Sunday 26th January 2020

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Posts tagged ‘quebec’

Zimtu Capital moves quickly to stake Lac Elmer East in Quebec’s James Bay region

January 17th, 2020

by Greg Klein | January 17, 2020

Hoping the geology proves similar, a prospect generator has claimed new turf near a new discovery. Zimtu Capital’s (TSXV:ZC) portfolio now includes the 1,840-hectare Lac Elmer East property, eight kilometres from the eastern edge of Azimut Exploration’s (TSXV:AZM) recent Elmer discovery.

Zimtu Capital moves quickly to stake Lac Elmer East in Quebec’s James Bay region

Acting promptly on Azimut’s January 14 announcement, Zimtu acquired the claims through a 50/50 staking arrangement with a local prospector.

Azimut’s maiden drill program hit a number of impressive intervals, including 3.15 g/t gold over 102 metres, starting at 34 metres in downhole depth. Although nearby results don’t indicate another property’s mineralization, Lac Elmer East trends along the same Archean Greenstone Belt in an area of high magnetic susceptibility.

Zimtu describes its new acquisition as “bounded to the southeast side by a regional dextral strike slip fault and to the north by a sinistral strike slip fault. The property is underlain by a diverse suite of Archean rocks including rhyolite, dacite, tonalite, diorite, gneiss, volcaniclastics and porphyritic felsic intrusions,” as mapped by the province’s ministry of energy and natural resources.

The property has vehicle access from the James Bay Road.

Open and shut cases: East

January 7th, 2020

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

by Greg Klein

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Eldorado workers celebrate another endowment from Lamaque’s legacy.
(Photo: Eldorado Gold)

 

This is the final installment of a series on mine openings and closures across Canada for 2019 and 2020.

Quebec

Val-d’Or flaunted its abundance yet again as Eldorado Gold TSX:ELD reached commercial production at Lamaque in March. Pre-commercial mining and toll milling began the previous year, with the first gold pour from the project’s refurbished Sigma mill in December 2018. Guidance for 2019 was set at 100,000 to 110,000 ounces, with 125,000 to 135,000 initially expected for each of 2020 and 2021.

At least, that was the original plan. In September 2019 the company began a PEA to study an annual increase to 170,000 ounces. By November Eldorado announced an additional 19,000 ounces for Lamaque’s proven and probable reserves, along with 191,000 ounces for measured and indicated resources.

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

A drill operator probes the Triangle deposit at Lamaque.
(Photo: Eldorado Gold)

That gives the deposit reserves of 972,000 ounces within a measured and indicated 1.55 million ounces.

But until further feasibility states otherwise, Lamaque’s life expectancy ends in seven years.

Eldorado picked up the property with its 2017 buyout of Integra Gold. The Triangle deposit now under production wasn’t part of the historic Lamaque mines, one of which was Quebec’s biggest gold producer between 1952 and 1985. In 2016 Integra’s Gold Rush Challenge offered geo-boffins a half-million-dollar prize to apply cutting edge technology in search of additional auriferous riches on historic turf adjacent to the current operation.

 

Attributing its setbacks more to cost overruns than an overinflated bubble, Nemaska Lithium TSX:NMX ended 2019 by suspending mine construction and demo plant operations, laying off 64 staff, getting creditor protection and halting trades. Hanging in the balance is a possible $600-million investment that’s been under negotiation since July.

Just over a year ago Nemaska confidently spoke of steady construction progress, with concentrate production expected in H2 2019 and lithium salts production in H2 2020. But by February 2019 the company warned of a $375-million capex shortfall revealed by “detailed engineering work, revised site geo-technical data and updated equipment and installation costs” not foreseen in the previous year’s feasibility update.

That same month Livent Corp (previously FMC Corp) cancelled an 8,000-tpa lithium carbonate supply agreement that was to start in April 2019.

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Until funders come to the rescue, Nemaska’s
Whabouchi camp will resemble an instant ghost town.
(Photo: Nemaska Lithium)

By September a US$75-million second tranche of a US$150-million stream agreement with Orion Mutual Funds fell into jeopardy. Bondholders called for repayment of US$350 million. The company had so far spent only $392 million towards a capex estimated at $1.269 billion.

Plan A calls for sealing a $600-million deal with the London-based Pallinghurst Group, which over the last 12 years has invested about US$2 billion in mining projects. But negotiation delays caused Nemaska to seek creditor protection, which was granted in December. Bracing for a possible fallout with Pallinghurst, Nemaska says it’s also considering other investment, debt or M&A alternatives.

Before suspending the Phase I plant at Shawinigan, however, the company did finish delivering samples to potential customers “ranging from cathode manufacturers to battery makers to industrial grease users, in addition to our existing offtake customers, which include LG Chemicals, Johnson Matthey and Northvolt” using proprietary methodology.

The mine plan calls for 24 years of open pit operation prior to nine years of underground mining, producing an annual 205,000 tonnes of 6.25% Li2O spodumene concentrate. On achieving commercial production, the Shawinigan plant’s annual capacity would reach 37,000 tonnes lithium hydroxide monohydrate.

Should funding allow, Nemaska would target Q3 2021 to begin spodumene concentrate production at Whabouchi and Q2 2022 to start producing lithium salts at Shawinigan.

The provincial government’s investment agency Ressources Québec holds about 12.5% of Nemaska.

 

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Although Nyrstar has moved mining equipment
out of Langlois, the company says exploration
potential remains. (Photo: Nyrstar)

Another James Bay-region operation, the Langlois zinc-copper mine went back on care and maintenance in December. A short-lived operation between July 2007 and November 2008, Langlois was taken over by Zurich-headquartered Nyrstar in 2011. Mining resumed the following year. But by October 2018 the suspension was decided “due to rock conditions having deteriorated,” making the mine uneconomic. Some 240 staff lost their jobs.

But Langlois “has exploration potential for other metals such as gold,” Nyrstar stated. “The company is in active discussions with interested parties in the mine and its assets.”

Usable equipment was slated for transfer to other Nyrstar properties in Tennessee and on Vancouver Island, where the company’s Myra Falls zinc-copper-polymetallic mine suspended operations briefly in early 2019.

As part of a debt restructuring, in July Nyrstar came under majority ownership of the Trafigura Group, one of the world’s largest physical commodities traders.

 

Fear of closure came to another Quebec mine in September after Stornoway Diamond followed its application for creditor protection with this ominous declaration: “There is and will be no recoverable or residual value in either Stornoway’s common shares or convertible debentures.”

Such an admission made the company’s October delisting something of a formality. But if investors got wiped out, the Renard mine continues operations due to creditors led by Osisko Gold Royalties TSX:OR and including Ressources Québec. As of November 1, Osisko became the largest shareholder, with a 35.1% stake. The royalty company also holds a 9.6% stream.

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Despite Stornoway’s failure, creditors keep Quebec’s only
diamond mine in operation. (Photo: Stornoway Diamond)

Under a September LOI, the lenders agreed to take over all of Stornoway’s assets and liabilities. An initial $20-million financing should ensure Renard operations continue “in an uninterrupted manner.”

Open pit mining began in 2015, with an official opening following in 2016 and commercial production in 2017. But Renard encountered technical problems while shifting to underground operations and also faced a disappointing initial underground grade as well as the global slump in diamond markets.

Nevertheless, Osisko suggested the mine remained on target to meet the 2019 guidance set by Stornoway of 1.8 million to 2.1 million carats, with sales expectations of $80 to $105 per carat. A 2016 resource update expected prices ranging from $106 per carat for the Renard 4 pipe to $197 for Renard 2. The technical study assumed a 2.5% annual increase in diamond prices to the end of 2026.

New Brunswick

A casualty of an earlier mine closure, Glencore’s Brunswick lead-silver smelter shut down permanently by the end of 2019. “Despite years of efforts by committed employees and a strong management team, the smelter has been uneconomic since the closure of the Brunswick mine in 2013,” said company spokesperson Chris Eskdale. “We have thoroughly assessed all our options and come to the unavoidable conclusion that the smelter is simply not sustainable, regardless of the recent labour dispute.”

Termed a lockout by the United Steelworkers and a strike by management, the dispute had left 280 union members of the 420-person workforce off the job since April. The company’s November announcement of the impending shutdown also coincided with a strike at the CEZinc refinery near Montreal, which ended December 3 after 10 months. That facility is owned by Noranda Income Fund TSX:NIF.UN but operated by Glencore, which holds 25% of NIF.

Glencore’s Alexis Segal emphasized that Brunswick plant losses averaged $30 million annually for the last three years, CBC reported. Premier Blaine Higgs and labour minister Trevor Holder expressed concern but couldn’t offer reassurances, the network added.

The facility opened in 1966 to process concentrate from the Brunswick zinc-lead-silver mine, at one point the world’s largest underground zinc operation. Following the mine’s 2013 closure, the company was transforming the smelter into a custom plant.

Labrador

Some 2019-2020 ups and downs for mining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Blasting began last June as Tacora brought new life
to the Scully iron ore operation. (Photo: Tacora Resources)

Western Labrador’s iron industry revived in May as production resumed at the Scully mine after nearly five years. Minnesota-based Tacora Resources bought the former Wabush Iron operation through a Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process in 2017, conducted a new feasibility study and recruited strategic investors that include the metals branch of Cargill, which also agreed to 100% offtake for 15 years.

The restart benefits Quebec too. The Iron Ore Company of Canada’s railway, the Quebec North Shore & Labrador line, carries Scully production to a pellet plant at Pointe Noire on the St. Lawrence. Nearby Sept-Isles provides deep sea docks from where the resuscitated mine’s first shipment left for Europe in late August.

With life expectancy currently set at 15 years, the company expects the open pit to produce 6.25 million tpa. Tacora hopes to upgrade the 65.9% Fe concentrate and also pull profits from the deposit’s manganese, considered problematic by the previous operator.

“The manganese content was a hurdle and an impediment before,” Tacora CEO/chairperson Larry Lehtinen told CBC. “We’re turning that into an advantage.”

The mine previously opened in 1965. The operation shut down completely in 2015 but most staff had already lost their jobs the previous year.

This is Part 4 of a series.

Commerce Resources president Chris Grove congratulates Sophie Costis as she wins an academic award for her work on the company’s rare earths flowsheet

December 30th, 2019

…Read more

Commerce Resources sees further encouragement from Quebec rare earths lab tests

December 17th, 2019

by Greg Klein | December 17, 2019, updated January 7, 2020

Update: An academic paper on the flowsheet for Commerce Resources’ Ashram rare earths and fluorspar deposit will be presented at the Canadian Mineral Processors conference in Ottawa on January 23. Lead author Jean-François Boulanger, an assistant professor at l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue in Rouyn-Noranda and manager of the Ashram metallurgical tests completed at l’Université Laval from 2018 to 2019, will discuss his study entitled Challenges of Scale-Up in Grinding and Flotation of Rare Earth Minerals. The report will also be published in the organization’s periodical CMP Proceedings.

“The Ashram deposit, with its simple rare earth and gangue mineralogy, and resultant well-understood processing techniques, potentially presents a base case scenario for some issues and, therefore, the test data generated by Laval has been used to formulate cautionary guidance for scale-up and large-scale concentrate production, potentially applicable to all rare earth projects regardless of mineralogy,” stated an announcement from Commerce.

Second and third authors of the study are Claude Bazin, professor and project supervisor at Laval, and Darren Smith, project manager at Ashram.

 

Another advance in rare earths processing helps distinguish this Canadian project as the United States and other allies express heightened concern about critical elements. Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE announced a potentially significant advance in flotation tests conducted by l’Université Laval on material from the company’s Ashram rare earths and fluorspar project in northern Quebec. Should further tests support this initial finding, the result could indicate a marked improvement in overall flotation performance.

Commerce Resources sees further encouragement from Quebec rare earths lab tests

Using a combined rougher concentrate from previous lab work, Laval undertook a cleaner-stage test producing a flotation concentrate of 21% rare earth oxides at a stage recovery of 92% and a stage mass pull of 41%, Commerce reported. “The current base case flowsheet incorporates a two-stage rougher only, resulting in a favourable flotation concentrate, typically of 7% to 10% REO at over 80% recovery and less than 30% mass pull.

“Subsequent cleaner stages have generally resulted in a significant drop in recovery. However, the cleaner test result from Laval indicates a potentially significant development in this regard, having resulted in a marked improvement in recovery and grade in the cleaner-stage flotation.”

Improved flotation would affect the stage where most rare earth elements are lost and also determine the amount of hydrochloric acid required, as well as other aspects of the flowsheet.

“In other words, the flotation performance has one of the largest impacts on the OPEX and CAPEX of the overall project flowsheet as it affects everything downstream of it,” the company stated. “Therefore continued improvement in the performance of the flowsheet’s flotation stage is a key interest.”

While Commerce explores funding opportunities to continue work at Laval, the company looks forward to announcing further metallurgical progress from ongoing studies by Hazen Research. The Colorado lab’s current work focuses on upgrading Ashram’s fluorspar to higher-priced acid grade, improving REE recovery and producing concentrate samples requested by potential customers.

Late last month Commerce released assays that included one of Ashram’s best intercepts, 2.38% REO over 64.54 metres, with sub-intervals including 3.02% over 28.35 metres. The near-surface results included impressive fluorspar grades, such as 7.2% calcium fluoride over 221.95 metres, including 11.5% CaF2 over 36.16 metres. Although this critical mineral wasn’t included in the project’s 2012 resource estimate, fluorspar will take its place in a resource update anticipated for the coming year.

In another critical minerals project two kilometres from Ashram, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE operates the Niobium Claim Group under a 75% earn-in from Commerce. Last June Saville released encouraging niobium-tantalum-phosphate drill results and is now analyzing the project’s historic, non-43-101 high-grade fluorspar assays.

Last month Commerce closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $2.51 million. That followed a $413,749 private placement in August.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Gaia Metals applies new geophysical analysis to Quebec polymetallic project

December 11th, 2019

by Greg Klein | December 11, 2019

This type of geophysical survey hasn’t changed much in two decades, but the technology of evaluation has. With that in mind, Gaia Metals TSXV:GMC (formerly 92 Resources) plans an up-to-date re-analysis of existing IP-resistivity data from its Corvette-FCI property. The process should offer a cost-effective method of gaining new insight into the project.

Gaia Metals applies new geophysical analysis to Quebec polymetallic project

Gaia Metals’ Corvette-FCI project has already shown
impressive sample results for gold, copper and lithium.

The James Bay-region property has so far yielded high-grade samples of gold, copper-gold-silver and lithium-tantalum. Now the company plans to apply new technology to data collected up to 2000.

IP-resistivity surveys have proven “well-suited to detect near-surface disseminated sulphide mineralization (IP anomalies), as well as areas of alteration and/or silicification (resistivity anomalies),” Gaia stated. “This geophysical tool is commonly used in greenstone-hosted gold and base metal exploration and is often effective at qualifying drill targets initially developed from surface mapping and sampling. With the mineralization styles identified at Corvette-FCI, coupled with the thin overburden cover in the area, IP-resistivity offers an efficient sub-surface scan at good resolution and reasonable cost.”

The original survey covered two grids: Golden Gap (now known as FCI West) and Island Lake (FCI East), which includes the Lac Bruno boulder field. IP targets from the original evaluation have yet to be drilled, “further highlighting the value in modern re-processing to prioritize the targets,” Gaia added.

The company expects to conduct new surveying along the property’s Maven trend, extending east across the Lac Smokycat-SO, Lorraine and Elsass showings, where historic sampling brought impressive copper-gold-silver grades. Expected for completion next spring, the survey will precede ground mapping and sampling scheduled for June and July.

Emphasizing the project’s polymetallic promise were surface samples released in September from last summer’s field program. Lithium grades from six newly found pegmatites reached up to 4.72% Li2O, while tantalum numbers included 564 ppm Ta2O5. Gold samples included a Lac Bruno boulder assay as high as 11.9 g/t. A Lorraine outcrop featured 8.15% copper, 1.33 g/t gold and 171 g/t silver.

The project consists of Gaia’s 100%-held Corvette claims and a 75% earn-in from Osisko Mining TSX:OSK spinout O3 Mining TSXV:OIII on the FCI-East and FCI-West blocks.

Among other assets, Gaia’s portfolio includes the Pontax lithium-gold property in Quebec, the Golden silica property in British Columbia and a 40% stake in the Northwest Territories’ Hidden Lake lithium property.

Last week the company closed a private placement of $412,199.

Commerce Resources congratulates Quebec PhD student for research on company’s rare earths project

December 5th, 2019

by Greg Klein | December 5, 2019

A study related to the Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit brought Université du Québec PhD candidate Sophie Costis first prize in an academic competition. Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE congratulated her on winning the $2,000 scholarship for her study on flotation tailings using the flowsheet for the company’s deposit. Costis delivered her presentation entitled Impact du gel-dégel et de la salinité sur le comportement de résidus miniers de terres rares en milieu nordique to l’Association Québécoise des Sciences de la Terre. Her first-place finish in le défi de la recherche en géosciences (Geoscience Research Challenge) was announced at last month’s Quebec Mines + Energy conference in Quebec City.

Commerce Resources congratulates Quebec PhD student for research on company’s rare earths project

A first-prize award recognizes the work of PhD candidate
Sophie Costis on Ashram’s flotation management.
(Photo: Université du Québec)

“The company is thrilled to see Sophie recognized for her hard work on the project over the last few years,” said Commerce president Chris Grove. “We are committed to advancing the Ashram project in an environmentally responsible manner and Sophie’s work will help build this foundation through high-quality data-gathering and analysis in a very important field.”

Backed by a $300,000 grant, Costis works in partnership with le Centre Eau Terre Environnement of l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique of l’Université du Québec. Expected to conclude late next year, her project provides further insight on tailings management in the flotation process plant.

Her findings so far show no serious concerns with Ashram’s flotation tailings management, show the process has no acid-generating potential and also show strong indications that there is no metal-leaching potential, Commerce stated.

In early October, Cynthia Kierscht, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, hosted Shawn Tupper, associate deputy minister of Natural Resources Canada, at the first critical minerals working group meeting in Washington. The group will continue talks in coming months to finalize the joint plan.—Canadian Press

The work complements Ashram’s pre-feasibility studies for Ashram, which coincide with heightened concerns about critical minerals like fluorspar and especially rare earths. This week Canadian Press reported Ottawa is examining the role Canada could play in supplying the United States and other allied countries with minerals considered necessary to the economy, technology and defence.

NRCanada has contracted Roskill Consulting to forecast future demand for critical minerals that Canada could supply, CP added.

Last week Commerce released assays from near-surface intervals at Ashram showing high grades over wide widths. The company also has metallurgical studies underway at a Colorado lab to upgrade the project’s fluorspar potential, increase rare earths extraction and produce samples requested by potential customers.

Fluorspar wasn’t considered in the project’s 2012 resource but will be included in an update anticipated for the coming year, as will two seasons of extensive drilling. A major advantage of Ashram is the carbonatite-hosted deposit’s relatively simple monazite, bastnasite and xenotime mineralogy that’s familiar to conventional rare earths processing.

Fluorspar potential also comes under consideration at another critical minerals project two kilometres away, where Saville Resources TSXV:SRE operates the Niobium Claim Group under a 75% earn-in from Commerce. Following a drill program earlier this year, Saville released promising niobium-tantalum-phosphate results in June.

Last month Commerce closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $2.51 million. A private placement in August brought in $413,749.

 

Update: An academic paper on Ashram’s flowsheet will be presented at the Canadian Mineral Processors conference in Ottawa on January 23. Lead author Jean-François Boulanger, an assistant professor at l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue in Rouyn-Noranda and manager of the Ashram metallurgical tests completed at l’Université Laval from 2018 to 2019, will discuss his study entitled Challenges of Scale-Up in Grinding and Flotation of Rare Earth Minerals. The report will also be published in the organization’s periodical CMP Proceedings.

“The Ashram deposit, with its simple rare earth and gangue mineralogy, and resultant well-understood processing techniques, potentially presents a base case scenario for some issues and, therefore, the test data generated by Laval has been used to formulate cautionary guidance for scale-up and large-scale concentrate production, potentially applicable to all rare earth projects regardless of mineralogy,” stated an announcement from Commerce.

Second and third authors of the study are Claude Bazin, professor and project supervisor at Laval, and Darren Smith, project manager at Ashram.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Commerce Resources reports high grades over wide intervals at Quebec rare earths-fluorspar project

November 28th, 2019

by Greg Klein | November 28, 2019

With core moved from the storage vault to the lab, new assays further confidence in a resource update anticipated for next year as the Ashram deposit advances towards pre-feasibility. The results come from a 14-hole, 2,014-metre program sunk in 2016 but only recently assayed for budgetary reasons. Now cashed-up Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE unveils an impressive batch of near-surface rare earths and fluorspar intercepts from the northern Quebec property.

Commerce Resources reports high grades over wide intervals at Quebec rare earths-fluorspar project

Among the highlights are one of the project’s best-yet intercepts: 2.38% rare earth oxides over 64.54 metres, with sub-intervals including 3.02% over 28.35 metres. Another standout shows 1.71% over 221.95 metres, including 2.18% over 36.16 metres. Yet another hole boasts 2.16% over 53.55 metres. (True widths were unavailable.)

These are near-surface results, starting at downhole depths of 66.5 metres, 2.69 metres and 1.54 metres respectively.

Another critical mineral and one not factored into Ashram’s previous PEA, fluorspar also comes through in impressive grades, such as 7.2% calcium fluoride over 221.95 metres, including 11.5% CaF2 over 36.16 metres. Metallurgical studies currently underway work on upgrading the fluorspar to higher-priced acid grade in a flowsheet that would provide both rare earths and fluorspar concentrates, improve RE extraction and reduce tailings. The Colorado lab will also produce samples to meet requests from potential customers.

This round of definition drilling targeted the deposit’s northern, western and southern margins with holes spaced 50 metres apart, and in some cases 25 metres apart. Additional drilling at 25-metre centres may take place.

Using a 1.25% cutoff, Ashram’s 2012 resource estimate 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

The carbonatite-hosted deposit features relatively simple monazite, bastnasite and xenotime mineralogy, familiar to conventional rare earths processing

Anticipated for the coming year is Ashram’s first resource update since 2012, factoring in 9,625 metres of drilling since then. Previous drilling followed mineralization from near-surface to depths beyond 600 metres where mineralization remains open, as evidenced by 4.13% REO over 0.6 metres beginning at 599.9 metres’ depth.

Work continues as the United States and other allied countries show increasing concern about China’s domination of several critical minerals with a special focus on rare earths but also including fluorspar, tantalum and niobium. Commerce also holds the advanced-stage Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southern British Columbia.

About two kilometres from Ashram, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE operates the Niobium Claim Group under a 75% earn-in from Commerce. After releasing niobium-tantalum-phosphate results last June, Saville now has the project’s fluorspar potential under evaluation.

Earlier this month Commerce closed the final tranche of a private placement totalling $2.51 million. Another placement in August garnered $413,749.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Saville Resources to examine fluorspar potential of Quebec niobium-tantalum-phosphate project

November 26th, 2019

by Greg Klein | November 26, 2019

One long-term indication for fluorspar demand can be seen in China, which has become a net importer of the critical mineral despite being the world’s largest producer. Partly for that reason, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE now intends to evaluate that overlooked aspect of its Niobium Claim Group in northern Quebec.

Saville Resources to examine fluorspar potential of Quebec niobium-tantalum-phosphate project

Last spring the property underwent its first drill program in nine years, with results released in June for niobium, tantalum and phosphate. The core has yet to be assayed for fluorine. Yet drilling from 2008 and 2010 at the property’s Mallard prospect does show historic, non-43-101 grades as high as 31.6% calcium fluoride over 20.8 metres and 26.1% CaF2 over 32.4 metres.

Along with other promising intersections, the results suggest potential for a significant fluorspar zone, the company states. As a result, Saville says it “intends to further evaluate the fluorite potential at Mallard and incorporate such exploration initiatives within its overall exploration approach for niobium, which remains the focus.”

Saville operates the project under a 75% earn-in from Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE, which holds the Ashram rare earths deposit two kilometres away. Earlier this month Commerce announced lab tests to upgrade fluorspar from Ashram to higher-priced acidspar grade and study the extraction of additional rare earths from fluorspar concentrate. The work will be incorporated into Ashram’s pre-feasibility study and also produce samples to meet industry requests.

Fluorspar would add another critical mineral to both companies’ projects. Along with niobium, tantalum and rare earths, fluorspar made the list of 35 critical minerals compiled by the U.S. as that country pays heightened attention to their economic and strategic importance. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, China produced over 60% of world fluorspar supply last year.

Read more about Saville Resources.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

 

Historic, non-43-101 results from Saville Resources’ Mallard prospect:

Hole EC08-015

  • 33% CaF2, 0.34% Nb2O5, 49 ppm Ta2O5 and 4.3% P2O5 over 13.8 metres, starting at 187.8 metres in downhole depth

EC08-016

  • 31.6% CaF2, 0.32% Nb2O5, 105 ppm Ta2O5 and 5% P2O5 over 20.8 metres, starting at 202.4 metres

EC10-032

  • 14.8% CaF2, 0.17% Nb2O5, 63 ppm Ta2O5 and 3.3% P2O5 over 6.2 metres, starting at 248.4 metres

EC10-033

  • 26.1% CaF2, 0.39% Nb2O5, 63 ppm Ta2O5 and 4.2% P2O5 over 32.4 metres, starting at 203.9 metres
  • (including 38.8% CaF2, 0.27% Nb2O5, 42 ppm Ta2O5 and 3.8% P2O5 over 5 metres)

EC10-040

  • 21.7% CaF2, 0.22% Nb2O5, 91 ppm Ta2O5 and 4.3% P2O5 over 29 metres, starting at 275 metres
  • (including 39.8% CaF2, 0.27% Nb2O5 and 4.9% P2O5 over 6.6 metres)

EC10-041

  • 17.3% CaF2, 0.25% Nb2O5, 61 ppm Ta2O5 and 4.1% P2O5 over 5.7 metres, starting at 171.3 metres

  • 21.7% CaF2, 0.34% Nb2O5, 64 ppm Ta2O5 and 4.4% P2O5 over 14.3 metres, starting at 249 metres

True widths were unavailable.

Commerce Resources sees high-grade fluorspar potential for Quebec rare earths deposit

November 18th, 2019

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2019

A new round of metallurgical tests could bring added value to a Canadian critical minerals project. Working on material from Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram rare earths deposit in northern Quebec, a Colorado lab is testing methods to upgrade the property’s fluorspar to higher-priced acidspar grade. The tests also study ways of extracting additional rare earths from the fluorspar concentrate. A further outcome of the tests will produce samples to meet industry requests.

The work enhances progress on Ashram’s rare earths flowsheet announced in August.

Commerce Resources sees high-grade fluorspar potential for Quebec rare earths deposit

Although not considered in the project’s PEA, fluorspar offers a potential addition to Ashram’s pre-feasibility studies. The current flowsheet foresees higher-grade fluorspar obtained as the deposit’s rare earths processing passes through flotation, HCI leach and magnetic separation.

That last stage produced a magnetic fraction grading between 46% to 49% total rare earths oxide, as well as a non-magnetic fraction grading 68% to 94% calcium fluoride (CaF2). The non-magnetic fraction comprises a potential byproduct of metallurgical-grade fluorspar (metspar) that could potentially be upgraded to higher-purity acidspar.

Like rare earths, fluorspar has been declared a critical mineral by the U.S., putting it under that country’s strategy to ensure reliable supplies from allied sources. Again like rare earths, China dominates world supply with over 60% of global fluorspar production, according to U.S. Geological Survey data for last year. The U.S. has no significant fluorspar production.

Earlier this month Commerce closed the final tranche of a private placement that totalled $2.51 million. Another private placement in August closed on $413,749.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

PDAC infographics: Highlighting mining’s contributions to Canada’s economy

October 28th, 2019

by Greg Klein | October 28, 2019

Although Canadian miners hold global stature, Canadians don’t always recognize the industry’s importance to our own country. Yet the numbers tell a story that’s not only impressive but vital to understanding an economy in which mining supports one in 29 jobs and provides the largest private sector source of native employment.

To state the case clearly, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada created a series of infographics outlining the industry’s contributions. Check them out yourself by scrolling down to see facts and figures for Canada overall and for each province or territory. Or click on the menu below for a direct link to each jurisdiction.

Canada nationwide | Yukon | Northwest Territories/Nunavut | British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario | Quebec | New Brunswick/Nova Scotia | Newfoundland and Labrador/Prince Edward Island

Posted with permission of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada.

 

PDAC infographics Highlighting mining’s contributions to Canada’s economy

 

PDAC Yukon mining infographic

 

PDAC NWT Nunavut mining infographic

 

PDAC BC mining infographic

 

PDAC Alberta mining infographic

 

PDAC Saskatchewan mining infographic

 

PDAC Manitoba mining infographic

 

PDAC Ontario mining infographic

 

PDAC Quebec mining infographic

 

PDAC Nova Scotia New Brunswick mining infographic

 

PDAC Newfoundland Labrador PEI mining infographic

Posted with permission of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada.