Tuesday 11th August 2020

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Posts tagged ‘Vale SA (VALE)’

Work suspended

March 26th, 2020

Some Canadian mining and exploration dispatches during the pandemic

by Greg Klein | March 26, 2020

Shut Down Canada has largely been achieved, but not by the forces that advocated it nor—until someone finds a way of blaming this on climate change—by the doomsday belief they were pushing. Residents of our strangely quiet cities and towns watch the horror unfold elsewhere while wondering how long and hard the pandemic will hit Canada. Meanwhile, workers and business owners might consider themselves lucky if the economy fares no worse than a very serious recession.

Some Canadian mining and exploration dispatches during the pandemic

A reminder that one crisis can trigger another unwittingly came from FortisAlberta on March 23. The company that provides 60% of the province’s electricity “is taking the necessary actions and precautions to protect the health and well-being of its employees and to provide electricity service to its customers.”

The obvious but demoralizing question arises: What happens if too many key people get sick? That danger could apply to any number of essential services. Economic collapse, social disorder, a breakdown of supply chains add to the nightmarish possibilities.

All of which might not happen. In the meantime we can thank the front line workers who keep our society functioning to the extent that it does. Those one- or two-buck-an-hour temporary pay raises hardly acknowledge society’s debt to retail staff who interact constantly with a potentially plague-ridden public. Care workers for the elderly constitute another group of low-paid heroes, several of whom have already made the ultimate sacrifice.

In the meantime here are some reports on Canadian mining’s response to the crisis.

Inconsistent closures suggest an ambivalent industry

Some Canadian mining and exploration dispatches during the pandemic

IAMGOLD sidelined its Westwood operation in Quebec but
continues work on its Coté project in Ontario. (Photo: IAMGOLD)

Mining hasn’t actually been banned in Ontario and Quebec, although shutdowns of non-essential services continue to April 8 and April 13 respectively. Extensions, of course, look likely. Quebec has ordered the industry, along with aluminum smelting, to “minimize their activities.” Ontario specifically exempted mineral exploration, development, mining and their support services from mandatory closures.

Interpreting Quebec’s decree as a ban, IAMGOLD TSX:IMG suspended its Westwood gold mine in that province but continued work at its 64.75%-held, advanced-stage Coté gold project in Ontario as an “essential service.” Production continues at the company’s Burkina Faso and Suriname operations.

But regardless of government bans or directives, voluntary suspensions take place. Restrictions on travel and social distancing have made projects non-viable, while the threat of localized outbreaks looms large—not just at the job sites and accommodations, but in the isolated communities that supply much of the labour.

In Canada, that often means native communities. “They have a bad history with disproportionate impacts from epidemics,” a Vale Canada spokesperson told the Financial Post. The company put its Voisey’s Bay mine in Labrador on care and maintenance, and planned reductions at its associated Long Harbour nickel-copper-cobalt processing plant in Newfoundland.

So far alone of the Northwest Territories’ three operations, Dominion Diamond Mines announced an indefinite suspension for Ekati on March 19. The Union of Northern Workers stated its intention to grieve the manner in which its members were laid off.

Some Canadian mining and exploration dispatches during the pandemic

Having laid off its native staff, Agnico Eagle continues its Nunavut
operations largely with workers from Quebec. (Photo: Agnico Eagle)

Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM made the ramp-down decision a day after Quebec’s March 23 order, after discussions with government “to get additional clarity.” The suspensions applied to three Quebec mines but the company planned “reduced operations” at Meliadine and Meadowbank in Nunavut, largely under Quebecois workers.

Five days earlier Agnico Eagle began sending home Nunavummiut staff from its Nunavut mines and exploration projects to prevent virus transmission “from a southern worker to a Nunavut worker, with the risk of it moving into the communities,” explained CEO Sean Boyd. Production was expected to continue under the remaining staff.

The following day residents blocked a road from Rankin Inlet airport to Meliadine to protest the use of replacement workers from Mirabel and Val d’Or, Quebec. Although the territory has banned travel from other jurisdictions, critical workers may apply for an exemption. They’re also required to undergo two weeks of isolation in their own region prior to travel.

From boots on the ground to fingers on the keyboard

Exploration suspensions haven’t come at a bad time for some projects, which had completed or nearly completed winter programs. Where labs remain open, assays might provide some badly needed good news.

Much of the crucial work of analyzing results and planning future exploration can be done by desktop. One example of a company with a multinational work-at-home team is Turmalina Metals TSXV:TBX, which completed a seasonal field program at its San Francisco de Los Andes gold project shortly before Argentina imposed a nation-wide quarantine. “While Turmalina maintains a corporate office in Canada our technical and managerial team operate remotely from individual home offices located in Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Asia,” states a March 23 announcement. “The current compilation, analysis and modeling of recently collected data is being done on a physically decentralized basis from these individual home offices as the company prepares for drilling.”

Follow the money

No one’s saying so out loud, but travel restrictions just might divert money from conferences, trade shows and expense accounts to actual work. Then again, money can still be squandered on low-IQ promotional campaigns produced at the kitchen table.

Every metal and mineral has a silver lining

This isn’t a sector that overlooks opportunity. Two days after Vanstar Mining Resources TSXV:VSR reported that drilling “continues without stopping” at its 25%-held Nelligan project in Quebec, the company acknowledged that majority partner IAMGOLD had suspended work. But “it should be noted that current events can also bring certain opportunities for acquiring gold projects at a lower cost,” Vanstar pointed out. The junior was merely echoing comments made by others, including BHP Group NYSE:BHP earlier this month.

With the economic outlook as confused as a professional stock-picker’s thought processes, mining’s future remains profoundly uncertain. But diminished supply can certainly help chances of rebounding demand.

And suspensions might encourage advantageous awareness, as noted by Uranium Energy Corp NYSE:UEC president/CEO Amir Adnani. “The recent global events and supply disruptions further underscore the importance of domestic supply chains for vital resources,” stated the U.S. purveyor of U3O8.

How could we live without them?

Endeavours deemed essential by Ontario and Quebec include capital markets services and agencies like the TMX Group and securities commissions. The provinces also consider alcohol and cannabis retailers essential. As if the world wasn’t already facing worse consequences, Toronto medical officer Eileen de Villa said banning booze “would lead to pretty significant health consequences.”

She didn’t specifically mention geoscientists.

The experts speak

Some fatuous remarks at PDAC provided retrospectively grim humour, as well as an exhibition of prognosticator pomposity. Here’s Mickey Fulp’s take on COVID-19, as quoted by IKN:

  • “I think it’s overblown.”

  • “All these shows are flu incubators, anyway.”

  • “I think it (i.e. infections) are going to be less this year, because people are doing things like washing their hands.”

  • “This is a blip on the radar screen. Especially in the U.S. where I’m from, because our economy is absolutely roaring and virus fears are not going to do major damage to the U.S. market.”

  • “I think it absolutely is an overreaction and the quicker it’s realized, the better.”

  • “This is a variety of flu.”

Of course to sheltered North Americans, the first week of March might seem a long time ago. So here’s Doug Casey’s insight, as published by Kitco on March 24:

“The virus itself isn’t nearly as serious, I don’t know how serious it’s going to be, but not terribly in my opinion. What I’m really shocked at, Daniela, is the degree of hysteria on the part of the powers that be. They’ve actually just gone insane.”

Click here for objective data on the coronavirus pandemic.

Emerita Resources expands portfolio with Brazilian lithium acquisition

September 12th, 2018

by Greg Klein | September 12, 2018

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

Emerita Resources expands portfolio with Brazilian lithium acquisition

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 26th, 2018

by Greg Klein | July 26, 2018

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

Some standout assays from the batch released July 26 include:

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

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

Hole 012

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

Hole 013

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

Hole 016

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

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

The company interprets widths to be close to true widths.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Canada’s six biggest miners boost exploration spending by 31%: PwC

July 5th, 2018

by Greg Klein | July 5, 2018

Canada’s six biggest miners boost exploration spending by 31%: PwC

(Photos: PricewaterhouseCoopers)

 

The half-dozen Canadian companies among the world’s top 40 miners increased exploration expenditures last year at twice the rate of the others. That info comes from the upbeat results found in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Mine 2018, a study of the planet’s 40 biggest companies by market cap. The six Canadians spent C$620 million looking for new resources last year, compared with C$473 million in 2016. The report forecasts continued improvement throughout the current year.

Globally, exploration rose 15% in 2017 to US$8.4 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence figures cited by PwC.

Not so impressive, though, was the equity raised on three key mining markets, which fell $1.7 billion last year for the industry as a whole. Especially hard-hit was Toronto, which plunged 36%. Australia slipped 9%, while London actually jumped 47%. However this year’s Q1 investing “reveals that activity in Toronto and Australia is starting to pick up and signals a renewed interest in exploration and early development projects.”

Overall, higher commodity prices propelled the top 40 companies’ revenues 23% to about US$600 billion, with cost-saving efficiencies contributing to a “sharp increase in profits.” The report sees several years of continued growth as global annual GDP increases about 4% for the next five years.

Meanwhile market caps for the top 40 soared 30% last year to US$926 billion.

The top 40 companies’ capex outlay, however, floundered at its lowest level in 10 years. But the authors “expect next year’s level to increase as companies press ahead with long-term strategies, be it growth through greenfield or brownfield investments, or new acquisitions.”

Should that investment fail to materialize, the report asks, “will there be a temptation to spend without sufficient capital discipline when demand outstrips supply?”

At a number of points PwC admonishes miners not to “give in to the impulses” engendered by the previous boom: “Perhaps the most significant risk currently facing the world’s top miners is the temptation to acquire mineral-producing assets in order to meet rising demand. In the previous cycle, many miners eschewed capital discipline in the pursuit of higher production levels, which set them up to suffer when the downturn came.”

Canadians among the 2017 top 40 consisted of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (since merged with Agrium to create Nutrien TSX:NTR) in 13th place, Barrick Gold TSX:ABX (14th), Teck Resources TSX:TECK.A and TSX:TECK.B (16th), Goldcorp TSX:G (25th), Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM (26th) and First Quantum Minerals TSX:FM (30th).

The top five companies, holding a top-heavy 47% of the top-40 combined market cap, were BHP Billiton NYSE:BHP, Rio Tinto NYSE:RIO, Glencore, China Shenhua Energy and Vale NYSE:VALE.

In addition to exploration spending, the half-dozen Canadian companies also got special mention for workplace safety, as “world leaders in digital transformation” and for boardroom diversity in which “women make up 25% of directors among Canadian miners, compared to 19% among their global peers.”

Download PwC’s Mine 2018 report.

Streamers turn to cobalt as Vale extends Voisey’s Bay nickel operations

June 11th, 2018

by Greg Klein | June 11, 2018

It was a day of big moves for energy minerals as China bought into Ivanhoe, Vale lengthened Voisey’s and streaming companies went after the Labrador nickel mine’s cobalt.

On June 11 Robert Friedland announced CITIC Metal would pay $723 million for a 19.9% interest in Ivanhoe Mines TSX:IVN, surpassing the boss’ own 17% stake to make the Chinese state-owned company Ivanhoe’s largest single shareholder. Another $78 million might also materialize, should China’s Zijin Mining Group decide to exercise its anti-dilution rights to increase its current 9.9% piece of Ivanhoe.

Streamers turn to cobalt as Vale extends Voisey’s Bay nickel operations

At peak production, Voisey’s underground operations are expected to
ship about 45,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate annually to Vale’s
processing plant at Long Harbour, Newfoundland.

Proceeds would help develop the flagship Kamoa-Kakula copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Platreef platinum-palladium-nickel-copper-gold mine in South Africa, as well as upgrade the DRC’s historic Kipushi zinc-copper-silver-germanium mine. Ivanhoe and Zijin each hold a 39.6% share in the Kamoa-Kakula joint venture.

Even bigger news came from St. John’s, where Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball joined Vale NYSE:VALE brass to herald the company’s decision to extend Voisey’s Bay operations by building an underground mine.

The announcement marked the 16th anniversary of Vale’s original decision to put Voisey (a Friedland company discovery) into production. Mining began in 2005, producing about $15 billion worth of nickel, copper and cobalt so far. Open pit operations were expected to end by 2022. Although a 2013 decision to go ahead with underground development was confirmed in 2015, the commitment seemed uncertain as nickel prices fell. That changed dramatically over the last 12 months.

With construction beginning this summer, nearly $2 billion in new investment should have underground operations running by April 2021, adding at least 15 years to Voisey’s life. The company estimates 16,000 person-years of employment during five years of construction, followed by 1,700 jobs at the underground mine and Long Harbour processing plant, with 2,135 person-years in indirect and induced employment annually.

Nickel’s 75% price improvement over the last year must have prodded Vale’s decision. But streaming companies were quick to go after Voisey’s cobalt. In separate deals Wheaton Precious Metals TSX:WPM and Cobalt 27 Capital TSXV:KBLT have agreed to buy a total of 75% of the mine’s cobalt beginning in 2021, paying US$390 million and US$300 million respectively. They foresee an average 2.6 million pounds of cobalt per year for the first 10 years, with a life-of-mine average of 2.4 million pounds annually.

Both companies attribute cobalt’s attraction to clean energy demand and a decided lack of DRC-style jurisdictional risk. But Vale also emphasizes nickel’s promise as a battery metal. Last month spokesperson Robert Morris told Metal Bulletin that nickel demand for EVs could rise 10-fold by 2025, reaching 350,000 to 500,000 tonnes.

Total nickel demand currently sits at slightly more than two million tonnes, Morris said. New supply would call for price increases well above the record levels set this year, he added.

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

June 7th, 2018

by Greg Klein | June 7, 2018

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

Emerita Resources cuts 5.7% zinc over 8 metres in Brazil

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

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

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

DDH-005

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

DDH-006A

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

True widths weren’t provided.

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Emerita Resources.

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

May 23rd, 2018

by Greg Klein | May 23, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

True widths weren’t provided.

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Emerita Resources mobilizes rigs to Brazilian zinc project, plans mid-year resource

April 10th, 2018

by Greg Klein | April 10, 2018

With one or more rigs now en route, Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO has field staff preparing its Salobro zinc project for a 3,500-metre program and a late-Q2 resource estimate. Located in eastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, the 1,210-hectare property has an historic, non-43-101 estimate compiled by Vale NYSE:VALE of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent using a 3.5% zinc-lead cutoff.

Emerita Resources mobilizes rigs to Brazilian zinc project, plans mid-year resource

Regional infrastructure includes paved roads,
cell phone service, rail, water and power.

“We see excellent potential to expand the existing resource and the previous work completed by Vale was to a high technical standard, which provides an excellent base from which to accelerate the evaluation of the project,” said Emerita chairperson David Gower.

The company closed its 75% acquisition of Salobro in March, retaining the right to pick up the other 25% from IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. Also last month, Emerita filed a 43-101 technical report on the property.

As part of the resource update work, Emerita has assays pending for resampled core from 10 selected historic holes and has relogged 11 holes.

Additionally, an engineering firm has completed a preliminary mine plan for the project. Emerita also has a community engagement proposal under review.

The work comprises part of an ambitious campaign that might reach pre-feasibility as early as next year.

In northern Spain, meanwhile, the company takes part in a 50/50 joint venture on Plaza Norte, another zinc-lead project with substantial historic work and regional infrastructure. Emerita has permitting underway for a drill campaign that could bring a maiden resource early next year.

The company closed an oversubscribed private placement of $4.24 million in December.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

Trans-Atlantic treasures

February 26th, 2018

Emerita Resources fast-tracks high-grade zinc in Brazil and Spain

by Greg Klein

Two years of escalating prices and several years of historic work have Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO in an exceptionally sanguine mood. Following December’s oversubscribed $4.24-million cash infusion and last month’s TSXV approval to close the Brazilian acquisition, the company announced a breathtakingly ambitious timeline for its Salobro zinc project. Should all go to a very optimistic plan, the company would advance from updating an historic resource to completing pre-feas and mine permitting within two to three years.

Emerita Resources fast-tracks high-grade zinc in Brazil and Spain

Should success reward optimism, Salobro
could reach pre-feasibility next year.

The 1,210-hectare former Vale NYSE:VALE project’s located in southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, where regional infrastructure includes a zinc smelter, paved roads, rail, water and power.

Salobro comes with an historic, non-43-101 Vale-compiled resource of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc-equivalent lying at shallow depth and showing expansion potential along strike and down dip. The geology suggests either a Mississippi Valley-type or sedimentary exhalative deposit, Emerita says. A standout among historic intervals assayed 10.39% zinc and 2.13% lead over 13.92 metres.

The acquisition would give Emerita a 75% stake in Salobro and the right to pick up the remaining 25% from IMS Engenharia Mineral Ltda. Vale, meanwhile, has begun the process of withdrawing a civil claim against IMS concerning ownership of the property, Emerita stated. The company expects to close the deal by the end of March.

“Ambitious” might be an understatement for such an optimistic timeline. But the project “has consistently exceeded our expectations during our scoping and analysis phase,” says newly appointed CEO Michael Timmins. The veteran of Agnico Eagle Mines’ (TSX:AEM) expansion from one to nine operations adds, “We are encouraged by the outcome of this early mine study and are very excited to have the opportunity to utilize our award-winning mine-building team in Brazil to fast-track the development of Salobro.”

With that in mind the company foresees a 43-101 technical report filed by the end of March, a 43-101 resource by the end of Q2, 3,500 metres of exploration drilling to begin in early March, a PEA complete by the end of Q3, baseline enviro studies beginning in Q3, a pre-feas finished by Q3 2019 and mine development permits in hand by Q2 2020.

Obviously such an agenda depends on favourable outcomes at every stage. The company has already been resampling historic core for the new resource, which will also include upcoming step-out holes to expand the deposit’s shallow areas. A conceptual mine plan will build on info inherited from Vale.

Emerita credits its Brazilian team with significant involvement in projects including Belo Sun Mining’s (TSX:BSX) Volta Grande gold project and Aguia Resources’ (TSXV:AGRL) Tres Estradas phosphate deposit.

The deal calls for Emerita to pay Vale an initial US$350,000 after IMS turns Salobro over to a subsidiary held 75% by Emerita and 25% by IMS. Once Vale formally withdraws its claim against IMS, Emerita pays Vale legal costs of approximately 760,000 reals, about C$297,000. Further payments to Vale would cost Emerita US$1.65 million by July 14, US$1.5 million in 2020 and another US$3 million in 2024.

Emerita may buy out the IMS 25% for C$2 million and a million shares by 2021.

Emerita Resources fast-tracks high-grade zinc in Brazil and Spain

The Plaza Norte agenda aims for a late-
2019 preliminary economic assessment.

Helping on the financial side will be December’s oversubscribed $4.24-million private placement. But some of that cash will go to another Emerita zinc project—and for that, the focus shifts to northern Spain.

Situated next to the former Reocin mine that produced about 62 million tonnes averaging 11% zinc and 1.4% lead up to 2003, the 3,600-hectare Plaza Norte property sits amid regional infrastructure including rail, road and port facilities, along with a Glencore zinc smelter about 180 road kilometres away. The project is a 50/50 JV with the Aldesa Group, a specialized construction and infrastructure firm operating in Spain and internationally.

Emerita’s Spanish team now has permitting underway for a 5,000-metre campaign anticipated to start in May. The plan is to build a 43-101 resource over an area that’s already seen more than 300 holes totalling about 73,000 metres. Some historic intercepts include 9.72% zinc and 0.09% lead over 18.96 metres, along with 7.05% zinc and 0.3% lead over 8.2 metres. The company anticipates an initial resource in Q1 next year and a PEA by 2019 year-end.

Meanwhile Emerita awaits resolution of disputed ownership concerning two other Spanish zinc properties, Paymogo and Aznalcollar. The latter’s Los Frailes deposit hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate showing 20 million tonnes averaging 6.65% zinc, 3.87% lead, 0.29% copper and 148 ppm silver. The company considers the project ready for feasibility studies.

Paymogo’s La Infanta deposit has another historic, non-43-101 estimate of 800,000 tonnes averaging 1.77% copper, 6.91% lead, 12.66% zinc and 148 g/t silver. About seven kilometres away, Paymogo’s Romanera deposit holds an historic, non-43-101 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 1.1% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

Emerita Resources targets high-grade Brazilian zinc project drilled by Vale

July 14th, 2017

by Greg Klein | July 14, 2017

Historic high zinc grades amid regional infrastructure have Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO planning to take on a new acquisition in east-central Brazil. Backed by 40 holes totalling 13,885 metres of drilling, the 1,210-hectare Salobro zinc project in Minas Gerais state comes with an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 8.3 million tonnes averaging 7.12% zinc. One historic intercept graded 10.39% zinc and 2.13% lead over 13.92 metres.

Emerita Resources targets high-grade Brazilian zinc project drilled by Vale

Mineralization occurs in three lenses, all remaining open, the company stated. Emerita has already commissioned a 43-101 technical report.

The project’s mineralization “was delineated by the highly respected technical group of Vale [NYSE:VALE] and remains open for future expansion,” said Emerita chairperson David Gower. “The project is located in an area with excellent infrastructure and a supportive environment for responsible mine development. Emerita has an exceptional technical team in Brazil and is ready to advance the project quickly.”

Local infrastructure includes paved roads, rail, water, power and cell phone reception, the company added.

The deal would resolve a legal dispute over Salobro between Vale and IMS Engenharia Mineral. Under a definitive agreement with Emerita, Vale would withdraw its ownership claim against IMS in return for US$6.5 million over seven years from Emerita, which would also cover Vale’s legal costs of about US$245,000.

Emerita and IMS have signed a binding LOI to create a subsidy to be held 75% by Emerita and 25% by IMS. IMS would then transfer its Salobro rights to the new entity in return for one million Emerita shares. The subsidiary would hold Salobro until Emerita completes its schedule of payments to Vale. Emerita would have the right to acquire the 25% IMS stake for C$2 million and one million shares. Emerita and IMS expect to sign a definitive agreement within 90 days.

Emerita also announced the termination of a non-binding LOI to acquire the Masa Valverde zinc project in Spain. But the company remains committed to another Spanish project, Aznalcollar, which hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 71 million tonnes averaging 3.86% zinc, 2.18% lead, 0.34% copper and 60 ppm silver. The property is subject to a legal dispute in which Emerita alleges another company was wrongfully granted ownership. In an update last March, Emerita said a Seville court “has indicated that this result is highly irregular, inconsistent with the laws and regulations governing public tenders in Spain and further investigations need to be made to determine if there were any criminal acts committed in connection therewith.”