Saturday 19th October 2019

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Posts tagged ‘thorium’

Boss Power slate wins board election in battle with Beruschi over B claims

November 15th, 2013

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2013

The contest was bitter and the results close but a slate backed by Boss Power TSXV:BPU management won the company’s November 14 election to board of directors. Rival nominees had been presented by Morning Star Resources president Anthony Beruschi. The conflict grew out of a $30-million settlement with the province of British Columbia following B.C.’s sudden ban on uranium and thorium exploration in 2009. To get the cash, Boss must turn over certain exploration claims to the province. Included are the B claims, which are held by Beruschi. The two sides differ widely in their estimation of the claims’ price.

[The new board will] seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.—Boss Power

Boss offered $1.55 million. Beruschi wanted $4 million. In early October Beruschi offered to let a court decide the claims’ value if Boss directors would resign.

Boss initially refused. But later that month, after Beruschi nominated his own slate, Boss responded with five new nominees of its own and a proposal to expand the board from three to five directors. Denunciations from both sides built a crescendo up to November 14. The outcome seemed uncertain—Beruschi said Morning Star and its affiliates hold about a third of Boss shares.

Boss’ nominees won, but only with 53.95% each. They are:

  • Dev Randhawa, CEO/chairman of Fission

  • Chartered accountant Donald Siemens

  • Geologist Ron Stewart

According to Boss’ October 22 circular, the new board will “seek to negotiate with Beruschi … and, if needed, re-open negotiations with the province.” Because of the delays, the government has threatened to rescind the $30-million out-of-court settlement.

By press time Boss acting CEO Ron Netolitzky hadn’t responded to an interview request. Beruschi was unavailable for comment November 15 but indicated he would speak with ResourceClips.com the following week.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

October 6th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Lakeland Resources begins Riou Lake ground campaign

Field work has begun at Lakeland Resources’ TSXV:LK Riou Lake project along the Athabasca Basin’s north-central rim. In an October 2 announcement the company outlined the agenda for its Gibbon’s Creek target, just three kilometres from the town of Stony Rapids. Initial work will consist of surface prospecting and boulder sampling, soil gas radon surveying, line-cutting and ground DC resistivity geophysics, with the goal of identifying winter drill targets.

The campaign follows eight months of preparation in which Lakeland studied a volume of previous data, director Ryan Fletcher tells ResourceClips.com. “There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco,” he says. “We’ve been going over their information.”

There was over $3 million of geophysics from UEX and a considerable amount of work by Eldorado Nuclear before they merged into Cameco. We’ve been going over their information.—Lakeland Resources
director Ryan Fletcher

Eldorado found numerous boulders grading up to 4.9% uranium oxide (U3O8) and soil samples between five and 10 parts per million uranium, compared to background levels up to 1 ppm. Geophysics showed a gravity low measuring about three kilometres by one kilometre at the end of a conductive zone over 15 kilometres long.

Fourteen historic holes found anomalous radioactivity, geochemistry or both. With the benefit of recent modelling, assays reveal a structural co-corridor up to one kilometre long and 100 metres wide. UEX Corp TSX:UEX flew its $3-million airborne geophysics in 2005, but Lakeland is the first to bring modern ground exploration techniques to the project.

Among Gibbon’s attractions are shallow depths to the unconformity, Fletcher points out. “They’re about 50 metres to 200 metres, which means more holes for our shareholders’ money. If we get a discovery it’s more likely to be open pittable, which would mean better economics and a more strategic project for M&A. That’s what Patterson Lake South had. They went from boulder results to radon results, then they found a high-grade, near-surface discovery.”

Apart from historic data and shallow targets, Fletcher cites other cost-saving potential. “Our crews are based out of the community of Stony Rapids, just a few kilometres from Gibbon’s. A year-round highway, power and all the infrastructure for exploration are basically right adjacent to the target.”

With the program managed by Athabasca veterans Dahrouge Geological Consulting, Fletcher looks forward to a steady stream of news. “For a brand new, smaller market cap company, investors are going to start getting a lot of information from the field.”

Read more about Lakeland Resources.

Fission closes $11.25-million private placement

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for September 28 to October 4, 2013

An $11.25-million private placement will fund Fission’s
Patterson Lake South exploration once the Alpha acquisition closes.

Assuming all approvals fall into place, a bought-deal private placement will bring $11.25 million to Patterson Lake South’s future sole owner. On October 3 Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU reported a syndicate of underwriters led by Dundee Securities agreed to buy 7.5 million subscription receipts, exchangeable into flow-through shares, at $1.50. The deal includes an option to buy an additional 15%.

Proceeds will be held in escrow until Fission closes its acquisition of Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW, currently a 50/50 joint venture partner in PLS, and spins out its other properties. The subscribers won’t receive shares in the spinco. The entire amount’s designated for PLS exploration.

Read more about Fission’s acquisition of Alpha.

Rockgate considers alternatives to takeover by Denison

Still studying their options following an unsolicited takeover bid from Denison Mines TSX:DML, Rockgate Capital TSX:RGT directors on October 1 urged their shareholders to take no action until further notice.

Denison offered 0.192 of its share for each Rockgate share, a proposal strong enough to defeat a previously proposed Rockgate merger with Mega Uranium TSX:MGA. Nevertheless Rockgate’s board emphasized that Denison proposed a change of control, as opposed to a “merger of equals with Mega.”

Rockgate added that “in the absence of a preliminary economic assessment or other study, mining companies are commonly valued on an enterprise value/pound U3O8 multiple.” Denison’s offer works out to “a $0.09/lb multiple which is significantly below the average multiple of $4.37/lb paid on other relevant, development uranium transactions completed post the Fukushima accident,” Rockgate stated. Since September 27 “the implied Denison offer has declined a further 11%.”

Rockgate further stated that Denison sought conditions that weren’t “subject to a materiality threshold or other objective criteria, but provide Denison with sole discretion” whether to proceed. “In addition, the minimum tender condition of 90% is very high….”

Meanwhile, Rockgate added, it’s in discussion with other potential buyers, having been unable to respond to one approach when the non-solicitation agreement with Mega was in effect.

Rockgate promised to update shareholders no later than one week before the Denison offer’s October 25 expiry date.

Read more about Mega’s and Denison’s competing offers for Rockgate.

Read more about uranium merger-and-acquisition activity.

Karoo signs LOI for three Zambian projects

Karoo Exploration TSXV:KE announced a letter of intent September 30 to acquire a portfolio of Zambian uranium properties from ASX-listed African Energy Resources. Under the deal Karoo would pay US$2 million and issue shares and warrants worth $500,000 at a share price “based on any offering completed by Karoo concurrent with this acquisition.”

The package includes the Chirundu, Kariba Valley and North Luangwa Valley projects. African Energy, which focuses on its Botswana coal assets, has a JORC-compliant resource for two Chirundu deposits with open pit potential. The Njame deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 2.7 million tonnes averaging 0.035% for 2.1 million pounds U3O8

  • an indicated category of 3.7 million tonnes averaging 0.025% for 2.1 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 6.6 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 3.5 million pounds

The Gwabe deposit shows:

  • a measured category of 1.3 million tonnes averaging 0.024% for 700,000 pounds

  • an indicated category of 3.6 million tonnes averaging 0.031% for 2.5 million pounds

  • an inferred category of 800,000 tonnes averaging 0.018% for 300,000 pounds

Karoo holds five uranium exploration licences in southern Tanzania. The company began trading on September 4 following a reverse takeover involving United Uranium.

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Athabasca Basin and beyond

August 31st, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for August 24 to 30, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission proposes Alpha takeover for sole control of Patterson Lake South

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<p class=Fission Uranium threatened to go hostile when Alpha Minerals
asked for more time to consider its proposal.

This week’s Patterson Lake South news came not from the field or an assay lab but from the boardrooms. Separate August 26 news releases from 50/50 joint venture partners Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU and Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW revealed that talks had been underway about the former taking over the latter.

It transpired that after the market closed on Friday, August 23, Fission gave Alpha until the following Sunday afternoon to respond to Fission’s all-share offer, then valued at $7.26 per Alpha share or about $170.44 million. When Alpha asked for more time to consider, Fission went public, saying it “will consider making a formal offer directly to Alpha’s shareholders.”

By press time August 31, neither company had made further announcements on the subject.

Read more about Fission’s proposal and Alpha’s response.

Read commentator Tommy Humphreys’ suggestions for a combined Fission/Alpha team.

Update: On September 3 both companies announced a letter of intent for Fission to acquire Alpha. Read more.

Ashburton finds radioactive boulders at Sienna West, reports historic data

Ashburton Ventures TSXV:ABR has wrapped up Phase I exploration at its 1,090-hectare Sienna West property about 40 kilometres southwest of the PLS discovery, the company announced on August 28. “Numerous” radioactive boulders showed gamma ray readings above 200 counts per second, with some measuring 1,500 to 1,800 cps. About 20 boulders will be assayed, the company stated. In addition 40 radon detector cups were placed, to be retrieved for analysis after 30 days.

Ashburton also cited historic, non-43-101 Geological Survey of Canada sediment samples from two lakes on the property that showed results in the 98th percentile of 909 samples from roughly 16,000 square kilometres of northwestern Saskatchewan. The lakes are two kilometres apart, suggesting the results “are not an isolated occurrence,” the company added.

The Sienna project includes the 147-hectare Sienna North property contiguous with PLS’s northern boundary. Two weeks earlier Ashburton reported a crew found radioactive boulders there, which were sent for assays, and placed radon cups. The company plans to identify drill targets for Sienna’s next phase.

Enexco/Denison drill Bachman Lake

Drilling has begun at Bachman Lake, an 11,419-hectare property about four kilometres west of Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Athabasca Basin. The three-hole, 1,900-metre program will cost JV partners Denison Mines TSX:DML and International Enexco TSXV:IEC $570,000, the latter announced on August 26. The helicopter-supported campaign will test three conductors that lie 2.5 to five kilometres apart.

Enexco may earn a 20% interest by funding $500,000 by year-end. Denison, which holds a 7.4% interest in Enexco, acts as project operator. Enexco also holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake JV 20 kilometres northeast, along with Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco’s 100% Contact copper project now undergoes pre-feasibility.

Fission finds “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on North Shore

On the northwestern Basin, airborne geophysics found two “significant and strongly radioactive” anomalies on Fission’s North Shore property, the company reported August 29. “The northern anomalous region occurs within a 1.5-kilometre by 0.5-kilometre area and contains several parallel trends up to 300 metres,” the company stated. Another anomaly about seven kilometres southwest ranges between one to 10 kilometres wide and up to three kilometres long. The company added that radiometrics suggest some of the larger anomalies “are likely to be part of the outcrop/sub-crop, as opposed to boulders.”

Fission credited the find to its patent-pending System and Method for Aerial Surveying or Mapping of Radioactive Deposits, which the company says is the same technology that found the PLS boulder field. In August Fission’s collaborator on the system, Special Projects Inc, flew a 12,257-line-kilometre magnetic and radiometric survey at 50-metre line-spacing over the entire property. The system can distinguish between radioactivity released by uranium, thorium or potassium, as well as determine the relative concentration of each element, Fission stated.

Along with further data analysis, the company plans to follow up with mapping and prospecting. The property underwent a seven-hole, 1,260-metre drill program in 2007 and 2008. Fission has interests in seven Basin uranium projects and one in Peru.

U3O8 negotiating JV with Argentinian state-owned company

U3O8 Corp TSX:UWE announced August 27 that advanced discussions are underway with the state-owned mining company of Chubut province, Argentina, to form a JV. The proposal would combine U3O8’s Laguna Salada uranium-vanadium project with adjoining concessions held by Petrominera Chubut SE, onto which U3O8 believes its deposit extends. The company said the deal would also “establish a framework for potential development of the Laguna Salada deposit in compliance with the stringent requirements of the current provincial mining law.” The project has a preliminary economic assessment scheduled later this year.

Having acquired Calypso Uranium last May, U3O8 holds Argentina’s two largest uranium deposits. The country plans to bring a third reactor online this year, boosting its proportion of nuclear energy to 9%, while a fourth reactor is out for tender and a fifth is being planned, U3O8 stated. Argentina currently imports all of its nuclear fuel.

In Colombia, U3O8’s Berlin project has a December PEA for a potential uranium mine with phosphate, vanadium, nickel and rare earths credits. The company also has a uranium project in Guyana.

Boss Power/Morning Star dispute stalls $30-million settlement

A $30-million settlement dating to October 2011 is being held up by a dispute between its beneficiaries. After the British Columbia government suddenly banned uranium and thorium exploration in 2009, the province eventually settled Boss Power’s TSXV:BPU lawsuit out of court. But a condition required the company to surrender its exploration properties, the Blizzard properties and the peripheral B claims. According to an August 19 news release from Morning Star Resources, the settlement hasn’t closed because Boss included those claims in the settlement “without the knowledge and consent of the B claims owner,” Anthony Beruschi.

An August 27 Boss news release acknowledged Beruschi, “sole director and president of Morning Star” and a former Boss director, as “beneficial owner of the B claims.”

Boss’ news release claimed Beruschi “appears determined to extract more than his fair share of the settlement proceeds” and “now appears to be leveraging media and threats of a board replacement to obtain payment for his B claims.”

Morning Star’s August 19 statement said Beruschi “has privately presented several fair offers to Boss’ management and the board to enable Boss to deliver the B claims under the settlement” and accused Boss of “a refusal to negotiate in good faith.”

Morning Star said it will present its own slate of nominees for election to Boss’ board at a meeting Morning Star expects to be held by mid-November “so that it can promptly close the $30-million settlement.” Morning Star stated that it and its affiliates hold about 33% of Boss’ shares.

Boss countered it will “continue its efforts to reach an agreement with Mr. Beruschi while at the same time pursuing court proceedings to allow the settlement proceeds to be paid into court and the settlement to complete.”

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Cosmic cataclysm

July 18th, 2013

An exceedingly rare event might help explain the genesis of gold

by Greg Klein

It happened some 3.9 billion light years away, lasted less than one-fifth of a second and created gold worth about $10 octillion. (That’s one followed by 28 zeroes.) Even more significant to the boffins fascinated by these events, the June 3 gamma ray burst might have provided the “smoking gun” to support a theory about gold’s cosmic origins. That’s the message announced July 17 by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

They believe the gamma ray burst supports a 20-year-old theory that gold results from collisions of neutron stars, not from supernovae. Although the collisions happen only about once every 10,000 to 100,000 years, they could account for all the gold in the universe.

Standing before an illustration of colliding neutron stars, Edo Berger theorizes about how gold comes to be

Standing before an illustration of colliding neutron stars,
Edo Berger theorizes about how gold comes to be.

Dr. Edo Berger addressed the July 17 press conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explaining how investigators found their smoking gun. A NASA satellite spotted the June 3 gamma ray burst, and the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile and later the Hubble Space Telescope zoomed in on the action. Resulting from the burst was a black hole and an afterglow. But scientists saw the afterglow followed by an infrared light. They believe that suggests radioactivity from the formation of uranium and thorium in an event that would also create other heavy elements like lead and gold.

The fact that the radioactive elements are neutron-rich supports the theory that the gamma ray burst was caused by two colliding neutron stars. As remnants of exploding supernovae, Berger explained, the dead stars orbit each other and, while circling, continually move closer until they collide. The explosion flings out material that creates radioactive elements, along with base and precious metals.

Debris from that one burst equals about 1% of our sun’s mass and “about 10 parts per million of that is gold,” Berger maintained. “That corresponds to several times the mass of our moon, just in gold, just in this one event.” His price estimate came to $10 octillion.

To gold bugs, the words “cosmic cataclysm” might bring to mind a sudden, suspicious sell-off, or maybe some market-shattering musing from Ben Bernanke. But eggheads take those terms literally when speculating about the origin of the universe, stars, galaxies, planets and even gold.

While geologists focus their attention in the other direction, they often look to the heavens for clues about the rocks they study. Meteorites, for example, offer hints about what this planet might have been like before processes like planetary differentiation into core, mantle and crust. And one theory has it that a “terminal bombardment” of meteorites brought gold to earth. A September 2011 Nature article stated that “iron-loving” metals like gold would be hidden at much, much deeper depths were they not carried here after the earth cooled.

The bombardment would have occurred relatively recently, probably no more than 3.8 billion years ago.

Watch a video of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center announcement.

Athabasca Basin and beyond

June 29th, 2013

Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere for June 22 to 28, 2013

by Greg Klein

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Fission/Alpha strike gold at PLS, report geochem results

Patterson Lake South’s potential might go beyond the stuff of yellowcake to include yellow metal. After releasing all those high-grade, near-surface uranium assays, Alpha Minerals TSXV:AMW and Fission Uranium TSXV:FCU finally reported high-grade, near-surface gold on June 24. Where it was found, the gold frequently correlated with high-grade uranium, although the reverse wasn’t always true. But they did find gold in all three zones.

Some highlights include:

Zone R390E

  • 1.58 grams per tonne gold over 63.5 metres, starting at 82 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 8.8 g/t over 2.5 metres)
  • (and including 35.6 g/t over 0.5 metres)
  • 1.02 g/t over 53 metres, starting at 95 metres
  • (including 2.6 g/t over 10.5 metres).
Uranium news from Saskatchewan and elsewhere

Zone R00E

  • 1.9 g/t over 20.5 metres, starting at 65.5 metres.

Zone R780E

  • 1.71 g/t over 7 metres, starting at 144 metres
  • (including 4.48 g/t over 2.5 metres).

True thicknesses weren’t available. The 50/50 joint venture partners pointed to other uranium-gold occurrences in the western Athabasca Basin including Cluff Lake, which produced over 16,000 gold ounces in 1987, and the high gold grades reported from the UEX Corp TSX:UEX/AREVA Resources Canada Shea Creek JV. But Fission and Alpha cautioned that Athabasca gold typically occurs irregularly, making extraction viable only with a mineable uranium deposit.

The companies also reported that, unlike some Basin deposits, PLS has shown low arsenic values. High arsenic requires more costly processing and disposal, the partners stated.

Additionally, geochemical work showed strongly anomalous boron related to the hydrothermal alteration in and around uranium mineralization. “The extent of the alteration halo around the mineralization can enlarge the target area and be used as a guide to focus on an area in a suitable geophysical setting,” the companies stated.

Project operator Fission plans to resume drilling in July, part of a program jointly budgeted at $6.95 million.

$6-million program for PLS-area’s largest package proposed by Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Lucky Strike, Noka

The plan calls for four companies funding exploration on the Patterson Lake South area’s largest land package. Under a memorandum of understanding announced June 24, Skyharbour Resources TSXV:SYH and Athabasca Nuclear TSXV:ASC would combine their Basin properties into one 287,130-hectare bundle, with Lucky Strike Resources TSXV:LKY and Noka Resources TSXV:NX also contributing to a two-year, $6-million campaign.

The properties include Athabasca Nuclear’s Preston Lake, 26 kilometres south of the PLS discovery, and Skyharbour’s adjacent West Patterson, South Patterson and Draco properties. Also included are Skyharbour’s nearby North Patterson, RY and South Basin properties, and its 11,769-hectare Wheeler claims in the eastern Basin.

Noka and Lucky Strike already hold a 25% earn-in each on Skyharbour’s properties. The MOU would give Athabasca Nuclear a 25% option on the properties as well. The other three companies would each get 25% options on Athabasca Nuclear’s 125,375-hectare Preston Lake. Lucky Strike and Noka would each fund $1 million of exploration per year for two years, while Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear would each put up $500,00 a year.

Cash and shares would change hands as Noka and Lucky Strike each pay $100,000 and issue $100,000 in shares to each of Skyharbour and Athabasca Nuclear. The latter two would issue each other shares worth $100,000.

Finally, the four companies would form a JV. They hope to sign a definitive agreement by June 30.

Speaking to ResourceClips.com, Skyharbour president/CEO Jordan Trimble emphasized that the plan minimizes his company’s risk and future equity dilution. “We decided this approach made the most sense from both an exploration standpoint and a financial standpoint,” he said. “This will also create value-added synergies that will further improve our chances of raising money and making a new discovery.”

Already underway at the PLS-area properties is an airborne VTEM-plus time domain survey, to be followed by radiometrics later this summer. Another co-operative effort, the surveys are jointly funded by Skyharbour, Athabasca Nuclear, Aldrin Resource TSXV:ALN and Forum Uranium TSXV:FDC to explore their contiguous claims.

Plans call for further exploration by the newly announced strategic alliance, with operator Athabasca Nuclear consulting with the other geological teams as well as Alpha’s 43-101 technical report for PLS. “They’ve really written the book on how to discover deposits in this specific area,” Trimble said.

Read more about the four-way strategic alliance.

International Enexco JVs with Denison on Bachman Lake

A JV announced June 25 brings together International Enexco TSXV:IEC and Denison Mines TSX:DML on the Bachman Lake project, about four kilometres from Cameco Corp’s TSX:CCO proposed Millennium mine in the southeastern Basin. Enexco may earn 20% of Bachman by funding $500,000 of exploration by year-end. Denison remains project operator. The 11,419-hectare property is scheduled for a helicopter-supported 1,900-metre drill program beginning in August to focus on three conductors identified by geophysics and historic drilling.

Twenty kilometres northeast Enexco holds a 30% interest in the 3,407-hectare Mann Lake project, a JV with operator Cameco (52.5%) and AREVA Resources Canada (17.5%). In Nevada, Enexco has a feasibility study underway on its Contact copper project.

Kivalliq releases assays from its Angilak project in Nunavut

Exploration drilling on two new zones at Kivalliq Energy’s TSXV:KIV Angilak project produced a batch of assays released June 27. Some highlights from the Nunavut property show:

ML zone

  • 0.46% uranium oxide (U3O8), 0.48% copper, 0.15% molybdenum and 53.6 g/t silver over 4.3 metres, starting at 90.2 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 1.42% U3O8, 0.64% copper, 0.4% molybdenum and 139 g/t silver over 1.2 metres).

J1 zone

  • 0.06% U3O8, 0.08% copper, 0.01% molybdenum and 8.3 g/t silver over 1.3 metres, starting at 38 metres
  • 1.06% U3O8, 0.28% copper, 0.03% molybdenum and 3.6 g/t silver over 0.3 metres, starting at 60.1 metres
  • 0.56% U3O8, 0.05% copper, 0.28% molybdenum and 15.5 g/t silver over 0.6 metres, starting at 77.2 metres
  • (including 1.31% U3O8, 0.09% copper, 0.66% molybdenum and 33.9 g/t silver over 0.3 metres)
  • 0.15% U3O8, 0.05% copper, 0.07% molybdenum and 9.2 g/t silver over 0.2 metres, starting at 114.8 metres.

Intercepts are estimated true widths. Kivalliq president Jeff Ward said the two zones show geological similarity and proximity to current deposits on the project’s Lac 50 trend, which has a March 2013 inferred resource of 2.83 million tonnes averaging 0.69% U3O8, Canada’s highest-grade uranium resource outside the Athabasca Basin.

Kivalliq operates the 138,000-hectare project, 225 kilometres south of Baker Lake, in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Drilling resumes in July.

Macusani releases assays from Peru, says resource updates are imminent

In southeastern Peru, Macusani Yellowcake TSXV:YEL announced drill results from the Chilcuno Chico anomaly on its Kihitian property. Some highlights from the June 26 release include:

  • 0.121% U3O8 over 17 metres, starting at 220 metres in downhole depth
  • (including 0.346% over 4 metres)
  • 0.172% over 4 metres, starting at 103 metres
  • 0.032% over 41 metres, starting at 248 metres
  • (including 0.308% over 3 metres)
  • 0.056% over 16 metres, starting at 35 metres
  • 0.059% over 9 metres, starting at 232 metres
  • (including 0.163% over 2 metres).

True widths weren’t available. With 45,000 metres since 2011, drilling has delineated an area about 1,050 metres by 1,100 metres, where the Manto B zone remains open in all directions. Macusani believes the project’s Quebrada Blanca anomaly forms part of the same mineralized sequence as Manto B.

The company has two drills turning at Chilcuno Chico and two more at its Tupuramani project, also on the Macusani Plateau. Resource updates for Colibri 2 and 3/Tupuramani and for Chilcuno Chico/Quebrada Blanca are expected within days.

Read more about exploration and mining in Peru.

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The B.C. election

May 15th, 2013

An astonishing BC Liberal win brings relief to the mining and exploration sector

by Greg Klein

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Updated results:

  • BC Liberals 50 seats, 44.4% of the vote
  • NDP 33 seats, 39.5%
  • Greens 1 seat, 8%
  • Independent 1 seat, 3.3%

If British Columbia’s mining and exploration sector needed a massive jolt of reassuring news, they got it May 14. The pollsters were wrong, the pundits were wrong and the winners might be as surprised as the losers are disappointed. Although the popular vote was close, the BC Liberal party won an historic fourth term, handily defeating the New Democratic Party.

Christy Clark’s campaign emphasized the economy with appearances at work sites

Christy Clark’s campaign emphasized the economy with appearances
at work sites throughout the province. (Photo: BC Liberals)

Or did the NDP defeat themselves? Adrian Dix, the party’s choice for new leader 13 months ago, was widely considered an NDP hardliner. He played a prominent role in B.C.’s last NDP government, which is blamed for the “dismal decade” of 1991 to 2001, when the province’s economy tanked despite robust performance in other parts of the country. For possibly the first time in its history, B.C. saw a significant exodus of job-seekers. In addition to low metal prices and Bre-X, exploration and mining were hammered by NDP policies. As the BC Liberals like to say, when the NDP governed “two mines closed for every one that opened.”

More recently, Dix tried to soften his image. But he remained vague about his intentions even though—or because—he leads arguably the most extreme left-wing party in mainstream North American politics. In several conversations with ResourceClips prior to the election, exploration and mining company executives spoke with dread of another NDP government.

Now, it turns out, they needn’t have worried. But apart from removing a widely perceived threat, what exactly does a BC Liberal victory mean to the sector?

That’s not easy to say. Mining didn’t play a prominent role in the election, despite the efforts of four industry organizations behind the Vote Mining campaign.

If you look at the debacle with HD Mining, no one even thought of employing first nations people.—Stephen Hunt,
western Canada director of the
United Steelworkers union

Moreover, under Christy Clark’s leadership the once business-friendly party has shown policy confusion and a lack of conviction. Her government never explained its rejection last October of Pacific Booker Minerals’ TSXV:BKM proposed Morrison copper-gold-molybdenum mine, which received a favourable environmental assessment report. The company launched a lawsuit in April after spending about $30 million on the project, including over $10 million on the decade-long environmental process.

When news broke that HD Mining plans to staff its proposed Murray River coal mine exclusively with Chinese underground workers, the BC Liberals couldn’t say enough good words about the scheme. The government knew that Chinese interests had similar plans for other B.C. coal projects since at least 2007.

Even under Clark’s more capable predecessor, policy wonk Gordon Campbell, the BC Liberals could sow uncertainty. A sudden ban on uranium and thorium exploration in 2009 led to a $30-million out-of-court settlement for Boss Power TSXV:BPU.

By the BC Liberals’ first 10 years in office, BC Hydro built up at least $2.2 billion in deferred debt that’s expected to reach $5 billion by 2017. The burden calls into question the public utility’s ability to build infrastructure and provide inexpensive electricity to homes, businesses and industry.

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Week in review

February 22nd, 2013

A mining and exploration retrospect for February 16 to 22, 2013

by Greg Klein

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What’s behind the scenes for graphene?

Graphene may have sparked an explosion of patents but results of the boffins’ brainstorms “remain shrouded in secrecy,” according to Friday’s Industrial Minerals. CambridgeIP chairman Quentin Tannock told the journal, “Some companies will never publish their patents and … there are probably many very valuable ideas out there that haven’t been disclosed.”

A mining and exploration retrospect

Graphene’s unique properties suggest a host of possibilities,
but much recent research has focused on touch screen technology.

That could be the case even if only a small fraction of last year’s 5,000-plus patent applications pan out. On February 13 CambridgeIP, which encourages “development, deployment and dissemination of valuable technologies,” released its top 10 list of companies and agencies that filed patents for graphite’s wonder-derivative. A January CambridgeIP report prompted the BBC to speak of “an intensifying global contest to lead a potential industrial revolution.”

But regardless of whether some research stays secret, Focus Graphite TSXV:FMS president/CEO Gary Economo told IM, “We see 2013 as a breakout year.” Focus holds a 40% interest in Grafoid Inc, a company with its own top-secret graphene laboratory. IM said Economo “[predicted] the first raft of graphene-based consumer products will emerge on the market within months.”

Much of the research so far has been on touch screens and bio-sensors, Tannock added.

Rule of law lost in Canadian resource shakedowns

“What is the message being sent to the world” when “five or six disgruntled ex-employees … can shut down a business of 500 people at a cost of millions? That there is no law in northern Ontario?”

That’s how Wednesday’s Timmins Daily Press quoted Neal Smitheman, a lawyer representing De Beers, which faces a native blockade to its Victor diamond mine. The company has now lost nearly three weeks of an approximately 45-day season to transport heavy equipment and supplies over a winter ice road. This week only about half a dozen protestors were in place, apparently ex-employees who want to renegotiate an existing impact benefit agreement. Police refused to intervene, forcing the company to apply for a court injunction. On February 15 Judge Robert Riopelle issued an order that specifically “required” police to act. They still refused. De Beers went back to court on Wednesday.

If Smitheman sounded exasperated, a lawyer representing the Ontario Provincial Police seemed infinitely patient as he explained that the OPP takes a more “measured approach” towards natives than other people. Plus the weather was cold, he said.

Thursday’s Daily Press reported a plea to the demonstrators from two local politicians. “We have hundreds of families across James Bay and the Timmins region who rely on work at the Victor mine to pay their bills and save for their kids’ college education,” said MP Charlie Angus.

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