Jangada Mines (LSE:JAN) was down 1.9pc to 2.6p in midday trading on Monday after confirming that a high-grade vanadium deposit is present at its Pitombeiras West project in North East Brazil. Exploration drilling has confirmed that the deposits have the potential for significant resource delineation.

All four holes totalling 300m intersected high-grade, near-surface vanadium and titanium mineralisation. This was consistent with expectations from a recently-completed surface sampling campaign. It is also in line with other globally-significant vanadium deposits currently being worked in North East Brazil.

Jangada said the results indicate that Pitombeiras West contains a deposit with grades around three times higher than the 0.25pc in-situ grade that c.70pc at which global vanadium resources are currently mined.

Specifically, work identified a high-grade zone that contains an average of 0.83pc vanadium pentoxide, 11.6pc titanium oxide, and 48.4pc iron over a 12.8m average downhole width. Jangada said this high-grade mineralisation begins at surface and remains open at depth and along strike. Meanwhile, total mineralised intersections range from 26m to 46m wide with average grades of 0.57pc vanadium pentoxide, 8.1pc titanium oxide, and 37pc iron.

Elsewhere, the company said preliminary metallurgical tests demonstrate that the material mined at Pitombeiras West can be processed by conventional methods.

Jangada’s chairman Brian McMaster said: ‘The findings of this drill campaign are highly encouraging and further support our belief that we are discovering a potentially world class vanadium deposit. The mineralisation is consistent in width and grade, with high grade mineralisation starting at surface, all of which are very positive indications. The holes that we have drilled to date are shallow and have returned excellent results. The resource potential remains open at depth and along strike. If we continue to replicate these results in future holes then we will likely be holding a very substantial deposit. These results further confirm the breadth and potential scale of Pitombeiras West specifically, and Pedra Branca more widely.’

Pitombeiras West is found in close proximity to, but distinct from the PGM and nickel deposits within Jangada’s flagship Pedra Branca project. Here, the company announced a 117pc increase in JORC classified ore to 74.84 million tonnes. This included a 104pc increase in base metal content to 362.5 million pounds ('Mlbs') attributed to newly discovered nickel sulphide resource The firm said it is on track to complete its bankable feasibility study for the project by the end of Q1 2019.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Oriole Resources (LSE:ORR) was up 0.8pc to 0.38p in midday trading on Monday after revealing a $500k success-based payment from one of its investments in Turkey. The firm will receive the money from its partner Anadolu in relation to the Karaağaç project in Turkey.

The payment was triggered by the definition of a minimum JORC 2012-compliant resource of 50,000oz of gold at the site under the terms of a 2015 exploration agreement. Anadolu has announced an indicated and inferred resources of 348,150pz gold and 2,832,036oz at the site. The firm is now waiting for the Urban and Environment ministry in turkey to approval an Environmental Impact Assessment for the site.

Oriole will receive staged payments of $25,000 a month for 20 months. It was paid the first of these instalments in February. The business is also entitled to a 1.5pc net smelter return royalty on any future production.

Oriole’s chief financial officer Bob Smeeton said the development provided ‘further evidence’ of the success of oriole’s self-funding exploration strategy.

‘The company's focus on developing projects in conjunction with carefully chosen partners means that we can expose investors to significant exploration upside whilst also minimising the risk of dilution,’ he added.

The news comes less than a week after Oriole revealed very encouraging’ high-grade anomalies at its assets in Cameroon. In an exploration update for the Bibemi asset, where it is earning up to a 90pc interest, Oriole said the first phase of a trenching programme had confirmed multiple zones of gold mineralisation. This includes 6m at 3.02 g/t gold with individual veins returning up to 13.7 g/t.

The trenching programme is now complete, with the remaining results anticipated later this quarter or in early Q2 2019. The work followed the news last November that rock-chip sampling results for Bibembi had demonstrated ‘bonanza’ high-grade gold anomalism extending over the c.4km strike. A phase two trench programme will now begin for a planned 4,360m.

Elsewhere the business said it has also completed soil sampling at the earlier stage Wapouze project, where it is also earning up to a 90pc stake. Results for 2,119 soil samples and 146 rock samples are expected later this month.

Oriole entered a conditional option agreement with established Cameroonian outfit BEIG3 in June last year for Bibemi and Wapouzé. The assets cover the highly prospective Neoproterozoic Pan-African greenstone belts in the north-east of the country.

The two-part agreement gives Oriole the right to earn up to a 90pc interest in the projects and take over their management. For an initial 51pc stake, the firm must fund $1.56m of exploration over two years, with a minimum commitment of $560,000 in the first year. It can then earn up to a further 39pc in exchange for another $1.56m exploration payment.

Monday’s update also comes several weeks after Oriole received a £500,000 rebate from the UK tax office. It will re-invest this into Cameroon and its other projects.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

Shares in gold and copper exploration business Chesterfield Resources (LSE:CHF) have languished since the company re-admitted to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange last summer. Currently sitting at 4p a share the Cypriot-focussed business is valued at £2.48m, which compares favourably to its current £1.73m cash position. With the firm fully funded for its 2019 drill commitments we caught up with Executive Chairman Martin French, who describes to us why he is so confident about the business’s prospects in 2019.

In the months since July’s readmission, Chesterfield has been building on its strong base in Cyprus, culminating in the news earlier this month that it has more than tripled its exploration land package in the formerly thriving mining jurisdiction. With a funded exploration programme and near-term revenue opportunities on the cards, French says Chesterfield will be stepping up efforts to make its story known to the retail market throughout the rest of 2019.

Re-vitalising Cyprus

Chesterfield was set up as a cash shell back in August 2017 by a consortium of experienced mining investors. The group aimed to buy a company or asset that could profit from underinvestment in the mining sector alongside growing commodity demand and advances in technology.

Following its suspension in November 2017, as potential transaction talks began, Chesterfield returned to trading in summer last year with the purchase of HKP Exploration for £500,000, paid in shares. The company raised a further £2m at 7.5p a share to cover a £1.1m work programme and £400,000 of working capital costs.

French told us that Chesterfield was drawn to HKP’s focus on exploring for natural resources in Cyprus. The island has a rich mining heritage and a very active copper industry that used to be centred around the foothills of its Troodos mountains. However, this activity came to an abrupt halt in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. French says a surprisingly small amount of exploration work has taken place in the decades since.

Alongside its prospectivity, French says Cyprus’s EU membership and strong UK ties have made it very easy for Chesterfield to operate. Indeed, despite the Turkish partition remaining in place, the area is well-ranked in terms of ease of doing business and corruption perception. Elsewhere, Cyprus’s climate allows for year-round exploration, and its well-developed infrastructure only serves to support operations further.

All-in-all French says these conditions, and healthy supply/demand dynamics in the copper market, have given rise to an opportunity to discover and develop multiple deposits in the country to production. Fortunately, he adds, the island’s government has reciprocated this enthusiasm to date:

‘I think Cyprus now wants to diversify away from its traditional, hallmark economic drivers, which are tourism and financial services. The fact that companies like Chesterfield are coming in to revive the island’s mining industry is very attractive from the government’s point of view,’ he says. ‘This, along with all of the connections to the UK, have made Cyprus a great area in which to operate – perhaps even more so than other EU jurisdictions, where some of our peers are targeting. We have found the mining regulatory authority very helpful.’

Troodos opportunity

HKP made applications to the government of Cyprus for 100pc-ownership of seven prospecting permits to search for minerals in 2017. These were approved in Q1 2018. Together, these form a 32.1km2 project on the west of the Troodos Mountains (Troodos West) that includes numerous, previously-operating copper and pyrite mines.

Following this success, the business applied for yet another six prospecting permits last year. Five of these cover c.23km2 to the north of the mountains (Troodos North), while the remaining license covers 4.8km2 to the east (Troodos East). Like the acreage to the west, these permits include old mines. As it stands, four of the Troodos North licences and the Troodos East permit have been granted. The final permits are expected soon.

A map of Chesterfield’s holdings in the belt surrounding Cyprus’s Troodos Mountains

 

Chesterfield immediately set out a phased exploration work programme for its HKP portfolio after taking over the firm last year. It gave itself a £1.1m budget and a one-year deadline for the work and is targeting a 1MM-5MMM mineral resource from multiple prospects. It expects this to grade c.2pc copper plus more than 1g/t of gold and silver & zinc credits.

Although different areas are progressing at different rates, its programme is broadly made up of three phases. The first phase involves collating historical data and interpreting satellite imagery to identify prospective areas and prioritise fieldwork. Stage two then consists of ranking these prospects and defining field targets using geological & structural mapping, soil sampling, and ground geophysics. Finally, phase three centres around drilling targets and creating mineral resources.

Despite historical drilling at Chesterfield’s acreage, French says he sees an opportunity in approaching the ground with superior geological understanding, modern exploration techniques and drilling technology. By doing this, the business hopes to prove up economic mineral resources and open new mines.

‘We are in Cyprus to make commercial discoveries, and we are very confident that we can do that. We have exploration techniques that were not previously available to companies operating in the region and a vastly improved geological knowledge,’ French tells us. ‘Drilling was very slow and expensive back then. In our eyes, we are approaching the asset as if it were new with the knowledge that it is already prospective.’

Kicking off

Chesterfield’s primary focus so far has been Troodos West. To kick things off, it signed a diamond drilling contract with GEOPS Bolkan for at least 4,000m of drilling on multiple targets at the property last September.

Rather than make a single massive discovery, French says the firm plans to discover a series of smaller deposits at Troodos West. Cyprus is well-known for volcanic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits. These are small but concentrated high-grade deposits surrounded by larger lower-grade mineralised vein systems. Provided these are found near each other, Chesterfield hopes to combine them and create a cheap, centralised processing operating.

The organisation’s first targets were at Evloimeni, Mavroyi and Double Seven where a review of historic mining data highlighted the existence of Cyprus-type VMS copper-gold-zinc-silver mineralisation. The firm also conducted ongoing fieldwork to identify additional drilling targets.

Alongside its exploration work, Chesterfield is working to develop early cash flow opportunities from waste dumps. In particular, French highlights a site called Limni as a near-term revenue opportunity for Chesterfield at West Troodos. Limni is a large, historic open pit mine where more than 8MMts at 1.1pc copper has reportedly been exploited.

‘We are fairly sure that Limni contains a large amount of copper in solution,’ says French. ‘When it rains heavily, the pit even starts to overflow with bright blue streams – as sure a sign of mineralisation as you could get. We are looking to drill into Limni and test if we can extract this and we should be talking more about that soon.’

Expansion plans

Last month saw Chesterfield announce that it had drilled more than 3,000m at Troodos West, with much of this taking place around Limni and other old workings nearby. Most of the holes intercepted mineralisation.

The drilling also discovered an unexpectedly high amount of gold potential alongside the primary target of copper. Furthermore, it provided evidence of epithermal mineralised structures alongside VMS deposits. In essence, French tells us that this offers the potential for two separate styles of mineralisation.

‘Cyprus is well known for hosting VMS deposits. So much so, that geology students often go out to the island to study its structures,’ says French. With this in mind, the real surprise for us was that we hit surprisingly high levels of gold, as well as copper. ‘We have also discovered more recent epithermal systems, which we did not expect. This, therefore, means that mineralisation is hosted in at least two types of systems, which is very exciting.’

In response to the strong results, Chesterfield has accelerated its pace in several areas. First of all, it has commissioned a remote sensing survey across all its licence areas, and additional operational ground facilities are being appraised.

Secondly, the company has decided to more than triple its exploration land package. Earlier this month, it revealed that it had filed applications over a further 182.96km2 of ground, taking its entire area of licences under application to 237.61km2. Now that these applications have been submitted, no other entities can apply for them.

French tells us that Chesterfield’s land interest in Cyprus is now a multiple of that of any other player in the country. He adds that the company has already begun a detailed exploration programme on this significantly enlarged licence area, with drilling planned for later this year.

‘If these licences are granted we will be the dominant player in Cyprus in terms of exploration acreage – we are very much gunning the engine,’ he says. We will take this land package and start to explore it straight away. There really is a lot you can do very quickly with remote sensing and archival data to begin generating target lists. We hope to drill again on these around mid-year, but this could come even sooner because our contracted drill is held in our facility, meaning it is easily accessible.'

Management experience

To support its expanded operations, Chesterfield has also been increasing its presence in Cyprus. The company established a local Cyprus-based office in September last year and hired a number of graduates from the Camborne School of Mines. It also took on a local geological team to accelerate exploration and data analysis. It hopes to grow this further over the coming weeks. It has also taken on Michael Parker as chief operating officer. Parker previously worked at First Quantum Minerals for 20 years, where he held senior country manager positions in the DRC and Latin America and played a crucial role in two substantial copper discoveries.

Chesterfield is also led by a wealth of mining and financing experience outside of Cyprus. Indeed, French, who was appointed shortly after the HKP deal last year, has more than 30 years of experience in capital markets and investment banking. He was previously Managing Director of North River Resources, a brownfield underground lead-zinc project in Namibia, which he turned around and sold to Greenstone Capital. The project is now entering production. Meanwhile, non-exec director David Cliffe was previously head of Exploration Europe for Rio Tinto.

Elsewhere, fellow non-exec director Peter Damouni has built a strong reputation in Canada for his skill as a corporate financier. Throughout his career, Damouni has worked on and led equity and debt financings values over $5bn. French, who owns a 4.84pc stake in Chesterfield himself, also highlights the company’s unusually prolific shareholder base for its size.

‘Peter Damouni is part of a group of seasoned mining investors who own around half of our business. As it stands, most of our remaining shareholders are mining professionals from the UK, including a number of other junior mining CEOs,’ he tells us. ‘When we raised £2m last July we placed it out to quite a specific investor group. So, for a small company, we have the backing of experienced mining investors and a lot of senior expertise.’

Tipping point

After a quiet entry to the market as it worked on securing a strong Cypriot foothold, Chesterfield is entering a critical period. Indeed, now it has begun to receive a regular stream of assay results from its drilling work, French says investors can expect a steady stream of news flow about new targets and projects over coming months.

‘We stayed under the market radar last year as we wanted to substantially build up our land-holding in Cyprus without drawing the attention of other players,’ said French. ‘Now that we have completed this land acquisition programme we are ready to come out and tell our story. We want the strength and assets of the company to be reflected in our market value and will be working on that. There is a huge global focus on copper right now, and a discovery in Cyprus would attract a lot of attention.’

With shares jumping nearly 15pc when the company announced its licence extensions last week, it seems the market is now starting to sit up and listen. The fact that the firm believes its current c£1.7m cash position will fully fund its 2019 programme is only going to help on this front. With near-term revenue opportunities and plenty of exploration ground in its arsenal, Chesterfield’s current £2.48m market could present interesting value.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

Guest article by David Price, CEO of Rockfire Resources

Evaluating a mining exploration stock requires some level of knowledge of the terminology used within the sector and the ability to review and understand assay results.

Assaying is the process of determining the quantity of each element within an individual sample, which is representative of a prospect or an ore body. Assaying is usually performed by independent, commercial laboratories, however, some active mine sites will have their own assaying laboratory at the mine to minimise on-going costs of many hundreds of thousands of assays.

The term “prospect” is generally used to describe mineral occurrences and early-stage exploration targets. The term “Project” normally refers to a prospect which has been defined to the point that it is justified for significant funds to be allocated to the prospect and the Prospect becomes a Project. An ore body is a specific term used only when the economic parameters of potential mining have been taken into account. In other words, an orebody has to demonstrate potential to become economic at some point in the future. Without the economic component, mineral accumulations should only be referred to as prospects or projects.

There are numerous factors that combine to determine whether a mineralisation discovery is worth developing. Generally, how easy it is to mine (mining method), the size of the find (tonnage), the ease of extraction (processing), and the concentration of the minerals (grade) are the main considerations. Proximity to existing processing facilities naturally increases the odds of a discovery becoming economic, and a site having such operations nearby is often referred to as having ‘nearology’.

Near-surface deposits are cheaper to extract via open pit mining, as long as the orebody is large enough to be mined in bulk. Generally, open pit mines are no more than 300 metres deep and are several hundred metres wide. Open pit mines can be used in hard rock mining for ores such as metal ores, copper, gold, iron, aluminium, as well as coal mining and many other minerals.

As you might expect, the costs associated with underground mining are considerably higher owing to many factors including additional safety requirements, potentially harder rock, necessity for ventilation, escapeways and water/power provision at depth. As a comparison, if the cost of mining ore at an open pit mine is approximately $10 per tonne, an underground mine may cost around $25-$50 per tonne. The actual cost will vary from one project to another and factors such as rainfall, labour rates, snow depth, ground conditions, terrain, weathering of the rock, altitude, accessibility and fracture density in the rock will all contribute to variation in mining costs.

Does it make the grade?

Once a discovery is made, its economic viability needs to be assessed. Assuming the depth and size of the deposit make it attractive for development, the next thing to consider is its mineralisation grade. This is the proportion of target minerals within the rock and is usually expressed either as grams of target minerals per tonne of rock to be mined (g/t) in the case of precious metals (gold and silver), or a percentage (%) of target minerals within the ore in most other cases.

Analysis of gold content is generally performed by Fire Assay (FA). Each sample submitted by the company is firstly dried, crushed (to -5mm), then pulverized (to -80 micrometers) to create an homogenous sample. A sub-sample is then taken by the laboratory (either 30g or 50g) and generally, the larger the sub-sample, the more statistically accurate the result is likely to be.

A flux and lead bead is then added to the pulverized sub-sample and the sample is put into a furnace to be smelted to a liquid. The gold preferentially adheres to the lead, so as cooling occurs, the lead and gold separate out from the rest of the sample. The lead is ultimately absorbed into the crucible, leaving a small gold ball (prill) in the bottom of the crucible. This gold prill is then analysed using either Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) or Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS), which are both spectrometry techniques to determine absolute gold values. 

From the assay results, exploration companies generally calculate the average grade across a deposit and apply what’s called the ‘cut-off grade’ – a minimum grade determined from possible economic parameters for the deposit. Grades beneath the cut-off grade are usually excluded from the data when calculating average grades. Similarly, high-grade cuts are usually statistical high anomalies which are excluded from the data when calculating average grades, to ensure anomalously high grades are not likely to contribute to an over-estimation of the average grade.

When reviewing grades, it is important to note the sample size. The more drill holes intersecting the orebody, the more reliable the data. It is also most important to note the individual sample size which is submitted to the laboratory. Sample sizes will vary from a 50g split to a 5kg sample. The larger the sample contributing to the preparation for fire assay, the more statistically accurate the sample is likely to be. For example, Rockfire Resources instructs the laboratory to crush and pulverises an entire 5kg sample which has been submitted to the lab, prior to a 50g sub-sample being taken by the laboratory for fire assay. This larger, homogenous sample increases the cost of each individual assay, but ensures the most statistically accurate sample is analysed.

Grades can vary quite significantly, with the highest grades frequently grabbing the headlines, but larger tonnages and higher average grades are the best indicators of a potential resource. Assay results are often mapped out in order to pinpoint likely targets for future drilling campaigns.

Author: David Price

Many thanks to David for this guest article. David is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Rockfire Resources plc. David is an experienced geologist and senior executive with +30 years of experience in the global mining industry and has over 20 years’ experience in securing funding for exploration projects. David holds the highest category of membership as a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM) and is a Competent Person for Mineral Exploration under the guidelines of the JORC Code. Rockfire Resources is advancing gold and copper projects in Queensland Australia, where historical drilling has already identified significant gold, copper and silver mineralization.

https://www.rockfireresources.com

 

African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) jumped 11.1pc to 0.5p on Thursday after returning from the first stage of its strategic and operational review with a ‘robust financial position’.

The exploration player was suspended from trading in December as demands from short-term creditors exceeded available working capital. However, it was re-admitted to the market last month days after shareholders voted in favour of a host of proposals aimed and restructuring the business. This included a conditional placing and subscription to raise £1m at 0.5p a share and help pay off creditors.

In Wednesday’s update, African Battery said it has now paid all material creditor balances through either cash or share settlements. It now has no material debt and free working capital of around £860,000. It believes this figure will cover corporate plc costs, anticipated project exploration, and expenditure on existing interests for 12 months.

News of this the financial progress came alongside the initial results of a strategic and operation review under African Battery’s new managers Paul Johnson and Andrew Bell. The pair, both well-known figures in the AIM community after holding numerous senior roles at mining firms, replaced the company’s former management team following last month’s vote.

As well as joining the African Battery’s board, both Bell and Johnson each subscribed to £50,000 worth of shares in its placing. On top of this, Red Rock – where Bell is CEO and chairman, subscribed to an additional £100,000 in shares.

Discussing the firm’s restructured cash position on Wednesday, Johnson said: ‘Since the December 2018 suspension and with the support and assistance of existing shareholders, new investors, Company advisors, Company management and, importantly, the AIM exchange itself, ABM is now in a robust financial position and able to take the steps it needs to drive its business forward and potentially flourish.’

To support this potential, Johnson and Bell have begun to assess African Battery’s business administration and management as part of their review. On Wednesday, the firm said that its priority focus is now on completing its audited financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2018. These are due on 29 March 2019 and will be followed by an AGM to discuss progress with shareholders.

Elsewhere, management has been reviewing African Battery’s existing project interests to identify the most optimal way of progressing exploration and related costs. The work is being led by Bell, who is currently visiting the DRC to review the company’s assets and capabilities in the country as well as exploration options for its Kisinka copper-cobalt project.

Moving forward, African Battery’s executive team intends to review the organisation’s operational interests in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast as well as the DRC over coming weeks. It plans to communicate its findings through individual market updates. It added that the allocation of project management and exploration spend will be focused on projects with the highest potential impact per exploration dollar.

Although the company plans to stay broadly in line with its previous management’s exploration strategy, it said its approach might differ and build on knowledge acquired from previous work.

Elsewhere, Bell and Johnson have been identifying and review appropriate new acquisition opportunities for the outfit. The firm said the funding climate for early-stage resource opportunities is still very poor, meaning vendors are willing to undertake transactions on reasonable.

Through its network, it said it has already received direct approaches from third parties with new opportunities in battery metals, precious metals and other commodity groups. It is now reviewing a range of possible options. However, it will only proceed if a new asset is sufficiently attractive, complements and strengthens existing interests, and does not place undue pressure on cash requirements.

Finally, African Battery said that it intends to remain focused on Africa and battery metals for the ‘foreseeable future’. However, it is also considering investment opportunities that can bolster its financial strength and give it exposure to strategically attractive areas for future business development.

‘Any recovery scenario should look to focus on existing interests first, extracting the best opportunities and building from that core. We are doing just that,’ added Johnson. ‘It is our intention to report our progress regularly to the market, providing individual project updates to enable investors and shareholders to have a clear understanding of each Company project in respect of its current status, our operational plans and our project level objectives.

‘I would like to thank all the parties who have assisted with the initial recovery of the Company.  And I assure you the ABM team are working very hard to secure to build a sustainable recovery over the coming weeks and months.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The article expresses the views of the Author solely and does not necessarily express the views of MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd or their connected parties who are not responsible for its content or accuracy

News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Readers are recommended to seek the advice of appropriate professionals when considering investments in small capital.

 

Shares in Oriole Resources (LSE:ORR) advanced 1.4pc to 0.36p on Wednesday after the business announced ‘very encouraging’ high-grade anomalies at its assets in Cameroon.

In an exploration update for the Bibemi asset, where it is earning up to a 90pc interest, Oriole said the first phase of a trenching programme has confirmed multiple zones of gold mineralisation. This includes 6m at 3.02 g/t gold with individual veins returning up to 13.7 g/t.

The trenching programme is now complete, with the remaining results anticipated later this quarter or in early Q2 2019. The work followed the news last November that rock-chip sampling results for Bibembi had demonstrated ‘bonanza’ high-grade gold anomalism extending over the c.4km strike. A phase two trench programme will now begin for a planned 4,360m.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Oriole said it has also completed soil sampling at the earlier stage Wapouze project, where it is also earning up to a 90pc stake. Results for 2,119 soil samples and 146 rock samples are expected later this month.

Oriole entered a conditional option agreement with established Cameroonian outfit BEIG3 in June last year for Bibemi and Wapouzé. The assets cover the highly prospective Neoproterozoic Pan-African greenstone belts in the north-east of the country.

The two-part agreement gives Oriole the right to earn up to a 90pc interest in the projects and take over their management.  For an initial 51pc stake, the firm must fund $1.56m of exploration over two years, with a minimum commitment of $560,000 in the first year. It can then earn up to a further 39pc in exchange for another $1.56m exploration payment.

Earlier this year, Oriole said it would invest a portion of its £500,000 rebate from the UK tax office into the projects.

In Wednesday’s update, the company’s chief executive Tim Livesey said: ‘These results from our first phase of trenching at Bibemi are very encouraging and, together with the Phase 2 infill trenching, will assist us in both gaining a better understanding of the mineralised system and progressing towards a drill decision later in the year.

‘Though the higher-grading intercepts may appear at first glance to be rather sporadic, they do follow the previously mapped trends and confirm our early model of shear-related vein mineralisation.  When one considers the scale of the area and the average 200m-spacing between trenches, the results to date suggest the presence of multiple mineralised ore shoots within what is a major 600m-wide structural corridor.’

He added that there remains work to do to under the controls on mineralisation in such a complex structural environment properly.

‘Remembering that the individual ore shoots in many of the world’s biggest mines exploiting this kind of orogenic gold deposit have strike lengths of around 200-400m, our immediate task now is to target the higher-grade sections with the intention of defining specific ore shoots and the geological factors controlling their localisation,’ he added.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

Thor Mining (LSE:THR) jumped 8.9pc to 1.15p on Tuesday after announcing plans to spin off its interest in the Kapunda copper project into a new business.

The firm, which was down 6.5pc on Wednesday, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to transfer its interests in the Adelaide-based project into Enviro Copper. This new vehicle will then hold earn-in rights up to 75pc in Kapunda as well as another asset called the Moonta copper project.

In exchange for transferring its stake, Thor can hold up to a 30pc position in Enviro before any listing activities. Thor shareholders, meanwhile, will hold the first option to invest in any listing that Enviro decides to seek on a recognised securities exchange.

Kapunda hosts an in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable inferred mineral resource estimate of 119,000ts of contained copper.

Thor holds its interest in the product through a private Australian company called Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR). Thor announced an agreement to earn up to 60pc in ECR last August in exchange for convertible loans worth up to $1.8m. ECR holds an agreement to earn, in two stages, up to 75pc of the rights over metals that may be recovered in the Kapunda deposit from ASX-listed miner Terramin.

Under the Enviro MOU, Thor will relinquish its interest in ECR and buy a 25pc, pre-listing, interest in Enviro for A$0.6m. It will also hold the right to acquire a further 5pc seed capital interest in the vehicle for $0.4m.

Moonta, meanwhile, is also based in Adelaide, where it sits within the historical ‘copper triangle’ of South Australia. Here, around 300,000ts of copper was mined and processed from the 1860s until the 1920s. Although it is less advanced than the Kapunda target, it contains an ISR amenable exploration target of between 238Mt and 310Mt at a grade range of 0.18pc-0.23pc copper. The asset is 75pc owned by a business called Environmental Metals Recovery, subject to due diligence.

In Tuesday’s update, Thor said the new combined entity would provide a strategic opportunity to build a substantial ISR-focused copper exploration, development, and production business with an initial focus on Australia. It said a key strategic target would be the ‘timely development’ of Kapunda into production, which would demonstrate the viability of ISR. This model would then be applied to the larger scale Moonta project.

Beyond its two initial interests, Enviro will aim to develop an expanded portfolio of ISR copper opportunities. Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing added that Enviro could add ‘significant scale’ to the firm’s copper interests by bringing in exposure to Moonta.

‘While Kapunda is comparatively more advanced, the Moonta project, albeit at an earlier stage, provides potential for a much larger, and longer-term copper production entity,’ he said. The opportunity for eligible Thor Mining shareholders to have a priority investment opportunity in the new vehicle is seen as a core ingredient in the establishment and listing of this new entity.

‘Also, through their shareholding in Thor Mining plc, shareholders we be able to see the demonstrable value of our interest in Enviro Copper and that value will be in our financial accounts as a tradable market valued asset, rather than as merely a project within the Company. Shareholders should expect a range of additional market updates in the near term in respect of the developments at Enviro Copper, and as we take steps forward at Molyhil and Pilot Mountain.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Ironridge Resources (LSE:IRR) dropped 2.5pc to 19p on Tuesday despite announcing multiple new high-grade lithium intersections at two of its site in Ghana. The firm has now received all the assay results for a 4,684m second-phase RC programme carried out at its flagship Ewoyaa project and new Abonko discovery in the West African nation.

The latest round of results from drilling December showed good continuity of mineralisation along infill sections at Ewoyaa, with high-grade lithium pegmatite intersections. Highlights included 80m at 1.52pc lithium dioxide from surface including 22m at 1.76pc lithium dioxide from 52m ad 68m at 1.31pc lithium dioxide from 45m including 10m at 1.8pc lithium dioxide from 64m.

The drilling programme was designed to test strike extensions and newly-defined pegmatite zones at Ewoyaa and Abonko as well as completing infilling resource drilling along two sections at Ewoyaa.

Metallurgical sampling has now been completed, with sampled being sent to Nagrom in Perth for preliminary metallurgical test-work. Meanwhile, regional pitting around Ewoyaa-Abonka pegmatite clusters is ongoing, with new pegmatites and extensions continuing to be discovered.

Vincent Mascolo, chief executive and managing director of IronRidge, said: ‘Drilling results continue to confirm that Ewoyaa is a significant discovery, which is high-grade and spodumene dominant; the preferred feedstock for end users.

‘Located within 100km trucking distance of an operating deep-sea port and within 1km of a bitumen highway, Ewoyaa is well positioned to benefit from existing infrastructure. In addition, the project is situated in the favourable, pro-mining jurisdiction of Ghana, which is ideal for the future development of the Cape Coast Lithium Portfolio.

‘Confirmation of grade and continuity of mineralisation between 50m spaced cross-sections within the Central Zone of the main Ewoyaa deposit is very positive and bodes well for future resource estimation, as well as simplicity of mine design and process flow-sheet.

‘Ongoing mineralisation discovery within the immediate project area, including new pegmatites at Ewoyaa and Abonko and step out drilling extending the known high-grade mineralisation at Ewoyaa an additional 250m of strike is highly encouraging.

‘The recently discovered high-grade spodumene dominant pegmatites at Abonko, and around Ewoyaa, is significant as it adds further resource scale potential. Field teams have finalised metallurgical sampling, with 427kg of diamond drill core being dispatched to Nagrom laboratory in Perth for preliminary metallurgical test-work with initial results expected in the coming months.

‘Concurrently, field teams are continuing regional pitting programmes around the Ewoyaa-Abonko pegmatite cluster which continues to deliver new pegmatite discoveries for future drill testing, as well as successfully completing a Ground Penetrating Radar ('GPR') survey to target pegmatites at depth.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

Condor Gold (LSE:CNR) bounced 7.2pc to 23.6p on Tuesday morning after revealing that it has started permitting for two feeder pits at its La India project in Nicaragua. The gold exploration and development business said America and Mestiza could increase open pit production at the asset by 50pc to 120,000oz of gold p.a. for seven years.

The pits have, in aggregate, 206,000ts containing 66,0000oz gold in the indicated category and 152,000oz contained gold in the inferred category. They are located between 2-4km from the location of the processing plant for the La India open pit. This has now been permitted with a processing capacity of 2,800ts a day.

In Tuesday’s update, the firm said it has received the terms of reference to produce an environmental impact assessment for the pit from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA). This supports the granting of an environmental permit for the development and extraction of contained gold at both sites. The granting comes after MARENA, together with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Ministry of Forestry, has conducted a site visit inspection of the proposed layout of the pits, waste dumps, and infrastructure.

Tuesday’s development comes after several weeks after Condor announced an updated mineral resource estimate for La India, where it owns a 100pc position. This gave the project a mineral resource estimate of 9.85Mts at 3.6g/t gold for 1.14MMoz gold in the indicated and 8.48Mts at 4.3 g/t gold for 1.179oz in the inferred category.

On Tuesday, Condor said that permitting additional high-grade open pit material at America and Mestiza would help to boost these figures and extend La India’s annual production or its life of mine.

Condor chairman and chief executive officer, Mark Child, added: ‘Permitting the high grade Mestiza and America satellite feeder pits has the potential to increase annual production from open pit material by 50% to 120,000 oz gold p.a. for a seven year life of mine. The feeder pits have in aggregate 206 thousand tonnes ("Kt") at a grade of 9.9 g/t (66,000 oz contained metal) in the Indicated category and 1,018Kt at 4.6 g/t (152,000 oz contained gold in the Inferred category).

‘The feeder pits complement the main, fully permitted La India open pit, which has a robust, economically viable Pre-Feasibility Study ("PFS") with Mineral Reserves of 6.9 million tonnes ("M tonnes" or "Mt") at 3.0 g/t for 675,000 oz gold, which demonstrates annual production of 79,300 oz gold and lower quartile all-in-sustaining cash costs ("AISC") of US$690 per oz gold. The higher grade feeder pits have the potential to materially enhance the Project economics.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

 

 

Emmerson (LSE:EML) soared 16.1pc to 3.6p on Monday morning after announcing that it could significantly cut the capex requirements of its Khemisset potash project by using a different port.

The business said it could save $7.5m on the capex costs previously announced in a scoping study for its Morocco-based asset by using storage and loading facilities at the Port of Casablanca. It has previously been looking at using the Port of Mohammedia for the export of potash created at Khemisset.

The change in port would result in a slight increase in transport distance for the product, given the potential use of rail rather than trucks for the majority of the journey. Transport can often be a particularly expensive stage in the creation and delivery of potash due to the produc’s bulk and heaviness.

However, in Monday’s update, Emmerson said indicative mine-to-port logistics cost quotes from the Moroccan National Rail Company show no change in operating costs from Khemisset’s scoping study.

The business added that using Casablanca, a significantly larger port with a more significant draft capacity, would allow the loading of a broader range of vessel sizes. This has the potential to reduce overall bulk shipping costs to target markets like Brazil, it added.

Elsewhere, the company said it remains in discussions with numerous Moroccan entities, included the port authorities. It is looking at further opportunities to improve Khemisset’s economics ahead of upcoming feasibility studies.

The scoping study for Khemisset confirmed that it has the potential to be among the lowest capital cost, highest margin potash projects in the world. Forecast economics include EBITDA margins of more than 60pc and a post-tax NPV10 of over US$1.1bn based on industry expert price forecasts.

Emmerson’s chief executive Hayden Locke said it was ‘pleasing’ to see progress in the firm’s efforts to cut costs at Khemisset.

‘The Port of Casablanca is one of the largest and most modern in Africa and, consequently, it has outstanding infrastructure already in place. Discussions with the Port Authority suggest that we may be able to benefit from this; potentially reducing our capital costs further and having a net positive impact on our overall transport and logistics costs delivered to our target markets, including Brazil.

‘This is a positive development and it will form a key part of our analysis for the Feasibility Study. We are rapidly progressing Khemisset and look forward to keeping shareholders updated as we identify further areas of improvement for the Project during 2019."

Towards the end of last month, the firm hired Don Larmour of Global Potash Solutions to advise on metallurgy and processing at the asset as well as acting as a consultant for the feasibility study. Larmour has already conducted a detailed review of the Khemisset scoping study as part of his hiring process. Through this, he identified opportunities for the simplification and optimisation of the project’s design. Emmerson believes these have the potential to reduce capital and operating costs. He also suggested potential changes to Khemisset’s brine management strategy and identified several areas of focus for the next, more detailed design phase to further de-risk the project.

Author: Daniel Flynn

The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above

Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

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