Saturday 18th November 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Osisko Mining Corp (OSK)’

Crucial commodities

September 8th, 2017

Price/supply concerns draw end-users to Commerce Resources’ rare earths-tantalum-niobium projects

by Greg Klein

“One of the things that really galls me is that the F-35 is flying around with over 900 pounds of Chinese REEs in it.”

That typifies some of the remarks Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE president Chris Grove hears from end-users of rare earths and rare metals. Steeply rising prices for magnet feed REEs and critical minerals like tantalum—not to mention concern about stable, geopolitically friendly sources—have brought even greater interest in the company’s two advanced projects, the Ashram rare earths deposit in northern Quebec and the Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southeastern British Columbia. Now Commerce has a list of potential customers and processors waiting for samples from both properties.

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F-35 fighter jets alongside the USS America:
Chinese rare earths in action.
(Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Of course with China supplying over 90% of the world’s REEs, governments and industries in many countries have cause for concern. Tantalum moves to market through sometimes disturbingly vague supply lines, with about 37% of last year’s production coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo and 32% from Rwanda, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. One company in Brazil, Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM), produces about 85% of the world’s niobium, another critical mineral.

As Ashram moves towards pre-feasibility, Commerce has a team busy getting a backlog of core to the assay lab. But tantalum and niobium, the original metals of interest for Commerce, have returned to the fore as well, with early-stage exploration on the Quebec property and metallurgical studies on the B.C. deposit.

The upcoming assays will come from 14 holes totalling 2,014 metres sunk last year, mostly definition drilling. Initial geological review and XRF data suggest significant intervals in several holes, including a large stepout to the southeast, Grove’s team reports.

“We’re always excited to see this project’s drilling results,” he says. “We know we’re in carbonatite basically all of the time and over the last five years, in all the 9,200 metres we’ve done since the last resource calculation, we’ve basically always hit more material than was modelled in the original resource—i.e. we’ve always found less waste rock at surface, we’ve always hit material in the condemnation holes and we’ve always had intersections of higher-grade material. So all those things look exciting for this program.”

Carbonatite comprises a key Ashram distinction. The deposit sits within carbonatite host rock and the minerals monazite, bastnasite and xenotime, which are well understood in commercial REE processing. That advantage distinguishes Ashram from REE hopefuls that foundered over mineralogical challenges. Along with resource size, mineralogy has Grove confident of Ashram’s potential as a low-cost producer competing with China.

As for size, a 2012 resource used a 1.25% cutoff to show:

  • measured: 1.59 million tonnes averaging 1.77% total rare earth oxides

  • indicated: 27.67 million tonnes averaging 1.9% TREO

  • inferred: 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO

A near-surface—sometimes at-surface—deposit, Ashram also features strong distribution of neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium, all critical elements and some especially costly. Neodymium and dysprosium prices have shot up 80% this year.

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Commerce Resources’ field crew poses at the Eldor property,
home to the Ashram deposit and Miranna prospect.

Comparing Ashram’s inferred gross tonnage of nearly 220 million tonnes with the measured and indicated total of less than 30 million tonnes, Grove sees considerable potential to bolster the M&I as well as increase the resource’s overall size and average grade.

This season’s field program includes prospecting in the Miranna area about a kilometre from the deposit. Miranna was the site of 2015 boulder sampling that brought “spectacular” niobium grades up to 5.9% Nb2O5, nearly twice the average grade of the world’s largest producer, CBMM’s Araxá mine, Grove says. Some tantalum standouts showed 1,220 ppm and 1,040 ppm Ta2O5. Significant results for phosphate and rare earth oxides were also apparent.

Should Miranna prove drill-worthy, the synergies with Ashram would be obvious.

That’s the early-stage aspect of Commerce’s tantalum-niobium work. In B.C. the company’s Blue River deposit reached PEA in 2011, with a resource update in 2013. Based on a tantalum price of $381 per kilo, the estimate showed:

  • indicated: 48.41 million tonnes averaging 197 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,610 ppm Nb2O5 for 9.56 million kilograms Ta2O5 and 77.81 kilograms Nb2O5

  • inferred: 5.4 million tonnes averaging 191 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,760 ppm Nb2O5 for 1 million kilograms Ta2O5 and 9.6 million kilograms Nb2O5

Actually that should be 1,300 kilograms less. That’s the size of a sample on its way to Estonia for evaluation by Alexander Krupin, an expert in processing high-grade tantalum and niobium concentrates. “As with Ashram, we’ve already found that standard processing works well for Blue River,” Grove points out. “However, if Krupin’s proprietary method proves even more efficient, why wouldn’t we look at it?”

We’re always excited to see this project’s drilling results. We know we’re in carbonatite basically all of the time and over the last five years, in all the 9,200 metres we’ve done since the last resource calculation, we’ve basically always hit more material than was modelled in the original resource.—Chris Grove,
president of Commerce Resources

Back to rare earths, Commerce signed an MOU with Ucore Rare Metals TSXV:UCU to assess Ashram material for a proprietary method of selective processing. Others planning to test proprietary techniques on Ashram include Texas Mineral Resources and K-Technologies, Rare Earth Salts, Innovation Metals Corp, the University of Tennessee and NanoScience Solutions at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

Should proprietary methods work, all the better, Grove states. But he emphasizes that standard metallurgical tests have already succeeded, making a cheaper process unnecessary for both Blue River and Ashram.

Potential customers show interest too. Concentrate sample requests have come from Solvay, Mitsubishi, Treibacher, BASF, DKK, Albemarle, Blue Line and others covered by non-disclosure agreements. Requests have also come for samples of fluorspar, a potential Ashram byproduct and another mineral subject to rising prices and Chinese supply dominance.

A solid expression of interest came from the province too, as Ressources Québec invested $1 million in a February private placement. The provincial government corporation describes itself as focusing “on projects that have good return prospects and foster Quebec’s economic development.”

Also fostering the mining-friendly jurisdiction’s economic development is Plan Nord, which has pledged $1.3 billion to infrastructure over five years. The provincial road to Renard helped make Stornoway Diamond’s (TSX:SWY) mine a reality. Other projects that would benefit from a road extension towards Ashram would be Lac Otelnuk, located 80 kilometres south. The Sprott Resource Holdings TSX:SRHI/WISCO JV holds Canada’s largest iron ore deposit. Some projects north of Ashram include the Kan gold-base metals project of Barrick Gold TSX:ABX and Osisko Mining TSX:OSK, as well as properties held by Midland Exploration TSXV:MD.

But, Grove says, it’s rising prices and security of supply that have processors and end-users metaphorically beating a path to his company’s door. And maybe nothing demonstrates the criticality of critical minerals better than a nearby superpower that relies on a geopolitical rival for commodities essential to national defence.

Another $20 million boosts BonTerra Resources as multiple drills target Gladiator

June 30th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 30, 2017

Obviously some people like what they see in BonTerra Resources’ (TSXV:BTR) Gladiator gold project in Quebec. Raising an amount just $120 shy of $20 million, the company announced the closing of its most recent private placement on June 30. This financing began with a $12.9-million bought deal earlier in the month. Eleven days later BonTerra increased the offer to $19,999,880.

Another $20 million boosts BonTerra Resources as multiple drills target Gladiator

Results from Gladiator’s aggressive drill campaign
brought BonTerra another large cash infusion.

With Sprott Capital Partners acting as lead underwriter, Eric Sprott came in for another $2.3 million, building his indirect ownership of BonTerra from 8.9% to approximately 10.04% of outstanding shares.

In a nearly $14-million placement that closed in early March, Sprott participated to the tune of $3.89 million. Later that month another private placement brought in $1.02 million. March didn’t end until the company attracted another $5.2 million in a strategic investment by Kinross Gold TSX:K.

The main attraction is BonTerra’s 8,126-hectare property in Quebec’s Urban-Barry camp, host to Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) Windfall project and an area that Osisko believes has district potential. BonTerra has multiple rigs working on a 40,000-metre campaign, focusing on resource expansion and especially targeting a 600-metre gap separating the Gladiator deposit from the Rivage zone to the west.

Assays for three holes released in early June included one hole that confirmed the project’s new South zone, while other intercepts extended other zones west of the deposit. The project has been drilled to 850 metres in depth and 1.2 kilometres in strike, leaving it open in all directions.

The results build anticipation for an update to the 2012 resource which, using a 4 g/t cutoff, showed an inferred 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 ounces gold.

In Ontario’s Cadillac/Larder Lake break, meanwhile, BonTerra intends to bring two historic estimates from 2011 up to 43-101 standards. The Larder Lake project’s Bear Lake deposit has a non-43-101 inferred resource of 3.7 million tonnes averaging 5.7 g/t for 683,000 gold ounces. The Cheminis deposit hosts a non-43-101 estimate with an indicated category of 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.

New gold zone helps BonTerra Resources establish continuity at Gladiator

June 6th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 6, 2017

Known as the Rivage Gap, some 600 intriguing metres separating BonTerra Resources’ (TSXV:BTR) Gladiator deposit and the Rivage zone to the west has been a focus of current drilling. Now assays reveal a new zone south and west of the deposit that could help close the gap.

BonTerra has committed at least four rigs to sink up to 40,000 metres on its 8,126-hectare property that’s adding to the excitement that Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) Windfall project has generated in Quebec’s Urban-Barry camp.

BonTerra announced results for three holes on June 6, showing:

Hole BA-17-06

  • 7.1 g/t gold over 1 metre, starting at 37 metres in downhole depth (Footwall zone)

  • 1.4 g/t over 2 metres, starting at 477 metres (Main zone)

BA-17-11

  • 12.7 g/t over 3.6 metres, starting at 424 metres (Main zone)

BA-17-12

  • 11.1 g/t over 2 metres, starting at 17 metres (Main zone)

  • 3.5 g/t over 2 metres, starting at 32 metres (Mid zone)

  • 8.8 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 346.7 metres (new South zone)
New gold zone helps BonTerra Resources establish continuity at Gladiator

With at least four rigs in action, BonTerra
Resources keeps its Gladiator camp busy.

True widths were estimated between 60% and 80%.

BA-17-12, “the most predominant and westerly hole,” was the fourth hole so far to hit the new South zone, which has approximately 500 metres in strike. Drilling has also extended other zones to the west, with the Main and Footwall zones reaching over one kilometre each in strike. Gladiator itself has been drilled to 850 metres in depth and 1.2 kilometres in strike, remaining open in all directions.

That outlines Gladiator well beyond its 2012 resource which, using a 4 g/t cutoff, showed an inferred 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 ounces gold.

Apart from the Rivage Gap, drilling also targets the Deep East zone and additional areas described as “large gaps or voids with currently little drill information.”

The assays follow a batch released in mid-May, strengthening the presence of four other areas in the gap, the North, Footwall, Porphyry/Main and Mid zones. Footwall gave up a standout intercept of 10 g/t gold over 4 metres, while North followed closely with 9.5 g/t over 4.2 metres.

In March BonTerra optioned Durango Resources’ (TSXV:DGO) Trove property, described as a direct extension of the Gladiator/Coliseum southwest mineralized trend.

Financings in February and March raked in $5.2 million from Kinross Gold TSX:K, as well as nearly $15 million that came with the participation of Sprott Capital Partners.

In Ontario’s Cadillac-Larder Lake fault zone, meanwhile, BonTerra has drilling planned to update historic, non-43-101 resources. VP of exploration Dale Ginn believes three historic deposits could comprise a single deposit.

Read more about BonTerra Resources.

High-grade gold helps BonTerra Resources close the Rivage gap

May 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | May 16, 2017

With a goal of demonstrating continuity along a 1.2-kilometre potential strike—and maybe stealing some of Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) Urban Barry glory—BonTerra Resources TSXV:BTR released another batch of high-grade assays May 16. Results so far show the Gladiator deposit open in all directions but much of the drilling has focused on closing its gap with the Rivage zone to the west.

Intercepts released for the Rivage gap’s four zones show:

Hole BA-17-04

  • 9.5 g/t gold over 4.2 metres, starting at 88.8 metres in downhole depth, North zone

  • 10 g/t over 4 metres, starting at 233 metres, Footwall zone

  • 1.4 g/t over 25 metres, starting at 272 metres, Porphyry/Main zone
  • (including 3.6 g/t over 3 metres)
High-grade gold helps BonTerra Resources fill the Rivage gap

Fortified by money and high grades, BonTerra Resources
plans up to 40,000 metres for Gladiator’s current program.

BA-17-07

  • 12 g/t over 3 metres, starting at 355 metres, Main zone

BA-17-08

  • 7.5 g/t over 1 metre, starting at 210 metres, North zone

  • 8 g/t over 1 metre, starting at 264 metres, Mid zone

  • 6.4 g/t over 1.8 metres, starting at 300.2 metres, Footwall zone

  • 3.4 g/t over 5.7 metres, starting at 390 metres, Main zone

BA-17-09

  • 9 g/t over 1.8 metres, starting at 67 metres, Footwall zone

BA-17-10

  • 5.6 g/t over 1.5 metres, starting at 177.5 metres, North zone

  • 8.4 g/t over 3.5 metres, starting at 198.5 metres, Footwall zone

  • 5.2 g/t over 2.5 metres, starting at 212.5 metres, Mid zone

  • 5.3 g/t over 2 metres, starting at 237 metres, Main zone

True widths were estimated between 60% and 80%.

Continued high grades add to the anticipation of an update to Gladiator’s 2012 resource, which used a 4 g/t cutoff to show an inferred 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 ounces gold.

With up to 40,000 metres planned for this campaign, drilling has so far hit multiple high-grade intercepts between Gladiator and Rivage, confirmed over one kilometre in strike for each of the Main and Footwall zones, and sought extensions of the Gladiator deposit to 850 metres in depth and 1.2 kilometres in strike, BonTerra stated. Drilling also focuses on the Deep East zone “and within large gaps or voids with currently little drill information” on the 8,126-hectare property.

In late March the company took out a 100% option on Durango Resources’ (TSXV:DGO) Trove property, which BonTerra described as a direct extension of its Gladiator/Coliseum southwest mineralized trend.

A few days earlier the company gained another large cash injection, this one a $5.2-million private placement that gave Kinross Gold TSX:K an approximately 9.5% stake in BonTerra. That followed nearly $15 million raised over February and March with the participation of Sprott Capital Partners.

BonTerra also holds the 2,165-hectare Larder Lake gold project in Ontario’s Cadillac-Larder Lake fault zone, where drilling’s planned to bring historic, non-43-101 resources for two zones up to date.

Read more about BonTerra Resources.

BonTerra Resources expands its land in Urban Barry and Larder Lake

March 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 16, 2017

Growing an already major position in the Windfall Lake-inspired Urban Barry area play, BonTerra Resources TSXV:BTR announced additional property acquisitions March 15. Among them is Thubiere, northwest of the company’s Arena property and surrounded by Osisko Mining TSX:OSK turf.

BonTerra Resources expands its land in Urban Barry and Larder Lake

BonTerra’s Gladiator project consists of the
West Arena, East Arena and Coliseum properties.

One day previously BonTerra closed a $1-million private placement, bringing the March total to about $15 million. Obviously well-funded, the company has three rigs working a program of up to 40,000 metres at its nearby Gladiator gold project. Recent results have graded up to 16.8 g/t gold over 3.8 metres and 15.7 g/t over 8.5 metres as the company endeavours to connect zones across a 1.2-kilometre potential strike.

BonTerra describes the 338-hectare Thubiere property as poorly explored, despite historic, non-43-101 assays grading 13.7 g/t gold over 1.2 metres, 10.98 g/t over 1.83 metres and 74.8 g/t over 0.61 metres.

The historic work “strongly supports a pattern of future exploration along the main fault and specifically in areas where porphyritic felsic intrusives are recorded to exist,” BonTerra stated. “This gold-fault-felsic intrusive association is beginning to emerge as a useful gold pathfinder [in the] Urban Barry greenstone belt of Quebec, based on recent discoveries.”

The company staked four new claims north of its Gladiator project’s Lacroix Lake block and intends to buy another 226 contiguous hectares.

In Ontario, BonTerra signed a purchase agreement for another 56-hectare claim proximal to the company’s Larder Lake gold project, currently active with 25,000 metres of resource development and exploration.

Subject to approvals, Thubiere’s price tag comes to $5,000 and 150,000 shares. The 226 hectares north of Lacroix would cost $10,000 and 150,000 shares. The Larder Lake addition calls for 100,000 shares and a 2% NSR, half of which may be subject to a $750,000 buy-back.

Due for updates are the Gladiator and Larder Lake resources. Gladiator’s 2012 estimate used a 4 g/t cutoff to show 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 gold ounces inferred.

Historic, non-43-101 estimates at Larder Lake give the Bear Lake deposit 683,000 gold ounces inferred, and the Cheminis deposit 43,800 gold ounces indicated and 233,400 ounces inferred.

Read more about BonTerra Resources.

BonTerra Resources closes $14-million bought deal to fund Windfall Lake-area drilling

March 2nd, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 2, 2017

Clearly Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) not the only company attracting money to the region. BonTerra Resources’ (TSXV:BTR) private placement began with a $6-million offer early last month that was raised three times to close March 2 at $13.97 million. That’s not including a non-brokered $1.02 million expected to close mid-month.

BonTerra Resources closes $14-million bought deal to fund Windfall-area drilling

A fresh financing supports BonTerra’s quest for high-grade gold.

The news follows $82 million in financings that Osisko closed on February 28. BonTerra’s Gladiator project sits about six kilometres south of Windfall Lake, where Osisko’s high-grade gold has attracted a busy area play to the Abitibi’s Urban Barry greenstone belt. Among other companies in the area, Beaufield Resources TSXV:BFD closed a $6-million bought deal a week earlier.

Acting as lead underwriter for BonTerra was Sprott Capital Partners, a division of Sprott Private Wealth LP. Eric Sprott invested $3.89 million, raising his stake in BonTerra from 0.3% to about 10.3%.

Assays reported last month from Gladiator reached as high as 16.8 g/t gold over 3.8 metres, which followed a standout of 15.7 g/t over 8.5 metres released two days earlier. The company hopes to connect zones across a 1.2-kilometre potential strike and update the resource. The 2012 inferred category came to 905,000 tonnes averaging 9.37 g/t for 273,000 gold ounces at a 4 g/t cutoff. The deposit remains open in all directions.

BonTerra’s Larder Lake project in Ontario features two historic, non-43-101 resources: Bear Lake with 683,000 gold ounces inferred, and Cheminis with 43,800 gold ounces indicated and 233,400 ounces inferred. Larder Lake has a 43-101 underway, incorporating another 25,000 metres of drilling.

Read more about BonTerra Resources.

April 16th, 2014

Yamana, Agnico Eagle team up to acquire Osisko in friendly deal Stockhouse
Three key metrics to identify a superstar investment Streetwise Reports
How Russia is working together with China Equedia
IM22 conference: Innovation will lead the way for industrial minerals Industrial Minerals
Alluvial and placer mineral deposits Geology for Investors
Dark markets may be more harmful than high-frequency trading VantageWire
Infographic—Unearthing the world’s gold supply GoldSeek

March 21st, 2014

Fission adviser outlines reasons why uranium prices are only going up Stockhouse
Asteroid minerals mining to be achieved within five years Industrial Minerals
China opens door further to foreign stock investors VantageWire
Michael Gray: Is Goldcorp’s bid for Osisko a harbinger of a gold renaissance? Streetwise Reports
Eric Sprott: The U.S. economy’s non-recovery GoldSeek
From exploration to opening a mine Geology for Investors
A sign of things to come—gold outlook 2014 Equedia

March 20th, 2014

Asteroid minerals mining to be achieved within five years Industrial Minerals
China opens door further to foreign stock investors VantageWire
Michael Gray: Is Goldcorp’s bid for Osisko a harbinger of a gold renaissance? Streetwise Reports
Eric Sprott: The U.S. economy’s non-recovery GoldSeek
Rushing for gold on the Kapuskasing structural zone Stockhouse
From exploration to opening a mine Geology for Investors
A sign of things to come—gold outlook 2014 Equedia

East dominated M&A in 2013, expect overall uptick this year—PwC report

February 26th, 2014

by Ana Komnenic | February 26, 2014 | Reprinted by permission of MINING.com

East dominated M&A in 2013, expect overall uptick this year—PwC report

 

The bad news first: 2013 was the worst year for mergers and acquisitions in recent history, with the volume of deals dropping 33% to the lowest level since 2005.

Now for the good news: According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest Global Mining Deals report, the mining industry can expect an uptick in M&A throughout 2014.

Though these deals will be “smarter, more conservative,” 2014 will be characterized by joint ventures, mid-tier buyers and more mergers or sales from juniors, PwC predicts. The gold price drop will also make buying gold assets more appealing—especially in Canada.

“You aren’t going to see the big dollars in riskier jurisdictions,” PwC wrote, quoting Brett Mattison of Gold Fields NYE:GFI.

As evidence of a strong start to the year, PwC points to Goldcorp’s TSX:G hostile takeover bid for Osisko TSX:OSK—though Osisko has called the offer “opportunistic” and some say Goldcorp is trying to take advantage of a weak gold market.

“The turnaround won’t mirror the surge in movement we saw back in 2011, but expect deal making to resurface in most parts of the world this year as both an opportunity and in some cases a necessity for companies across the sector,” PwC global mining leader John Gravelle said in a statement.

“Companies have been cleaning up their balance sheets and putting off decisions, waiting for the right time to act—that timing is near.”

Overall, PwC expects deal activity to increase this year—reaping “long-term gain” from “short-term pain.”

While it’s well known that M&A dropped off in a big way last year, PwC revealed something new in its latest report: The Eastern world dominated M&A activity last year. In fact, “the East accounted for nearly half of the deals by value in 2013, or about 45%, while the West represented about 36%,” PwC wrote.

East dominated M&A in 2013, expect overall uptick this year—PwC report

“Looking ahead, many Western-based majors are still going to wait for commodity prices to stabilize, concentrating on cash costs, rationalizing their assets and trying to divest assets as a way to pay down debt and fund existing operations,” Gravelle said.

The rich and powerful from Russia and Kazakhstan in particular bought up assets while major mining companies such as Rio Tinto NYE:RIO and Barrick TSX:ABX were selling.

The biggest deal of 2013 was in Russia, where Gavril Yushvaev and Zelimkhan Mutsoev purchased nearly half of Polyus Gold from billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Reprinted by permission of MINING.com