Wednesday 20th November 2019

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘northwest territories’

Update: 92 Resources explores polymetallic potential of Quebec’s James Bay region

July 8th, 2019

by Greg Klein | updated July 8, 2019

Lithium, gold, copper and molybdenum are among the goals of a program now underway at 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Corvette-FCI project. A four-person crew expects to spend three to four weeks on the property, which 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%.

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%.

Margaret Lake Diamonds/Arctic Star Exploration move Lac de Gras project to drill-ready status

May 6th, 2019

by Greg Klein | May 6, 2019

Three seasons of state-of-the-art techniques have a Northwest Territories diamond project ready for the rig. The Diagras joint venture of Margaret Lake Diamonds TSXV:DIA and Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD has now undergone geophysical strategies that weren’t used by previous operators but proved successful at Kennady Diamonds’ (TSXV:KDI) Kennady North, another project in the prolific Lac de Gras diamond field. With a permit already in hand, the JV has drilling planned for spring 2020.

Margaret Lake Diamonds Arctic Star Exploration move Lac de Gras project to drill-ready status

Margaret Lake holds the majority share of the 60/40 JV and acts as project operator.

Analysis of ground gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic surveys found compelling targets among 23 known kimberlites on the 22,595-hectare property. Among the examples are Black Spruce, where three distinct signatures from magnetic, gravity and EM data might represent different phases of the same kimberlite complex that could host different diamond grades and populations.

Jack Pine, one of Lac de Gras’ largest kimberlite complexes, revealed “a new kimberlite-like geophysical expression believed to have not yet been evaluated by drilling according to available public domain records,” the companies stated. Previous drilling at Jack Pine showed it’s “significantly diamond-bearing.”

The Suzanne kimberlite shows gravity and EM anomalies that likely weren’t adequately tested by a previous operator’s drill hole, therefore warranting further drilling.

Surveys over the HL02 kimberlite suggest “an untested gravity and EM target that breaks a diabase dyke,” the JV explained. “This is a classic compelling kimberlite drill target.”

EM anomalies at the Kong and Penelope kimberlites could represent untested kimberlites or kimberlite phases. Several other known kimberlites have yet to undergo modern geophysics, but remain open for surveys while next year’s drilling takes place.

Margaret Lake also has drilling planned for its recently optioned Kiyuk Lake gold property in Nunavut, just north of the Manitoba border. With analysis of detailed ground geophysics underway, the company plans a 5,000-metre program focusing largely on the property’s Rusty zone. Some historic, non-43-101 results from 2017 showed 26.48 g/t gold over 8 metres, 1.16 g/t over 38 metres, and 1.82 g/t over 122 metres. Margaret Lake may earn up to 80% of the 59,000-hectare property.

The company also holds a 100% interest in the eponymous Margaret Lake property, another Lac de Gras diamond project.

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.

Margaret Lake Diamonds/Arctic Star Exploration begin new program on NWT diamond project

March 25th, 2019

by Greg Klein | March 25, 2019

State-of-the-art exploration techniques will target Lac de Gras diamonds as a new campaign begins on the Diagras joint venture. Detailed ground gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic geophysics will test areas around kimberlites discovered through historic work and around airborne geophysical anomalies that suggest potential kimberlites.

Margaret Lake Diamonds Arctic Star Exploration begin new program on NWT diamond project

Margaret Lake Diamonds TSXV:DIA and Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD hold 60% and 40% respectively of the JV. Margaret Lake acts as project operator on the 22,595-hectare property in the diamondiferous Northwest Territories region.

The current exploration strategy uses techniques that weren’t used in historic work but proved successful at Kennady Diamonds’ (TSXV:KDI) Kennady North project. At Diagras, the strategy has located drill-worthy anomalies proximal to the property’s previously discovered Black Spruce, Jack Pine and Suzanne kimberlites. Historic drilling has found diamonds at Jack Pine.

Part of the program’s funding comes from the NWT’s Mining Incentive Program.

Last month Margaret Lake announced an imminent campaign on its newly optioned Kiyuk Lake gold project, a 59,000-hectare property north of the Manitoba border in Nunavut. Pending receipt of permits, the company plans 5,000 metres of spring drilling in a program that would also include ground magnetics. Historic drilling brought impressive near-surface results.

Back in the NWT, the company also holds the Margaret Lake diamond project.

Miners and explorers pick their spots in Fraser Institute’s latest report card

February 28th, 2019

by Greg Klein | February 28, 2019

Ontario dropped dramatically but an improved performance by the Northwest Territories and Nunavut helped Canada retain its status as the planet’s most mining-friendly country. That’s the verdict of the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2018, a study of jurisdictions worldwide. Some 291 mining and exploration people responded to questions on a number of issues, supplying enough info to rank 83 countries, provinces and states.

Canadian and American jurisdictions dominated the most important section, with four spots each on the Investment Attractiveness Index’s top 10. Combined ratings for all Canadian jurisdictions held this country’s place as the miners’ favourite overall.

The IAI rates both geology and government policies. Respondents typically say they base about 40% of their investment decisions on policy factors and about 60% on geology. Here’s the IAI top 10 with the previous year’s numbers in parentheses:

  • 1 Nevada (3)

  • 2 Western Australia (5)

  • 3 Saskatchewan (2)

  • 4 Quebec (6)

  • 5 Alaska (10)

  • 6 Chile (8)

  • 7 Utah (15)

  • 8 Arizona (9)

  • 9 Yukon (13)

  • 10 Northwest Territories (21)

Here are Canada’s IAI rankings:

  • 3 Saskatchewan (2)

  • 4 Quebec (6)

  • 9 Yukon (13)

  • 10 Northwest Territories (21)

  • 11 Newfoundland and Labrador (11)

  • 12 Manitoba (18)

  • 15 Nunavut (26)

  • 18 British Columbia (20)

  • 20 Ontario (7)

  • 30 New Brunswick (30)

  • 51 Alberta (49)

  • 57 Nova Scotia (56)

Despite Ontario’s fall from grace, the province’s policy ratings changed little from last year. Relative to other jurisdictions, however, the province plummeted. Concerns include disputed land claims, as well as uncertainty about protected areas and environmental regulations.

The Policy Perception Index ignored geology to focus on how government treats miners and explorers. Saskatchewan ranked first worldwide, as seen in these Canadian standings:

The evidence is clear—mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars. A sound regulatory regime coupled with competitive fiscal policies is key to making a jurisdiction attractive in the eyes of mining investors.—Ashley Stedman,
senior policy analyst,
the Fraser Institute

  • 1 Saskatchewan (3)

  • 9 New Brunswick (13)

  • 10 Quebec (9)

  • 11 Nova Scotia (24)

  • 14 Alberta (16)

  • 18 Newfoundland (10)

  • 24 Yukon (22)

  • 30 Ontario (20)

  • 33 Manitoba (27)

  • 42 NWT (42)

  • 44 B.C. (36)

  • 45 Nunavut (44)

The NWT and Nunavut’s indifferent PPI performance suggests greater appreciation of the territories’ geology boosted their IAI rank.

This year’s study included a chapter on exploration permitting, previously the subject of a separate Fraser Institute study. Twenty-two jurisdictions in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Scandinavia were evaluated for time, transparency and certainty. Cumulatively, the six American states did best, with 72% of explorers saying they got permits within six months, compared with 69% for the eight Canadian provinces, 53% for the two Scandinavian countries (Finland and Sweden) and 34% for the six Australian states.

A majority of respondents working in Canada (56%) said permitting waits had grown over the last decade, compared with 52% in Australia, 45% in Scandinavia and 28% in the U.S.

A lack of permitting transparency was cited as an investment deterrent by 48% of respondents working in Australia, 44% in Canada, 33% in Scandinavia and 24% in the U.S.

Eighty-eight percent of explorers working in the U.S. and Scandinavia expressed confidence that they’d eventually get permits, followed by 77% for Australia and 73% for Canada.

Saskatchewan led Canada for timeline certainty, transparency and, with Quebec, confidence that permits would eventually come through.

As for the IAI’s 10 worst, they include Bolivia, despite some recent efforts to encourage development; China, the only east Asian country in the study; and problem-plagued Venezuela.

  • 74 Bolivia (86)

  • 75 La Rioja province, Argentina (80)

  • 76 Dominican Republic (72)

  • 77 Ethiopia (81)

  • 78 China (83)

  • 79 Panama (77)

  • 80 Guatemala (91)

  • 81 Nicaragua (82)

  • 82 Neuquen province, Argentina (57)

  • 83 Venezuela (85)

Explorers made up nearly 52% of survey respondents, producers just over 25%, consulting companies over 16% and others nearly 8%.

“The evidence is clear—mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars,” said Ashley Stedman, who co-wrote the study with Kenneth P. Green. “A sound regulatory regime coupled with competitive fiscal policies is key to making a jurisdiction attractive in the eyes of mining investors.”

Download the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2018.

Margaret Lake moves fast on Nunavut gold acquisition

February 21st, 2019

by Greg Klein | February 21, 2019

Margaret Lake moves fast on Nunavut gold acquisition

Accustomed to working in Arctic conditions, Margaret Lake adds a Nunavut property to its NWT portfolio.

 

With an aggressive winter/spring campaign planned for a newly acquired project, Margaret Lake Diamonds TSXV:DIA turns its attention to Nunavut gold. The company announced its Kiyuk Lake option just last week, allowing up to an 80% interest in the 59,000-hectare property north of the Manitoba border. Now, assuming receipt of land and water use permits, Margaret Lake intends to start building an exploration camp next month in preparation for up to 5,000 metres of spring drilling. The agenda also includes ground magnetics.

Margaret Lake moves fast on Nunavut gold acquisition

Past drilling brought impressive near-surface intercepts
and identified a 13-kilometre strike open in all directions.
(Photo: Cache Exploration)

Drilling will target the Rusty zone, where some historic, non-43-101 results from a previous operator in 2017 brought the following near-surface results:

  • 26.48 g/t gold over 8 metres, starting at 108 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 92.76 g/t over 2 metres)

  • 1.16 g/t over 38 metres, starting at 58 metres
  • (including 3.98 g/t over 8 metres)

  • 1.82 g/t over 122 metres, starting at 188 metres
  • (including 3.34 g/t over 15 metres)

Additionally, a 2013 intercept showed:

  • 1.6 g/t over 249 metres, starting at 8.2 metres

Further 2017 work at the property’s Gold Point/East Gold Point zone yielded the following results:

  • 1.46 g/t gold over 64 metres, starting at 35 metres
  • (including 3.12 g/t over 14 metres)

  • 6.51 g/t over 10 metres, starting at 248 metres

True widths weren’t available.

Over 13,000 metres of historic work identified four mineralized zones as well as five more areas that have yet to be drilled. The property features a 13-kilometre strike that remains open in all directions, the company stated.

Subject to exchange approval, an initial 50% Margaret Lake stake in Kiyuk Lake would require the company to issue five million shares, buy three million of the vendor’s shares for $150,000, pay $100,000 within a year and spend $3 million within three years. An additional 30% would cost $5 million.

In the Northwest Territories, the company also holds the eponymous Margaret Lake diamond project and the majority interest in a 60/40 JV with Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD on the Diagras diamond property.

92 Resources plans 2019 advancement of Canadian energy metals projects

January 22nd, 2019

by Greg Klein | January 22, 2019

With a portfolio that features lithium projects in Quebec along with vanadium and frac sand properties in British Columbia, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY now has its new year agenda in preparation. Taking precedence will be the FCI claims, a recent acquisition that enhances the company’s adjacent Corvette lithium project in Quebec’s James Bay region.

92 Resources plans 2019 advancement of Canadian energy metals projects

High-grade channel sampling has brought
Corvette’s CV1 pegmatite to the drill-ready stage.

Under a 75% earn-in, 92 has a year one spending commitment of $250,000 on FCI. The company has been reviewing historic data while working with operator Osisko Mining TSX:OSK to plan a surface program for the spring and summer. Following that will be a new field campaign at Corvette to precede the first-ever drill program on the two bordering properties.

Encouraging developments from Corvette last year include channel sampling on the CV1 pegmatite that revealed lithium grading as high as 2.28% Li2O over 6 metres and 1.54% over 8 metres, along with tantalum results. The team discovered two more spodumene-bearing pegmatites that suggest a potentially large mineralizing system along strike and at depth, 92 reported. A substantial staking expansion to Corvette along with the FCI earn-in covers about 15 kilometres of potential strike.

Looking at other possible sources of Quebec lithium, 92 also has field programs planned for the Pontax, Eastman and Lac du Beryl properties. Pontax grab samples have graded up to 0.94% Li2O and 520 ppm Ta2O5.

Additionally, the 2019 agenda calls for surface sampling on the Silver Sands vanadium prospect acquired in B.C. last November. The property features regionally mapped rock units that potentially host vanadium-bearing horizons.

Last year 92 filed a 43-101 technical report for its Golden frac sand project in southern B.C., adjacent to Northern Silica’s high-grade Moberly silica mine.

In the Northwest Territories, 92 holds an interest in the Hidden Lake lithium project, the subject of a maiden drill program last year by Far Resources CSE:FAT. The latter company has completed 60% of a 90% earn-in from 92.

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

Read more about 92 Resources.

Drill-ready money

November 19th, 2018

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

by Greg Klein

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) Windfall project offers one reason why
Quebec leads Canada and gold leads metals for exploration spending.
(Photo: Osisko Mining)

 

Blockchain might offer intrigue and cannabis promises a buzz, but mineral exploration still attracts growing interest. A healthy upswing this year will bring Canadian projects a nearly 8% spending increase to $2.36 billion, the industry’s highest amount since 2012. According to recently released data, that’s part of an international trend that puts Canada at the top of a worldwide resurgence.

The $2.36 billion allotted for Canadian exploration and deposit appraisal forms just a small part of the year’s total mineral resource development investments, which see $11.86 billion committed to this country, up from $10.61 billion in 2017.

Those numbers come from Natural Resources Canada, which surveyed companies between April and September on their spending intentions within the country for 2018. The $2.36-billion figure includes engineering, economic and feasibility studies, along with environmental work and general expenses.

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Trial extraction for Pure Gold Mining’s (TSXV:PGM)
Madsen feasibility studies encourages interest in
Ontario’s Red Lake region. (Photo: Pure Gold Mining)

Of that number, Quebec edges out Ontario for first place with $623.1 million in spending this year, 26.4% of Canada’s total. Ontario’s share comes to $567.5 million or 24%. Last year’s totals came to $573.9 million for Quebec and $539.7 million for its western neighbour. Prior to that, however, Ontario held a comfortable lead year after year.

Third-place British Columbia gets $335.5 million or 14.2% of Canada’s total this year, an increase from $302.6 million in 2017.

On a per-capita basis, Yukon’s enjoying an exceptional year with an expected $249.4 million or 10.6% of Canada’s total. That’s the territory’s second substantial increase in a row, following $168.7 million the previous year.

Saskatchewan dips this year to $187.2 million (7.9%) from $191.2 million in 2017. But the Fraser Institute’s last survey of mining jurisdictions placed the province first in Canada and second worldwide.

Nunavut drops too, for the third consecutive time, to $143.9 million (6.1%), compared with $177 million in 2017. The Northwest Territories’ forecast declines to $86.2 million (3.7%) this year after $91.2 million last year.

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Among companies leading Yukon’s exceptional performance
is White Gold TSXV:WGO, with substantial backing from
Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM and Kinross Gold TSX:K.
(Photo: White Gold)

Especially troubling when contrasted with Yukon’s performance, data for the other territories prompted NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines president Gary Vivian to call on federal, territorial and native governments and boards to help the industry “by creating certainty around land access, by reducing unnecessary complexity and by addressing the higher costs they face working in the North. Sustaining and growing future mining benefits depend on it.”

The pursuit of precious metals accounts for $1.5 billion in spending, nearly 64% of Canadian exploration. Ontario gets almost 31% of the precious metals attention, with 27% going to Quebec.

Base metals, mostly in Quebec, B.C. and Ontario, get 15.5% of the year’s total. Uranium gets 5%, almost entirely in Saskatchewan. Diamonds get nearly 4%, most of it going to the NWT and Saskatchewan. But nearly 11% of this year’s total goes to a category vaguely attributed to other metals, along with coal and additional non-metals.

Getting back to this year’s exploration total ($2.36 billion, remember?), senior companies commit themselves to nearly 55%, compared with nearly 51% last year. But the juniors’ share remains proportionately much larger than the pre-2017 years.

Additional encouragement—and on an international level—comes from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Using different methodology to produce different results, the Metals and Mining Research team found worldwide budgets for nonferrous exploration jumping 19% this year to $10.1 billion.

Juniors have been reaping the biggest budget gains at 35%. Over 1,651 functional exploration companies represent an 8% improvement over last year and the first such increase since 2012. But that’s “still about 900 companies less than in 2012, representing a one-third culling of active explorers over the past five years.”

The most dramatic spending increase hit cobalt and lithium, this year undergoing an 82% leap in exploration spending. That’s part of a 500% climb since 2015, SPGMI says.

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Nemaska Lithium’s Whabouchi project in Quebec
contributes to the enthusiasm for energy metals.
(Photo: Nemaska Lithium)

Even so, precious and base metals retained their prominence as gold continues “to benefit the most from the industry recovery.” The global strive for yellow metal will claim $4.86 billion this year, up from $4.05 billion in 2017. Base metals spending will grow by $600 million to $3.04 billion. “Copper remained by far the most attractive of the base metals, although zinc allocations have increased the most, rising 37% in 2018, the report states. “Budgets are up for all targets except uranium.”

SPGMI finds Canada keeping its global top spot for nonferrous exploration with a 31% year-on-year budget increase. Second-place Australia achieved a 23% rise. The U.S. total places third, although with a 34% increase over the country’s 2017 performance.

In each of the top three countries, over 55% of the budgets focused on gold.

“Improved metals prices and margins since 2016 have encouraged producers to expand their organic efforts the past two years,” commented SPGMI’s Mark Ferguson. “Over the same period, equity market support for the junior explorers has improved, leading to an uptick in the number and size of completed financings. This allowed the group to increase exploration budgets by 35% in 2018.”

NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mining president Gary Vivian extols the benefits of the world’s third-largest diamond-producing region

November 9th, 2018

…Read more