Thursday 24th October 2019

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Posts tagged ‘new brunswick’

Preparations move Belmont Resources toward Nevada lithium drilling

May 23rd, 2018

This story has been updated and moved here.

Belmont Resources readies drill targets, selective extraction for Nevada lithium

April 6th, 2018

by Greg Klein | April 6, 2018

Supported by a successful financing and encouraging geophysical and drill results, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA prepares to advance its Kibby Basin lithium project on two fronts. The company now plans to sink up to five holes on the 2,760-hectare Nevada property while continuing lithium extraction discussions with other companies that have requested samples.

Belmont Resources readies drill targets, selective extraction for Nevada lithium

A Quantec Geoscience crew member sets induction
coil for this year’s Spartan Magnetotelluric survey.

The drill campaign would be Kibby Basin’s second, following two holes from last year. Core samples graded between 70 ppm and 200 ppm Li2O. Thirteen of 25 samples surpassed 100 ppm, “indicating that the sediments could be a potential source of lithium for the underlying aquifers,” the company stated.

Since then a magnetotelluric survey covered some 36 square kilometres, adding geophysical detail to a 2016 gravity survey and showing a conductive zone that starts about 500 metres in depth.

Backing the campaign will be fresh financing. The second tranche of private placements totalling $198,000 closed this month.

In New Brunswick last November, Belmont acquired the Mid-Corner/Johnson Croft property, where historic, non-43-101 sampling showed prospectivity for zinc, copper and cobalt. Along with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT, Belmont shares a 50/50 interest in two Saskatchewan uranium properties, Crackingstone and Orbit Lake.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Belmont Resources CFO/director Gary Musil.

Deep-sensing geophysics precedes Belmont Resources’ Nevada lithium drilling

March 2nd, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 2, 2018

Recently received geophysical results will help Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA select drill targets for its Kibby Basin lithium property in Nevada. Described as a “full tensor magnetotelluric technology that acquires resistivity data in the 10 kHz to 0.001 Hz frequency band,” the survey covered about 36 square kilometres to depths of three kilometres over a playa basin and some adjoining turf.

Deep-sensing geophysics precedes Belmont Resources’ Nevada lithium drilling

Located 65 kilometres from Clayton Valley, Belmont Resources’
Kibby Basin project advances towards Phase II drilling.

While a 2016 gravity survey suggested the presence of a basin about 4,000 metres deep, the new results “clearly map a more conductive zone beginning at approximately 500 metres’ depth,” Belmont stated. Targets for a 2018 drill program on the 2,760-hectare property are being considered where potential brine contacts are closest to the playa surface, the company added.

Core samples from last year’s two-hole, 624-metre campaign assayed between 70 ppm and 200 ppm Li2O, with 13 of 25 samples exceeding 100 ppm.

A November acquisition added the Mid Corner-Johnson Croft zinc-cobalt prospect in New Brunswick to Belmont’s portfolio. Belmont also holds a 50% interest in two Saskatchewan uranium properties.

This week the company offered an amended private placement of up to $100,000, following an oversubscribed financing that closed on $312,000 in December.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Belmont Resources CFO/director Gary Musil.

Deep-penetrating geophysics to probe Belmont Resources’ Nevada lithium project

January 17th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 17, 2018

Now being mobilized, an electromagnetic survey will help target brine aquifers on Belmont Resources’ (TSXV:BEA) Kibby Basin property. The company describes Quantec Geoscience’s Spartan AMT/MT method as “a full tensor magnetotelluric technology that acquires resistivity data in the 10 kHz to 0.001 Hz frequency band. The result is a measurement that is applicable from near-surface to potential depths of three kilometres or more.” Belmont credits Quantec with over 5,000 geophysical programs in over 50 countries.

Deep-penetrating geophysics to probe Belmont Resources’ Nevada lithium project

Two holes sunk on Kibby Basin last year brought
core samples between 70 ppm and 200 ppm lithium.

The Kibby Basin survey should take nine days, with another two weeks for an initial report.

The program follows a satellite data review and two-hole 2017 drill campaign on the 2,760-hectare Nevada property 65 kilometres north of Clayton Valley. Thirteen of 25 core samples surpassed 100 ppm lithium, “indicating that the sediments could be a potential source of lithium for the underlying aquifers,” the company stated.

A gravity survey the previous year suggested the property hosts a closed basin which the company later estimated to cover four square kilometres, extending to at least 1.5 kilometres in depth.

Last week Belmont announced its lawyers would request the annulment of a decision by the International Centre For Settlement Of Investment Disputes reported in August. The tribunal stated it had no jurisdiction in a dispute involving Belmont, EuroGas Inc and the Slovak Republic regarding Rozmin SRO’s ownership of the Gemerska Poloma talc deposit. Belmont seeks to be restored as a claimant in the arbitration proceedings.

The company also holds the Mid Corner-Johnson Croft property in New Brunswick, a prospect with some historic, non-43-101 zinc-copper-cobalt sampling results that has yet to undergo modern geophysics.

In northern Saskatchewan, Belmont and International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT share a 50/50 stake in the Crackingstone and Orbit Lake uranium properties.

Belmont closed an oversubscribed private placement of $312,200 in December.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Belmont Resources CFO/director Gary Musil.

Satellite imagery helps Belmont Resources home in on Nevada lithium targets

December 14th, 2017

by Greg Klein | December 14, 2017

Thanks to NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, archived satellite data sharpens the focus on Belmont Resources’ (TSXV:BEA) Kibby Basin lithium project in Nevada. The company now has geophysics and other work planned for a busy new year.

Satellite imagery helps Belmont Resources home in on Nevada lithium targets

The satellite info shows hydrothermal indicator minerals over about one square kilometre of the 2,760-hectare property, CEO/president Vojtech Agyagos stated. “This area hosted the highest lithium surface samples as well and is the site of our proposed third drill hole. Our 2017 drill program discovered both water (fresh) and up to 200 ppm lithium in the core in the eastern side of the property about two kilometres from these thermal alterations.”

Drill results released last June showed clay-rich core samples grading between 70 ppm and 200 ppm lithium, “with 13 of 25 core samples assaying over 100 ppm lithium, indicating that the sediments could be a potential source of lithium for the underlying aquifers,” Belmont announced at the time.

Agyagos added that the satellite-revealed geothermal alteration “sits above the deepest gravity-indicated area from Belmont’s 2016 Wright geophysical ground gravity survey.”

Results from that survey suggest a basin model about 4,000 metres deep with similarities to Clayton Valley, host to Albemarle Corp’s (NYSE:ALB) Silver Peak lithium mine.

Belmont’s next plans call for a number of surveys including magnetotelluric, vertical electrical sounding, geothermal probe, electromagnetic resistivity and possibly seismic to help identify lithium brine drill targets. The company expects to finish EM work in early January.

Along with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT, Belmont holds a 50/50 stake in two northern Saskatchewan uranium properties, Crackingstone and Orbit Lake, for which the companies seek JV partners.

In New Brunswick last month, Belmont acquired the Mid Corner-Johnson Croft zinc-copper property, which shows promising historic sampling results but has yet to undergo modern geophysics.

Last week the company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $312,200.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Belmont Resources CFO/director Gary Musil.

Belmont Resources adds New Brunswick zinc-copper to Nevada lithium

November 23rd, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 23, 2017

Today’s geophysics can “see” what older technology missed, opening up new opportunities in exploration. That’s partly what attracted Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA to its new acquisition, the Mid Corner-Johnson Croft zinc-copper prospect in New Brunswick. While powerlines interfered with 1960s-era geophysics, the company expects accurate results from modern ground electromagnetic and/or gravity surveys.

Belmont Resources adds New Brunswick zinc-copper to Nevada lithium

A single sample of breccia taken in 1970 brought historic, non-43-101 assays of 0.96% cobalt and 16.04% zinc, along with silver, cadmium, copper and lead. A few 1990s samples included non-43-101 results of 1.66% zinc, 2% zinc and 1.04% zinc, with some gold, silver, copper, lead and cadmium.

The 700-hectare property has paved road access as well as the transmission line.

Belmont plans to review all historic data prior to field work that would begin next year. Meanwhile the company remains focused on its Kibby Basin lithium project in Nevada, 65 kilometres north of Clayton Valley. Belmont plans EM, vertical electrical sounding and/or geothermal probe surveys to identify targets for the flagship’s next phase of drilling.

The New Brunswick acquisition costs Belmont two million shares and $10,000 over one year. The company may buy back a 1% NSR out of an existing 2.5% NSR.

Belmont also announced its intention to apply for a TSXV price waiver for a proposed private placement of up to $300,000.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with Belmont Resources CFO/director Gary Musil.

Mining supporters and critics speak out as government ministers meet in New Brunswick

August 14th, 2017

by Greg Klein | August 14, 2017

This is the week that the country’s mining ministers convene with their counterparts from all Canadian jurisdictions. Taking place this year in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference will “discuss shared priorities for collaborative action to advance energy and mining development across the country.” Participants will also hear from the industry and its critics, with the latter highlighting NB’s proposed Sisson tungsten-molybdenum open pit mine.

The Canadian Mineral Industry Federation proposed reforms in six key areas that would expand the industry’s “vast socio-economic contributions to Canadians.” Not surprisingly, regulatory streamlining topped the list. The group called for an “effective, timely and co-ordinated regulatory process, from pre-environmental assessment to post-EA permitting.”

Mining supporters and critics make voices heard as government ministers meet in New Brunswick

Workers at the Sisson project, one of the world’s largest
undeveloped tungsten deposits and now site of a protest camp.

Proportionately Canada’s largest private sector employer of natives, the industry called on governments to enhance indigenous participation through “investments in health, education and skills training, and by implementing government resource revenue-sharing mechanisms.”

Looking at climate change, the CMIF warned that poorly crafted regulations could push mining “to competitor countries with less stringent climate change policies.” The group also called on governments to acknowledge the challenges of working in remote regions dependent on diesel fuel.

On a related topic, the CMIF encouraged governments to provide isolated regions with better infrastructure to “benefit both industry and local and indigenous communities.”

Concern about a shrinking land base prompted the CMIF to recommend that “mineral potential is factored into all land withdrawal decision-making processes.”

The group also called for government and industry to collaborate on a Clean Resources Innovation Supercluster, which would concentrate industry, R&D and associated small and medium-sized enterprises in one area to attract investment and develop synergies.

A coalition of native and advocacy groups, however, challenged the conference to make good on this year’s theme of Clean Growth.

“We’re not against ‘clean growth’ or ‘clean energy’ but these must not be empty words,” said Jacinda Mack, co-ordinator of First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining and a community member affected by British Columbia’s 2014 Mount Polley tailings dam collapse. “We’re here to alert the public and our governments that there are still serious problems with the way mining is done in this country, and that there can’t be any clean growth or clean energy without first having clean mining.”

The coalition also emphasized its opposition to the proposed Sisson open pit mine, about 330 kilometres by road from the conference location. A partnership of Northcliff Resources TSX:NCF and a subsidiary of family-owned Todd Corp, the plan received federal environmental approval in June. Proponents describe Sisson as one of the world’s largest undeveloped tungsten deposits, with an estimated 27-year lifespan.

But a newly released report charges that the project’s “mining waste facility design is business-as-usual, using the same facility design and water cover approach used at the failed Mount Polley mine.”

Members of the Maliseet First Nations have occupied a protest camp at Sisson since early July. In February, chiefs of the six Maliseet nations signed a multi-million-dollar revenue-sharing deal with the province, CBC reported. But five of the chiefs later “denounced” the agreement, the network stated.

The coalition estimates liability for contaminated mine sites across Canada to surpass $10 billion, a figure that “can easily triple or quadruple once the true costs for site cleanup and risks from spills and failures are considered.”

Two newly elected governments join the conference this year. In November the Yukon Liberals returned to power after a 14-year hiatus. Last month B.C.’s NDP was sworn in as the province’s new government after gaining support from the three-MLA Green Party to vote down the minority BC Liberals’ Throne Speech.

How green are their ridings?

July 13th, 2017

A vehicle-deprived vagabond travels through Canada’s Green Party stronghold

by Greg Klein

A vehicle-deprived vagabond travels through Canada’s Green Party stronghold

A Cowichan Valley boat ramp parking lot shows the region’s preferred
mode of transport. Those tow hitches aren’t for canoes or kayaks, either.

 

The traffic’s fast and furious. That’s alarmingly apparent as you risk crossing the road to any of the locally famous caffeineries after perusing the locally produced arts, crafts and food tempting visitors at Salt Spring Saturday Market. This is Ganges, a charming town in Saanich North and the Islands, one of three ridings that awarded the balance of power to the Greens in last May’s British Columbia election. But it’s unmistakeably car country.

Green MLAs will hold considerable influence in B.C.’s legislature as long as they can prop up the New Democratic Party minority government. Part of Canada’s Green power base, Saanich North and the Islands nearly coincides with the federal constituency of Green MP Elizabeth May and forms part of a trio of nearby provincial ridings that elected one incumbent and two new Green MLAs.

By comparison the rest of Canada has just two Green MLAs (one each in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) and zero MPs. (See an April 2019 update here.)

A vehicle-deprived vagabond travels through Canada’s Green Party stronghold

B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver represents
a beautiful but largely car-dependent suburb.

A nice spring afternoon in this Salt Spring Island town notwithstanding, Ganges hosts many more people behind the wheel than on foot. And they seem to be in one hell of a hurry. In their defence, some residents say Salt Spring has Canada’s highest proportion of EV ownership.

Speaking to CBC, one island dweller divulged unofficial data showing “111 electric cars [out of 10,640 people, over half of them old enough to drive], when statistically in Canada we should only have five.” Maybe, but the noise of this little town’s hustle and bustle suggests overwhelming loyalty to fossil fuels.

Like the other islands in Green MLA Adam Olsen’s constituency, Salt Spring’s linked to the outside world mostly by B.C. Ferries. To the frustration of foot passengers, the provincially owned company typically locates its terminals in out-of-the-way spots to provide plenty of parking space. One of the riding’s biggest employers, B.C. Ferries normally makes vehicle ownership a job requirement for employees at its terminals.

To the further frustration of the car-less, B.C. Ferries schedules sync poorly with those of B.C. Transit, the provincial purveyor of municipal and regional bus service. It offers very occasional service on Salt Spring and none on the riding’s other islands.

 

Stroll along Oak Bay Avenue or any other Oak Bay-Gordon Head main drag and you’ll probably notice drivers exercising an un-Salt Spring km/h restraint. Nevertheless cars far outnumber pedestrians in this suburban Victoria riding bordering Saanich North. That’s despite this being a highly walkable neighbourhood with lots of convenient shops and services. There’s even, by Canadian standards, reasonably good bus service. This very affluent turf constitutes the domain of B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver. Once again, vehicle-dependency seems to be taken for granted.

Like some of his party’s Salt Spring supporters, Weaver is said to tool around in an electric car. Maybe, like most politicians, he also takes token transit trips for political bragging rights. Of course the pyramid of CO2-reducing moral superiority builds from a car-dependent base to greater heights by ditching fossil-fuel engines for EVs, ditching EVs for transit, and ditching transit for walking or cycling. But the very apex of GHG-avoidance, according to one recent study, would be ditching parenthood. It turns out that babies—little scoundrels that they are—put other Big Oil lackeys to shame with their GHG profligacy.

That would seem to take the low-birthrate Western world off the hook, placing almost the entire climate-change blame on emerging societies. But the B.C. Greens’ push for free childcare and payments to stay-at-home parents seems irresponsibly averse to the big issue of our time.

 

Two bucks gets you a B.C. Transit ride all the way from the small Vancouver Island city of Duncan to Lake Cowichan. This weekend wayfarer took the trip on Canada Day, as one of only two passengers throughout the 29-kilometre, 45-minute trip traversing much of Green MLA Sonia Furstenau’s Cowichan Valley riding. The bus careens down Cowichan Lake Road, roughly parallel to much-busier Highway 18 and presumably the route that walkers and cyclists would take.

Would take. If there were any. There pretty much weren’t.

Big vehicles, mostly pickup trucks, dominate the town of Lake Cowichan. How can this Green valley reconcile this anti-Green lifestyle? Not easily. Still, even more than in Oak Bay, traffic moves slowly, at a relaxed rate that the average Salt Spring Green might achieve only with a heavy dose of environmentally correct Ativan. Downtown Lake Cow’s quite the experience actually, like witnessing a monster truck extravaganza in slow motion and with the volume turned way down.

Residential development sprawls about 15 klicks northwest to the former mill town of Youbou, now home to some fairly recently built large homes for fairly affluent people. Walking seems limited to very short distances to or from a vehicle. The one cyclist I saw looked as conspicuous as the magnificent elk ambling by.

Leave Furstenau’s constituency past Youbou and the road suddenly changes into a rough-hewn dust-cloud topsy-turvy gravel route with potholes big enough to swallow Elon Musk’s next Great Big Idea. For those residents who might drive EVs, that pretty much limits their egress to the road back to Duncan.

 

So, if the typically Canadian vehicle-based lifestyle of B.C.’s Green ridings seems to contradict Green values, what drives—oops, shoulda said “inspires”—their ballot box choice? Did voters not consider their own reliance on vehicles and all the resources used to manufacture, maintain and fuel them? Or did voters just want to send a message to B.C.’s two cynicism-inducing establishment parties? That would be a reassuring thought, one that might restore a smidgeon of faith in our troubled species.

Nevertheless, these ridings make nice places to visit. Parts of them have bus service too, but you’ll have to check out the schedules for yourself. Not likely you’ll find many locals who use transit.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba first and second globally as mining jurisdictions

March 1st, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 1, 2017

Saskatchewan edged one notch upwards to take first place worldwide while Manitoba soared from 19th to second in this year’s Fraser Institute survey of mining and exploration jurisdictions. Those two provinces pushed last year’s top performer, Western Australia, down to third place. Canada’s other top 10 spot went to Quebec, rising to sixth from eighth the year before. All continents but Antarctica came under scrutiny but Canadian, American, Australian and European locales monopolized the top 10.

Farther down the list, the strongest Canadian improvements were Newfoundland and Labrador, climbing to 16th from 25th, and the Northwest Territories, now 21st, previously 35th. Most disappointing were British Columbia (falling to 27th from 18th), Nunavut (31st from 23rd) and Alberta (47th from 34th).

Those findings come from the survey’s Investment Attractiveness Index, which combines two other indices—Policy Perception, a “report card” on government attitudes, and Best Practices Mineral Potential, concerning geological appeal. Representatives of 104 companies responded with their 2016 experiences in mind, giving a numerical rating to questions in several categories regarding their likelihood of investing in a particular jurisdiction. The previous year 109 companies responded.

Here’s the top 10 globally for overall investment attractiveness, with last year’s standings in parentheses:

1 Saskatchewan (2)

2 Manitoba (19)

3 Western Australia (1)

4 Nevada (3)

5 Finland (5)

6 Quebec (8)

7 Arizona (17)

8 Sweden (13)

9 Ireland (4)

10 Queensland (16)

Here are the Canadian runners-up:

15 Yukon (12)

16 Newfoundland and Labrador (25)

18 Ontario (15)

21 Northwest Territories (35)

27 British Columbia (18)

31 Nunavut (23)

40 New Brunswick (45)

47 Alberta (34)

52 Nova Scotia (59)

At least those provinces and territories steered far clear of the bottom 10, where Argentina figures prominently:

95 Mozambique (84)

96 Zimbabwe (98)

97 India (73)

98 Mendoza province, Argentina (101)

99 La Rioja province, Argentina (109)

100 Afghanistan (not available)

101 Chubut province, Argentina (104)

102 Venezuela (108)

103 Neuquen province, Argentina (93)

104 Jujuy province, Argentina (86)

“We believe that the survey captures, at least in broad strokes, the perceptions of those involved in both mining and the regulation of mining in the jurisdictions included in the survey,” stated authors Taylor Jackson and Kenneth P. Green.

Download the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2016.

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.