Tuesday 22nd September 2020

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘zinc’

Gaia Metals samples high-grade gold with silver and base metals, plans fall drilling in Idaho

September 10th, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 10, 2020

Results from a sampling program seem to justify the property expansion announced just eight days earlier. On September 10 Gaia Metals TSXV:GMC released the first batch of assays from its first field program on the Freeman Creek gold-polymetallic project in Idaho.

Wrapping up work late last month, the team collected 224 rock samples throughout the property, then 599 hectares but since expanded to 862 hectares through staking.

A magnetic survey also covered the project’s Gold Dyke and Carmen Creek prospects, a 162-sample soil grid targeted Gold Dyke and additional prospecting came to Carmen Creek.

Some highlights from the more advanced Gold Dyke prospect show:

Gaia Metals samples high-grade gold with silver and base metals, plans fall drilling in Idaho

A prospector props up outcrop at
Freeman Creek’s Gold Dyke prospect.

  • 10.9 g/t gold, 80.1 g/t silver, 0.72% copper, 1.97% lead and 7.9% zinc (found in talus)

  • 4.32 g/t gold and 292 g/t silver (from outcrop)

Carmen Creek highlights include:

  • 15.3 g/t gold, 41 g/t silver and 0.78% copper (outcrop)

  • 11.8 g/t gold, 36.9 g/t silver, 0.76% copper, 0.01% lead (outcrop)

  • 5.57 g/t gold, 35.4 g/t silver, 0.78% copper (talus)

  • 4.98 g/t gold, 148 g/t silver and 32% copper (talus)

The initial results delineated a mineralized strike at Carmen Creek of at least 350 metres, Gaia stated. With most assays still to come, results would cover a potential 500 metres or more of additional strike.

Now awaiting a drill permit, the company expects to begin a five- or six-hole, 1,000-metre program at Gold Dyke within weeks. Among targets would be two historic holes to be twinned.

Gaia also has permitting underway for Carmen Creek’s first-ever drill campaign. Preceding that would be a follow-up surface program on Carmen Creek coinciding with rig activity at Gold Dyke.

Read more about Gaia Metals.

Emerita Resources releases historic assays prior to drilling Spanish base and precious metals project

September 9th, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 9, 2020

Past and future drilling suggest additional potential for southern Spain’s Iberian Pyrite Belt. A batch of newly released historic intercepts supports Emerita Resources’ (TSXV:EMO) plans for its Paymogo project.

The assays come from the Infanta area, about eight kilometres east of the property’s Romanera deposit, which hosts an historic, non-43-101 resource. The Infanta grades result from 41 holes dating to the late 1970s and early ’80s. Drilling started near surface, reaching depths of only about 130 metres and extended along strike for approximately 600 metres. Remaining open along strike and down dip, mineralization potentially extended beyond the earlier project’s border, Emerita stated. Expansion since then places potential extensions within Paymogo’s turf.

Some highlights from the historic, non-43-101 results show:

Emerita Resources releases historic assays prior to drilling Spanish base and precious metals project

  • 0.5 g/t gold, 176.4 g/t silver, 3.1% copper, 11.1% lead, 20.7% zinc over 6.3 metres, starting at 49.5 metres in downhole depth

  • 1 g/t gold, 202.3 g/t silver, 1.1% copper, 6.1% lead, 12.3% zinc over 13.5 metres, starting at 117.4 metres

  • 85.6 g/t silver, 3% copper, 8.7% lead, 14.5% zinc over 8.14 metres, starting at 78 metres

  • 186.2 g/t silver, 3.2% copper, 11.5% lead, 21.5% zinc over 4.23 metres, starting at 104.92 metres

  • 0.9 g/t gold, 240 g/t silver, 3.8% copper, 13.1% lead, 25.3% zinc over 5.3 metres, starting at 81.2 metres

  • 0.4 g/t gold, 214 g/t silver, 3.8% copper, 18.2% lead, 31.2% zinc over 3.63 metres, starting at 72.37 metres

True widths were unavailable.

Along with other project data, the complete set of assays will be used to create 3D modelling to help guide an upcoming drill campaign to compile a 43-101 resource estimate. Permitting is currently underway.

“We are very excited to be planning the upcoming drill program for Infanta,” said president Joaquin Merino. “It is rare to find mineralization with excellent grades this close to surface that has not been closed off by drilling.”

Emerita is also compiling data for Paymogo’s more highly advanced Romanera deposit. Based on 1990s drilling, an historic, non-43-101 estimate credits Romanera with 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 2.2% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44.4 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

A higher-grade zone within that deposit shows an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 11.21 million tonnes averaging 0.4% copper, 2.47% lead, 5.5% zinc, 64 g/t silver and 1 g/t gold.

The deposit extends from surface to about 350 metres in depth, remaining open down dip, according to historic records.

Paymogo sits adjacent to the Portuguese border, on the western part of the Iberian Pyrite Belt, described by Emerita as one of the world’s most highly mineralized volcanogenic massive sulphide terranes. The Atlantic port of Huelva is about 50 kilometres away.

The company has now received formal mineral title to Paymogo following a lengthy legal dispute that settled in June.

Meanwhile Emerita awaits a court decision regarding its disputed tender for Aznalcollar, a former zinc-lead mine on the same Iberian belt. In May the company signed a binding letter agreement to earn a 55% interest in the Sierra Alta gold project in northern Spain. The acquisition would cost Emerita $50,000, 500,000 shares and $500,000 in two years of spending.

Closer to Spain’s northern coast, the company holds a 50% interest in the Cantabrica do Zinco joint venture and its Plaza Norte base metals project, now subject to renewal of claims. In August 2019 the company reported a drill interval reaching 4.57% zinc over 9.5 metres from an area that has undergone historic drilling.

Last month Emerita closed a fully subscribed private placement of $1 million that followed a $1.35-million placement in July.

Meet the Zimtu teams

September 3rd, 2020

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

by Greg Klein | September 3, 2020

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

 

Their projects span early exploration to advanced development. Their goals include base, precious and critical minerals, but also extend to technology and energy. A wide range of potential comes to the fore on September 10, when Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC presents a Zoom conference highlighting eight of its colleague companies.

Below we offer an overview of each company. But first here’s how to take part.

To attend, RSVP MPatience@Zimtu.com.

The event takes place September 10 at 8 a.m. Vancouver/Pacific time, 11 a.m. Toronto/Eastern time, 5 p.m. Frankfurt/Central European time.

Click this link to connect.

If prompted, enter meeting ID 868 2490 1684 and meeting passcode 679221.

To take part by phone, dial by location:

Canada toll-free
855 703 8985     

U.S. toll-free
833 548 0276
833 548 0282
877 853 5257
888 475 4499       

Germany toll-free
0 800 000 6954
0 800 000 1590

Switzerland
+41 43 210 71 08
+41 44 529 92 72
+41 22 591 00 05
+41 22 591 01 56
+41 31 528 09 88
+41 43 210 70 42

Meeting ID: 868 2490 1684

Click here to find your local number.

 

And here are the companies

 

Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD

Promising geology and proven methodology will come together at Arctic Star Exploration’s (TSXV:ADD) Diagras project in the Northwest Territories’ diamondiferous Lac de Gras region. Currently holding 40% of a joint venture, the company intends to assume operation and increase its ownership when spring offers optimum work conditions.

In addition to drilling, Arctic Star’s plans include gravity and electromagnetic surveys on seven of the property’s 21 known kimberlites. The gravity/EM approach follows that of Kennady Diamonds, which successfully employed the methodology on its Kennady North project two kilometres away. In 2018 Kennady North was acquired by Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPVD, De Beers’ JV partner on the adjacent Gahcho Kué mine. Gravity and EM have so far found five drill targets at Diagras.

Arctic Star’s 100%-held Timantti diamond project in Finland hosts nine known diamondiferous kimberlites. With some 150 kilograms of samples ready for processing, ground work is expected to resume once pandemic conditions allow.

Read more about Arctic Star Exploration.

 

Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Once re-opened, Lost Sheep will be
America’s only producing fluorspar mine.

The U.S. currently imports its entire supply of this critical mineral but Ares Strategic Mining TSXV:ARS plans to change that soon by opening the country’s only fluorspar operation. Production at Utah’s Lost Sheep mine could begin this autumn without de-risking through successive PEA and feasibility studies, but with the apparent confidence of the Mujim Group. The multinational fluorspar mining and distribution company visited the property earlier this year prior to buying a 9% stake in Ares.

Three of five exploration holes found visible fluorspar, while assays have just been released from 12 holes totalling 900 metres of delineation drilling. Results show high grades over wide intervals from near-surface and at-surface intercepts. Metallurgical tests have upgraded Lost Sheep material above 97% CaF2, achieving the level of higher-priced acidspar.

Ares also holds the Liard fluorspar project in northern British Columbia. Seven areas of the highway-accessible 476-hectare property host historic, non-43-101 estimates.

Read more about Ares Strategic Mining.

September 9 update: Ares launches this summer’s second drill program at Lost Sheep.

 

Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Well-understood host minerals, distribution of magnet
feed elements and a friendly jurisdiction distinguish
Commerce Resources’ RE-fluorspar project.

Few if any elements dominate concern about critical minerals like rare earths. That places all the more focus on Commerce Resources’ (TSXV:CCE) Ashram deposit, an advanced-stage Quebec project that also hosts one of the world’s largest fluorspar resources. While working towards pre-feasibility, the company has metallurgical studies advancing on a number of levels, benefiting not only Ashram but the creation of supply chains independent of China. The deposit’s carbonatite-hosted mineralization and relatively simple monazite, bastnasite and xenotime mineralogy complement conventional rare earths processing. Metallurgy has also upgraded Ashram’s fluorspar content to higher-priced acidspar.

Ashram also features a strong presence of high-demand magnet feed elements neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium. Work is underway to upgrade the 2012 resource that used a 1.25% cutoff to show:

  • measured and indicated: 29.27 million tonnes averaging 1.9% total rare earth oxides and 2.94% fluorine

  • inferred: 219.8 million tonnes averaging 1.88% TREO and 2.21% F

The deposit starts at surface.

Looking at other critical minerals, Commerce also holds the advanced-stage Blue River tantalum-niobium deposit in southern British Columbia.

Read more about Commerce Resources.

September 10 update: Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project.

 

Core Assets Corp CSE:CC

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Historic results, more recent sampling and a
greater understanding of regional geology prompted
Core Assets’ major land expansion in B.C.

Determined to become a major explorer in northwestern British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, Core Assets Corp CSE:CC started trading in July, then began September with a nine-fold property expansion. The inspiration for boosting its Blue and Silver Lime holdings to 14,815 hectares comes from continual advancements in the understanding of porphyry, skarn and carbonate replacement-type deposits globally and in the Triangle itself.

The new ground covers the Llewelyn fault zone, which the company believes to be the main transport corridor for high-grade metals found on the property at surface. An historic, non-43-101 drill hole at Blue reached 0.27% copper over 173.2 metres. Grab samples from 2018 graded up to 1.57 g/t gold, 46.5 g/t silver and 8.46% copper.

The 2018 grab samples from never-drilled Silver Lime included 1.16 g/t gold, 913 g/t silver, 12.45% zinc and 20% lead. Core’s regionally experienced team plans a regional magnetic survey over the property.

Watch an interview with the Core Assets team.

 

Dimension Five Technologies CSE:DFT

Creating high-value products, even energy, from waste materials is the goal of Aduro Energy, now subject of an LOI for a reverse takeover by Dimension Five Technologies CSE:DFT. Founded in 2012, Ontario-based Aduro has developed a smart chemistry approach using three water-based technologies to transform diverse feedstocks that include renewable oils as well as waste plastics, foams and rubber. The result can be new plastics, foams, hydrocarbon fuels or specialty chemicals.

Aduro has its three areas of technology—trademarked as Hydrochemolytic Plastics Upgrading, Hydrochemolytic Renewables Upgrading and Hydrochemolytic Bitumen Upgrading—now undergoing demonstration and commercialization stages.

Learn more about Aduro Energy.

 

Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Despite extensive previous mining, Aznalcollar
hosts an impressive historic base metals estimate.

Most of Spain’s bullion came from the New World but Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO believes there’s untapped gold-silver potential on its Paymogo polymetallic project. Located amid former and current operations in southern Spain’s Iberian Pyrite Belt, Paymogo’s Romanera deposit hosts an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 2.2% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44.4 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold.

Eight kilometres away, Paymogo’s Infanta area has historic, non-43-101 reports of high-grade copper-lead-zinc-silver intervals. While preparing an exploration permit application, Emerita is compiling data from 51 holes at Romanera and 48 at Infanta for a digital database to guide another round of drilling.

The company also awaits a court decision regarding a disputed tender for the Aznalcollar zinc-lead past-producer on the same Iberian belt. In May Emerita signed a binding letter agreement to earn a 55% interest in the Sierra Alta gold property in northern Spain. Company assets also include a 50% JV interest in the Plaza Norte zinc project near Spain’s northern coast.

Read more about Emerita Resources.

September 9 update: Emerita releases historic assays prior to drilling Paymogo.

 

Saville Resources TSXV:SRE

Eight companies offer eight opportunities at one online event

Saville outperformed historic intercepts with its
Phase I drill program on the Niobium Claim Group in Quebec.

Two kilometres from Commerce Resources’ Ashram RE-fluorspar deposit, another company explores for other critical minerals—niobium and tantalum. Working on a 75% earn-in from Commerce, Saville Resources TSXV:SRE has also found fluorspar potential on the early-stage Niobium Claim Group.

Saville sunk five holes last year in a promising Phase I campaign on the property’s Mallard prospect. Along with historic results, three drill programs total 14 holes and 3,537 metres on Mallard. Each program surpassed its predecessor for grades and widths while expanding three zones of mineralization that remain open in all directions. Encouraging historic drill results have also come from the project’s Northwest and Star Trench prospects. Yet to be drilled are other high-priority areas, especially Miranna where high-grade boulder samples have reached an exceptional 5.93% Nb2O5.

The property’s host rock predominates in pyrochlore-group minerals and/or ferrocolumbite, amenable to familiar processing methods as the world’s main source of niobium supply.

September 10 update: Saville Resources, Commerce Resources find more fluorspar in re-assayed core from Quebec niobium-tantalum project.

 

Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR

Intermittent green electricity, grid backup and off-grid supply call for long-term electrical storage. Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR has made inroads into New York by offering a low-cost, reliable approach.

The company’s system stores electricity in zinc particles, avoiding expensive battery minerals like lithium, vanadium and cobalt. When the storage system provides electricity, zinc particles combine with oxygen. When the system recharges, the zinc particles are regenerated and oxygen is returned.

Storage can be scaled from 20 kW to megawatts, making Zinc8’s system suitable for microgrids and utilities. The latter have already shown interest. 

In January the New York Power Authority, America’s largest public power organization, selected the Zinc8 system out of more than 60 contenders for a commercial or industrial demonstration facility. Two months later Digital Energy Corp chose Zinc8 to install a 100 kW/1.5 MWh storage system at a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Brooklyn. Buoyed by New York interest, Zinc8 has since created a U.S. subsidiary.

Read an op-ed by Zinc8 president/CEO Ron MacDonald.

 

The Zoom with Zimtu event takes place September 10 at 8 a.m. Vancouver/Pacific time, 11 a.m. Toronto/Eastern time, 5 p.m. Frankfurt/Central European time. Click here and learn how to attend.

 

Core Assets announces major land expansion in B.C.’s Golden Triangle

September 2nd, 2020

by Greg Klein | September 2, 2020

Once 10 kilometres apart, two properties now make up contiguous holdings for a company determined to become an extensive explorer in this busy northwestern British Columbia region. Newly listed Core Assets Corp CSE:CC has consolidated its Blue and Silver Lime projects with a nine-fold expansion that increases the company’s holdings from 1,658 to 14,815 hectares.

Core Assets announces major land expansion in B.C.’s Golden Triangle

A 2018 field program, along with advanced understanding
of porphyry, skarn and carbonate replacement-type deposits,
heightened interest in this under-explored property.

That covers the entire 15-kilometre glacially retreated portion of the Llewelyn fault zone between Llewelyn Glacier and Atlin Lake. The regional thrust fault is believed to be the main transport corridor for high-grade metals seen at surface on the property, Core stated.

An historic, non-43-101 drill hole at Blue hit 0.27% copper over 173.2 metres starting at surface. Other intercepts showed 1.6% over six metres and 1.4% over 7.8 metres. Grab samples collected in 2018 reached up to 1.57 g/t gold, 46.5 g/t silver and 8.46% copper.

Yet-to-be-drilled Silver Lime exhibits massive sulphides at surface. An historic, non-43-101 channel sample graded 3.3 g/t gold, 2,641 g/t silver, 0.15% copper, 2.5% lead, 3.32% zinc and 2.56% antimony over 2.2 metres. The 2018 grab sampling program brought assays up to 1.16 g/t gold, 913 g/t silver, 12.45% zinc and over 20% lead.

Core believes explorers have neglected the south Atlin Lake area and the Llewelyn fault. “The last 50 years have seen incremental advancements in the understanding of porphyry, skarn and carbonate replacement-type deposits both globally and in the Golden Triangle area, with new discoveries being made annually. The sum of this knowledge is now coming together in discrete and effective exploration models that the company believes could drive a major discovery.”

Core “hopes to become the premier explorer of the northernmost extent of the Golden Triangle saga,” said CEO Dave Hodge.“In addition to this, these newly acquired claims will help solidify potential deep-seated secondary and tertiary structures that are fed by the Llewelyn fault zone. This will allow for a more effective exploration program as we move to active exploration at the Blue and Silver Lime projects.”

With a team experienced in the Atlin district, Core’s next plans include a regional magnetic survey.

The new land costs the company $23,025 on signing. The vendor retains a 2% NSR, half of which Core may buy for $1 million.

Watch an interview with the Core Assets team.

Emerita Resources raises $2.35 million, prepares drill permitting for southern Spain polymetallic project

August 14th, 2020

by Greg Klein | August 14, 2020

Backed by two recently closed private placements, a Spanish exploration company readies its historic property for a new round of drilling. Emerita Resources TSXV:EMO now has environmental documentation underway for an exploration permit, and has begun a digital database for its Paymogo polymetallic project.

Emerita Resources raises $2.35 million, prepares drill permitting for southern Spain polymetallic project

Emerita was formally granted the Paymogo claims in late June, following a lengthy legal process. Located in southern Spain’s Iberian Pyrite Belt adjacent to the Portuguese border, the property has highway access to the Atlantic port of Huelva, about 50 kilometres away.

Encouraging to both the environmental process and mineralization potential, the Iberian belt hosts many past-producers along with active operations.

According to an historic, non-43-101 estimate, Paymogo’s Romanera deposit hosts 34 million tonnes averaging 0.42% copper, 2.2% lead, 2.3% zinc, 44.4 g/t silver and 0.8 g/t gold. Within that deposit a higher-grade zone shows an historic, non-43-101 estimate of 11.21 million tonnes averaging 0.4% copper, 2.47% lead, 5.5% zinc, 64 g/t silver and 1 g/t gold.

The deposit starts at surface, reaches 350 metres in depth and remains open down dip, according to historic records.

About eight kilometres from the Romanera deposit, the Paymogo property also includes the Infanta area, with historic, non-43-101 results showing high-grade copper-lead-zinc-silver intervals.

But previous operators might have neglected Paymogo’s gold and silver, Emerita believes. “At the time Romanera was being explored by the previous operators, there was very little interest in the precious metals potential and some earlier drill holes were not assayed for gold,” said president Joaquin Merino. “Based on the historic data available and our knowledge of the deposits, we are very encouraged by what we are seeing.”

Along with survey results, there are 51 previous holes from Romanera and 48 from Infanta to compile in the digital database and 3D model that will help guide the next drill campaign.

Looking at another Iberian Pyrite Belt project, Emerita awaits a court decision regarding a disputed tender for the Aznalcollar zinc-lead past-producer.

Last May the company announced a binding letter agreement to earn a 55% interest in the Sierra Alta gold project in northern Spain. The acquisition would cost Emerita $50,000, 500,000 shares and $500,000 in two years of spending.

The company’s portfolio also includes a 50% interest in the Cantabrica do Zinco joint venture and its Plaza Norte project near Spain’s northern coast. Emerita has filed a technical report to renew these claims with the regional ministry of mines. In August 2019 the company reported a drill intercept grading 4.57% zinc over 9.5 metres from an area that has also seen historic drilling.

Earlier this week Emerita closed a fully subscribed private placement of $1 million that was offered following overwhelming response to a previous placement that closed on $1.35 million in July.

Energy storage

July 29th, 2020

It’s key to carbon-neutrality. But how to overcome raw material cost and supply security challenges?

by Ron MacDonald | July 29, 2020

The development of new, clean energy sources is of vital importance for a sustainable society. As the world, collectively, is increasingly pushing aside non-renewable sources such as natural gas, oil and coal, we look to clean energy sources such as hydro, wind and solar generation. However, in order to support the economics of renewables, energy storage allows for the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time and is the key to ensuring a carbon-neutral world.

It’s key to carbon-neutrality. But how to overcome raw material costs and supply security?

The total energy storage market is expected to grow to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035, according to a report released by Lux Research. In the United States, the market value is forecast to increase from $720 million today to $5.1 billion in 2024 according to market research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, with the U.S. already seeing a 93% increase in the energy storage systems deployed in the third quarter of 2019.

Decreasing costs in accessible technologies have driven interest in energy storage forward like never before. For example, the price of lithium batteries has fallen by nearly 80% over the past five years, allowing for more integration of energy storage into solar power systems. Even more affordable than lithium is zinc. Zinc-air batteries empower the lowest cost of energy storage in the market for long-duration applications, resolving the intermittent and unpredictable nature of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar at an economic price.

Lithium-ion cells lose their charge over time, whereas zinc-air batteries maintain their full charging capacity for the up to 20-year lifecycle of the battery. Zinc-air energy storage systems are capable of economically storing energy from eight hours to 100-plus hours. This is considerably longer than the four-to-six-hour upper economic limit for lithium-ion. The lithium-ion battery costs flatten out at six hours, while zinc-air battery costs per kWh installed become even more cost-effective over longer durations.

A look at energy storage during and beyond COVID-19

Ron MacDonald: “Zinc is abundant in North
America and its price has been very stable
over the past 20 years. All of the other major
components of the zinc-air battery are also
available in North America.”

The growth of the energy storage market is driven by the growing demand for high-capacity, safe, cost-effective and eco-friendly energy storage solutions. The global metal-air battery market size is estimated to grow from US$438 million in 2020 to US$842 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 14%, reports ResearchAndMarkets.com, which segments the market into zinc-air, lithium-air, aluminum-air and iron-air.

Dependency on a supply chain of hardware components, metals and chemicals, many of which come from outside North America, is a challenge for the growing energy storage industry. Metals such as lithium, vanadium, rare earths and cobalt used today in many energy storage batteries are impacted by price volatility, geopolitical concerns, security of supply, as well as coronavirus-related supply chain disruptions. Those same risks do not apply to zinc energy flow batteries.

Countries that are major producers of raw materials required for battery production have been subject to strict restrictions to control the spread of the virus. For example, Australian lithium production companies have set up strict guidelines for businesses in the industry in terms of long-distance travel restrictions. In contrast, zinc is abundant in North America and its price has been very stable over the past 20 years. All of the other major components of the zinc-air battery are also available in North America, providing a low-cost, robust and safe energy storage solution that has not been impacted by the pandemic. Zinc-air batteries offer a homegrown solution supporting the transition to a cleaner, greener post Covid-19 world.

 

Ron MacDonald is president/CEO of Zinc8 Energy Solutions CSE:ZAIR, the leader in zinc-air battery technology. The Zinc-Air Flow Battery from Zinc8 is an energy storage unit designed to serve a wide range of long-duration applications for microgrids and utilities. He can be reached at ron@zinc8energy.com and on LinkedIn.

Read Keeping the Lights On by Ron MacDonald.

Watch an online presentation from Zinc8 Energy Solutions.

Stan Sudol to Elon Musk:

July 26th, 2020

Stop fretting over potential nickel shortages and back some potential nickel mines

by Stan Sudol | posted with permission of Republic of Mining

Stop fretting over potential nickel shortages and back some potential mines

As its Gigafactory continues to ramp up production, Tesla already
produces more kWh of batteries than all other automakers combined.
(Photo: Tesla Inc.)

 

Elon Musk is practically begging nickel miners to boost production as potential future shortages would severely impact his ability to manufacture electric vehicles, as the metal is a key component for the batteries Tesla Inc. depends on.

Historically, nickel has always been a boom/bust metal due to the fact the world only produces about 2.1 million tonnes of the material a year, as opposed to a more commonly used metal like copper at 20 million tonnes. And roughly only half of nickel production is of the Class-1 type that is used in batteries that run electric vehicles.

Currently the cost of nickel is nearing a cyclical bottom, hence the reluctance of nickel miners to invest the possible near-billion it takes to bring on a new mine.

Musk is a multi-billionaire and his company stock is at an all-time high. Instead of whining to the mineral industry to invest “their shareholder money” in new nickel production at a time of low returns, here are some suggestions to calm his fear of future shortages:

 

Stop fretting over potential nickel shortages and back some potential mines

“At the heart of these products are batteries,” says Tesla.
But Elon Musk worries about the nickel needed to make them.
(Photo: Joni Hanebutt/Shutterstock.com)

1. Why can’t Tesla start stockpiling Class-1 nickel now during a time of low prices? The American military stockpiled nickel during the 1950s and 1960s as it was in constant short supply due to a booming economy and its use as a critical metal for military production—the Korean conflict, Vietnam War and the Cold War between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. What is to prevent the company from stockpiling two or three years’ worth of nickel needed for its car batteries? This would help firm up prices and encourage more exploration or expanded production.

During the 1950s, the U.S. government gave Falconbridge/Glencore a $40-million subsidy—roughly an astonishing $390 million in 2020 dollars—to help develop one of their Sudbury nickel mines and ensure diversity of supply. At the time, INCO supplied almost 80% to 90% of the West’s supply of nickel and the military were terrified of being so dependent on one key supplier. Perhaps subsidizing a few companies that are near production might be the route to go.

 

2. Polish miner KGHM has a terrific nickel deposit—the Victoria in the Sudbury Basin. They don’t seem to be that interested in developing the project that some analysts feel would need roughly a billion to put into production.

For much of the last century, the Sudbury Basin was basically the Saudi Arabia of nickel mining for the Western world.

Just a quick tangent for any Americans or Canadians who are not “mine literate.” For much of the last century, the Sudbury Basin was basically the Saudi Arabia of nickel mining for the Western world. The communist East had the astonishingly rich nickel mines of Norilsk, located in the isolated wilderness of Siberia. There are still enormous nickel reserves in the Sudbury Basin. Why we are not producing more would practically take an entire book to explain!

Why doesn’t Musk try to buy the deposit from KGHM and hire contractors to build and run his own mine? He would get nickel, copper and some cobalt for his car batteries. In addition, the mine would also provide him with platinum group metals and some gold and silver. If KGHM refuses to sell at a reasonable price, Ontario/Canada might enact some sort of “build/sell it or lose it” legislation!

 

3. Sudbury junior miner Wallbridge Mining has some very promising nickel properties in the Parkin Offset Dyke in the northeastern corner of the Sudbury Basin. According to the Wallbridge website, “The quality of the mineralization found in the Parkin Offset is high. The average nickel tenor for the mineralization found within the Parkin Offset is approximately 4%, which is comparable to the tenors of some deposits found in the Copper Cliff Offset Dyke.” Some of the Sudbury Basin’s biggest nickel mines, past and present, are on the Copper Cliff Offset Dyke, hence the importance of that statement!

Unfortunately, Wallbridge is not doing any exploration on this property during 2020 as the company is focused on its Quebec gold properties. Who can blame it with the precious metal hitting $1,900 an ounce? Why doesn’t Musk buy an equity position in the junior and fund it to the tune of $20 million or $40 million worth of exploration on the Parkin Offset Dyke?

 

4. Another junior nickel explorer that might be worth looking at is Canada Nickel and its promising nickel-cobalt sulphide project near Timmins, Ontario. A maiden resource estimate last February showed 600 million tonnes (measured and indicated) at 0.25% nickel and 310 million tonnes (inferred) at 0.23% nickel. As with all junior explorers, financing is always a challenge. Perhaps a significant equity position by Musk in exchange for future nickel and cobalt would ensure Tesla has no problems accessing these critical metals.

 

For crying out loud, it’s a skinny 300-kilometre gravel road and a couple of bridges. We are not building the Panama Canal or the Pyramids of Giza!

5. And finally there is the enormous mineral potential of the Ring of Fire with a 43-101 nickel deposit owned by junior miner Noront Resources. More nickel deposits may be discovered. Perhaps Musk could chat with Premier Ford and impress on him the importance of shortening environmental assessments and building that road into the Ring of Fire. For crying out loud, it’s a skinny 300-kilometre gravel road and a couple of bridges. We are not building the Panama Canal or the Pyramids of Giza! In the 1940s, the Canadian-Alaskan highway—roughly 2,700 kilometres—was built in eight months. No typographical error folks, less than one year!

The proposed road is on the traditional territories of Webequie and Marten Falls first nations, who both want it built. Hell, Musk should even consider putting a few hundred million in financing that road—I say this only half in jest as both the provincial and federal levels of government might be broke before construction starts.

And Premier Ford might even share the seat on that bulldozer with Musk to start building that vital road which was promised during the 2018 Ontario election campaign.

The Ring of Fire not only has nickel but potentially significant deposits of copper, zinc and various other critical metals along with chromite. And Premier Ford might even share the seat on that bulldozer with Musk to start building that vital road which was promised during the 2018 Ontario election campaign. It’s been a little over two years since the Conservatives have come to power and the patience of the entire sector is wearing thin! Road construction would be a terrific infrastructure investment to help alleviate the pending COVID recession/depression!

 

6. Sorry about the Ring of Fire road digression. I have not even mentioned the Thompson, Manitoba Nickel Belt, Newfoundland’s Voisey Bay nickel mine and Quebec’s Raglan nickel deposits, all of which probably have some juniors that could use some seed funding to drill near these world-class deposits—as the old saying goes, the best place to find a new mine is in the shadow of a headframe.

 

So I wish Elon Musk all the best, but please stop complaining about possible Class-1 nickel shortages and perhaps start strategically investing in the Canadian nickel sector yourself, if you really want to ensure that you have access to this vital metal.

 

For a brief history of the extraordinary Sudbury nickel deposits and their geo-political significance, click here.

Stan Sudol is a Toronto-based communications consultant, freelance mining columnist and owner-editor of Republic of Mining.

Posted with permission of Republic of Mining.

Global top 40 miners stand up to pandemic but face further challenges, says PwC

July 24th, 2020

by Greg Klein | July 24, 2020

For all the tribulations facing mining, the industry has been faring well compared to others. That’s the verdict of the recent PwC report Mine 2020: Resilient and Resourceful. But the publication warns that caution, adaptation and innovation must continue to safeguard the future.

Global top 40 miners stand up to pandemic but face further challenges, says PwC

If the top 40’s performance reflects the wider industry,
mining will prevail over the pandemic, this report maintains.
(Photo: PwC)

The survey looks at the world’s top 40 listed miners by market cap as of December 31. For the third year in a row, six Canadian companies made the list.

The IMF predicts global economic contraction of 3% this year, only the third comparable event since 1944. Yet PwC maintains that mining’s top 40 “are in an excellent position to weather the storm.”

Although the companies’ 2019 EBITDA performance remained flat at US$168 billion, PwC foresees a 6% decline this year, with capital spending falling at least 20% due to reduced revenue as well as pandemic-related staffing and mobilization difficulties.

Still, the decline will be temporary as past performance puts the top 40 “in a strong financial position as they enter one of the more uncertain economic periods in living memory. Liquidity is improved, and solvency is consistent.”

The pandemic’s effect on commodity prices ranges from double-digit drops for copper, nickel and zinc, to record prices for gold. Iron ore has remained relatively steady and looks promising due to early recovery in China and strong GDP growth predicted for that country and India in coming years.

In a recommendation that itself presents challenges, however, PwC suggests miners seek greater diversification of customers to wean themselves off of the two Asian giants.

Mining companies may think they’re an unlikely target for cyberattacks, but as reliance on autonomous and digital technology grows, so too does the cybersecurity risk. And the consequences can be a matter of life or death.—PwC Mine 2020

As for gold’s steep ascent, “don’t expect this to continue.” With 2020 yellow metal M&A down 33% from the same period last year, “gold miners appear to have learnt their mistakes from the early 2010s and are avoiding the pitfalls of pursuing large cash and debt-backed deals in a rising price environment. We expect gold deals to be less frequent and smaller this year and next, with more transactions on a scrip-for-scrip basis.”

Under the circumstances smaller, local property acquisitions might prove more attractive to the top miners. Locally available resources, along with globally diverse deposits, would help strengthen critical supply chains too. Pointing to fragile links further weakened by COVID-19, PwC also called for improved inventory management. The measures “would not only de-risk mining companies against a similarly disruptive event but also help develop and build resilience in local communities,” the report states. “Many are already doing it; Anglo American, Nornickel and BHP among others, have announced initiatives to increase support for their domestic suppliers as a result of the pandemic.”

PwC also emphasized the need to strengthen cybersecurity, and to address environmental, social and governance accountability, calling for a global ESG standard.

For the third year running, six Canadian companies made the top 40 list with the present group including Barrick Gold TSX:ABX, Agnico Eagle Mines Group TSX:AEM, Teck Resources TSX:TECK.A/TSX:TECK.B, Kirkland Lake Gold TSX:KL, First Quantum Minerals TSX:FM and Kinross Gold TSX:K. Newcomer Kinross kept Canada’s half-dozen steady following the takeover of Goldcorp by Denver-headquartered Newmont TSX:NGT. Among companies poised to join next year is Vancouver-headquartered Pan American Silver TSX:PAAS.

Read the PwC report.

Ron MacDonald of Zinc8 Energy Solutions discusses the advantages of his company’s electricity storage system

July 13th, 2020

…Read more

Taranis Resources gets B.C. Ombudsperson intervention in regulatory dispute; B.C. plans Mines Act revisions

July 2nd, 2020

by Greg Klein | July 2, 2020

In what might be a unique approach to regulatory uncertainty, a would-be British Columbia miner says it has “helped set the trend towards more transparent, accessible and fair proceedings for bulk-sampling projects.” Exasperated by its dealings with the provincial mines ministry, Taranis Resources TSXV:TRO went to the province’s Ombudsperson. As a result, the company and the ministry have agreed to procedures and a timeline for the company’s permitting application.

Taranis Resources gets B.C. Ombudsperson intervention in regulatory dispute; B.C. plans Mines Act revisions

Taranis has sunk about 250 holes at Thor
since acquiring the Kootenay property in 2006.
(Photo: Taranis Resources)

Taranis proposes to conduct a 10,000-tonne sample as part of the feasibility studies for the Thor project in southeastern B.C. The 3,172-hectare property hosts five historic mines and a potential silver-gold-lead-zinc-copper open pit.

Last March the company castigated B.C.’s Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, charging that a supposedly 60-day review had dragged on since September 2019, involving 28 government reviewers, “multiple catastrophic deficiencies and concerns,” and “moving goalposts.”

But on July 2 CEO John Gardiner thanked the ministry and the Ombudsperson “for formulating a number of positive measures that pertain not only to Taranis, but to B.C.’s exploration and mining sector as a whole.”

The resolution calls for draft engineering drawings of a water management plan and tailings storage facility to be completed with ministry collaboration within three to four weeks before being sent to the province’s Mine Development Review Committee for comments.

“Taranis expects the permit recommendation to be sent from EMPR to the statutory decision maker this year,” the company stated. “EMPR will try to complete this work by August 31, 2020, in order to mitigate further delay.”

We wish to thank the Ombudsperson’s office and EMPR … for formulating a number of positive measures that pertain not only to Taranis, but to B.C.’s exploration and mining sector as a whole.—John Gardiner,
Taranis Resources CEO

Taranis also stated that the ministry committed to completing and posting online a draft policy and information bulletin entitled Permitting Custom and Pilot Mill Operations, and a fact sheet for bulk sampling.

The province has been blamed for “moving the goalposts” on another mining proposal, and in this case the criticism came from a Supreme Court judge. But although the court ordered the government in 2013 to reconsider Pacific Booker Minerals’ (TSXV:BKM) application to build the Morrison copper-gold-molybdenum mine, the company still faces regulatory uncertainty. Late last month independent MLA and former Green leader Andrew Weaver accused the government of imposing conditions too vague for compliance. “For Pacific Booker, this order has been tantamount to a rejection of its project without the ministry formally saying no,” he charged.

Also last month B.C.’s New Democrat government announced proposed updates to the province’s Mines Act. Among the changes would be the separation of health and safety enforcement from responsibility for permitting decisions.

A newly created chief auditor’s staff would inspect mines and issue orders to rectify dangers to people, property or the environment.

Mine inspectors would gain stronger powers to stop work until remedial environmental protection takes place, and broader authority to conduct inspections. Inspections could include “indigenous accompaniment.”