Tuesday 22nd September 2020

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘REE’

Update: International Montoro Resources to start fieldwork and drill permitting for Ontario gold acquisition

September 22nd, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 22, 2020

With a crew now en route, mapping and sampling will take place on the Blackfly vein of a southwestern Ontario property acquired earlier this month. At the same time, International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT has permitting underway to cut a geophysical survey grid, as well as conduct trenching and drilling.

The Blackfly property’s Blackfly Main area comes with historic, non-43-101 assays including an intercept of 15 g/t gold over 1.07 metres, and a grab sample of 167 g/t gold.

Additional historic, non-43-101 results from the Blackfly Northwest trend show intervals of 0.94 g/t gold over 8.26 metres in one hole and 10.96 g/t over two metres in another. A previous operator’s program in 2010 and 2011 identified an area of 420 metres in strike and at least 50 metres in width, open along strike in both directions and at depth.

 

International Montoro Resources options gold prospect in Ontario’s historic Atikokan camp

by Greg Klein | September 10, 2020

Another portfolio addition reflects the revival of interest in this southwestern Ontario region. By optioning the 1,296-hectare Blackfly gold property, International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT joins the Hammond Reef activity that includes an intermediate miner as well as junior explorers.

International Montoro Resources options gold prospect in Ontario’s historic Atikokan camp

The Atikokan region was also home to the
historic Caland and Steep Rock iron mines.
(Photo: VisitAtikokan.com)

An 1897 find makes Blackfly one of the earliest discoveries in the Atikokan gold mining camp. Exploration on the property continued intermittently up to 2012, when historical reports and data were compiled.

International Montoro attributes much of the camp’s current interest to efforts by Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM to acquire additional property proximal to its Hammond Reef gold deposit, which has received federal and provincial environmental approval. Blackfly sits about 13.6 kilometres southwest along strike from Hammond Reef, within the Marmion Lake Fault Zone.

A 100% interest would cost International Montoro a series of payments totalling $65,000, 500,000 shares, 500,000 warrants valid for two years at $0.12 and, within four years, $153,600 in spending.

In Ontario’s Red Lake camp last July, International Montoro and Falcon Gold TSXV:FG expanded their Camping Lake gold project by 1,200 hectares, for a total of 3,400 hectares. International Montoro’s portfolio also includes the Wicheeda North rare earths property in east-central British Columbia, the Serpent River massive sulphide polymetallic prospect in Ontario’s Elliot Lake camp and the Duhamel polymetallic property in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.

Read more about International Montoro Resources.

International Montoro Resources options gold prospect in Ontario’s historic Atikokan camp

September 10th, 2020

This story has been updated and moved here.

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project

September 10th, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 10, 2020

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find increased fluorspar mineralization in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project

A map approximates the fluorspar mineralized
trend found within the property’s wider niobium trend.

 

By focusing on some critical minerals another was neglected, these companies realized. Already aware of niobium, tantalum and phosphate, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE re-assayed core extracted last year and in 2008 on northern Quebec’s Niobium Claim Group project. The area in focus was the property’s Mallard prospect.

Located two kilometres from Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) advanced-stage Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit, Saville operates the earlier-stage, 1,223-hectare Niobium Claim Group on a 75% earn-in from Commerce.

Originally, only the highest-grade intervals were assayed for fluorine. But a review of two programs of historic drilling and Saville’s own 2019 Phase I campaign outlined a previously under-rated fluorspar trend within the project’s niobium trend. 

Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find increased fluorspar mineralization in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project

Fluorspar shows its true colours in this 2008 core.

A second look at selected intervals supports that analysis. The re-assayed intervals confirm “a broad and extensive fluorspar mineralized trend at Mallard, which extends for at least 600 metres along strike and is open to the northwest, southeast, down-dip, and is interpreted to continue to surface,” the companies stated. “The trend remains to be delineated significantly outside of the core Mallard area.”

One 2008 intercept originally graded 30.7% CaF2 over 22.3 metres. New assays show that interval to be part of a wider zone grading 21.5% over 38.6 metres. Additionally, the intercept shows niobium, tantalum and phosphate at moderate grades of 0.36% Nb2O5, 103 ppm Ta2O5 and 5.3% P2O5.

Another 2008 hole hadn’t previously been assayed for fluorspar. It now shows 8% CaF2 over 47.2 metres, including 23.6% over five metres.

A 2019 hole reached 8.4% CaF2, 0.36% Nb2O5, 122 ppm Ta2O5 and 5.4% P2O5 over 22.5 metres, including 11.9% CaF2 over six metres. This interval extends at depth a 2010 hole that assayed 14.8% CaF2 over 6.2 metres. These results suggest continuation northwest along strike.

Another 2019 hole now shows 8.5% CaF2 over six metres.

True widths were unavailable.

Saville plans a 3D model of the trend to locate targets where high-grade fluorspar-bearing carbonatite might overlap with high-grade niobium-bearing carbonatite.

Fluorspar, niobium, tantalum and rare earths all appear on the U.S. list of 35 critical minerals. Along with phosphate rock, they also make the recently released EU list of 30 critical raw materials. In June Canada and the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to the Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration announced in January, which would encourage investment and development for North American mining projects and supply chains.

As part of the EU plan to secure critical materials, this week the European Commission stated that “pilot partnerships with Canada, interested countries in Africa and the EU’s neighbourhood will start as of 2021.”

European Union looks to Canada and others for critical minerals supply

September 4th, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 4, 2020

The EU’s newly released 10-point critical raw materials action plan calls for development of European supplies and supply chains, as well as further re-use and recycling. But for those materials not found on the continent, the European Commission says, “pilot partnerships with Canada, interested countries in Africa and the EU’s neighbourhood will start as of 2021. In these and other fora of international co-operation, the commission will promote sustainable and responsible mining practices and transparency.”

European Union looks to Canada and others for critical minerals supply

The commission made the proclamation September 3 as part of its Green Deal, a program to achieve a climate-neutral, digital economy and “stronger Europe.” As has been the case in the U.S. over the last four years, the continent has been expressing increasing concern about security of supply for necessary resources. The EU also released an updated list of critical raw materials, the first since 2017.

Using the same methodology that emphasizes economic importance and supply challenges, the new list numbers 30, compared with 27 in 2017. Added for the first time are lithium, bauxite, titanium and strontium. Helium was dropped due to a decline in economic importance.

Heavy rare earths, light rare earths and scandium rate three separate categories. Also included are critical standbys like niobium, tantalum, fluorspar, cobalt and platinum group metals. Not exclusive to minerals, the list includes natural rubber.

Coking coal, phosphorus and silicon metal ranked among EU choices that didn’t make the most recent (from 2018) U.S. list of 35 critical minerals. Some other American exclusives not listed by the EU are helium, manganese, potash and chromium.

The commission referenced World Bank data showing “demand for metals and minerals increases rapidly with climate ambition. The most significant example of this is electric storage batteries, where the rise in demand for relevant metals aluminium, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium, manganese and nickel would grow by more than 1,000% by 2050 under a 2°C scenario, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.”

The commission’s Maroš Šefčovič added, “For e-car batteries and energy storage alone, Europe will for instance need up to 18 times more lithium by 2030 and up to 60 times more by 2050.”

Supply security can be jeopardized by reliance on a single country or company, the commission warned. “China provides 98% of the EU’s supply of rare earth elements, Turkey provides 98% of the EU’s supply of borate, and South Africa provides 71% of the EU’s needs for platinum and an even higher share of the platinum group metals iridium, rhodium and ruthenium. The EU relies on single EU companies for its supply of hafnium and strontium.”

The commission’s specific mention of Canada as a preferred supply source follows the Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration that the U.S. and Canada announced in January and reaffirmed last June.

Meet the Zimtu teams

September 3rd, 2020

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

by Greg Klein | September 3, 2020

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

 

Their projects span early exploration to advanced development. Their goals include base, precious and critical minerals, but also extend to technology and energy. A wide range of potential comes to the fore on September 10, when Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC presents a Zoom conference highlighting eight of its colleague companies.

Below we offer an overview of each company. But first here’s how to take part.

To attend, RSVP MPatience@Zimtu.com.

The event takes place September 10 at 8 a.m. Vancouver/Pacific time, 11 a.m. Toronto/Eastern time, 5 p.m. Frankfurt/Central European time.

Click this link to connect.

If prompted, enter meeting ID 868 2490 1684 and meeting passcode 679221.

To take part by phone, dial by location:

Canada toll-free
855 703 8985     

U.S. toll-free
833 548 0276
833 548 0282
877 853 5257
888 475 4499       

Germany toll-free
0 800 000 6954
0 800 000 1590

Switzerland
+41 43 210 71 08
+41 44 529 92 72
+41 22 591 00 05
+41 22 591 01 56
+41 31 528 09 88
+41 43 210 70 42

Meeting ID: 868 2490 1684

Click here to find your local number.

 

And here are the companies

 

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD

Promising geology and proven methodology will come together at Arctic Star Exploration’s (TSXV:ADD) Diagras project in the Northwest Territories’ diamondiferous Lac de Gras region. Currently holding 40% of a joint venture, the company intends to assume operation and increase its ownership when spring offers optimum work conditions.

In addition to drilling, Arctic Star’s plans include gravity and electromagnetic surveys on seven of the property’s 21 known kimberlites. The gravity/EM approach follows that of Kennady Diamonds, which successfully employed the methodology on its Kennady North project two kilometres away. In 2018 Kennady North was acquired by Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPVD, De Beers’ JV partner on the adjacent Gahcho Kué mine. Gravity and EM have so far found five drill targets at Diagras.

Arctic Star’s 100%-held Timantti diamond project in Finland hosts nine known diamondiferous kimberlites. With some 150 kilograms of samples ready for processing, ground work is expected to resume once pandemic conditions allow.

Read more about Arctic Star Exploration.

 

Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Once re-opened, Lost Sheep will be
America’s only producing fluorspar mine.

The U.S. currently imports its entire supply of this critical mineral but Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS plans to change that soon by opening the country’s only fluorspar operation. Production at Utah’s Lost Sheep mine could begin this autumn without de-risking through successive PEA and feasibility studies, but with the apparent confidence of the Mujim Group. The multinational fluorspar mining and distribution company visited the property earlier this year prior to buying a 9% stake in Ares.

Three of five exploration holes found visible fluorspar, while assays have just been released from 12 holes totalling 900 metres of delineation drilling. Results show high grades over wide intervals from near-surface and at-surface intercepts. Metallurgical tests have upgraded Lost Sheep material above 97% CaF2, achieving the level of higher-priced acidspar.

Ares also holds the Liard fluorspar project in northern British Columbia. Seven areas of the highway-accessible 476-hectare property host historic, non-43-101 estimates.

Read more about Ares Strategic Mining.

September 9 update: Ares launches this summer’s second drill program at Lost Sheep.

 

Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Well-understood host minerals, distribution of magnet
feed elements and a friendly jurisdiction distinguish
Commerce Resources’ RE-fluorspar project.

Few if any elements dominate concern about critical minerals like rare earths. That places all the more focus on Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit, an advanced-stage Quebec project that also hosts one of the world’s largest fluorspar resources. While working towards pre-feasibility, the company has metallurgical studies advancing on a number of levels, benefiting not only Ashram but the creation of supply chains independent of China. The deposit’s carbonatite-hosted mineralization and relatively simple monazite, bastnasite and xenotime mineralogy complement conventional rare earths processing. Metallurgy has also upgraded Ashram’s fluorspar content to higher-priced acidspar.

Ashram also features a strong presence of high-demand magnet feed elements neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium. Work is underway to upgrade the 2012 resource that used a 1.25% cutoff to show:

  • measured and indicated: 29.27 million tonnes averaging 1.9% total rare earth oxides and 2.94% fluorine

  • inferred: 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO and 2.21% F

The deposit starts at surface.

Looking at other critical minerals, Commerce also holds the advanced-stage Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southern British Columbia.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

September 10 update: Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project.

 

Core Assets Corp CSE:CC

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Historic results, more recent sampling and a
greater understanding of regional geology prompted
Core Assets’ major land expansion in B.C.

Determined to become a major explorer in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, Core Assets Corp CSE:CC started trading in July, then began September with a nine-fold property expansion. The inspiration for boosting its Blue and Silver Lime holdings to 14,815 hectares comes from continual advancements in the understanding of porphyry, skarn and carbonate replacement-type deposits globally and in the Triangle itself.

The new ground covers the Llewelyn fault zone, which the company believes to be the main transport corridor for high-grade metals found on the property at surface. An historic, non-43-101 drill hole at Blue reached 0.27% copper over 173.2 metres. Grab samples from 2018 graded up to 1.57 g/t gold, 46.5 g/t silver and 8.46% copper.

The 2018 grab samples from never-drilled Silver Lime included 1.16 g/t gold, 913 g/t silver, 12.45% zinc and 20% lead. Core’s regionally experienced team plans a regional magnetic survey over the property.

Watch an interview with the Core Assets team.

 

Dimension Five Technologies CSE:DFT

Creating high-value products, even energy, from waste materials is the goal of Aduro Energy, now subject of an LOI for a reverse takeover by Dimension Five Technologies CSE:DFT. Founded in 2012, Ontario-based Aduro has developed a smart chemistry approach using three water-based technologies to transform diverse feedstocks that include renewable oils as well as waste plastics, foams and rubber. The result can be new plastics, foams, hydrocarbon fuels or specialty chemicals.

Aduro has its three areas of technology—trademarked as Hydrochemolytic Plastics Upgrading, Hydrochemolytic Renewables Upgrading and Hydrochemolytic Bitumen Upgrading—now undergoing demonstration and commercialization stages.

Learn more about Aduro Energy.

 

Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Despite extensive previous mining, Aznalcollar
hosts an impressive historic base metals estimate.

Most of Spain’s bullion came from the New World but Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO believes there’s untapped gold-silver potential on its Paymogo polymetallic project. Located amid former and current operations in southern Spain’s Iberian Pyrite Belt, Paymogo’s Romanera deposit hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 2.2% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44.4 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

Eight kilometres away, Paymogo’s Infanta area has historic, non-43-101 reports of high-grade copper-lead-zinc-silver intervals. While preparing an exploration permit application, Emerita is compiling data from 51 holes at Romanera and 48 at Infanta for a digital database to guide another round of drilling.

The company also awaits a court decision regarding a disputed tender for the Aznalcollar zinc-lead past-producer on the same Iberian belt. In May Emerita signed a binding letter agreement to earn a 55% interest in the Sierra Alta gold property in northern Spain. Company assets also include a 50% JV interest in the Plaza Norte zinc project near Spain’s northern coast.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

September 9 update: Emerita releases historic assays prior to drilling Paymogo.

 

Saville Resources TSXV:SRE

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Saville outperformed historic intercepts with its
Phase I drill program on the Niobium Claim Group in Quebec.

Two kilometres from Commerce Resources’ Ashram RE-fluorspar deposit, another company explores for other critical minerals—niobium and tantalum. Working on a 75% earn-in from Commerce, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE has also found fluorspar potential on the early-stage Niobium Claim Group.

Saville sunk five holes last year in a promising Phase I campaign on the property’s Mallard prospect. Along with historic results, three drill programs total 14 holes and 3,537 metres on Mallard. Each program surpassed its predecessor for grades and widths while expanding three zones of mineralization that remain open in all directions. Encouraging historic drill results have also come from the project’s Northwest and Star Trench prospects. Yet to be drilled are other high-priority areas, especially Miranna where high-grade boulder samples have reached an exceptional 5.93% Nb2O5.

The property’s host rock predominates in pyrochlore-group minerals and/or ferrocolumbite, amenable to familiar processing methods as the world’s main source of niobium supply.

September 10 update: Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project.

 

Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR

Intermittent green electricity, grid backup and off-grid supply call for long-term electrical storage. Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR has made inroads into New York by offering a low-cost, reliable approach.

The company’s system stores electricity in zinc particles, avoiding expensive battery minerals like lithium, vanadium and cobalt. When the storage system provides electricity, zinc particles combine with oxygen. When the system recharges, the zinc particles are regenerated and oxygen is returned.

Storage can be scaled from 20 kW to megawatts, making Zinc8’s system suitable for microgrids and utilities. The latter have already shown interest. 

In January the New York Power Authority, America’s largest public power organization, selected the Zinc8 system out of more than 60 contenders for a commercial or industrial demonstration facility. Two months later Digital Energy Corp chose Zinc8 to install a 100 kW/1.5 MWh storage system at a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Brooklyn. Buoyed by New York interest, Zinc8 has since created a U.S. subsidiary.

Read an op-ed by Zinc8 president/CEO Ron MacDonald.

 

The Zoom with Zimtu event takes place September 10 at 8 a.m. Vancouver/Pacific time, 11 a.m. Toronto/Eastern time, 5 p.m. Frankfurt/Central European time. Click here and learn how to attend.

 

Now all we need are mines

August 28th, 2020

The Saskatchewan Research Council plans commercial rare earths separation in 2022

by Greg Klein | August 28, 2020

Saskatchewan to offer commercial rare earths separation in 2022

This nondescript building will host a $31-million commercial REE facility in two years.
(Image: Saskatchewan Research Council)

 

Given China’s near-monopoly of these critical elements, the news from Saskatchewan is enormous—a commercial-scale rare earths separation facility up and running in two years. But the development is hardly sudden. The operator already boasts longstanding experience and world-leading expertise with the almost arcane endeavour. Moreover the August 27 announcement just confirms one of the ambitious mining-related goals in the province’s growth plan released last November.

Work begins this fall in Saskatoon on a $31-million processing and separating plant funded by the province. Canada’s only such facility, it constitutes a major step towards expanding REE supply chains independent of China. Operating the Saskatoon plant will be the Saskatchewan Research Council, a Crown corporation with 75 years of experience in mining-related research and technology, over 290 staff, $91 million in annual revenue and about 1,500 clients in 27 countries.

Saskatchewan to offer commercial rare earths separation in 2022

SRC assets include the world’s largest potash, uranium and diamonds labs, and its research extends to the oil and gas sector as well as to environmental studies.

The SRC has already been separating rare earths at the bench and pilot scale level. Its REE team currently employs 10 full-time-equivalent positions. The plan calls for staffing to reach 24 highly qualified FTEs in the facility, along with at least 10 more in R&D.

“SRC is a leader in the development of REE extraction and processing technologies and has worked closely with individual mining companies in Saskatchewan, Canada and globally on the concentration of REE ore for over a decade now,” points out president/CEO Mike Crabtree. “We employ world-leading experts on REEs who literally wrote the book on REE processing.”

That book—Separation Hydrometallurgy of Rare Earth Elements—was written by Jack Zhang, Baodong Zhao and Bryan Schreiner, SRC scientists of international stature.

The SRC anticipates ore or crushed sand will arrive by truck or rail from producers in Canada and the U.S., as well as potential overseas clients. Location of the tailings facility has yet to be determined.

One obvious caveat, however, is the current lack of North American primary producers. The sole exception is California’s Mountain Pass mining and processing operation. Although operator MP Materials has professed its commitment to an American supply chain, the company has been exporting its entire output to China.

Saskatchewan to offer commercial rare earths separation in 2022

New separation capabilities bring considerable advantages
to rare earths projects in Canada and elsewhere.
(Photo: Saskatchewan Research Council)

Demonstrating a non-Chinese commitment, however, is Australia’s Lynas Corp. The company operates a refining and separation facility in Malaysia to process rare earths ore from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia. Lynas plans to open a WA cracking and leaching plant by 2023 to quell Malaysian concerns about low-level radioactive material shipped to the country. In the U.S., meanwhile, the company and its American JV partner Blue Line signed a contract last month with the Department of Defense, which would fund studies for a proposed American plant to separate heavy rare earths from Mount Weld.

But the SRC plant opens doors for potential North American sources, which last year totalled measured and indicated resources of 2.7 million tons in the U.S. and over 15 million tons in Canada, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

Fitting for the world’s second-largest uranium-producing jurisdiction, Saskatchewan will process rare earths from uranium raffinate as well as from bastnasite and monazite, the most common mineralogical sources of rare earths.

But the Chinese challenge remains formidable. Chinese domestic mining accounted for nearly 63% of last year’s global production, a drop from 70% in 2018 but a number that doesn’t include Chinese control over foreign sources. Moreover the country’s dominance of separation facilities and expertise extends its control to an estimated 70% to 95% of various points along the supply chain.

SRC is a leader in the development of REE extraction and processing technologies and has worked closely with individual mining companies in Saskatchewan, Canada and globally on the concentration of REE ore for over a decade now. We employ world-leading experts on REEs who literally wrote the book on REE processing.—Mike Crabtree,
president/CEO,
Saskatchewan Research Council

Trade and other geopolitical tensions have brought fears—backed by implied threats—that the country will “weaponize” its rare earths dominance, repeating the 2010 machinations that staggered non-Chinese manufacturing industries.

The elements are vital to clean energy, electronics, transportation, defence, medical equipment and other necessities. American concern about rare earths and other critical minerals has triggered a number of initiatives including the Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration with Canada announced in January and reaffirmed in June.

But encouraging as the Saskatchewan initiative is, it hardly constitutes a slingshot to the Chinese Goliath. That country’s advantages include seemingly bottomless government subsidies, free use of black market or conflict material, and the backing of a savvy totalitarian government, according to Clint Cox. Speaking in Vancouver last January, the analyst and rare earths specialist with The Anchor House warned that Chinese dominance can’t be underestimated.

Nevertheless, the Saskatoon facility can only encourage junior mining activity. “The juniors are definitely the place where the last crop of potential mines came from, and it looks like they might be the next out there,” Cox told his January audience. “There’s some out there today.”

Among other goals, the Saskatchewan Growth Plan calls for studies into extracting lithium from the province’s brines as well as from oil and gas wastewater. The plan also considers adding nuclear energy to the province’s electrical mix from small modular reactors. Earlier this month Alberta joined Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick in a memorandum of understanding to co-operate on SMR studies.

Read more about the Saskatchewan Research Council.

Update: Commerce Resources gets cash grants to further Canadian rare earths-fluorspar research

August 25th, 2020

by Greg Klein | August 24, 2020

An advanced-stage northern Quebec project continues to attract outside interest as a number of sources contribute metallurgical R&D funds. On August 25 Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE announced grants totalling $160,000 to help develop the company’s Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit. The funding follows a number of academic and government-backed research initiatives into the project. This money will back collaborative research by Commerce, l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) and the Industrial Waste Technology Centre (CTRI).

“A principal focus of the joint research program involving experts from CTRI, UQAT, and Commerce Resources will be the optimization of the mineral liberation and flotation schemes, used to produce a high-grade rare earth mineral concentrate over 30% REO for hydrometallurgical processing,” said Jean-François Boulanger, professor of hydrometallurgy for the Rare Earth Elements Institute for Research in Mines and Environment. “After the initial lab-scale testing phase, pilot-scale operation will be conducted, increasing confidence when scaling-up the developed process.”

Commerce president Chris Grove added that the work will enhance Ashram’s project efficiency “as well as make a strong contribution to academia and the research and development of strategic minerals in Quebec.”

The news comes four days after the announcement that two research papers featuring Ashram will be presented to the 2020 Conference of Metallurgists on October 14 and 15.

 

Commerce Resources’ rare earths-fluorspar project featured on two presentations at Conference of Metallurgists

by Greg Klein | August 20, 2020

The lingo might prove daunting to the uninitiated, yet technical studies like these help advance not only a specific project but the Canadian industry in general. Two papers referring to Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram rare earths-fluorspar deposit in northern Quebec will be presented at the upcoming 2020 Conference of Metallurgists (COM2020).

Organized by the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, COM2020 was originally planned for Toronto this month. The rescheduled event takes place online October 14 and 15.

The first paper results from Ashram project manager Darren Smith’s collaboration with Tesfaye Negeri and Maziar Sauber of Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetMINING division. Entitled Mineral Processing Flowsheet Options for the Ashram Rare Earth and Fluorspar Deposit, the paper details test work that improved flotation through “a combination of distributed reagent additions, reagent synergism and reverse conditioning in a very simple and basic flotation circuit,” Commerce stated.

Commerce Resources’ rare earths-fluorspar project subject of two presentations at 2020 Conference of Metallurgists

In December Université du Québec PhD candidate
Sophie Costis won a scholarship for her work on Ashram
tailings management with le Centre Eau Terre Environnement.
(Photo: Université du Québec)

The findings are “directly applicable to the project’s working flowsheet,” the company added.

The second paper comes from Kang Sun, Christel Bemelmans and Nick Hazen of Hazen Research, operators of Ashram’s primary metallurgical lab in Colorado. Entitled Recovering Rare Earths and Other Metallic Values from Fluorine-Containing Concentrates using Carbochlorination and Aqueous Leaching, it discusses Ashram concentrate as one of two feedstocks tested with a thermal process to produce rare earth chloride that’s soluble in dilute hydrochloride.

Commerce expressed its pleasure to provide “continued support to the academic and institutional rare earth element research and development industry through the supply of Ashram deposit material and geological support. The deposit outcrops at surface and has allowed for cost-effective collection of large amounts of material for test work. As such, the company is actively engaged with various research and academic institutions to support the advancement of the REE industry in Canada, and in Quebec specifically.”

Other Ashram research has included a tailings management study by le Centre Eau Terre Environnement of l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique of l’Université du Québec that was published last May in the international peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment.

The studies have taken place while Commerce advances Ashram to the pre-feasibility level. Rare earths and fluorspar rank among 35 minerals declared critical by the U.S.

In June the company closed an over-subscribed private placement of $1.2 million. Previous placements closed on $300,000 in May and $2.51 million in November.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

Commerce Resources’ rare earths-fluorspar project featured on two presentations at Conference of Metallurgists

August 20th, 2020

This story has been updated and moved here.

Commerce Resources president Chris Grove congratulates l’Institut national de la recherche scientifique for its academic study of the Ashram rare earths deposit

August 10th, 2020

…Read more

Energy storage

July 29th, 2020

It’s key to carbon-neutrality. But how to overcome raw material cost and supply security challenges?

by Ron MacDonald | July 29, 2020

The development of new, clean energy sources is of vital importance for a sustainable society. As the world, collectively, is increasingly pushing aside non-renewable sources such as natural gas, oil and coal, we look to clean energy sources such as hydro, wind and solar generation. However, in order to support the economics of renewables, energy storage allows for the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time and is the key to ensuring a carbon-neutral world.

It’s key to carbon-neutrality. But how to overcome raw material costs and supply security?

The total energy storage market is expected to grow to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035, according to a report released by Lux Research. In the United States, the market value is forecast to increase from $720 million today to $5.1 billion in 2024 according to market research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, with the U.S. already seeing a 93% increase in the energy storage systems deployed in the third quarter of 2019.

Decreasing costs in accessible technologies have driven interest in energy storage forward like never before. For example, the price of lithium batteries has fallen by nearly 80% over the past five years, allowing for more integration of energy storage into solar power systems. Even more affordable than lithium is zinc. Zinc-air batteries empower the lowest cost of energy storage in the market for long-duration applications, resolving the intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar at an economic price.

Lithium-ion cells lose their charge over time, whereas zinc-air batteries maintain their full charging capacity for the up to 20-year lifecycle of the battery. Zinc-air energy storage systems are capable of economically storing energy from eight hours to 100-plus hours. This is considerably longer than the four-to-six-hour upper economic limit for lithium-ion. The lithium-ion battery costs flatten out at six hours, while zinc-air battery costs per kWh installed become even more cost-effective over longer durations.

A look at energy storage during and beyond COVID-19

Ron MacDonald: “Zinc is abundant in North
America and its price has been very stable
over the past 20 years. All of the other major
components of the zinc-air battery are also
available in North America.”

The growth of the energy storage market is driven by the growing demand for high-capacity, safe, cost-effective and eco-friendly energy storage solutions. The global metal-air battery market size is estimated to grow from US$438 million in 2020 to US$842 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 14%, reports ResearchAndMarkets.com, which segments the market into zinc-air, lithium-air, aluminum-air and iron-air.

Dependency on a supply chain of hardware components, metals and chemicals, many of which come from outside North America, is a challenge for the growing energy storage industry. Metals such as lithium, vanadium, rare earths and cobalt used today in many energy storage batteries are impacted by price volatility, geopolitical concerns, security of supply, as well as coronavirus-related supply chain disruptions. Those same risks do not apply to zinc energy flow batteries.

Countries that are major producers of raw materials required for battery production have been subject to strict restrictions to control the spread of the virus. For example, Australian lithium production companies have set up strict guidelines for businesses in the industry in terms of long-distance travel restrictions. In contrast, zinc is abundant in North America and its price has been very stable over the past 20 years. All of the other major components of the zinc-air battery are also available in North America, providing a low-cost, robust and safe energy storage solution that has not been impacted by the pandemic. Zinc-air batteries offer a homegrown solution supporting the transition to a cleaner, greener post Covid-19 world.

 

Ron MacDonald is president/CEO of Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR, the leader in zinc-air battery technology. The Zinc-Air Flow Battery from Zinc8 is an energy storage unit designed to serve a wide range of long-duration applications for microgrids and utilities. He can be reached at ron@zinc8energy.com and on LinkedIn.

Read Keeping the Lights On by Ron MacDonald.

Watch an online presentation from Zinc8 Energy Solutions.