:

  • 0.93% copper, 2.73 g/t gold, 0.65% zinc and 15.23 g/t silver for 3.48% copper-equivalent over 16.08 metres, starting at 774.37 metres in downhole depth

Within that interval were two overlapping intercepts:

  • 0.35% copper, 4.02 g/t gold, 0.48% zinc and 13 g/t silver for 3.77% copper-equivalent over 8.74 metres, starting at 780.63 metres

  • 1.7% copper, 4.11 g/t gold, 0.34% zinc and 19.76 g/t silver for 5.2% copper-equivalent over 3.51 metres, starting at 786.94 metres
Rockcliff Copper reports assays, geophysics from Flin Flon-Snow Lake

Core from previous drilling at Talbot.

True widths weren’t available.

Drilling now focuses on a vertical-dipping 300-by-600-metre conductive plate recently discovered below the deposit’s north lens. EM has also found a larger conductive plate below the main lens, which could represent down-dip continuity of the lens.

Additionally, the survey found a much deeper but larger flat-lying target called the west Talbot deep conductive plate, measuring about one kilometre by one kilometre.

“Most of the larger mines in the camp have multiple stacked lenses that were initially identified as conductive plates,” remarked president/CEO Ken Lapierre. “We remain greatly encouraged not only by the consistent high metal grades and increased size potential of the deposit, but by the metal potential of the untested stacked conductive plates proximal to the deposit.”

The 7,000-metre program continues until winter break-up, targeting the north lens plate and the plates below the north copper zone, 2.5 kilometres north of the deposit.

Talbot’s January 2016 resource detailed an inferred category for three zones totalling:

  • 2.17 million tonnes averaging 2.8% copper, 2.4 g/t gold, 2.2% zinc and 54.6 g/t silver for 133.6 million pounds copper, 165,400 ounces gold, 107.4 million pounds zinc and 3.81 million ounces silver

Rockcliff has work scheduled on three other Snow Lake properties this year. The past-producing Laguna gold project has a high-res magnetic survey planned, while rigs will keep busy on the Bur zinc project and Rail copper-polymetallic deposit.

The company currently has about $2 million in the bank.

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

Plucking the high grades

February 8th, 2017

Rockcliff Copper plans a busy year for its expanded Flin Flon-Snow Lake turf

by Greg Klein

Rockcliff Copper has a busy year planned for its expanded Flin Flon-Snow Lake turf

This year’s drilling will keep core shacks busy on at least three Rockcliff properties.

 

Grade is king to Ken Lapierre, so he proudly describes his company’s portfolio as “the best of three worlds—high-grade copper, high-grade zinc and high-grade gold”—the highest-grade unmined deposits in Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake region, he adds. But the Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU geologist/president/CEO also emphasizes the properties’ location. “They’re beside excellent infrastructure, in a world-class mining camp, a mining-friendly jurisdiction and a politically stable country. You really can’t get any better than that.”

Rockcliff Copper has a busy year planned for its expanded Flin Flon-Snow Lake turf

Ken Lapierre considers Rockcliff’s portfolio to
hold the camp’s highest-grade unmined deposits.

Active in the region for about a decade, the company began by going after non-core assets of Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM. The pace of property acquisitions picked up late last year, leaving Rockcliff with about 45,000 hectares.

Included are two copper-polymetallic deposits with resource estimates, four zinc deposits with historic, non-43-101 estimates and a gold project on the site of a former high-grade mine. The properties sit within trucking distance of two Hudbay plants, one for gold, the other for base metals.

Four projects have work planned this year.

Now underway at Talbot is a program recently increased from 6,000 to 7,500 metres on a project that’s undergone over 13,000 metres in the last 18 months. Lapierre describes it as a “high-grade VMS copper deposit with a high-grade gold tenor.” A January 2016 resource for three zones showed an inferred total of:

  • 2.17 million tonnes averaging 2.8% copper, 2.4 g/t gold, 2.2% zinc and 54.6 g/t silver for 133.6 million pounds copper, 165,400 ounces gold, 107.4 million pounds zinc and 3.81 million ounces silver

The average copper-equivalent grade comes to 5.5%, Lapierre points out.

“Talbot has room to grow because it’s open in all directions and there’s a host of conductive plates that could represent more deposits,” he says.

Besides hoping for expansion along strike and at depth, Lapierre sees possibilities for new discoveries on the approximately 12,000-hectare property.

“The attractive thing about this deposit is that it looks and feels like all the other large deposits that became large mines in this camp. You have a series of geophysical anomalies close together with base metals present. As well as three zones of mineralization that create the deposit, it has additional geophysical conductive plates along strike and at depth that have never been tested. So we wouldn’t have to go far to make a new discovery.”

The current campaign’s expected to last until March. That would bring Rockcliff past the halfway point of its 51% option with Hudbay. Lapierre sees Talbot’s resource update possible by year-end.

Although Snow Lake is known as a VMS camp, “in reality it started as a gold camp,” Lapierre points out. That brings to mind another object of his enthusiasm, the former Laguna gold mine acquired last September. “If this property was in Timmins it would have had tens of millions of dollars spent on it.”

One vein mined in the 1930s averaged 20.5 grams per tonne, producing 60,000 ounces. “The attractive thing about Laguna’s gold veins and stockwork systems is they’re a lot wider than we originally thought,” he continues. “The oldtimers followed narrow, high-grade veins running over an ounce to the ton…. The reality is these high-grade veins are associated with quartz stockwork systems. We sampled an old trench where five metres averaged about 7.5 grams per tonne. Back then that would have been waste, but today it’s not. There’s a series of these vein systems and they’re associated with a long structural fault system.”

Grab sampling late last year suggested a trend covering over six kilometres on the 3,499-hectare property.

There’s multiple veins but the last time it was drilled was in 1944 and the last time it had any decent science was never.—Ken Lapierre, president/CEO of Rockcliff Copper

“There’s multiple veins but the last time it was drilled was in 1944 and the last time it had any decent science was never.”

That changes this winter, as a helicopter-style drone flies a high-res magnetic survey over the property. The plan is to “outline and identify potential structural traps where gold likes to hang its hat,” Lapierre explains. “Then we’re going to follow with a surface induced polarization survey which will give us hotspots. The gold that’s on this property is associated with sulphides, so the IP survey will find where there’s an accumulation of sulphides.”

Back to VMS deposits, another 2017 drill priority is the Bur zinc project, optioned from Hudbay in September under a four-year, 100% earn-in. The 3,979-hectare property came with a 2007 resource that Rockcliff considers historic and non-43-101:

  • indicated: 1.05 million tonnes averaging 8.6% zinc, 1.9% copper, 12.1 g/t silver and 0.05 g/t gold

  • inferred: 302,000 tonnes averaging 9% zinc, 1.4% copper, 9.6 g/t silver and 0.08 g/t gold

The deposit remains open in all directions. “If our first phase drill program is successful, we’ll put that into a 43-101 resource which would be done by the end of 2017 as well.”

Rockcliff Copper has a busy year planned for its expanded Flin Flon-Snow Lake turf

The near-surface Rail deposit
remains open in all directions.

This year also calls for four to six holes totalling about 2,500 metres at the Rail deposit. In 2010 Rockcliff compiled a resource with an indicated category showing:

  • 822,000 tonnes averaging 3.04% copper, 0.9% zinc, 0.66 g/t gold and 9.25 g/t silver for 55.09 million pounds copper

“Rail has huge room for growth,” Lapierre says. “The deposit is still open along strike and at depth, it has a large untested geophysical plate below the deposit and for the most part it’s only been drilled down to about 250 metres.”

Among other projects with historic deposits is the 1,662-hectare near-surface MacBride zinc deposit. The December purchase came with a 1977 non-43-101 estimate of:

  • 1.82 million tonnes averaging 8.8% zinc, 0.3% copper, 0.1 g/t gold and 4.5 g/t silver

A 1.5% NSR in the Tower T-1 copper deposit might bring in over $1 million a year, Lapierre says. Rockcliff optioned its 70% stake to Akuna Minerals, which has a feasibility study scheduled for December. Lapierre hopes to see Akuna begin production by 2018.

As for more acquisitions, “we feel we’ve plucked the best there is to pluck in this camp,” he says. “But you always look because the minute you stop looking you eliminate opportunities to find a mine.”

Meanwhile the 2017 agenda calls for exploration on four properties, with drills turning on at least three.

Rockcliff Copper releases gold samples, plans state-of-the-art airborne at former Manitoba mine

January 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | January 16, 2017

Calling it the “first systematic, scientific exploration program on the property in over 70 years,” Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU has a high-resolution airborne survey planned for its Laguna gold property in central Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake camp. Twenty-five recent grab samples from four vein systems on the former mine site brought grades ranging from 0.01 grams per tonne gold up to 25 g/t and 34.77 g/t. The results indicate a trend covering over six kilometres within the 3,499-hectare property, the company stated.

Rockcliff Copper releases grab samples, plans state-of-the-art airborne for former Manitoba gold mine

A magnetic survey conducted by a state-of-the-art helicopter-style drone will allow the program to “economically fly extremely tight line spacings with high-density ground sampling distances without the need for linecutting,” Rockcliff added.

“It is now possible to resolve individual magnetic anomalies that were previously indistinguishable when surveyed using conventional ground and airborne surveys—perfect for structurally controlled gold exploration targets like that at the Laguna property.”

Located 20 kilometres from a Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM gold mill now on care and maintenance, the Laguna project comprises part of Rockcliff’s 45,000-hectare Snow Lake portfolio. Included are 43-101 estimates for the Talbot and Rail copper-gold-zinc-silver resources, as well as historic, non-43-101 zinc deposits.

Can streaming agreements save some good junior miners?

November 12th, 2013

by Ana Komnenic | November 12, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Financing has been tough for juniors lately: Cash generated from financing activities in Canada fell 34% this year compared with last year, according to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Can streaming agreements save some good junior miners?

Randy Smallwood,
CEO Silver Wheaton.

Randy Smallwood, CEO of Silver Wheaton TSX:SLW—the world’s largest precious metals streaming company—says that in his 30 years in the mining industry, he’s “never seen it this bad.”

But a stream financing model for juniors may be the silver lining during these cash-strapped times.

Silver Wheaton just signed its first early deposit gold stream agreement with exploration company Sandspring Resources TSXV:SSP.

Under the $148-million deal, Sandspring will get $13.5 million up front to complete feasibility work, after which Silver Wheaton will have the right to buy 10% of the life-of-mine gold production from the Toroparu project in Guyana. If Silver Wheaton elects not to proceed with the gold stream, Sandspring will return all but $2 million of the advanced funds.

This model allows Silver Wheaton to take advantage of high-quality, earlier-stage projects. Meanwhile, Sandspring gets access to critical funds without diluting shareholder value.

According to Smallwood, early deposit gold stream agreements are the “most attractive forms of financing for juniors.”

“Previously, prior to the feasibility study, the only source of capital has been the public markets,” Smallwood told MINING.com.

But Silver Wheaton is picky, and Smallwood is not looking to strike a deal with just any company.

“There’s a lot of projects out there that shouldn’t be financed,” the CEO said. His team spent a lot of time picking the right one—putting a lot of emphasis on the firm’s management team.

“We wouldn’t be there if we weren’t very confident,” he said.

Silver Wheaton plans on executing more of these deals but the CEO wouldn’t say with which companies.

“There is an option, just make sure your project is as good as you say.”

As for business as usual, Silver Wheaton’s primary focus remains regular precious metal stream agreements. The company recently struck a $135-million deal with Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM to acquire 50% of its gold production from the Constancia project. Silver Wheaton already has an arrangement for 100% of the life-of-mine silver production.

Ultimately Smallwood sees more value in silver for two reasons. For one, the uses of silver are much broader: Half of its consumption is attributed to industrial applications including high-efficiency electronics and antibacterial products. Silver’s market position is also more volatile than gold—which can be both a blessing and a curse.

Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 31st, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 24 to 30, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission proposes Alpha takeover for sole control of Patterson Lake South

Fission Uranium threatened to go hostile when Alpha Minerals <br />asked for more time to consider its proposal Patterson Lake South” width=”400″ height=”300″ />
<p class=Fission Uranium threatened to go hostile when Alpha Minerals
asked for more time to consider its proposal.

This week’s Patterson Lake South news came not from the field or an assay lab but from the boardrooms. Separate August 26 news releases from 50/50 joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW revealed that talks had been underway about the former taking over the latter.

It transpired that after the market closed on Friday, August 23, Fission gave Alpha until the following Sunday afternoon to respond to Fission’s all-share offer, then valued at $7.26 per Alpha share or about $170.44 million. When Alpha asked for more time to consider, Fission went public, saying it “will consider making a formal offer directly to Alpha’s shareholders.”

By press time August 31, neither company had made further announcements on the subject.

Read more about Fission’s proposal and Alpha’s response.

Read commentator Tommy Humphreys’ suggestions for a combined Fission/Alpha team.

Update: On September 3 both companies announced a letter of intent for Fission to acquire Alpha. Read more.

Ashburton finds radioactive boulders at Sienna West, reports historic data

Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR has wrapped up Phase I exploration at its 1,090-hectare Sienna West property about 40 kilometres southwest of the PLS discovery, the company announced on August 28. “Numerous” radioactive boulders showed gamma ray readings above 200 counts per second, with some measuring 1,500 to 1,800 cps. About 20 boulders will be assayed, the company stated. In addition 40 radon detector cups were placed, to be retrieved for analysis after 30 days.

Ashburton also cited historic, non-43-101 Geological Survey of Canada sediment samples from two lakes on the property that showed results in the 98th percentile of 909 samples from roughly 16,000 square kilometres of northwestern Saskatchewan. The lakes are two kilometres apart, suggesting the results “are not an isolated occurrence,” the company added.

The Sienna project includes the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguous with PLS’s northern boundary. Two weeks earlier Ashburton reported a crew found radioactive boulders there, which were sent for assays, and placed radon cups. The company plans to identify drill targets for Sienna’s next phase.

Enexco/Denison drill Bachman Lake

Drilling has begun at Bachman Lake, an 11,419-hectare property about four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Athabasca Basin. The three-hole, 1,900-metre program will cost JV partners Denison Mines TSX:DML and International Enexco TSXV:IEC $570,000, the latter announced on August 26. The helicopter-supported campaign will test three conductors that lie 2.5 to five kilometres apart.

Enexco may earn a 20% interest by funding $500,000 by year-end. Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco, acts as project operator. Enexco also holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake JV 20 kilometres northeast, along with Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco’s 100% Contact copper project now undergoes pre-feasibility.

Fission finds “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on North Shore

On the northwestern Basin, airborne geophysics found two “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on Fission’s North Shore property, the company reported August 29. “The northern anomalous region occurs within a 1.5-kilometre by 0.5-kilometre area and contains several parallel trends up to 300 metres,” the company stated. Another anomaly about seven kilometres southwest ranges between one to 10 kilometres wide and up to three kilometres long. The company added that radiometrics suggest some of the larger anomalies “are likely to be part of the outcrop/sub-crop, as opposed to boulders.”

Fission credited the find to its patent-pending System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits, which the company says is the same technology that found the PLS boulder field. In August Fission’s collaborator on the system, Special Projects Inc, flew a 12,257-line-kilometre magnetic and radiometric survey at 50-metre line-spacing over the entire property. The system can distinguish between radioactivity released by uranium, thorium or potassium, as well as determine the relative concentration of each element, Fission stated.

Along with further data analysis, the company plans to follow up with mapping and prospecting. The property underwent a seven-hole, 1,260-metre drill program in 2007 and 2008. Fission has interests in seven Basin uranium projects and one in Peru.

U3O8 negotiating JV with Argentinian state-owned company

U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE announced August 27 that advanced discussions are underway with the state-owned mining company of Chubut province, Argentina, to form a JV. The proposal would combine U3O8’s Laguna Salada uranium-vanadium project with adjoining concessions held by Petrominera Chubut SE, onto which U3O8 believes its deposit extends. The company said the deal would also “establish a framework for potential development of the Laguna Salada deposit in compliance with the stringent requirements of the current provincial mining law.” The project has a preliminary economic assessment scheduled later this year.

Having acquired Calypso Uranium last May, U3O8 holds Argentina’s two largest uranium deposits. The country plans to bring a third reactor online this year, boosting its proportion of nuclear energy to 9%, while a fourth reactor is out for tender and a fifth is being planned, U3O8 stated. Argentina currently imports all of its nuclear fuel.

In Colombia, U3O8’s Berlin project has a December PEA for a potential uranium mine with phosphate, vanadium, nickel and rare earths credits. The company also has a uranium project in Guyana.

Boss Power/Morning Star dispute stalls $30-million settlement

A $30-million settlement dating to October 2011 is being held up by a dispute between its beneficiaries. After the British Columbia government suddenly banned uranium and thorium exploration in 2009, the province eventually settled Boss Power’s TSXV:BPU lawsuit out of court. But a condition required the company to surrender its exploration properties, the Blizzard properties and the peripheral B claims. According to an August 19 news release from Morning Star Resources, the settlement hasn’t closed because Boss included those claims in the settlement “without the knowledge and consent of the B claims owner,” Anthony Beruschi.

An August 27 Boss news release acknowledged Beruschi, “sole director and president of Morning Star” and a former Boss director, as “beneficial owner of the B claims.”

Boss’ news release claimed Beruschi “appears determined to extract more than his fair share of the settlement proceeds” and “now appears to be leveraging media and threats of a board replacement to obtain payment for his B claims.”

Morning Star’s August 19 statement said Beruschi “has privately presented several fair offers to Boss’ management and the board to enable Boss to deliver the B claims under the settlement” and accused Boss of “a refusal to negotiate in good faith.”

Morning Star said it will present its own slate of nominees for election to Boss’ board at a meeting Morning Star expects to be held by mid-November “so that it can promptly close the $30-million settlement.” Morning Star stated that it and its affiliates hold about 33% of Boss’ shares.

Boss countered it will “continue its efforts to reach an agreement with Mr. Beruschi while at the same time pursuing court proceedings to allow the settlement proceeds to be paid into court and the settlement to complete.”

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A perspective on Peru

May 23rd, 2013

Panoro’s Luquman Shaheen talks about social concerns, political policies and copper

by Greg Klein

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Even before the conference with President Ollanta Humala, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Peruvian visit included a May 22 meeting with mining executives in Lima. Among them was Glenn Nolan, president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, who urged the PM to press Humala to unlock some $4 billion of unspent royalties earmarked for regional spending. Nolan, who’s also Noront Resources’ TSXV:NOT VP of aboriginal affairs and a former chief of Ontario’s Missanabie Cree First Nation, told Canadian Press, “We want to see good laws and transparency so that our (royalties) go back into the community.” At least by implication, he drew attention to powerful community concerns that have sometimes resulted in deadly clashes. Speaking to ResourceClips, Panoro Minerals TSXV:PML president/CEO Luquman Shaheen discussed Peruvian social issues and public policy, as well as his company’s Cotabambas and Antilla copper projects.

According to Reuters, anti-mining protests caused about 200 deaths during the term of former president Alan Garcia and at least another 24 since Humala gained office in 2011. Shaheen emphasizes, however, that “social issues differ not just by region but from valley to valley, from community to community. Throughout Peru the social issues are very local issues related to employment, land use, water use, etc.”

Panoro’s Luquman Shaheen talks about social concerns, political policies and copper projects

Barely visible near the centre of the photo,
blue tarp marks a Cotabambas drill site.

Cotabambas and Antilla, about 100 kilometres apart in southern Peru, each face different local concerns. But, Shaheen says, “the issues at both our projects are very progressive, very manageable. We have agreements signed with all the communities at both our projects—socio-economic, development agreements where we commit to employment, investment into education, health care, agricultural projects. Although there’s been news about social issues at some projects in Peru, there’s dozens, if not hundreds of others where the issues are very well managed.”

He adds, “As for the political issues, if you look into the details, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a national political environment that is more pro-mining, more pro-development or more pro-private investment.”

The country’s pinning part of its economic strategy on a plan to double copper output by 2016, making Peru once again the world’s second-largest producer. To do so, the government’s actively encouraging the industry in three key areas, he says.

Soon after taking power, Humala replaced Peru’s royalty regimen with one based on operating margins. “It’s a very progressive decision in which governments and companies share the risk of potential decline in margins, as commodity prices soften or as costs increase,” Shaheen explains.

A second development suggests some progress on the issue PDAC discussed with Harper. “The central government collects revenues from the mining sector and is obliged by statute to re-invest those revenues in the regions that produced the mining revenue,” says Shaheen. “The regional governments have lacked the infrastructure and the institutional strength to invest that money into projects. The national government has taken on a number of projects to assist the re-investment of those revenues into road projects, railway projects, other community infrastructure development. It takes time, but you see from the national government a very pro-active approach to the inequality of the regions.”

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From Flin Flon to Timmins

April 29th, 2013

Great Northern and Temex report gold news from Manitoba and Ontario

by Greg Klein

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Great Northern Gold Exploration’s TSXV:GGE Wekusko property hasn’t always delivered the grade. But four holes reported April 29 have ended a 2,133-metre Phase I program on a high-grade note, extending the McCafferty zone at depth and offering encouragement to the project in northern Manitoba’s Flin Flon greenstone belt. The results show:

  • 14.6 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 metres, starting at 49 metres in vertical depth
  • 1.52 g/t over 1.25 metres, starting at 92 metres
  • 9.19 g/t over 1.15 metres, starting at 56 metres
  • 5.98 g/t over 1.2 metres, starting at 90.5 metres.

True widths were estimated around 80%. The company labelled the second result a poor sample recovery due to broken and ground-up core.

Another five exploration holes, however, failed to find expansion potential. Of 11 previous holes reported March 13 from the same one-kilometre by three-kilometre grid, 10 didn’t show significant gold but one hole produced intervals of:

Great Northern and Temex report gold news from Manitoba and Ontario

Great Northern Gold’s winter drill campaign extended
its McCafferty zone at depth with high-grade assays.

  • 131.1 g/t gold over 0.3 metres, starting at 85.5 metres
  • 3.73 g/t over 0.5 metres, starting at 85 metres.

True widths weren’t available.

A non-43-101 in-house estimate by a previous operator suggested McCafferty holds 16,761 tonnes averaging 13.89 g/t for 7,483 gold ounces. An historic, non-43-101 estimate for Wekusko’s Gold Dust zone suggested 58,356 tonnes averaging 14.06 g/t for 26,361 gold ounces. Another non-43-101 estimate for the project’s past-producing Ferro mine suggested 73,760 tonnes averaging 15.31 g/t for 36,111 gold ounces.

While the estimate “is modest in size,” concedes Great Northern’s May 2012 technical report, “the grade is relatively high and, in aggregate, the tonnage and contained ounces exceed [what] was mined successfully from the adjacent Rex-Laguna past-producer. It should also be noted that the erratic distribution of gold in these zones as indicated in drill intercepts makes ore resource estimation difficult.”

Summer exploration will venture beyond the McCafferty grid to include soil sampling, mapping and prospecting on other parts of the property.

The company holds an option to earn 100% of the 8,880-hectare Wekusko as well as a separate 100% option on the nearby 60-hectare Ferro mine. The package lies 23 kilometres southeast of Snow Lake, home to HudBay Minerals’ TSX:HBM Lalor mine and QMX Gold’s TSX:QMX Snow Lake mine, a past-producer that QMX plans to re-open.

Great Northern opened April 29 at $0.06, half a cent over its previous close, then ended the day at $0.065. The stock’s 52-week high and low were $0.18 and $0.05. With 20.22 million shares outstanding, the company’s market cap came to $1.31 million.

In other April 29 gold news, an option adjacent to its 100%-held Juby property allowed Temex Resources TSXV:TME to substantially increase its resource estimate.

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