Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘quebec’

Lithium-tantalum sampling, new pegmatite discovery position 92 Resources for NWT drill program

January 12th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 12, 2018

From pilot plant to the field, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY heralded progress on a number of fronts this week. Two days after reporting metallurgical advances for its Hidden Lake lithium project, the company announced high-grade lithium assays, significant tantalum recoveries and the discovery of a seventh pegmatite. The latest news comes from a recently completed eight-day program on the highway-accessible property 40 kilometres east of Yellowknife.

Lithium-tantalum sampling, new pegmatite discovery position 92 Resources for NWT drill program

Last year’s field work added another known pegmatite, as well as
tantalum potential, to 92 Resources’ Hidden Lake lithium project.

Work included channel sampling on two pegmatites discovered in late 2016, HL6 and HL8, near four other known pegmatites on the property. Eight samples from HL6 surpassed 1% Li2O, with values ranging from 1.05% to 2.57%, the latter standing out as the highest 2017 sample grade. Widths extended from 0.75 metres to one metre.

HL8 compensated for lower lithium numbers with some intriguing tantalum results. Of eight samples reported, Li2O values ranged from 0.12% to 0.74%, with Ta2O5 ranging from 114 ppm to 233 ppm. Seven widths came in between 0.74 and 1.33 metres, while a grade of 162 ppm Ta2O5 extended across 5.1 metres.

“Spodumene-bearing pegmatites are often zoned with distinct zones of lithium and tantalum, as well as zones which overlap,” the company explained. “The discovery of tantalum zones in the area is encouraging and bolsters the project’s potential for tantalum, as well as for coupled zones of lithium and tantalum, to be discovered elsewhere on the property.”

Another encouraging sign is a newly discovered pegmatite, bringing Hidden Lake’s known total to seven. An initial sample from HL13 returned 0.48% Li2O.

92 Resources hopes to return early this year, this time with a rig, to begin building a maiden resource.

Earlier this week the company announced another stage of metallurgical studies suggesting Hidden Lake’s pegmatite can produce high-grade concentrate through conventional processing techniques.

Additionally the company holds three lithium properties in Quebec, where sampling from one project brought assays up to 7.32% Li2O and 90 ppm Ta2O5. 92 Resources also plans a 43-101 technical report for its Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia.

92 Resources closed a private placement of $1.14 million the previous week and will further fund Hidden Lake with a $140,000 grant from the NWT Mining Incentive Program.

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

Critical Quebec commodities

January 11th, 2018

Saville Resources moves into Commerce Resources’ niobium-tantalum target

by Greg Klein

A rare metal find on a property hosting a rare earths deposit becomes a project of its own under a new agreement between two companies. With a 75% earn-in, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE can now explore the niobium claims on Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Eldor property in northern Quebec, where the latter company advances its Ashram rare earths deposit towards pre-feasibility.

Saville Resources moves into Commerce Resources’ niobium-tantalum target

A map illustrates the mineralized boulder
train’s progress, showing its presumed source.

Grab samples collected by Commerce on a boulder train about a kilometre from the deposit brought assays up to 5.9% Nb2O5. “That’s right off the charts,” enthuses Saville president Mike Hodge. “People in the niobium space hope for 1%—5.9% is excellent.”

He’s no newcomer to the space or even to the property. Hodge helped stake Commerce’s tantalum-niobium deposit on southern British Columbia’s Blue River property, which reached PEA in 2011.

“I did a lot of the groundwork for Commerce in the Valemount-Blue River area and I was one of the first guys on the ground at the camp that now supports Ashram,” he points out. “I’ve been involved with these two properties since 1999.” That’s part of a career including field experience on over 25 projects as well as raising money for junior explorers.

Miranna’s grab samples brought tantalum too, with a significant 1,220 ppm Ta2O5. Forty of the 65 samples graded over 0.5% Nb2O5, with 16 of them surpassing 1%.

The company describes the sampling area as a “strongly mineralized boulder train with a distinct geophysical anomaly at its apex.”

The 980-hectare Eldor Niobium claims have also undergone drilling on the Northwest and Southeast zones, where some wide intervals gave up 0.46% Nb2O5 over 46.88 metres and 0.55% over 26.1 metres (including 0.78% over 10.64 metres).

Samples from Miranna and the Southeast zone also show that niobium-tantalum occurs within pyrochlore, described by Saville as the dominant source mineral for niobium and tantalum in global mining. That’s the case, for example, at Quebec’s Niobec mine, one of the world’s three main niobium producers, with 8% to 10% of global production. Moreover, pyrochlore on the Saville project “is commonly visible to the naked eye, thus indicating a relatively course grain size, which is a favourable attribute for metallurgical recovery,” the company added.

Hodge already has a prospective drill target in mind. “I pulled the rig around with a Cat for a lot of the holes on Ashram itself so I’m very familiar with the ground. We’d of course do more prospecting and try to prove up some more numbers while we’re drilling.”

Saville Resources moves into Commerce Resources’ niobium-tantalum target

Should Saville find success, a ready market would be waiting. The company cites niobium demand growth forecasts of 7.66% CAGR from 2017 to 2021. A December U.S. Geological Survey report lists niobium and tantalum among 23 minerals critical to American security and well-being.

The country relies on foreign exports for its entire supply of both minerals, according to an earlier USGS study. From 2012 to 2015, 80% of America’s total niobium imports came from Brazil, where one mine alone produces 85% to 90% of global supply. Looking at tantalum imports during that period, the U.S. relied on China for 37% and Kazakhstan for another 25%. A troubling source of tantalum remains the Democratic Republic of Congo, from where conflict minerals reach Western markets through murky supply chains.

Days after the USGS released its December study, American president Donald Trump ordered a federal strategy “to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals.” Although he emphasized the need for domestic deposits and supply chains, Trump also called for “options for accessing and developing critical minerals through investment and trade with our allies and partners.”

Meanwhile Saville also sees potential in Covette, the company’s other northern Quebec property. Historic, non-43-101 grab samples reported up to 4.7% molybdenum, with some bismuth, lead, silver and copper. A 1,402-line-kilometre VTEM survey in late 2016 found prospectivity for base and precious metals. “The VTEM and some sampling that we did indicates that drilling could find something valuable,” Hodge says. “Although it is early-stage, the Geotech guys that did the VTEM survey said they hadn’t seen targets like that all year.”

Still, “the niobium claims are my first priority,” Hodge emphasizes. “I’m very excited about this. I believe we can have a winning project here.”

Subject to approvals, a 75% interest in the new property would call for $25,000 on signing, another $225,000 on closing and $5 million in work over five years. Commerce retains a 1% or 2% NSR, depending on the claim, with Saville holding a buyback option.

Last month the company offered private placements totalling up to $500,000, with insiders intending to participate.

Read more about the U.S. critical minerals strategy.

Lithium metallurgy produces high-grade concentrate for 92 Resources’ NWT project

January 10th, 2018

by Greg Klein | January 10, 2018

Showing the advantages of coarse-grained pegmatite, further metallurgical tests on hardrock lithium brought impressive results for 92 Resources’ TSXV:NTY Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories. The company processed about 400 kilograms of pegmatite collected last year, putting it through a dense media separation mini-pilot plant. The result brought over 40 kilos of spodumene concentrate averaging a high-grade 6.11% Li2O.

Following last month’s results from heavy liquid separation tests, 92 Resources considers the latest work both highly encouraging and in line with expectations. “The test work continues to support that a final overall concentrate grade of 6% to 6.5% Li2O at high recovery (80% to 85%) is achievable using low-cost and conventional processing techniques,” the company stated.

92 Resources now sees two possible approaches for lithium recovery. The first would use flotation only, which produced the successful results released in December. The second would aim for similar results through a combination of flotation and dense media separation. The dual approach offers lower costs, greater control, shorter start-up time and less risk.

Lithium metallurgy produces high-grade 6.11% concentrate for 92 Resources’ NWT project

This graphic illustrates the Hidden Lake flowsheet’s dual approach, in which +0.85 mm material undergoes dense media separation to produce concentrate, tailings and middlings. The middlings then combine with the -0.85 mm material to undergo flotation, producing more concentrate and tailings.

Still to come from the test work are tantalum assays, which will be studied for better recovery. The road-accessible 1,849-hectare property sits 40 kilometres east of Yellowknife.

Apart from the Hidden Lake flagship, 92 Resources picked up three hardrock lithium projects in Quebec’s James Bay region last September. Surface samples from the Corvette property showed results up to 7.32% Li2O, along with anomalous tantalum of 90 ppm Ta2O5.

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

Last week 92 Resources closed a private placement of $1.14 million.

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

New research suggests further metallurgical advantages to Commerce Resources’ Quebec rare earths deposit

December 6th, 2017

by Greg Klein | December 6, 2017

An advanced rare earths project with relatively simple mineralogy could benefit from an even more efficient process of separating wheat from chaff. A paper presented at a Cape Town technical conference last month explains how Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit could increase recovery to over 50% rare earth oxides through flotation alone. Previous tests on two flowsheets have already produced concentrates grading more than 45% REO as the northern Quebec project moves towards pre-feasibility.

New research suggests further metallurgical advantages to Commerce Resources’ Quebec rare earths deposit

An even simpler process could produce higher-grade
concentrate from Commerce Resources’ Ashram deposit.

Delivered to the Flotation ’17 conference, the paper titled Flotation of Rare Earth Minerals from Fluorite by pH-Shift was written by lead author Gerhard Merker of Merker Mineral Processing, with Ashram project manager Darren Smith and Henning Morgenroth of UVR-FIA. The study based its findings on work conducted for Ashram at UVR-FIA in Germany.

“The key to this success was the discovery of the significant role of pH in the separation of rare earth minerals from fluorite as well as various carbonates,” stated Commerce. “Without such a separation, a mineral concentrate at appreciable recovery could not exceed 20% REO using flotation alone. As such, a multi-stage flotation technique comprising milling and sizing, high solids conditioning and a controlled pH-shift, which is not conventionally applied to REE [material], was developed…. In terms of the Ashram deposit, the technique continues to hold significant promise as an alternative processing approach.”

Ashram remains one of the world’s few advanced projects capable of upgrading its whole rock to a high-grade concentrate similar to that of current REE producers, the company added. The carbonatite-based deposit features the minerals monazite, bastnasite and xenotime, all familiar to conventional processing. Ashram also hosts a strong distribution of the critical elements neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.

While Commerce wrapped up its summer-fall field program in October, an assay lab continues to work through core from a 14-hole, 2,014-metre drill program intended to increase and upgrade the project’s 2012 resource. In addition to Ashram’s field work, metallurgical studies and project planning, Commerce has been investigating early-stage niobium-tantalum-phosphate potential on the Miranna area about one kilometre away.

Looking at its advanced tantalum-niobium deposit in southern British Columbia, Commerce signed an MOU in July to test a one-tonne sample from its Blue River project for a proprietary method of processing.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Metallurgy brings high grades, impressive recovery for 92 Resources’ NWT lithium project

December 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | December 5, 2017

Further metallurgical tests for 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Hidden Lake hardrock lithium project brought “very encouraging results,” the company reported December 5. Heavy liquid separation and bench scale flotation work produced a concentrate with high grades of 6.2% to 6.5% Li2O, with recovery ranging from an impressive 82% to 85% for pegmatite from the Northwest Territories property.

Metallurgy brings high grades, impressive recovery for 92 Resources’ NWT lithium project

The highway-accessible Hidden Lake property
sits about 40 kilometres east of Yellowknife.

The tests were conducted on material screened above 0.85 mm, but indicated the rest of the material would “respond well to flotation, and that a high overall recovery with a combined concentrate grade above 6% Li2O is achievable” using dense media separation and flotation.

“The metallurgical program has advanced significantly further than we had initially anticipated at this stage,” said president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux. “We have now demonstrated the spodumene has low iron, is coarse-grained and well-liberated, and responds strongly to cost-effective beneficiation techniques to produce high-grade concentrate at high recoveries.”

Tests reported in September showed concentrates had lithium extraction rates up to 97%, he added. “We look forward to completing the remaining Phase II [dense media separation] work and evaluating the next steps in flowsheet development.”

92 Resources filed a 43-101 technical report on the project in January.

The company also holds the Pontax lithium property in Quebec’s James Bay region and the Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia.

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

Castle Silver Resources grades 3.1% cobalt from underground sampling in Ontario

December 1st, 2017

by Greg Klein | December 1, 2017

Historically the northeastern Ontario region was known for a precious metal but more recent activity focuses on an energy metal. Cobalt sampling from a former mine “supports our original thesis that past operators may have left much behind at Castle in their strict focus on mining high-grade silver,” stated Castle Silver Resources TSXV:CSR president/CEO Frank Basa. On December 1 the company released more assays from ongoing underground sampling in the past-producer’s first level.

Castle Silver Resources grades 3.1% cobalt from underground sampling in Ontario

An adit seen from the Castle mine’s first of 11 levels
totalling about 18 kilometres of underground development.

Results for two mini-bulk samples graded:

  • 3.124% cobalt, 21 g/t silver and 0.128% nickel

  • 1.036% cobalt, 12.7 g/t silver and 0.117% nickel

A composite from the two samples showed:

  • 2.323% cobalt, 68.7 g/t silver and 0.355% nickel

More assays are pending.

Last month Castle Silver released the first assay from a 2,405-metre summer drill program that the company said found mineralization in all of the 22 holes. The near-surface intercept graded 1.55% cobalt, 0.65% nickel, 0.61 g/t gold and 8.8 g/t silver over 0.65 metres.

Also in November the company teamed up with Granada Gold Mine TSXV:GGM to announce a provisional milling agreement for a plant that would be located on Castle Silver’s property near the town of Gowganda, about 204 kilometres by road from the Granada project. Granada has a 2014 pre-feasibility study and a June resource update.

Southeast of Gowganda and within Ontario’s Cobalt camp, Castle Silver also holds the past-producing Violet and Beaver mines.

New mineralogical understanding brings new focus to Maple Gold Mines’ Douay drill program

November 29th, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 29, 2017

New mineralogical understanding brings new focus to Maple Gold Mines’ Douay drill program

A chart outlines the new target area as well as five priority clusters for a resource update.

 

Heralding “significant breakthroughs” in recognizing the Douay project’s similarities to other Abitibi deposits, Maple Gold Mines TSXV:MGM looks forward to more drilling in mid-January. The company, formerly Aurvista Gold, spent several months re-evaluating previous drill results and identifying a new target area to share priority with resource expansion.

The 37,000-hectare property stretches 55 kilometres of strike along Quebec’s Casa Berardi fault zone.

New mineralogical understanding brings new focus to Maple Gold Mines’ Douay drill program

Field preps begin for a program of 25,000 to
30,000 metres at Maple Gold Mines’ Abitibi project.

Following the last winter-spring program, Maple re-logged over 5,000 metres of selected core and conducted initial interpretation of XRF geochemical data from over 46,000 core samples. One breakthrough was the realization that syenitic intrusive rocks in the current resource area, about seven kilometres long, extend for an additional three kilometres in strike. Another breakthrough was a new high-priority target that’s “virtually untested by previous diamond drilling.”

A syenite-associated gold system hosts most of Douay’s current resource, which uses a base case 0.5 g/t cutoff for seven zones totalling an inferred 83.3 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t for 2.81 million gold ounces. The deposit remains open along strike and down plunge. “This intrusive-associated style of mineralization is also present at several recently discovered and/or developed Abitibi deposits, including Malartic, Young-Davidson and Windfall,” the company emphasized.

The new high-priority area, called the NE Syenite target, lies 2.6 kilometres from Douay’s Porphyry zone. Measuring about six kilometres by one kilometre, the area features a paired high/low magnetic response and underwent eight RC holes that intersected syenite or felsic intrusive rock, the company explained. A single historic diamond drill hole found about 150 metres of syenite and foliated mafic tuff. Maple has at least 11 holes planned for the target.

Another priority will be step-out drilling from the resource area, focusing on five clusters of impressive past results.

Maple also plans a remote spectral geology survey over outcrops west of the deposit to set targets for summer mapping and geochemical sampling.

Maple’s behind-the-scenes prepping coincided with a company transition, bringing new turf that more than doubled the property size, a new technical advisory committee, new management and board appointments including Ivanhoe veteran Matthew Hornor as president/CEO, and $10.1 million in private placements, as well as the new company name and ticker.

Douay’s last drill program sunk 59 holes for 23,965 metres, with the final assays released in July.

Quebec acquisition brings Saville Resources precious, base and rare metals prospectivity

November 27th, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 27, 2017

A flurry of updates shows a new project, new faces and new financing for a rejuvenated Saville Resources TSXV:SRE. The company now moves into Quebec’s James Bay region by taking on the 3,370-hectare Covette property. Although it’s seen limited exploration so far, Covette underwent a 1,402-line-kilometre VTEM survey late last year, along with prospecting and sampling this year. The coincidence of EM conductors with magnetic highs suggests prospectivity for base and precious metals, the company reported. This year’s field program included pegmatite sampling for evidence of lithium.

Quebec acquisition brings Saville Resources precious, base and rare metals prospectivity

Of two historic, non-43-101 grab samples, one returned 4.7% molybdenum, 0.73% bismuth, 0.09% lead and 6 g/t silver; while the other showed 1.2 g/t silver and 0.18% copper.

An underlying greenstone belt could offer base and precious metals potential as well as pegmatite-hosted lithium and tantalum. “Komatiites have also been described in the region, with such rock types known to host significant nickel-copper massive sulphide deposits at other localities globally,” the company stated.

Covette lies just 10 kilometres north of the all-weather Trans-Taiga road, which runs parallel to the LG-3 transmission line.

Pending TSXV approval, Saville gets the property by paying Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC $350,000.

Additionally, Saville announced Michael Hodge’s appointment as president/CEO/director. Having started his career in 1999 on the staking program for Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Blue River tantalum-niobium project in British Columbia, Hodge has field experience on over 25 exploration projects as well as success in raising capital for junior miners.

Jody Bellefleur joins Saville as CFO, bringing over 20 years’ experience as a corporate accountant for the sector.

Saville also announced a private placement of up to $270,000. The company closed an $857,300 placement in July. Among other updates, Saville settled $219,000 in debt by issuing shares and warrants that would represent 18.7% of the company’s outstanding shares.

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.