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June 17th, 2016

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

by Greg Klein
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A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum


“There’s excitement in the air,” said Cambridge House International founder Joe Martin. That’s the mood he senses as junior explorers emerge from the downturn. And certainly optimism was evident on June 14 as more than 450 people converged on the Vancouver Commodity Forum for an afternoon of expert talks amid a showcase of two dozen companies. Keynote speakers included Martin, Chris Berry of the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online and Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Lithium, not surprisingly, stood out as a commodity of interest. While cautioning against over-enthusiasm for the exploration rush, Berry and Hykawy each affirmed the need for juniors to find new sources of the metal. Cobalt and scandium featured prominently too, as did other commodities including what Kaiser called “the weird metals”—lesser known stuff that’s vital to our lives but threatened with security of supply.

Kaiser also noted he was addressing a crowd larger than his last PDAC audience, another indication that “we’ve turned the corner.”

Attendees also met and mingled with company reps. Potential investors learned about a wide gamut of projects aspiring to meet a growing demand for necessities, conveniences and luxuries.

Presented by Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, the forum’s success will make it an annual event, said company president Dave Hodge. Berry emceed the conference, holding the unenviable task of “making sure Dave stays well-behaved.”

Read interviews with keynote speakers:

Meet the companies

Most companies were core holdings of Zimtu, a prospect generator that connects explorers with properties and also shares management, technical and financing expertise. Zimtu offers investors participation in a range of commodities and companies, including some at the pre-IPO stage.

After sampling high-grade lithium on its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories earlier this month, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY plans to return in mid-July for a program of mapping, exposing spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes, and channel sampling. The company closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $318,836 in April. Hidden Lake’s located near Highway 4, about 40 kilometres from Yellowknife and within the Yellowknife Pegmatite Belt.

With one of the Athabasca Basin’s largest and most prospective exploration portfolios, ALX Uranium TSXV:AL has a number of projects competing for flagship status. Among them is Hook-Carter, which covers extensions of three known conductive trends, one of them hosting the sensational discoveries of Fission Uranium TSX:FCU and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. ALX’s strategic partnership with Holystone Energy allows that company to invest up to $750,000 in ALX and retain the right to maintain its ownership level for three years. ALX closed a private placement first tranche of $255,000 last month, amid this year’s busy news flow from a number of the company’s active projects.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD boasts one of northern Canada’s largest 100%-held diamond exploration portfolios. Among the properties are the drill-ready Stein project in Nunavut and others in the Lac de Gras region that’s the world’s third-largest diamond producer by value. North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR holds an option to earn up to 55% of Arctic Star’s Redemption property.

Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA considers its Douay property one of Quebec’s largest and last undeveloped gold projects. The Abitibi property has resources totalling 238,400 ounces of gold indicated and 2.75 million ounces inferred. Now, with $1.1 million raised last month, the company hopes to increase those numbers through a summer program including 4,000 metres of drilling. Douay’s 2014 PEA used a 5% discount rate to forecast a post-tax NPV of $16.6 million and a post-tax IRR of 40%.

Looking for lithium in Nevada, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA now has a geophysics crew en route to its Kibby Basin property, which the company believes could potentially host lithium-bearing brines in a similar geological setting to the Clayton Valley, about 65 kilometres south. Results from the gravity survey will help identify targets for direct push drilling and sampling.

A mineral perhaps overlooked in the effort to supply green technologies, zeolite has several environmental applications. Canadian Zeolite TSXV:CNZ holds two projects in southern British Columbia, Sun Group and Bromley Creek, the latter an active quarrying operation.

With a high-grade, near-surface rare earths deposit hosted in minerals that have proven processing, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE takes its Ashram project in Quebec towards pre-feasibility. The relatively straightforward mineralogy contributes to steady progress in metallurgical studies. Commerce also holds southeastern B.C.’s Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit, which reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.

Permitted for construction following a 2014 PEA, Copper North Mining’s (TSXV:COL) Carmacks copper-gold-silver project now undergoes revised PEA studies. The agenda calls for improved economics by creating a new leach and development plan for the south-central Yukon property. In central B.C. the company holds the Thor exploration property, 20 kilometres south of the historic Kemess mine.

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Canadian mining groups welcome Trans-Pacific Partnership

October 5th, 2015

by Greg Klein | October 5, 2015

In a deal supported by associations representing the country’s mining and exploration sector, Canada will become a founder of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ottawa announced the agreement on October 5 as a federal election loomed two weeks in the future.

The Canadian government says the TPP will cut tariffs and other barriers, broadening markets for a range of Canadian industries that include metals and mining. The deal also offers Canadian investors in mining and other areas “transparent and predictable access to TPP markets,” the feds added.

Canada’s mining industry has been a strong advocate for liberalized trade and investment flows for many years…. TPP, representing such a massive trade bloc, including critical emerging markets, is a trading partnership Canada must not risk being left out of.—Pierre Gratton, president/CEO of the Mining Association of Canada

In a declaration of support six days previously, the Mining Association of Canada said the country’s metals and minerals exports to TPP members averaged $158.6 billion per year from 2012 to 2014. The group noted, however, pre-TPP tariffs of up to 5% in Australia, up to 7.9% in Japan, up to 10% in New Zealand, up to 20% in Brunei, up to 40% in Vietnam and up to 50% in Malaysia.

TPP negotiations also addressed “numerous challenges that companies currently face in getting products, people and services across borders on a day-to-day basis,” MAC added. “As one of Canada’s largest outward investing sectors—accounting for 10% ($81.5 billion) of the 2013 total—benefiting from the greater certainty, transparency and foreign investment protection that the TPP will enable is important for the mining industry to remain competitive on the global stage.”

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada stated its “8,000 members invest significant financial assets across the Asia-Pacific region to explore for and develop mineral deposits. PDAC is particularly supportive of aspects of the TPP that will facilitate two-way investment, including protection for investors that provides greater clarity, certainty and transparency.”

The world’s largest trading bloc, the TPP partners Canada with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Conspicuous for its absence is China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Even so, TPP membership represents nearly 800 million people and a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion, the Canadian government stated. The 12 include some of the world’s fastest-growing economies “and this is expected to continue to be the case” as the bloc’s expected to comprise two-thirds of the world’s middle class by 2030 and half of global GDP by 2050. Some 81% of Canada’s total exports already go to TPP countries.

Canada now has free trade agreements with 51 nations which “will give Canadian businesses preferential access to over 60% of the world’s economy and more than 1.3 billion consumers,” according to Ottawa.

How fares Canada in the Fraser Institute’s global mining survey?

February 25th, 2015

by Greg Klein | February 25, 2015

Saskatchewan’s number two worldwide, Quebec’s back in the top 10 and Manitoba climbed 17 notches. But Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia took a beating in the latest Fraser Institute survey of mining jurisdictions. Released February 24, the study rates 122 jurisdictions (including provinces and states in Canada, the United States, Australia and Argentina) based on 485 returned questionnaires. Drawing on their 2014 experience, mining and exploration companies provided numerical ratings for a number of factors, which the institute tracked on separate indexes.

Most important is the Investment Attractiveness Index, which combines two other indexes—Best Practices Mineral Potential (geology) and Policy Perception (government attitudes). The institute weighs the IAI 60% for geology and 40% for public policy, roughly the same consideration companies reported for their investment decisions.

Here’s the top 10 IAI globally, with 2013 rankings in brackets:

1 Finland (4)
2 Saskatchewan (7)
3 Nevada (2)
4 Manitoba (13)
5 Western Australia (1)
6 Quebec (18)
7 Wyoming (11)
8 Newfoundland and Labrador (3)
9 Yukon (8)
10 Alaska (5)

Here are the Canadian runner-ups:

15 Northwest Territories (25)
21 New Brunswick (23)
22 Alberta (10)
23 Ontario (14)
28 British Columbia (16)
29 Nunavut (27)
42 Nova Scotia (47)

Prince Edward Island wasn’t included.

As for the bottom 10:

113 Sudan
114 Nigeria
115 Bulgaria
116 Guatemala
117 Egypt
118 Solomon Islands
119 Honduras
120 Kenya
121 Hungary
122 Malaysia

The 122 jurisdictions totalled 10 more than in 2013. For inclusion, the institute requires a minimum of 10 responses per jurisdiction.

The anonymous replies also included comments which, for Canadian provinces and territories, note serious but unsurprising concerns.

But for some people, the rankings rankled. B.C.’s 10th-place finish out of 12 Canadian jurisdictions doesn’t jibe with the province’s second-place status for mining investment, according to the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia. Citing data from Natural Resources Canada, AME BC credited Ontario as Canada’s favourite for attracting investment. Fraser Institute respondents stuck that province with ninth place in Canada.

“Furthermore, one of the best indicators of success in exploration is seeing discoveries move through to mine development,” said AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom. “In recent years, we have seen a number of new major metal mines constructed in our province, including Copper Mountain in 2011, New Afton in 2012 and Mount Milligan in 2013. Also, Red Chris is being readied for commercial operations, and the KSM and Kitsault mine development projects have received environmental assessment certificates.”

The NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines noted the Northwest Territories’ considerable improvement and its breakaway territory’s slight slump. The organization vowed to continue working with federal and territorial governments “to improve the investment climate for exploration and mining in the two territories.”

Download the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies 2014.

Olympus Pacific reports Malaysia Results as high as 4.64 g/t Gold over 52.7m

April 3rd, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver mining

Update: Olympus Pacific changed its name to Besra Gold Inc. On November 23, 2012, Besra began trading under a new symbol, TSX:BEZ.

Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc TSX:OYM announced results from its Bau Central Property in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Highlights include

4.64 g/t gold over 52.7 metres
(including 6.8 g/t over 21 metres)
2.02 g/t over 62 metres
(including 3.65 g/t over 15 metres)
3.01 g/t over 34 metres
2.94 g/t over 29.3 metres
(including 10.05 g/t over 3 metres)
1.79 g/t over 41 metres
1.91 g/t over 39.5 metres
(including 3.39 g/t over 18.5 metres)

CEO John Seton remarked, “Drilling at Bau Central of the Bau Gold Trend continues to return highly encouraging results and mining feasibility is becoming increasingly certain. The recent resource estimate announcement at Bau Central reflects growing confidence in Olympus’ ability to sequentially develop other deposits within the Bau Gold Trend. This enhances our belief that Bau has the potential to ultimately be ranked as one of Southeast Asia’s important producing goldfields.”

View Company Profile

James W. Hamilton
VP of Investor Relations

Read feature story on Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc.

by Greg Klein

Olympus Pacific reports Malaysia Gold Results as high as 3.99 g/t over 40m

February 1st, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver mining

Update: Olympus Pacific changed its name to Besra Gold Inc. On November 23, 2012, Besra began trading under a new symbol, TSX:BEZ.

Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc TSX:OYM announced assays from its Bau Central Property in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Results include

3.99 g/t gold over 40 metres
(including 5.69 g/t over 17 metres)
2.01 g/t over 78.3 metres
(including 4.4 g/t over 11 metres)
3.91 g/t over 38.1 metres
1.79 g/t over 65.4 metres
1.98 g/t over 48.9 metres
1 g/t over 68.5 metres
(including 1.46 g/t over 33 metres)
2.32 g/t over 24 metres
(including 3.87 g/t over 9 metres)

CEO John Seton commented, “Drilling at Bau Central has continued to return highly encouraging results over significant intercept widths. These are providing input into concurrent feasibility studies and signal an expansion of global resources and upgrade of resource categories in the next resource estimate scheduled for release later this quarter. In particular, the Jugan deposit feasibility study continues to deliver positive results and remains on schedule for completion later this year. Jugan is the first of several deposits slated for development within the Bau Central mineralization trend, with others expected to be phased into production later. The planned Jugan development heralds a revival of the mining industry within this large historic goldfield and is an important milestone for the company.”

View Company Profile

James W. Hamilton
VP of Investor Relations

Read feature story on Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc.

by Greg Klein

Olympus reports Malaysia Gold Assays up to 4.67 g/t over 40m

October 4th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver mining

Update: Olympus Pacific changed its name to Besra Gold Inc. On November 23, 2012, Besra began trading under a new symbol, TSX:BEZ.

Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc TSX:OYM announced assay results from its Bau Goldfield property in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Highlights include

4.79 g/t gold over 40 metres (including 16.51 g/t over 2.2 metres)
4.53 g/t over 47.4 metres (including 21.5 g/t over 3 metres)
3.35 g/t over 12 metres (including 24.6 g/t over 1 metre)
8.56 g/t over 6 metres (including 21.69 g/t over 2.3 metres)
1.9 g/t over 5 metres
7.18 g/t over 1.2 metres
4.88 g/t over 3 metres
24.07 g/t over 8.6 metres (including 48.47 g/t over 3.9 metres)
7.35 g/t over 15.9 metres (including 18.16 g/t over 5 metres)

CEO John Seton commented, “These are very important intercepts in anyone’s language. Bau Central is now really starting to deliver on expectations. Three out of seven sectors within the central goldfield mineralization trend are now at feasibility stage, and these results clearly illustrate the potential for this project to ultimately deliver multiple-million ounce gold deposits.”

View Company Profile

James W. Hamilton
VP Investor Relations

by Ted Niles

Olympus reports Malaysia Gold Assays including 1.77 g/t over 29m

February 4th, 2011

Update: Olympus Pacific changed its name to Besra Gold Inc. On November 23, 2012, Besra began trading under a new symbol, TSX:BEZ.

Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc TSX:OYM announced assays from the Bau Gold Project in Malaysia. Results include 1.77 g/t gold over 29 metres, 5.2 g/t over 19 metres, 14.11 g/t over 9.9 metres, 1.99 g/t over 23.7 metres, 31.41 g/t over 2 metres, 4.9 g/t over 35 metres, 9.07 g/t over 30.1 metres, 4.5 g/t over 22.3 metres and 2.54 g/t over 12.3 metres.

The Bau Gold Project has a measured and indicated mineral resource estimate of 560,000 ounces gold, 1.89 million ounces inferred. Olympus Pacific has budgeted a further 20,000 metres of drilling for the next stage.

View Company Profile

James W Hamilton
VP Investor Relations

by Ted Niles