Monday 26th June 2017

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Posts tagged ‘silicon dioxide’

USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

April 5th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 5, 2017

USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

Many and various are the sources of smartphone minerals.
(Map: U.S. Geological Survey)

 

In another article warning of foreign dependency, the U.S. Geological Survey uses smartphones as a cautionary example. Looking back 30 years ago, “‘portable’ phones were the size of a shoebox and consisted of 25 to 30 elements,” pointed out Larry Meinert of the USGS. “Today they fit in your pocket or on your wrist and are made from about 75 different elements, almost three-quarters of the periodic table.”

USGS: Possibility of supply disruption more critical than ever

Smartphones now require nearly 75% of the periodic
table of the elements. (Graphic: Jason Burton, USGS)

The increasing sophistication of portable communications results from a “symphony of electronics and chemistry” that includes, for example, “household names like silicon, which is used for circuit boards, or graphite used in batteries. Then there are lesser known substances like bastnasite, monazite and xenotime. These brownish minerals contain neodymium, one of the rare earth elements used in the magnets that allow smartphone speakers to play music and the vibration motor that notifies you of new, funny cat videos on social media,” the USGS stated.

Almost as varied are the sources. “For instance, the industrial sand used to make the quartz in smartphone screens may come from the United States or China, but the potassium added to enhance screen strength could come from Canada, Russia or Belarus. Australia, Chile and Argentina often produce the lithium used in battery cathodes, while the hard-to-come-by tantalum—used in smartphone circuitry—mostly comes from Congo, Rwanda and Brazil.”

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are also sources of conflict minerals.

“With minerals being sourced from all over the world, the possibility of supply disruption is more critical than ever,” Meinert emphasized.

The April 4 article follows a previous USGS report on an early warning system used by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency to monitor supply threats. In January the USGS released a list of 20 minerals for which the country relies entirely on imports. Whether or not by design, the recent awareness campaign coincides with a bill before U.S. Congress calling on government to support the development of domestic deposits and supply chains for critical minerals.

See an illustrated USGS report: A World of Minerals in Your Mobile Device.

Read about the West’s dependence on non-allied countries for critical minerals here and here.

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.

July 8th, 2015

NYSE resumes trading after lengthy stoppage—but what happened? Stockhouse
A bullion banker sings in Berkeley Square GoldSeek
Matt Badiali’s methods for investing in “Cowboyistan” Streetwise Reports
Everything you need to know about volatility Equities Canada
Gold producers see instant advantage should Greece exit euro NAI 500
Minerals hold up in slow oil and gas recovery Industrial Minerals

July 8th, 2015

A bullion banker sings in Berkeley Square GoldSeek
Matt Badiali’s methods for investing in “Cowboyistan” Streetwise Reports
Everything you need to know about volatility Equities Canada
Gold producers see instant advantage should Greece exit euro NAI 500
The end of an era: Computers replace the trading pit’s brazen culture Stockhouse
Minerals hold up in slow oil and gas recovery Industrial Minerals

April 1st, 2015

U.S. Labor Department, ADP admit: “We’ve just been making this up!” Equities Canada
What will changing Chinese trade patterns mean for nickel? NAI 500
New stock exchange that seeks to stymie high-frequency trading set to open Stockhouse
The world’s largest gold mints GoldSeek
Ceramic challenge: Why synthetic proppants have it tough Industrial Minerals
Eric Lemieux: Quebec is back, ready for renaissance Streetwise Reports
Great deposits of the world—Hishikari, Japan Geology for Investors

March 31st, 2015

A beginner’s guide to the new SEC Reg A rules Equities Canada
What will changing Chinese trade patterns mean for nickel? NAI 500
New stock exchange that seeks to stymie high-frequency trading set to open Stockhouse
The world’s largest gold mints GoldSeek
Ceramic challenge: Why synthetic proppants have it tough Industrial Minerals
Eric Lemieux: Quebec is back, ready for renaissance Streetwise Reports
Great deposits of the world—Hishikari, Japan Geology for Investors

March 27th, 2015

New stock exchange that seeks to stymie high-frequency trading set to open Stockhouse
Rio dismisses “harebrained” Fortescue iron ore plan NAI 500
The world’s largest gold mints GoldSeek
Ceramic challenge: Why synthetic proppants have it tough Industrial Minerals
Philip Richards: Why Goldman Sachs is wrong about commodity prices Equities Canada
Eric Lemieux: Quebec is back, ready for renaissance Streetwise Reports
Great deposits of the world—Hishikari, Japan Geology for Investors

March 26th, 2015

Rio dismisses “harebrained” Fortescue iron ore plan NAI 500
The world’s largest gold mints GoldSeek
Cliffs to sell Ring of Fire chromite claims to Noront Stockhouse
Ceramic challenge: Why synthetic proppants have it tough Industrial Minerals
Philip Richards: Why Goldman Sachs is wrong about commodity prices Equities Canada
Eric Lemieux: Quebec is back, ready for renaissance Streetwise Reports
Great deposits of the world—Hishikari, Japan Geology for Investors

March 25th, 2015

The world’s largest gold mints GoldSeek
Cliffs to sell Ring of Fire chromite claims to Noront Stockhouse
Apple puts batteries at the centre of its EV master plan NAI 500
Ceramic challenge: Why synthetic proppants have it tough Industrial Minerals
Philip Richards: Why Goldman Sachs is wrong about commodity prices Equities Canada
Eric Lemieux: Quebec is back, ready for renaissance Streetwise Reports
Great deposits of the world—Hishikari, Japan Geology for Investors

The stuff of life

March 23rd, 2015

Little-known but essential commodities can offer near-term potential, says MGX Minerals

 

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Without them, modern life wouldn’t be very modern. A wide range of industrial minerals make possible so much of what we take for granted, from luxuries to conveniences to necessities. Although few of the commodities are familiar to investors, CEO Jared Lazerson of MGX Minerals CSE:XMG believes he’s found opportunities for potentially near-term domestic production to supply North American markets.

Since its trading debut last October, MGX has been busy acquiring properties in British Columbia, mostly with a goal of producing magnesite. In fact the company has tracked down and claimed most of B.C.’s significant magnesite occurrences. The province currently hosts one of the only two magnesite mines in North America.

Little-known but essential commodities can offer near-term potential, says MGX Minerals

Driftwood Creek drilling confirmed near-surface magnesite mineralization.

As a source of magnesium, magnesite—not to be confused with magnetite—meets a number of agricultural, pharmaceutical, environmental and industrial applications. Exceptionally light for a structural metal, magnesium is used to manufacture cars and planes, among other uses. As part of an alloy, it helps make more rigid metals suitable for shaping into manufactured products.

Magnesium can be mined from magnesite or dolomite and can also be extracted from seawater or natural brines, which accounted for about 69% of American domestic magnesium compounds production in 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS data shows about 52% of magnesium compounds consumed in that country last year went to agricultural, chemical, construction, environmental and industrial applications. The remaining 48% was used for refractories.

As for magnesium metal, USGS numbers show 35% of American consumption in 2014 went to aluminum-based alloys used largely in packaging and transportation. Another 30% was used as a reducing agent in the production of titanium and other metals, 15% for structural purposes, 10% for desulfurization of iron and steel, and 10% for other applications.

By far the largest global supplier, China accounted for about 89% of the world’s magnesium metal production last year, according to the USGS. Israel and Russia managed to make up about 3.3% and 3.1% respectively.

As for magnesium compounds, China again dominated world production with about 70% last year. Russia came up with about 5.7% and Turkey 4.3%.

A new North American producer, especially one that’s close to existing transportation infrastructure, could offer the continent’s market considerable advantages, says Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC president Dave Hodge.

“MGX is a fairly unique story,” he points out. “It’s had a very recent IPO but it’s already in the permitting process. Magnesium comes in a variety of forms and one of the things they’re working on now is determining what form they would produce at what cost, versus the size of the market for that specific commodity. Those markets take different grades and different grades are produced at different costs. The opportunity here is to determine what’s the best product to produce and create value for their shareholders.”

Hodge adds, “In many respects this is not so much a mining story but more of a business story.”

Last July Lazerson signed a three-year cash, share and expenditure deal that would give the company a 100% interest in the 326-hectare Driftwood Creek project. Now MGX’s flagship, it’s located in southwestern B.C.’s Kootenays, a region that also hosts Baymag Inc’s Mount Brussilof magnesite mine. With logging roads on the property itself, Driftwood sits about 15 kilometres from highway, power and a CP spur line.

Lazerson sees near-term potential for a relatively simple quarry operation with a low strip ratio.

MGX also gained considerable expertise in CFO Michael Reimann and VP of exploration Andris Kikauka. Reimann, with a PhD in physics, has served over 45 years in senior corporate management positions, most recently with Skana Capital and PNG Gold TSXV:PGK. Kikauka’s 30-year background includes service as project geologist for the exploration and geotechnical consulting firm Rio Minerals. He’s currently a director of American Manganese TSXV:AMY.

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