Thursday 23rd November 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘quebec’

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.”

Castle Silver Resources drills 1.55% cobalt over 0.65 metres with nickel, gold and silver in Ontario

November 13th, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 13, 2017

Last summer’s drilling at Ontario’s former Castle mine “intersected mineralization in each and every hole,” Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR reported November 13. The one assay released so far hit 1.55% cobalt, 0.65% nickel, 0.61 g/t gold and 8.8 g/t silver over 0.65 metres starting near surface at 3.85 metres in downhole depth. The company estimates true width between 65% and 85%.

Drilling finished in late August when an originally planned 1,500-metre program completed 22 holes totalling 2,405 metres.

Castle Silver Resources drills 1.55% cobalt over 0.65 metres with nickel, gold and silver in Ontario

Castle Silver expanded its summer campaign
from 1,500 metres to 2,405 metres.

“Once again we’ve demonstrated how historical operators overlooked the potential for cobalt, gold and base metals at the Castle mine as they focused exclusively on the extraction of high-grade silver,” said president/CEO Frank Basa.

“We will carry out trenching to follow up on an array of new near-surface targets generated by this drilling in the immediate vicinity of the Castle mine. But our priority now is to complete final preparations to carry out critical trenching and drilling of untested structures on the first level of the mine.”

With intermittent production between 1917 and 1989, the former mine has 11 levels totalling about 18 kilometres of underground workings. “This does not include an unknown extent of drilled vein structures which were never mined, typically due to silver grades below a certain high-grade threshold, for which CSR has records,” the company added.

Using XRF analysis, an independent firm has found potential for high-grade cobalt mineralization within unmined structures along first-level adit drifts and walls. In July Castle Silver released results from an 82-kilogram bulk sample of vein material that showed 1.48% cobalt as well as 5.7 g/t gold and 46.3 g/t silver. As a result, the company re-evaluated five previous chip samples for gold, with results averaging 3.7 g/t. The samples originally assayed 1.06% cobalt, 5.3% nickel and 17.5 g/t silver.

Earlier this month Castle Silver and Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM announced a provisional milling agreement for a plant that would be located on Castle Silver’s property in Gowganda, Ontario. About a 204-kilometre drive from Gowganda, Granada’s project reached pre-feas in 2014 and a resource update in June.

Castle Silver closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $1.2 million in June.

Aurvista Gold readies winter drilling on Abitibi’s Casa Berardi deformation zone

November 6th, 2017

Update: On November 8, 2017, Aurvista announced a change of name and stock symbol to Maple Gold Mines Ltd TSXV:MGM, tentatively to take place November 20.

by Greg Klein | November 6, 2017

Preparations on and off the field continue as Aurvista Gold TSXV:AVA plans another winter drill campaign at its newly expanded Douay gold property. Now totalling over 37,000 hectares, the project will benefit from an extensive program of re-logging, geological modelling and data integration to target both greenfields and brownfields priorities. The work focuses on outlining clusters of higher-grade and broader gold intercepts.

Aurvista Gold readies winter drilling on Abitibi’s Casa Berardi deformation zone

Dating to the 1976 discovery, Douay houses over
220,000 metres of core with more to come this winter.

Out of more than 220,000 metres of core dating back to Douay’s 1976 discovery, about 27,000 metres had yet to be re-logged as fall began. Aurvista also has a property-scale remote spectral geology project underway “to help us better understand the scale of the Douay system and to focus our future field work in the central part of the property,” said VP of exploration Fred Speidel.

Helping guide the project are an expanded board of directors and new technical advisory committee that joined the company in July. Last month Jay Chmelauskas took on the chairperson role. Having held a number of positions with Western Lithium and Lithium Americas TSX:LAC, he had previously served as president/CEO of Jinshan Gold Mines, where he led development of China’s second-largest gold producer as well as exploration that has since resulted in the development of an additional Chinese gold mine.

Douay covers over 55 kilometres of strike along Quebec’s Casa Berardi deformation zone. Using a 0.5 g/t cutoff, an April resource update for seven zones gave an inferred total of 83.33 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t for 2.81 million gold ounces. The deposit remains open in multiple directions.

The project’s last drill program sunk 59 holes for 23,965 metres, with the final batch of assays released in July. The same month Aurvista closed private placements totalling $10.1 million.

Castle Silver Resources and Granada Gold Mine sign provisional milling agreement

November 1st, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 1, 2017

Two companies plan to co-operate on a proposed facility to process Quebec gold and Ontario cobalt-silver. Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR and Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM announced a provisional milling agreement to develop a flowsheet for a plant that would be located on Castle Silver’s property in Gowganda, Ontario. The Granada gold mine is located near Rouyn‐Noranda and about 204 kilometres by road from Gowganda.

Castle Silver Resources and Granada Gold Mine sign provisional milling agreement

As cobalt prices soar, Castle Silver Resources hopes to
revive a past-producer in Ontario’s historic Cobalt camp.

The companies have overlapping management and directors. Funding would come from US$20 million in loans, “which debt raise will be facilitated by a family office in the UK,” the companies stated.

The agreement foresees batch processing of at least 600,000 tonnes of Granada material grading four grams per tonne over three years. An option would allow treatment of another 1.4 million tonnes of pre‐concentrated waste rock. Initial metallurgical tests used a conventional coarse gravity process to achieve 70% gold recovery from Granada waste rock averaging 0.5 g/t, producing a 4.5 g/t gravity concentrate to be further processed at the mill.

The Granada project reached the pre-feasibility level in 2014 and a resource update last June. The Castle mine underwent intermittent silver-cobalt production between 1917 and 1989. Assays are pending from last summer’s 22-hole, 2,405-metre drill campaign.

In June Castle Silver closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $1.2 million.

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.

Commerce Resources closes season on Quebec quest for rare earths and rare metals

October 11th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 11, 2017

With this year’s field program now complete, Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE reports progress on a Quebec property hosting both advanced and early-stage projects. The bulk of the work brings the Eldor property’s Ashram rare earths deposit closer to pre-feasibility. About one kilometre east of Ashram, meanwhile, the company has Eldor’s Miranna target under scrutiny for its niobium-tantalum-phosphate potential.

Commerce Resources closes season on Quebec quest for rare earths and rare metals

Core from a 14-hole, 2,014-metre infill
campaign now makes its way to the lab.

Renewing anticipation of Ashram assay results, the team sent 1,256 core samples from last year’s drilling to the lab. The 14-hole, 2,014-metre program focused on definition drilling of the carbonatite-based deposit featuring the minerals monazite, bastnasite and xenotime, all familiar to conventional REE processing. The deposit also features a strong distribution of the critical elements neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.

Using a 1.25% cutoff, Ashram’s 2012 resource showed:

  • 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

Nine composite core samples will be tested to determine rock geomechanical characteristics to aid design of the processing plant. “Initial comminution testing indicates that the Ashram material is relatively soft, which directly correlates to lower energy consumption during the crushing and grinding process, where often the bulk of a mining operation’s energy is consumed,” the company stated. Other work included downloading data from an on-site weather station, as well as from lake and downhole instruments.

As for early-stage work, the crew collected 36 samples that largely targeted the Miranna area. Observing significant niobium-tantalum mineralization on surface, the team identified overlapping mineralized boulder trains that appear to end in the same area, increasing Miranna’s potential, Commerce added. Samples taken last year graded as high as 5.9% niobium pentoxide, with impressive tantalum, phosphate and rare earths numbers as well.

In southern British Columbia the company also has tantalum-niobium at its Blue River deposit, which reached PEA in 2011. Commerce signed an MOU in July to test a one-tonne sample for a proprietary method of processing.

Another MOU would have Ucore Rare Metals TSXV:UCU test a selective separation process on Ashram material. Samples have already undergone favourable metallurgical tests at a Colorado facility.

Hoping to bring clean, cost-effective energy to northern Quebec, Commerce also has an MOU with TUGLIQ Energy to determine Eldor’s potential for wind-generated electricity.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

First visit yields surface grades up to 7.32% on 92 Resources’ new Quebec lithium property

October 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 5, 2017

First visit yields surface grades up to 7.32% on 92 Resources’ new Quebec lithium property

A single day of due diligence on a new acquisition brought high lithium values for 92 Resources TSXV:NTY. Selected grab samples from the Corvette property in northern Quebec assayed 0.8%, 3.48% and 7.32% Li2O at surface from one pegmatite outcrop and 1.22% from another, which also showed an anomalous tantalum result of 90 ppm Ta2O5.

The 3,891-hectare property comprises one of three prospective lithium acquisitions in Quebec’s James Bay region announced last month.

The two spodumene-bearing pegmatites, about 75 metres apart and trending sub-parallel, “highlight the prospective nature of the property,” 92 Resources stated. With only a small part of the property explored so far, the company has more prospecting as well as channel sampling planned before winter sets in.

In September the company announced a two-week program of prospecting and channel sampling at its flagship Hidden Lake lithium project in the Northwest Territories. Follow-up metallurgical results released the same month on a concentrate produced from Hidden Lake material showed an overall extraction rate of 97%.

92 Resources also has a 43-101 technical report planned for its Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with 92 Resources CEO Adrian Lamoureux.

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.”

92 Resources adds three Quebec properties to its lithium portfolio

September 21st, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2017

While work continues on the flagship Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY expanded its holdings with three more lithium prospects. All located in Quebec’s James Bay region, the newcomers total 5,953 hectares, with each property showing pegmatite outcrop.

92 Resources adds three Quebec properties to its lithium portfolio

An outcrop on the Corvette acquisition shows coarse-
grained spodumene crystals with lengths up to a metre.

The 3,891-hectare Corvette property hosts an outcrop measuring about 150 metres by 30 metres showing abundant coarse-grained spodumene crystals up to one metre in length, the company stated. Other potential pegmatite outcrops along trend are priorities for follow-up work.

Sitting less than 12 kilometres from an all-weather highway, Corvette covers the eastern continuation of the Guyer greenstone belt, offering precious metals potential as well.

On the 1,109-hectare Eastmain property, 92 Resources interprets a large pegmatite outcrop to be along strike from ASX-listed Galaxy Resources’ James Bay deposit. An all-weather highway passes less than seven kilometres away.

The 953-hectare Lac du Beryl property features several pegmatite outcrops, “many of which display characteristic pathfinder minerals commonly associated with spodumene pegmatites,” the company added. Lac du Beryl sits 16 kilometres from a transmission line.

Three days earlier 92 Resources reported a 97% overall extraction rate on a spodumene-montebrasite concentrate produced from Hidden Lake material. The tests used industry-standard techniques, the company stated. Phase II tests are planned while a two-week channel sampling program wraps up.

In eastern British Columbia, the company also holds the Golden frac sand project, which underwent a 10-day field program this summer.

Read Isabel Belger’s interview with 92 Resources CEO Adrian Lamoureux.

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.