Wednesday 26th April 2017

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘u3o8’

Belmont Resources has drilling imminent for Nevada lithium

April 19th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 19, 2017

In search of lithium-bearing brines similar to those of the Clayton Valley, 65 kilometres south, drilling could resume any day now at Belmont Resources’ (TSXV:BEA) Kibby Basin project. Having attempted sonic drilling in February, the company now has Harris Exploration Drilling and Associates mobilizing a track-mounted rig for an HQ program to possible depths of about 300 metres.

Belmont Resources has drilling imminent for Nevada lithium

A new drilling contractor brings considerable Clayton Valley experience
and proprietary techniques to Belmont Resources’ Kibby Basin.

The contractor brings extensive Clayton Valley experience in recovering core from unconsolidated lakebed sediments and in testing lithium brine with Harris’ proprietary instrumentation, Belmont stated.

Based on last year’s gravity survey on the 2,760-hectare property, initial holes “are designed to test the eastern basin-bounding fault, where lithium brines are likely to well up in the structural zone, analogous to the concentration of lithium brines along the Paymaster fault in Clayton Valley, and to test the stratigraphy near the central axis of the basin,” the company added. “The holes will test for porous basin sediments, which could serve as aquifers for lithium brines.”

In Saskatchewan’s Uranium City region, Belmont holds a 50/50 JV with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT in the 12,091-hectare Crackingstone and Orbit claims.

Belmont also has international arbitration proceedings underway regarding the revocation of mining rights at a talc project in Slovakia.

During February and March the company closed private placements totalling $467,500.

Pistol Bay readies geophysics, resource update at Ontario’s Confederation Lake

April 12th, 2017

by Greg Klein | April 12, 2017

Taking to the skies to probe deeper underground, the first airborne survey in 20 years will bring state-of-the-art technology to Pistol Bay Mining’s (TSXV:PST) Confederation Lake greenstone belt land package. Geotech Ltd will carry out an initial 1,128-line-kilometre VTEM Plus campaign, the first phase of a belt-scale helicopter-borne program. That’s part of a multi-disciplinary approach planned over the next few years for Pistol Bay’s portfolio, at 9,450 hectares the largest holdings in Confederation Lake.

Pistol Bay readies geophysics, resource update at Ontario’s Confederation Lake

VTEM Plus penetrates deeper and offers better conductor resolution than previous VTEM systems, the company stated.

“We will essentially be exploring a new depth slice of this greenstone belt, with its numerous VMS deposits and occurrences, that has never been explored before,” said president Charles Desjardins. “This newer technology increases the chances of potentially finding a new zinc-copper-silver deposit like the Arrow zone or the former producing South Bay mine.”

Last week Pistol Bay announced an update had begun on Arrow’s 2007 resource, one of the portfolio’s seven historic estimates.

The company’s currently financed with a $548,436 private placement that closed last month and a recent payment of $750,000 from a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary as part of its 100% option on Pistol Bay’s uranium properties in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin.

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining.

The Rio deal

March 29th, 2017

Cashed-up Pistol Bay Mining consolidates and updates Confederation Lake

by Greg Klein

From a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary comes money for an unprecedented campaign in Ontario’s Confederation Lake greenstone belt. That’s where Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST has region-wide exploration with modern methods about to begin on a VMS-rich area that’s previously seen piecemeal, unco-ordinated work with old school technology. President/CEO Charles Desjardins sees plenty of promise in his portfolio’s historic resources. But he also likes the blue sky possibility of a new discovery.

Funding the campaign will be $750,000 from Rio, along with this month’s private placement of $548,436. Proceeds go to the largest land package in Confederation Lake, a region of base metals deposits that Desjardins considers to be clamouring for up-to-date exploration.

Cashed-up Pistol Bay Mining consolidates and updates Confederation Lake

Deep penetration brings blue sky potential to Pistol Bay’s
Confederation Lake portfolio. (Photo: Geotech Ltd)

Rio’s portion comes as the giant exercises more of its 100% option on the junior’s C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. The deal originally called for $5 million by the end of 2019 and a 5% net profit interest to acquire the final 25%. Now Rio pays the $750,000 along with either $1.5 million by 2017 year-end, $2 million by 2018 year-end or $2.25 million by 2019 year-end, plus the 5% NPI.

“That’s less money than the original option, but I can create so much value with it now,” says Desjardins. “And I’m doing it without dilution.”

First item on the agenda—and long overdue, Desjardins believes—will be helicopter-borne VTEM Max, penetrating to depths of 500 to 700 metres. “There have been major Canadian discoveries over the last decade with this kind of geophysics,” he points out. “But very little of this belt, less than 5% of it, has been explored beyond 200 metres. There’s only one zone examined to 300 metres and that was with downhole geophysics by Noranda.”

He expects the first of three airborne campaigns to begin within four weeks. While Pistol Bay’s package comprises 9,450 hectares, “we’re going to fly this whole belt,” he adds. “I’m looking for something bigger, something that hasn’t been found.”

As for the deposits that have been found, they’re overdue for upgrading to 43-101 status. First priority is the polymetallic Arrow deposit, which has a 2007 estimate that Pistol Bay considers historic and non-43-101:

3% zinc-equivalent cutoff

  • indicated: 2.07 million tonnes averaging 5.92% zinc, 0.75% copper, 21.1 g/t silver and 0.58 g/t gold

  • inferred: 120,552 tonnes averaging 2.6% zinc, 0.56% copper, 18.6 g/t silver and 0.4 g/t gold

5% zinc-equivalent cutoff

  • indicated: 1.76 million tonnes averaging 6.75% zinc, 0.79% copper, 22.3 g/t silver and 0.61 g/t gold

  • inferred: 51,631 tonnes averaging 3.86% zinc, 0.79% copper, 23.9 g/t silver and 0.58 g/t gold

10% zinc-equivalent cutoff

  • indicated: 633,000 tonnes averaging 14.3% zinc, 1.11% copper, 31.7 g/t silver and 0.85 g/t gold

Desjardins expects about a month to redo the resource, incorporating another 20 holes.

About eight kilometres west of Arrow, the Fredart zone, also known as Copperlode A, has an historic, non-43-101 estimate showing 385,000 tonnes averaging 1.56% copper and 33.6 g/t silver.

Roughly 24 kilometres farther west, the Dixie property’s historic, non-43-101 estimate comes to 136,000 tonnes averaging 14% zinc.

Estimates for other zones, all with historic, non-43-101 caveats, include:

  • Dixie 3: 83,000 tonnes averaging 10% zinc and 1% copper

  • Copperlode D: 33,000 tonnes averaging 7.58% zinc and 0.26% copper

  • Copperlode E: 145,000 tonnes averaging 8.28% zinc and 1.02% copper

  • Diamond Willow: 270,000 tonnes averaging 4% zinc

There have been major Canadian discoveries over the last decade with this kind of geophysics. But very little of this belt, less than 5% of it, has been explored beyond 200 metres.—Charles Desjardins, president/CEO of Pistol Bay Mining

Past work has left an extensive legacy of other data too. Historic records for the recently optioned Joy North property show intriguing electromagnetic and geochemical anomalies. Pistol Bay’s team has been poring over details of about 850 Confederation Lake holes sunk between 1962 and 2007. A Noranda database of rock chemical analysis, meanwhile, could offer insight into the belt’s VMS mineralizing process and help define zinc-copper targets.

Along with February’s Joy North option, Pistol Bay’s acquisitions continue with the Lucky 7 and Moth properties picked up this month. Now yellow metal shows its Confederation Lake potential with one 2016 grab sample assaying 13.84 g/t gold and 3.21% copper.

As for drilling, the already-permitted Joy North might be first, depending on the review of historic info. Eight other areas have permitting underway. The rigs will take part in Pistol Bay’s threefold near-term agenda: the Arrow resource, the VTEM Max and a drill program, all of which should fuel a steady news flow. “We’ve got lots of work coming up and, thanks to the Rio payment, money to do it with no dilution,” says Desjardins.

Apart from growing the existing deposits, he clearly believes in the potential for a new discovery. “The opportunity here is in consolidating the belt and exploring the whole thing at depth, which hasn’t been done. There’s lots of blue sky at Confederation Lake.”

Pistol Bay expands Confederation Lake package, adding gold to base metals potential

March 22nd, 2017

by Greg Klein | March 22, 2017

The largest portfolio in western Ontario’s Confederation Lake greenstone belt just got larger as Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST increased its holdings to about 9,450 hectares. Two claim groups, Lucky 7 and Moth, cover “a 53-kilometre length of favourable volcanic geology,” the company stated.

Pistol Bay expands Confederation Lake package, adding gold to base metals potential

Neighbouring Pistol Bay’s Garnet Lake and Garnet East properties, the 640-hectare Lucky 7 hosts a copper-gold sulphide zone that was drilled in 1980 and 2002. A zone of massive to disseminated sulphides, the Hilltop copper-gold zone, was trenched but apparently never drilled. One of two Hilltop grab samples taken last year assayed 13.84 g/t gold and 3.21% copper.

Five kilometres from Lucky 7, the 1,360-hectare Moth claims underwent at least 14 holes between 1970 and the mid-1990s, revealing widespread hydrothermal alteration and numerous cases of zinc and/or copper mineralization, Pistol Bay stated. One interval graded 2.86 g/t gold over 0.3 metres. Located two kilometres from the former South Bay zinc-copper-silver mine, Moth sits near the Confederation belt’s most accessible area.

[Assays] suggest that we might be getting into an area with a potential for gold as well as base metals. This is something that hasn’t been widely recognized before in the Confederation Lake belt.—Charles Desjardins,
CEO of Pistol Bay Mining

Assays from both properties “suggest that we might be getting into an area with a potential for gold as well as base metals,” said CEO Charles Desjardins. “This is something that hasn’t been widely recognized before in the Confederation Lake belt.”

Together, the two properties will cost $72,000 and 2.3 million shares over three years. Pistol Bay may buy half of the 1.5% NSR for $400,000.

Last month the company acquired an historic data set for its recently optioned Joy North copper-zinc project. Mostly consisting of drill logs and ground geophysics maps, the info will go into a digital database including drill information, geology, assays, rock chemistry, petrology and geophysics. Now under consideration is an airborne EM and mag survey to penetrate deeper than earlier systems and better discriminate bedrock from overburden conductivity.

Pistol Bay’s overall strategy is to apply modern methods and a regional approach to properties that had previously been explored individually by different companies using earlier techniques.

The company also holds the C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, where a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary advances towards a 100% interest.

On March 20 Pistol Bay closed a private placement totalling $548,436.

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining.

Pistol Bay Mining adds new property to Confederation Lake portfolio

February 16th, 2017

by Greg Klein | February 16, 2017

Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST hopes to unlock one of the puzzles of western Ontario’s Confederation Lake greenstone belt with its 100% option on the Joy North property. The 64-hectare claim lies contiguous with the company’s previously acquired Joy group of claims, which include five mineralized VMS zones. Pistol Bay’s Dixie zone is located about 11 kilometres east of Joy North.

Pistol Bay Mining adds new property to Confederation Lake portfolio

The new property covers a 1,000-metre-long conductive zone where a geochem survey found anomalous zinc, copper and gold. The conductor’s stronger areas also showed stronger magnetic responses.

In 1970 a single 48-metre hole found metavolcanic rocks with the intense alteration associated with volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits. The hole also revealed calc-silicate rocks “suggesting the property may lie at the same stratigraphic horizon as the Dixie zone,” Pistol Bay stated.

The previously acquired Joy group includes the Diamond Willow zone, with an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 270,000 tonnes averaging 4% zinc.

Past drilling highlights from the other four zones have included:

  • Joy Zone: 3.1% copper and 0.2% zinc over 5.7 metres
  • 4.01% copper and 0.17% zinc over 3.35 metres

  • Creek Zone: 2.33% copper and 0.27% zinc over 0.95 metres

  • South Zone: 0.28% copper and 17.17% zinc over 0.6 metres
  • 0.17% copper and 8.36% zinc over 0.25 metres

  • Caravelle Zone: 0.13% copper and 21.6% zinc over 0.25 metres
  • 0.22% copper and 4.44% zinc over 1.1 metres

The new acquisition “includes one of the very few electromagnetic anomalies in the prolifically mineralized Confederation Lake greenstone belt that has not been satisfactorily explained by diamond drilling,” commented CEO Charles Desjardins. The geochemical anomalies also “make it a prime exploration target,” he added.

Subject to approvals, Joy North’s price tag comes to a total of one million shares and $40,500 over four years. A 2% NSR applies, half of which may be bought back for $500,000 and the other half for $1.5 million. Pistol Bay must also drill at least two holes totalling 600 metres. The company intends to drill the project this year.

Last month Pistol Bay updated plans for a regional, multi-disciplinary approach to its Confederation Lake portfolio, which hosts properties that were previously explored by different companies in an inconsistent manner.

In Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, Pistol Bay also holds the C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties, currently being drilled by a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary earning a 100% interest.

Two days before the Joy North announcement, the company appointed geologist Jody Dahrouge to its advisory board.

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining.

Pistol Bay Mining appoints Jody Dahrouge to advisory board

February 14th, 2017

by Greg Klein | February 14, 2017

Geologist Jody Dahrouge has joined Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST as an adviser, the company announced February 14. With a CV spanning over a quarter of a century in Canada and abroad, he brings a successful background in base metals, industrial minerals, rare metals and uranium exploration.

Pistol Bay Mining appoints Jody Dahrouge to advisory board

Jody Dahrouge

As president of Dahrouge Geological Consulting, he and his staff have worked with a broad range of exploration and mining companies. Until 2007, Dahrouge served as president/COO of Fission Energy, a predecessor of Fission Uranium TSX:FCU. While there he played a key role in the acquisition of Waterbury Lake and Patterson Lake South, both of which yielded significant discoveries. Dahrouge has also served as a director and VP of exploration for Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE since 2000.

“We are excited to be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of Mr. Dahrouge and look forward to working with him,” said Pistol Bay CEO Charles Desjardins.

Last month the company outlined plans for a regional and multi-disciplinary exploration approach to its Confederation Lake portfolio, the largest land package in the western Ontario greenstone belt. Pistol Bay expects to file a 43-101 technical report on Confederation Lake’s Arrow zone by mid-March.

In Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, the company holds the C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties, now being drilled by a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary as it advances towards its 100% option.

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining.

Pistol Bay Mining president Charles Desjardins discusses the VMS potential of his company’s portfolio in Ontario’s Confederation Lake greenstone belt

January 30th, 2017

…Read more

Visual Capitalist: What’s needed to sustain uranium’s resurgence?

January 27th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | January 27, 2017

What’s needed to sustain uranium’s resurgence?

 

Uranium miners up 59% on pro-nuclear hopes since U.S. election

The Chart of the Week is a Friday feature from Visual Capitalist.

Uranium’s spot price had a rough ride throughout the course of 2016, but for many investors there is suddenly a new aura of optimism around the troubled metal.

It all starts with Donald Trump’s “America First” strategy, which is being perceived by many as a potential boon to the uranium sector. Official details are slim, but industry executives are currently speculating that the Trump administration will be better for nuclear power than the previous government.

If that’s true, then it would mean far less regulatory hurdles for nuclear power, and likely even funding to bring more power plants online in the United States.

A shot in the arm

Perhaps such a catalyst is just what the metal needed. The spot price and the share prices of uranium miners have been in a gruesome bear market ever since the 2011 Fukushima incident in Japan. The prolonged pain has worn down investors and companies alike, but everything has to bottom at some point.

As David Erfle from Kitco pointed out last week, the chart for the Global X Uranium ETF (URA) makes any other downturn look like a piece of cake. The ETF, which tracks global uranium miners, has lost a whopping 90% of its value over the last six years, including two rollbacks (in 2013 and 2015).

Lately, thanks to the “Trump bump” and a 10% production cut in Kazakhstan announced earlier this month, the URA is suddenly buzzing with volume. The ETF is now back up on its feet, gaining a solid 59% since the election.

But can uranium be great again?

A bounce in uranium stocks is something that was way overdue. However, if nuclear-related announcements aren’t made soon from the Trump administration, the newfound optimism could fade pretty fast.

Statistically speaking, the World Health Organization says that nuclear power kills less people per terawatt hour than any other major source of power, even rooftop solar. Nuclear is also friendly from an emissions perspective: using a life-cycle emissions analysis, nuclear generates similar emissions to wind or hydropower.

The problem, of course, lies in the fat tail risk of a nuclear catastrophe, which is something that is still fresh in people’s minds in the wake of Fukushima.

Whether nuclear and uranium can be great again depends on the public’s tolerance for such projects, as well as a significant amount of support from the government to push new projects through. The rally is much welcomed by uranium investors—but it will remain unclear if it has any long-term legs until these two considerations are met.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Rio continues 100% option on Pistol Bay Mining’s Athabasca Basin uranium project

January 24th, 2017

by Greg Klein | January 24, 2017

Having resumed drilling, a Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO subsidiary advances towards a 100% interest in Pistol Bay Mining’s (TSXV:PST) C4, C5 and C6 uranium properties in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. Rio Tinto Exploration Canada has so far earned 75% of the properties and stated its intention to exercise the full option. That would bring Pistol Bay $5 million by the end of 2019 and a 5% net profits interest.

Rio continues 100% option on Pistol Bay Mining’s Athabasca Basin uranium project

Located in a prolific area, C4, C5 and C6 adjoin Wheeler River, a JV of Denison Mines TSX:DML, Cameco Corp TSX:CCO and JCU (Canada) Exploration that hosts two exceptionally high-grade deposits. The Phoenix zone holds an indicated resource of 70.2 million pounds averaging 19.13% U3O8, the world’s highest-grade undeveloped uranium deposit.

Wheeler’s Gryphon zone shows an inferred 43 million pounds averaging 2.3%. C4, C5 and C6 are located about halfway between Cameco’s majority-held McArthur River, the world’s largest high-grade uranium mine, and Key Lake, the world’s largest uranium mill.

Rio plans four to six holes totalling about 2,600 metres on C5 beginning this month. Past work at C5 has included 12 holes totalling 6,104 metres, along with gravity and DC resistivity surveys.

Five kilometres of rough roads link the three properties to the all-weather route connecting McArthur River with Key Lake.

Last week Pistol Bay updated plans for its properties in Ontario’s Confederation Lake greenstone belt, where the company holds the area’s largest property package. Pistol Bay plans to bring modern geophysics and a region-wide approach to a district where previous companies have explored individual properties at different times.

Late last month the company closed a private placement first tranche totalling $201,850.

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining.

A 2016 retrospect

December 20th, 2016

Was it the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

by Greg Klein

Some say optimism was evident early in the year, as the trade shows and investor conferences began. Certainly as 2016 progressed, so did much of the market. Commodities, some of them anyway, picked up. In a lot of cases, so did valuations. The crystal ball of the industry’s predictionariat often seemed to shine a rosier tint. It must have been the first time in years that people actually stopped saying, “I think we’ve hit bottom.”

But it would have been a full-out bull market if every commodity emulated lithium.

By February Benchmark Mineral Intelligence reported the chemical’s greatest-ever price jump as both hydroxide and carbonate surpassed $10,000 a tonne, a 47% increase for the latter’s 2015 average. The Macquarie Group later cautioned that the Big Four of Albermarle NYSE:ALB, FMC Corp NYSE:FMC, SQM NYSE:SQM and Talison Lithium had been mining significantly below capacity and would ramp up production to protect market share.

Was this the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

That they did, as new supply was about to come online from sources like Galaxy Resources’ Mount Cattlin mine in Western Australia, which began commissioning in November. The following month Orocobre TSX:ORL announced plans to double output from its Salar de Olaroz project in Argentina. Even Bolivia sent a token 9.3 tonnes to China, suggesting the mining world’s outlaw finally intends to develop its lithium deposits, estimated to be the world’s largest at 22% of global potential.

Disagreeing with naysayers like Macquarie and tracking at least 12 Li-ion megafactories being planned, built or expanded to gigawatt-hour capacity by 2020, Benchmark in December predicted further price increases for 2017.

Obviously there was no keeping the juniors out of this. Whether or not it’s a bubble destined to burst, explorers snapped up prospects, issuing news releases at an almost frantic flow that peaked in mid-summer. Acquisitions and early-stage activity often focused on the western U.S., South America’s Lithium Triangle and several Canadian locations too.

In Quebec’s James Bay region, Whabouchi was subject of a feasibility update released in April. Calling the development project “one of the richest spodumene hard rock lithium deposits in the world, both in volume and grade,” Nemaska Lithium TSX:NMX plans to ship samples from its mine and plant in Q2 2017.

A much more despairing topic was cobalt, considered by some observers to be the energy metal to watch. At press time instability menaced the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produces an estimated 60% of global output. Far overshadowing supply-side concerns, however, was the threat of a humanitarian crisis triggered by president Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his mandate on December 20.

Was this the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

But the overall buoyant market mood had a practical basis in base metals, led by zinc. In June prices bounced back from the six-year lows of late last year to become “by far the best-performing LME metal,” according to Reuters. Two months later a UBS spokesperson told the news agency refiners were becoming “panicky.”

Mine closures in the face of increasing demand for galvanized steel and, later in the year, post-U.S. election expectations of massive infrastructure programs, pushed prices 80% above the previous year. They then fell closer to 70%, but remained well within levels unprecedented over the last five years. By mid-December one steelmaker told the Wall Street Journal to expect “a demand explosion.”

Lead lagged, but just for the first half of 2016. Spot prices had sunk to about 74 cents a pound in early June, when the H2 ascension began. Reaching an early December peak of about $1.08, the highest since 2013, the metal then slipped beneath the dollar mark.

Copper lay at or near five-year lows until November, when a Trump-credited surge sent the red metal over 60% higher, to about $2.54 a pound. Some industry observers doubted it would last. But columnist Andy Home dated the rally to October, when the Donald was expected to lose. Home attributed copper’s rise to automated trading: “Think the copper market equivalent of Skynet, the artificial intelligence network that takes over the world in the Terminator films.” While other markets have experienced the same phenomenon, he maintained, it’s probably the first, but not the last time for a base metal.

Was this the comeback year for commodities—or just a tease?

Nickel’s spot price started the year around a piddling $3.70 a pound. But by early December it rose to nearly $5.25. That still compared poorly with 2014 levels well above $9 and almost $10 in 2011. Nickel’s year was characterized by Indonesia’s ban on exports of unprocessed metals and widespread mine suspensions in the Philippines, up to then the world’s biggest supplier of nickel ore.

More controversial for other reasons, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte began ordering suspensions shortly after his June election. His environmental secretary Regina Lopez then exhorted miners to surpass the world’s highest environmental standards, “better than Canada, better than Australia. We must be better and I know it can be done.”

Uranium continued to present humanity with a dual benefit—a carbon-free fuel for emerging middle classes and a cautionary example for those who would predict the future. Still oblivious to optimistic forecasts, the recalcitrant metal scraped a post-Fukushima low of $18 in December before creeping to $20.25 on the 19th. The stuff fetched around $72 a pound just before the 2011 tsunami and hit $136 in 2007.