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Potosí’s legacy

December 5th, 2019

A renowned but notorious mountain of silver looms over Bolivia’s turmoil

by Greg Klein

Far overshadowed by the political violence plaguing Bolivia over the last several weeks was a slightly earlier series of protests in the country’s Potosí department. Arguing that a proposed lithium project offered insufficient local benefits, residents convinced then-president Evo Morales to cancel a partnership between the state-owned mining firm and a German company that intended to open up the country’s vast but unmined lithium resources.

A renowned but notorious mountain of silver looms over Bolivia’s turmoil

In the heart of the Andes, 4,000 metres above sea level,
the city of Potosí sits beneath the infamous Cerro Rico.
(Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Other events overtook the dispute, sending Morales into exile and the country towards an uncertain future that could bring elections, military coup or civil war. Yet Potosí serves as a stark example of Bolivia’s plight: a mineral-rich land that’s one of South America’s poorest countries. That’s one of the contradictions related in Kris Lane’s recent book Potosí: The Silver City that Changed the World.

Unlike so many other New World mineral rushes, the 1545 discovery held enduring global importance. More typically, and probably more dramatically, it was “rife with paradox from the start, a site of human depravity and ingenuity, oppression and opportunity, piety and profligacy, race mixture and ethnic retrenchment,” Lane recounts. “The list could go on.”

Looming over a boom town both squalid and magnificent was the great mountain of silver, Cerro Rico. For their first century of operation its mines and mills churned out nearly half the world’s silver, and then about 20% up to 1825.

The red mountain of Potosí is still producing silver, tin, zinc, lead, and other metals, and it never seems to have stopped doing so despite many cycles since its discovery in 1545. Current estimates range from 30,000 to 60,000 tons of silver produced to date, and geologists estimate that the Cerro Rico, easily the world’s richest silver deposit, contains an equivalent amount dispersed in low-grade, refractory ores that would require sophisticated processing.

A renowned but notorious mountain of silver looms over Bolivia’s turmoil

This huge supply came online just as Europe was suffering a “bullion famine,” Lane writes. More than gold, silver served as the world’s exchange medium. Globalization can be dated to 1571, when Spain launched trans-Pacific trade and Chinese demand for silver “reset the clock of the world’s commercial economy just as Potosí was hitting its stride.”

Yet Spain served as little more than a transfer point for its share. With longstanding armed conflicts on a number of fronts, “the king’s fifth went to fund wars, which is to say it went to pay interest on debts to Charles V’s and Philip II’s foreign creditors in southern Germany, northern Italy, and Flanders.”

As for the rest, “once taxed, most private silver went to rich merchants who had advanced funds to Potosí’s mine owners. They then settled their accounts with distant factors, moving massive mule-loads and shiploads of silver across mountains, plains, and oceans. Global commerce was the wholesale merchants’ forte, and most such merchants were junior factors linked to larger wholesalers in Lima, Seville, Lisbon, and elsewhere. Some had ties to Mexico City and later to Manila, Macao, and Goa; still others were tied to major European trading hubs such as Antwerp, Genoa, and Lyons.”

But wealth wasn’t unknown near the source. Known for its “opulence and decadence, its piety and violence,” the boom town “was one of the most populous urban conglomerations on the planet, possibly the first great factory town of the modern world…. By the time its population topped 120,000 in the early seventeenth century, the Imperial Villa of Potosí had become a global phenomenon.”

It was also a “violent, vice-ridden, and otherwise criminally prolific” contender for the world’s most notorious Sin City.

By comparison the much-later Anglo-Saxon boom towns seem small time, only partly for their ephemeral nature. But the men (and later women) who moiled for Potosí silver weren’t the adventurous free spirits of gold rush legend. Slaves and, to a greater extent, conscripted Andean natives endured the inhumane conditions “perhaps exceeded only by work in the mercury mines of Huancavelica, located at a similarly punishing altitude in Peru.”

Native Andeans and Europeans began a long process of negotiation and struggle that would last beyond the end of the colonial era. Potosí’s mineral treasure served as a fulcrum.

At the same time some natives, like some foreigners, achieved affluence as merchants, contractors or traders in bootleg ore boosted by the conscripts. Andean innovation helped keep the mines going, for example by smelting with indigenous wind furnaces after European technology failed, and using a native method of cupellation.

“Put another way, native Andeans and Europeans began a long process of negotiation and struggle that would last beyond the end of the colonial era. Potosí’s mineral treasure served as a fulcrum.”

A “noisy, crushing, twenty-four-hour polluting killer, a monster that ate men and poisoned women and children” needed some rationale for its existence. Spain’s excuse was the money-burning responsibility of defending the faith. Still “the steady beat of Potosí’s mills and the clink of its newly minted coins hammered away at the Spanish conscience. Priests, headmen, and villagers, even some local elites denounced the mita [forced native labour] as immoral. As one priest put it, even if the king’s demand for treasure was righteous, [the] Potosí and Huancavelica mitas were effectively killing New World converts in the name of financing the struggle against Old World heresy. God’s imagination could not possibly be so limited.”

More practical matters stained the empire’s reputation too, as the 1649 Potosí mint debasement scandal unfolded. World markets recoiled and Spain’s war efforts suffered as money lenders and suppliers refused the once-prized Spanish coins. “Indeed, the great mint fraud showed that when Potosí sneezed, the world caught a cold.”

A renowned but notorious mountain of silver looms over Bolivia’s turmoil

Potosí miners, seen here in 2017, work at
surface with Cerro Rico in the background.
(Photo: SL-Photography/Shutterstock.com)

With the 1825 arrival of Simón Bolívar, “the Liberator symbolically proclaimed South American freedom from atop the Cerro Rico. Yet British investors were close on his heels.”

Foreign owners brought new investment and infrastructure. But “the turn from silver to tin starting in the 1890s revolutionized Bolivian mining and also made revolutionaries of many miners. The fiercely militant political sensibility of the Potosí miner so evident today was largely forged in the struggles of the first half of the twentieth century.”

Those clashes bring to mind events of recent weeks, in which dozens have been killed by police and military.

Lane’s narrative continues to Morales’ “seeming ambivalence” toward miners and Potosí’s transformation into a “thriving metropolis” that hopes tourism will offset mineral depletion. Meanwhile underpaid, often under-age, miners continue to toil in woefully unhealthy conditions.

The breadth of Lane’s work is tremendous. He covers Potosí’s history from global, colonial, economic and social perspectives, outlines different practices of mining and metallurgy, recites contemporary accounts and provides quick character studies of the people involved. All that gives the book wide-ranging Christmas gift potential. It also offers considerable context as the geologically bountiful country once again experiences troubled times.

Emerita Resources announces positive legal outcome in disputed Spanish tender

November 6th, 2019

by Greg Klein | November 6, 2019

A lengthy legal battle has reached a favourable decision from Spain’s Supreme Court, Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO reported November 5. The company says judges affirmed its appeal and rejected a counter-appeal regarding the tender process for the Paymogo zinc project in the country’s southwest.

Emerita Resources announces positive legal outcome in disputed Spanish tender

The dispute dates back to a 2014 public tender decision that awarded the property to another company. Emerita challenged the process behind that decision, alleging procedural errors and a lack of impartiality. In 2017 the Upper Court of Andalusia ordered that the two companies’ bids be reconsidered under altered criteria. The following month, Andalusia’s regional government appealed that order to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has now upheld the regional court’s decision. Emerita maintains the court-ordered tender process would award the company 34.46 points over 29.37 points for the rival bidder.

Emerita is “prepared to begin work on the Paymogo project as soon as the tender can be finalized, in line with the instructions from the courts,” said CEO David Gower. “We are highly encouraged by public statements from senior officials of the new government in Andalusia that they will abide by the rulings of the court and that they look forward to seeing the economic activity and potential job creation such a project can generate. The Paymogo project is highly prospective in our view and we are excited to work on its development.”

With paved road access to the port of Huelva about 50 kilometres away, the property sits within the Iberian pyrite belt, one of the world’s most highly mineralized VMS terrains, Emerita states. Extensive drilling at Paymogo has probed two areas about eight kilometres apart, La Infanta and Romanera. The latter hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate dating to the 1990s that showed 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 2.2% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44.4 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold. The deposit reportedly extends from surface to about 350 metres in depth.

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

The Infanta zone has been drilled from surface outcrops to about 100 metres in depth, with historic, non-43-101 reports from the 1980s of several high-grade copper-lead-zinc-silver intervals.

In another disputed tender, last month the company announced the Appellate Court of Seville ordered an investigation into the process for the Aznalcollar zinc-lead property, which Emerita argues was wrongfully awarded to another bidder.

Reporting on summer drilling at its Plaza Norte project last August, Emerita released an initial result of 4.57% zinc over 9.5 metres. The company holds a 50% stake in the JV near the northern Spanish coast.

Emerita Resources confirms high-grade zinc in historic Spanish camp

August 8th, 2019

by Greg Klein | August 8, 2019

Working a region steeped in zinc mining history, the first hole of a drill campaign adds optimism to high-grade historic assays. The initial result grades 4.57% zinc over 9.5 metres starting at 591 metres in downhole depth, and includes a higher-grade sub-interval of 9.02% over 4 metres (true widths). Joint venture partners Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO and the Aldesa Group plan further confirmation drilling to prove up a 43-101 resource on their Plaza Norte project.

Aldesa is a specialized infrastructure company with over 40 years of experience in major projects. Emerita acts as operator for the 50/50 Cantabria del Zinc JV that holds the 3,600-hectare project. The property covers most of the Santillana-San Román syncline on the Reocin Basin known for high-grade Mississippi Valley-type zinc-lead. One of Europe’s biggest zinc producers was the former Reocin mine, which extracted around 62 million tonnes averaging 11% zinc and 1.4% lead up to 2003.

Emerita Resources confirms high-grade zinc in historic Spanish camp

Plaza Norte’s former Mercadal mine operated from 1850 to 1836 and 1955 to 1978, with reported averages of 10% zinc and 1.5% lead.

Plaza Norte’s new result follows drill reports from the 1980s and ’90s on four areas of the property: Yuso, Queveda, San Miguel and Mercadal, the latter a past-producing mine. The first phase of confirmation drilling targets Queveda, where historic, non-43-101 assays showed:

  • 9.72% zinc over 18.95 metres, starting at 557.8 metres

  • 9.82% over 3.22 metres, starting at 560 metres

  • 5.7% over 6.1 metres, starting at 588.9 metres

  • 7.74% over 5.3 metres, starting at 557.3 metres

As confirmation drilling continues, Emerita focuses on an area covering about 1,500 metres by 600 metres. With tighter spacing than previously used, the results should provide data on the structural controls of mineralization as well as build a 43-101 resource.

Regarding a southern Spain property, Emerita expresses confidence that a court will uphold its acquisition of the Aznalcóllar claims. Pending a successful outcome, the company would move the zinc-lead-silver-copper deposit to feasibility studies for an underground mine.

In another possible southern Spain acquisition, Emerita hopes a review board will award the company the Paymogo property with its two zinc deposits.

Last month Emerita closed the second and final tranche of a private placement that totalled $2.22 million.

‘The Asian century’

April 4th, 2019

East has surpassed West, whether the West knows it or not, says Peter Frankopan

by Greg Klein

East has surpassed West, whether we know it or not, says Peter Frankopan

“Silk roads” can refer to the process of connecting people and cultures
through trade, according to Peter Frankopan’s recently published book.

 

Less than two years ago tensions along an especially sensitive border area sparked fighting between Chinese and Indian troops. Outside Asia, who knew? “As most of the world focused on the Twitter account of the US president and the circus surrounding Brexit, the threat of the two most populous countries on earth going to war was not just a possibility, it looked like becoming a fact,” writes Peter Frankopan. An uneasy truce eventually stalled hostilities but the West’s ignorance of the wider world remains. That’s both symptom and cause of the West’s decline, the author says.

The decisions being made in today’s world that really matter are not being made in Paris, London, Berlin or Rome—as they were a hundred years ago—but in Beijing and Moscow, in Tehran and Riyadh, in Delhi and Islamabad, in Kabul and in Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan, in Ankara, Damascus and Jerusalem. The world’s past has been shaped by what happens along the Silk Roads; so too will its future.—Peter Frankopan

Relatively few Westerners realize the extent of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Actually a complex suite of alliances concerning resources, infrastructure, trade, security and even culture, the BRI forms just part of an Asian awakening that’s shifting the planet’s centre of importance while strengthening Eastern influence beyond Asia and Africa to make inroads into Europe, the Americas, the Arctic, cyberspace and outer space.

That’s the message of historian Frankopan’s latest book, The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. While present and future aren’t normally the precinct of historians, it was historical perspective that brought Frankopan to the topic. In context, Western global supremacy has been a recent, short-lived development.

Since announcing the BRI in 2013, China has promised nearly $1 trillion, mostly in loans, for about 1,000 projects, Frankopan reports. That money could “multiply several times over, to create an interlinked world of train lines, highways, deep-water ports and airports that will enable trade links to grow ever stronger and faster.”

That would enhance China’s access to, and control over, resources ranging from oil and gas to mines and farmland; provide markets for Chinese exports including surplus steel, cement and metals, as well as manufactured goods; create projects for Chinese contractors; secure foreign ports and other strategic commercial and military locations; and build closer foreign alliances for geopolitical as well as economic benefits.

Backed by Chinese money and local sovereign debt, Chinese companies have pushed roads, railways, power plants, grids and pipelines through Africa and Asia at a much faster rate than ever seen through Western aid. Of course that can put the supposed beneficiaries at the mercy of their Chinese creditors.

East has surpassed West, whether we know it or not, says Peter Frankopan

In 2011, for example, China forgave neighbouring Tajikistan’s infrastructure-related debt in exchange for several hundred square kilometres of territory. A $7-billion rail line in Laos represents over 60% of the country’s GDP. A rail-building boom in Angola left citizens with a per capita debt to China of $754 out of a per capita income of $6,200. In 2017 a Chinese company got a 99-year lease in lieu of debt on the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota, a strategic site for both commercial and military reasons. Other ports in Maldives, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Djibouti could face a similar fate.

Even so, something like 85% of BRI projects “have proceeded without difficulty,” Frankopan states. China conducts many of its most opportunistic acquisitions openly, like buying a controlling interest in Piraeus, the Athenian port since antiquity. Other seaport purchases have taken place in Spain, Italy and Belgium.

Strategic ports and an alliance with Pakistan help position China in the Indian Ocean, while China continues to expand its South China Sea presence by building artificial islands for military bases. This isn’t just “the crossroads of the global economy” but a ploy to extend military power thousands of miles farther, according to a U.S. Navy admiral. China’s ambitions continue in the disputed East China Sea, location of the 2010 Senkaku conflict, in which China’s rare earths tactics demonstrated yet another weapon in the country’s arsenal.

As an economic powerhouse as well as a “geopolitical alternative to the US,” China can profit from American sanctions on countries like Iran. Russia too challenges U.S. policies towards countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, while the latter shows its willingness to trade with Iran and buy arms from Moscow.

Military co-operation can create unlikely allies. Last summer, in Russian’s largest war games since 1981, Beijing contributed 30 fighter jets and helicopters along with more than 3,000 troops. Included in the exercises were simulated nuclear attacks.

While futurologists and networking pioneers often talk about how the exciting world of artificial intelligence, Big Earth Data and machine learning promise to change the way we live, work and think, few ever ask where the materials on which the digital new world [depends] come from—or what happens if supply either dries up or is used as a commercial or a political weapon by those who have a near-monopoly on global supply.—Peter Frankopan

Even India, America’s strongest Asian ally and the Asian country most wary of Chinese expansion, stands to undermine U.S. influence with proposed transportation connections and free trade with Iran and Afghanistan.

Yet obvious perils weaken any notion of a united Asia working harmoniously towards a common goal. Russian-Chinese military co-operation doesn’t preclude Moscow stationing its 29th Army 3rd Missile Brigade, with nuclear missile capabilities, near the Chinese border.

Time will tell whether other countries can overcome the Eurasian chaos that inspired this maxim of Canadian miners: “Never invest in a country with a name ending in ‘stan’.”

Then there’s extremist Islam. Uighurs from western China have fought in Syria for the Islamic State in numbers estimated “from several thousand to many times that number.” China risks wider Muslim anger by running a gulag archipelago for Muslims. The country’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region hosts “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.”

Oddly enough for someone who knocks Western insularity, Frankopan seems to share the current preoccupation with the U.S. president. Among Frankopan’s criticisms of the West is its supposed opposition to immigration, even though that’s a marginal position within liberal countries but official policy in most of the East.

Nor does Frankopan mention the weird ideological zealotry that threatens to destabilize if not destroy the West from within.

Still, history’s greatest value might be perspective on the present. This historian’s view of the present and future can help Westerners understand their not-so-esteemed status in the Asian century.

World Gold Council hedges its forecasts for 2019

January 11th, 2019

by Greg Klein | January 11, 2019

Both financial market instability and structural economic improvements bode well for its favourite metal, the World Gold Council reports. The WGC’s Outlook 2019 attributes an optimistic price outlook to an interplay of those two factors along with U.S. interest rates and the dollar.

Bullion and gold-backed ETFs would benefit as savings, investments, jewelry and technology drive up demand. The prognosis also sees central bank demand continuing to rise. Last year’s sovereign purchases reached the highest level since 2015 “as a wider set of countries added gold to their foreign reserves for diversification and safety.”

Accentuating gold’s safe haven status would be the financial market uncertainty apparent in higher volatility, European instability, protectionist policies and “an increased likelihood of a global recession,” the report states.

“Stubbornly low” bond yields offer poor protection against uncertainty, the WGC notes. Meanwhile Europe’s economy lags behind the U.S. as the continent faces Brexit, social unrest in France and separatism in Spain, among other challenges. Increasing protectionism and trade war rhetoric threaten economies with inflation and restrictions to “the flow of capital, goods and labour.”

Comprising 70% of consumer gold demand, emerging markets remain “very relevant” to gold’s long-term performance. China’s Belt and Road projects boost regional economic and infrastructure development. India’s economic modernization should continue last year’s 7.5% growth into 2019, “outpacing most global economies and showing resilience to geopolitical uncertainty.

“Given its unequivocal link to wealth and economic expansion, we believe gold is well poised to benefit from these initiatives. We also believe that gold jewellery demand will strengthen in 2019 if sentiment is positive, while increase marginally should uncertainty remain.”

To the allure of gold, the WGC attributes its returns on investment and its liquidity. Additionally, the metal provides an almost unique hedge that often correlates with the market in good times but detaches itself during negative periods, the council states.

While a stronger U.S. economy and dollar could stall gold, the last two months have shown a correction in equities along with weaknesses in other assets, said Joseph Cavatoni, WGC managing director for the U.S. and ETFs. With political uncertainty also troubling investors “we’re going to see gold start to have a much more relevant role to play in people’s investment portfolios.”

Not without skin in the game itself, the WGC represents some of the world’s top gold miners.

Download Outlook 2019: Global economic trends and their impact on gold.

Emerita Resources expands portfolio with Brazilian lithium acquisition

September 12th, 2018

by Greg Klein | September 12, 2018

A company focused on base metals in two continents has broadened its approach by moving into a lithium-producing neighbourhood. By exercising its 100% option, Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO picks up the Falcon Litio MG project, half a kilometre from the Companhia Brasileira de Litio lithium deposit currently being mined. Initial field work on Falcon has found pegmatite dykes similar to mineralized dykes on CBL’s property.

Emerita Resources expands portfolio with Brazilian lithium acquisition

Located in eastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, the region is hardly new to Emerita. The state also hosts the company’s 75%-held Salobro zinc project, where drilling wrapped up in July with an initial release of high-grade assays. Vale NYSE:VALE had previously attributed the property with an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent for 1.3 million zinc-equivalent pounds, using a 3.5% zinc-lead cutoff. Emerita has a 43-101 resource due imminently.

But location was just part of the reason Emerita considered Falcon to be “an exceptional opportunity to add value at a low cost,” said CEO David Gower. “There has been interest expressed by third parties in potentially getting involved in the Litio project.”

Emerita gets Falcon on issuing a third tranche of 500,000 shares. The vendor retains a 2% NSR. Should the project achieve a resource showing at least 20 million tonnes averaging 1.3% Li2O, with at least half in the indicated or measured categories, Emerita pays the vendor $5 million cash or issues an equal amount in shares.

Besides the two Brazilian projects, the company holds three properties in Spain: Plaza Norte, a 50/50 joint venture on a zinc-lead past-producer; Aznalcollar, with an historic, non-43-101 zinc-lead-copper estimate; and Paymogo, with two historic, non-43-101 zinc-lead estimates.

In July Emerita offered a private placement of up to $3 million.

Emerita Resources finishes drilling, plans Brazil zinc resource estimate in two weeks

July 26th, 2018

by Greg Klein | July 26, 2018

With its initial drill program wrapped up on time and on budget, Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO expects to release a resource estimate for its Salobro zinc project in eastern Brazil within two weeks. The campaign totalled 22 holes for 3,676 metres. Thirteen holes were intended to expand the historic resource and four others twinned historic holes, while five large-diameter holes collected material for metallurgical tests.

Some standout assays from the batch released July 26 include:

Emerita Resources finishes drilling, plans Brazil zinc resource estimate in two weeks

Emerita Resources’ drill program expanded Salobro’s
mineralization without exceeding the previous depth.

Hole 012

  • 11.19% zinc and 1.26% lead over 2.8 metres, starting at 111.65 metres in downhole depth

Hole 013

  • 11.62% zinc and 0.4% lead over 1.71 metres, starting at 102.97 metres

Hole 016

  • 3.65% zinc and 0.2% lead over 8.46 metres, starting at 119 metres

  • 7.71% zinc and 0.99% lead over 3.43 metres, starting at 141.1 metres

The company interprets widths to be close to true widths.

The overall program succeeded in expanding mineralization up dip and along strike, with the historic deposit remaining open at depth, Emerita stated. The results also improve continuity, while geophysical analysis shows potential mineralization plunging to the west.

An historic, non-43-101 estimate compiled by Vale NYSE:VALE calculated 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent at a cutoff of 3.5% zinc-lead.

Adding mineralization that does not require increasing depth should have a positive impact on the PEA results.—David Gower,
chairperson and incoming CEO
of Emerita Resources

“We have increased the limits of the near-surface mineralization, which was a key objective of the program,” pointed out chairperson David Gower. “The NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate that is being prepared will be the basis for the planned preliminary economic assessment and adding mineralization that does not require increasing depth should have a positive impact on the PEA results.”

Effective August 1, Gower and current CEO Michael Timmins swap positions, with Gower becoming CEO and Timmins chairing the board.

Also emphasizing the shallow mineralization, project manager Carlos Cravo added: “The relogging of the historical drilling combined with the new data has resulted in an improved understanding of the deposit morphology that will improve drill targeting and should benefit any future mine plan should the deposit be put into production.”

Emerita holds a 75% share of the 1,210-hectare property, with the remainder held by IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. Regional infrastructure includes paved roads, rail, power and water.

In northern Spain’s Reocin mining district, Emerita takes part in a 50/50 joint venture on the Plaza Norte zinc-lead project. The JV has drill permitting underway to update historic work.

Emerita also announced a private placement offered up to $3 million, with proceeds intended for Salobro. The company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $4.24 million last December.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Emerita Resources steps out to cut 5.7% zinc over 8 metres in Brazil

June 7th, 2018

by Greg Klein | June 7, 2018

Three more holes from eastern Brazil’s Salobro zinc project have Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO encouraged about potential expansion to an historic, non-43-101 Vale NYSE:VALE estimate. The results follow the first two holes, released June 1, of a program that’s expected to sink 23 holes totalling about 3,500 metres. Seventeen holes have been finished so far.

Emerita Resources cuts 5.7% zinc over 8 metres in Brazil

DDH-007 stepped out 100 metres from an historic, non-43-101 interval of 6.09% zinc and 0.73% lead over 10.43 metres. The new intercept hit:

  • 5.7% zinc and 0.84% lead, for 6.54% zinc and lead, over 8 metres, starting at 239.5 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 8.82% zinc and 1.48% lead, for 10.3% zinc and lead, over 4 metres)

Two near-surface holes tested potential for a starter pit in an area where an historic, non-43-101 trench assay showed 1.35% zinc over 22 metres. The new assays show:

DDH-005

  • 4.59% zinc and 0.08% lead, for 4.67% zinc and lead, over 1.5 metres, starting at 65.82 metres

DDH-006A

  • 1.52% zinc and 0.01% lead, for 1.53% zinc and lead, over 3 metres, starting at 26 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Scheduled for Q3 is a resource to update Vale’s now historic, non-43-101 estimate of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent, using a 3.5% zinc-lead cutoff. The campaign will also collect 400 kilograms of material for metallurgical tests.

Last week Emerita released the current program’s first two assays, showing 4.05% zinc and 1.24% lead over 9.62 metres, along with 5.15% zinc and 0.51% lead over 3.32 metres. The company also reported that new assays from Vale core showed consistency with historic results, easing the way to a 43-101 resource.

Emerita has a 75% stake in the 1,210-hectare property, with the remainder held by IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. The region’s infrastructure includes paved roads, rail, power and water.

Emerita also shares in a 50/50 joint venture on the Plaza Norte zinc-lead project in northern Spain’s Reocin mining district, where the company has drill permitting underway to update historic work.

In December the company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $4.24 million.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Drilling, re-sampling move Emerita Resources towards Q3 Brazilian zinc resource

June 1st, 2018

by Greg Klein | June 1, 2018

While a rig remains busy, new assays from old core show consistency with historic results, bringing Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO closer to a 43-101 resource on its Salobro zinc project in eastern Brazil.

Drilling, re-sampling move Emerita Resources towards Q3 Brazilian zinc resource

Emerita Resources has assays pending from
another 15 holes so far on its current drill campaign.

The company sent 1,184 duplicate core samples from historic Vale NYSE:VALE drilling to the lab, where 55 samples with intervals grading over 1% zinc were considered for statistical purposes.

Compared with Vale’s data, the new assays demonstrate that “the previous historic results are consistent, unbiased and meet the QA/QC requirements to support a mineral resource estimate to NI 43-101 standards,” Emerita stated.

The results provide “a powerful advantage for the project that saves the company considerable time, money and effort,” commented chairperson David Gower. “The project has an abundance of high-quality historic drilling data that allows us to expedite the program as we develop the Salobro project further.”

At a 3.5% zinc-lead cutoff, Vale’s historic, non-43-101 estimate showed 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent. Hoping to expand those numbers in a 43-101 resource planned for Q3, Emerita has so far completed 17 holes totalling 2,740 metres of an anticipated 23-hole, 3,500-metre program. Last week the company released results from the campaign’s first two holes:

DDH-001

  • 4.05% zinc and 1.24% lead for 5.29% zinc plus lead over 9.62 metres, starting at 257.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 9.74% zinc and 3.66% lead for 13.4% zinc plus lead over 2.72 metres)

DDH-002

  • 5.15% zinc and 0.51% lead for 5.66% zinc plus lead over 3.32 metres, starting at 108.38 metres

True widths weren’t provided. The program will also extract 400 kilograms of material for metallurgical tests.

Emerita closed its 75% acquisition of the 1,210-hectare property last March, retaining the right to pick up the other 25%. Regional infrastructure features paved roads, rail, power and water.

In northern Spain’s Reocín mining district the company has drill permitting underway for Plaza Norte, a zinc-lead 50/50 joint venture that also features considerable historic work and regional infrastructure.

Emerita closed an oversubscribed $4.24-million private placement in December.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Emerita Resources releases first zinc-lead assays from its Salobro project in Brazil

May 23rd, 2018

by Greg Klein | May 23, 2018

The near-term goal is a 43-101 resource to replace an historic estimate as drilling continues at Emerita Resources’ (TSXV:EMO) Salobro zinc project in eastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Out of a planned 23-hole, 3,500-metre campaign, the crew has so far sunk 15 holes totalling 2,133.9 metres, with the first two assays released May 23.

Infill hole DDH-001 was collared within 24 metres of an exceptional historic Vale NYSE:VALE interval of 10.39% zinc and 2.13% lead over 13.92 metres. The new hole revealed:

  • 4.05% zinc and 1.24% lead for 5.29% zinc plus lead over 9.62 metres, starting at 257.9 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 9.74% zinc and 3.66% lead for 13.4% zinc plus lead over 2.72 metres)
Emerita Resources releases first zinc-lead assays from its Salobro project in Brazil

A high-grade historic zinc estimate from
Vale brought Emerita Resources to Brazil.

DDH-002 extended an historic mineralized zone approximately 30 metres up-dip, with an assay grading:

  • 5.15% zinc and 0.51% lead for 5.66% zinc plus lead over 3.32 metres, starting at 108.38 metres

True widths weren’t provided.

Vale’s historic, non-43-101 estimate came to 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent using a 3.5% zinc-lead cutoff. Emerita hopes to increase those numbers in a 43-101 resource scheduled for July. The company filed a 43-101 technical report on the 1,210-hectare property in March.

The current program includes six large-diameter holes to collect 400 kilograms of material for metallurgical tests.

Emerita closed its 75% acquisition of Salobro in March, with the right to take on the remaining 25% from IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. The region’s infrastructure includes paved roads, cell phone reception, rail, power and water.

Emerita also partners in a 50/50 joint venture on Plaza Norte, a northern Spain zinc-lead project with considerable historic work and regional infrastructure that sits adjacent to the former Reocin mine that produced about 62 million tonnes averaging 11% zinc and 1.4% lead up to 2003. With drill permitting underway, Emerita could produce a maiden resource for Plaza Norte in early 2019.

Last December the company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $4.24 million.

Read more about Emerita Resources.