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Posts tagged ‘tellurium’

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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Grade A

November 29th, 2011

Eastmain Advances Quebec Gold Projects

By Greg Klein

“What sets this project apart from many others is the grade of the open pit,” says Eastmain Resources TSX:ER President/CEO Donald Robinson of his flagship Clearwater Gold-Tellurium Project in the James Bay region of Quebec. “Right now, it’s 5.7 grams gold per tonne, which is three to five times higher than many of the projects out there. So our No. 1 goal is to make the resource bigger. We’ve been doing that over the last five months.”

Eastmain Advances Quebec Gold Projects

As of April, the open-pit resource estimate for Clearwater’s Eau Claire Deposit came to 2.73 million tonnes grading 5.72 g/t for 502,000 gold ounces measured and indicated and 1.4 million tonnes grading 2.83 g/t for 127,000 gold ounces inferred. Eau Claire’s underground resource came to 630,000 tonnes grading 6.46 g/t for 130,000 gold ounces measured and indicated and 3.92 million tonnes grading 7.21 g/t for 910,000 gold ounces inferred.

“It was clear that the greatest potential would come by expanding the near-surface, open-pittable resources,” Robinson reports. “We’ve outlined an area immediately to the west of the defined resource that’s at least 500 metres long. We’ve got about 60 drill holes into it so far. The best hole is just under 18 grams across 12 metres. There’s more than two dozen holes that have visible gold in quartz-tourmaline veins. The footprint of the pit looks like it’ll grow at least twice as big as it was.”

Assays released November 7 include

  • 5.82 g/t gold and 12.3 g/t tellurium over 16.5 metres
    (including 25.1 g/t gold and 54.2 g/t tellurium over 3.5 metres)
  • 15.5 g/t gold and 19.9 g/t tellurium over 3.5 metres
  • 3.38 g/t gold and 4.08 g/t tellurium over 13 metres
    (including 35.6 g/t gold and 51.9 g/t tellurium over 1 metre)
  • 19.2 g/t gold and 88.8 g/t tellurium over 2 metres
  • 2.24 g/t gold and 1.53 g/t tellurium over 12 metres

Robinson hopes to have an updated resource by June 2012, this time including tellurium. Exploration Manager Catherine Butella explains, “Tellurium has been a by-product of the copper-refining process, but now with the new leach methods, it’s no longer extracted that way. Right now tellurium is sold on base-metals spot prices, but it’s perceived to have a lot more worth. There are certain experts who think it’s going to be priced like a precious metal. It’s used in passive solar power, as a coating on windows, the coating on the back of DVDs and CDs, and it’s going to be used as the new phase change technology [used in rewritable DVDs and CDs]. It’s got a lot of uses, and there’s very little around. It’s one of the rarest metals out there.”

Robinson waxes optimistic about the possible production scenario. “At these kinds of grades, a mill at 2,000 tonnes a day will generate 100,000 ounces annual production. The capital cost of this project has advantages, not only because you don’t have to build a 60,000-tonne-a-day mill, but because we’re two kilometres from a road and five kilometres from the cheapest power in the world. It gets even more exciting—our largest stockholder is building the first mine in the district, 50 kilometres to the north.” Goldcorp TSX:G, which holds 8% of Eastmain, has slated its Éléonore Gold Mine for 2014 production.

Next in importance after Clearwater is the company’s self-titled Eastmain Gold-Silver-Copper Project, which has an historic, non-43-101 resource estimate of 800,000 tonnes grading 9.95 g/t gold for 255,750 gold ounces.

“We just completed 14,000 metres of drilling at Eastmain.” Robinson says. “The property comes with 100 square kilometres, and the mine trend is at least 10. There are underground workings and there’s a ramp into the property. There’s a mine camp that was built; it’s permitted; there’s an airstrip, fuel farm and—God love the Quebec government with their Plan Nord—they’re now converting the old winter road that services the property into a permanent road.”

The company also acts as project operator on Éléonore South, holding 36.8% in the JV with Goldcorp (36.8%) and Azimut Exploration TSXV:AZM (26.4%). The early-stage gold project lies adjacent to Goldcorp’s Éléonore development.

This year we’ve had the largest program in the history of the company, 46,000 metres of drilling and a $10-million budget. We’ll do it again, at least as big, in 2012 —Donald Robinson

Last August, Eastmain JV’d with Honey Badger Exploration TSXV:TUF, granting it an option to earn an initial 50% in the Radisson Gold Project. Eastmain holds 12 properties altogether, all in Quebec’s James Bay region, some of which are also available for options.

“This year we’ve had the largest program in the history of the company, Robinson says, “46,000 metres of drilling and a $10-million budget. We’ll do it again, at least as big, in 2012.”

At press time, Eastmain had 95 million shares trading at $1.26 for a market cap of $119.7 million. Analysts believe the share price will rise higher. Robinson explains, “Casimir Capital have a target of $2.25, Macquarie have just upped their target to $2.75, and Rodman & Renshaw out of New York have a target of $2.82.”

Robinson concludes, “We’re in the best mining district in the world; we have mine-ready infrastructure and two high-grade gold deposits. They look like they’re mineable using open pit methods, and Clearwater is going to be a mine. We’ve been endorsed by one of the largest gold miners in the world, and a number of research firms follow us. There’s a lot of third-party scrutiny on us, and so far they like what they’ve seen.”

Deer Horn reports BC Results of 8.69 g/t Gold, 316.8 g/t Silver, 225 g/t Tellurium over 12.8m

November 4th, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningDeer Horn Metals Inc TSXV:DHM announced results from its Deer Horn Property in west-central BC. Highlights include

8.69 g/t gold, 316.8 g/t silver and 225 g/t tellurium over 12.8 metres
(including 30.16 g/t gold, 1,098 g/t silver and 669 g/t tellurium over 2.8 metres)
2.45 g/t gold, 127.7 g/t silver and 132 g/t tellurium over 15 metres
(including 5.95 g/t gold, 300 g/t silver and 290 g/t tellurium over 4.08 metres)
2.04 g/t gold, 71.3 g/t silver and 75 g/t tellurium over 7.6 metres
(including 2.82 g/t gold, 105.3 g/t silver and 98 g/t tellurium over 3.2 metres)

The project has a June 2010 resource estimate of 129,000 tonnes grading 5.71 g/t gold and 182.3 g/t silver indicated and 202,000 tonnes grading 6.1 g/t gold and 186.4 g/t silver inferred.

View Company Profile

Contact:
Tyrone Docherty
President
604.952.7221

by Greg Klein

Eastmain reports Quebec results of 49.9 g/t Gold, 0.67 g/t Tellurium over 2m

October 21st, 2011

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningEastmain Resources Inc TSX:ER announced assays from its Clearwater Project in northern Quebec. Results include

49.9 g/t gold and 0.67 g/t tellurium over 2 metres
(including 84.8 g/t gold and 1.08 g/t tellurium over 1 metre)
3.8 g/t gold and 4.8 g/t tellurium over 17 metres
(including 19.5 g/t gold and 23 g/t tellurium over 2.5 metres)
9.25 g/t gold and 10.7 g/t tellurium over 4.3 metres
(including 22.6 g/t gold and 25.9 g/t tellurium over 1.5 metres)
6.77 g/t gold and 0.57 g/t tellurium over 4 metres
(including 52.8 g/t gold and 0.01 g/t tellurium over 0.5 metres)

The project has an April 2011 resource estimate of 3.35 million tonnes grading 5.39 g/t for 582,000 ounces gold measured and indicated, and 5.32 million tonnes grading 5.96 g/t for 1.02 million ounces inferred.

Exploration Manager Catherine Butella tells ResourceClips.com, “We have good grades for both gold and tellurium. Tellurium has been a by-product of the copper-refining process but now with the new leach methods it’s no longer extracted that way. Right now tellurium is sold on base metals spot prices, but it’s perceived to have a lot more worth. There are certain experts who think it’s going to be priced like a precious metal. It’s used in passive solar power, as a coating on windows, the coating on the back of DVDs and CDs, it’s going to be used as the new phase change technology [used in rewritable DVDs and CDs]. It’s got a lot of uses, and there’s very little around. It’s one of the rarest metals out there.

I think it bodes well that we have a very good project with good resources and quality ounces close to surface—Catherine Butella

“The tellurium market is picking up. Right now the price is between $100 and $500 a kilogram, and in the last five years it’s gone there from $40. The last spot price I looked at was around the $400 mark. It’s certainly increasing in value, and I think as technology develops it’s going to become more and more valuable,” she says.

“We’re going to continue drilling and building this resource. We certainly think that the project has a lot of merit. We’ve made a lot of new discoveries this summer and plan on continuing to show that these can add resources to the project. What we’re seeing now is very near surface, so we think it’s amenable to open pit. It’s our plan to continue with the drilling and make this thing as big as we can.

“Going into production isn’t our priority at this point,” she adds. “I won’t say ‘never,’ but our game plan right now would be to sell it to a producing company. But that may change.

“We have excellent infrastructure. We’re five kilometres from power and about two kilometres from roads.

“Clearwater is our flagship. We are also working quite steadily on the Eastmain Mine Property, which has some historic resources. That would probably be the next project in line. Our Eleonore South Project is a joint venture we have with Goldcorp and Azimut, and we are the operator on that. We have a total of 12 projects in the James Bay district.

“We did a little bit of work on a property Radisson last year and the year before, and this year we have joint-ventured it to Honey Badger. We hope to be drilling our Reservoir Project this winter as well. We’re doing things a bit at a time on the others. Some of those properties are available for options. We certainly will continue to focus on our flagship.”

Despite tumbling share prices elsewhere, Eastmain’s stock has risen from $0.98 on September 29 to $1.25 today.

“We’ve had a lot of good news,” Butella says. “We’ve had continued good drilling results from Clearwater. We took a hammering prior to a lot of the other companies, so we’ve managed to hold our own since then. I think it bodes well that we have a very good project with good resources and quality ounces close to surface. We’ve got some good institutional support as well. Goldcorp is our largest shareholder.”

In conclusion she says, “We have certainly seen a lot of encouragement in the core that we’ve just sent to the lab. We have a lot of visible gold, and generally that means we will see some good assay results when they come back.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Donald J. Robinson
President/CEO
or Catherine Butella
Exploration Manager
519.940.4870

by Greg Klein