Thursday 27th October 2016

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘pgm’

Program could cut Group Ten Metals’ Ontario exploration costs by 33%

July 12th, 2016

by Greg Klein | July 12, 2016

A rebate could save Group Ten Metals TSXV:PGE up to a third of its exploration spending on the Drayton-Black Lake gold project in northwestern Ontario. On July 12 the company announced the Junior Exploration Assistance Program approved a maximum $100,000 rebate. The provincial government’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and the Ontario Prospectors Association sponsor the program.

Program could cut Group Ten Metals’ Ontario exploration costs by 33%

The company proposed a 20-hole, 2,000-metre drill campaign for the project’s Moretti area where historic, non-43-101 results averaged 18.65 grams per tonne gold in a 4,087-kilogram bulk sample and 14.1 g/t for an 8,069-kilo sample.

The property, partly staked and partly under option, sits 10 kilometres south of the town of Sioux Lookout in the vicinity of First Mining Finance’s (TSXV:FF) Goldlund project and Treasury Metals’ (TSX:TML) Goliath project.

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is a provincial Crown corporation that invests in regional businesses. The Ontario Prospectors Association approves JEAP funding following a review of expenses submitted after early exploration work has been completed.

In the Yukon, Group Ten has Phase II exploration planned for its Catalyst PGM-nickel-copper project adjacent to Wellgreen Platinum TSX:WG. Group Ten holds three Yukon projects with the dominant land position in the Kluane Ultramafic Belt. The company’s portfolio also includes the Duke Island copper-nickel-PGE project on the Alaska Panhandle.

Sudbury asserts itself as the “Silicon Valley of hard-rock mining”

July 8th, 2016

by Greg Klein | July 8, 2016

All this despite the downturn—19,780 Sudburians directly employed in mining and closely related jobs. Local Liberal MP Marc Serré attributes the number to “a globally unique concentration of Canadian hard-rock expertise and innovation, unique in North America and found in very few other cities around the world.” Yet Sudbury was snubbed, he says, when it was ignored by a recent report on industrial clusters in Ontario.

Sudbury asserts itself as the “Silicon Valley of hard-rock mining”

A rejuvenated Sudbury now promotes its outdoor recreation.
(Photo: Vale)

Last week the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity called on governments to enhance encouragement for clusters such as financial services in Toronto and Ottawa, and the automotive industry in Windsor, Guelph and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.

Miffed by Sudbury’s exclusion, Serré and the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association extolled their city’s importance:

  • 5,630 people work in nine underground mines, two mills, two smelters and one nickel refinery that comprise the continent’s largest concentration of mineral sector activity

  • 13,500 people work for 300 Sudbury-area mining supply and service businesses, or about 23,000 people at 500 northern Ontario businesses, which generate around $4 billion in sales in the Sudbury Basin and $5 billion in northern Ontario

  • 400 people work in mineral sector research institutes and schools like Laurentian University, Cambrian College, College Boreal, the Centre for Mining Excellence, NORCAT, the Vale Living With Lakes Centre, Mirarco Mining Innovation, Laurentian Earth Science’s Mineral Exploration Research Centre and others

  • Another 250 people work locally at the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, the Ontario Geological Survey and other mining-related ministries

“The richest mining district in North America,” Serré’s communiqué continued, “its unique polymetallic ore bodies not only produce nickel but copper, cobalt, gold, silver, sulphuric acid and platinum group metals.” The Basin is the world’s third-largest producer of PGMs and a significant producer of cobalt, a increasingly vital commodity.

Over 130 years of mining and smelting took its toll on the region, which at one point was often compared to a moonscape. But years of effort have nullified the effect of a 1970s-era ditty:

Only God can make a tree
He’s never tried in Sudbury

As Serré said, “The community has garnered significant international acclaim for its extensive land restoration activities—planting over nine million trees over the past few decades and reducing sulphur dioxide emissions by over 95% from 1970 levels.”

Bruce Jago of the Laurentian Goodman School of Mines added, “The enormous amount of mining and environmental and earth science related research in the Sudbury region—both private sector and government funded—has established the community as a global Silicon Valley of hard-rock mining.”

Snubbed by some, Sudbury’s stature is recognized by others. The previous week the provincial government’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund announced $5 million in funding over seven years to help support Laurentian University’s mineral exploration research.

And, with another perspective on Sudbury’s mining heritage, here’s Stompin’ Tom Connors…

Exploring opportunity

June 17th, 2016

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

by Greg Klein
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A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum


“There’s excitement in the air,” said Cambridge House International founder Joe Martin. That’s the mood he senses as junior explorers emerge from the downturn. And certainly optimism was evident on June 14 as more than 450 people converged on the Vancouver Commodity Forum for an afternoon of expert talks amid a showcase of two dozen companies. Keynote speakers included Martin, Chris Berry of the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online and Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Lithium, not surprisingly, stood out as a commodity of interest. While cautioning against over-enthusiasm for the exploration rush, Berry and Hykawy each affirmed the need for juniors to find new sources of the metal. Cobalt and scandium featured prominently too, as did other commodities including what Kaiser called “the weird metals”—lesser known stuff that’s vital to our lives but threatened with security of supply.

Kaiser also noted he was addressing a crowd larger than his last PDAC audience, another indication that “we’ve turned the corner.”

Attendees also met and mingled with company reps. Potential investors learned about a wide gamut of projects aspiring to meet a growing demand for necessities, conveniences and luxuries.

Presented by Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, the forum’s success will make it an annual event, said company president Dave Hodge. Berry emceed the conference, holding the unenviable task of “making sure Dave stays well-behaved.”

Read interviews with keynote speakers:

Meet the companies

Most companies were core holdings of Zimtu, a prospect generator that connects explorers with properties and also shares management, technical and financing expertise. Zimtu offers investors participation in a range of commodities and companies, including some at the pre-IPO stage.

After sampling high-grade lithium on its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories earlier this month, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY plans to return in mid-July for a program of mapping, exposing spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes, and channel sampling. The company closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $318,836 in April. Hidden Lake’s located near Highway 4, about 40 kilometres from Yellowknife and within the Yellowknife Pegmatite Belt.

With one of the Athabasca Basin’s largest and most prospective exploration portfolios, ALX Uranium TSXV:AL has a number of projects competing for flagship status. Among them is Hook-Carter, which covers extensions of three known conductive trends, one of them hosting the sensational discoveries of Fission Uranium TSX:FCU and NexGen Energy TSXV:NXE. ALX’s strategic partnership with Holystone Energy allows that company to invest up to $750,000 in ALX and retain the right to maintain its ownership level for three years. ALX closed a private placement first tranche of $255,000 last month, amid this year’s busy news flow from a number of the company’s active projects.

A capacity crowd attends the first annual Vancouver Commodity Forum

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD boasts one of northern Canada’s largest 100%-held diamond exploration portfolios. Among the properties are the drill-ready Stein project in Nunavut and others in the Lac de Gras region that’s the world’s third-largest diamond producer by value. North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR holds an option to earn up to 55% of Arctic Star’s Redemption property.

Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA considers its Douay property one of Quebec’s largest and last undeveloped gold projects. The Abitibi property has resources totalling 238,400 ounces of gold indicated and 2.75 million ounces inferred. Now, with $1.1 million raised last month, the company hopes to increase those numbers through a summer program including 4,000 metres of drilling. Douay’s 2014 PEA used a 5% discount rate to forecast a post-tax NPV of $16.6 million and a post-tax IRR of 40%.

Looking for lithium in Nevada, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA now has a geophysics crew en route to its Kibby Basin property, which the company believes could potentially host lithium-bearing brines in a similar geological setting to the Clayton Valley, about 65 kilometres south. Results from the gravity survey will help identify targets for direct push drilling and sampling.

A mineral perhaps overlooked in the effort to supply green technologies, zeolite has several environmental applications. Canadian Zeolite TSXV:CNZ holds two projects in southern British Columbia, Sun Group and Bromley Creek, the latter an active quarrying operation.

With a high-grade, near-surface rare earths deposit hosted in minerals that have proven processing, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE takes its Ashram project in Quebec towards pre-feasibility. The relatively straightforward mineralogy contributes to steady progress in metallurgical studies. Commerce also holds southeastern B.C.’s Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit, which reached PEA in 2011 and a resource update in 2013.

Permitted for construction following a 2014 PEA, Copper North Mining’s (TSXV:COL) Carmacks copper-gold-silver project now undergoes revised PEA studies. The agenda calls for improved economics by creating a new leach and development plan for the south-central Yukon property. In central B.C. the company holds the Thor exploration property, 20 kilometres south of the historic Kemess mine.

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Luxembourg offers space industry €200 million, plans asteroid mining survey

June 6th, 2016

by Greg Klein | June 6, 2016

One of the tiniest countries on this planet wants to make a big impression elsewhere. So Luxembourg’s backing its space industry with another €200 million—and there’s more to come. The announcement came on June 3 as the duchy updated its plan to establish a legal framework for asteroid mining. Luxembourg also stated its intention to launch an extraterrestrial mining survey within three years. The overall agenda is to maintain a position among the world’s “top 10 space-faring nations.”

Luxembourg offers space industry €200 million, plans asteroid mining survey

A recent design by SES. The world’s largest commercial satellite
operator was founded in 1985 with Luxembourg’s support.
(Image: Airbus Defence and Space)

Interestingly, the funding amount came out not in the government’s news release but in response to a press conference question from Reuters. But economy minister Etienne Schneider added, “If we need more money we will be able to provide that money.”

Among the likely beneficiaries will be two American companies, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources. Deep Space signed an MOU with Luxembourg in May to co-fund R&D projects related to asteroid mining. The country anticipates a similar agreement with Planetary.

“We are discussing becoming shareholders as well,” said Schneider.

The entrepreneurial duchy provides funding and investment to a number of high-tech sectors. Since it helped create commercial satellite operator SES in 1985, Luxembourg has attracted and nurtured 25 companies and two public research organizations devoted to outer space, according to a government website. Or, according to Schneider, the country hosts 30 to 40 companies “active in the space business.”

Luxembourg first stated its intention to establish a legal and regulatory regimen for space mining in February, following legislation enacted by the U.S. the previous November. That law granted Americans the right to keep resources extracted from near-earth objects. Schneider said similar legislation will attract even more companies to Luxembourg and provide greater investor confidence.

The country’s first space mining survey will launch in three years, maybe sooner, according to government adviser Simon “Pete” Worden. The NASA vet said a small satellite would “fly by a selected asteroid and figure out what the resources are.”

In November Planetary Resources president/chief engineer Chris Lewicki told the company planned to use a spacecraft this spring to determine the makeup of some space rocks with an infrared imager. He anticipated small scale extraction of water, hydrogen and oxygen within the first half of the next decade.

Those components of rocket fuel would be the first targeted resources. But the company maintains that a 500-metre asteroid “can contain more platinum group metals than have ever been mined in human history.”

Pay as you go

April 28th, 2016

New gold producer Equitas Resources sees revenue for incremental expansion

by Greg Klein

New gold producer Equitas Resources sees revenue for incremental expansion

Equitas Resources meets Alta Floresta during due diligence in Brazil.


Negotiations with minority shareholders dragged out longer than expected but on April 27 Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT officially made the transition from Labrador nickel explorer to Brazil gold producer. On closing its acquisition of Alta Floresta Gold, Equitas now takes over a modest gold operation with the intention of increasing production—and cash flow—incrementally. Should all go to plan, that would bring a step-by-step payback for each new stage of the operation, as well as funding for further exploration.

That certainly contrasts with the traditional exploration model, with which investors can be quick to show impatience. Equitas experienced that first hand after just one season of drilling its Garland project, despite its compelling nickel-cobalt-copper story south of Voisey’s Bay.

New gold producer Equitas Resources sees revenue for incremental expansion

In operation since June, the Cajueiro project holds potential
for greater recovery, as well as expansion of near-surface oxides.

Looking for alternative financing, then-president/now-chairperson Kyler Hardy learned about Alta Floresta’s Cajueiro project through a friend in the company. Hardy not only liked its potential. He also recognized a good fit between the two companies’ teams.

Alta Floresta brings to Equitas its 100% interest in six gold properties with four production licences, part of a portfolio covering more than 184,410 hectares in Brazil’s central states of Mato Grosso and Para. The flagship Cajueiro project’s Baldo zone has been in operation since June, producing around a kilogram of gold a month. That amounts to recovery of only about 30% to 35%, achieved by running alluvium and saprolite through a sluice box.

Equitas hopes to see considerable improvement within months by installing a gravity plant, then about 85% recovery with carbon-in-leach processing that could begin early next year. Full open pit production would be a longer-term goal.

We expect the payback for each stage in less than a year, much less for the gravity plant. We’re derisking it that way, by building in stages.—Chris Harris, president/CEO
of Equitas Resources

The plan is to “develop the project in stages and each stage has to pay for itself,” explains new president/CEO Chris Harris. “We expect the payback for each stage in less than a year, much less for the gravity plant. We’re derisking it that way, by building in stages. That could also provide cash flow for a sustaining exploration program which we hope would then beget further development.”

Of course these are perilous times for Brazil, now undergoing serious recession, a wide-ranging corruption scandal and impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Compounding the problems are their effect on the Brazilian real, which contrasts with currently high gold prices. “But what that’s doing to our project is creating huge cost compression,” Harris says. “That benefits both capex and opex.” The company has already selected a nearly new gravity plant in the region for purchase. Its price has sunk to less than half of what he projected last year.

Exploration will focus on near-surface oxides, where Equitas sees the greatest potential for resource expansion and low-cost extraction.

Except for one property slightly north, the entire portfolio sits on the Juruena gold belt, which has historic estimates of seven to 10 million ounces of artisanal output. Straddling the border between Para and Mato Grosso states, the 39,053-hectare Cajueiro property’s near-term agenda could include bulk sampling and trenching, as well as diamond and rotary air blast drilling. Exploration will focus on near-surface oxides, where Equitas sees the greatest potential for resource expansion and low-cost extraction.

A just-filed 43-101 technical report recalculates data from a 2013 resource estimate to allow for different gold price and opex numbers. The new study bases a cutoff of 0.25 grams per tonne on a near-surface deposit that can be processed by cyanidation or gravity processing. The report provides separate numbers for four zones of sulphides and oxides.

Total sulphide zones:

  • indicated: 8.64 million tonnes averaging 0.771 g/t for 214,100 gold ounces

  • inferred: 9.53 million tonnes averaging 0.664 g/t for 203,500 ounces

Total oxide zones:

  • inferred: 1.37 million tonnes averaging 1.775 g/t for 78,400 ounces

All four zones show near-surface oxide expansion potential, Equitas states. Five other anomalies offer additional encouragement.

The project has road access to the city of Alta Floresta, 95 kilometres north. A hydro dam now under development should bring electricity within two years, if not sooner.

The arrangement combines talent from both companies. Harris casts a close eye on the accounts, having 30 years’ experience in energy, commodity trading and mining finance with companies like Ernst & Young, CIBC, Enron UK and BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP.

Hardy, through 16 years as a resource sector entrepreneur and executive, demonstrates a facility for operating remote, logistically complex exploration projects. Director Alan Carter, who also sits on the board of Eric Friedland’s Peregrine Diamonds TSX:PGD, brings 30 years’ exploration experience with the likes of Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO, BHP, and ECI Exploration and Mining, among others.

Equitas Resources closes acquisition of Brazilian gold operation

Cajueiro’s alluvial lure suggests
expansion potential to Equitas.

Co-director David Hodge also serves as president of Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, a project generator that supports several juniors with acquisitions and advisory services. VP of exploration Everett Makela began his career with Inco, eventually retiring as Vale’s (NYSE:VALE) principal geologist for North America. His international experience includes Brazil.

Mike Bennett, a local resident and director of Equitas subsidiary Alta Floresta Mineração, has spent 23 of his 30 exploration years in South America where he took part in three gold discoveries, Puquio North in Bolivia, as well as Coringa and Cajueiro in Brazil.

Also residing locally, Portuguese/English-fluent Richard Crew acts as operations consultant for Alta Floresta Mineração. His 30 years of experience includes positions as operations manager and COO for numerous companies worldwide. Another nearby resident, project manager and exploration geologist Elvis Alves knows the community as well as the minerology.

The deal has Equitas issuing 103.65 million shares to former Alta Floresta shareholders and 5.28 million options, exercisable at $0.15 for three years, to former Alta Floresta option holders. A 1.75% NSR applies to licences acquired two years ago from a former minority shareholder of Alta Floresta.‎

Earlier this month Equitas closed the final tranche of a private placement that totalled $1.5 million from 30 million units. Insiders bought 10.4 million units.

“We’ll be talking about implementing the gravity plant very shortly,” Harris says. “We’ll also be talking about starting our drilling plan, the drill results and possibly a revised 43-101. We’ll have a steady news flow.”

A head start

April 14th, 2016

Nickel One Resources builds on past work at western Ontario’s Tyko project

“Not too many properties come to you with two discoveries already drilled but never released,” says Nickel One Resources TSXV:NNN president/CEO Vance Loeber. “These results had never seen the light of day in a public company.”

He’s referring to the Tyko project in western Ontario’s Thunder Bay mining district, where Nickel One recently completed a program of confirmation drilling. Initial results have the company optimistic about its nickel-copper-PGM potential, and in particular about the possibility that two zones might be one.

Nickel One Resources builds on past work at western Ontario’s Tyko project

Still to come from Tyko are results from 10 more winter holes.

The project came to Nickel One with the advantage of two seasons of drilling by North American Palladium TSX:PDL back in 2006 and 2007. Focusing on its Lac des Iles operation and advanced projects in Ontario and Finland, the company let Tyko revert to its vendors, friends of Abraham Drost, now Nickel One’s chairperson.

Loeber and Drost had worked together in prominent roles on a number of projects including Sandspring Resources TSXV:SSP and Carlisle Goldfields, the latter taken over by Alamos Gold TSX:AGI earlier this year. Consequently Nickel One’s predecessor, Redline Resources, acquired the privately held Tyko Resources and its namesake project, then began trading as Nickel One at the end of February.

North American drilled 2,230 metres in 13 holes, finding mineralization in nine of them. Redline’s February 2015 43-101 technical report provides highlights from those two programs, including:

Hole TK-06-001 at the Tyko showing

  • 1.09% nickel, 0.76% copper, 0.42 ppm platinum and 0.42 ppm palladium over 4.15 metres, starting at 17.4 metres in downhole depth

TK-06-003 at the RJ showing

  • 1.06% nickel , 0.51% copper, 0.24 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 4.08 metres, starting at 63.92 metres

TK-06-005 at the RJ showing

  • 1.05% nickel, 0.46% copper, 0.2 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 6.2 metres, starting at 25 metres

True widths weren’t available.

Having raised $890,000 about a week after its February trading debut, Nickel One dispatched a rig to confirm the results. Assays for the first four holes came out April 12, with one near-surface interval from the RJ zone nearly matching the previous best grade while exceeding its width nearly four-fold—1.04% nickel over 16.19 metres.

That result appeared within a longer interval of 0.79% nickel over 44.12 metres:

  • 0.79% nickel, 0.3% copper, 0.01 ppm gold, 0.12 ppm platinum and 0.11 ppm palladium over 44.12 metres, starting at 52.75 metres in downhole depth

  • (including 1.04% nickel, 0.54% copper, 0.01 ppm gold, 0.12 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 8.25 metres

  • (which includes) 2.89% nickel, 0.45% copper, 0.01 ppm gold, 0.27 ppm platinum and 0.35 ppm palladium over 0.5 metres

  • (and including) 1.04% nickel, 0.23% copper, 0.15 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 16.19 metres

  • (which includes) 1.23% nickel, 0.26% copper,0.18 ppm platinum and 0.13 ppm palladium over 11.38 metres

  • (which includes) 1.97% nickel, 0.19% copper,0.17 ppm platinum and 0.12 ppm palladium over 1 metre

Again, true widths weren’t available. Results are pending for 10 more holes from the 14-hole, 1,780-metre program.

Summer drilling will test a theory that the RJ and Tyko zones, 1.5 kilometres apart, might be linked. The earlier drilling, magnetics, electromagnetics and IP surveys led to the 43-101’s conclusion that the property has been intruded by a mafic to ultramafic conduit that’s interpreted to be a feeder system. A “major structural flexure” between the RJ and Tyko zones coincides with anomalous nickel, copper and PGEs.

“The property shows many similarities with mafic to ultramafic feeder systems such as Voisey’s Bay in northern Labrador and Jinchaun in China,” the report states. “These deposits are characterised by magmatic sulphides collecting within the feeder of a large intrusive body due to variations in geometry that caused changes in flow dynamics such that immiscible sulphides were able to settle out and collect in structural traps.”

A concentration of immiscible sulphides is key to the formation of an economic nickel deposit, the report adds.

Having taken over the Nickel One helm just weeks ago, Loeber’s enthusiastic about renewing his collaboration with Drost and working with their new teammates. Among them is adviser Glenn Mullan, whose 35-year exploration/mining career includes his current role as president/CEO of Golden Valley Mines TSXV:GZZ. Director Scott Jobin-Bevans, with more than 22 years of exploration experience, wrote his PhD thesis on PGE mineralization in Ontario.

Accessible by logging roads and float plane, the 11,168-hectare property sits about 40 kilometres north of Hemlo and 28 kilometres southeast of the town of Manitouwadge, at the north end of Highway 614.

Anxious to get back, the company plans to resume drilling after spring breakup, Loeber says. Meanwhile the rig remains onsite, making it cheaper and quicker to renew the attack.

Group Ten Metals completes Yukon field program, expands PGM-nickel-copper turf

March 1st, 2016

by Greg Klein | March 1, 2016

Still growing its northern presence, Group Ten Metals TSXV:PGE has staked additional ground for the Spy project in southwestern Yukon. That increases the platinum group metals-nickel-copper property by 1,250 hectares to total 3,135 hectares, the company announced February 29.

Group Ten Metals completes Yukon field program, expands PGM-nickel-copper turf

Assays are pending from a sampling program
on Group Ten Metals’ expanded Spy property.

Group Ten optioned 100% of the first claim block in September for 1.05 million shares over three years and a 3% NSR. With funding assistance from the Yukon government, the company then conducted silt and rock sampling, prospecting, mapping and reinterpretation of previous geophysics. Once assays arrive, they’ll be integrated with the geophysical reinterpretation to define targets for trenching and possibly drilling.

Historic, non-43-101 grab samples returned grades as high as 75.8 grams per tonne platinum, 7.9 g/t palladium, 7 g/t gold, 2.6% nickel and 10.45% copper, Group Ten reported.

Spy comprises one of three road-accessible Group Ten projects in the 600-kilometre-long Kluane Ultramafic Belt, stretching from northern British Columbia through the Yukon into southern Alaska. Roughly 40 kilometres north of Spy sits Group Ten’s flagship Catalyst project, which borders on three sides the Wellgreen PGM-nickel project, where Wellgreen Platinum TSX:WG completed a preliminary economic assessment last year. Group Ten’s Ultra project sits south of Spy.

In September the company also picked up the Duke Island copper-nickel-PGE project on the Alaska Panhandle for two million shares and a 1% NSR. In western Ontario Group Ten holds the Black Lake/Drayton gold project.

Infographic: The world’s most valuable substances by weight

January 12th, 2016

Text by Jeff Desjardins | Graphic by BullionVault

The world’s most valuable substances by weight

In the field of economics, the laws of supply and demand state that the price of a product and its available supply to the market are interconnected. For example, if a good such as crude oil is produced in excess, the price will drop accordingly.

However, sometimes substances are nearly impossible to produce in the first place—and that means that it can be extremely difficult for the market to respond to increases in demand. The world’s most valuable substances generally fall into this category and this makes their value per gram very high.

White truffles, for instance, only grow for a couple of months of the year, almost exclusively in one part of Italy. They must be foraged by special pigs, and they seem to be worth more every year. The price per gram for white truffles is $5, which means that a pound costs close to $2,000.

Despite this, white truffles barely crack the list of the most valuable substances by weight.

Saffron, a spice that is gathered from the flower of the crocus sativus plant, is another notch higher on the list. To get one pound of dry saffron requires the harvest of 50,000 to 75,000 flowers. There’s only 300 tonnes of production each year, and that annual production is worth around $3 billion.

Higher up on the list of the world’s most valuable substances are some familiar metals. Silver does not make the list, as it is only worth around $0.50 per gram. However, many of the platinum group metals (PGMs) do make the list: platinum, palladium, rhodium and iridium all range between $16 and $27 per gram. Gold also makes the list, and it has traded for more than an ounce of platinum since early 2015. One gram of gold is worth just under $34.

At the top of the list we find a combination of extremely rare metals, radioactive isotopes and gemstones.

The radioactive element californium, first made in 1950, is the most valuable at $27 million per gram. It is one of the few transuranium elements that have practical applications, being used in microscopic amounts for metal detectors and in identifying oil and water layers in oil wells.

Diamonds are near the top of the list as well at $65,000 per gram, though like many other gemstones, the value depends on the specific crystal in question. Many industrial diamonds are relatively cheap, but the rarest and most beautiful stones can be worth millions.

Iranian beluga caviar and crème de la mer are the most expensive non-metals or non-gemstones on the list. Iranian caviar is made from the roe of beluga sturgeons found in the Caspian Sea, and it is valued at about $35 per gram. Crème de la mer was originally created by a physicist for NASA to heal his burns, but it is now sold as a face cream by Estée Lauder for $70 per gram.

Graphic by BullionVault / Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Final tranche closes on Equitas Resources’ $2-million private placement

September 18th, 2015

by Greg Klein | September 18, 2015

Equitas Resources’ (TSXV:EQT) Garland nickel project in Labrador received another $967,660 in the second and final tranche of a private placement totalling $2 million, the company announced September 18.

Final tranche closes on Equitas Resources’ $2-million private placement

Both veterans of Voisey’s Bay, Equitas VP of exploration Everett Makela and consulting geologist Dan Lee at the Garland base camp.

Combined, both tranches comprised 3.16 million units and 17.03 million flow-through units. Each unit consists of one share and one warrant. Each flow-through unit consists of one share and one-half warrant, with every whole warrant exercisable for a share at $0.20 for 12 months.

Warrants exercised over the last month brought Equitas another $197,000.

The funding comes as exploration continues on Garland, a recently compiled property 30 kilometres south of Voisey’s Bay that underwent modern exploration for the first time with last year’s VTEM Plus airborne surveys. That program found nine areas of anomalous conductivity prospective for Voisey’s-style mineralization, most of them at the limit of, or well beyond depths reached by historic geophysics.

Now underway, Phase II calls for up to 30 line-kilometres of large loop UTEM 3 surveys and up to 4,000 metres of drilling.

Read a field report from the Garland project.

Read more about Equitas Resources.

Report from the field

September 15th, 2015

A first-hand look at Equitas Resources’ quest for Labrador nickel

by Sean Kingsley

The September 15 announcement that Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT closed a private placement first tranche of $1.03 million followed a report from the field by corporate communications manager Sean Kingsley. After a three-day trip from Vancouver, Kingsley arrived at the Garland nickel project in Labrador sans luggage, thanks to Air Canada, but brimming with enthusiasm. He provides this account.


Some know this of me and I always thought it of myself since I was young—I am extremely scared of heights. During lift-off on the trips to Toronto, Asia and Europe I chew at least three pieces of gum, pop an Ativan and hold onto the armrests. Once in the air I need ginger ale mixed with something stronger. I don’t do well on planes but after the four rides in different-sized planes and a few helicopter rides I’m more than eager to get out to the field to explore Equitas’ Garland property.

Report from the field: Equitas Resources’ quest for Labrador nickel

Sean Kingsley braved phobia, bug bites and back country backpacking to get a first-hand look at Garland.

A couple days ago I spent a whole shift out in the rolling hills, cliffs and bushes with Crone, the geophysical crew. There were seven of us that split up into three groups. I got to traverse the lay of the land with geophysicists Eldon Roul and Ryan Metcalfe. Jeremy Haak and Nick MacKay were set up on the hill to our left. Plan of attack would be to head straight down and across with the GPS until we reached another team or destination. Through tree branches, cliffs, hills and bushes the goal was to keep the line as straight as can be.

Most of these guys have spent time in many different nickel camps which include the Raglan, Norilsk, Thompson and over in Greenland, but these hills were a whole ’nother event for them. Not to mention on their backs were harnesses packed with 400 metres of 10-gauge lines which weighs in about 50 pounds each. I attempted to start off with harnessing myself up with a line pack but opted into carrying the 40-pound lunch-and-survival backpack.

You can’t see the other team across the valley but William Decker (Nain, Labrador) and Caley Loft had the challenge of going down a near 60-degree cliff. Not only that, they could only carry one harness spool, so once their 400 metres ran out they had to backtrack for more line.

Report from the field: Equitas Resources’ quest for Labrador nickel

The terrain is rough but the country’s spectacular—and it might yield riches.

Exploration work is not an easy job. I have a new-found level of respect for all that work in mineral exploration camps worldwide.

When I get back to the office I’ll upload some GoPro videos of us bushwhacking straight across the valleys and cliffs. Internet reception is limited and has not been our camp’s best friend so we try to conserve usage. Where we got dropped off is where the transmitter will stay for a couple days for them to do the surveys once the loops are completed. Once the data is collected it gets sent over to the Crone office in Ontario where they compile it completely. Then EQT sends it over to our consulting geophysicist Alan King.

Little note here: I’ve been re-reading the book The Big Score (the tell-all story of the Robert Friedland, Inco and Voisey’s Bay story) while up here in the Big Land and have come across several names of individuals who were a big part of its developments that are now a part of our developments. Before Inco committed to go forward with a minority stake of 25% in Friedland’s Diamond Fields they wanted to make sure the Voisey’s high-grade nickel discovery was for real. They sent in their Operation Green Team, which was made up of conservative geologist Ed Pattison and two men from Inco’s Engineering Building, Alan King, manager of geophysics, and Paul Golightly, a senior research geologist. It was their job to be as skeptical as possible.

Report from the field: Equitas Resources’ quest for Labrador nickel

Geophysicists don’t pack light. Luckily, this crew didn’t rely on Air Canada.

Sure enough, after their thorough site visit they reported back to Inco’s Michael Sopko that it was the real deal. At the time they could only estimate that Voisey’s Bay held 10% more than Diamond Fields’ estimated 25 million tonnes. To date we know Voisey’s totalled 141 million tonnes.

There’s quite a few camp personnel here who have worked at Archean Resources, Voisey’s Bay, Inco, Vale and also on projects of great success. All of us here at camp have gotten along tremendously and are hoping and praying that the drillers come in and prove Equitas’ theory. In the meantime I’m hoping Canadian Helicopters’ HQ will give approval to strap the GoPro camera onto the outside of the helicopter so we can do a property fly-over. Crossing my fingers.

P.S.: If you get to make your way up to camp, make sure you bring a bug jacket. There be bugs in dem hills!

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