Sunday 23rd October 2016

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘lead’

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon/NWT projects with B.C. LNG

September 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2016

Liquefied natural gas would be the fuel of choice to electrify two potential northern mines, according to a memorandum of understanding announced September 21. Casino Mining and Selwyn Chihong Mining said the proposed deal with Ferus Natural Gas Fuels would cut costs as well as CO2 emissions.

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon projects with B.C. LNG

LNG could overcome diesel dependency
in grid-less regions of the North.

Through its subsidiary, Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN has the Casino gold-copper-molybdenum project undergoing environmental assessment. Selwyn Chihong’s Selwyn zinc-lead project currently moves towards pre-feasibility.

The plan would have Ferus build an LNG plant at Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia’s Peace River oil and gas region. Ferus built and operates Canada’s first merchant LNG plant in northwestern Alberta. A related company, Eagle LNG Partners, has an LNG plant under construction in Florida. Ferus stated it provides LNG and compressed natural gas fuelling services including liquefaction, compression, storage and delivery to the oil and gas, mining, marine, rail and power generation sectors.

The plan “may also benefit neighbouring mines, industries and communities currently powered by diesel, by making the LNG more broadly available,” commented Ferus president/CEO Dick Brown.

“Neighbouring” might cover a lot of ground. Casino’s located in west-central Yukon. Selwyn straddles the Yukon/Northwest Territories border.

But for the time being the Coffee gold project, Yukon’s likeliest new mine and located only about 30 kilometres northwest of Casino, sticks to a diesel-fuelled plan. Low diesel costs ruled out “the additional $1.5-million capital expense associated with LNG storage and vaporization,” according to last January’s feasibility study. “If in the future diesel fuel costs increase, significant power generation cost savings may be realized by substituting LNG for diesel.”

Goldcorp TSX:G subsidiary Kaminak Gold hopes to begin Coffee construction in mid-2018.

Backers of the Fort Nelson proposal anticipate two phases of development to be commissioned in 2020 and 2022.

Visual Capitalist: The history of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle

July 7th, 2016

posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | July 7, 2016

In a hidden corner of northwestern Canada lies some of the world’s most significant mineral potential. Billions of dollars of undiscovered gold, silver and copper still sit within an unexplored area that was once remote. However, only now can these world-class deposits be finally tapped. Skeena Resources TSXV:SKE has helped Visual Capitalist to put together the story of the famed Golden Triangle.

The history of the Golden Triangle

Even before Canada was officially a country, the area now known as the Golden Triangle was a hub for prospectors looking to strike it rich.

In 1861, Alexander “Buck” Choquette struck gold at the confluence of the Stikine and Anuk rivers, kickstarting the Stikine Gold Rush. More than 800 prospectors left Victoria to go to the Stikine in search of gold.

A few short years later, an even more significant rush would occur just to the north in the Cassiar region—it’s where British Columbia’s biggest ever gold nugget, weighing in at 73 ounces, would be found. The Atlin Gold Rush, an offshoot of the world-famous Klondike Gold Rush, would also occur just north of the Triangle.

The first discoveries

The companies that first worked in the Golden Triangle balanced its richness against the costs of its remote location.

Premier gold mine

The first big discovery in the Golden Triangle was at the Premier gold mine, which started operations in 1918. The company that first owned it, Premier Gold Mining Company, returned as much as 200% on the stock market between 1921 and 1923. At the time the Christian Science Monitor called it “one of the greatest silver and gold mines in the world.”

Snip mine

Discovered in 1964 by Cominco, the deposit stayed dormant until 1986, when it was drilled in a joint venture with Delaware Resources. Murray Pezim’s Prime Resources bought out Delaware after the stock ran from a dollar to $28 a share.

The high-grade Snip mine produced approximately one million ounces of gold from 1991 until 1999 at an average gold grade of 27.5 gams per tonne.

Eskay Creek

In 1988, after 109 drill holes, tiny exploration companies Stikine Resources and Calpine Resources finally hit the hole they needed at Eskay Creek with grades as high as 27.2 g/t and 30.2 g/t gold.

Eskay would go on to become Canada’s highest-grade gold mine and the world’s fifth-largest silver producer, with production well in excess of three million ounces of gold and 160 million ounces of silver.


  • Gold: 49 g/t
  • Silver: 2,406 g/t
  • Lead: 3.2%
  • Zinc: 5.2%

By the time all was said and done, the stock price of Stikine Resources would go from $1 to $67, after it was bought by International Corona.

Why did these three rich mines shut down?

Despite the gold in the Triangle being extremely high grade, lower gold prices in the late ’90s made the economics challenging. Meanwhile, the lack of infrastructure in this remote area meant that power, labour and logistics costs were sky high.

Both of these things have changed today, and activity at the Golden Triangle is now fast and furious.

Gaining access to the Triangle

The Golden Triangle is a hot area for exploration again. This is for three main reasons: higher gold prices, new infrastructure and modern discoveries.

Higher gold prices

Average gold price (1999): $279 (adjusted for inflation: $398)
Average gold price (2016): $1,202

Gold prices are more than three times as high today, even after adjusting for inflation. Combined with the Golden Triangle’s high grades, this becomes even more attractive.

New infrastructure

Today, road access to the area is easier than ever and a new transmission line will dramatically reduce the cost of power for companies operating in the Triangle.

Recent improvements:

  • Completion of a $700-million high-voltage transmission line to the Golden Triangle. The Northwest Transmission Line goes 335 kilometres from Terrace to Bob Quinn Lake and north to the Red Chris mine

  • Paving of the Stewart-Cassiar highway north from Smithers (Highway 37)

  • Opening of ocean port facilities for export of concentrate in Stewart

  • Completion of a three-dam, 277 MW hydroelectric facility located 70 kilometres northwest of Stewart

Modern discoveries

The next gold rush at the Golden Triangle has already started. Just some of the new discoveries in the area include Seabridge Gold’s (TSX:SEA) KSM project, Pretium Resources’ (TSX:PVG) Valley of the Kings deposit and Imperial Metals’ (TSX:III) Red Chris mine.

Yet despite this track record of new discoveries and mines being built in the area, a B.C. government report estimates that only 0.0006% of the Golden Triangle has been mined to date.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Battery infographic series Part 1: The evolution of battery technology

June 22nd, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | June 22, 2016

The battery series will present five infographics to inform investors how batteries work, the players in the market, the materials needed to build batteries and how future battery developments may affect the world. This is Part 1, which looks at the basics of batteries and the history of battery technology.


Battery infographic series part 1 The evolution of battery technology


Today, how we store energy is just as important as how we create it.

Battery technology already makes electric cars possible, as well as helping us store emergency power, fly satellites and use portable electronic devices. But tomorrow, could you be boarding a battery-powered airplane, or be living in a city powered at night by solar energy?

Battery basics

Batteries convert stored chemical energy directly into electrical energy. Batteries have three main components:

(-) Anode: The negative electrode that gets oxidized, releasing electrons.

(+) Cathode: The positive electrode that is reduced, by acquiring electrons.

Electrolyte: The medium that provides the ion transport mechanism between the cathode and anode of a cell. It can be liquid or solid.

At the most basic level, batteries are very simple. In fact, a primitive battery can even be made with a copper penny, galvanized nail (zinc) and a lemon or potato.

The evolution of battery technology

While creating a simple battery is quite easy, making a good battery is very difficult. Balancing power, weight, cost and other factors involves managing many trade-offs, and scientists have worked for hundreds of years to get to today’s level of efficiency.

Here’s a brief history of how batteries have changed over the years:

Voltaic pile (1799)

Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, in 1799, created the first electrical battery that could provide continuous electrical current to a circuit. The voltaic pile used zinc and copper for electrodes with brine-soaked paper for an electrolyte.

His invention disproved the common theory that electricity could only be created by living beings.

Daniell cell (1836)

About 40 years later, a British chemist named John Frederic Daniell would create a new cell that would solve the “hydrogen bubble” problem of the voltaic pile. This previous problem, in which bubbles collected on the bottom of the zinc electrodes, limited the pile’s lifespan and uses.

The Daniell cell, invented in 1836, used a copper pot filled with copper sulphate solution, which was further immersed in an earthenware container filled with sulphuric acid and a zinc electrode. The Daniell cell’s electrical potential became the basis unit for voltage, equal to one volt.

Lead-acid (1859)

The lead-acid battery was the first rechargeable battery, invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté.

Lead-acid batteries excel in two areas: they are very low-cost and they can also supply high surge currents. This makes them suitable for automobile starter motors even with today’s technology and it’s part of the reason $44.7 billion of lead-acid batteries were sold globally in 2014.

Nickel cadmium (1899)

Nickel cadmium batteries were invented in 1899 by Waldemar Jungner in Sweden. The first ones were “wet cells” similar to lead-acid batteries, using a liquid electrolyte.

Nickel cadmium batteries helped pave the way for modern technology but they are being used less and less because of cadmium’s toxicity. The batteries lost 80% of their market share in the 1990s to batteries that are more familiar to us today.

Alkaline batteries (1950s)

Popularized by brands like Duracell and Energizer, alkaline batteries are used in regular household devices from remote controls to flashlights. They are inexpensive and typically non-rechargeable, though they can be made rechargeable by using a specially designed cell.

The modern alkaline battery was invented by Canadian engineer Lewis Urry in the 1950s. Using zinc and manganese oxide in the electrodes, the battery type gets its name from the alkaline electrolyte used—potassium hydroxide.

Over 10 billion alkaline batteries have been made in the world.

Nickel-metal hydride (1989)

Similar to the rechargeable nickel cadmium battery, the nickel-metal hydride formulation uses a hydrogen-absorbing alloy instead of toxic cadmium. This makes it more environmentally safe—and it also helps increase the energy density.

Nickel-metal hydride batteries are used in power tools, digital cameras and some other electronic devices. They also were used in early hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius.

The development of nickel-metal hydride spanned two decades and was sponsored by Daimler-Benz and Volkswagen AG. The first commercially available cells were in 1989.

Lithium-ion (1991)

Sony released the first commercial lithium-ion battery in 1991.

Lithium-ion batteries have high energy density and a number of specific cathode formulations for different applications. For example, lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2) cathodes are used in laptops and smartphones, while lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) cathodes, also known as NCAs, are used in the batteries of vehicles such as the Tesla Model S.

Graphite is a common material for use in the anode and the electrolyte is most often a type of lithium salt suspended in an organic solvent.

The rechargeable battery spectrum

There are several factors that could affect battery choice, including cost. However, here are two of the most important factors that determine the fit and use of rechargeable batteries specifically:

Think of specific energy as the amount of water in a tank. It’s the amount of energy a battery holds in total. Meanwhile, specific power is the speed at which that water can pour out of the tank. It’s the amount of current a battery can supply for a given use.

And while today the lithium-ion battery is the workhorse for gadgets and electric vehicles, what batteries will be vital to our future? How big is that market? Find out in the rest of the battery series. Parts 2 through 5 will be released throughout the summer.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

See Part 2 of the battery infographic series.

Over 1,000 jobs threatened as Eldorado Gold calls for “rule of law” in Greece

January 12th, 2016

by Greg Klein | January 12, 2016

Saying a three-year building permit delay reflects a much wider problem, Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD on January 11 once again threatened to suspend its Greek projects. The company now wants a clear commitment to due process before it invests more money in the country.

Over 600 employees and contractors will lose their jobs with the suspension of the advanced-stage Skouries gold-copper project, where the company has already sunk around US$300 million. Another 500 jobs at Olympias, a gold-silver-lead-zinc past-producer also on northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula, depend on an installation permit arriving in Q1. As for the nearby Stratoni silver-lead-zinc mine, Eldorado “will continue to evaluate our investments.” Its other northern Greece projects remain on care and maintenance due to two-year delays over an environmental decision for Perama Hill and a drill permit for the Sapes project.

Over 1,000 jobs threatened as Eldorado Gold calls for rule of law in Greece

Among investments to be reconsidered is a possible
US$25-million drill campaign to extend Stratoni’s life expectancy.
(Photo: Eldorado Gold)

The company says its decisions result from “actions and/or inactions of the ministry and other agencies regarding the timely issuance of routine permits and licences, which is not only a legal responsibility but also a contractual obligation of the Greek state.”

Stratoni is one of Eldorado’s six operating mines, along with two gold producers in western Turkey and three more in China. An iron ore mine in Brazil remains on care and maintenance. The 95%-held Stratoni’s mine life is down to three years but the company suggested a US$25-million drill program could extend that lifespan.

A five-week suspension of all Halkidiki projects last autumn ended with a court injunction that temporarily overruled a ministry of energy and environment order that Eldorado move its metallurgical tests from Finland to Greece.

But now Eldorado says not even a court decision ordering the Skouries building permit would be “sufficient for us to go back to Skouries and hire everybody back,” president/CEO Paul Wright told a January 12 conference call. He insisted the company needs to see “this government coming to grips with the fact that this is something that’s good for society … and that they have a contractual obligation to fulfill their role. And we’re going to need to see that manifested in behaviour patterns and results from the government before we’re prepared to go back at this…. We’re no longer prepared to advance our project under the protective cover of the judiciary.”

Opposition to Eldorado’s projects have resulted in large demonstrations as well as vandalism and violence. But the company claims the support of most Halkidiki residents.

Eldorado last threatened to shut down its Greek operations in August, just as an election was called. The incumbent, anti-austerity Syriza party won enough seats to form another coalition government. Eldorado’s January 11 announcement precedes a January 13 meeting with the ministry of energy. Wright declined to say what would be discussed or whether the meeting affected the timing of his announcement.

The company promised additional capital and operating figures with its 2015 results and 2016 guidance, to be released January 25.

Pasinex announces third Turkish zinc sale prior to maiden resource

October 16th, 2015

by Greg Klein | October 16, 2015

A joint venture that’s both mining and drilling towards its first resource estimate completed the third lot sale of high-grade zinc material from its southeastern Turkey operation. On October 16 Pasinex Resources CSE:PSE reported the 1,215-tonne wet weight sale, grading approximately 30% for about 700,000 pounds of contained zinc. Three such sales since December now total about 12,428 tonnes containing about 7.7 million pounds.

Pasinex announces third Turkish zinc sale prior to maiden resource

As of last month, Pinargozu’s current program totalled 34 holes
for 4,096 metres of surface drilling and 28 holes for 1,905 metres
of underground drilling.

The Pinargozu mine in Turkey’s Adana province is held by Horzum AS, a 50/50 JV of Pasinex and chrome producer Akmetal AS. Operating in parallel with resource drilling, small-scale mechanized mining employs about 60 people. Output is trucked about 100 kilometres to a warehouse where it’s crushed, screened and stored while awaiting sale.

“While Horzum AS expects to sell more material this year and beyond, currently the expected cash will not yet be sufficient to capitalize Pasinex fully,” the company stated. “Therefore, Pasinex management is in the process of raising further equity to cover G&A for the time being. Pasinex’s dependency on further capital injections ought to change during 2016 provided the Pinargozu mine continues to run at similar production rates as in the past 10 months.” A private placement offered last June for up to $500,000 didn’t close.

In August Pasinex announced the JV’s provisional acquisition of eight new zinc-lead prospects through staking, all “relatively close” to Pinargozu and the JV’s Akkaya project, as well as Akmetal’s past-producing Horzum zinc mine.

Expressing optimism about zinc prices, Pasinex CEO Steve Williams commented, “Last week Glencore, the world’s largest zinc producer, announced mine closures and reduced production totalling 500,000 tonnes zinc. We are very heartened by this because it led to an immediate spike up in the zinc price and provides a positive market environment.”

Eldorado Gold’s Grexit?

August 20th, 2015

As the country goes to the polls, the company issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

by Greg Klein

Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD isn’t mincing its words this time. The miner “cannot and will not continue to allocate expenditures to our projects in Greece while the Ministry of Energy is openly hostile to our activities,” declared CEO Paul Wright late August 20. The day’s top Greek story had been the government’s resignation and an impending election set for September. Now the suspension and possible termination of maybe 5,000 direct and indirect jobs add another dimension to the country’s economic crisis.

Eldorado says it acted in response to the previous day’s directive from the Ministry of Energy, which ordered suspension of pilot-scale metallurgical studies at a Finland facility. According to Eldorado, the ministry argued the tests should be conducted at a company site in Greece. Eldorado vowed to fight the decision through a court injunction.

As the country goes to the polls, the miner issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

Although Halkidiki mining dates back to antiquity, Eldorado’s
greenfield Skouries project has become a flashpoint for opposition.
(Photo: Eldorado Gold)

The ministry’s action was the latest in a number of government shots at the company. It followed court decisions just one week earlier which Eldorado said confirmed its right to forestry land and site clearing rights at the Skouries gold-copper project in northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula.

The region hosts three Eldorado assets, known as the Kassandra mines, within an approximately 10-kilometre radius. Activities at all three—including an active mine—are to be suspended next week. Failing satisfactory resolution of the Ministry of Energy dispute, Eldorado warns, the suspension will become a termination.

Eldorado’s 95%-held Skouries was to begin commissioning as an open pit in Q1 2017, followed by underground development. The company reckoned on a mine life of 27 years.

Its 95%-held Olympias is a past-producing underground gold operation with “significant amounts of silver, lead and zinc.” Ore processing was to begin next year, followed by ramp-up on completion of an eight-kilometre tunnel to a new mill. Eldorado estimated Olympias’ lifespan at 25 years.

Stratoni, an underground silver-lead-zinc mine, had about four years left to its life expectancy, ending a history said to date back to Alexander the Great.

As the country goes to the polls, the miner issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

Three Halkidiki projects, including an operating mine,
face suspension and possible termination.
(Map: Eldorado Gold)

North of Halkidiki lies Eldorado’s Perama Hill gold-silver deposit, a potential open pit that passed its preliminary environmental impact assessment (EIA) in 2012.

All the Halkidiki projects come under the same EIA. That’s Eldorado’s rationale for suspending all three, even though the previous day’s government directive concerned only Skouries and Olympias.

How can a country with such a long history of mining and an embattled economy turn “hostile” to the industry?

Much of the opposition focuses on Skouries, a greenfields project in Halkidiki’s wooded hill country. The governing Syriza party made its objections clear last February, one month after gaining office. That’s when the government revoked construction approval for Skouries’ processing plant. But complaints began well before Eldorado entered the region with its 2012 acquisition of European Goldfields.

Additionally, the country’s recurring anti-austerity demonstrations suggest a climate of protest that might be considered when media attributed a 2013 Thessalonika demo to 10,000 opponents of Eldorado. Only about 20,000 people live in Halkidiki, according to the company.

The region consists of 16 villages grouped within the Municipality of Aristotle, 11 of which “are openly pro-mining and so are the majority of the local residents,” Eldorado insists. Thessalonika, the country’s second-largest city, lies some distance to the west. To the east sits the semi-autonomous republic of Athos, home to several Orthodox monasteries and a site of pilgrimage.

As the country goes to the polls, the miner issues a big fat Greek ultimatum

East of the Kassandra mines, the monastic republic
of Athos draws pilgrims from around the world.
(Photo: Greg Klein)

An Agence France-Presse story posted by the Globe and Mail last April depicted one village where the controversy has set “neighbours and even family members at each others’ throats.” The article reported outbreaks of vandalism and firebombing hitting Eldorado property and a police station, as well as vandalism attacks against both supporters and opponents of the mines.

Opponents have no monopoly on demos, either. Thousands of angry employees protested in Athens last April, according to a Reuters dispatch in the Financial Post.

Although Eldorado’s August 20 decision threw thousands out of work just hours after the election was called, the company’s announcement made no mention of the election. By press time COO Paul Skayman hadn’t responded to a interview request. The company was unable to indicate when its court injunction might be heard.

While environmental concerns can never be shrugged off, the Greek economy stands to lose a great deal. Eldorado says it put over US$450 million into Skouries and Olympias since 2012. The government has so far pulled in over €50 million in payroll taxes, according to the company. Should the projects continue, the state would get another €1 billion in direct taxes over the next 20 years. The company would become one of Greece’s top exporters “with annual export revenues of approximately US$500 million per year depending on metal prices.”

Obviously the projects would benefit Eldorado too. Its Greek assets contain proven and probable reserves totalling approximately 8.9 million gold ounces, more than a third of the company’s global reserves of about 26 million ounces.

Staking expands GTA Resources’ Burnt Pond zinc-copper project in Newfoundland

August 20th, 2015

by Greg Klein | August 20, 2015

Newly acquired turf helps Ontario gold explorer GTA Resources and Mining TSXV:GTA diversify into Newfoundland zinc and copper “in a proven producing belt with excellent infrastructure and a mining-friendly jurisdiction,” the company announced August 19. GTA staked 26 claim units for its Burnt Pond property, now totalling 136 claim units or 3,400 hectares.

Located eight kilometres on strike from Teck Resources’ (TSX:TCK.A and TCK.B) Duck Pond mine, Burnt Pond is “underlain by the same geological package of altered felsic volcanic rocks,” the company added. The new ground features what third parties have interpreted as a 500-metre-long zinc- and lead-rich stringer sulphide zone.

The zinc market appears ready for a strong rebound in both demand and pricing and this represents an opportunistic low-cost entry into this market, with no option commitments or future royalties payable.—Wayne Reid, president/CEO
of GTA Resources and Mining

2001 drilling featured a best result of 0.79% copper, 24% lead, 25.8% zinc, 791.1 grams per tonne silver and 1.6 g/t gold over 0.37 metres at a vertical depth of 405 metres, GTA stated. With limited historic drilling, extensive geophysical and geochemical surveys show untested electromagnetic targets coinciding with anomalous base metals in rock and soils.

“The existing targets can be easily advanced to a drill stage with the use of more modern technology,” said GTA president/CEO Wayne Reid. “The zinc market appears ready for a strong rebound in both demand and pricing and this represents an opportunistic low-cost entry into this market, with no option commitments or future royalties payable.”

After compiling previous work, plans call for gravity and EM surveys with drilling anticipated late this year.

Last month GTA reported gold samples up to 1.13 g/t from its Ivanhoe project west of Timmins. The company’s flagship is its Northshore project on the Hemlo-Schreiber Greenstone Belt. Having earned a 51% interest in the joint venture with Balmoral Resources TSX:BAR, GTA is considering the project’s potential for a small-scale contract mining operation.

Read more about GTA Resources and Mining.

B.C. orders further assessment of Pacific Booker’s proposed Morrison mine

July 8th, 2015

by Greg Klein | July 8, 2015

British Columbia’s ministries of mines and the environment dealt another setback to Pacific Booker Minerals’ (TSXV:BKM) proposed Morrison mine on July 7. The central B.C. copper-gold-molybdenum project now has up to three years to complete further studies for its environmental assessment.

B.C. orders further assessment of Pacific Booker’s proposed Morrison mine

B.C. originally rejected the open pit operation in October 2012 despite an environmental assessment which repeatedly stated that, with successful implementation of mitigation measures and conditions, the mine is “not likely to have significant adverse effects.” The two provincial ministries, however, considered a “risk/benefit approach” that speculated what might happen if mitigation measures failed. The province also noted native opposition. It later transpired that draft recommendations from the Environmental Assessment Office’s executive director didn’t recommend rejection.

The company lawyered up and in December 2013 the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the province “failed to comport with the requirements of procedural fairness.” The court ordered B.C. to let Pacific Booker respond to the environmental decision. The company did, but now faces further requirements.

Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett cited a number of concerns including uncertainty about the mine’s design and mitigation measures, insufficient understanding of the Morrison Lake ecosystem and “whether there may be other design alternatives and/or mitigation measures that might support a higher level of confidence.”

The ministers detailed several studies to take place within three years, also ordering “further engagement with Lake Babine Nation and other first nations with respect to their perspectives and opinions about the mine and the potential effects on their aboriginal interests.”

But according to a July 8 Pacific Booker statement, the additional requirements include “many components which were required to be completed in support of the Mines Act/Environmental Management Act permits and [were] planned to be completed prior to applying for permits after receiving the environmental assessment certificate.”

Since June 2011, four B.C. mine proposals received EA certificates and six mines began production, stated a July 8 president/CEO’s message from Gavin Dirom of the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia. He added that last month JDS Silver received construction permits for its Silvertip (formerly Midway) silver-lead-zinc mine near the Yukon border.

Zimtu Capital options Newfoundland zinc-copper project to GTA Resources

June 4th, 2015

by Greg Klein | June 4, 2015

An agreement with Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC announced June 4 would allow GTA Resources and Mining TSXV:GTA to earn a 100% interest in two licences comprising part of central Newfoundland’s Burnt Pond zinc-copper property. The project sits within the Tally Pond volcanic belt that hosts Teck Resources’ (TSX:TCK.A and TCK.B) Duck Pond mine, as well as other copper-zinc-silver-gold massive sulphide deposits.

Zimtu Capital options Newfoundland zinc-copper project to GTA Resources

Duck Pond began commercial production in 2007, producing copper and zinc concentrates that are trucked to the port of St. Georges on Newfoundland’s west coast. Burnt Pond features “the same geological package of altered felsic volcanic rocks as are common to the Duck Pond mine,” Zimtu stated. The property has untested electromagnetic targets coinciding with anomalous base metals in rock and soils. “Anomalous base metal values associated with the VMS-style alteration include the Wim showing (1.9% zinc, 1.5% lead) and drill intersections of 1% zinc over 2.9 metres.”

The deal would allow GTA to earn 100% of two licences comprising 47 claim units. Burnt Pond totals six licences comprising 103 units.

Zimtu receives $3,055 on signing and 1.2 million GTA shares within a week of TSXV approval. Zimtu acquired the claims through staking. The company “provides mineral property project generation and advisory services, and helps to connect companies with mineral properties of interest,” Zimtu stated.

GTA holds three projects in northern Ontario: the 51%-owned Northshore gold project, the 100%-owned Auden graphite project and the Ivanhoe gold project, in which GTA has an option to acquire 100%.

Disclaimer: Zimtu Capital Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Zimtu Capital.

Canada and the mining world

February 5th, 2015

Resources and expertise keep this country at the forefront. But challenges remain

by Greg Klein

Resources and expertise keep this country at the forefront. But challenges remain

Clusters of Canadian mining activity. (Map: Mining Association of Canada)


Peak gold has already been called by a number of prominent observers. But without sufficient investment to spur exploration, the world faces declining resources of many other minerals too. At the centre of the conundrum sits Canada, home to one of the world’s most bountiful mining jurisdictions and many of its most important miners and explorers. Even so, the country faces five key challenges according to a Mining Association of Canada report released February 4.

Called Facts and Figures of the Canadian Mining Industry, the research relies largely on 2014 and 2013 data but emphasizes Canada’s stature in the world of mining. Over 800 Canadian companies currently explore more than 100 countries. Firms with Canadian headquarters accounted for nearly a third of global exploration spending in 2013.

Canada leads the world in mining finance, with the TSX listing 57% of the world’s publicly traded mining companies. The 331 miners raised $5.6 billion in 2013. Another 1,287 Venture-listed miners and explorers pulled in $1.3 billion the same year. “Together, the two exchanges handled 48% of global mining equity transactions in 2013 and accounted for 46% of global mining equity capital that year.” Impressive as that sounds, however, the dollar figures are declining. By May 2014 almost 60% of Canadian-listed juniors were down to less than $200,000 in working capital.

As a result, MAC points out, exploration’s share of spending has been shrinking, “indicating a shift toward defining known deposits and away from the riskier discovery of new ones.” Estimates for 2014 suggest that only 36% of exploration budgets went to actual exploration while the rest went to appraising more advanced projects.

In the current economic environment, the industry is focused on reducing costs, improving productivity and preparing for the next upswing.—Pierre Gratton, president/CEO of the Mining Association of Canada

Apart from resources unearthed by Canadians abroad, this country’s own share ranks Canada among the world’s top five countries for production of 11 major metals and minerals, MAC states. Canada comes in first for potash, second for uranium and cobalt, third for aluminum and tungsten, fourth for platinum group metals, sulphur and titanium, and fifth for nickel. With diamonds, Canada ranks fifth by volume and third by value.

As for gold, silver, zinc, copper, molybdenum and cadmium, Canada remains in the top 10 but once held top five positions. In part that slip reflects a 30-year decline in the country’s proven and probable reserves, especially in base metals. “Since 1980, the most dramatic decline has been in lead (97%), zinc (83%) and silver (79%) reserves, while copper (37%) and nickel (65%) reserves have fallen significantly as well,” MAC reports.

The news isn’t all negative. “Since 2009 gold, silver, zinc and copper reserves have increased, with copper levels not seen since the early 1990s and gold at record levels.” But that doesn’t appear to reflect a long-term trend. “Recent commodity price fluctuations and the corresponding difficulties junior miners are facing in raising capital indicate continued concern over the depletion of proven and probable reserves for the majority of Canada’s deposits.”

The group foresees “only a handful” of major Canadian projects coming into production over the next five years, a result of exploration cutbacks during the 1990s and early 2000s. Global exploration has also declined in recent years. Looking a little farther ahead, though, “this gap is slowly closing.” MAC counts over 100 advanced Canadian exploration projects identified from 2011 to 2014 among those that could “contribute to the $160 billion in potential mining investment Canada could see over the next five to 10 years.”

But standing in the way of that potential are five key challenges, the report cautions. Global economic trends have hit many commodity prices hard. Yet MAC takes an optimistic view of medium- to longer-term prospects from China, India and other emerging countries.

Among the hurdles of Canadian investment are the increasing difficulty of finding new discoveries, operating deeper mines, paying higher energy costs and meeting new regulatory requirements. To help overcome lagging productivity, MAC wants more government funding for mining R&D.

Canada’s regulatory burden comes across as an increasingly complex maze. MAC warns that new legislation will likely increase the number of necessary federal approvals. The group calls for greater co-ordination between federal agencies and their provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as between government agencies and aboriginal and public consultation.

Developing undeveloped regions of course calls for infrastructure. A separate MAC study found that building and operating a remote, northern mine costs from two to 2.5 times the cost of a similar mine down south. To lessen the burden, the group calls for tax incentives, infrastructure investments and public-private partnerships.

Finally, there’s the need for new faces. The Mining Industry Human Resources Council says the industry will need 121,000 new workers over the next decade. That number doesn’t even take into account an estimated 53,000 retirements over the same period, according to MAC. Where to look for replacements?

Not far, apparently. “Approximately 1,200 aboriginal communities are located within 200 kilometres of some 180 producing mines and more than 2,500 active exploration properties,” the report notes. While mining’s already proportionately Canada’s largest private sector employer of natives, “addressing the human resources challenge will take a large and co-ordinated effort by the industry, educational institutions and all levels of government in the coming years.”

MAC president/CEO Pierre Gratton said, “In the current economic environment, the industry is focused on reducing costs, improving productivity and preparing for the next upswing.” In his statement accompanying the report he added, “We are confident about the future demand for our products and the Canadian mining industry is focusing on getting in shape now to seize the growth opportunities ahead of it.”

Download Facts and Figures of the Canadian Mining Industry.


Resources and expertise keep this country at the forefront. But challenges remain

Geographical distribution of Canada’s mining assets in 2012. (Map: Mining Association of Canada)