Friday 21st October 2016

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘nwt’

Equitorial Exploration reports lithium specimen samples from southwestern NWT

October 20th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 20, 2016

Following up on channel samples announced last month, Equitorial Exploration TSXV:EXX released three specimen samples from its Li lithium project in the Northwest Territories on October 20. The samples come from the property’s lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite dyke swarms, showing:

  • 2.85% Li2O, 28.1 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.05% SnO2

  • 1.85% Li2O, 53.4 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.05% SnO2

  • 1.36% Li2O, 55.8 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.11% SnO2
Equitorial Exploration reports lithium specimen samples from southwestern NWT

Rugged terrain as well as dyke swarms
characterize Equitorial Exploration’s Li property.

The dyke swarms have been traced over a combined length of 13 kilometres on mountainous terrain, the company noted. Sampled portions of the swarms are up to 52.6 metres wide, with each swarm containing multiple dykes ranging from 0.2 to 10 metres’ width.

The company’s now acquiring satellite images to help map the dyke swarms and create a 3D model. Plans for next spring include retrieving 2007 core for re-logging and reprocessing. The following summer Equitorial anticipates a program of drilling, channel sampling, mapping and prospecting.

Hosting the Little Nahanni pegmatite group, the Li property sits 30 kilometres from the former Cantung mine, in the southern NWT just east of the Yukon border.

Renard ceremony marks official opening of Quebec’s first diamond mine

October 19th, 2016

by Greg Klein | October 19, 2016

The event marked the “culmination of approximately 20 years of work to bring the Renard project from a greenfield exploration concept to a fully operating new diamond mine,” pointed out Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY president/CEO Matt Manson. Quebec’s first diamond mine, and Canada’s second to celebrate a grand opening in less than two months, Renard remains on schedule for commercial production by year-end.

Among staff, stakeholders and community reps in attendance were Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Chief Richard Shecapio of the Cree Nation of Mistissini.

Renard ceremony marks official opening of Quebec’s first diamond mine

The 20-year project opened well ahead of schedule, having beat its target dates several times. Plant commissioning began in June, eight weeks ahead of a revised schedule that was already five months ahead of a previously projected timeline. Ore processing began in July and went through 91,010 tonnes by September 30, producing 111,556 carats, averaging 123 carats per hundred tonnes. Twenty-one stones surpassed 10.8 carats.

The first sale of Renard diamonds begins in Antwerp on November 14, two months earlier than anticipated.

Renard’s expected to average 1.6 million carats annually for an initial 14 years. The first decade should do even better, with an annual average of 1.8 million carats selling at an average $155 per carat.

Stornoway sees a potentially longer mine life. In addition to a probable reserve of 22.3 million carats, Renard has another 7.9 million carats of indicated resources and 13.35 million carats inferred, with all kimberlites open at depth. The company expects to move from open pit to underground in 2018.

Canada’s only diamond mine accessible by all-season road, the James Bay region operation is fuelled by LNG.

The company has also been drilling kimberlites at its Adamantin project about 100 kilometres south, but so far without success.

Another grand opening last month celebrated the world’s largest new diamond mine in 13 years, the Northwest Territories’ Gahcho Kué. A 51%/49% JV of De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV, the fly-in/fly-out operation’s expected to produce 54 million carats over a 12-year life, with average prices estimated at $150 per carat.

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon/NWT projects with B.C. LNG

September 21st, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2016

Liquefied natural gas would be the fuel of choice to electrify two potential northern mines, according to a memorandum of understanding announced September 21. Casino Mining and Selwyn Chihong Mining said the proposed deal with Ferus Natural Gas Fuels would cut costs as well as CO2 emissions.

Casino, Selwyn Chihong sign MOU to power Yukon projects with B.C. LNG

LNG could overcome diesel dependency
in grid-less regions of the North.

Through its subsidiary, Western Copper and Gold TSX:WRN has the Casino gold-copper-molybdenum project undergoing environmental assessment. Selwyn Chihong’s Selwyn zinc-lead project currently moves towards pre-feasibility.

The plan would have Ferus build an LNG plant at Fort Nelson, in northeastern British Columbia’s Peace River oil and gas region. Ferus built and operates Canada’s first merchant LNG plant in northwestern Alberta. A related company, Eagle LNG Partners, has an LNG plant under construction in Florida. Ferus stated it provides LNG and compressed natural gas fuelling services including liquefaction, compression, storage and delivery to the oil and gas, mining, marine, rail and power generation sectors.

The plan “may also benefit neighbouring mines, industries and communities currently powered by diesel, by making the LNG more broadly available,” commented Ferus president/CEO Dick Brown.

“Neighbouring” might cover a lot of ground. Casino’s located in west-central Yukon. Selwyn straddles the Yukon/Northwest Territories border.

But for the time being the Coffee gold project, Yukon’s likeliest new mine and located only about 30 kilometres northwest of Casino, sticks to a diesel-fuelled plan. Low diesel costs ruled out “the additional $1.5-million capital expense associated with LNG storage and vaporization,” according to last January’s feasibility study. “If in the future diesel fuel costs increase, significant power generation cost savings may be realized by substituting LNG for diesel.”

Goldcorp TSX:G subsidiary Kaminak Gold hopes to begin Coffee construction in mid-2018.

Backers of the Fort Nelson proposal anticipate two phases of development to be commissioned in 2020 and 2022.

Why stop there?

September 20th, 2016

The world’s biggest new diamond mine hardly satisfies NWT appetites

by Greg Klein

Self-congratulation might have been irresistible as 150 visitors from across Canada and the world flocked to a spot 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife to attend Gahcho Kué’s official opening on September 20. But there’s no evidence the mining and exploration crowd will waste much time resting on their laurels. JV partners De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV continue their pursuit of additional resources. And within sight of the Northwest Territories’ new mine, Mountain Province spinout Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI hopes success will repeat itself right next door.

Twenty-one years in the making and the world’s largest new diamond mine in 13 years, Gahcho Kué’s expected to give up 54 million carats over a 12-year lifespan. Average price estimates for the three pipes come to $150 per carat. That would provide Canada with gross value added benefits of $6.7 billion, $5.7 billion of that going to the NWT, which would gain nearly 1,200 jobs annually, according to an EY study released earlier this month.

The world’s biggest new diamond mine hardly satisfies NWT appetites

Gahcho Kué partners hope to extend the
mine well past its 12-year projection.

That’s a strong rebound for the territory’s biggest private sector industry, following last year’s shutdown of the Cantung Tungsten mine and De Beers’ Snap Lake. The closures left the NWT with just two mines, both diamond operations in the Lac de Gras region that also hosts the newcomer.

But those two mines, the Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO/Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC 60/40 JV at Diavik and Dominion’s majority-held Ekati, maintained Canada’s place as the world’s third-largest producer by value.

Holding 51% and 49% respectively of Gahcho Kué, De Beers and Mountain Province hope to prolong its duration. Rather expansively maybe, the slightly junior partner outlines a multi-phase program.

Should all go to plan, Phase II would upgrade resources into reserves, maybe adding as much as five years to the operation. Phase III would deepen the Tuzo pipe, bringing another three years. Phase IV would do the same to the 5034 and Hearne kimberlites, as well as bring on the new Tesla pipe. If plans, projections and prayers come to fruition, Gahcho Kué might end up with more than 20 years of operation. With optimism drowning out any puns regarding pipe dreams, Phase V calls for “new targets.”

At least that’s the tale told by Mountain Province. De Beers acts as project operator.

Another company also holds high hopes, as well as about 71,000 hectares to the north, west and south of Gahcho Kué. Mountain Province spun out the Kennady North project into Kennady Diamonds, which has been advancing its own ambitious timeline.

The project’s Kelvin kimberlite has a maiden resource slated for this quarter and a PEA for Q4. Subject to those results, the company hopes to take Kelvin to feasibility next year, and to complete resource estimates for the Faraday 1, 2 and 3 kimberlites less than three kilometres northeast.

On the eve of the Gahcho Kué grand opening, Kennady pronounced itself pleased with this year’s 612-tonne bulk sample recovery, averaging 2.09 carats of commercial-sized stones per tonne from Kelvin’s north limb. With last year’s south limb grade coming to 2.02 carats per tonne, the results show “remarkable consistency in overall diamond grade across the full extent of the body,” said president/CEO Rory Moore. “This is a positive attribute from both an evaluation and a mining perspective.”

In a crucial step, a parcel goes to Antwerp next month for a price evaluation, with results expected about three weeks later.

The world’s biggest new diamond mine hardly satisfies NWT appetites

Kennady Diamonds hopes for a
glittering future just north of Gahcho Kué.

Two rigs currently have the Faraday kimberlites subject to an 8,000-metre summer program of both exploration and delineation drilling. Out of 15 holes reported so far, 14 revealed kimberlite.

The summer program follows a 10,712-metre winter campaign that discovered Faraday 3 as well as four diamonds in drill core, two each from Faradays 1 and 3.

Two mini-bulk samples released this year for Faraday 1 averaged 4.65 carats per tonne and three carats per tonne respectively. Faraday 2 minis averaged 2.69 carats, 3.04 carats and 4.48 carats per tonne.

Last month Kennady expanded its property by another 4,233 hectares directly south of Gahcho Kué. But the company’s focus remains on the Kelvin-Faraday corridor north of the new mine.

As for De Beers, its other Canadian focus since Snap Lake’s demise has been the Victor mine in Ontario’s James Bay region. With less than five years of operation left, it too faces doom. Another seven years could potentially come from the Tango kimberlite, seven kilometres away and now undergoing a federal environmental review.

Local relations, however, have taken an unexpected turn. Last week De Beers Canada chief executive Kim Truter told CBC the company would go beyond the duty to consult and seek the Attawapiskat community’s outright consent for Tango. “It’s pointless us actually operating in these first nations areas if we don’t have local support,” he said.

The network added, “Support has been shaky in the first nation since the signing of the original agreement with De Beers in 2005. Band officials boycotted and picketed the grand opening of the mine in 2008 and the road into the mine has been blockaded several times, including in 2013.”

But Truter’s remarks drew an angry response from newly elected chief Ignace Gull, the Timmins Press reported September 19. The paper quoted a social media post in which he stated, “Attawapiskat is in a midst of suicide crisis and we need to deal with this first and they have to back off instead of threatening us.”

In Quebec’s James Bay region, Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY began ore processing at its Renard project in July, expecting to achieve commercial operation by year-end. The province’s first diamond mine expects to average 1.6 million carats annually for an initial 14 years.

Back at Gahcho Kué, visitors celebrated the grand opening as a possible strike loomed. Last week CBC reported that mediation had broken down between a contractor and a Teamsters local representing around 60 camp kitchen and cleaning staff.

92 Resources president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux discusses the Northwest Territories’ Hidden Lake project

September 14th, 2016

…Read more

Equitorial Exploration releases NWT lithium channel sampling results

September 6th, 2016

by Greg Klein | September 6, 2016

Having acquired the Li lithium project in July, Equitorial Exploration TSXV:EXX announced results from the 2016 field program on September 6. Located just east of the Yukon border and 30 kilometres from the Northwest Territories’ former Cantung tungsten mine, the property hosts the Little Nahanni pegmatite group.

“Lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite dyke swarms on the Li property have been traced over a combined length of 13 kilometres in mountainous terrain that is deeply incised by several east- or west-facing cirques,” the company stated. The following highlights came from 81 channel samples up to 52.6 metres wide from dyke swarms called Prison Wall, Berlin Wall and Great Wall of China:

Equitorial Exploration releases NWT lithium channel sampling results

Prison Wall

  • 1.57% Li2O, 250.3 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.95% SnO2 over 1.7 metres

  • 2.33% Li2O, 59 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.05% SnO2 over 1.2 metres

Berlin Wall

  • 2.04% Li2O, 57.8 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.5% SnO2 over 4 metres

  • 3.1% Li2O, 53.6 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.03% SnO2 over 0.95 metres

Great Wall of China

  • 1.67% Li2O, 41.4 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.03% SnO2 over 3.75 metres

  • 1.83% Li2O, 67.3 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.05% SnO2 over 1.25 metres

  • 1.63% Li2O, 52.9 g/t Ta2O5 and 0.01% SnO2 over 5.15 metres

The dykes are “well exposed on cirque walls, but most of these areas are too steep to sample,” Equitorial added. “Fortunately, relatively continuous bedrock exposures are accessible at the base of cliffs on the north and south side of cirques.”

Dating back to 2002, the property’s best interval assayed 1.59% Li2O over 10 metres, but the 2016 program failed to relocate the dyke. Two drill holes from 2007 found 1.2% Li2O over 10.94 metres and 0.92% over 18.27 metres. Rock samples have graded as high as 3.77%, 3.55%, 2.05%, 1.79%, 1.77% and 1.74% Li2O.

The Li property acquisition costs Equitorial 7.5 million shares, 2.5 million warrants, $100,000 towards the 2016 program and a 2% NSR.

In May Equitorial acquired the right to enter a JV with Mag One Products CSE:MDD to fund the construction of Mag One’s extraction facility for lithium and related products. Equitorial also holds the right to JV with Mag One on construction of production facilities for magnesium metal and products.

Assays pending, sampling continues at 92 Resources’ NWT lithium project

August 30th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 30, 2016

While waiting for assays from the property’s LU #12 pegmatite dyke, channel sampling continues on 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Hidden Lake lithium project in the Northwest Territories, the company announced August 30. LU #12 took priority in the Phase II program, having previously given up seven samples ranging between 1.27% and 3.01% Li2O within a 10- by 300-metre area. A crew from Dahrouge Geological Consulting took another 85 samples from 15 channels on the dyke this summer.

Assays pending, sampling continues at 92 Resources’ NWT lithium project

Attention has now turned to three nearby pegmatites observed to have appreciable amounts of spodumene, 92 Resources stated. Channel sampling now underway will test the pegmatites for lithium.

The 1,657-hectare Hidden Lake project sits 40 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, just off Highway 4.

Last month 92 Resources announced its acquisition of the 5,536-hectare Pontax property in Quebec’s James Bay region. Historic satellite imagery and a 1999 government mapping program have shown pegmatite outcrops on the property.

The company raised $318,836 from a private placement in April, followed by $862,820 from exercised warrants in June.

Read interviews with Chris Berry and Jon Hykawy discussing energy metals.

92 Resources follows high-grade lithium sampling with Phase II NWT exploration

August 16th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 16, 2016

Despite a nearly two-month delay as the company acquired additional turf, field work has resumed at 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Hidden Lake lithium project. Mapping and channel sampling on known pegmatites in the Northwest Territories property will likely continue into early September.

Targets include the LU #12 pegmatite dyke where last spring the crew found five samples grading 1.64%, 2.45%, 2.69%, 2.89% and 3.06% Li2O, for an average grade of 2.54%. The pegmatite continues northeast and southwest of the sampled area, the company stated.

The Yellowknife pegmatite belt may one day prove to be an important source of lithium, which will help fuel Canada’s transition to a green energy economy.—Adrian Lamoureux,
president/CEO of 92 Resources

Last month 92 Resources staked an additional 57 hectares, covering potential extensions of pegmatites revealed by satellite imagery. Now measuring 1,657 hectares, Hidden Lake sits 40 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, just off a highway.

“The Yellowknife pegmatite belt may one day prove to be an important source of lithium, which will help fuel Canada’s transition to a green energy economy,” said president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux. Hidden Lake is located within the central parts of the belt, which parallels the Prosperous Lake granite suite.

In July the company announced acquisition of the 5,536-hectare Pontax property in Quebec’s James Bay region. Pegmatite outcrops have been revealed by historic satellite imagery and a 1999 government mapping program.

92 Resources raised $862,820 from exercised warrants in June and $318,836 from a private placement in April.

Read interviews with Chris Berry and Jon Hykawy discussing energy metals.

Copper North prepares to drill Thor as Carmacks PEA approaches

August 4th, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 4, 2016

At first, it might seem like a diversion prior to imminent news of a larger scale. Copper North Mining TSXV:COL has resumed work on its Thor project in north-central British Columbia. At the same time the company’s putting the finishing touches on an updated PEA for its Carmacks project in southwestern Yukon. But president/CEO Harlan Meade sounds excited about both copper-gold projects.

Copper North prepares to drill Thor as Carmacks PEA approaches

Copper North searches north-central B.C. for
another deposit while advancing its Yukon project.

“We’ll start drilling Thor towards the end of the month,” he tells “We’ll drill two or three holes in Thor West and a couple of holes in areas 2 and 3 in the Thor East part of the property. In the interim, we’re doing a lot of detailed geological mapping and sampling. Quite frankly, we’ve been pleasantly surprised … getting into the field, you can see they’re pretty exciting-looking rocks once you understand what’s going on.”

The project’s goal is porphyry copper-gold mineralization some 20 kilometres south of the mined-out Kemess South open pit, now within AuRico Metals’ (TSX:AMI) Kemess Underground gold-copper-silver property.

Copper North holds a 100% option on Thor. A road and power line pass through the 16,000-hectare property.

Out of an historic program of six holes totalling 692 metres on Thor East’s area 3, one interval returned 0.12% copper and 0.04 grams per tonne gold over 60 metres. Since then Copper North conducted extensive geophysics but market conditions postponed further drilling until this month. “The targets are big and we’re going to test our geological interpretation of what’s going on,” Meade says. “These are big targets, we can drill widespread holes and if we’re right about it and the holes come in, raising money for Thor won’t be an issue.”

In this market you need to be in the lower 10th-percentile cost curve. The only way we could achieve that was to add on gold and silver recovery. That’s a game changer.—Harlan Meade,
president/CEO of
Copper North Mining

The Carmacks report, originally scheduled for May, will replace a 2014 PEA. “The earlier study focused on heap-leaching the oxide copper deposit, but in my view that would put the project in the middle of a cost curve,” Meade explains.

“In this market you need to be in the lower 10th-percentile cost curve. The only way we could achieve that was to add on gold and silver recovery. That’s a game changer. We’ve done a lot of re-engineering, moved completely away from heap leaching to agitated tank leaching, which is a lot more efficient and gives us higher recoveries and very rapid leach times. A lot of the operational issues and environmental concerns have been largely mitigated now because everything’s contained. Our view is that we’re on track to be Canada’s next copper mine.”

The road-accessible Carmacks sits 11 kilometres from the grid, 190 kilometres north of Whitehorse and 400 kilometres from the year-round port of Skagway, Alaska.

Copper North also holds an historic copper resource at its Redstone property in the Northwest Territories’ Nahanni district.

Read more about Carmacks’ PEA studies.

Canada’s new diamond mines: Gahcho Kué ramping up, Renard catching up

August 3rd, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 3, 2016

“On time, on budget and in a challenging environment,” as De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver proudly noted, the world’s largest new diamond mine has begun full commissioning. The Northwest Territories open pit should reach full production in Q1 next year with average output of 4.5 million carats annually over its 13-year lifespan, according to an August 3 statement from Anglo American. Or a 12-year life, according to a same-day statement from Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV.

Canada’s new diamond mines: Gahcho Kué ramping up, Renard catching up

Sub-arctic conditions hardly deter De Beers,
which has opened three diamond mines in Canada’s north.

The company owns a 49% stake in the JV, with operator De Beers holding the rest. De Beers, in turn, is held 85% by Anglo and 15% by Botswana.

Mountain Province reported two large gem-quality stones recovered over the past few days, weighing in at 12.1 carats and 24.65 carats. The company expects its first diamond sale by year-end.

Located about 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, Gahcho Kué sits in the diamondiferous Lac de Gras region that also hosts Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati mine, the Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO/Dominion 60/40 JV at Diavik, and Snap Lake, De Beers’ first mine outside Africa. De Beers also operates the Victor mine in northern Ontario.

Snap Lake, a money-loser since opening in 2008, shut down last December. The company plans to flood the mine unless a buyer can be found. Output from Ekati and Diavik, however, sustained the NWT’s rank as the world’s third-largest diamond producer by value.

The two operations also sustained mining as the NWT’s largest private sector employer, despite the closures of Snap Lake and North American Tungsten’s Cantung mine in October 2015.

In Quebec’s James Bay region, meanwhile, Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY began processing ore at its Renard project last month, slated to achieve full nameplate capacity within nine months. The company will declare commercial production after 30 days of processing ore at 60% of nameplate capacity, expected to happen by year-end. The combined open pit/underground operation would average 1.8 million carats annually for the first 10 years of its 14-year life. Average prices have been estimated at $155 per carat.

Read more about Canadian diamond projects.

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