Friday 24th February 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘manitoba’

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

February 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | February 16, 2017

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

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

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

Within that interval were two overlapping intercepts:

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

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

Core from previous drilling at Talbot.

True widths weren’t available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Rockcliff Copper.

Plucking the high grades

February 8th, 2017

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

by Greg Klein

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Four projects have work planned this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rockcliff Copper reports 5.9% copper-equivalent over 5.6 metres, expands Manitoba drill program

January 18th, 2017

by Greg Klein | January 18, 2017

Rockcliff Copper reports 5.9% copper-equivalent over 5.6 metres, expands Manitoba drill program

Buoyed by new assays from Phase II drilling, Rockcliff Copper TSXV:RCU has increased its Talbot drill program from 6,000 metres to 7,500 metres. The company holds a 51% option on the polymetallic copper project, part of its 45,000-hectare Snow Lake holdings in Manitoba’s Flin Flon-Snow Lake mining region.

Talbot’s latest results, from hole TB-016, show:

  • 2.64% copper, 2.94 g/t gold, 1.67% zinc and 23 g/t silver for 5.9% copper-equivalent over 5.63 metres, starting at 849.38 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 4.61% copper, 5.08 g/t gold, 2.09% zinc and 39.12 g/t silver for 9.9% copper-equivalent over 2.8 metres)

  • 0.64% copper, 0.24 g/t gold, 1.04% zinc and 5.6 g/t silver for 1.4% copper-equivalent over 3.39 metres, starting at 865.77 metres

Earlier this month Rockcliff reported assays from hole TB-012:

  • 1.2% copper, 0.92 g/t gold, 0.24% zinc and 10.2 g/t silver for 2.1% copper-equivalent over 12.57 metres, starting at 840.62 metres
  • (including 2% copper, 1.94 g/t gold, 0.32% zinc and 20.03 g/t silver for 3.9% copper-equivalent over 5.3 metres)

True widths weren’t provided.

TB-012 confirmed “continuity of the main lens in an area void of drilling along the deposit’s north boundary of the main lens,” the company stated.

A January 2016 resource estimate for three zones at Talbot showed an inferred category totalling:

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

Rockcliff describes Talbot as “similar to that of present and past-producing base metal deposits of bi-modal volcanoclastic rocks in the Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt.”

With mineralization open in all directions, the program will “focus on resource expansion of the deposit as well as drill-testing geophysical plates/anomalies recently discovered from the resurveying of historic drill holes,” said president/CEO Ken Lapierre. The property has year-round road access.

Last week Rockcliff released grab samples grading up to 25 g/t and 34.77 g/t gold from the Snow Lake project’s Laguna site, which has state-of-the-art airborne magnetics planned. The company’s other Snow Lake assets include a 100% interest in the Rail deposit, with an indicated resource of 822,000 tonnes averaging 3.9% copper-equivalent, and non-43-101, historic estimates for four other deposits.

Rockcliff has about $2.5 million in the bank and no debt.

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

January 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | January 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Drilling confirms 3D model at Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project

November 17th, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 17, 2016

With Phase I now complete, Far Resources CSE:FAT says all seven holes of the 1,142-metre campaign intersected spodumene-bearing pegmatite on the Zoro property in central Manitoba. Assays are pending but the program confirms a 3D model of dyke #1 compiled from historic drilling data and more recent field work, the company reported November 17.

Drilling confirms 3D model at Far Resources’ Manitoba lithium project

Chip samples taken last summer from historic
trenches assayed between 1.46% and 6.35% Li2O.

“We are pleased that the first drill program on the property for 60 years has confirmed our geological model and interpretation,” said president/CEO Keith Anderson. “This will allow us to plan and optimize further drilling with confidence as we expand on the Phase I program.”

The 3,000-hectare property hosts seven known spodumene-bearing dykes. In July the company released assays from chip samples collected that summer from three historic trenches, with results ranging from 1.46% to 6.35% Li2O.

The Snow Lake-region property can be accessed via highway and helicopter, or by boat, road and ATV. Local infrastructure also includes hydro lines five kilometres south and rail another 25 kilometres.

Far Resources also holds an option on the Winston property in New Mexico, which hosts two past-producing gold-silver mines. In October the company offered a private placement of up to $200,000.

Far Resources has rig en route to Manitoba lithium property

November 1st, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 1, 2016

With a Phase I program of 1,200 metres about to begin, Far Resources CSE:FAT hopes to confirm historic results at its Zoro lithium project in central Manitoba’s Snow Lake camp. Primary focus will be pegmatite dyke #1, one of the property’s at least seven spodumene-bearing dykes, the company stated.

Far Resources has rig en route to Manitoba lithium property

Historic drilling and recent chip samples have
Far Resources optimistic about its Zoro lithium project.

Far Resources optioned an initial 515 hectares in April. In August the company signed another 100% option on adjacent and contiguous claims that expanded the property to about 3,000 hectares.

The initial acquisition includes the Principal dyke, which has an historic, non-43-101 estimate from 1956 of 1.8 million tonnes averaging 1.4% Li2O to a depth of 305 metres.

In July the company reported assays from the more recently acquired turf. With modern analytical techniques, new chip samples taken from historic trenches on three dykes surpassed historic results in most cases. The seven new assays ranged from 1.46% to 6.35% Li2O.

Zoro can be reached by a combination of paved highway and helicopter, or by boat, road and ATV. Hydro lines pass five kilometres south and rail another 25 kilometres.

Last month Far Resources offered a private placement of up to $200,000.

Rediscovering the planet

September 9th, 2016

Laurentian University and its partners hope to re-write the geoscientific Book of Genesis

by Greg Klein

Laurentian University and its partners hope to re-write the geoscientific Book of Genesis

Metal Earth puts some of the world’s best-exposed, best-known
rocks under additional scrutiny to unlock evolutionary secrets.

 

Looked at this way, the future of mineral exploration lies in the past—billions of years in the past. But with state-of-the-art tools, techniques and expertise, Precambrian mysteries can be solved, leading to another generation of discoveries. Researchers with Laurentian University’s Metal Earth project intend to do just that, confidently stating they will transform our understanding of how mineral deposits originated during the planet’s evolution.

What accounts for such boldness? “We are trying new techniques, doing research on a scale that has not been done before and I’m confident that we’re going to make discoveries,” Harold Gibson tells ResourceClips.com. As director of the Mineral Exploration Research Centre at Laurentian’s Harquail School of Earth Sciences and head of the Metal Earth project, he can barely contain his enthusiasm.

Laurentian University and its partners hope to re-write the geoscientific Book of Genesis

An extensive, innovative, seven-year study makes
its headquarters at Sudbury’s Laurentian University.
(Photo: Laurentian University)

“It’s a fully integrated study of our Earth,” he continues. “We’re looking at producing MRI-like images through transects of known endowed areas and structures and compare them with structures that appear to be similar but not endowed. It’ll be backed up by a lot of geology, geochemistry, mantle xenolith geochemistry, geophysics. We’re going to apply the same scrutiny to the less endowed areas to determine the underlying processes and help guide industry to select areas. We’re going to peel back time, peel back the Earth’s crust, essentially. This has never been done before.”

Gibson’s hardly alone in his confidence. Barely a week into the project’s existence, Metal Earth has attracted cash and in-kind backing totalling over $104 million. That includes a very prestigious award of $49.27 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

With money sufficient for a seven-year run, Metal Earth will draw researchers from Laurentian and other schools, including over 35 post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, technicians and support staff, over 80 grad students, 100 undergrads and numerous subcontractors.

Industry partners so far include the looming Sudbury presence of Vale NYSE:VALE, TMAC Resources TSX:TMR, nearing production at Hope Bay in Nunavut, and Ring of Fire explorer Noront Resources TSXV:NOT. Mira Geoscience brings its world-class earth modelling expertise while the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation provides additional computational facilities. Several universities and geological surveys have also joined in partnership.

Gibson expects ground-breaking results, in more ways than one.

Metal Earth will surpass Lithoprobe as Canada’s most extensive earth science project, he says. Some experts consider the 1980s-to-’90s endeavour to be the world’s best project of its kind. “Metal Earth is building on that with much more detail, much better equipment. We have more tools now,” he points out.

“Some ore deposits were integrated into Lithoprobe, but not a lot.” Even so the project “revolutionized ideas of tectonics, the evolution of our Shield, as well as ore deposits. This is much more focused on ore deposits and large-scale systems, so I know we’re going to have new results that will be extremely interesting. If we’re only 20% successful we’ll still change a lot of ideas.”

We’re going to peel back time, peel back the Earth’s crust, essentially. This has never been done before.—Harold Gibson,
Metal Earth project lead

Probably starting in October, field work will begin with the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. That puts a number of familiar areas under additional scrutiny. Then boots hit the ground on a less prolific belt, northwestern Ontario’s Wabigoon. Hope Bay, the Sudbury area and Manitoba will also come under investigation.

“We focused on Canada because we have the best-exposed and best-known Shield in the world—and tons of expertise. We can do this research best here but we see the results applicable globally and to younger terrains.”

Some data provided by companies will be kept confidential, but the results “will all be open source,” Gibson says. “All the data that we collect, which will be enormous, will be open to the public.”

That’ll primarily be “spatial data, on maps, plotted in 3D, in formats need by industry, government and other researchers.” Some of it will even be 4D, with the fourth dimension being time.

“We want to understand how time fits into this equation. We want to look back at the geometry, the morphology, the tectonics of the Precambrian,” he explains. “We’re going to do that through geochronology and isotope geochemistry. We’ll be looking at zircons collected by researchers and at government surveys throughout the Superior and Slave provinces, analyze them and use them as surrogates for looking at the nature of the crust at that time…. We can start reconstructing our paleo shields and look into how and when deposits fit into that.”

The results will offer a multitude of uses for exploration companies, Gibson says. He anticipates they’ll begin by poring over “an incredible amount of new data. Then we’ll be interpreting that data, creating images, integrating it all and making that available. We’ll be generating new algorithms, new ways of treating the data to see patterns that haven’t been seen before.” Info will be accessible online through Laurentian and through government partners.

While his enthusiasm’s obvious, Gibson’s well aware of the enormous challenge ahead of his team.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us, a tremendous opportunity for geoscience in Canada, but with that comes a tremendous responsibility to do it right,” he emphasizes. “And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Where the money is

June 10th, 2016

Joe Martin sees a fundamental transformation coming to junior financing

by Greg Klein

The old system’s not only broken, it can’t be fixed. The world of finance for mineral exploration is changing and juniors must learn new rules and master new tools to survive. That’s the message from Joe Martin, a former business journalist, the founder of Cambridge House International and a prominent advocate for investment regulatory reform.

Well, better scratch that last designation. He’s no longer advocating reform. “There’s no sense trying to change the existing rules because no one at the executive level wants to,” Martin says. “So we have to look at new opportunities emerging, primarily through electronic media.”

Joe Martin sees a fundamental transformation in junior financing

The reform movement failed, he says, despite encouraging response to an open letter by the Venture Capital Markets Association last August. The status quo prevailed—and for that, Martin blames political indifference, bureaucratic intransigence, the self-serving agendas of Canada’s fragmented securities commissions and banks that wield power over the TSX Venture. “Nobody wants to take action and we don’t have the money to fund a multi-million-dollar campaign,” he says.

Now he’s addressing the juniors, not the regulators, and he’s urging them to recognize new financing opportunities in crowdfunding, peer-to-peer transactions and the U.S. JOBS Act.

Crowdfunding has already prompted considerable buzz, especially with the arrival of Australian mine-funder Mineral Intelligence in late 2015, followed by Canada’s Red Cloud Klondike Strike after Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia laid down a regulatory framework in January. Investors register with Klondike under the ordinary, eligible or accredited category.

Klondike’s first listing, Banyan Gold TSXV:BYN put up a $750,000 offer on March 2. The company closed a more conventional private placement of $200,000 the previous January. By press time, Banyan had yet to update the progress of its online offer.

Following that company by six days, Radisson Mining Resources TSXV:RDS offered up to $1 million on Klondike after completing a $324,000 private placement in December. Radisson expected to complete its offer by April 8. But it wasn’t until June 6 that the company announced closing of the second and final tranche, with a total $675,010 raised.

Joe Martin sees a fundamental transformation in junior financing

Joe Martin: “You’d better get in
this game and learn the new rules.”

Klondike’s biggest involvement so far might be IDM Mining TSXV:IDM, which raised a total of $10.85 million in April with Rob McEwan participating. But IDM didn’t divulge how much crowdfunding contributed. The company had said a portion of the placement would be brokered through a syndicate of Klondike, Haywood Securities and Medalist Capital.

Current offers listed on Klondike come from GoviEx Uranium CSE:GXU (up to $2 million), Sarama Resources ($2.25 million) and Brixton Metals TSXV:BBB ($1 million and $1.3 million).

Martin foresees a fairly gradual transformation but a definite change nevertheless with crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and the U.S. JOBS Act “all blending together to bring in a new world of financing. P2P, for example, is becoming very big in England.”

With last month’s Tier III enactment of JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), American crowdfunding has “opened up big time,” Martin says. “Less than 1% of Canadians are accredited investors who can take part in private placements.” The new U.S. regulations allow crowdfunding participants to invest a portion of their income or net worth, up to a percentage that depends on the individual’s financial circumstances.

“Those rules are changing. Canada isn’t changing, so we may be going to the States for financing.”

Martin also sees hope for Canadian juniors on foreign exchanges, as well as the Venture’s rival. “The CSE is doing a pretty good job. They’re a lot easier to deal with.”

Having despaired of fixing the existing system, he sees new opportunities elsewhere—provided juniors adapt. “You’d better get in this game and learn the new rules,” he emphasizes. “But don’t try to change the old ones because we’re not going to get it done.”

Joe Martin addresses the Vancouver Commodity Forum on June 14. Click here for free registration.

Canada down to one NDP government as Tories take Manitoba

April 19th, 2016

by Greg Klein | April 19, 2016

The Orange Wave once predicted for Canada took another fall April 19 when Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives brought the New Democratic Party’s 17-year reign to a decisive end. At ResourceClips.com press time other media outlets stood in for the still-silent Elections Manitoba by proclaiming a Tory majority. Last time around, in 2011, the score was NDP 37, PCs 19 and Liberals one.

That leaves Alberta as Canada’s sole remaining NDP jurisdiction, one that’s increasingly at odds with its federal counterparts over their radically resource-restricting LEAP Manifesto.

Canada down to one NDP government as Tories take Manitoba

A former teacher, founder of a financial services
company and federal MP, premier-elect
Brian Pallister represents a Winnipeg riding.
(Photo: Manitoba Progressive Conservatives)

Manitoba’s NDP failure was easier to predict than the federal party’s lackluster performance in October’s national election. Some observers date the downfall to 2013 when NDP premier Greg Selinger raised the provincial sales tax, breaking budget legislation as well as an election promise. Brian Pallister’s PCs promised a PST rollback.

On mining issues, the NDP pledged to increase the province’s Mineral Exploration Assistance Program, support the Manitoba Geological Survey’s work with explorers, improve mining investment and tax credit processing “and make sure companies open up more exploration on undeveloped leases.”

Somewhat platitudinously, the PCs promised to create a “framework” on the duty to consult natives and to “build respectful and effective partnerships” for resource development.

The night before the election, the Tories returned to the “Hydro jobs for votes scandal,” citing a “just-filed lawsuit [alleging] that Greg Selinger released highly sensitive financial and business information to benefit a third party in December 2015.”

But it was Selinger who faced heavy criticism for “desperate” attacks against Pallister, in which the former cast aspersions on the latter’s Costa Rican real estate and, “in light of the Panama Papers,” his personal income taxes.

Manitobans face a clear choice: Brian Pallister’s plan to cede our province to Saskatchewan and turn us all into Roughriders fans, or our plan to see 42,000 more Manitobans cheering on the Jets and the Bombers.—An April 1 jest
from Manitoba’s NDP

Even so, the NDP campaign wasn’t without levity. On April 1 the party announced a plan to annex Kenora, Ontario. “Manitobans face a clear choice: Brian Pallister’s plan to cede our province to Saskatchewan and turn us all into Roughriders fans, or our plan to see 42,000 more Manitobans cheering on the Jets and the Bombers,” the NDP spoof quoted Selinger. “We’re going to keep growing Manitoba’s economy—whether it’s through investments, immigration or expansion.”

According to government figures released in January, mining comprises Manitoba’s second-largest primary resource sector and serves as one of the north’s largest employers of natives. The 2014 production value of metals and industrial minerals surpassed $1.3 billion and created over 3,200 jobs.

The province’s six mines produce all of Canadian cesium, 11.9% of nickel, 23.6% of zinc, 5.5% of copper, 2.4% of gold and 5.6% of silver.

Are miners denigrating Canadian geology?

March 4th, 2016

by Greg Klein | March 4, 2016

Are miners denigrating Canadian geology?

 

A look at Canadian jurisdictions in this year’s Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies suggests perceptions of the country’s geology have declined. The survey emphasizes two main indexes, one addressing matters of government policy, the other considering geology as well as policy. The biggest changes from the previous year showed up in the latter index.

Called the Investment Attractiveness Index, it weighs responses from mining and exploration professionals, giving 60% for their answers on questions about mineral potential and 40% on questions about public policy. The 60/40 split reflects the way companies generally base their investment decisions, according to the survey.

The IAI ranked New Brunswick 11th out of 12 Canadian jurisdictions (Prince Edward Island wasn’t included) and 45th out of 109 jurisdictions worldwide. That’s a steep fall from the previous year, when New Brunswick came in 19th out of 122 jurisdictions.

But the survey’s Policy Perception Index was less dramatic, showing the province fell from third place in 2014 to ninth place in the current poll.

The IAI dropped Manitoba from fifth to 19th place globally. But the PPI actually raised the province two notches, from 15th to 13th.

Then there’s Nova Scotia, with Canada’s worst IAI score. But the province gets a middling sixth place in Canada for public policy. (Globally, the province ranked 59 on IAI and 17 on PPI.)

Obviously public policy can change significantly and quickly. But, barring dramatic new discoveries, widespread mine depletion or plunging commodity prices, wouldn’t mineral potential undergo more gradual transformation?

When rating geology, companies “have downgraded Canada a bit and they’re saying it’s less attractive this year,” says Fraser Institute policy analyst Taylor Jackson, who co-authored the survey with Kenneth Green. “This is the reason we saw Australia surpass Canada as the region that’s the most overall attractive in the world.”

Jackson adds, “It could be that they’re factoring in that certain commodities are less attractive to them than in the past. It is tough to say, though, what they’re thinking. It could be a combination of things.”

Strangest of all Canadian rankings was Nunavut. The territory showed strong IAI improvement, moving from 34th to 23rd place. That contrasted with its PPI score, which declined from 51st to 54th.

Despite Canada’s slump, Saskatchewan held on to its second-place global IAI position and moved from fifth to fourth place on the global PPI. Apparently the potash gloom failed to overshadow mining-friendly policies and high Athabasca Basin uranium grades.

Download the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies 2015.

Read about the previous week’s Fraser Institute report on permitting times across Canada.