Friday 5th June 2020

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘silver’

IMC International Mining releases historic B.C. copper-gold-silver results, prepares summer campaign

June 4th, 2020

by Greg Klein | June 4, 2020

A compilation of previously collected high-grade assays from three more areas completes a review of this newly acquired central British Columbia project. On June 4 IMC International Mining CSE:IMCX released copper-gold-silver results from the CJL, Mat and Lake areas of its Thane property, following similar reviews announced last month for the Cathedral, Gail and Cirque areas.

The property’s six areas came under scrutiny to re-assess over 1,400 rock samples, along with soil samples and a 2019 induced polarization survey undertaken by previous operators, as well as regional airborne magnetics conducted by Geoscience BC.

The review “demonstrates the presence of significant copper-gold mineralization throughout the 206-square-kilometre Thane property,” commented IMC president/CEO Brian Thurston. “With the Cathedral area modelled as an alkalic porphyry, and such systems usually occurring in clusters, the copper and gold values detected on the property to date highlight the potential for other significant discoveries.”

IMC International Mining releases historic B.C. copper-gold-silver results, prepares summer campaign

Of 56 rock samples collected at CJL in 2016, 31 surpassed 0.1% copper and 10 exceeded 1% copper. Some highlights include:

  • 9.51% copper and 16.7 g/t silver

  • 8.82% copper and 16.6 g/t silver

  • 5.18% copper and 9.4 g/t silver

  • 3.1% copper and 28.9 g/t silver

  • 2.25% copper and 3.3 g/t silver

Among results suggesting yellow metal potential, one sample assayed 0.632 g/t gold, as well as 1.06% copper and 2.74 g/t silver.

At Thane’s Mat area, historic, non-43-101 assays include 41 chip samples dating to 1983 that averaged 746 g/t silver. That vein also yielded a 2015 grab sample with a non-43-101 grade of 4,950 g/t silver, 1.5% copper, 3.3% lead and 1.2% zinc.

A 2012 discovery, the Lake area also underwent extensive sampling. Historic, non-43-101 results from 141 rock samples showed 77 samples above 0.1% copper, with 15 samples surpassing 1%. As for gold, 39 samples exceeded 0.1 g/t. Eight of them reached beyond 1 g/t gold.

Some non-43-101 Lake highlights include:

  • 4.56% copper and 3.81 g/t gold

  • 3.37% copper and 1.39 g/t gold

  • 3.08% copper and 1.34 g/t gold

  • 2.55% copper and 3.07 g/t gold

  • 1.85% copper and 1.2 g/t gold

  • 1.01% copper and 1.33 g/t gold

  • 0.77% copper and 1.2 g/t gold

  • 0.73% copper and 1.28 g/t gold

The company’s summer agenda calls for mapping, geochemical sampling and an IP survey, possibly leading to a fall drill campaign. “Although the focus for IMC this summer will be at the Cathedral area, IMC has plans to revisit all of these other areas, advancing them through exploration and evaluating their potential,” said Thurston.

The company also holds the early-stage Bullard Pass gold property in Arizona. Last month IMC closed private placements totalling $1.76 million. In April the company negotiated a private equity draw-down of $8 million.

Read more about IMC International Mining.

Gaia Metals signs LOI for Idaho gold-silver project with historic high grades

June 4th, 2020

by Greg Klein | June 4, 2020

Impressive earlier work in one of the world’s top-ranked mining jurisdictions has brought new attention to a neglected property. Under terms of a non-binding letter of intent Gaia Metals TSXV:GMC would pick up Freeman Creek, a 599-hectare site of previous trenching, drilling and mining. Two targets about three kilometres apart have the company especially encouraged.

Gaia Metals signs LOI for Idaho gold-silver project with historic high grades

Mineralization at the Gold Dyke prospect has been traced for 457 metres along strike and 183 metres at depth. Trench samples as far back as 1910 brought obviously non-43-101 results as high as:

  • 6.86 g/t gold and 199 g/t silver over 7 metres

  • 5.49 g/t gold and 130 g/t silver over 5.8 metres

  • 19.9 g/t gold, 65 g/t silver and 1.05% copper over 3.7 metres

One grab sample reached 60 g/t gold and 1,440 g/t silver.

An historic 1970s-era drill intercept brought:

  • 0.46 g/t gold, 7.1 g/t silver and 0.1% copper over 13.7 metres

More non-43-101 assays, from two 1980s holes, showed:

  • 1.5 g/t gold and 12.1 g/t silver over 44.2 metres

  • 1.7 g/t gold and 17.1 g/t silver over 21.3 metres

Although records haven’t been found, Cominco and BHP explored Gold Dyke for large-scale copper potential during the 1990s.

The historic Carmen Creek mine prospect has delivered samples from outcrop and former workings with these non-43-101 results:

  • 14.15 g/t gold, 63 g/t silver and 1.2% copper

  • 1.8 g/t gold, 43 g/t silver and 1% copper

Should all fall into place, Gaia plans ground mapping and soil sampling, along with potential ground geophysics and summer drilling.

“The historic work at Freeman Creek appears to have only scratched the surface of this project’s potential,” said company president/CEO Adrian Lamoureux. “Coupled with a relatively simple and straightforward permitting process, we are excited to aggressively pursue this opportunity.”

Located about 15 kilometres from the town of Salmon, Freeman Creek can be reached by highway, gravel roads and trails. Last year Idaho ranked #8, up from 16th the previous year, on the most important index of the Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies.

A 100% interest would cost Gaia a total of $90,000, four million shares and two million warrants within a year of TSXV approval. The company would pay an additional $1 million in cash or shares on defining a gold-equivalent resource exceeding a million ounces. The vendor would retain a 2.5% NSR, half of which Gaia could buy for $1.5 million.

In Quebec’s James Bay region, Gaia’s Corvette-FCI property has yielded high-grade gold, copper-gold-silver and lithium-tantalum grades. Announced last April, a new interpretation of geophysical data found additional drilling potential. Gaia holds 100% of the project’s Corvette claims and a 75% earn-in from Osisko Mining TSX:OSK spinout O3 Mining TSXV:OIII on the FCI-East and FCI-West blocks.

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

Read more about Gaia Metals.

Belmont Resources adds gold-copper prospect to its Greenwood holdings

May 28th, 2020

by Greg Klein | May 28, 2020

Another property acquisition shows continued interest in this region dotted with former mines and early-stage projects. Expanding its presence in southern British Columbia’s Greenwood camp, Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA has optioned the Come By Chance claims, a 527-hectare block about eight kilometres from Grand Forks and 500 highway kilometres east of Vancouver.

Belmont Resources adds gold-copper prospect to its Greenwood holdings

Although unused pits and adits attest to previous activity, CBC has yet to be explored systematically, the company stated. So far work has largely focused on the property’s copper skarn-type mineralization that’s similar to the historic Phoenix deposit three kilometres northwest.

“Given the regional importance of epithermal gold mineralization and the favourable structural setting, a thorough exploration program to assess the property for this style of mineralization is planned,” Belmont added.

“The acquisition of the Come By Chance property is another exciting milestone for the company and further enhances Belmont’s strategy of consolidating properties with known historic gold-copper mines in the prolific Greenwood mining district,” commented George Sookochoff. The president/CEO comes from a Greenwood mining family.

Belmont’s 100% option calls for $7,500 on approval plus 500,000 shares issued over two years. The vendor retains a 1.5% NSR, two-thirds of which the company may buy for $1 million.

In anther Greenwood acquisition earlier this month, Belmont signed a definitive agreement to pick up the Athelstan-Jackpot claims, covering a site of historic gold-silver production. Looking just across the border, the company signed an LOI in February to acquire the Lone Star copper-gold past-producer in Washington state’s Republic area. Previous Greenwood acquisition announcements from Belmont concern the Glenora, Pride of the West and Great Bear claims.

Assays released in November from the company’s Greenwood-region Pathfinder project reached up to 4.999 ppm gold, 35.86 ppm silver, 20,700 ppm copper and 45.1 ppm cobalt.

Earlier this month Belmont closed the final tranche of an oversubscribed private placement totalling $199,665.

Read more about Belmont Resources.

IMC International Mining compiles B.C. copper-gold samples prior to summer field work

May 26th, 2020

by Greg Klein | May 26, 2020

A compilation of previous sampling programs emphasizes the under-explored prospects of a central British Columbia copper-gold project. That’s the verdict of IMC International Mining CSE:IMCX following a reappraisal of work by previous operators on its recently acquired Thane property.

The compilation takes place as the company prepares its own summer field program. Over 1,400 rock samples have been collected from Thane, which has also undergone soil sampling and an induced polarization survey. Last week the company announced results from Cathedral, one of six prospective areas on the 20,600-hectare property. On May 26 IMC released results from two other areas, Gail and Cirque.

Of 295 rock samples collected by a previous operator in 2012, 140 surpassed 0.1% copper, with 32 samples exceeding 1%, IMC reported. Some standouts from the 2012 Gail area program include:

IMC International Mining compiles B.C. copper-gold samples prior to summer field work

  • 4.78% copper, 2.01 g/t gold and 28 g/t silver (float sample)

  • 4.19% copper, 1.46 g/t gold and 13.3 g/t silver (outcrop sample)

  • 7.69% copper, 1.26 g/t gold and 65.2 g/t silver (sub-outcrop sample)

  • 4.05% copper, 0.09 g/t gold and 22.6 g/t silver (sub-outcrop)

  • 6.88% copper, 3.68 g/t gold and 27.9 g/t silver (outcrop)

  • 5.62% copper, 2.16 g/t gold and 40.3 g/t silver (float)

That program was limited to Gail’s central region. But in 2000 another company had found impressive grab samples in Gail’s western region, reaching up to 4.49% copper and 6.48 g/t gold.

IMC also released previous operators’ results from 2010 and 2012 sampling on the Cirque showing, 2.5 kilometres west of Gail. Some highlights include:

The focus for IMC this summer is the Cathedral area as we prepare for a drill program. However, the substantial copper and gold values observed within the Gail and Cirque areas call for additional exploration and only highlight the potential for discovery on our under-explored, 206-square-kilometre property.—Brian Thurston, president/CEO,
IMC International Mining

  • 2.85% copper, 0.27 g/t gold and 8.6 g/t silver (float)

  • 1.23% copper, 0.15 g/t gold and 5.5 g/t silver (outcrop)

So far the one-day 2012 visit constitutes the only follow-up to the 2010 historic copper sample that graded 2.85%.

Although Gail and Cirque have yet to undergo follow-up work, “the focus for IMC this summer is the Cathedral area as we prepare for a drill program,” said president/CEO Brian Thurston. “However, the substantial copper and gold values observed within the Gail and Cirque areas call for additional exploration and only highlight the potential for discovery on our under-explored, 206-square-kilometre property.”

Earlier this month the company closed private placements totalling $1.76 million. In April IMC arranged a private equity draw-down of $8 million.

Read more about IMC International Mining.

Visual Capitalist looks at Nevada and the Silver State’s golden side

May 14th, 2020

by Nicholas LePan | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist

 

Visual Capitalist looks at Nevada and the Silver State’s golden side

 

Thanks to the world-famous silver discoveries of the 19th century that unveiled Nevada’s precious metal potential, the state today is known by many as the Silver State.

However, it’s possible that nickname may need to be updated. In the last few decades, Nevada has become a prolific gold producer, accounting for 84% of total U.S. gold production each year.

This infographic from Corvus Gold TSX:KOR showcases why Nevada may have a better case for deserving California’s nickname of the Golden State. We look at Nevada’s gold production, exploration potential and even its rich history.

A defining era for the American West

The discovery of the Comstock silver lode in 1859 sparked a silver rush of prospectors to Nevada, scrambling to stake their claims. News of the discovery spread quickly throughout the United States, drawing thousands into Nevada for one of the largest rushes since the California Gold Rush in 1849. Mining camps soon thrived and eventually became towns, a catalyst that helped turn the territory into an official state by 1864.

Interestingly, many of the early mines also produced considerable quantities of gold, indicating there was more to the state than just silver.

  • The Comstock Lode: 8.6 million troy ounces (270t) of gold until 1959

  • The Eureka district: 1.2 million troy ounces (37t) of gold

  • The Robinson copper mine: 2.7 million troy ounces (84t) of gold

The Comstock Lode is notable for not just the immense fortunes it generated but also the large role those fortunes had in the growth of Nevada and San Francisco.

In fact, there was so much gold and silver flowing into San Francisco, the U.S. Mint opened a branch in the city to safely store it all. Within the first year of its operation, the San Francisco Mint turned $4 million of gold bullion into coins for circulation.

While California gold rushes became history, Nevada mining was just beginning and would spur the development of modern industry. In 2018, California produced 140,000 troy ounces of gold, just a fraction of the 5.58 million ounces coming out of Nevada’s ground.

Nevada gold mining geology: Following the trends

There are three key geological trends from where the majority of Nevada’s gold comes from: the Cortez Trend, Carlin Trend and Walker Lane Trend.

Together these trends contributed nearly 170 million ounces of gold produced in Nevada between 1835 and 2018, making it the United States’ most productive gold jurisdiction, if not the world’s.

The bulk of production comes from the Cortez and Carlin trends, where mines extract low-grade gold from a particular type of mineral deposit, the Carlin-type gold deposit. It was the discovery and technology used for processing these “invisible” deposits that would turn Nevada into the golden powerhouse of production.

Today, the world’s largest gold mining complex, Nevada Gold Mines, is located on the Carlin Trend. The joint venture between Barrick Gold TSX:ABX and Newmont TSX:NGT comprises eight mines, along with their infrastructure and processing facilities.

Despite the prolific production of modern mines in the state, more discoveries will be needed to feed this production pipeline—and discoveries are on the decline in Nevada.

Looking to the future through the past: The Walker Lane Trend

The future for gold mining in Nevada may lie in the Walker Lane Trend. This trend is host to some of the most recent gold discoveries and has attracted the interest of major mining companies looking to conduct exploration and eventually production.

Walker Lane stands out with exceptionally high grades, growing reserves and massive discovery potential. It also played an integral role in the history of the state beginning with the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, and it seems likely to continue doing so in the future.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Update: Belmont Resources plans to expand portfolio in B.C.’s Greenwood camp, add nearby claims in Washington

May 11th, 2020

Update: On May 11, 2020, Belmont Resources announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Athelstan-Jackpot claims from Forty Ninth Ventures under terms reported in February. Earlier in May Belmont closed the final tranche of an oversubscribed private placement that totalled $199,665.

 

by Greg Klein | February 27, 2020

An international border runs through this historic mining region, but geology knows no such barriers. Two recently signed letters of intent would build Belmont Resources’ (TSXV:BEA) presence in southern British Columbia’s Greenwood camp and extend into Washington’s adjacent Republic area.

Belmont Resources plans to expand portfolio in B.C. Greenwood camp, add nearby claims in Washington

Greenwood gave up plenty of gold despite using, by today’s standards, primitive techniques. Now Belmont hopes more sophisticated analysis will help rejuvenate regional mining. The company’s proposed Athelstan-Jackpot acquisition sits adjacent to the Republic district, where Kinross Gold TSX:K applied newly developed metallogenic models that led to discovery and mining of several epithermal gold deposits. Although a “similar geologic regime” applies to Greenwood, Belmont stated, previous exploration and development on the B.C. side of the border focused on skarn-type copper-gold deposits with little attention to epithermal-type gold.

Bringing impressive credentials for a more contemporary approach, president/CEO George Sookochoff comes from a mining family in Grand Forks, about eight kilometres east of Athelstan-Jackpot, and has an extensive Greenwood background as well as GIS database expertise. He’s spent years building a digital database storing more than a century of Greenwood geoscientific info. This digital library would allow him to assess the probability of regional epithermal gold deposits by searching for characteristics comparable with those in Washington, the company added.

The review would precede recommendations for a 2020 exploration program on Athelstan-Jackpot. Intermittent mining on the property between 1901 and 1940 produced around 33,200 tonnes averaging about 5.4 g/t gold and 6.3 g/t silver for approximately 6,324 ounces of gold and 7,378 ounces of silver, according to historic records. Trenching and sampling took place in 2003, with historic, non-43-101 trench intervals up to 6.6 g/t gold and 12 g/t silver over 3.7 metres. Other historic 2003 grades reached as high as 28.4 g/t gold and 166 g/t silver over 0.3 metres.

Maybe the cross-border geological interest spanning Greenwood and Republic attracted Belmont to a nearby former mine in Washington. Just two days after reporting the proposed Athelstan-Jackpot acquisition, Belmont announced an LOI to pick up Lone Star, in operation from 1897 to 1918 and 1977 to 1978. Using a 1.5% copper-equivalent cutoff, an historic, non-43-101 report from 2007 estimated:

  • indicated: 63,000 tonnes averaging 1.28 g/t gold and 2.3% copper for 2,600 ounces gold and 3.19 million pounds copper

  • inferred: 682,000 tonnes averaging 1.46 g/t gold and 2% copper for 32,000 ounces gold and 30.07 million pounds copper

Should the deal close, Belmont plans to compile a 43-101 resource and prepare an IP survey prior to infill drilling for a potential deposit upgrade.

A 100% interest in Athelstan-Jackpot would cost Belmont 200,000 shares on signing. After a year Belmont would issue another 200,000 shares, and also pay US$50,000 in cash or US$25,000 in cash and the equivalent of US$25,000 in shares. The vendor would retain a 2% NSR, half of which Belmont could buy back for US$500,000.

A 100% stake in Lone Star would call for C$25,000 on signing and 1.5 million shares issued in three installments over two years. An additional C$100,000 payment would follow a major financing to be completed by Belmont.

Other recent Greenwood forays have already strengthened the company’s regional standing. In November the company picked up the 45-hectare Pride of the West and Great Bear claims, following the October acquisition of the 127-hectare Glenora property.

Pathfinder, another Greenwood-area Belmont holding, underwent two sampling programs last year. Assays reached up to 4.999 ppm gold, 35.86 ppm silver, 2.07% copper and 45.1 ppm cobalt, along with other results as high as 29.2 g/t gold.

Greenwood sits about 500 highway kilometres east of Vancouver.

The company’s portfolio also includes a 75% interest in the Kibby Basin lithium project in Nevada and, in northern Saskatchewan, two uranium properties shared 50/50 with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT.

Emerita Resources updates Spanish projects as country relaxes lockdown

May 4th, 2020

by Greg Klein | May 4, 2020

Emerita Resources updates Spanish projects as country relaxes lockdown

Historic, non-43-101 assays from Plaza Norte reached as high as 9.72% zinc over 18.95 metres.
(Photo: Emerita Resources)

 

A gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions demonstrates guarded optimism in one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries. While the general lockdown continues, new measures took effect on May 4 that anticipate a possible restart of wider economic activity. That same day Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO issued updates for its Spanish base metals properties.

Emerita won a court decision in November, allowing the company to appeal a tender process that would have rejected its bid for the Paymogo project in the southern province of Huelva. The region’s new government has expressed its interest in the property’s economic potential and its intention to follow the court’s instructions, Emerita stated.

“We look forward to the pending resolution of this title dispute,” commented CEO David Gower. “We expect the Paymogo project to be a cornerstone project for the company’s immediate focus. We have held numerous meetings with investors, many of whom have indicated an interest in participating in the development of the project.”

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. Within that estimate sits a higher-grade historic, non-43-101 resource with 11.21 million tonnes grading 0.4% copper, 2.47% lead, 5.5% zinc, 64 g/t silver and 1 g/t gold.

The historic resource begins at surface and remains open.

Previous drilling has also tested Paymogo’s La Infanta area, about eight kilometres from Romanera, bringing historic, non-43-101 reports of high-grade copper-lead-zinc-silver intervals.

The property links to the port of Huelva by about 50 kilometres of paved road.

Concerning the disputed tender over the former Aznalcollar zinc-lead mine in southern Spain, Emerita expects a resolution when courts re-open after the lockdown. As reported by the company, a previous court decision found bidder Minorbis-GM “failed to comply with the requirements of the first stage of the tender process and should never have been eligible to participate in the second stage of the tender. On the basis of the Appellate Court ruling, that bid should be disqualified leaving the Emerita submission as the only remaining qualified bid.”

The company also reported a binding letter agreement with privately held Western Metallica to earn a 55% interest in the Sierra Alta project. Pending TSXV approval, Emerita would pay $50,000, issue 500,000 shares and, within two years, spend $500,000.

Regarding the Plaza Norte project near Spain’s northern coast, Emerita has filed a technical report for renewal of claims with the regional ministry of mines. The company holds a 50% interest in the property through the Cantabrica do Zinco joint venture. Last August Emerita released an interval of 4.57% zinc over 9.5 metres from an area that has also seen impressive historic results.

Geoscience BC reports on treetop bio-geochemistry; hosts geothermal online open house

April 29th, 2020

by Greg Klein | April 29, 2020

Branching out in a new direction, British Columbia researchers used pruning shears to search for preliminary evidence of metal deposits. Their project further shows that what grows above the ground can indicate what lies below.

Geoscience BC reports treetop bio-geochemistry; hosts geothermal online open house

Tree-top halogens light up prospects
for below-ground resources.
(Photo: Geoscience BC)

A helicopter-borne Geoscience BC crew clipped 421 spruce twigs,needles and cones from 399 trees over a 1,000-square-kilometre region of the central province in 2015, announcing initial results the following year. A new report released April 28 looks at concentrations of the halogen elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine, suggesting they “may identify important structures related to potential mineralization that are invisible from the surface,” said researchers Colin Dunn and Dave Heberlein.

“Commonly, halogen elements are strongly enriched in alteration and gangue minerals associated with mineral deposits,” the non-profit society stated. “Over time the halogens move out of these hosts and migrate to the Earth’s surface to accumulate in soils, waters and vegetation. Mapping the distribution of halogen elements in these easy-to-access surface materials may help detect buried ore deposits.”

The results show several areas of relative fluorine enrichment, “notably the pronounced southwest trend in the northern half of the survey area,” the report explains. “This trend follows the northern edge of the Chilcotin Group and coincides with a linear chain of lakes and an aeromagnetic break, suggesting that it could be reflecting a major structure. The other anomalies south of the trend all lie within Chilcotin Group basalts and could either indicate eruptive centres for the basalts or, more intriguingly, potential hydrothermal alteration in the underlying units exposed in windows through the basalt cover.”

Researchers plan to compare the findings with previous Geoscience BC data, along with geophysical and Quaternary maps.

The survey comprises part of Geoscience BC’s Targeting Resources for Exploration and Knowledge (TREK) project, inspired by New Gold’s (TSX:NGD) Blackwater discovery and subsequent reserves of 8.2 million ounces gold and 60.8 million ounces silver in an under-explored region. Since 2013, the society has flown regional geophysics and collected over 8,000 geochemical samples, using the latest technology to provide public domain info.

See the treetop survey project page.

See the project in Geoscience BC’s Earth Science Viewer.

You’re invited: Online open house on B.C. geothermal potential

A province mainly electrified by hydro might hold considerable promise for other renewable energy sources. Geoscience BC and the Geological Survey of Canada have been studying the Mount Meager volcano, about 100 kilometres north of Whistler, for data that can be applied to the wider Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, a region with some of Canada’s best geothermal potential.

Researchers from six universities will share their findings and take questions in a free online open house.

  • When: Thursday, May 7, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. PST

  • Where: Online using Zoom—register here. The event can be seen later on the Geoscience YouTube channel.

See the geothermal project page.

Mining resumes under COVID-19 but faces slow return: GlobalData

April 28th, 2020

by Greg Klein | April 28, 2020

Mining resumes under COVID-19 but faces slow return GlobalData

 

As of April 27 some 729 mines worldwide remain suspended, down from more than 1,600 shutdowns on April 3. The numbers, released by GlobalData, reflect government decisions to declare the industry an essential service, as well as implementation of new health standards and procedures. Those efforts, often involving staff reductions, contribute to “a slow return for the industry,” stated the data and analytics firm.

“Silver production is currently being severely damaged by lockdown measures,” pointed out GlobalData mining analyst Vinneth Bajaj. “As of 27 April, the equivalent of 65.8% of annual global silver production was on hold. Silver mining companies such as First Majestic, Hochschild, Hecla Mining and Endeavour Silver have all withdrawn their production guidance for 2020 in the wake of the outbreak.

Mining resumes under COVID-19 but faces slow return GlobalData

“Progress has also been halted on 23 mines under construction, including the US$5.3-billion Quellaveco copper mine in Peru, which is one of the world’s biggest copper mines currently under development…. In Chile, while a lockdown is not in force, Antofagasta has halted work on its Los Pelambres project and Teck Resources has suspended work on the Quebrada Blanca Phase II mine.”

Jurisdictions that have lifted suspensions include Quebec, India, Argentina, Zimbabwe and South Africa, GlobalData added. Countries with government-ordered lockdowns still in force include Bolivia (until April 30), Namibia (May 4), Peru (May 10) and Mexico (May 30).

At least one Mexico operator, Argonaut Gold TSX:AR, plans to re-open on May 18 under an exception for businesses operating in municipalities with few or no cases of COVID-19.

Quebec’s resumption of mining drew strong criticism from Makivik Corporation, which represents the Inuit of the province’s Nunavik region.

“Makivik will not entertain the opening of any mines at this time in Nunavik. This is very dangerous,” said corporation president Charlie Watt on April 17. “The Inuit-elected officials in the communities and in the different regional organizations need to be heard and need to make the decisions and call the shots.”

One day later production resumed at Glencore’s Raglan nickel mine. The company stated that Nunavik authorities have banned travel between the mine and regional villages to protect the local population. Local workers stay home with compensation, while the mine employs workers from the south, including Inuit who live in the south.

Without question this is taking a toll on all of our mines and service/supply companies.—Ken Armstrong, NWT and
Nunavut Chamber of Mines

Six mines still operating in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories use similar staffing precautions. “The mines are operating with reduced workforces which they must fly in by charter from as far away as eastern Canada,” said NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines president Ken Armstrong. “To protect vulnerable northern communities from the virus they have sent their local employees home with pay and they are maintaining costly and unplanned virus protection measures.”

Meanwhile Labrador politicians expressed concern about renewed operations at Champion Iron’s (TSX:CIA) Bloom Lake mine on the Quebec side of the Labrador Trough. On April 28 VOCM radio reported that MP Yvonne Jones asked the company to avoid the Wabush airport in her riding and transport employees entirely through Quebec. Member of the House of Assembly Jordan Brown said contractors were making unnecessary trips to the Newfoundland and Labrador side.

Another pandemic-caused Quebec mining suspension will stay on care and maintenance due to market forces. Renard owner Stornoway Diamond stated, “Despite positive signs in the diamond market in early 2020, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the entire marketing chain and diamond price collapse.”

Prior to the suspension, Renard operated only through creditor support.

Another diamond casualty has been the Northwest Territory’s Ekati mine, which suspended operations last month. Majority owner Dominion Diamond Mines received insolvency protection on April 22.

Discovered in 1991 and opened in 1998, Ekati “provided nearly 33,000 person-years of employment, and $9.3 billion in business spending, with over half the benefits (51% of jobs and 69% of spending) going to northern residents and businesses,” the Chamber stated. “Billions of dollars in various taxes and royalties have also been paid to public and indigenous governments by the mine.”

Gaia Metals finds new drill targets through updated geophysical analysis

April 16th, 2020

by Greg Klein | April 16, 2020

A gold-polymetallic project in Quebec’s James Bay region shows additional potential following re-evaluation of previous data. On behalf of Gaia Metals TSXV:GMC, Dynamic Discovery Geoscience applied new methods and software to a 1998 induced polarization and resistivity survey over the Golden Gap area of the Corvette-FCI property. With greater geological insight, Gaia now sees a different trend of mineralization that has yet to be drilled, along with additional strike extensions, and parallel and sub-parallel trends.

Gaia Metals finds new drill targets through updated geophysical analysis

Gaia Metals’ polymetallic potential expands,
thanks to modern re-interpretation of historic data.
(Photo: Gaia Metals)

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

Historic, non-43-101 results from Golden Gap include samples up to 108.9 g/t gold, and a drill intercept of 10.48 g/t gold over seven metres. Areas of interest also include the Elsass and Lorraine prospects, the latter showing an outcrop sample of 8.15% copper, 1.33 g/t gold and 171 g/t silver. Lithium-tantalum channel samples from the CV1 pegmatite reached up to 2.28% Li2O and 471 ppm Ta2O5 over six metres.

The new interpretation finds two separate trends to a previously identified signature. A northern trend strongly corresponds with the historic samples up to 108.9 g/t gold. A less-intense southern trend doesn’t correspond with high-grade sampling. Yet it was the southern trend that was drilled to follow an historic intercept of 10.5 g/t gold over seven metres, even though that trend doesn’t correlate with the mineralized zone in that drill hole.

Outcrop samples collected last year found new gold occurrences along strike to the west, “further supporting the interpreted trend in this direction and significantly amplifying the potential,” Gaia stated. “The western trend outlined in the IP-resistivity data continues to the boundary of the survey, indicating it extends further west.”

Additional areas correlate with surface samples grading between 1 and 3 g/t gold, showing targets that are “parallel to sub-parallel to the main mineralized trend and occur within an area of approximately 2.5 kilometres east-west by 1.5 kilometres north-south,” the company added. “Each of these prospective targets and trends remains to be drill-tested.”

In February the company announced a geological review that highlighted the project’s potential for nickel, copper and platinum group elements. An historic outcrop sample from the Lac Long Sud area brought 3.1 g/t gold, 1.06 g/t palladium, 0.005 g/t platinum, 7.5 g/t silver, 0.24% copper, 0.19% nickel and 411 g/t cobalt. Despite those grades, little of the historic work and none of last year’s samples were assayed for PGEs. “Hence these seemingly isolated results necessitate further geochemical analysis in future exploration programs.”

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