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Periodic table: New version warns of elements that are endangered

January 25th, 2019

by David Cole-Hamilton, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of St Andrews | posted with permission of The Conversation | January 25, 2019

Periodic table New version warns of elements that are endangered

Period pains. (Image: European Chemical Society)

 

It is amazing to think that everything around us is made up from just 90 building blocks—the naturally occurring chemical elements. Dmitri Mendeleev put the 63 known during his time into order and published his first version of what we now recognize as the periodic table in 1869. In that year, the American Civil War was just over, Germany was about to be unified, Tolstoy published War and Peace and the Suez Canal was opened.

There are now 118 known elements but only 90 that occur in nature. The rest are mostly super-heavy substances that have been created in laboratories in recent decades through nuclear reactions and rapidly decay into one or more of the natural elements.

Where each of these natural elements sits in the periodic table allows us to know immediately a great deal about how it will behave. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this amazing resource, UNESCO has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table.

Periodic table New version warns of elements that are endangered

Dmitri Mendeleev.
(Artwork: Marusya Chaika)

As part of the celebrations, the European Chemical Society has published a completely new version of the periodic table. (See main image.) It is designed to give an eye-catching message about sustainable development. Based on an original idea in the 1970s from the American chemist William Sheehan, the table has been completely redrawn so that the area occupied by each element represents its abundance on a log scale.

Red for danger

Each area of the new table has been colour-coded to indicate its vulnerability. In most cases, elements are not lost but, as we use them, they become dissipated and much less easy to recover. Red indicates that dissipation will make the elements much less readily available in 100 years or less—that’s helium (He), silver (Ag), tellurium (Te), gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), strontium (Sr), yttrium (Y), zinc (Zn), indium (In), arsenic (As), hafnium (Hf) and tantalum (Ta).

To give just a couple of examples, helium is used to cool the magnets in MRI scanners and to dilute oxygen for deep-sea diving. Vital rods in nuclear reactors use hafnium. Strontium salts are added to fireworks and flares to produce vivid red colours. Yttrium is a component of camera lenses to make them shock- and heat-resistant. It is also used in lasers and alloys. Gallium, meanwhile, is used to make very high-quality mirrors, light-emitting diodes and solar cells.

Meanwhile, the orange and yellow areas on the new periodic table anticipate problems caused by increased use of these elements. Green means that plenty is available—including the likes of oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), aluminium (Al) and calcium (Ca).

Four elements—tin (Sn), tantalum (Ta), tungsten (W) and gold (Au)—are coloured in black because they often come from conflict minerals; that is, from mines where wars are fought over their ownership. They can all be more ethically sourced, so it’s intended as a reminder that manufacturers must carefully trace their origin to be sure that people did not die in order to provide the minerals in question.

Smartphone shortages

Out of the 90 elements, 31 carry a smartphone symbol reflecting the fact that they are all contained in these devices. This includes all four of the elements from conflict minerals and another six with projected useful lifetimes of less than 100 years.

Let us consider indium (In), for instance, which is coloured red on the table. Every touch screen contains a transparent conducting layer of indium tin oxide. There is quite a lot of indium, but it is already highly dispersed. It is a byproduct of zinc manufacture, but there is only enough from that source for about 20 years. Then the price will start to rise quickly unless we do something to preserve current stocks.

The three main possibilities are: replace, recycle or use less. Huge efforts are being made to find alternative materials based on Earth-abundant elements. Reclaiming indium from used screens is possible and being attempted. But when we look at the periodic table and the very precious nature of so many of the elements, can we possibly justify changing our phone every two or so years?

At present over one million phones are traded every month in the UK alone, as well as 10 million in Europe and 12 million in the U.S.

At present over one million phones are traded every month in the UK alone, as well as 10 million in Europe and 12 million in the U.S. When we trade in our smartphones, many of them go to the developing world initially for reuse. Most end up in landfill sites or undergo attempts to extract a few of the elements under appalling conditions. The other elements remain in acidic brews. Along with the very many that lie around in drawers, this is how the elements in mobile phones become dissipated.

The number of phones we trade in could be greatly reduced and lower the demand on limited resources such as indium. In this context, the recent Apple profit warning, partly due to customers replacing their iPhones slightly less frequently, was at least a sign of improvement.

But as the new version of the periodic table underlines, we must do all we can to conserve and recycle the 90 precious building blocks that make up our wonderfully diverse world. If we don’t start taking these problems more seriously, many of the objects and technologies that we now take for granted may become relics of a more abundant age a few generations from now—or available only to richer people.

David Cole-Hamilton is affiliated with the UK Liberal Democratic Party. He is vice-president of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS). He is past-president of the Royal Society of Chemistry Dalton Division covering Inorganic Chemistry. He is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Education Committee, RSE Learned Societies Group on STEM Education, RSE European Strategy Group and chairs the sub-group on Research, Innovation and Tertiary Education. He is a trustee of the Wilkinson Charitable Foundation.

Posted with permission of The Conversation.

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Ximen Mining and GGX Gold report more high-grade, near-surface gold-silver with tellurium from B.C.

January 21st, 2019

by Greg Klein | January 21, 2019

Ximen Mining and GGX Gold report more high-grade, near-surface gold and silver with tellurium from southern B.C.

Visible gold brings new potential to an historic British Columbia camp.

 

Heralding the results as once again “some of the highest-grade intersections ever drilled over the last 100 years in the Greenwood gold mining camp,” Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM CEO Chris Anderson welcomed the latest Gold Drop news from optionee GGX Gold TSXV:GGX. The property was one of the former gold and silver mining sites in the historic camp about 500 kilometres by highway east of Vancouver.

Following the previous week’s batch featuring 129 g/t gold and 1,154 g/t silver over 7.28 metres, these assays come from the final four holes of an 11-hole November campaign on the southern extension of Gold Drop’s COD vein. All holes were sunk within 25 metres of two 2018 holes and “suggest a continuous high-grade gold mineralized structure has been confirmed,” Ximen stated.

The standout of this batch was COD18-70, which showed:

  • 107.5 g/t gold and 880 g/t silver over 6.9 metres, starting at 22.57 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 541 g/t gold, 4,532 g/t silver and >500 g/t tellurium over 0.85 metres)
Ximen Mining and GGX Gold report more high-grade, near-surface gold and silver with tellurium from southern B.C.

Some other highlights featured:

COD18-68

  • 8.77 g/t gold, 85.4 g/t silver and 56.3 g/t tellurium over 2.76 metres, starting at 19.49 metres
  • (including 14.47 g/t gold, 131.8 g/t silver and 87.9 g/t tellurium over 1.39 metres)

COD18-69

  • 5.76 g/t gold, 67.9 g/t silver and 61.2 g/t tellurium over 7.46 metres, starting at 26.72 metres
  • (including 9.77 g/t gold, 95 g/t silver and 110 g/t tellurium over 0.8 metres)
  • (and including 70.9 g/t gold, 569 g/t silver and 278 g/t tellurium over 0.4 metres)

True widths were unavailable.

GGX acts as operator under an option to earn 100% of the project. Should GGX fulfill the 100%, Ximen may form a JV by reimbursing GGX 30% of its spending to that date. Ximen retains a 2.5% NSR.

Also in southern B.C., Ximen plans springtime underground drilling and remedial work for its flagship Brett project in the Okanagan region. Metallurgical tests on 1990s material stockpiled during early-stage mine development support an historic report of 4 g/t to 5 g/t gold, the company announced in November.

About a three and a half hour drive northeast of Vancouver, Ximen holds the Treasure Mountain property near Nicola Mining’s (TSXV:NIM) Treasure Mountain silver project, the location of underground mining in 2008 and 2013.

In late December Ximen closed a private placement of $540,000 and offered another private placement of $250,000.

Ximen Mining/GGX Gold report near-surface 129 g/t gold and 1,154 g/t silver over 7.28 metres in B.C.

January 14th, 2019

by Greg Klein | January 14, 2019

Ximen Mining GGX Gold report near-surface 129 g/t gold and 1,154 g/t silver over 7.28 metres in B.C.

Gold Drop gives up high grades near surface at B.C.’s historic Greenwood camp.

 

With assays from seven of 11 November holes now in, Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM and GGX Gold TSXV:GGX report high gold and silver grades along with tellurium at the Gold Drop project in southern British Columbia’s Greenwood camp. All from near-surface intervals on the southern extension of the property’s COD vein, the batch featured a standout result of 129.1 g/t gold and 1,154.9 g/t silver over 7.28 metres. GGX operates the project under option from Ximen.

A closer look at hole COD18-67 shows the breakdown of sub-intervals:

  • 129.1 g/t gold and 1,154.9 g/t silver over 7.28 metres, starting at 23.19 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 106 g/t gold, 1,250 g/t silver and >500 g/t tellurium over 0.37 metres)
  • (and including 232.1 g/t gold, 2,001.1 g/t silver and >500 g/t tellurium over 3.13 metres)
  • (and including 143 g/t gold, 1,372.9 g/t silver and >500 g/t tellurium over 0.77 metres)
Ximen Mining GGX Gold report near-surface 129 g/t gold and 1,154 g/t silver over 7.28 metres in B.C.

Some of the program’s other highlights showed:

COD18-61

  • 5.29 g/t gold, 32.4 g/t silver and 31.4 g/t tellurium over 1.38 metres, starting at 22.62 metres

COD18-63

  • 28 g/t gold, 424.7 g/t silver and 150.4 g/t tellurium over 1.17 metres, starting at 26.14 metres
  • (including 49.7 g/t gold, 787 g/t silver and 245 g/t tellurium over 0.59 metres)

COD18-66

  • 6.97 g/t gold, 46.8 g/t silver and 34.4 g/t tellurium over 0.94 metres, starting at 22.96 metres

True widths were unavailable.

The autumn campaign followed two initial holes sunk last August within 25 metres’ distance. Again at near surface, those results featured 50.15 g/t gold and 375 g/t silver over 2.05 metres for COD18-45, along with 54.9 g/t gold and 379 g/t silver over 1.47 metres for COD18-46.

Drilling and trenching have traced COD’s mineralized vein system for about 400 metres in strike, remaining open to the northeast, at depth and possibly to the southwest, the operator stated.

Gold Drop was one of the sites of historic gold and silver mining in the Greenwood camp, roughly 500 kilometres by highway east of Vancouver.

The Gold Drop option allows GGX to earn 100% of the project, with Ximen retaining a 2.5% NSR. If GGX completes the 100% earn-in, Ximen may form a JV by reimbursing GGX 30% of its work expenses to that date.

Ximen’s flagship Brett project in southern B.C.’s Okanagan region has underground drilling and remedial work planned for spring. In November the company announced that results from a batch test supported an historic report of 4 g/t to 5 g/t gold from material stockpiled when a mine portal was built during the 1990s. Ximen plans further metallurgical tests on the stockpiled material.

In southwestern B.C., Ximen holds the Treasure Mountain property proximal to Nicola Mining’s (TSXV:NIM) Treasure Mountain silver project, where underground mining took place briefly in 2008 and 2013.

After closing a private placement of $540,000 in late December, Ximen offered another private placement of $250,000.

Ximen Mining announces progress as GGX Gold wraps up fall drilling on B.C. option

December 11th, 2018

by Greg Klein | December 11, 2018

Ximen Mining announces progress as GGX Gold wraps up fall drilling on B.C. option

Core shows a gold-bearing quartz vein from previously released hole COD18-45.
(Photo: GGX Gold)

 

While the company’s focus remains the Brett project, Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM sees continued encouragement from another southern British Columbia gold property. On December 11 the company updated progress on Gold Drop, under option to GGX Gold TSXV:GGX and located in the historic Greenwood mining camp about 500 kilometres east of Vancouver. Assays are now pending for an 11-hole autumn campaign conducted by GGX.

Taking place within 25 metres of two holes sunk earlier this year, the program targeted the southern extension of the property’s COD vein. Assays for the two holes released in August showed:

COD18-45

  • 50.15 g/t gold and 375 g/t silver over 2.05 metres, starting at 27.85 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.34 g/t gold, 13.35 g/t silver and 9.31 g/t tellurium over 0.43 metres)
  • (and including 28.1 g/t gold, 134 g/t silver and 85.5 g/t tellurium over 0.83 metres)
  • (and including 167.5 g/t gold, 1,370 g/t silver and >500 g/t tellurium over 0.46 metres)
  • (and including 5.69 g/t gold, 65.5 g/t silver and 58.2 g/t tellurium over 0.33 metres)
Ximen Mining announces progress as GGX Gold wraps up fall drilling on B.C. option

COD18-46 showed further indication of the
gold-bearing quartz vein. (Photo: GGX Gold)

COD18-46

  • 54.9 g/t gold and 379 g/t silver over 1.47 metres, starting at 29.57 metres
  • (including 5.57 g/t gold, 22.2 g/t silver and 16.85 g/t tellurium over 0.29 metres)
  • (and including 34.8 g/t gold, 239 g/t silver and 191 g/t tellurium over 0.3 metres)
  • (and including 223 g/t gold, 1,535 g/t silver and >500 g/t tellurium over 0.3 metres)
  • (and including 11.4 g/t gold, 127 g/t silver and 95.1 g/t tellurium over 0.14 metres)

True widths were unavailable.

Results announced in November from the as-yet undrilled COD North area included a grab sample grading 15.45 g/t gold, 159 g/t silver and 114.5 g/t tellurium. A chip sample showed 21.7 g/t gold, 216 g/t silver and 149 g/t tellurium over 0.4 metres. COD North has been permitted for a maiden drill program.

Ximen has received two of four annual payments on the option signed in 2016, which totals $400,000 cash, $600,000 in shares, another million shares and $1 million in spending over four years. Ximen retains a 2.5% NSR. Should GGX complete the 100% option, Ximen could form a JV by paying GGX 30% of its work expenses to that date.

In southern B.C.’s Okanagan region, Ximen has underground drilling and remedial work planned for the company’s flagship Brett project next spring. Last month the company stated that a gold recovery batch test supported an historic report of 4 g/t to 5 g/t gold from material stockpiled when a mine portal was built during the 1990s. The company plans additional metallurgical tests on the stockpiled material.

In southwestern B.C., Ximen holds the Treasure Mountain project proximal to Nicola Mining’s (TSXV:NIM) Treasure Mountain silver deposit, the site of short-lived underground mining operations in 2008 and 2013.

Earlier this month Ximen offered a private placement of $540,000.

Can’t live without them

March 23rd, 2018

The U.S. Critical Materials Institute develops new technologies for crucial commodities

by Greg Klein

A rare earths supply chain outside China? It exists in the United States and Alex King has proof on his desk in the form of neodymium-iron-boron magnets, an all-American achievement from mine to finished product. But the Critical Materials Institute director says it’s up to manufacturers to take this pilot project to an industry-wide scale. Meanwhile the CMI looks back on its first five years of successful research while preparing future projects to help supply the stuff of modern life.

The U.S. Critical Materials Institute develops new technologies and strategies for crucial commodities

Alex King: “There’s a lot of steps in rebuilding that supply chain.
Our role as researchers is to demonstrate it can be done.
We’ve done that.” (Photo: Colorado School of Mines)

The CMI’s genesis came in the wake of crisis. China’s 2010 ban on rare earths exports to Japan abruptly destroyed non-Chinese supply chains. As other countries began developing their own deposits, China changed tactics to flood the market with relatively cheap output.

Since then the country has held the rest of the world dependent, producing upwards of 90% of global production for these metals considered essential to energy, defence and the overall economy.

That scenario prompted U.S. Congress to create the CMI in 2013, as one of four Department of Energy innovation hubs. Involving four national laboratories, seven universities, about a dozen corporations and roughly 350 researchers, the interdisciplinary group gets US$25 million a year and “a considerable amount of freedom” to pursue its mandate, King says.

The CMI channels all that into four areas. One is to develop technologies that help make new mines viable. The second, “in direct conflict with the first,” is to find alternative materials. Efficient use of commodities comprises the third focus, through improvements in manufacturing, recycling and re-use.

“Those three areas are supported by a fourth, which is a kind of cross-cutting research focus extending across a wide range of areas including quantum physics, chemistry, environmental impact studies and, last but certainly not least, economics—what’s the economic impact of the work we do, what’s its potential, where are the economically most impactful areas for our researchers to address,” King relates.

With 30 to 35 individual projects underway at any time, CMI successes include the Nd-Fe-B batteries. They began with ore from Mountain Pass, the California mine whose 2015 shutdown set back Western rare earths aspirations.

The U.S. Critical Materials Institute develops new technologies and strategies for crucial commodities

Nevertheless “that ore was separated into individual rare earth oxides in a pilot scale facility in Idaho National Lab,” explains King. “The separated rare earth oxides were reduced to master alloys at a company called Infinium in the Boston area. The master alloys were brought to the Ames Lab here at Iowa State University and fabricated into magnets. So all the skills are here in the U.S. We know how to do it. I have the magnets on my desk as proof.”

But, he asks, “can we do that on an industrial scale? That depends on companies picking up and taking ownership of some of these processes.”

In part, that would require the manufacturers who use the magnets to leave Asia. “Whether it’s an electric motor, a hard disk drive, the speakers in your phone or whatever, all that’s done in Asia,” King points out. “And that means it is most advantageous to make the magnets in Asia.”

America does have existing potential domestic demand, however. The U.S. remains a world leader in manufacturing loudspeakers and is a significant builder of industrial motors. Those two sectors might welcome a reliable rare earths supply chain.

“There’s a lot of steps in rebuilding that supply chain. Our role as researchers is to demonstrate it can be done. We’ve done that.”

Among other accomplishments over its first five years, the CMI found alternatives to both europium and terbium in efficient lighting, developed a number of improvements in the viability of rare earths mining and created much more efficient RE separation.

“We also developed a new use for cerium, which is an over-produced rare earth that is a burden on mining,” King says. “We have an aluminum-cerium alloy that is now in production and has actually entered the commercial marketplace and is being sold. Generating use for cerium should generate additional cash flow for some of the traditional forms of rare earths mining.”

Getting back to magnets, “we also invented a way of making them that is much more efficient, greatly reduces sensitive materials like neodymium and dysprosium, and makes electric devices like motors and generators much more efficient.”

All these materials have multiple uses. It’s not like they don’t have interest in the Pentagon and other places.—Alex King

Future projects will focus less on rare earths but more on lithium. The CMI will also tackle several others from the draft list of 35 critical minerals the U.S. released in February: cobalt, manganese, gallium, indium, tellurium, platinum group metals, vanadium and graphite. “These are the ones where we feel we can make the most impact.”

While the emphasis remains on energy minerals, “all these materials have multiple uses. It’s not like they don’t have interest in the Pentagon and other places.”

But the list is hardly permanent, while the challenges will continue. “We’ve learned a huge amount over the last five years about how the market responds when a material becomes critical,” he recalls. “And that knowledge is incredibly valuable because we anticipate there will be increasing incidences of materials going critical. Technology’s moving so fast and demand is shifting so fast that supply will have a hard time keeping up. That will cause short-term supply shortfalls or even excesses. What we need to do is capture the wisdom that has been won in the rare earths crisis and recovery, and be ready to apply that as other materials go critical in the future.”

Alex King speaks at Argus Specialty Metals Week, held in Henderson, Nevada, from April 16 to 18. For a 15% discount on registration, enter code RARE2018.

Critical attention

December 21st, 2017

The U.S. embarks on a national strategy of greater self-reliance for critical minerals

by Greg Klein

A geopolitical absurdity on par with some aspects of Dr. Strangelove and Catch 22 can’t be reduced simply through an executive order from the U.S. president. But an executive order from the U.S. president doesn’t hurt. On December 20 Donald Trump called for a “federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals.” The move came one day after the U.S. Geological Survey released the first comprehensive update on the subject since 1973, taking a thorough look—nearly 900-pages thorough—at commodities vital to our neighbour’s, and ultimately the West’s, well-being.

U.S. president Trump calls for a national strategy to reduce foreign dependence on critical minerals

The U.S. 5th Security Forces Squadron takes part in a
September exercise at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
(Photo: Senior Airman J.T. Armstrong/U.S. Air Force)

The study, Critical Mineral Resources of the United States, details 23 commodities deemed crucial due to their possibility of supply disruption with serious consequences. Many of them come primarily from China. Others originate in unstable countries or countries with a dangerous near-monopoly. For several minerals, the U.S. imports its entire supply.

They’re necessary for medicine, clean energy, transportation and electronics but maybe most worrisome, for national security. That last point prompted comments from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, whose jurisdiction includes the USGS. He formerly spent 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL officer.

“I commend the team of scientists at USGS for the extensive work put into the report, but the findings are shocking,” he stated. “The fact that previous administrations allowed the United States to become reliant on foreign nations, including our competitors and adversaries, for minerals that are so strategically important to our security and economy is deeply troubling. As both a former military commander and geologist, I know the very real national security risk of relying on foreign nations for what the military needs to keep our soldiers and our homeland safe.”

Trump acknowledged a number of domestic roadblocks to production “despite the presence of significant deposits of some of these minerals across the United States.” Among the challenges, he lists “a lack of comprehensive, machine-readable data concerning topographical, geological and geophysical surveys; permitting delays; and the potential for protracted litigation regarding permits that are issued.”

[Trump’s order also calls for] options for accessing and developing critical minerals through investment and trade with our allies and partners.

Trump ordered a national strategy to be outlined within six months. Topics will include recycling and reprocessing critical minerals, finding alternatives, making improved geoscientific data available to the private sector, providing greater land access to potential resources, streamlining reviews and, not to leave out America’s friends, “options for accessing and developing critical minerals through investment and trade with our allies and partners.”

Apart from economic benefits, such measures would “enhance the technological superiority and readiness of our armed forces, which are among the nation’s most significant consumers of critical minerals.”

In fact the USGS report finds several significant uses for most of the periodic table’s 92 naturally occurring elements. A single computer chip requires well over half of the table. Industrialization, technological progress and rising standards of living have helped bring about an all-time high in minerals demand that’s expected to keep increasing, according to the study.

“For instance, in the 1970s rare earth elements had few uses outside of some specialty fields, and were produced mostly in the United States. Today, rare earth elements are integral to nearly all high-end electronics and are produced almost entirely in China.”

The USGS tracks 88 minerals regularly but also works with the country’s Defense Logistics Agency on a watch list of about 160 minerals crucial to national security. This week’s USGS study deems the critical 23 as follows:

  • antimony
  • barite
  • beryllium
  • cobalt
  • fluorite or fluorspar
  • gallium
  • germanium
  • graphite
  • hafnium
  • indium
  • lithium
  • manganese
  • niobium
  • platinum group elements
  • rare earth elements
  • rhenium
  • selenium
  • tantalum
  • tellurium
  • tin
  • titanium
  • vanadium
  • zirconium

A January 2017 USGS report listed 20 minerals for which the U.S. imports 100% of its supply. Several of the above critical minerals were included: fluorspar, gallium, graphite, indium, manganese, niobium, rare earths, tantalum and vanadium.

This comprehensive work follows related USGS reports released in April, including a breakdown of smartphone ingredients to illustrate the range of countries and often precarious supply chains that supply those materials. That report quoted Larry Meinert of the USGS saying, “With minerals being sourced from all over the world, the possibility of supply disruption is more critical than ever.”

As both a former military commander and geologist, I know the very real national security risk of relying on foreign nations for what the military needs to keep our soldiers and our homeland safe.—Ryan Zinke,
U.S. Secretary of the Interior

David S. Abraham has been a prominent advocate of a rare minerals strategy for Western countries. But in an e-mail to the Washington Post, the author of The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age warned that Trump’s action could trigger a partisan battle. He told the Post that Republicans tend to use the issue to loosen mining restrictions while Democrats focus on “building up human capacity to develop supply chains rather than the resources themselves.”

Excessive and redundant permitting procedures came under criticism in a Hill op-ed published a few days earlier. Jeff Green, a Washington D.C.-based defence lobbyist and advocate of increased American self-reliance for critical commodities, argued that streamlining would comprise “a positive first step toward strengthening our economy and our military for years to come.”

In a bill presented to U.S. Congress last March, Rep. Duncan Hunter proposed incentives for developing domestic resources and supply chains for critical minerals. His METALS Act (Materials Essential to American Leadership and Security) has been in committee since.

Speaking to ResourceClips.com at the time, Abraham doubted the success of Hunter’s bill, while Green spoke of “a totally different dynamic” in the current administration, showing willingness to “invest in America to protect our national security and grow our manufacturing base.”

Update: Read about Jeff Green’s response to the U.S. national strategy.

“Shocking” USGS report details 23 minerals critical to America’s economy and security

December 19th, 2017

This story has been expanded and moved here.

Deer Horn Metals chairman Tony Fogarassy on his company’s plan for a gold-silver-tellurium mine in B.C.

March 19th, 2013

…Read More

Economy of size

March 13th, 2013

Deer Horn Metals reaches PEA with B.C. gold, silver and tellurium

by Greg Klein

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It would be a small mine but a nano-cap company has big hopes for a gold-silver-tellurium project in west-central British Columbia. On March 13 Deer Horn Metals TSXV:DHM released a preliminary economic assessment for a 74,000-tonne-per-annum operation that would run six months a year. The modest size offers a number of advantages in permitting, financing and garnering community support, the company believes.

Deer Horn Metals hits PEA with B.C. gold, silver and tellurium

Deer Horn Metals based its PEA on about 450 metres of a
2.4-kilometre vein system 36 klicks south of the Huckleberry mine.

The Deer Horn project’s base case, using three-year metal price trailing averages and a 5% discount rate, estimates a net present value of $39.5 million and a 32% internal rate of return. Initial capital costs are projected at $27.8 million with payback in 2.4 years. Over a 14-year lifespan the open pit would produce an estimated total of 67,000 ounces gold, 2.11 million ounces silver and 63,000 kilograms tellurium.

The project would include a conventional flotation mill producing a combined gold-silver-tellurium concentrate.

Apart from the base case, the PEA offers separate numbers projected on recent metal prices, resulting in a $49.3-million NPV, 38% IRR and a 2.2-year payback.

The rugged region makes infrastructure an obvious challenge. The capex includes the cost of upgrading an eight-kilometre road from the mine site to a lake. From there, barge traffic would connect with other roads, including a route to Imperial Metals’ TSX:III Huckleberry mine.

The report is based on an April 2012 resource update that used a cutoff of 1 gram per tonne gold, showing:

  • an indicated category of 414,000 tonnes averaging 5.12 g/t gold, 157.5 g/t silver and 160 g/t tellurium for 68,000 ounces gold, 2.1 million ounces silver and 66,000 kilograms tellurium
  • an inferred category of 197,000 tonnes averaging 5.04 g/t gold, 146.5 g/t silver and 137 g/t tellurium for 32,000 ounces gold, 930,000 ounces silver and 27,000 kilograms tellurium.

The update marked the first such 43-101 resource “as far as we know,” Deer Horn chairman Tony Fogarassy tells ResourceClips. “If there’s a company out there with a tellurium resource estimate, we haven’t seen it.”

Eastmain Resources TSX:ER, for example, has been reporting tellurium drill results from its Clearwater (Eau Claire) property in Quebec’s James Bay region. But that project’s October 2012 resource update limited itself to gold.

As for the tellurium market, “an oversupply has existed from late 2011 but it’s expected to get more balanced by the end of this year,” Fogarassy says. “That projection was made about a year ago by First Solar [FSLR ], a multi-billion-dollar manufacturer of solar panels, which are an important use for tellurium…. By the time we could build a mine we’d anticipate the tellurium market to improve.”

He adds, “It’s a very specific element that’s used in phase change technology [for CDs and DVDs], computer chips and appliances, as well as the solar panel sector.”

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From Abitibi to James Bay

November 8th, 2012

Assays reveal the lure of gold in three Quebec regions

by Greg Klein

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As one of the world’s top mining jurisdictions, Quebec provides a steady source of commodity news. ResourceClips takes a look at November 8 drill results from Eastmain Resources TSX:ER, Gold Bullion Development TSXV:GBB and Northern Superior Resources TSXV:SUP, each working a different part of the province.

With high grades and visible gold, Eastmain continues to build its Eau Claire (Clearwater) gold-tellurium project. Assays from this year’s 90-hole, 34,211-metre campaign in Quebec’s James Bay lowlands show the project advancing towards a goal of up to 2.3 million gold ounces.

Results from Eau Claire’s 850 West zone show:

  • 41.62 grams per tonne gold over 2 metres
  • (including 148 g/t gold and 173 g/t tellurium over 0.5 metres)
  • 11.04 g/t gold over 6.5 metres
  • (including 19.1 g/t gold over 3.5 metres)
  • 3.09 g/t gold over 13.5 metres
  • (including 10.1 g/t gold and 10 g/t tellurium over 3 metres)
  • 2.57 g/t gold over 15 metres
  • (including 12.6 g/t gold and 21.4 g/t tellurium over 2.5 metres)
  • 1.6 g/t gold over 24 metres
  • (including 3.89 g/t gold and 4.16 g/t tellurium over 6.5 metres)

The 450 West zone assays show:

  • 2.49 g/t gold over 18 metres
  • (including 15.3 g/t gold and 21.9 g/t tellurium over 3 metres)
  • 24 g/t gold over 1.5 metres
  • (including 67.1 g/t gold and 87.3 g/t tellurium over 0.5 metres)
  • 4.7 g/t gold over 5 metres
  • (including 9.33 g/t gold and 11 g/t tellurium over 2 metres)
Assays reveal the lure of gold in three Quebec regions

Eastmain’s 3D model showing Eau Claire’s
850 West and 450 West zones.

True widths were estimated at 100%. Down-hole depths weren’t provided but the project’s resource estimate starts at surface and extends to a depth of 900 metres. The company stated approximately half the Eau Claire deposit may have open pit potential.

Assays are pending from additional holes, as well as from four 0.5-metre samples showing more than 250 grains of visible gold and one 0.5-metre sample showing 35 grains of visible gold from the 850 West zone.

Last month’s resource update for zones 450 and 850 used a 0.5 g/t cutoff for open pit resources above 220 metres in depth and an underground cutoff of 2.5 g/t. The open pit resource showed:

  • 2.67 million tonnes grading an average 4.76 g/t for 408,000 gold ounces measured
  • 1.5 million tonnes grading an average 3.53 g/t for 170,000 gold ounces indicated
  • 2.4 million tonnes grading an average 2.5 g/t for 192,000 gold ounces inferred

The underground resource showed:

  • 145,000 tonnes grading an average 6.96 g/t for 32,000 gold ounces measured
  • 558,000 tonnes grading an average 6.12 g/t for 110,000 gold ounces indicated
  • 4.03 million tonnes grading an average 7.2 g/t for 929,000 gold ounces inferred

In a statement accompanying the November 8 assays, QP Eugene Puritch of P&E Mining Consultants said the resource grades “are not often found in this geological and geographical setting. The open pit gold grade in particular is in the order of three or four times that of which many other exploration projects have recently reported. Additionally, the underground gold grade is also in the order of 50% higher than recent comparable projects. With these high-grade resources, close proximity to custom processing facilities, a road and power, the prospect of a positive economic analysis is very encouraging.”

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