Friday 26th April 2019

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘zinc’

Pistol Bay Mining branches out to Nevada with vanadium acquisition

April 10th, 2019

by Greg Klein | April 10, 2019

Despite historic reports of what’s now a sought-after energy metal, this former mining region has never been systematically explored for vanadium. Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST hopes to change that by purchasing a new property in Clark County, Nevada.

Pistol Bay Mining branches out to Nevada with vanadium acquisition

Known collectively as the Vanadium Claims Group, the 397-hectare property covers two groups of claims, each about one by 1.6 kilometres hosting former mines and historic reports of vanadium. U.S. Geological Survey info from the 1920s states that one of the former mines shipped 14 tons of material to the American Vanadium Company, although no data on content or grade was available. The USGS also stated that outcrops within the current VCG project showed vanadium mineralization. 

Other occurrences of vanadium mineralization noted by the USGS suggest the potential for district-scale, low-cost exploration, as well as lead-zinc-silver byproduct potential, commented Pistol Bay president/CEO Charles Desjardins.

“We’re very excited about this new project and look forward to getting boots on the ground this month for sampling and other field work,” he said.

The price comes to an initial $15,000 (all amounts in U.S. dollars), $50,000 and eight million shares on TSXV approval and another $100,000 six months later. The vendor retains a 2% royalty, 75% of which Pistol Bay may buy for $1 million.

In northwestern Ontario, the company holds the largest land package in the Confederation Lake greenstone belt. The claims host several historic estimates as well as a 2017 43-101 resource for the Arrow zone. Using a base case 3% zinc-equivalent cutoff, the estimate outlines an inferred category:

  • 2.1 million tonnes averaging 5.78% zinc, 0.72% copper, 19.5 g/t silver and 0.6 g/t gold, for a zinc-equivalent grade of 8.42%

Contained amounts come to:

  • 274 million pounds zinc, 34.3 million pounds copper, 1.33 million ounces silver and 41,000 ounces gold

Results from last year’s three-hole 1,555-metre drill program “confirm the consistent nature of mineralization in the Arrow zone and give us more confidence in the existing mineral resource estimate,” Desjardins stated at the time. Assays reached as high as 5.15% zinc-equivalent over 12.85 metres.

Ximen Mining to do due diligence on B.C.’s first underground gold mine

April 8th, 2019

by Greg Klein | April 8, 2019

Ximen Mining to do due diligence on B.C.’s first underground gold mine

Connected to power and paved road, the Kenville property has mining
equipment, offices, mechanic shop, core storage and accommodation on site.

 

Just days after picking up additional land in one historic southern British Columbia camp, Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM turned its attention to another former mine. A new option agreement would give the company a stake in another company whose chief asset is another option—to acquire the site of B.C.’s first underground lode gold operation.

Located eight kilometres west of the city of Nelson in southeastern B.C.’s Kootenay region, the Kenville gold mine operated intermittently between 1889 and 1954, extracting 181,395 tonnes containing 2,029 kilograms of gold, 861 kilograms of silver, 23.5 tonnes of lead, 15 tonnes of zinc, 1.6 tonnes of copper and 37 kilograms of cadmium, Ximen stated.

Ximen Mining to do due diligence on B.C.’s first underground gold mine

An historic, non-43-101 estimate gives Kenville’s
257 level 16,289 gold ounces measured and indicated.

Some 13,000 metres of drilling between 2007 and 2008 targeted previously untested areas southwest of the former mine, the company added. Detailed sampling also took place on the 257 level, which alone of the mine’s seven levels remains accessible. In 2009 an historic, non-43-101 resource for the 257 level used a 1.1 g/t cutoff to estimate:

  • measured: 3,312 tonnes averaging 31.72 g/t gold for 3,377 gold ounces

  • indicated: 21,312 tonnes averaging 18.84 g/t for 12,912 ounces

  • inferred: 522,321 tonnes averaging 23.01 g/t for 356,949 ounces

Further drilling took place between 2009 and 2012, finding at least four new veins with potential strike lengths of over 700 metres, according to historic, non-43-101 reports.

Historic accounts of soil surveys and drilling suggest potential for porphyry-type copper-molybdenum-silver-gold mineralization elsewhere on the property, Ximen stated.

Pending due diligence and TSXV approval, the acquisition would take place by optioning an interest in a company that holds an option to acquire Kenville. According to the terms, Ximen would option a promissory note to the vendor amounting to $780,000 plus interest, another promissory note to the vendor amounting to $1 million plus interest convertible into shares of 0995237 B.C. Ltd, mining equipment located in Alberta, and 5,333,334 shares in 0995237 B.C. Ltd.

“The principal asset of 0995237 is its option to acquire the Kenville gold mine,” Ximen stated.

The combined assets would cost Ximen 1,408,333 shares at a deemed price of $0.80, $1.38 million payable in installments and settling of the vendor’s $270,000 debt to arm’s length third parties.

Last week Ximen announced its acquisition of over 12,900 hectares in B.C.’s historic Greenwood camp. The new turf surrounds the company’s Gold Drop project, now optioned to GGX Gold TSXV:GGX. Last year’s Gold Drop drill program found near-surface, high-grade intervals of gold and silver, along with tellurium.

Ximen’s southern B.C. portfolio also includes the Treasure Mountain property under option to New Destiny Mining TSXV:NED and the Okanagan-region Brett gold project.

Ximen closed private placements of $540,000 in December and $250,000 in February. In March the company arranged a private placement of $405,000 subject to TSXV approval.

Read more about Ximen Mining here and here.

Ximen Mining expands its presence in British Columbia’s Greenwood camp

April 5th, 2019

by Greg Klein | April 5, 2019

A former mining region about 500 highway kilometres east of Vancouver continues to attract interest as another company picks up additional property. Through a combination of purchase and staking, Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM acquired over 12,900 hectares surrounding its Gold Drop project, now optioned to GGX Gold TSXV:GGX.

Last year’s drilling at Gold Drop returned near-surface, high-grade intervals of gold and silver along with tellurium, classified by the U.S. government as a critical mineral. Some highlight assays include:

Ximen Mining expands its presence in British Columbia’s Greenwood camp

A quartz sample from Ximen’s recent site
visit brought 2.87 g/t gold and 127 g/t silver.

Hole COD18-67

  • 129.1 g/t gold, 1,154.9 g/t silver and 823.4 g/t tellurium over 7.28 metres, starting at 23.19 metres in downhole depth

COD18-70

  • 107.5 g/t gold, 880 g/t silver and 640.5 g/t tellurium over 6.9 metres, starting at 22.57 metres

True widths were unavailable. The operator has spring drilling scheduled to begin this month.

Ximen’s new Providence claim also borders Grizzly Discoveries’ (TSXV:GZD) Greenwood project, where Kinross Gold TSX:K subsidiary KG Exploration works towards a 75% earn-in. Other companies active in the Greenwood area include Quebec niobium-tantalum explorer Saville Resources TSXV:SRE, which this week announced sampling found high-grade gold and copper along with silver on its Bud project. Last week Nevada lithium explorer Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA announced its acquisition of the Greenwood-area Pathfinder project. Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM has been working a number of properties in the area, home to numerous former mines.

Ximen Mining expands its presence in British Columbia’s Greenwood camp

An historic pit yielded this sample
of copper-rich massive sulphide.

Among those within or bordering Ximen’s acquisition is the Providence mine, which produced 10,426 tonnes containing 183 kilograms of gold, 42,552 kilograms of silver, 183 tonnes of lead and 118 tonnes of zinc during intermittent operation between 1893 and 1973, according to historic reports. The historic Combination deposit gave up 11 tonnes for 60,340 grams of silver and 653 grams of gold. Ximen’s new claims cover 11 known mineral occurrences, the company stated.

Recent sampling returned 2.87 g/t gold and 127 g/t silver from a mine dump northeast of the former Providence operation. Another sample showed 2,350 ppm copper from one of the property’s undocumented exploration pits that show exposed massive sulphides containing chalcopyrite, bornite and magnetite.

In southern B.C.’s Okanagan region, Ximen also holds the Brett gold project. In November the company announced that metallurgical tests on material stockpiled in the 1990s during early-stage mine development support an historic account of 4 g/t to 5 g/t gold.

About three and a half hours’ driving distance from Vancouver, Ximen has its Treasure Mountain property under option to New Destiny Mining TSXV:NED. Grab samples collected last year included 11.3 g/t and 8.81 g/t gold, as well as samples showing up to 1.45% zinc, 122 g/t silver, 0.87 g/t gold, 57 g/t tellurium and 12.3 g/t indium.

Ximen closed private placements of $540,000 in December and $250,000 in February. Last month the company arranged a private placement of $405,000 subject to TSXV approval.

Read more about Ximen Mining.

Belmont Resources moves into B.C.’s historic Greenwood mining camp

March 28th, 2019

by Greg Klein | March 28, 2019, updated April 2

A company drilling for Nevada lithium has taken on new turf in a storied southern British Columbia gold-copper district. The acquisition brings Belmont Resources TSXV:BEA a 253-hectare property that formed part of the former Pathfinder project, about 18 kilometres north of Grand Forks and 500 klicks by highway east of Vancouver. The location sits on the northeastern edge of the Boundary mining camp, also known as the Republic-Greenwood gold district.

Belmont Resources moves into B.C.’s historic Greenwood mining camp

Greenwood-area mining dates back to the late 1880s. Approximately 26 former mines produced more than 1.2 million ounces of gold and over 270,000 tonnes of copper, as well as silver, lead and zinc, according to Geoscience BC. Among the past-producers are some workings on the former Pathfinder property. More recent prospecting, sampling, drilling and a magnetic survey on Pathfinder have provided historic data to help Belmont plan a 2019 exploration program.

Kinross Gold TSX:K subsidiary KG Exploration holds property bordering three sides of the Belmont acquisition. The Kinross subsidiary has so far spent $1.28 million towards a 75% earn-in on Grizzly Discoveries’ (TSXV:GZD) Greenwood project and plans further work this year. Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM and GGX Gold TSXV:GGX have recently reported near-surface gold, silver and tellurium assays from their Greenwood-area Gold Drop project. Other companies in the district include Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM and Quebec niobium-tantalum explorer Saville Resources TSXV:SRE.

To close the acquisition Belmont pays each of two vendors 625,000 shares and 625,000 warrants on TSXV approval, along with another 125,000 shares and 125,000 warrants each within a year. Together, the vendors retain a 1.5% NSR, half of which Belmont may buy for $1 million.

Reporting from their Kibby Basin lithium project in Nevada last week, Belmont and MGX Minerals CSE:XMG announced a “milestone” permit to extract up to 943 million U.S. gallons of water annually for brine processing and potential production of lithium compounds. Assays are pending from last winter’s drilling, which tested a potential fault about 2,300 metres from a previous target that averaged 393 ppm lithium over 42.4 metres and 415 ppm over 30.5 metres.

Belmont’s portfolio also includes an interest in two northern Saskatchewan uranium properties held 50/50 with International Montoro Resources TSXV:IMT.

Subject to exchange approval, Belmont expects to close a private placement first tranche of $67,500. The company closed a private placement totalling $375,000 in July.

Update: Ximen Mining/GGX Gold add tellurium to B.C. gold-silver project, drilling resumes in April

March 18th, 2019

by Greg Klein | updated March 20, 2019

New assays add impressive critical mineral results to near-surface, high-grade precious metals at southern British Columbia’s Greenwood mining camp. The news comes from the Gold Drop project, where earlier this month Ximen Mining TSXV:XIM and GGX Gold TSXV:GGX reported intervals as high as 129.1 g/t gold and 1,154.9 g/t silver over 7.28 metres, along with 107.5 g/t gold and 880 g/t silver over 6.9 metres. After 14 intervals surpassed the upper analytical limit of 500 g/t tellurium, the core was re-assayed specifically for the critical mineral.

Among the results were 823.4 g/t tellurium over 7.28 metres and 640.5 g/t over 6.9 metres. Combined with the gold-silver results, the intervals now show:

Ximen Mining/GGX Gold examine tellurium potential of B.C. gold-silver project

Hole COD18-67

  • 129.1 g/t gold, 1,154.9 g/t silver and 823.4 g/t tellurium over 7.28 metres, starting at 23.19 metres in downhole depth

COD18-70

  • 107.5 g/t gold, 880 g/t silver and 640.5 g/t tellurium over 6.9 metres, starting at 22.57 metres

True widths were unavailable.

Other individual samples graded as high as 3,860 g/t and 2,250 g/t tellurium, both in near-surface 0.38-metre intervals from COD18-67. COD18-70 also showed individual samples up to 3,340 g/t over 0.45 metres and 2,960 g/t over 0.4 metres.

“Tellurium occurs in a soft silver-grey telluride mineral,” the companies stated. “Whenever this mineral is observed in the drill core, the interval has elevated silver, gold and tellurium values. This telluride mineral is likely a silver-tellurium-gold alloy named sylvanite.”

The decision to re-assay the core was prompted by “multiple industry inquiries and spiked interest with regards to the tellurium grades,” Ximen president/CEO Chris Anderson said earlier this month.

Due to the multiple industry inquiries and spiked interest with regards to the tellurium grades, as well as the fact that the grades have exceeded upper analytical limits at the lab, the decision was made to re-assay these drill core samples.—Chris Anderson,
Ximen Mining president/CEO

The 2018 program sunk 71 holes on the COD vein in the property’s Southwest zone and also conducted trenching in the COD area along with drilling on the Everest vein. Drilling and trenching have followed COD’s vein system for 400 metres along strike, leaving it open along strike and at depth. The upcoming drill campaign will continue testing the vein’s southern extension.

GGX acts as operator on the 5,628-hectare property. If GGX completes its 100% option, Ximen may form a JV by reimbursing GGX 30% of its spending to that date. Ximen retains a 2.5% NSR. The property sits about 500 kilometres by highway east of Vancouver.

Included in last year’s U.S. government list of 35 critical minerals, tellurium finds uses globally in solar applications (40%), thermo-electric production (30%), metallurgy (15%), rubber applications (5%) and other purposes (10%), according to a recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey. The U.S. imports over 75% of its tellurium supply.

Ximen’s flagship is the Brett project in southern B.C.’s Okanagan region. Last November the company announced that metallurgical tests on material stockpiled during early-stage mine development in the 1990s support an historic account of 4 g/t to 5 g/t gold.

Ximen has its Treasure Mountain property under option to New Destiny Mining TSXV:NED. Grab samples from last year’s program included gold grades of 11.3 g/t and 8.81 g/t from the property’s east-northeast areas, and up to 1.45% zinc, 122 g/t silver, 0.87 g/t gold, 57 g/t tellurium and 12.3 g/t indium in the southeast region. Grab samples from a trench in the southeast area showed anomalous gold grades including 0.877 g/t, 0.46 g/t and 0.359 g/t.

The companies received permits last month for additional work on the property, which partly surrounds Nicola Mining’s (TSXV:NIM) Treasure Mountain project, about three and a half hours’ driving distance from Vancouver. Nicola’s property underwent silver-lead-zinc underground mining in 2008 and 2013.

Last month Ximen appointed Mathew Ball as VP of exploration. With over 30 years of experience, he’s served as president/COO of B.C.’s Bralorne gold mine and currently acts as interim CEO/COO/chief geologist for Golden Dawn Minerals TSXV:GOM, another company active in the Greenwood camp. “Dr. Ball brings a wealth of practical experience and knowledge of lode and epithermal gold-silver, porphyry copper-gold and related skarn deposits,” all of which potentially occur in Ximen’s three projects, the company stated.

Ximen closed private placements of $540,000 in December and $250,000 in February. On March 18 the company announced it arranged a private placement of $405,000 subject to TSXV approval.

Ximen Mining/GGX Gold examine tellurium potential of B.C. gold-silver project

March 7th, 2019

This story has been updated and moved here.

Periodic table: New version warns of elements that are endangered

January 25th, 2019

by David Cole-Hamilton, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of St Andrews | posted with permission of The Conversation | January 25, 2019

Periodic table New version warns of elements that are endangered

Period pains. (Image: European Chemical Society)

 

It is amazing to think that everything around us is made up from just 90 building blocks—the naturally occurring chemical elements. Dmitri Mendeleev put the 63 known during his time into order and published his first version of what we now recognize as the periodic table in 1869. In that year, the American Civil War was just over, Germany was about to be unified, Tolstoy published War and Peace and the Suez Canal was opened.

There are now 118 known elements but only 90 that occur in nature. The rest are mostly super-heavy substances that have been created in laboratories in recent decades through nuclear reactions and rapidly decay into one or more of the natural elements.

Where each of these natural elements sits in the periodic table allows us to know immediately a great deal about how it will behave. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this amazing resource, UNESCO has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table.

Periodic table New version warns of elements that are endangered

Dmitri Mendeleev.
(Artwork: Marusya Chaika)

As part of the celebrations, the European Chemical Society has published a completely new version of the periodic table. (See main image.) It is designed to give an eye-catching message about sustainable development. Based on an original idea in the 1970s from the American chemist William Sheehan, the table has been completely redrawn so that the area occupied by each element represents its abundance on a log scale.

Red for danger

Each area of the new table has been colour-coded to indicate its vulnerability. In most cases, elements are not lost but, as we use them, they become dissipated and much less easy to recover. Red indicates that dissipation will make the elements much less readily available in 100 years or less—that’s helium (He), silver (Ag), tellurium (Te), gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), strontium (Sr), yttrium (Y), zinc (Zn), indium (In), arsenic (As), hafnium (Hf) and tantalum (Ta).

To give just a couple of examples, helium is used to cool the magnets in MRI scanners and to dilute oxygen for deep-sea diving. Vital rods in nuclear reactors use hafnium. Strontium salts are added to fireworks and flares to produce vivid red colours. Yttrium is a component of camera lenses to make them shock- and heat-resistant. It is also used in lasers and alloys. Gallium, meanwhile, is used to make very high-quality mirrors, light-emitting diodes and solar cells.

Meanwhile, the orange and yellow areas on the new periodic table anticipate problems caused by increased use of these elements. Green means that plenty is available—including the likes of oxygen (O), hydrogen (H), aluminium (Al) and calcium (Ca).

Four elements—tin (Sn), tantalum (Ta), tungsten (W) and gold (Au)—are coloured in black because they often come from conflict minerals; that is, from mines where wars are fought over their ownership. They can all be more ethically sourced, so it’s intended as a reminder that manufacturers must carefully trace their origin to be sure that people did not die in order to provide the minerals in question.

Smartphone shortages

Out of the 90 elements, 31 carry a smartphone symbol reflecting the fact that they are all contained in these devices. This includes all four of the elements from conflict minerals and another six with projected useful lifetimes of less than 100 years.

Let us consider indium (In), for instance, which is coloured red on the table. Every touch screen contains a transparent conducting layer of indium tin oxide. There is quite a lot of indium, but it is already highly dispersed. It is a byproduct of zinc manufacture, but there is only enough from that source for about 20 years. Then the price will start to rise quickly unless we do something to preserve current stocks.

The three main possibilities are: replace, recycle or use less. Huge efforts are being made to find alternative materials based on Earth-abundant elements. Reclaiming indium from used screens is possible and being attempted. But when we look at the periodic table and the very precious nature of so many of the elements, can we possibly justify changing our phone every two or so years?

At present over one million phones are traded every month in the UK alone, as well as 10 million in Europe and 12 million in the U.S.

At present over one million phones are traded every month in the UK alone, as well as 10 million in Europe and 12 million in the U.S. When we trade in our smartphones, many of them go to the developing world initially for reuse. Most end up in landfill sites or undergo attempts to extract a few of the elements under appalling conditions. The other elements remain in acidic brews. Along with the very many that lie around in drawers, this is how the elements in mobile phones become dissipated.

The number of phones we trade in could be greatly reduced and lower the demand on limited resources such as indium. In this context, the recent Apple profit warning, partly due to customers replacing their iPhones slightly less frequently, was at least a sign of improvement.

But as the new version of the periodic table underlines, we must do all we can to conserve and recycle the 90 precious building blocks that make up our wonderfully diverse world. If we don’t start taking these problems more seriously, many of the objects and technologies that we now take for granted may become relics of a more abundant age a few generations from now—or available only to richer people.

David Cole-Hamilton is affiliated with the UK Liberal Democratic Party. He is vice-president of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS). He is past-president of the Royal Society of Chemistry Dalton Division covering Inorganic Chemistry. He is a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Education Committee, RSE Learned Societies Group on STEM Education, RSE European Strategy Group and chairs the sub-group on Research, Innovation and Tertiary Education. He is a trustee of the Wilkinson Charitable Foundation.

Posted with permission of The Conversation.

More from The Conversation:

From Visual Capitalist:

The Conversation

Visual Capitalist: The bull case for energy metals going into 2019

January 10th, 2019

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | January 10, 2019

 

The rapid emergence of the world’s renewable energy sector is helping set the stage for a commodity boom.

While oil has traditionally been the most interesting commodity to investors in the past, the green energy sector is reliant on the unique electrical and physical properties of many different metals to work optimally.

To build more renewable capacity and to store that energy efficiently, we will need to increase the available supply for these specific raw materials, or face higher costs for each material.

Metal bull cases

Ahead of Cambridge House’s annual Vancouver Resource Investment Conference on January 20 and 21, 2019, we thought it would be prudent to highlight the “bull case” for relevant metals as we start the year.

It’s important to recognize that the commodity market is often cyclical and dependent on a multitude of factors, and that these cases are not meant to be predictive in any sense.

In other words, the facts and arguments illustrated sum up what we think investors may see as the most compelling stories for these metals—but what actually happens in the market, especially in the short term, may be different.

Overarching trends

While we highlight 12 minerals ranging from copper to lithium, most of the raw materials in the infographic fit into four overarching, big-picture stories that will drive the future of green energy:

Solar and wind
The world hit 1 TW of wind and solar generation capacity in 2018. The second TW will be up and running by 2023, and will cost 46% less than the first.

Electric vehicles
Ownership of electric vehicles will increase 40 times in the next 13 years, reaching 125 million vehicles in 2030.

Energy storage
The global market for energy storage is rapidly growing, and will leap from $194 billion to $296 billion between 2017 and 2024.

Nuclear
150 nuclear reactors with a total gross capacity of about 160,000 MW are on order or planned, and about 300 more are proposed—mostly in Asia.

Which of these stories has the most potential as a catalyst for driving the entire sector?

Based on these narratives, and the individual bull cases above, which metal has the most individual potential?

Visit Visual Capitalist at Booth #1228 at #VRIC19.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Click here for free VRIC registration up to January 11.

Read more about the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.

Niobium-tantalum in Quebec

December 5th, 2018

Successful sampling readies Saville Resources to drill for critical metals

by Greg Klein

“Building momentum” is the way Saville Resources TSXV:SRE president Mike Hodge puts it. Steady progress, shown most recently through another encouraging sampling program, puts the company’s early-stage niobium-tantalum project in Quebec on track for drilling this winter. Assays so far have the company hopeful about proving up a maiden resource in this mining-friendly jurisdiction next door to a country increasingly concerned about sourcing critical metals.

Successful sampling readies Saville Resources to drill for critical metals

Conducted by Dahrouge Geological Consulting, the fall
program brought the Niobium claim group to drill-ready status.

The autumn field program met all of its objectives, Hodge enthuses. Twenty-two boulder samples surpassed 0.7% Nb2O5, with 14 of them exceeding 0.8% and one peaking at 1.5%. Tantalum made its presence known too. Those same 14 niobium samples also graded between 160 ppm and 1,080 ppm Ta2O5.

The project gained yet another target, where boulders reached 0.88% and 1.28% Nb2O5. A ground magnetics survey highlighted the prospectivity of the Moira area, already the location of exceptionally high-grade samples. In all, the results show a drill-ready project that should see action this winter.

Saville holds a 75% earn-in from Commerce Resources TSXV:CCE on the Niobium claim group, a 1,223-hectare package on the latter company’s Eldor property in Quebec. Just a few kilometres from the Niobium project and with obvious synergistic potential for Saville, Commerce has its Ashram rare earths deposit moving towards pre-feasibility. All this takes place in a province that demonstrates its support for mining through a number of initiatives, including direct investment and the Plan Nord infrastructure program. The northeastern Quebec region has two treaties in place that clearly define procedures for native consultation. Saville’s three-quarters stake in the Niobium claim group calls for $5 million in work over five years.

A 43-101 technical report filed in September followed field programs by previous companies including 41 holes totalling 8,175 metres drilled by Commerce. In addition to niobium-tantalum, the report noted phosphate and fluorspar as potential secondary commodities.

Some of the standout results from previous sampling came from the property’s as-yet undrilled Miranna area, where boulder samples graded as high as 2.75%, 4.24%, 4.3% and an exceptional 5.93% Nb2O5.

Other locations have been drilled, but not since 2010. Some 17 holes and 4,328 metres on the Southeast area brought near-surface highlights that include:

  • 0.82% Nb2O5 over 21.89 metres, starting at 58.93 metres in downhole depth

  • 0.72% over 21.35 metres, starting at 4.22 metres
  • (including 0.9% over 4.78 metres)

  • 0.72% over 17.35 metres, starting at 70 metres

  • 0.71% over 15.33 metres, starting at 55.1 metres

True widths were unavailable. Southeast results also showed tantalum and phosphate, as well as suggesting a possible fluorspar zone.

A wide, near-surface interval from the Northwest area showed:

  • 0.46% Nb2O5 over 46.88 metres, starting at 30.65 metres
  • (including 0.61% over 11.96 metres)
Successful sampling readies Saville Resources to drill for critical metals

Surface outcrops and near-surface core
produce encouraging grades for Saville Resources.

As in the Southeast, the Northwest area showed encouraging signs of tantalum and phosphate. But tantalum came through most strongly in the property’s Star Trench area, with results as high as 1,810 ppm Ta2O5 (with 1.5% Nb2O5) over 0.52 metres, as well as 2,220 ppm Ta2O5 (with 1.69% Nb2O5, and phosphate grading 20.5% P2O5) over 0.31 metres.

Another area gains greater prominence too, thanks to this autumn’s ground magnetics survey. A strong anomaly at the Moira target, about 250 metres north of Miranna, coincides with several overlapping boulder trains that suggest Moira could be one of several possible sources of mineralization.

And a new, yet-to-be-named area gave up two of the fall program’s best assays. About 400 metres south of the drill area, the new target produced boulder samples hitting 1.28% Nb2O5 and 260 ppm Ta2O5, along with 0.88% Nb2O5 and 1,080 ppm Ta2O5.

Intriguingly, glacial ice suggests the two rocks, found about 100 metres apart, originated in an area farther southeast that’s had very little attention so far.

Saville also holds the 3,370-hectare Covette project in Quebec’s James Bay region, where last summer’s field program found surface samples including 1.2% zinc and 68.7 g/t silver. Three other samples returned nickel values ranging from 0.13% to 0.19%.

Work focused on a highly conductive area identified by a 2016 VTEM survey. Samples gathered in 2017 included grades of 0.18% nickel, 0.09% copper and 87 ppm cobalt. One historic, non-43-101 grab sample brought 4.7% molybdenum, 0.73% bismuth, 0.09% lead and 6 g/t silver, while another historic sample returned 1.2 g/t silver and 0.18% copper.

As for niobium, it’s considered a critical metal by the American government for its use in steels and super-alloys necessary for jet engine components, rocket sub-assemblies, and heat-resisting and combustion equipment, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Almost 90% of last year’s world production came from Brazil, where new president Jair Bolsonaro has expressed concern about increasing Chinese ownership of resources.

Also a component of military super-alloys, tantalum additionally plays a vital role in personal electronics including phones and computers. The U.S. imports its entire supply of tantalum. About 60% of last year’s world production came from the troubled countries of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

With the advantages of markets, jurisdiction and geology, Hodge looks forward to winter drilling. “We’ve now got about 20 targets that we can go after,” he says. “One priority would be to define the Southeast area because we’ve got such good niobium numbers there. On getting a potential inferred resource, we’d go after Miranna or Moira and the untested targets. We’re looking forward to a busy, productive season.”

Read more about U.S. efforts to secure critical minerals here and here.

Drill-ready money

November 19th, 2018

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

by Greg Klein

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Osisko Mining’s (TSX:OSK) Windfall project offers one reason why
Quebec leads Canada and gold leads metals for exploration spending.
(Photo: Osisko Mining)

 

Blockchain might offer intrigue and cannabis promises a buzz, but mineral exploration still attracts growing interest. A healthy upswing this year will bring Canadian projects a nearly 8% spending increase to $2.36 billion, the industry’s highest amount since 2012. According to recently released data, that’s part of an international trend that puts Canada at the top of a worldwide resurgence.

The $2.36 billion allotted for Canadian exploration and deposit appraisal forms just a small part of the year’s total mineral resource development investments, which see $11.86 billion committed to this country, up from $10.61 billion in 2017.

Those numbers come from Natural Resources Canada, which surveyed companies between April and September on their spending intentions within the country for 2018. The $2.36-billion figure includes engineering, economic and feasibility studies, along with environmental work and general expenses.

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Trial extraction for Pure Gold Mining’s (TSXV:PGM)
Madsen feasibility studies encourages interest in
Ontario’s Red Lake region. (Photo: Pure Gold Mining)

Of that number, Quebec edges out Ontario for first place with $623.1 million in spending this year, 26.4% of Canada’s total. Ontario’s share comes to $567.5 million or 24%. Last year’s totals came to $573.9 million for Quebec and $539.7 million for its western neighbour. Prior to that, however, Ontario held a comfortable lead year after year.

Third-place British Columbia gets $335.5 million or 14.2% of Canada’s total this year, an increase from $302.6 million in 2017.

On a per-capita basis, Yukon’s enjoying an exceptional year with an expected $249.4 million or 10.6% of Canada’s total. That’s the territory’s second substantial increase in a row, following $168.7 million the previous year.

Saskatchewan dips this year to $187.2 million (7.9%) from $191.2 million in 2017. But the Fraser Institute’s last survey of mining jurisdictions placed the province first in Canada and second worldwide.

Nunavut drops too, for the third consecutive time, to $143.9 million (6.1%), compared with $177 million in 2017. The Northwest Territories’ forecast declines to $86.2 million (3.7%) this year after $91.2 million last year.

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Among companies leading Yukon’s exceptional performance
is White Gold TSXV:WGO, with substantial backing from
Agnico Eagle Mines TSX:AEM and Kinross Gold TSX:K.
(Photo: White Gold)

Especially troubling when contrasted with Yukon’s performance, data for the other territories prompted NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines president Gary Vivian to call on federal, territorial and native governments and boards to help the industry “by creating certainty around land access, by reducing unnecessary complexity and by addressing the higher costs they face working in the North. Sustaining and growing future mining benefits depend on it.”

The pursuit of precious metals accounts for $1.5 billion in spending, nearly 64% of Canadian exploration. Ontario gets almost 31% of the precious metals attention, with 27% going to Quebec.

Base metals, mostly in Quebec, B.C. and Ontario, get 15.5% of the year’s total. Uranium gets 5%, almost entirely in Saskatchewan. Diamonds get nearly 4%, most of it going to the NWT and Saskatchewan. But nearly 11% of this year’s total goes to a category vaguely attributed to other metals, along with coal and additional non-metals.

Getting back to this year’s exploration total ($2.36 billion, remember?), senior companies commit themselves to nearly 55%, compared with nearly 51% last year. But the juniors’ share remains proportionately much larger than the pre-2017 years.

Additional encouragement—and on an international level—comes from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Using different methodology to produce different results, the Metals and Mining Research team found worldwide budgets for nonferrous exploration jumping 19% this year to $10.1 billion.

Juniors have been reaping the biggest budget gains at 35%. Over 1,651 functional exploration companies represent an 8% improvement over last year and the first such increase since 2012. But that’s “still about 900 companies less than in 2012, representing a one-third culling of active explorers over the past five years.”

The most dramatic spending increase hit cobalt and lithium, this year undergoing an 82% leap in exploration spending. That’s part of a 500% climb since 2015, SPGMI says.

Canada’s hitting a six-year high in exploration spending

Nemaska Lithium’s Whabouchi project in Quebec
contributes to the enthusiasm for energy metals.
(Photo: Nemaska Lithium)

Even so, precious and base metals retained their prominence as gold continues “to benefit the most from the industry recovery.” The global strive for yellow metal will claim $4.86 billion this year, up from $4.05 billion in 2017. Base metals spending will grow by $600 million to $3.04 billion. “Copper remained by far the most attractive of the base metals, although zinc allocations have increased the most, rising 37% in 2018, the report states. “Budgets are up for all targets except uranium.”

SPGMI finds Canada keeping its global top spot for nonferrous exploration with a 31% year-on-year budget increase. Second-place Australia achieved a 23% rise. The U.S. total places third, although with a 34% increase over the country’s 2017 performance.

In each of the top three countries, over 55% of the budgets focused on gold.

“Improved metals prices and margins since 2016 have encouraged producers to expand their organic efforts the past two years,” commented SPGMI’s Mark Ferguson. “Over the same period, equity market support for the junior explorers has improved, leading to an uptick in the number and size of completed financings. This allowed the group to increase exploration budgets by 35% in 2018.”