Sunday 23rd September 2018

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Posts tagged ‘silica’

And the mania continues

August 10th, 2018

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

by Benjamin Wilson Mountford/La Trobe University and Stephen Tuffnell/University of Oxford | posted with permission of The Conversation

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

Detail from an 1871 lithograph by Currier & Ives portraying the Californian goldfields in 1849.

 

This year is the 170th anniversary of one of the most significant events in world history: the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. On January 24, 1848, while inspecting a mill race for his employer John Sutter, James Marshall glimpsed something glimmering in the cold winter water. “Boys,” he announced, brandishing a nugget to his fellow workers, “I believe I have found a gold mine!”

Marshall had pulled the starting trigger on a global rush that set the world in motion. The impact was sudden—and dramatic. In 1848 California’s non-Indian population was around 14,000; it soared to almost 100,000 by the end of 1849, and to 300,000 by the end of 1853. Some of these people now stare back at us enigmatically through daguerreotypes and tintypes. From Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands; from South and Central America; from Australia and New Zealand; from Southeastern China; from Western and Eastern Europe, arrivals made their way to the golden state.

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

JCF Johnson’s Euchre in the Bush, circa 1867, depicts a card game
in a hut on the Victorian goldfields in the 1860s. (Oil on canvas
mounted on board, courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ballarat)

Looking back later, Mark Twain famously described those who rushed for gold as

a driving, vigorous restless population … an assemblage of two hundred thousand young men—not simpering, dainty, kid-gloved weaklings, but stalwart, muscular, dauntless young braves…

“The only population of the kind that the world has ever seen gathered together,” Twain reflected, it was “not likely that the world will ever see its like again.”

Arriving at Ballarat in 1895, Twain saw first-hand the incredible economic, political and social legacies of the Australian gold rushes, which had begun in 1851 and triggered a second global scramble in pursuit of the precious yellow mineral.

“The smaller discoveries made in the colony of New South Wales three months before,” he observed, “had already started emigrants towards Australia; they had been coming as a stream.” But with the discovery of Victoria’s fabulous gold reserves, which were literally Californian in scale, “they came as a flood.”

Between Sutter’s Mill in January 1848, and the Klondike in the late 1890s, the 19th century was regularly subject to such flooding. Across Australasia, Russia, North America and Southern Africa, 19th century gold discoveries triggered great tidal waves of human, material and financial movement. New goldfields were inundated by fresh arrivals from around the globe: miners and merchants, bankers and builders, engineers and entrepreneurs, farmers and fossickers, priests and prostitutes, saints and sinners.

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

A nugget believed to be the first piece of gold
discovered in 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in California.
(Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

As the force of the initial wave began to recede, many drifted back to more settled lives in the lands from which they hailed. Others found themselves marooned, and so put down roots in the golden states. Others still, having managed to ride the momentum of the gold wave further inland, toiled on new mineral fields, new farm and pastoral lands, and built settlements, towns and cities. Others again, little attracted to the idea of settling, caught the backwash out across the ocean—and simply kept rushing.

From 1851, for instance, as the golden tide swept towards NSW and Victoria, some 10,000 fortune seekers left North America and bobbed around in the wash to be deposited in Britain’s Antipodean colonies alongside fellow diggers from all over the world.

Gold and global history

The discovery of the precious metal at Sutter’s Mill in January 1848 was a turning point in global history. The rush for gold redirected the technologies of communication and transportation, and accelerated and expanded the reach of the American and British Empires.

Telegraph wires, steamships and railroads followed in their wake; minor ports became major international metropolises for goods and migrants (such as Melbourne and San Francisco) and interior towns and camps became instant cities (think Johannesburg, Denver and Boise). This development was accompanied by accelerated mobility—of goods, people, credit—and anxieties over the erosion of middle class mores around respectability and domesticity.

But gold’s new global connections also brought new forms of destruction and exclusion. The human, economic and cultural waves that swept through the gold regions could be profoundly destructive to Indigenous and other settled communities, and to the natural environment upon which their material, cultural and social lives depended. Many of the world’s environments are gold rush landscapes, violently transformed by excavation, piles of tailings and the reconfiguration of rivers.

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

The Earth, at the End of the Diggings.
(Courtesy, Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute)

As early as 1849, Punch magazine depicted the spectacle of the earth being hollowed out by gold mining. In the “jaundice regions of California,” the great London journal satirised: “The crust of the earth is already nearly gone … those who wish to pick up the crumbs must proceed at once to California.” As a result, the world appeared to be tipping off its axis.

In the U.S. and beyond, scholars, museum curators and many family historians have shown us that despite the overwhelmingly male populations of the gold regions, we cannot understand their history as simply “pale and male.” Chinese miners alone constituted more than 25% of the world’s goldseekers, and they now jostle with white miners alongside women, Indigenous and other minority communities in our understanding of the rushes—just as they did on the diggings themselves.

Rushes in the present

The gold rushes are not mere historic footnotes—they continue to influence the world in which we live today. Short-term profits have yielded long-term loss. Gold rush pollution has been just as enduring as the gold rushes’ cultural legacy. Historic pollution has had long-range impacts that environmental agencies and businesses alike continue to grapple with.

At the abandoned Berkley pit mine in Butte, Montana, the water is so saturated with heavy metals that copper can be extracted directly from it. Illegal mining in the Amazon is adding to the pressures on delicate ecosystems and fragile communities struggling to adapt to climate change.

The phenomenon of rushing is hardly alien to the modern world either—shale gas fracking is an industry of rushes. In the U.S., the industry has transformed Williston, North Dakota, a city of high rents, ad hoc urban development and an overwhelmingly young male population—quintessential features of the gold rush city.

In September last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that a new gold rush was underway in Texas: for sand, the vital ingredient in the compound of chemicals and water that is blasted underground to open energy-bearing rock. A rush of community action against fracking’s contamination of groundwater has followed.

The world of the gold rushes, then, is not a distant era of interest only to historians. For better or worse, the rushes are a foundation of many of the patterns of economic, industrial and environmental change central to our modern-day world of movement.

Benjamin Mountford and Stephen Tuffnell’s forthcoming edited collection A Global History of Gold Rushes will be published by University of California Press in October 2018. A sample of their work can also be found in the forthcoming volume Pay Dirt! New Discoveries on the Victorian Goldfields (Ballarat Heritage Services, 2018).

Benjamin Wilson Mountford, David Myers Research Fellow in History, La Trobe University and Stephen Tuffnell, Associate Professor of Modern U.S. History, University of Oxford

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Related:

92 Resources finds high-quality silica potential in B.C. frac sand property, plans drilling for Quebec lithium

March 5th, 2018

by Greg Klein | March 5, 2018

With initial sampling results now in, an eastern British Columbia project shows greater potential to serve growing demand from both solar panel manufacturing and oil and gas exploration. During summer field work at its Golden project, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY collected 60 samples from the property’s Mount Wilson formation. Fifty samples surpassed 98% SiO2 and 22 exceeded 99%, peaking at 99.89%.

92 Resources finds high-quality silica potential in B.C. frac sand property, plans drilling for Quebec lithium

Still to come are frac sand results.

The assays also showed low levels of iron contamination, less than 0.1% Fe2O3 for 55 samples. Boron contamination also rated low, between 3 and 13 ppm. Final boron assays are expected soon, the company added.

Most of the samples came from the easily accessible Frenchman’s Ridge area, where the Mount Wilson formation has been mapped over a strike of about 1.2 kilometres and over 400 metres in width, with thickness interpreted to be at least 50 metres, the company reported.

Encouraged by the program, 92 Resources added another 1,800 hectares to Golden, bringing its size to about 5,000 hectares. The original property sits next to the Moberly silica mine, from where Northern Silica ships material 16 kilometres to a facility capable of processing frac sand and other high-grade silica products. 92 Resources’ new turf covers outcrops of the Mount Wilson formation adjacently east and south of HiTest Sand’s Horse Creek project, which 92 Resources states is reportedly being developed as a silica source for a potential refinery in Washington state.

Regional infrastructure includes highways, rail and power.

In January the company announced Far Resources CSE:FAT joined 92 Resources’ Hidden Lake lithium project under a 90% earn-in. The 1,849-hectare Northwest Territories property has revealed grab sample grades up to 1.86% Li2O, as well as channel sample assays of 1.58% Li2O over 8.78 metres, 2.57% Li2O over 0.75 metres and 233 ppm Ta2O5 over one metre.

Also in January 92 Resources announced plans for three properties acquired last fall in Quebec’s James Bay region. Permitting is now underway for a four- to six-hole, 1,000-metre campaign at the Corvette project, where grab samples from one pegmatite included 0.8%, 3.48% and 7.32% Li2O. Another pegmatite sampled 1.22% Li2O and 90 ppm Ta2O5. The company also sees gold potential in the 3,891-hectare property.

The Pontax project has airborne magnetics and electromagnetics planned for Q1, with summer field work to follow. The work will focus on potential pegmatite trends as well as gold targets on the 5,536-hectare property, which the company considers part of the Eastmain River Volcanic Belt.

In early January 92 Resources closed an oversubscribed private placement of $1.14 million.

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

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

October 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | October 5, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

92 Resources adds three Quebec properties to its lithium portfolio

September 21st, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 21, 2017

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

92 Resources adds three Quebec properties to its lithium portfolio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

92 Resources advances NWT hardrock lithium metallurgy

September 18th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 18, 2017

92 Resources advances NWT hardrock lithium metallurgy

Follow-up tests using standard methods brought high-grade lithium results for 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories. After further work on a spodumene-montebrasite concentrate of 6.16% Li2O produced in July, the company now reports an overall extraction rate of 97%. The tests consisted of roasting followed by acid baking and water leaching, industry-standard extraction techniques for lithium, 92 Resources stated.

The next stage calls for magnetic separation, heavy liquid separation and additional flotation on material collected during the current field program. So far work has used analytical reject material, but whole rock material will be preferred for Phase II, the company added.

Earlier this month a crew returned to the property, about 40 kilometres by road from Yellowknife, for a program of channel sampling and prospecting for additional pegmatites.

The summer agenda also included field work at the company’s Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia. The property sits adjacent to Northern Silica’s Moberly project, a former source of silica sand for the glass industry that’s now being redeveloped as a frac sand production and processing operation.

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

92 Resources returns to the field at its NWT hardrock lithium project

September 6th, 2017

by Greg Klein | September 6, 2017

Hoping to kick up more evidence of lithium, boots will hit the ground shortly as 92 Resources TSXV:NTY heads back to its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories. The company expects the two-week program to prepare the road-accessible project 40 kilometres from Yellowknife for Phase I drilling later this year.

92 Resources returns to the field at its NWT hardrock lithium project

Plans call for channel sampling on HL6 and HL8, two pegmatites discovered last year that yielded grab samples up to 1.86% Li2O. Prospecting between the HL6 and D12 pegmatites will try to determine whether these two features located about 1.4 kilometres apart could comprise a single body. Regional prospecting will search for additional pegmatites while further channel sampling on the HL1, HL3, HL4 and D12 pegmatites will support ongoing metallurgical tests.

Metallurgical results announced in July on a composite sample from Hidden Lake showed “amenability to simple and conventional spodumene mineral processing methods,” the company stated.

Funding for the field program comes partly from a $140,000 NWT Mining Incentive Program grant.

92 Resources also conducted a 10-day field program this summer on its Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia, adjacent to Northern Silica’s Moberly project. A former source of silica sand for the glass industry, Moberly’s undergoing redevelopment as a frac sand production and processing operation.

Last month 92 Resources appointed former Yellowknife MLA David Ramsay to its board of advisers. As a territorial cabinet minister Ramsay’s responsibilities included Industry, Tourism and Investment (which included mining), Justice and Attorney General, Transportation, the NWT Business Development Corp and the Public Utilities Board.

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

92 Resources begins frac sand field work while advancing lithium metallurgy

June 6th, 2017

by Greg Klein | June 6, 2017

With a crew already en route, 92 Resources TSXV:NTY has a 10-day exploration program about to begin on its Golden frac sand project in eastern British Columbia. A team from Dahrouge Geological Consulting will undertake further mapping and sampling for a 43-101 technical report. While the company’s focus remains the Hidden Lake lithium project in the Northwest Territories, 92 Resources sees potential in another energy-related commodity.

92 Resources begins frac sand field work while advancing lithium metallurgy

“Despite fluctuating oil and gas prices, North American demand for frac sand is exceptionally robust and there remains a nearly non-existent domestic supply of high-quality proppant within Canada,” said president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux.

Close to the Alberta border and with nearby roads, the property’s located five kilometres from Golden, B.C., on the Canadian Pacific main line. Adjacent to the property is Heemskirk Canada’s Moberly project, a former producer of silica sand for the glass industry that’s now being redeveloped as a frac sand production and processing operation. The parent company, Heemskirk Consolidated, is the object of a takeover bid by Northern Silica, held by Taurus Resources No. 2 Fund.

Running through the 3,211-hectare Golden property is an 18-kilometre strike of the Mount Wilson formation, described as hosting high-purity, white, quartzite and friable sandstones. Four samples collected in 2014 showed silica content averaging 98.6% SiO2, with low boron and iron values. “Preliminary testing on these samples indicates favourable frac sand characteristics, as well as metallurgical-grade silica potential,” 92 Resources stated.

Last week the company announced initial results from Phase I metallurgical tests for its Hidden Lake lithium property in the NWT. Early findings suggest material from the hard rock project might be suitable for a conventional flowsheet. As the program goes into Phase II, potential tantalum recovery will be examined as well. 92 Resources filed a 43-101 technical report on the property in January.

The company also holds the 5,536-hectare Pontax lithium property in northern Quebec.

92 Resources president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux notes the advantages of southeastern British Columbia’s relative proximity to oil and gas plays

April 20th, 2017

…Read more

92 Resources begins metallurgical tests on NWT lithium

March 28th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 28, 2017

A Northwest Territories lithium project gets its first-ever metallurgical studies as 92 Resources TSXV:NTY announced a two-phase program on March 28. The 1,659-hectare Hidden Lake property underwent channel sampling last year on four of six known lithium-bearing spodumene dykes, with the best intercept showing:

  • 1.58% Li2O and 31 ppm Ta2O5 over 8.78 metres

  • (including 1.78% Li2O and 31 ppm Ta2O5 over 6.93 metres)
92 Resources begins metallurgical tests on NWT lithium

Hidden Lake’s metallurgical tests follow
last year’s successful sampling program.

The met program’s first phase examines the property’s spodumene and waste materials, leading to a mineral processing phase intended to separate the two and produce a high-grade concentrate.

Material from four pegmatites will be evaluated separately and, if no significant differences are found, a single composite will undergo processing tests. Those tests would include grinding, heavy liquid separation, magnetic separation and flotation. Plans then call for a preliminary flowsheet and a small amount of potentially marketable spodumene concentrate.

The program will also evaluate potential tantalum recovery.

Hidden Lake has all-weather road access to Yellowknife, 45 kilometres southwest. Carrying out the tests will be SGS Canada, which has considerable experience in spodumene pegmatite processing, 92 Resources stated.

In northern Quebec, 92 Resources has initial lithium exploration planned for Pontax, a 5,536-hectare property in a district known for spodumene-bearing pegmatites as well as gold potential.

Earlier this month the company expanded its Golden frac sand project from 807 hectares to 3,211 hectares. The southeastern British Columbia property sits adjacent to the Moberly silica sand project, now being redeveloped into a frac sand operation and among the assets sought by Northern Silica in its takeover bid for Heemskirk Consolidated.

Late last month 92 Resources closed an oversubscribed private placement of $895,199.

92 Resources expands B.C. frac sand property adjacent to takeover target

March 13th, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 13, 2017

A 2,404-hectare addition to 92 Resources’ (TSXV:NTY) Golden frac sand property brings the total to 3,211 hectares next to a silica sand mine in southeastern British Columbia.

“A domestic or western Canadian frac sand deposit with suitable quality would benefit from more advantageous transportation and exchange rate costs over foreign competitors,” said 92 Resources president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux. “We believe these to be important factors in the recent takeover of the neighbouring Moberly silica sand mine.”

92 Resources expands B.C. frac sand property adjacent to takeover target

Next door to the Golden property, Heemskirk Canada’s Moberly project produced silica sand for high-quality glass manufacture for over 30 years. It’s now being redeveloped as a frac sand production and processing operation. Meanwhile Heemskirk’s parent company, Heemskirk Consolidated, is subject to a takeover bid by Northern Silica, a subsidiary of Taurus Resources No. 2 BC, that’s expected to close next month.

Golden’s expansion gives the property over 18 kilometres of strike along the Mount Wilson formation, which consists of high-purity, white quartzite, 92 Resources stated. With only initial prospecting, sampling and testing done so far, results from the most recent program in 2014 show silica content grading 98.3% to 99% SiO2. In two of four samples, over 65% of material fell in the 40- to 170-mesh range. “The two adequate size fraction samples passed 6,000 PSI compressibility testing, each producing 8.1% fines,” the company added.

92 Resources has mapping, sampling and drilling now in the planning stages for Golden.

Besides a product used in oil and gas exploration, 92 Resources pursues a clean energy commodity at two lithium properties. In January the company filed a 43-101 for its Hidden Lake project in the Northwest Territories, which hosts at least six lithium-bearing spodumene dykes. Channel samples on four of them averaged 1.03% Li2O, with one hitting a peak of 3.31%. Ground magnetics, along with liquid separation and flotation tests, have been recommended for the project.

The 1,659-hectare property has all-weather access to Yellowknife, 45 kilometres southwest.

92 Resources also anticipates initial exploration this year on its 5,536-hectare Pontax property in Quebec’s James Bay region.

Last month the company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $895,199.