Sunday 17th December 2017

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Posts tagged ‘ontario’

OSC tele-townhall encourages scam awareness

October 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 16, 2017

OSC tele-townhall encourages scam awareness

Courts and regulatory agencies notwithstanding, there’s probably no greater frustration for con artists than con-resistant investors. With that in mind, the Ontario Securities Commission has a public outreach program underway including a tele-townhall.

Taking place October 24 at 6:30 p.m., the one-hour event will work “much like a call-in radio show,” the commission explains. Staff will provide information about frauds and scams commonly perpetrated in Ontario. Callers may ask questions and take part in live polls. Participants can register here up to noon of that day.

As part of an outreach program called From Bay Street to Main Street, the OSC also has several investor awareness meetings scheduled over the next few months. Many of the events will take place with groups representing Canadian newcomers or seniors, two particular scam targets.

The OSC also promotes investor knowledge through its Get Smarter About Money website.

Among other strategies across the country, the British Columbia Securities Commission has promoted investor awareness through entertaining videos, a few of which can be seen here and here.

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.

At a regulatory crossroads

October 4th, 2017

It’s time to fix federally induced problems, says the Mining Association of Canada

by Greg Klein

The fundamentals behind the last supercycle remain in place, insists Pierre Gratton. Yet the Mining Association of Canada president/CEO warns that the country has lost ground as a global industry leader. While the current upswing continues, the transition to a cleaner, lower-carbon future will call for even more mineable commodities. Whether Canada participates to its fullest potential, however, depends largely on policies directed by Ottawa.

Addressing a 230-strong Greater Vancouver Board of Trade audience on September 27, Gratton noted that by 2015 Canada lost its first-place spot for exploration investment. The usurper was Australia, which proved itself “much more strategic and successful over the past decade.” Meanwhile this country’s list of active projects has fallen to nearly half its 2011 peak of 2,700. Only two new projects came up for federal environmental assessment in 2016, an historic low. “We’ve got world class deposits sitting idle,” he added, citing Ontario’s Ring of Fire, Nunavut’s Izok Corridor and British Columbia’s New Prosperity.

It’s time to fix federally induced problems, says the Mining Association of Canada

Pierre Gratton: “Hopefully we’ll get it right this time, we’ll lock
it in, we’ll know what the rules are and get down to business.”
(Photo: Matt Borck, courtesy Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.)

Yet opportunities have been improving, he maintained, and not just because of stronger commodity prices. In addition to continued growth among emerging economies, carbon-reducing measures call for new technologies that require more mining products. That’s the case for electrified transportation, wind and solar generation, and energy storage.

“The transition to a low-carbon future is not years away from now—it has already started and it’s accelerating at a rapid pace.” Unless Canada turns that to its competitive advantage, “we will lose this opportunity to other countries… It’s going to be us, Australia or someone else.”

Moreover, Canada can produce these commodities “as a leader in sustainability.” This country “already operates some of the lowest-emitting, highest-tech and most socially responsible mines in the world.” Gratton credited companies that implemented MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining program with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And altruism can be rewarding: “Our Canadian-made mining standard has caught the attention of Apple and other global companies that see it as a program robust enough to demonstrate responsible sourcing.”

But if environmental progress bodes well for Canadian mining, the policy environment remains uncertain. The 2012 regulatory reforms of the previous Conservative government lost both public and investor confidence, Gratton argued.

Ottawa now needs to put “the principle of one project/one review squarely into action. We need a federal process that no longer places an unfair and unequal burden on Canada’s mining sector alone, which has sadly been the case since 2012.”

For a couple of these pieces, like the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act, I think the mining industry is probably going to come out fine. The Environmental Assessment Act, I don’t know.

The Liberals, he said, are “committed to review and replace all of the federal reforms of the previous Harper government…. For a couple of these pieces, like the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act, I think the mining industry is probably going to come out fine. The Environmental Assessment Act, I don’t know. At this point it is still so much in flux it is hard to know exactly where this will land.”

Six years of regulatory uncertainty with the prospect of more to come contributes to “this question mark in Canada. And hopefully we’ll get it right this time, we’ll lock it in, we’ll know what the rules are and get down to business.”

Returning to climate change, Gratton noted some industry initiatives, including wind energy reducing diesel dependency at Diavik and Raglan, and the transformation of B.C.’s former Sullivan mine into a community-owned solar plant that sells electricity to the grid. Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) Borden project, anticipated for 2019 production, would be Canada’s first all-electric underground mine.

Not only would the battery-powered fleet cut emissions, it “will significantly reduce ventilation costs,” Gratton stated.

“But we need to do more to spur innovation.” MAC proposes government support for innovation superclusters, a possible “catalyst to achieve transformative outcomes for our industry and help re-establish Canada as a global leader for mining innovation.”

Northern infrastructure, bringing both roads and electricity to isolated areas, again complements both the industry and the environment. Gratton pointed to the Northwest Territories’ planned $150-million all-season road to the Tlicho community, and the federal/Yukon $360-million road that would access the Coffee and Casino projects, two potential mines that would “contribute billions in new investment … and thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”

With federal funding available for green infrastructure, here’s an opportunity to take more communities off diesel, fully open up B.C.’s Golden Triangle and deliver to Yukon and the projects up there reliable, clean energy.

Referring to the 344-kilometre extension of B.C.’s Northwest Transmission Line in 2014, Gratton said: “I’ve a pitch for you today. Why not finish the job and take that line all the way to the Yukon? With federal funding available for green infrastructure, here’s an opportunity to take more communities off diesel, fully open up B.C.’s Golden Triangle and deliver to Yukon and the projects up there reliable, clean energy.”

Undiscouraged by the rugged 800-kilometre gap between the provincial and territorial grids, he added, “I was meeting recently with Yukon officials and they’re very interested in this. I remember also that Premier Horgan, when he was Energy and Mines critic, was a big champion of this project too. So here’s a nation-building project that maybe he can get behind.”

“I could talk about many other things as well, but the key takeaway is that we need to reposition Canada and enhance our competiveness going forward. And it’s critical because other countries are doing the same.”

But in response to an audience question about native consent, was he optimistic or euphemistic? “We’re not in a world of veto,” Gratton insisted. “We’re in a world of deep and meaningful engagement.”

Speaking with ResourceClips.com, he said MAC’s supercluster proposal could create regional centres for excellence focusing on mining and exploration in Sudbury and Vancouver, processing in Quebec City and oil sands in Edmonton.

There are some issues where we’ve made real progress with this new government that we hadn’t been able to make under the previous government.

Although it’s too early to evaluate the Liberals’ performance, the former Chretien-era government communications guy did say, “There are some issues where we’ve made real progress with this new government that we hadn’t been able to make under the previous government.”

Environmental permitting delays, he pointed out, “have been horrendous. At times it takes five years after an environmental assessment before you get your permit. The previous government announced a policy that would shorten that to eight months but didn’t do anything to implement it. This government has actually put in place the tools to make it happen. So we are seeing those timelines shrink.”

Additionally Ottawa now consults with MAC much more than did the previous government. The Conservatives’ lack of dialogue, he stated, “could be why they got things wrong.”

Confederation Lake in focus

October 2nd, 2017

Regional geophysics bring expansion and JV potential to Pistol Bay’s quest for Ontario VMS zinc-copper

by Isabel Belger

Isabel Belger

Isabel Belger

Isabel: I would like to introduce the president and CEO of Pistol Bay Mining [TSXV:PST] Charles Desjardins. I am very glad you could find the time. Charles, tell us something about your background and how you got started in the mineral exploration industry.

Charles: I started in Vancouver as a stockbroker in the 1980s. Then you could say I got lured into the venture capital space, at that time the Vancouver stock exchange. The first thing that I worked on was actually a technology deal. Since then I have worked in a lot of different sectors: tech, biotech, oil and gas, diamonds, mining, etc.

This was a natural transition—I started more as a promoter and then I just became more hands-on because I wanted to get things done the way that I wanted to do them.

Isabel: How did you get involved with Pistol Bay?

Charles: Pistol Bay was actually in the Dave Hodge camp before as Solitaire Minerals and it came from somebody that kind of gave up. I wanted to take it over and one of the first things I acquired were the C3, C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties in Saskatchewan, which we are selling now to Rio Tinto [NYSE:RIO].

I got an e-mail from them last night. Basically I asked them if they were planning to pay the $1.5 million this year and they said probably. If they don’t pay it this year, then they’ll have to pay $2 million next year. It’s most likely that they will pay in 2017.

Isabel: Your principal properties are located in the Confederation Lake VMS greenstone belt in Ontario. Can you give me a little overview of what you have there and what makes your projects valuable?

Charles: Confederation Lake has been explored to some extent since the 1950s with only one producing mine, the South Bay mine. There are about nine historic occurrences there that we control.

Regional geophysics bring expansion and JV potential to Pistol Bay’s quest for Ontario VMS copper-zinc

The technology of exploration and mining has changed a lot just since 2000. I was recently in Toronto and I met the geophysicist who used to handle the area for Noranda. A lot of this ground was Noranda. Up until 2000 they couldn’t see anything beyond 200 metres in depth. Originally my plan two years ago was to tie up zinc and copper properties focusing on zinc. At that time zinc was at 62 cents per pound, now it is more like $1.40. Let’s call it prescience—I was able to tie up most of the belt, which is over 50 kilometres long and about 28 kilometres wide. The whole goal was to explore the belt using modern exploration methods, mostly with a deep-penetrating airborne study. Pistol Bay has just completed that.

I would also like to mention that there are about 800 historic drill holes in this belt and we have data on 600 of them. And we have access to a big geochemical study that was done, probably worth about $500,000 or even $600,000, that was never really followed up on or plotted in to any degree. That is very valuable because it went through all alteration zones and all the occurrences. Recently we did the airborne survey, as I have mentioned. I doubled the size of the survey area, ending up being about 2,100 line-kilometres. What that does, and what it has shown us, is that there are two trends in this belt. The first trend has stronger copper and zinc numbers and the lower trend is more zinc-dominated. The conductors we found are actually deeper in places. They have not been followed up before…. Keeping that in mind we have also staked another 14,500 acres [about 5,860 hectares] of conductors and IP anomalies. So there is a lot to follow up on.

Isabel: What is the plan for the rest of 2017 and where do you see more excitement?

We are talking right now to four companies about joint-venturing this. We don’t really have the capital to pay for our own drill program unless Rio Tinto writes us that cheque. I don’t want to dilute at this moment. I’d rather wait for the cheque if I have to or enter in joint ventures.—Charles Desjardins

Charles: We are talking right now to four companies about joint-venturing this. We don’t really have the capital to pay for our own drill program unless Rio Tinto writes us that cheque. I don’t want to dilute at this moment. I’d rather wait for the cheque if I have to or enter in joint ventures. I can say that we are permitting right now for drilling, but it might be a joint venture partner drilling. In the worst-case scenario we would drill in the first quarter of next year.

But I am pretty sure that Rio Tinto will write the cheque.

Isabel: You have a 5% NPI royalty on the Rio Tinto project, is that correct?

Charles: Yes, we have a 5% net profit interest after they paid the $1.5 million. I am rather confident that at some point they will come and try to buy that. If it is something that they think they are going to take to production—of course it is not even close to that—they would never leave us with 5% NPI.

Isabel: You said that you won’t be able to do a drill program yourself right now. How much money do you have in the bank right now?

Charles: A couple of hundred thousand.

Isabel: How much of Pistol Bay is held by the management?

Charles: Management, friends and family own about 35%.

Isabel: That is quite a bit. Interesting. Let’s talk a bit about zinc and copper. Recently a lot of articles were published on copper. It was Robert Friedland who recently noted that about 150 kilograms of copper is required for each electric vehicle manufactured, whereas people talk mostly about lithium and cobalt and EVs, but not so much about the increasing demand for copper. But I think many people are aware of rising copper prices and what copper is used for, being an interesting commodity in this “rechargeable” era. But maybe not everyone is as well-informed about zinc and what it is used for. Can you say a bit about the usage of zinc and also the zinc market?

Charles: One of the reasons that I got into zinc was that I was looking at all the commodities at a time when the resource market was quite depressed. I was looking for something that looked promising for a commodity shock. The zinc market is working in a production deficit. The prices have more than doubled, I wouldn’t call that a commodity shock, but it has gone well. And the fact that we hadn’t had that jump is probably the length of the bull zinc market.

About its usage, more than half of all zinc that is mined is used for galvanizing other metals, such as steel and iron. And significant amounts of zinc are also used to form alloys with other metals.

Isabel: What do you like most about your job?

Charles: I always like this kind of work. It is risky and can be stressful at times, but it doesn’t mean sitting behind a desk. I was up at the property in Ontario earlier this summer seeing first hand what everything looks like. How much infrastructure there is, which I was certainly quite surprised about, roads and even power lines as well. I love the variety that the job offers.

Isabel: What is your favourite commodity beside the ones in your company?

Charles: Probably gold though we do have some gold in our Confederation Lake. To me, in a world right now with the geopolitics that we are facing it is kind of a must-have. You have to have some gold.

Isabel: Thank you so much for the insights.

Charles: Thanks for having me, Isabel.

Isabel Belger

Charles Desjardins, president/CEO
of Pistol Bay Mining

Bio

Mr. Desjardins brings more than 25 years of experience in public company finance and management. He is president and CEO of Tandem Capital Group Inc, which was active in the investor relations field during the mid 1980s. Mr. Desjardins was also past president of numerous public mineral exploration and technology companies which traded on the TSXV.

Fun facts

My hobbies: Running marathons, biking, fishing
My favourite airport: JFK
My favourite tradeshow: Mines and Money Hong Kong, PDAC
My favourite commodities: Copper, zinc and gold
With this person I would like to have dinner: Elon Musk
If I could have a superpower, it would be: Extraordinary vision

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining here and here.

September 29th, 2017

Castle Silver Resources president/CEO Frank Basa discusses the cobalt boom and Ontario’s Cobalt camp SmallCapPower
What will electric vehicles do for zircon demand? Industrial Minerals
Market crashes should be embraced and not feared GoldSeek
Price chart: Cobalt, lithium-ion batteries and EVs Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
The U.S. debt bubble will soon warrant serious measures Equities.com
Gold and bitcoin surge on North Korea fears Stockhouse
Looking at Vatic Ventures’ potash project in Thailand Geology for Investors
Copper: Good news for Chile, bad news for the U.S. Streetwise Reports
Q2 energy metals earnings review—crunch time for the lithium majors The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Update: Pistol Bay Mining announces 43-101 resource, JV discussions and—again—newly staked land

September 20th, 2017

by Greg Klein | Updated September 20, 2017

Update: With staking announced on September 14 and 20, Pistol Bay Mining has added more than 5,860 hectares to its property package, bringing the total to about 17,000 hectares.

Results from Confederation Lake’s first regional state-of-the-art geophysics have prompted Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST to expand its presence in the VMS-rich northwestern Ontario greenstone belt. Two acquisition announcements came within eight days after the company reported initial findings from the 2,100-line-kilometre VTEM-Plus survey. Those results accompanied announcements of a new resource estimate for one of the portfolio’s projects as well as potential joint venture interest.

Pistol Bay Mining announces VTEM-inspired acquisition, resource update and JV discussions

“We are seeing lots of new anomalies in the survey data, not just conductors but the IP effect anomalies as well, and Pistol Bay is going to have a busy few years exploring them all,” said CEO Charles Desjardins.

The new claims cover multiple conductors and IP-effect anomalies, some of which have had previous drilling with results showing zinc or copper, the company stated. The new data also shows parallel conductors or extensions of known conductors.

New claims between Pistol Bay’s Fredart and Joy claim groups host four conductors of 400, 850, 900 and 950 metres that appear not to have undergone drilling. Fredart A holds an historic, non-43-101 copper estimate. Like the four newly found anomalies, the Joy North anomaly hasn’t been drilled.

The airborne survey confirmed conductivity at all of the portfolio’s historic showings, zones and mineralized drill intercepts, Pistol Bay added. While analysis continues, data so far shows conductivity extending beyond known zones, along strike and in new clusters apart from known mineralization.

Once we’ve got our targets finalized, we will be entertaining proposals for joint ventures to advance this highly prospective property.—Charles Desjardins,
CEO of Pistol Bay Mining

“Because of the large number of potential targets generated by the VTEM survey, we are considering inviting joint venture partners for all or parts of the Confederation Lake project,” Desjardins noted. “We have had early-stage discussions with potential joint venture partners. Once we’ve got our targets finalized, we will be entertaining proposals for joint ventures to advance this highly prospective property.”

Pistol Bay also filed a technical report for Garnet Lake, a Confederation Lake property that hosts the Fredart A zone. Updating an historic 2007 estimate for the Arrow zone, the 43-101 incorporates 20 additional holes. Using a base case 3% zinc-equivalent cutoff, an inferred category shows:

  • 2.1 million tonnes averaging 0.72% copper, 5.78% zinc, 19.5 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold, for a zinc-equivalent grade of 8.5%

Contained amounts come to:

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

Contingent on favourable geophysical and other data, the 43-101 recommends two 1,000-metre holes at Arrow to test for possible down-plunge extensions of the resource. The report also calls for another 3,000 metres on targets to be identified elsewhere on the Garnet property.

Last May the company signed an LOI to acquire the 496-hectare Copperlode property, about four kilometres along strike from Arrow.

Update: Pistol Bay Mining announces VTEM-inspired acquisition, new resource and JV discussions

September 14th, 2017

This story has been updated and moved here.

BonTerra Resources heralds new gold zone in Quebec’s Urban-Barry camp

September 14th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 14, 2017

Exploration drilling southwest of the Gladiator deposit reveals a new gold zone, BonTerra Resources TSXV:BTR announced. Christened the Temica zone, it’s believed to be an extension of the deposit’s mineralized trend. Of three holes with one intercept each reported September 14, the standout was CL-17-14, four kilometres from the deposit. The result showed 4.7 g/t gold and 44.6 g/t silver over 2.7 metres, at 250 metres below surface.

BonTerra Resources heralds new gold zone in Quebec’s Urban-Barry camp

BonTerra’s field camp houses a team
busy with a 40,000-metre 2017 program.

Another kilometre southwest, CL-17-06 found 13 g/t gold over one metre at 200 metres below surface. CL-17-01 showed a near-surface 4.8 g/t gold over one metre in “close proximity to drill hole CL-17-14, but was located too close to the zone and resulted in a partial intersection,” BonTerra stated.

True widths were estimated between 60% and 80%.

The discovery follows till sampling and induced polarization surveys that identified additional targets for further drilling that’s planned for Temica and beyond.

BonTerra last released assays in July from a campaign largely focused on the gap between the 8,126-hectare Coliseum property’s Gladiator deposit and the Rivage zone, about 600 metres west.

With at least four rigs busy on a planned 40,000 metres, all that drilling can only stir anticipation of an update to Gladiator’s 2012 resource. Using a base case 4 g/t cutoff, it holds an inferred category of 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 ounces gold. The deposit remains open in all directions.

The company raised $40 million this year, with participation from Eric Sprott and Kinross Gold TSX:K.

BonTerra also holds the Larder Lake project in Ontario’s Cadillac/Larder Lake break. The property’s Bear Lake deposit has an historic, non-43-101 inferred resource of 3.7 million tonnes averaging 5.7 g/t for 683,000 gold ounces. Another non-43-101 estimate for the Cheminis deposit has an indicated 335,000 tonnes averaging 4.1 g/t for 43,800 gold ounces and an inferred 1.39 million tonnes averaging 5.2 g/t for 233,400 ounces.

Read more about BonTerra Resources.

Pistol Bay Mining announces VTEM results, resource update, JV discussions

September 12th, 2017

This story has been updated and moved here.

Castle Silver Resources to study possible new plant and processing deal with Granada Gold Mine

September 11th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 11, 2017

A gold milling arrangement now under consideration could offer synergies to two companies with overlapping management, directors and staff. Under an MOU signed by Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR and Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM, Castle Silver will study the potential installation of a 600-tpd gravity flotation plant at one of its northern Ontario properties. The facility would process feed from the proposed Granada gold mine across the Quebec border near Rouyn-Noranda. Castle Silver expects to complete the study in Q4.

Castle Silver Resources to study possible new plant and processing deal with Granada Gold Mine

Granada’s proposed mine reached pre-feas
in 2014 and a resource update in May.

A resource update released last May used a 0.39 g/t cutoff to show an in-pit measured and indicated total of 21.57 million tonnes averaging 1.16 g/t for 807,700 gold ounces. An underground inferred category for an area north of the potential open pit used a 1.5 g/t cutoff for 10.38 million tonnes averaging 4.56 g/t for 1.52 million ounces. Granada stated the new 43-101 supersedes the pre-feasibility report released in 2014.

The company describes its project as fully permitted, shovel-ready and one of the region’s largest undeveloped gold projects.

Meanwhile Castle Silver waits on assays for its namesake flagship, where summer drilling sunk 22 holes totalling 2,405 metres. Chip and bulk sampling results from the former underground silver mine have returned gold, cobalt and nickel grades in addition to silver. More bulk sampling is planned.

Castle Silver has raised $2.6 million since March.