Wednesday 25th April 2018

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘ontario’

Pistol Bay Mining begins drilling its expanded zinc-copper-polymetallic Ontario VMS project

March 22nd, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 22, 2018

With about 3,500 metres planned, Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST has drilling now underway at northwestern Ontario’s VMS-rich Confederation Lake greenstone belt. Three holes of about 500 metres each will supply material from the project’s Arrow zone for preliminary metallurgical tests. From there the rig shifts roughly eight kilometres west to the Fredart zone, aka the Copperlode A zone.

Pistol Bay Mining resumes drilling at its expanded zinc-polymetallic Ontario VMS project

Last year the company released a 43-101 resource for Arrow that used a base case 3% zinc-equivalent cutoff for an inferred category showing:

  • 2.1 million tonnes averaging 5.78% zinc, 0.72% copper,19.5 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold, for a zinc-equivalent grade of 8.42%

Contained amounts come to:

  • 274 million pounds zinc, 34.3 million pounds copper, 1.33 million ounces silver and 41,000 ounces gold

Obviously overdue for renewed attention is Fredart. The zone has conflicting historic, non-43-101 estimates of 386,000 tonnes averaging 1.56% copper and 33.6 g/t silver, or 219,500 tonnes averaging 1.95% copper and 41.8 g/t silver.

A January option agreement expands Pistol Bay’s Confederation Lake package by 3,700 hectares, for a total of about 20,700 hectares. The new turf comprises part of last year’s VTEM-Plus survey, the area’s first state-of-the-art regional geophysics. Some of the available, non-43-101 past intercepts from the acquisition’s Wasp Lake trend include 2.96% zinc and 0.04% copper over 2.79 metres, as well as 1.12% zinc and 0.04% copper over 7.19 metres. The same trend showed a strong conductive response on the VTEM-Plus results, Pistol Bay reported.

Another positive geophysical response came from the acquisition’s Fly Lake zone, where historic, non-43-101 assays reached as high as 1.36% zinc and 0.17% copper over 11.5 metres, along with 1.51% zinc and 0.08% copper over 8.9 metres. The zone appears to remain open along strike and at depth, the company stated. Nine other geophysical anomalies, meanwhile, appear to lack previous drilling.

The January option follows 5,860 hectares of staking last September that covers multiple conductors and IP anomalies identified in the airborne survey, as well as parallel conductors or extensions of known conductors.

Last month the company announced an amended agreement with a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary which will increase its hold on the C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties in Saskatchewan from 75% to 100%. The deal will bring Pistol Bay $1 million.

In January the company also announced progress with its PB Blockchain subsidiary as it builds “a suite of blockchain products to address needs that are particular to the data management and security of mining/oil and gas companies.”

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining here and here.

Selected bulk sample hits 2.46% cobalt, 6,173 g/t silver for Canada Cobalt Works’ Ontario project

March 16th, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 16, 2018

High grades continue as Canada Cobalt Works TSXV:CCW conducts underground bulk sampling at the past-producing Castle mine in eastern Ontario. A pulp assay on a 35-kilogram sample released March 16 showed 2.46% cobalt, 1% nickel and 6,173 g/t or 198.5 ounces per tonne silver.

Selected bulk sample hits 2.46% cobalt, 6,173 g/t silver for Canada Cobalt Works’ Ontario project

Visible cobalt mineralization can be seen
in the former Castle mine’s first level.

A metallic screen fire assay on a 66-gram native silver sample not included in the previous assay brought “a head grade of 818,254 g/t (26,307 ounces per tonne),” Canada Cobalt stated. The samples were selective and not representative, the company emphasized.

Samples came from the historic mine’s first level, where rehab engineers have observed cobalt mineralization in the stopes, Canada Cobalt added. In operation off and on between 1917 and 1989, Castle’s underground workings extend through 11 levels totalling about 18 kilometres.

Last month the company reported two mini-bulk samples, with one assaying 2.47% cobalt, 23.4 g/t silver, 0.68% nickel and 1.83 g/t gold, and the other showing 0.91% cobalt and 460 g/t silver. That followed two mini-bulk samples of 3.124% and 1.036% cobalt released in December. The company also has assays pending from a 2,405-metre surface drill program conducted last summer.

As for the former Beaver mine in Ontario’s Cobalt camp 80 kilometres southeast of Castle, in December Canada Cobalt released three composite samples averaging 4.68% cobalt, 3.09% nickel and 46.9 g/t silver.

Canada Cobalt appointed Ron Molnar as an adviser on the company’s proprietary Re-2OX process for extracting cobalt and lithium from used Li-ion batteries. “Molnar has designed, built and operated over 60 pilot plant circuits extracting, separating and purifying a wide range of metallic elements from cobalt to rare earths,” the company stated.

Canada Cobalt also plans to build a 600-tpd gold processing facility to be financed by Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM, which holds a project near Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. The two companies share overlapping management and directors.

Canada Cobalt closed a private placement of $1.03 million in January.

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.

Fraud Awareness Month begins amid criticism of lax enforcement against serial scammers

March 7th, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 7, 2018

Education more than deterrence seems to be the focus of Canadian securities commissions as Fraud Awareness Month begins. Two series of articles by Postmedia and the Globe and Mail reveal numerous examples of con artists evading administrative penalties and criminal charges, leaving victims powerless to recover losses.

Fraud Awareness Month begins amid criticism of lax enforcement against serial scammers

The British Columbia Securities Commission kicked off the annual awareness campaign by releasing results of a survey. The people most susceptible to investment scams, the poll found, are millennials. Over 500 respondents were tested on their reaction to a fictional investment offer that guaranteed no-risk returns of 14% to 25%.

“Although the claim contains several investment fraud warning signs, 26% of respondents said the offer was ‘worth looking into,’” the BCSC reported. “More troubling, 20% of the respondents who would look into the offer said they were interested because they need the money, indicating even greater vulnerability.”

Adults aged 18 to 34 showed the greatest naiveté, with 47% of women and 35% of men that age expressing interest. Just 13% of people 55 years and over gave similar answers, a decline from 26% in a similar 2012 study.

“Investors should always be skeptical of anyone offering a risk-free investment with an unusually high return, because there’s no such thing,” warned BCSC director of communications and education Pamela McDonald. “We encourage investors to look carefully at every investment they make, but also to listen to your gut. If something doesn’t make sense, or doesn’t feel right, we encourage you to contact the BCSC.”

The admonition follows criticism of weak enforcement by the BCSC and its counterparts. In December the Globe and Mail’s Grant Robertson and Tom Cardoso reported their analysis of 30 years of regulatory records, finding one in nine people pronounced guilty of securities fraud go on to re-offend, some even defying multiple lifetime trading bans through aliases and “jurisdiction-hopping.” Ill-gotten gains can far exceed penalties, which at any rate often remain unenforced.

In November a Postmedia series by Gordon Hoekstra reported numerous cases of uncollected BCSC fines and payback orders on scammers who in some cases continue to hold significant assets. Others transfer assets with relative ease.

Between the fiscal years ending in 2008 and 2017, Hoekstra stated, the BCSC collected less than 2% of $510 million in fines and payback orders. The Ontario Securities Commission did somewhat better, collecting 18% over the last decade.

In a December response to the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Securities Administrators stated that securities commissions are limited to pursuing administrative cases, with police responsible for criminal matters. But last month Hoekstra reported examples of Vancouver police and RCMP refusing to investigate fraud allegations. Vancouver cops say they typically refer cases of investment fraud to the BCSC. The RCMP declined to investigate another example on the grounds that it was a BCSC matter.

In another February story, Hoekstra revealed the BCSC “quietly” stayed more than $35 million of penalties regarding nine cases following a B.C. Court of Appeal decision on a pump-and-dump operation.

Underground mini-bulk sampling brings Canada Cobalt Works 2.47% cobalt in Ontario

February 27th, 2018

by Greg Klein | February 27, 2018

Eastern Ontario’s former Castle mine gave up more high-grade assays as Canada Cobalt Works TSXV:CCW takes initial permitting steps for dewatering the underground workings and building a processing facility for another project. A 13-kilogram sample showed 2.47% cobalt, 23.4 g/t silver, 0.68% nickel and 1.83 g/t gold. A 14-kilo sample brought 0.91% cobalt, 460 g/t silver and anomalous nickel and gold. The company, formerly Castle Silver Resources, warned that the samples are selective and not necessarily representative.

Underground mini-bulk sampling brings Canada Cobalt Works 2.47% cobalt in Ontario

Two mini-bulk samples released in early December graded 3.124% and 1.036% cobalt, along with silver and nickel. Assays are pending from last summer’s 2,405-metre surface drill campaign, from where a single intercept released so far graded 1.55% cobalt, along with nickel, gold and silver over 0.65 metres.

The company’s now preparing to apply for government permission to dewater levels two to 11 of the former mine, which operated intermittently between 1917 and 1989.

With plans to build a 600-tpd gravity flotation cyanidation mill, Canada Cobalt has retained an engineering firm to begin earthworks studies for permitting. The plant would be financed by Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM to process material from its project near Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, about 200 road kilometres away. Granada’s gold project reached pre-feasibility in 2014 and a resource update in June.

Canada Cobalt also holds the former Beaver mine in Ontario’s Cobalt camp, about 80 kilometres southeast of the flagship Castle project. In December the company released assays for three composite samples that averaged 4.68% cobalt, 3.09% nickel, 46.9 g/t silver and 0.08 g/t gold.

A private placement that closed in mid-January brought the company $1.03 million.

Castle Silver Resources’ Frank Basa sees cobalt exploration bringing new interest to a former silver mine

December 12th, 2017

…Read more

Castle Silver Resources samples 4.7% at a second Ontario cobalt project

December 9th, 2017

by Greg Klein | December 9, 2017

Update: Effective February 23, 2018, Castle Silver Resources begins trading as Canada Cobalt Works TSXV:CCW.

Recent work at the former Beaver mine shows why some Ontario silver past-producers have attracted Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR in its quest for cobalt. An initial field program collected three composite samples averaging 4.68% cobalt, 3.09% nickel, 46.9 g/t silver and 0.08 g/t gold.

Castle Silver Resources samples 4.7% at a second Ontario cobalt project

The individual breakdowns come to:

  • 4.746% cobalt, 3.985% nickel, 37.4 g/t silver and 0.06 g/t gold

  • 4.743% cobalt, 4.624% nickel, 26.9 g/t silver and 0.09 g/t gold

  • 4.554% cobalt, 0.676% nickel, 76.5 g/t silver and 0.09 g/t gold

The three composites came from selected hand-cobbed material gathered at surface and weighing a total of 38.7 kilograms. The samples don’t necessarily reflect the property’s mineralization, Castle Silver cautioned.

Located near the town of Cobalt and within the eponymous camp known for high-grade silver, Beaver shows similarities to Castle, another former silver mine and the company’s flagship, 80 kilometres to the northwest. Last week the company released assays from underground mini-bulk sampling at Castle that graded up to 3.1% cobalt. In November Castle Silver announced a drill intercept of 1.55% cobalt over 0.65 metres from the same property, the first assay from a summer drill program that sunk 22 holes totalling 2,405 metres. More assays are pending for both surface drilling and underground sampling.

The company also holds the former Violet silver-cobalt mine proximal to Beaver.

Noting an obvious discrepancy between Castle Silver’s moniker and its commodity of choice, president/CEO Frank Basa said the February AGM will consider a name change to “further build CSR’s brand in the Canadian cobalt sector with the company holding unique competitive advantages in the northern Ontario Cobalt region, including underground access at Castle and a proprietary metallurgical process (Re-2OX).”

Castle Silver Resources grades 3.1% cobalt from underground sampling in Ontario

December 1st, 2017

by Greg Klein | December 1, 2017

Update: Effective February 23, 2018, Castle Silver Resources begins trading as Canada Cobalt Works TSXV:CCW.

Historically the northeastern Ontario region was known for a precious metal but more recent activity focuses on an energy metal. Cobalt sampling from a former mine “supports our original thesis that past operators may have left much behind at Castle in their strict focus on mining high-grade silver,” stated Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR president/CEO Frank Basa. On December 1 the company released more assays from ongoing underground sampling in the past-producer’s first level.

Castle Silver Resources grades 3.1% cobalt from underground sampling in Ontario

An adit seen from the Castle mine’s first of 11 levels
totalling about 18 kilometres of underground development.

Results for two mini-bulk samples graded:

  • 3.124% cobalt, 21 g/t silver and 0.128% nickel

  • 1.036% cobalt, 12.7 g/t silver and 0.117% nickel

A composite from the two samples showed:

  • 2.323% cobalt, 68.7 g/t silver and 0.355% nickel

More assays are pending.

Last month Castle Silver released the first assay from a 2,405-metre summer drill program that the company said found mineralization in all of the 22 holes. The near-surface intercept graded 1.55% cobalt, 0.65% nickel, 0.61 g/t gold and 8.8 g/t silver over 0.65 metres.

Also in November the company teamed up with Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM to announce a provisional milling agreement for a plant that would be located on Castle Silver’s property near the town of Gowganda, about 204 kilometres by road from the Granada project. Granada has a 2014 pre-feasibility study and a June resource update.

Southeast of Gowganda and within Ontario’s Cobalt camp, Castle Silver also holds the past-producing Violet and Beaver mines.

B.C. Securities Commission under fire as half a billion in penalties remains unenforced

November 21st, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 21, 2017

Although some small cap companies seem to consider regulators the bane of their existence, big-time scammers might take a more benign view. A Postmedia investigation has revealed that the British Columbia Securities Commission—with 234 staffers and a $46.6-million budget—has collected less than 2% of $510 million in fines and payback orders issued over the last decade. The collection rate manages to fall even farther, to less than 0.1%, for 29 such orders of $1 million or more that total $458 million.

B.C. Securities Commission under fire as half a billion in penalties remains unenforced

Although the BCSC responds that the con artists may have hidden their assets or disappeared, journalist Gordon Hoekstra reports, “Postmedia tracked down $31 million in potential assets linked to the fraudsters,” including homes in affluent B.C. suburbs, Las Vegas and Hawaii.

Among available enforcement strategies, the BCSC “can file any of its decisions in B.C. Supreme Court, a simple administrative exercise, which automatically makes the penalties an order of the court,” Hoekstra points out. “If a property has been transferred to someone else, for example, a spouse, to escape a penalty, that may also be considered fraud.”

Regulators in other provinces do somewhat better, according to the study. Securities commissions in Ontario and Alberta achieved 18% collection rates over the last decade, while Quebec reached about 20% over the past four years. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hit nearly 60% during the past five years.

The exposé seems to have taken both of B.C.’s main political parties by surprise. In a written statement NDP Finance Minister Carole James noted the commission operates at arms-length from the government. “We would encourage any proposals from the BCSC on any new mechanisms they may need to collect the fines,” she stated.

“No details were released by James, who ministry officials said was unavailable for an interview, on how the provincial government would follow up or monitor any proposals,” Hoekstra added.

As for the opposition party that had been government during most of the 10-year period, the BC Liberals “said in an e-mail that ‘unfortunately’ no MLAs were available for comment. The Liberals have 41 sitting MLAs, including two finance critics, Shirley Bond and Tracy Redies.”

Pistol Bay Mining wants to bring blockchain to resource companies

November 15th, 2017

Update: On November 20 Pistol Bay announced it had created a subsidiary called PB Blockchain Inc to create applications for mining and resource companies.

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2017

While still focused on its Confederation Lake zinc-copper portfolio in northwestern Ontario, Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST sees untapped potential in technology’s current upheaval. The company reports ongoing discussions to form a wholly owned subsidiary that would create blockchain applications for the mining sector, as well as oil and gas and possibly other industries. Some products could include “Ethereum smart contracts, security, claim management, resource management and the tokenization of resources,” Pistol Bay stated.

Pistol Bay Mining wants to bring blockchain to resource companies

“We believe a unique opportunity exists to lead the mineral development industry by building a resource-focused blockchain company to facilitate modern mining-related transactions,” explained president/CEO Charles Desjardins. “This represents an exciting opportunity for the shareholders of Pistol Bay and, as a founder of the original Investment.com portal, I have always recognized the need to be early in adapting to new technologies.”

Back to mineral exploration, last month Pistol Bay announced confidentiality agreements with two companies interested in partnering on Pistol Bay’s 17,000-hectare Confederation Lake properties. One company was described as a mid-tier producer, the other a junior explorer. The news followed completion of the first regional and modern geophysical program carried out over the VMS-rich greenstone belt.

Having already received an exploration permit for Confederation Lake’s Dixie claims, Pistol Bay now has applications pending for the Garnet, Fredart, Moth and Fly claim groups. “With zinc prices at a record high, there’s lots of demand for zinc and copper exploration projects,” said Desjardins. “Not many companies can offer a belt-wide property base with proven VMS mineralization and a new airborne EM survey with multiple untested targets.”

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining here and here.