Tuesday 25th June 2019

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘lithium’

92 Resources to explore polymetallic potential of Quebec’s James Bay region

June 19th, 2019

by Greg Klein | June 19, 2019

Lithium, gold, copper and molybdenum are among the goals of a program that begins next month at 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Corvette-FCI project. The property consists of 92’s 100%-held Corvette claims as well as the FCI-East and FCI-West turf, optioned under a 75% earn-in from Osisko Mining TSX:OSK. Work will be conducted by Dahrouge Geological Consulting.

92 Resources to explore polymetallic potential of Quebec’s James Bay region

Over a campaign of three to four weeks, 92 Resources hopes to
build on previous success with energy, precious and base metals.

The agenda calls for prospecting along with rock and soil sampling. Among the priorities will be the Golden Gap Prospect at FCI-West, where historic, non-43-101 outcrop samples have graded between 3.1 g/t and 108.9 g/t gold, along with an historic drill intercept of 10.5 g/t over seven metres and a channel sample of 14.5 g/t over two metres.

Past reports of molybdenum occurrences on the area’s southern copper trend will also come under scrutiny.

The Lac Bruno prospect provides another area of interest, where a boulder field produced 13 samples exceeding 1 g/t gold, with one sample hitting 38.1 g/t. Up-ice soil sampling will extend from FCI-East to the boulders’ interpreted source on 92’s wholly owned Corvette claims.

Energy metals also attract interest, as the company’s previous work identified a well-mineralized lithium pegmatite system over a strike extending at least three kilometres on Corvette, with further potential on FCI-East. Lithium-tantalum channel samples released last year from Corvette’s CV1 pegmatite averaged 1.35% Li2O and 109 ppm Ta2O5, reaching as high as 2.28% Li2O and 471 ppm Ta2O5 over six metres. Three other spodumene-bearing pegmatites also show promise.

Located within the Guyer group of the Greater La Grande Greenstone Belt, the property sits about 10 kilometres south of the all-season Trans-Taiga Road and powerline, adjacently south of Midland Exploration’s (TSXV:MD) Mythril copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project and immediately east of Pikwa, a polymetallic project of Azimut Exploration TSXV:AZM and Ressources Québec’s SOQUEM subsidiary.

92’s Quebec portfolio also includes the Pontax, Eastman and Lac du Beryl properties. Grab samples from Pontax have reached up to 0.94% Li2O and 520 ppm Ta2O5.

In British Columbia 92 holds the Silver Sands vanadium prospect and the Golden frac sand project, the latter adjacent to Northern Silica’s high-grade Moberly silica mine and subject of a 43-101 technical report filed by 92 last year.

In the Northwest Territories, the company has a 40% stake in the Hidden Lake lithium project, with Far Resources CSE:FAT holding the remainder. In a 1,079-metre drill program last year, all 10 holes found grades above 1% Li2O, with one intercept showing 1.6% over 9.2 metres. Using Hidden Lake material, a mini pilot plant produced 40 kilograms of concentrate grading 6.11% Li2O with recovery over 80%.

Technology metals expert Jack Lifton calls for progress on critical minerals

June 17th, 2019

…Read more

Senkaku revisited

May 29th, 2019

China-U.S. trade tactics highlight rare earths peril and potential

by Greg Klein | May 29, 2019

China-U.S. trade tactics highlight rare earths peril and potential

 

They’re vital to several categories of modern essentials including military defence. But rare earths have themselves become weapons in an escalating conflict between China and the U.S. Despite Washington’s heightened awareness of its critical minerals conundrum, the U.S., like the rest of the non-Chinese world, remains almost completely dependent on its rival-turned-enemy for the rare earths that China threatens to cut off.

Among recent hints, comments and implied threats was last week’s well-publicized visit to a Chinese RE plant by President Xi Jinping and his top trade negotiator, where the leader reportedly steeled his country’s resolve with talk of an impending “Long March.” Additionally significant and non-cryptic code came in a May 29 admonition from the state-run People’s Daily: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

China-U.S. trade tactics highlight rare earths peril and potential

Northern Minerals’ Browns Range pilot plant readies
a Western Australia project for Chinese customers.

If a full-blown trade war’s imminent, it’s not without irony. In a change of plans the U.S. has dropped rare earths from a long list of tariff-attached imports, tacitly acknowledging its dependency on China. China did the opposite, increasing its tariff from 10% to 25% on RE imports from America, a small portion of China’s supply but nevertheless an increase to the cost of its trade war weaponry.

The 17 elements comprise essential components for a host of modern necessities including phones, computers and other communications and electronic devices, electric vehicles, batteries, renewable energy and military defence.

China already mines over 70% of global supply, according to 2018 data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and that doesn’t include illegal Chinese production. The U.S. relies on China for 80% of RE compounds and metals. America imports another 11% from Estonia, France and Japan, but that stuff’s “derived from mineral concentrates and chemical intermediates produced in China and elsewhere,” the USGS added.

The risks of an all-out trade war might be demonstrated by the 2010 East China Sea conflict, where China and Japan both claim the islands of Senkaku. When a Chinese fishing boat captain felt emboldened to twice ram a Japanese naval vessel, Japan arrested him. Within days, China banned all rare earths exports to Japan, crippling its globally important but RE-dependent manufacturers. China also imposed heavy cutbacks and duties on exports to other countries.

China-U.S. trade tactics highlight rare earths peril and potential

A Greenland Minerals MOU would commit the
proposed Kvanefjeld mine’s total RE production to China.

Desperate for RE supply, some non-Chinese manufacturers relocated to China. Meanwhile Western resource companies strove to develop alternative supplies. By 2013 two new mines reached production, Lynas Corp’s Mount Weld in Western Australia and Molycorp’s Mountain Pass in California. The following year the World Trade Organization ordered China to drop its export restrictions on rare earths, as well as tungsten and molybdenum.

China complied with a vengeance, flooding the world with cheap RE supply. America’s WTO victory proved Pyrrhic as a burgeoning non-Chinese supply chain failed to compete. The most salient casualty was Mountain Pass, which suspended operations during 2015 bankruptcy proceedings.

The mine resumed production in early 2018 under new owner MP Materials. But with China’s Shenghe Rare Earth Company a minority shareholder, North America’s only RE producer exports its entire output to China.

Lynas, meanwhile, remains committed to serving non-Chinese markets through a non-Chinese supply chain. But skeptics might consider the company’s strategy precarious. Plans announced last week include a refinery in Texas that’s merely at the MOU stage, an AU$500-million financing commitment that appears inadequate to the company’s needs and an unconvincing proposal to meet a Malaysian ultimatum with alternative ideas.

Home to Lynas’ refining and separation facility, Malaysia insists the company remove over 450,000 tonnes of radioactive waste by September or face a shutdown. The country also wants future Mount Weld material rendered non-radioactive prior to arrival. (Update: On May 30 Malaysia’s prime minister said the government will likely allow Lynas’ plant to continue operation, according to Reuters.)

China-U.S. trade tactics highlight rare earths peril and potential

At a northern Quebec rare earths deposit, Commerce
Resources’ Ashram project moves towards pre-feasibility.

An AU$1.5-billion takeover bid from deep-pocketed giant Wesfarmers might offer a made-in-Australia solution. But Lynas has so far held itself aloof.

The CEO’s commitment to non-Chinese markets, however, differs from some other Australian companies. ASX-listed Northern Minerals, self-described as “the first and only meaningful producer of dysprosium outside of China,” has committed the total production of its Western Australia Browns Range project to China, apparently at the behest of minority shareholder Huatai Mining. Last August ASX-listed Greenland Minerals signed an offtake MOU with majority shareholder Shenghe Resources, which would give China the proposed Kvanefjeld mine’s total RE production.

Technology metals expert Jack Lifton emphasizes the need for non-Chinese resources and expertise: “If we don’t reconstitute a total American supply chain, if the Europeans don’t do the same, for the critical materials like rare earths, cobalt, lithium, we’re going to be out of luck,” he told ResourceClips.com.

Heightened awareness in Washington led to 35 minerals getting a formal “critical” classification, a prelude to last year’s Secretary of Defense study calling for government initiatives to encourage domestic supply chains. More recently, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators proposed legislation to prod the country into action.

That approach rankles those who prefer laissez-faire solutions. Moreover government meddling in the form of trade wars can backfire, libertarians believe. As Rick Rule said last week, “If the Chinese decided to obviate their competitive advantage with some stupid political ploy, they would find themselves with a much smaller proportion of the global market.”

Many investors seem to have agreed. Following China’s May 29 rhetoric, stock prices surged for advanced-stage RE projects.

Infographic: Visualizing copper’s role in the transition to clean energy

May 28th, 2019

by Nicholas LePan | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | May 28, 2019

A future powered by renewables is not on the distant horizon, but is rather in its early hours.

This new dawn comes from a global awareness of the environmental impacts of the current energy mix, which relies heavily on fossil fuels and their associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Technologies such as wind, solar and batteries offer renewable and clean alternatives, and are leading the way for the transition to clean energy. However, as with every energy transition, there are not only new technologies, but also new material demands.

Copper: A key piece of the puzzle

This energy transition will be mineral-intensive and it will require metals such as nickel, lithium and cobalt. However one metal stands out as being particularly important, and that is copper.

This infographic comes to us from the Copper Development Association and outlines the special role of copper in renewable power generation, energy storage and electric vehicles.

Visualizing copper’s role in the transition to clean energy

 

Why copper?

The red metal has four key properties that make it ideal for the clean energy transition.

1. Conductivity

2. Ductility

3. Efficiency

4. Recyclability

It is these properties that make copper the critical material for wind and solar technology, energy storage and electric vehicles.

These properties also explain why, according to ThinkCopper, solar- and wind-generated electricity uses four to six times more copper than electricity from fossil fuel sources.

Copper in wind

A three-megawatt wind turbine can contain up to 4.7 tons of copper with 53% of that demand coming from the cable and wiring, 24% from the turbine/power generation components, 4% from transformers and 19% from turbine transformers.

The use of copper significantly increases when going offshore. Onshore wind farms use approximately 7,766 pounds of copper per MW, while an offshore wind installation uses 21,068 pounds of copper per MW.

It is the cabling of the offshore wind farms to connect them to each other and to deliver the power that accounts for the bulk of the copper usage.

Copper in solar

Solar power systems can contain approximately 5.5 tons of copper per MW. Copper is in the heat exchangers of solar thermal units as well as in the wiring and cabling that transmits the electricity in photo-voltaic solar cells.

Navigant Research projects that 262 GW of new solar installations between 2018 and 2027 in North America will require 1.9 billion pounds of copper.

Copper in energy storage

There are many ways to store energy, but every method uses copper. For example, a lithium-ion battery contains 440 pounds of copper per MW and a flow battery 540 pounds of copper per MW.

Copper wiring and cabling connects renewable power generation with energy storage, while the copper in the switches of transformers helps deliver power at the right voltage.

Across the United States, a total of 5,752 MW of energy capacity has been announced and commissioned.

Copper in electric vehicles

Copper is at the heart of the electric vehicle. This is because EVs rely on copper for the motor coil that drives the engine.

The more electric the car, the more copper it needs; a car powered by an internal combustion engine contains roughly 48 pounds, a hybrid needs 88 pounds and a battery electric vehicle uses 184 pounds.

Additionally, the cabling for charging stations of electric vehicles will be another source of copper demand.

The copper future

Advances in technologies create new material demands.

Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that the transition to renewables is going to create demand for many minerals—and copper is going to be a critical mineral for the new era of energy.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Turbulent times for Lynas

May 17th, 2019

Rare earths provide a cautionary tale about supply chain weaknesses

by Greg Klein | Updated May 21, 2019

Rare earths provide a cautionary tale about supply chain weaknesses

One of the world’s biggest supplies of magnet metals
undergoes separation at Lynas’ Malaysian facility. (Photo: Lynas Corp)

 

How often does an investor presentation draw such keen interest from non-investors?

No doubt representatives from a number of governments and industries watched intensely on May 21 as Lynas CEO/managing director Amanda Lacaze accentuated her company’s “will to win.” Lynas has plans in place and funding en route to overcome what previously appeared to be an unattainable ultimatum. Far from becoming a takeover target, let alone a jurisdictional fatality, the miner expects to continue building a rare earths supply chain “focused on rest-of-the-world markets, that is non-Chinese markets.”

That was her message, and if stirring delivery could convince listeners, Lacaze made her case. But insufficient details cast a pall of uncertainty. Clearly the company can’t meet a September 2 deadline to remove over 450,000 tonnes of radioactive waste from Malaysia and thereby avert a processing plant shutdown in that country which would render useless the company’s Mount Weld mine in Western Australia.

Rare earths provide a cautionary tale about supply chain weaknesses

One of the world’s richest rare earths deposits, Mount Weld boasts reserves expected to give over 25 additional years of production at 22,000 tonnes of rare earth oxides annually. Included is an especially bountiful distribution of the magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium. Lynas concentrates ore in WA before shipping material to Malaysia for refining and separation. But while rare earths metallurgy has stymied some other non-Chinese operations, this facility has operated successfully since 2012.

At least it did so under Malaysia’s previous government. Its first electoral defeat since the country’s 1957 independence brought to office a party long opposed to Lynas’ operation in Kuantan. Concerns about waste containing thorium and uranium brought to mind a Malaysian RE refinery operated by Mitsubishi up to 1992. The plant closed down after an increase in leukemia and birth defects that critics attributed to the operation’s waste.

Following an environmental review of Lynas’ facility late last year, the new government delivered two formidable demands: Ensure that all material brought into the country has been rendered non-radioactive. And remove seven years of accumulated radioactive tailings from the country by September 2. Failure to do so will shut down the plant, the government warned.

An enormous logistical problem notwithstanding, Lacaze and her “dream team” told investors they have solutions backed by a AU$500-million “capital envelope” from senior lender Japan Australia Rare Earths (JARE) and the Japanese trading company Sojitz Corp.

“Of course we cannot do this on the smell of an oily rag, much as we might like to,” Lacaze acknowledged.

Rare earths provide a cautionary tale about supply chain weaknesses

Lynas managing director Dato’ Mashal Ahmad at the
podium, CEO Amanda Lacaze holding the microphone
at the company’s May 21 shareholder presentation.

A new cracking and leaching plant to be built in WA would “detox” Mount Weld material. Plans to pour money into Malaysia to upgrade the company’s Kuantan facility also sounded an optimistic note. But accumulated waste remains troublesome.

As managing director Dato’ Mashal Ahmad explained, the company will counter the ultimatum by asking the government to choose one of two options: Allow Lynas to treat the waste by producing a type of fertilizer, or allow Lynas to build another waste depository in Malaysia. The company already has four years of research backing Option 1. As for Option 2, “which Lynas is prepared to do anytime,” the company has already chosen three potential sites.

To those skeptical that Malaysia would accept the proposals, Ahmad said the environmental review, which hasn’t been officially translated, pronounced the Kuantan operation safe. Politicians, not the report’s authors, issued the ultimatum, he maintained. Discussions with the government continue and another decision will come from the entire government, not individual politicians, Lacaze added. Based on what she termed “relatively constructive” public comments from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, she expressed “confidence in the outcome.”

An entirely different possibility for Lynas arose last March when Wesfarmers launched a AU$1.5-billion bid for the miner. One of Australia’s largest listed companies and a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate with interests including chemicals, energy, fertilizers and industrial products, Wesfarmers imposed a daunting condition: Kuantan must retain a valid permit for a “satisfactory period following completion of the transaction.” 

Lynas spurned the offer, provoking talk from Wesfarmers of going hostile. Undeterred, and the day before proclaiming its “will to win,” Lynas joined one of its customers, downstream rare earths processor Blue Line Corp, to announce a memorandum of understanding to build an RE separation plant in Texas. The proposed joint venture “would be the only large-scale producer of separated medium and heavy rare earth products in the world outside of China,” the companies stated.

Of course the Blue Line MOU lacks certainty, as does the strategy of presenting options in the face of a government ultimatum. $500 million isn’t all that much. To industry observers, the predicament once again emphasizes the need to create non-Chinese supply chains.

Rare earths provide a cautionary tale about supply chain weaknesses

A founding principal of Technology Metals
Research LLC and a senior fellow at the
Institute for Analysis of Global Security,
Jack Lifton has over 55 years’ experience
with technology metals.

Speaking with ResourceClips.com the week before Lynas’ May 20-21 announcements, Jack Lifton discussed the urgency of addressing critical minerals challenges.

A chemist specializing in metallurgy, a consultant, author and lecturer focusing on rare earths, lithium and other essentials that he labels “technology metals,” Lifton was one of four scientists hired by the previous Malaysian government to evaluate the Kuantan facility prior to its initial permit.

Wesfarmers “would have the money and the time” to solve Lynas’ problems, he said. “A $38-billion company can spend a year fixing problems and stay in business. If Lynas were shut down for a year, I think that would be the end of it.”

Earlier this month Wesfarmers offered AU$776 million for ASX-listed Kidman Resources, which shares a 50/50 JV with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (SQM) on the advanced-stage Mount Holland lithium project in Western Australia.

“Wesfarmers clearly knows all the problems with Lynas but they’re still interested in buying it,” Lifton pointed out.

The possibility of a Chinese buy-out, on the other hand, could meet opposition from either of two governments. Malaysia’s previous administration feared Chinese influence, Lifton says.

As for Australia, “I do not think that the government, as it will be constituted after this election, will allow the Chinese to buy what is basically the largest high-grade deposit of magnet rare earths on the planet,” he says. Even so, Chinese control could eliminate the Malaysian problem. “China has immense facilities and excess capacity for treating ore like that. They wouldn’t need the Malaysian plant, not at all.”

Control need not mean total ownership. Following Molycorp’s bankruptcy, California’s Mountain Pass mine quietly resumed production last year under MP Materials. With China’s Shenghe Rare Earth Company a minority shareholder, North America’s sole rare earths producer exports all its output to China.

Shenghe Resources comprises the world’s second-largest RE company by output. It holds a majority stake in ASX-listed Greenland Minerals, which describes its Kvanefjeld polymetallic deposit as having “potential to become the most significant Western world producer of rare earths.” Last August the companies signed an offtake MOU for the proposed mine’s total RE production.

Huatai Mining, a subsidiary of Chinese coal trader Shandong Taizhong Energy, holds 15.9% of ASX-listed Northern Minerals, which plans to become the “first significant dysprosium producer outside China” at the Browns Range project in Western Australia.

“Everything from Browns Range is now going to China for refining and use,” Lifton notes. “My understanding is that’s what’s going to happen in Greenland.”

Neither Greenland nor Northern can handle separation, he explains. “They can concentrate the ore, but where are the facilities to separate individual rare earths from the mixed concentrate? They are, today, overwhelmingly in China. The Chinese have an advantage in excess refining capacity.”

While Lifton thinks Malaysia would welcome Japanese ownership of Lynas, the Japanese no longer have processing abilities. They’re also burdened by Mitsubishi’s legacy.

“China does not, to the best of my knowledge, have ore as rich as Mount Weld. I don’t know of any other deposit on earth that’s so high-grade and well-distributed with magnet materials. So anyone who has processing would love to have that.”

If we don’t reconstitute a total American supply chain, if the Europeans don’t do the same, for the critical materials like rare earths, cobalt, lithium, we’re going to be out of luck.—Jack Lifton

Such a fate is now pure speculation but should Lynas face a Sino-scenario, it would only intensify a trend well underway, he adds. “They already have the largest RE industry on the planet and they’re buying RE, cobalt and other critical assets in Greenland, Africa, Australia, South America.

“If we don’t reconstitute a total American supply chain, if the Europeans don’t do the same, for the critical materials like rare earths, cobalt, lithium, we’re going to be out of luck. The Chinese in my opinion are already self-sufficient in rare earths, lithium and cobalt. They have mines all over the world that they own and operate, they have the bulk of chemical processing. They’re going to take care of their domestic needs first, and then if they want to export, they’ll control the price, the supply, and they do control the demand because at this time about 60% of all world metals goes to China.

“In America there’s a lot of talk now about critical minerals and some people are saying we need ‘a conversation’ on the subject. So while we think about it and have conversations, the Chinese are setting themselves up for the rest of this century.”

A Capitol idea

May 7th, 2019

This U.S. bipartisan bill aims to reduce America’s critical minerals dependency

 

This won’t be the first time Washington has seen such a proposal. Announced last week, the American Mineral Security Act encourages the development of domestic resources and supply chains to produce minerals considered essential to the country’s well-being. But the chief backer, Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, acknowledges having introduced similar standalone legislation previously, as well as addressing the topic in a previous energy bill.

A U.S. bipartisan bill would reduce America’s critical minerals dependency

This time, however, the proposal takes place amid growing concern. In late 2017, following a U.S. Geological Survey report that provided the first comprehensive review of the subject since 1973, President Donald Trump called for a “federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals.” In early 2018 the U.S. Department of the Interior formally classified 35 minerals as critical. A September 2018 report responded to the presidential order, urging programs to address supply chain challenges that leave the U.S. relying heavily on countries like Russia and especially China.

Even so, Murkowski and the other three senators think Washington needs a little push.

“I greatly appreciate the administration’s actions to address this issue but congress needs to complement them with legislation,” she said. “Our bill takes steps that are long overdue to reverse our damaging foreign dependence and position ourselves to compete in growth industries like electric vehicles and energy storage.”

The senators referred to USGS data from 2018 showing 48 minerals for which their country imported at least 50% of supply. Foreign dependency accounted for 100% of 18 of them, including rare earths, graphite and indium.  

Focusing on energy minerals, Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence lauded the bipartisan group for addressing “a global battery arms race that is intensifying.

“Lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel are the key enablers of the lithium-ion battery and, in turn, the lithium-ion battery is the key enabler of the energy storage revolution. Globally they are facing a wall of demand, especially from electric vehicles. Yet the U.S. has been a bystander in building a domestic supply chain capacity.

“Right now, the U.S. produces 1% of global lithium supply and only 7% of refined lithium chemical supply, while China produces 51%. For cobalt, the U.S. has zero mining capacity and zero chemicals capacity whilst China controls 80% of this [at] second stage.

These supply chains are the oil pipelines of tomorrow. The lithium-ion battery is to the 21st century what the oil barrel was to the 20th century.—Simon Moores
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

“Graphite is the most extreme example with no flake graphite mining and anode production compared to China’s 51% and 100% of the world’s total, respectively. And it’s a similar story with nickel—under 1% mined in the U.S. and zero capacity for nickel sulfate.

“These supply chains are the oil pipelines of tomorrow,” Moores emphasized. “The lithium-ion battery is to the 21st century what the oil barrel was to the 20th century.”

Looking at another critical mineral, the White House has until mid-July to respond to a U.S. Department of Commerce report on the effects of uranium imports to American national security. According to the USGS, the fuel provides 20% of the country’s electricity but the U.S. relies on imports for over 95% of supply.

A recent book by Ned Mamula and Ann Bridges points to rare earths as the “poster child for U.S. critical mineral vulnerability.” In Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence, the authors say REs remain “essential for military and civilian use, for the production of high-performance permanent magnets, GPS guidance systems, satellite imaging and night vision equipment, cellphones, iPads, flat screens, MRIs and electric toothbrushes, sunglasses, and a myriad of other technology products. Since they offer that extra boost to so many new technologies, these rare earth metals rival energy in importance to our 21st century lifestyle.”

Among the proposed act’s provisions are:

  • an updated list of critical minerals every three years

  • nationwide resource assessments for every critical mineral

  • “practical, common-sense” reforms to reduce permitting delays

  • R&D into recycling, replacing and processing critical minerals

  • a study of the country’s minerals workforce by the U.S. Secretary of Labor, National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation

The senators made their announcement at Benchmark Minerals Summit 2019, a private event for industry and U.S. government representatives. In a February presentation to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources chaired by Murkowski, Moores issued a “red alert on the lithium-ion battery supply chain and the raw materials of lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite.”

Read more about U.S. efforts to secure critical minerals here and here.

Belmont Resources announces Nevada lithium results

May 2nd, 2019

by Greg Klein | May 2, 2019

Reporting from the Kibby Basin project in Nevada, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA released assays from the most recent hole on the 2,056-hectare property. After reaching a depth of 256 metres into lakebed sediments, the hole averaged 100 ppm lithium, ranging from 38 ppm to 127 ppm.

Belmont Resources announces Nevada lithium results

With only four holes sunk so far, most
of the 2,056-hectare Kibby Basin project
remains unexplored.

Groundwater samples showed the presence of saline, rather than fresh water that’s rich in sodium and magnesium but low in lithium, the company stated. “The presence of shallow aquifers containing saline groundwater with chemical composition similar to, but lower than that of lithium brines is encouraging for the discovery of lithium brines deeper in the basin.”

Results from previous drilling indicate continued potential for lithium brines in unexplored areas of the property, Belmont added. A 2018 hole about 2,300 metres southwest brought intervals of 393 ppm lithium over 42.4 metres and 415 ppm over 30.5 metres, reaching a high of 580 ppm.

MGX Minerals CSE:XMG has spent $300,000 on exploration so far to earn 25% of the project. The company may increase its interest to 50% with another $300,000 of work.

In March the companies announced a “milestone” water rights permit that might be the first of its kind for Nevada. The permit allows extraction of up to 943.6 million U.S. gallons of water annually for brine processing and potential production of lithium compounds. About 91% of the water would be returned to the source, the companies stated.

Also last March, Belmont announced a foray into southern British Columbia’s busy Greenwood camp with the acquisition of a 253-hectare property in a region of historic gold, copper, silver, lead and zinc mining. The company has historic data under review to prepare for exploration this year.

In northern Saskatchewan, Belmont shares a 50/50 interest in two uranium properties with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT.

92 Resources increases its Quebec lithium-polymetallic potential with expanded acquisition

April 24th, 2019

by Greg Klein | April 24, 2019

An amended option with “no additional share, cash or work commitment” brings more land and greater prospects in northern Quebec’s James Bay region to 92 Resources TSXV:NTY. A 4,253-hectare increase to a previous 75% earn-in with Osisko Mining TSX:OSK now covers that company’s entire FCI property. Combined with 92’s adjacent and wholly owned Corvette project, the Corvette-FCI property now comprises three contiguous claim blocks in a 14,496-hectare parcel that stretches for over 25 kilometres along the Lac Guyer greenstone belt.

92 Resources increases its Quebec lithium-polymetallic potential with expanded acquisition

Past work at the newly acquired FCI West found 16 showings of base and precious metals along two parallel trends extending over 10 kilometres in length. Historic, non-43-101 assays from FCI West’s Golden Gap prospect included outcrop samples as high as 108.9 g/t gold, a 2003 drill interval of 10.5 g/t gold over seven metres and a channel sample of 14.5 g/t gold over two metres.

FCI West’s Tyrone-T9 prospect includes an historic, non-43-101 channel sample of 1.15% copper over 2.1 metres. Despite high-grade lithium showings at Corvette, FCI West has never been evaluated for the energy metal, the company stated.

Immediately south and west of 92’s new turf sits Azimut Exploration’s (TSXV:AZM) Pikwa property. Adjacently north of FCI West, Midland Exploration’s (TSXV:MD) 2018 field program on the Mythril project found outcrop and boulder samples grading 16.7% copper, 16.8 g/t gold and 3.04% molybdenum. 92 anticipates significant activity by multiple companies along the Lac Guyer greenstone belt this year “as the magnitude of the Mythril-style copper-gold mineralization unfolds.”

Regional infrastructure includes a powerline and the all-season Trans-Taiga Road 10 kilometres north of Corvette-FCI.

This year’s exploration program will follow evaluation of historic data, with work expected to wrap up in summer.

The amended option with Osisko would give 92 the additional claims by satisfying terms of the 75% earn-in on FCI East. That deal calls for an initial million shares, another million shares and $250,000 of work in year one, another $800,000 in year two and a further $1.2 million in year three, while Osisko acts as project operator. At that point the companies would form a 50/50 JV. Another $2 million in expenditures from 92 would raise the company’s stake to 75%. With FCI West now incorporated into that agreement, “no additional share, cash or work commitment is required by the company,” 92 emphasized.

The company retains a 100% interest in Corvette’s 172 claims.

92’s Quebec portfolio also includes the Pontax, Eastman and Lac du Beryl properties. Lithium-tantalum grab samples from Pontax have reached up to 0.94% Li2O and 520 ppm Ta2O5.

In British Columbia 92 holds the Silver Sands vanadium prospect and the Golden frac sand project. In the Northwest Territories, Far Resources CSE:FAT works towards a 90% earn-in on 92’s Hidden Lake lithium project.

92 closed a private placement of $618,000 last December.

Read more about 92 Resources here and here.

Ximen Mining expands its presence in British Columbia’s Greenwood camp

April 5th, 2019

by Greg Klein | April 5, 2019

A former mining region about 500 highway kilometres east of Vancouver continues to attract interest as another company picks up additional property. Through a combination of purchase and staking, Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM acquired over 12,900 hectares surrounding its Gold Drop project, now optioned to GGX Gold TSXV:GGX.

Last year’s drilling at Gold Drop returned near-surface, high-grade intervals of gold and silver along with tellurium, classified by the U.S. government as a critical mineral. Some highlight assays include:

Ximen Mining expands its presence in British Columbia’s Greenwood camp

A quartz sample from Ximen’s recent site
visit brought 2.87 g/t gold and 127 g/t silver.

Hole COD18-67

  • 129.1 g/t gold, 1,154.9 g/t silver and 823.4 g/t tellurium over 7.28 metres, starting at 23.19 metres in downhole depth

COD18-70

  • 107.5 g/t gold, 880 g/t silver and 640.5 g/t tellurium over 6.9 metres, starting at 22.57 metres

True widths were unavailable. The operator has spring drilling scheduled to begin this month.

Ximen’s new Providence claim also borders Grizzly Discoveries’ (TSXV:GZD) Greenwood project, where Kinross Gold TSX:K subsidiary KG Exploration works towards a 75% earn-in. Other companies active in the Greenwood area include Quebec niobium-tantalum explorer Saville Resources TSXV:SRE, which this week announced sampling found high-grade gold and copper along with silver on its Bud project. Last week Nevada lithium explorer Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA announced its acquisition of the Greenwood-area Pathfinder project. Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM has been working a number of properties in the area, home to numerous former mines.

Ximen Mining expands its presence in British Columbia’s Greenwood camp

An historic pit yielded this sample
of copper-rich massive sulphide.

Among those within or bordering Ximen’s acquisition is the Providence mine, which produced 10,426 tonnes containing 183 kilograms of gold, 42,552 kilograms of silver, 183 tonnes of lead and 118 tonnes of zinc during intermittent operation between 1893 and 1973, according to historic reports. The historic Combination deposit gave up 11 tonnes for 60,340 grams of silver and 653 grams of gold. Ximen’s new claims cover 11 known mineral occurrences, the company stated.

Recent sampling returned 2.87 g/t gold and 127 g/t silver from a mine dump northeast of the former Providence operation. Another sample showed 2,350 ppm copper from one of the property’s undocumented exploration pits that show exposed massive sulphides containing chalcopyrite, bornite and magnetite.

In southern B.C.’s Okanagan region, Ximen also holds the Brett gold project. In November the company announced that metallurgical tests on material stockpiled in the 1990s during early-stage mine development support an historic account of 4 g/t to 5 g/t gold.

About three and a half hours’ driving distance from Vancouver, Ximen has its Treasure Mountain property under option to New Destiny Mining TSXV:NED. Grab samples collected last year included 11.3 g/t and 8.81 g/t gold, as well as samples showing up to 1.45% zinc, 122 g/t silver, 0.87 g/t gold, 57 g/t tellurium and 12.3 g/t indium.

Ximen closed private placements of $540,000 in December and $250,000 in February. Last month the company arranged a private placement of $405,000 subject to TSXV approval.

Read more about Ximen Mining.

Belmont Resources/MGX Minerals receive “milestone” water rights permit, await assays from Nevada lithium project

March 21st, 2019

by Greg Klein | March 21, 2019

Considered a milestone for two companies pursuing lithium, a recently granted water rights permit might be the first of its kind for Nevada. Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA and MGX Minerals CSE:XMG received the permit to extract up to 943.6 million U.S. gallons of water annually from the Monte Cristo Groundwater Basin for brine processing and potential production of lithium compounds on their Kibby Basin property. Some 91% of the water will be returned to the source through injection wells or infiltration galleries, the companies stated.

Belmont Resources/MGX Minerals receive “milestone” water rights permit, await assays from Nevada lithium project

Assays are pending from winter drilling
on the Belmont/MGX Kibby Basin project.

The news follows a winter drill campaign that reached 256 metres into lakebed sediments in hole KB-4, testing a potential fault where geophysical and geological analysis suggests geothermal activity might have brought concentrations of dissolved minerals close to surface.

The team currently has logging and sample preparation from drill cuttings underway, as well as water sampling from a layer near the bottom of the hole. Assays will follow.

Some 2,300 metres southwest of KB-4, KB-3 produced results averaging 393 ppm lithium over 42.4 metres and 415 ppm over 30.5 metres, reaching a high of 580 ppm.

Having spent $300,000 so far, MGX has earned 25% of the project and may increase its interest to 50% with another $300,000 of work. The 2,056-hectare Kibby Basin property sits 65 kilometres north of Albemarle’s (NYSE:ALB) Silver Peak mine, North American’s only lithium producer.

In northern Saskatchewan, Belmont has a 50% stake in two uranium properties, with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT holding the remainder.

Subject to exchange approval, Belmont expects to close a private placement first tranche of $67,500. In July the company closed a private placement totalling $375,000.