Friday 22nd June 2018

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘nunavut’

Stan Sudol: Ontario politicians disregard mining issues, to the province’s peril

June 1st, 2018

by Greg Klein | June 1, 2018

One of Canada’s greatest mineral discoveries since 1883, the Ring of Fire offers tremendous potential to a region plagued by endemic poverty and to a province burdened with the world’s largest sub-national debt. Meanwhile Ontario law requires mining companies to monitor carbon emissions from portable toilets. With a provincial election coming on June 7, something’s terribly lacking in campaign discussion, not to mention political vision, says Stan Sudol. Backing up his insights with factual detail, the Sudbury native, former mine worker, communications consultant and mining commentator presents a highly informed perspective at his website, The Republic of Mining.

Stan Sudol: Ontario politicians disregard mining issues, to the province’s peril

(Photo: Elections Ontario)

Are the hurdles to Ring of Fire development insurmountable? Sudol points out:

In contrast, the equally isolated territory of Nunavut has built two gold mines (Agnico-Eagle’s Meadowbank and TMAX Resources’ Doris) and one iron ore operation (Baffinland’s Mary River) in some of the most hostile terrain on the planet. A fourth gold mine (Agnico Eagle) should be in operation in 2019 and junior miner Sabina Gold and Silver Corp has been given continued development approvals by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

Economic benefits to the indigenous population have been powerful enough to include the bemusing effect of insufficient parking spots in the hamlet of Baker Lake.

Do decision-makers realize, let alone appreciate, the world-class technical expertise centred around Sudbury? Canada’s tallest skyscraper, for example, is downtown Toronto’s 72-storey Bank of Montreal building. But consider this:

The deepest mines in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec are roughly equal to 650 stories underground! It takes an amazing amount of advanced technology to safely bring workers to those depths. A tidal wave of innovation is engulfing a new era of the digital underground.

Ontario politicians show inadequate concern, let alone leadership, on issues ranging from community consultation, public awareness, problematic regulations and the need for infrastructure. These often intertwined issues remain crucial to an industry that can deliver much more to Ontario than it already does, Sudol explains.

In compiling this call to action he chose thoroughness over brevity, and has no doubt exceeded the typical politician’s attention span. But each party should have someone write a précise for their leader to study. Their federal counterparts would learn something too.

Meanwhile others can learn a lot about the mining industry, its challenges and contributions, by reading Sudol’s post here.

Gary Vivian of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines comments on a projected drop in the territories’ 2018 exploration spending

April 13th, 2018

…Read more

Canadian exploration spending projected to rise 6%; Manitoba contradicts its Fraser Institute ranking

March 14th, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 14, 2018

It’s hardly a boom time scenario but mineral exploration within Canada should see a healthy 6% spending increase this year, according to recent federal government figures. Info supplied by companies shows an estimated total of $2.238 billion planned for exploration and deposit appraisal this year, compared with $2.111 billion in 2017. The second annual increase in a row, it’s far less dramatic than last year’s 29.6% leap.

Canadian exploration spending projected to rise 6% Manitoba contradicts its Fraser Institute ranking

The Natural Resources Canada survey compares preliminary numbers for metals and non-metals from last year with projected budgets for 2018.

Together Quebec and Ontario account for more than half the spending, with la belle province getting 27.3% of last year’s total and 29.3% of this year’s, while Ontario got 24.9% and 26.5%.

Some runners-up were British Columbia (12.2% of Canada’s total in 2017 and 13% in 2018), Saskatchewan (9% and 7.4%) and Yukon (7.8% and 7.7%).

Proportionately Manitoba enjoyed the greatest increase, a 42% jump from $38.5 million to $54.7 million, in a performance at odds with the province’s most recent Fraser Institute ranking. Less spectacularly but still impressive, the figures show Quebec climbing 13.9% from $576.5 million to $656.7 million. British Columbia gets a 12.9% increase from $257.7 million to $290.9 million, and Ontario 12.7% from $526.2 million to $593 million.

Some disappointments include Saskatchewan, falling 13% from $189.9 million to $165.1 million. Nunavut plunged 34.6% from $169.3 million to $110.7 million.

Nunavut has to address its land access issues. In the NWT, work on the proposed Mineral Resources Act and other legislation must be to improve the investment climate. Settling long-outstanding land claims and reducing the over 30% of lands off limits to development would also help, as would proactive marketing by indigenous governments.—Gary Vivian, president, NWT and
Nunavut Chamber of Mines

Addressing the territory’s performance along with its neighbour’s 10% drop, Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines president Gary Vivian said, “Nunavut has to address its land access issues. In the NWT, work on the proposed Mineral Resources Act and other legislation must be to improve the investment climate. Settling long-outstanding land claims and reducing the over 30% of lands off limits to development would also help, as would proactive marketing by indigenous governments.”

Combining figures for mine complex development with exploration and deposit appraisal, this year’s projected country-wide total rises 8.9% to $14.9 billion, the highest number in the four years of data released in this survey.

Commodities getting the most money are precious metals, although at a nearly 1.5% decrease to $1.35 billion this year from $1.37 billion last year. A more drastic drop was uranium, down 23.4% to $103.7 million. Base metals saw a 38.4% surge to $406.9 million. Coal’s projected for a 31.1% boost to $70.8 million.

Exploration and deposit appraisal expenses considered for the survey include field work, engineering, economics, feasibility studies, the environment, land access and associated general expenses. Natural Resources Canada did not consider work for extensions of known reserves.

Recent studies from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed a marked improvement in junior mining company finances and a relatively stable, if cautious, ambience for more senior Canadian companies.

Covering a different period with different methodology than Natural Resources Canada, a study by EY, the B.C. government and the Association for Mineral Exploration calculated a 20% increase in B.C. exploration spending from 2016 to 2017.

See the Natural Resources Canada survey here.

Finnish diamond exploration reveals new kimberlite for Arctic Star

February 20th, 2018

by Greg Klein | February 20, 2018

As work continues on the northern Finland property, Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD announced a new kimberlite discovery from its Timantti diamond project on February 20. Covered only by very thin glacial overburden, the find results from four one-metre-deep pits containing kimberlite. The company has christened the body Grey Wolf, distinguishing it from the property’s other Wolf kimberlites. A rig has already been mobilized to the discovery, while a 150-kilogram sample undergoes assays to test for diamonds and kimberlite indicator minerals, and to assess mineral chemistry.

Finnish diamond exploration reveals new kimberlite for Arctic Star

The news follows an announcement earlier this month that historic drill core confirmed the presence of a new Timantti kimberlite 230 metres west of the project’s diamondiferous Black Wolf kimberlite.

Part of an ambitious winter campaign that began in November, ongoing EM and gravity surveys have identified multiple targets for excavation or drilling. Optimism has been bolstered by “the expression of diamond-favourable indicator minerals in the region, which the Wolf kimberlites cannot explain,” the company stated.

In addition to the Finnish flagship, Arctic Star also holds diamond interests in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region. The company’s Cap property in British Columbia, meanwhile, hosts an exceptionally rare carbonatite-syenite complex that offers potential for several commodities. Results from sampling and one drill hole released in September showed “highly anomalous” niobium, rare earths and phosphate grades.

The company closed oversubscribed private placements totalling $1.69 million in November.

Read an interview with Arctic Star chairperson Patrick Power.

Canadians need to get past the Klondike to understand mining’s contributions: Stan Sudol

October 13th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 13, 2017

Rights offerings to be streamlined, says CSA

Like the nugget in this prospector’s hand, the
Klondike’s place in history looms unrealistically large.

The Fraser, Cariboo and Klondike gold rushes undoubtedly played an important nation-building role, with the latter becoming especially famous “thanks to terrific public relations from writers like Jack London, Pierre Berton and Robert Service,” says Stan Sudol. But how important were those events when the Yukon coughed up about 12 million gold ounces, “small change compared to the Timmins camp which is currently at 73 million ounces and counting!”

In a speech to the Canadian Business History Association Conference the Sudbury native and communications consultant/mining strategist/speech writer/mining blogger related how Ontario’s gold and base metals discoveries far surpassed the western gold rushes for their importance to the Canadian economy. “Notwithstanding the historical hype of the Klondike the two most important mining events in our history are the discoveries of the Sudbury nickel mines in 1883 and the Cobalt silver boom of 1903.”

And, he notes, while London, Berton and Service missed out on these developments, Sudbury did attract the attention of Stompin’ Tom Connors.

Sudol outlines the history of the Ontario and Quebec camps, looking at their social and environmental impacts as well as economic contributions. His compelling account takes readers up to the present, as mining in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut helps create an indigenous middle class.

Read it here on the Republic of Mining.

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.

Diamonds—2016 glitter in review

December 22nd, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 22, 2016

The stones began the year still mired in their 2015 slump, in which rough prices reportedly fell 15%. The two biggest players, representing nearly two-thirds of global production, didn’t exactly agree on strategy. De Beers cut production and lowered prices while Alrosa initially boosted production, held prices stable and stockpiled some output. By April De Beers raised prices and Alrosa lowered production. The following month had De Beers talking about a “fragile recovery.”

Diamonds—2016 glitter in review

Sales records for polished got pulverized, though. In May Sotheby’s raked in $32 million for the 15.38-carat Unique Pink in a jewelry sale that totalled a world record $175.1 million. The next day Christie’s scooped up $58.25 million for the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, “a new record price for any gemstone and per carat.”

Rough rode roughshod over records, too. The week before Sotheby’s and Christie’s big sales, Lucara Diamond TSX:LUC got $63.11 million for its fresh-from-the-mine 812.77-carat Constellation. High expectations led to disappointment in late June, however, when the company rejected a $61-million offer for its 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona rough stone, the second-biggest diamond ever found. Lucara wanted at least $70 million.

As for Canadian diamond mining, it thrived.

A 100-million-carat production milestone brought celebrations to Diavik, the Northwest Territories JV of Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO and Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC. In July Dominion finally decided to add the Jay pipe and its 78.6 million carats to the company’s majority-held Ekati mine.

The year brought new mines to Canada too. Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond producer in 13 years, was officially opened in September by partners De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV. October saw Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY do the same at Renard, Quebec’s first diamond mine. It reached commercial production just days before Christmas.

Looking at potential mines-to-be, Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD took its Chidliak project on Baffin Island to PEA in July. In Saskatchewan’s Fort à la Corne region, meanwhile, Shore Gold TSX:SGF continued working on a feasibility update for its majority-held Star-Orion South project. Back in the NWT, Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI completed its maiden resource in December.

The company’s Kennady North project sits in the same Lac de Gras region hosting Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué. November marked the 25th anniversary of the Chuck Fipke/Stewart Blusson Ekati discovery that triggered the world’s biggest staking rush, brought diamond mining to Canada and helped transform the diamond industry.

In December the vertically integrated company Almod Diamonds announced plans to broaden the NWT diamond industry, the backbone of the territorial economy, by re-opening a Yellowknife cutting and polishing facility.

A few days after that announcement, the allure of diamonds played out differently in an Atlanta department store. Eighty-six-year-old Doris Payne, a determined, unrepentant and often unsuccessful diamond thief, wracked up another arrest. She’s been stealing stones for over sixty years.

Dunnedin Ventures doubles size of Nunavut diamond-gold project

December 7th, 2016

by Greg Klein | December 7, 2016

An additional 66,047 hectares brings Dunnedin Ventures’ (TSXV:DVI) Kahuna property to around 1,200 square kilometres, the company announced December 7. Acquired by staking, the ground now holds over 100 interpreted kimberlite targets, half of them already under scrutiny for diamond indicator minerals from till sampling. Drilling has confirmed 10 diamond-bearing dykes.

Dunnedin Ventures doubles size of Nunavut diamond-gold project

A macrodiamond from Kahuna’s PST kimberlite.

Till sampling has found anomalous gold in five metasedimentary belts, while drilling has found gold in an extension of the Aqpik and Aklak gold showings on Agnico Eagle Mines’ (TSX:AEM) adjacent, advanced-stage Meliadine project, Dunnedin stated. An all-season road links Meliadine with the Hudson Bay hamlet of Rankin Inlet.

Last month Dunnedin announced plans to spin out its non-diamond assets to a new company.

Kahuna has a 2015 inferred resource for near-surface deposits on the Notch and Kahuna dykes, 12 kilometres apart:

  • Kahuna (+0.85 mm cutoff): 3.06 million tonnes averaging 1.04 carats per tonne for 3.19 million carats
  • (+1.18 mm cutoff): 0.8 ct/t for 2.45 million carats

  • Notch (+0.85 mm cutoff): 921,000 tonnes averaging 0.9 ct/t for 829,000 carats
  • (+1.18 mm cutoff): 0.83 ct/t for 765,000 carats

  • Total (+0.85 mm cutoff): 3.99 million tonnes averaging 1.01 ct/t for 4.02 million carats
  • (+1.18 mm cutoff): 0.81 ct/t for 3.22 million carats

Both kimberlites remain open along strike and at depth.

Since then, an 820-kilogram sample from the property’s PST dyke revealed 526 diamonds. Ninety-six surpassed the commercial size of 0.85 millimetres, totalling 5.34 carats. A 2.32-tonne sample from Notch showed 85 commercial-sized stones totalling 1.95 carats.

While processing material from 1,100 till samples collected last summer, Dunnedin anticipates a 2017 program of drilling to test potential extensions of the resources, compile a 1,000-carat parcel for evaluation in Antwerp and try new targets identified by indicator minerals.

Read more about Dunnedin Ventures.

See Chris Berry’s report on long-term diamond demand.

Peregrine Diamonds outlines Nunavut spending plans as Chidliak moves to pre-feas

November 25th, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 25, 2016

Having poured about $23 million into Nunavut so far, Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD plans to spend another $15.5 million to $17 million next year on its Chidliak project, the Nunatsiaq News reported November 25. Most of the $23 million went to Iqaluit, home to an estimated 7,590 people. “It will cost between $50 and $75 million to go from here to where we need to get to,” the journal quoted president/CEO Tom Peregoodoff.

Peregrine Diamonds outlines Nunavut spending plans as Chidliak moves to pre-feas

Chidliak would have a 10-year lifespan,
according to last summer’s PEA.

The Baffin Island project reached PEA in July, calling for a capex of $434.9 million, an amount relatively modest for an isolated operation but considerable for a territory of about 37,082 people. The company hopes to reach feasibility by H2 2019, complete permitting by the end of that year and begin construction in H2 2019. Should hopes, financing and feasibility fall into place, Peregrine might be digging diamonds by 2021.

Brothers Robert and Eric Friedland own about 25% and 21% of the company respectively.

New infrastructure would include an all-season road to Iqaluit, about 120 kilometres southwest. The government of Nunavut hopes to have an $85-million deep sea port built there by 2020.

The territory currently has two other mines in production, Agnico Eagle’s (TSX:AEM) Meadowbank gold mine about 300 kilometres west of Hudson Bay and Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River iron ore operation roughly 800 kilometres north of Chidliak. Baffinland trucks ore to its own port, 100 kilometres north of the mine.

Peregoodoff said the company has yet to negotiate an Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement, but stated such a deal would probably resemble agreements signed with Northwest Territories diamond producers, the News added.

In October the paper reported Nunavut’s 14,000-member Qikiqtani Inuit Association received more than $24 million over two years from Mary River.

Should Peregrine meet its goal, Chidliak wouldn’t be Nunavut’s first diamond operation. Just across the border from the NWT’s Lac de Gras camp, Nunavut’s Jericho mine produced gems between 2006 and 2008. Shear Minerals gave up on its restart attempt in 2012, leaving taxpayers with a large part of an estimated $10.5-million clean-up bill.

Yet diamond mining transformed the NWT economy. According to figures supplied by the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, between 1996 and 2015 the industry provided over 50,000 person-years of employment, 49% northern and 24% aboriginal. By far the territory’s largest private sector industry, diamond mining created 29% of the NWT’s GDP in 2014. Direct and indirect benefits bring the number up to 40%, according to chamber data.

Read how diamond mining supports the NWT economy.

Peregrine Diamonds outlines Nunavut spending plans as Chidliak moves to pre-feas

NWT Premier Bob McLeod, far right, celebrates aboriginal governments’ contributions to diamond mining
on the industry’s 25th anniversary in the territory. From left are Stanley Anablak (Kitikmeot Inuit Association),
Darryl Bohnet (Northwest Territory Métis Nation), Don Balsillie (Deninu Kué First Nation), Felix Lockhart
(Lutsel K’e and Kache Dene First Nation), Bill Enge (North Slave Métis Alliance), Chief Ernest Betsina and
Chief Edward Sangris (Yellowknives Dene First Nation), Chief Alfonz Nitsiza and Chief Clifford Daniels
(Tłı ̨chǫ Government), and Premier McLeod. (Photo: NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines)

Diamond explorer Dunnedin Ventures to create gold-copper spinco

November 23rd, 2016

by Greg Klein | November 23, 2016

With a gold-copper asset in British Columbia and a diamond project with gold prospects in Nunavut, Dunnedin Ventures TSXV:DVI proposes to distribute its portfolio between two companies. On November 23 Dunnedin announced plans to spin out the non-diamond assets into a new listing.

Diamond explorer Dunnedin Ventures to create gold-copper spinco

The company currently holds the 60,000-hectare Kahuna diamond project in Nunavut, where an inferred resource for two kimberlites totals 4.02 million carats, using a +0.85 mm cutoff. Till samples collected last year also showed anomalous gold of 50 ppb or more in 84 of 129 samples.

Meanwhile previous drill results from Dunnedin’s 4,000-hectare Trapper porphyry project in northwestern B.C. showed strong gold intercepts, with silver, lead and zinc showings as well.

“We believe that separate corporate vehicles for diamond and metal assets will yield the best long-term value to shareholders,” said CEO Chris Taylor.

Subject to approvals, Trapper and rights to gold at Kahuna would go to a newly created subsidiary with working capital for exploration. The new company’s shares would be distributed to Dunnedin shareholders on a pro rata basis. The new company would apply for a TSXV listing.

Dunnedin shareholders will vote on the proposed spinout early next year.

Dunnedin also plans to accelerate expiration of over six million warrants to December 23. Should all warrants be exercised, proceeds would come to about $632,708.

Read more about Dunnedin Ventures.

See Chris Berry’s report on long-term diamond demand.